Connect with us

Retro IONCINEMA.com

Guide to TIFF 2009: 40 Film Recommendations

I’ve come up with a magical number of 30 films that I’ll be covering for the fest (you might have noticed the TIFF Picks countdown over the past couple of weeks), when in fact that, the number of films I hope to catch a whopping 44!

I’ve come up with a magical number of 30 films that I’ll be covering for the fest (you might have noticed the TIFF Picks countdown over the past couple of weeks), when in fact that, the number of films I hope to catch a whopping 44!

So I’m going to break this down in three steps, my top three suggestions going into the fest blindly (kind of what Toronto Star’s Peter Howell does annually – read here), a top 10 films that I’ve caught prior to TIFF that are worth seeing whether you attend the fest or not, followed by a basic recap.

My top three:

Samuel Maoz’s Lebanon
Invited to compete at Venice (reviews should be arriving sometime today), the word on this pic is that it could be even more poignant than last year’s Waltz with Bashir. This is told from the POV of a tank crew – not really men but boys operating a killing machine. This is a directorial debut.

Shirin Neshat’s Women Without Men
Another first feature length film, the mouth watering imagery in the trailer has me sold. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of Iran’s 1953 CIA-backed coup d’état, the destinies of four women converge in a beautiful orchard garden, where they find independence, solace and companionship. This plays in Venice tomorrow.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs 
Not sure what to say about this that hasn’t been said before – I’m a big fan of Jeunet’s humor and zippy visuals. 

Top Ten (Already Seen):

The pair that tops the list are Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet and Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank followed closely by Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth and Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu’s Police, Adjective along with the latest from the Coens A Serious Man. Other solid fair all from Cannes includes: Tales from the Golden Age, The White Ribbon, Antichrist, Bright Star, and Mia Hansen-Løve’s Le Père de mes Enfants which just got picked up today.

Top 30 TIFF Picks Recap: If you want more details on each – you can commence the countdown here!

Soi Cheang’s Accident
Peter Mettler’s Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands
Jesper Ganslandt’s The Ape
Don Argott’s The Art of the Steal
Paul King’s Bunny & The Bull
Atom Egoyan’s Chloe
Lu Chuan’s City of Life and Death
Chris Smith’s Collapse
Ole Bornedal’s Deliver Us From Evil
J Blakeson’s The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Adrian Biniez’s Gigante
Bruno Dumont’s Hadewijch
Pablo Stoll’s Hiroshima
Suzana Amaral’s Hotel Atlantico
Alex van Warmerdam’s The Last Days of Emma Blank
Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass
Samuel Maoz’s Lebanon
Larrieu Bros.’ Les Derniers jours du monde
Todd Solondz’s Life During Wartime
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs
Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith’s The Most Dangerous Man in America
Jaco Van Dormael’s Mr. Nobody
Neil Jordon’s Ondine
François Ozon’s Le Refuge
Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen
Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Symbol
Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers
Danis Tanovic’s Triage
Claire Denis’ White Material
Shirin Neshat’s Women Without Men

Continue Reading
Advertisement
You may also like...

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

Click to comment

More in Retro IONCINEMA.com

To Top