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TIFF: The Movies

From the red carpet to the silver screen it’s time to book end this story entitled “Tiff”. First there was the night life; the exceptional parties that introduced me to interesting individuals and unforgettable adventures. Now it’s time for the best part of Tiff, the third letter in its acronym, ‘the films’. With three hundred pictures to choose from I had to make some wise decisions. I made four, and they are as follows: Kaboom; Deep in the Woods; The Edge; and Viva Riva.

To kick things off I traveled to Ryerson Theater to see Gregg Araki’s “Kaboom”. The only film in the foursome to include a personal introduction from the director, and it was amazing to have been given that added dimension. Now… it’s difficult to say what the movie was about, but it was also difficult not to enjoy. Kaboom is a perfect example of how great casting/dialog/soundtrack/costume design can supersede the need for a plotline and still produce a solid offering in entertainment.

Deep in the Woods was next in line. A late night showing I attended in solitude and the most impressionable slice of cinema I was blessed to see. The newest offering from French director Benoit Jacquot, this visceral and raw take on love was so incredibly powerful it left an indelible mark on my cinematic heart. It reminded me that love is not only the one thing we can’t explain, it’s the one thing we don’t have to. Jacquot in this work reiterates the simple truth that love is about the little smiles.

Early the next morning John and I were off to see the Russian epic “The Edge”. This film was just recently selected by Russia as its choice entry in the run for the “Best Foreign Film”, and it definitely has a great shot. As an interesting take on post WW2 Russia, the movie used its focus on steam engines to display the depth of its peoples struggle. This is a masterpiece in cinematography that any fan of moving pictures should take time to take in.

Last in line was the Congolese shoot-em-up “Viva Riva”. This blend of Nollywood influences and Guy Ritchie nuances made for one hell of a picturesque adventure. It was like Hype Williams and Fernando Meirelles combined their DNA to birth this baby named Riva. In other words, Djo Munga is set to become Africa’s flagship movie director. The man is a talented fanboy with an exciting future ahead of him, and I can’t wait to see his next effort.

Four films, four memorable movies! Tiff 2010 was one of the best experiences I’ve been blessed with during my tenure here in Toronto. From the parties to the films you better believe I’ll be returning with even more enthusiasm for next year’s festival.

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