The festival’s sidebar includes new films from Julie Delpy and Sarah Gavron, plus Riz Ahmed as a heavy metal drummer.
Less than a month separates us from the kickoff of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and the anticipation only continues to mount. The powers that be have already revealed the lineups for the big-ticket Gala Presentations and Special Presentations sections, but today brings a fresh wave of excitement as they unveil the Platform selections as well.
Each year, the chosen Plaform films mix a few name-brand directors with a roster of visionary-if-less-well-known talents; TIFF head honcho Cameron Bailey likens the section to the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. This year, the number shrinks from 12 to 10, and goes light on the American filmmakers.
Julie Delpy gets back behind the camera once again for My Zoe, a “suspense drama” about a mother on the edge purportedly far removed from the usual fizziness of her directorial work. She’s joined in the section by a handful of women contributing to TIFF’s efforts to reach gender parity across their programming: Alice Winocour is set to unveil Proxima, in which Eva Green plays an astronaut preparing for the voyage of a lifetime; Sarah Gavron is bringing Rocks, a teenage girl’s coming-of-age story; and Paula Hernández will show The Sleepwalkers, a parallel-tracks narrative following a mother and daughter on separate journeys.
From Singapore comes Anthony Chen’s Wet Season, a drama tracking the bond between a teacher and student, and by way of Italy, TIFF landed Pietro Marcello’s Jack London adaptation Martin Eden. Mexico brings us Workforce, a directorial debut from David Zonana chronicling a deceased construction worker’s relatives seeking justice for his accidental death.
Perhaps the most intriguing selection of all is Sound of Metal, from fellow first-timer Darius Marder, best known for writing The Place Beyond the Pines. The 140-minute whopper stars Riz Ahmed as a heavy metal drummer slowly losing his hearing and accordingly having a think about what his future holds. The promotional image depicts Ahmed with a shock of bleached-blonde hair, in true Efronian fashion.
That leaves Uruguayan economic thriller The Moneychanger from Federico Veiroj, and the obligatory “Can-con” (that’s Canadian content, for the unhip) Anne at 13,000 Feet, from TIFF’s hometown hero Kazik Radwanski. The film focuses on a girl named Anne, played in what the promo copy calls “one of the year’s most staggering performances” by Deragh Campbell, as she’s challenged by social and professional mores.
There’s still more to come – give us the Midnight Madness selections, we crave them – but what’s for certain is that the next three weeks will go by at an agonizing pace. See you all in parts north.
The 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival will take place from 5-15 September. For more info head to tiff.net
Published 7 Aug 2019
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