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TIFF 2007 Day 7: Indie Heavyweights

Out of today’s list of 5 features screened, four of them will eventually be shown on screens having already secured domestic distribution, – the solo pic that won’t be seeing the screen was heavy on naked bodies and the such.

Out of today’s list of 5 features screened, four of them will eventually be shown on screens having already secured domestic distribution, – the solo pic that won’t be seeing the screen was heavy on naked bodies and the such. Here’s some quick, brief comments on the 5.

Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You're Dead uses flashback and fractured timelines to demonstrate how a botched robbery went astray. Some nice dramatic perfs from Hoffman and Hawke and for those who care, Marisa Tomei does not disappoint.

Man From Plains is a documentary film shaped to some degree of Radiohead’s Meeting People is Easy – it details x-prez Jimmy Carter’s press and book tour. He is a modest man with a good head on his shoulders. The current president could learn a lot from this golden aged senior. 

It is not the narrative that is the strength of this particular film, but the euro-styled and edgy bone chilling nature of Inside (À l'intérieur) (a blood-soaked horror film that has places Béatrice Dalle in the role of an angry wanna-be mother) is an unexpected visual pleasure. Once the initial blow (act of aggression) is delivered the film never lets up, the French filmmaking duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury hardly give the viewer a moment to breath a sign of relief. Warning: its extremely graphic, you might change the way you see pregnant women in the future and there are many manners in which a household item can be utliized.

Lee Kang-sheng’s Help Me Eros, shows how professor Tsai Ming-Liang has influenced the young director, but while this may have some visually promising shots its narrative is empty just like the souls of the film’s main character.

Finally, the closest thing I’ve seen to a Hollywood production since I’ve been in Toronto is Reservation Road – a film that operates out of the New England region and that conveniently and unconvincingly poses two tragedy-struck fathers into the same circle of grief. The perfs are great and if you liked In the Bedroom then you might find this a lesser but not insignificant novel adaptation worthy.

A reminder that all films covered will be receive full reviews in the days and weeks to come.

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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).

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