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Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

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Entries in foreign films (431)

Thursday
Sep212017

Three can't-miss movies directed by women on the festival circuit

our continuing adventures at TIFF with a little NYFF thrown in.

This year I made a conscious effort to see films directed by women at the Toronto International Film Festival. Nearly half of the films I screened had women behind the camera! Even though a few of them were unsatisfying, a handful were gems so praise be to TIFF that there were so many to choose from. Other festivals haven't been as inclusive. We've already discussed the tragic romance of Mary Shelley, the visually stunning The Breadwinner, the what-were-they-thinking Kings, the confounding but admirably crafted Zama, the dramatic misfire of Euphoria, and Hungary's strange and totally involving Oscar submission On Body and Soul.

I saved the three best for last. If you get a chance to see Western (playing at NYFF September 30th and October 1st), the Austrian costume drama Mademoiselle Paradis, or a hard to describe miracle from Indonesia called The Seen and the Unseen please take it. Unfortunately none currently have US release dates (though Western does apparently have some sort of stateside distribution planned for 2018). We'll take them alphabetically after the jump...

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Wednesday
Sep202017

TIFF: Euphoria and Zama disappoint

We've got a a few more adventures from TIFF to get through. Here are two pictures Euphoria and Zama that I was greatly looking forward to for disparate reasons (the lead actors and the director, respectively). But neither one did it for me and I sincerely hope other future eyeballs will enjoy them more...

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Thursday
Sep142017

TIFF Discovery: A Shirley Henderson Master Class and a Wild Argentinian Family

by Sean Donovan

The films featured in TIFF’s ‘Discovery’ section are sometimes given short shrift by the festival at large. Already arriving with the disadvantage of being announced last, and thereby with the least amount of time for anticipation to brew, these small modest productions (many of which are debut features for their directors) are easily buried underneath the hype of awards season giants and glitzy red carpets. If that’s the macro view of things, in micro the audiences that find their way to ‘Discovery’ films are incredibly eager and excited, anxious for the chance to look at films that may never find healthy distribution outside of festival spaces. Here are two of the absolute highlights of TIFF’s ‘Discovery’ program:

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Monday
Sep112017

Two more Oscar submissions announced

The foreign Oscar submissions keep on coming. Egypt will be submitting Sheikh Jackson, a potential crowd pleaser about an Islamic cleric undergoing an identity crisis when he flashes back to his Michael Jackson obsessed youth when Michael dies. Egypt has yet to be Oscar-nominated but who knows.

A more likely nominee on paper, given the history, is Poland's Spoor (originally called Pokot) a murder mystery directed by Agnieska Holland. The film about an animal rights activist that becomes involved in a string of mysterious crimes has been getting interestingly mixed reviews. Holland first came to international fame (and Oscar love) with her big arthouse hit and WW II drama Europa Europa (1990) and was recently in the hunt again with the foreign film nominee In Darkness (2011). You could argue that she's Oscar's second favorite Polish director (of those who kept making movies in Poland, that is) after the late legendary Andrzej Wajda who was up for the foreign film Oscar four times and eventually received an Honorary.

The charts are here

Monday
Sep112017

'The Shape of Water' wins Venice

 by Murtada

On Saturday night President Annette Bening and her jury, announced their choices at the Venice Film Festival. Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water rode its wave of ecstatic reviews all the way to winning the biggest prize, The Golden Lion. More and a complete list of winners after the jump...

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