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Toronto International Film Festival, 2008

One of the pleasures of those lucky enough to attend the film festivals of Berlin and Cannes is that by the time one gets to Toronto, much of the higher profile films have been seen.  This can allow one the leeway to catch some smaller discoveries, as well as hope that the more anticipated Venice selections gone un-selected by the New York Film Festival will live up to expectations.  Chief among those is yet another meta-Takeshi Kitano movie (Achilles and the Tortoise), this one finally hopefully seen by me (unlike his undistributed last two), Claire Denis' 35 Rhums, which for those who appreciate one of the greatest working filmmakers could not be anticipated higher, Mamoru Oshii's return to "traditional" animation in a fighter pilot film (Sky Crawlers), and hopefully something lovely from Agnès Varda (Plages d'Agnès).  There are a number of returning filmmakers whose previous works point to something exciting in their new films, like Jia Zhangke's cinematographer Yu Lik-wai finally following up his underrated All Tomorrow's Parties with Plastic City, and Christian Petzold, who made a splash, as they say, with Yella, is showing his Venice-debuted Jerichow.  As for the discoveries?  We'll just have to wait and see; stay tuned over the next week.  Coverage coming soon.

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