TIFF Tuesday

Quote for the day: “That’s life, man; you give in to it sooner or later.” from Pandora’s Box.

No pics for today, I’m too tired to do anything but the film list for the day ranked in rating order.

Pandora’s Box — Turkish

Probably the most touching film I’ve seen thus far, Pandora’s Box is a Turk/Belg/French/German collaboration on a story about a family dealing with their mother/grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. The poignancy intensified as I became aware of an elderly gentleman a couple of seats from me softly crying for about the last half of the movie. Cinematography, music and acting combine and gently guide the viewer through the emotional explosions that occur as each member of the family copes with rough edges of personal issues made jagged by the new complication. The theme of ‘letting go’ weaves through each life even as newly discovered relationships grow. A truly beautiful film in every way.

*****

Two-legged Horse — Iran, filmed in Afghanistan

“Brutal; harrowing”; “I’m still shaking;” “Several people had to walk out” These are comments I overheard from a man describing his experience in Two-legged Horse to a friend. He’s right. The dehumanization depicted in this film by Iranian director, Samira Makhmalbaf, makes one more anti-war statement as do many of this year’s films. The Director of Programming for the Contemporary World Cinema program at TIFF introduced the film and the director, warning that “this is a hard, harsh film. It will chill you; it will jar you; that is the intent of the film.” I didn’t leave as I did in Firaaq but many others did and I was actually glad to see that people were deeply troubled. We should all be troubled by the effects of war and how it changes us. We cannot escape the effects and the costs of war. We are human beings and there are those in our world who are suffering in ways we cannot comprehend. We MUST be troubled and then we must act or nothing will change!

****

L’ Empreinte de L’Ange — French (Canadian)

Back to mothers. New twist on an old theme, this one is based on a true story. Woman sees little girl and begins obsessing about her being the baby who died. Good performances. I kept waiting for it to follow the direction I thought it was leading and was nicely surprised! Not great, but good and worth a watch.

***

Krabat — German

A group of twelve boys led by a master sorcerer in the post-thirty years war Germany. Probably too dark for kids but would be fun for junior high aged kids. CGI is very good (better than Mongol). It moved well, acting was okay, visually pleasing, just fun entertainment.

***

Tokyo Sonata — Japanese

My least favorite for today, this is another family drama. The film could have been 30 minutes shorter and still maintained its integrity. Too much drama, too much melodrama, just plain too much! I also don’t care for seeing kids get hit by parents, period. I know it’s part of the story but I don’t like it!

*

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