I have been busy of late with my responsibilities for the Toronto International Film Festival but now it's underway and I can start making plans for seeing some films.
I tend to see niche films during the Festival - for instance last year I barely saw anything except for Zizek's three-parter The Pervert's Guide To Cinema and the Open Vault restoration of Peter Pearson's Paperback Hero from 1973. I have a slightly longer "to do" list this year.
Tonight it's Peter Bogdanovich introducing La Grande Illusion by Renoir, which I've never seen. (I will have a drink out of a flask everytime Bogdanovich says "Orson" in his opening remarks.) Next will be Ken Loach introducing the Czech New Wave film Closely Watched Trains - another hole in my education filled. I'm hoping The Diving Bell and The Butterfly will be as good as I would expect from a Julian Schnabel film starring Mathieu Amalric... I don't think I've ever been inside Toronto's Winter Garden Theatre, certainly not to watch a film (though I did go to the Elgin in the seventies when it was a double-bill house!) so what better way to christen the place in my brain than with the latest Johnnie To action film from Hong Kong, Mad Detective? And then of course Donnie Yen in Flash Point at Midnight Madness the next evening... and I'm very much looking forward to seeing Redacted - a lot of people forget that De Palma was a bit Godard-y when he started out and this film looks to reconcile his political engagement with his technical mastery...as long as it's not Natural Born Killers 2.
Still have to pick a documentary, though it won't be Nathan Barley in Baghdad.