An indication that Atom Egoyan’s Chloe will most definitely find a competition slot in Venice, TIFF has uncharacteristically went with a foreign English language title as the film festival’s opening night selection. The spot usually reserved for a Canadian film went to Jon Amiel’s unsold Creation which will have its world premiere on the 10th of September. Today’s announcement of 23 titles confirms the a.) red carpet presence and early seat sale interest with names/faces like Matt Damon, Ricky Gervais, Clive Owen and Michael Douglas, b.) the latest from Bruno Dumont, Niki Caro, Neil Jordan and Tim Blake Nelson will not be receiving comp slots in Venice but will be part of the Special Presentations at TIFF instead, and c.) a sampling of adult fair titles (Solitary Man, Valhalla Rising, The Boys Are Back, Mao’s Last Dancer, Moloch Tropical, Cracks) that were perhaps not ready or strong enough for Cannes will receive world preems. Additionally, after naming some in the last press release, more titles from previous film festival selections were announced. Here’s a quick look at the selections.
The Boys Are Back – The Scott Hicks directed pic scripted by Alan Cubbit, is an adaptation of a book by Simon Carr that tells the story takes off after Joe Warr (Owen), a sports writer, becomes single dad to a six-year old (Nicholas McAnulty) upon the death of his wife (Laura Fraser). Miramax releases the picture later in September.
Bright Star – Bob Berney gets to present Jane Campion’s excellent film to North American audiences. Let’s hope he has a logo and company name in place for the occasion.
City Of Life And Death – After the brilliant Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, Lu Chuan’s pic looks at the 1937 massacre of Nanking by the Japanese army. The filmmaker had his life threatened before and during the film’s release in mainland China.
Cracks – Jordan Scott’s feature debut was written for the screen by Caroline Ip and Ben Court, based on the novel by Sheila Kohler, this is about a group of girls at a boarding school in England in the 1930s who become caught up in the web of a charismatic teacher.
Creation – Jon Amiel’s TIFF opener is based on the novel Annie’s Box by Randall Keynes, the great-great grandson of the Victorian scientist, this focuses on the period when Darwin was writing “The Origin of the Species,” his ground-breaking treatise on evolution, while living a family life at Down House in Kent, near London. The “Annie” of the title is Darwin’s first daughter, whose death aged 10 left him grief-stricken.
Get Low – The Aaron Schneider directed pic is written by Chris Provenzano, C. Gaby Mitchell and Scott Seeke, and is based on the Oscar winner short film Two Soldiers and based on the true story of Felix “Bush” Breazeale. Set in the depression-era 1930s Tennessee, when a man with a shady past (Duvall) tries to find redemption through witnessing his own funeral as part of a funeral home’s promotional stunt. Spacek plays a woman from his past.
Hadewijch – Controversial filmmaker Bruno Dumont’s film is a Flanders set story about a 25 year old nun whose blind ecstatic faith shocks the mother superior. She is forced from the convent and on to a dangerous path.
The Informant! – Steven Soderbergh will most likely be presenting this in Venice, since TIFF announced the film as a North American premiere.
The Invention of Lying – Already receiving a September 25th release, Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson’s film actually follows TIFF’s preem of Ghost Town exactly the same time last year.