August 11, 2007

The List So Far (2007)

With only ten days remaining until the full TIFF lineup is finalized, I thought it might be fun to do a "state of the list so far" thread. Right now, what are the five films at the top of your to-see list? What five films have piqued your curiosity even if you don't yet know much about them?

My current top 5:

  • Silent Light
  • Le Voyage de Ballon Rouge
  • Wavelengths 2 and 5
  • The Mourning Forest
  • Secret Sunshine
Five More:
  • Corroboree -- the premise is fascinating and Matt Clayfield really liked it
  • Iron Ladies of Liberia -- the trailer has the feel of a Wiseman film
  • Death in the Land of Encantos -- I'm eager to see a Lav Diaz film, and this one sounds interesting
  • Happy New Life -- I'm a sucker for Eastern European ennui
  • Dans la ville de Sylvie -- I'd happily watch this trailer for 90 minutes


girish said...

Darren, this isn't a huge surprise, but my most-anticipated list is almost identical to yours. I'd probably add the Olmi, One Hundred Nails, because I'm a big fan of many of his films (Tree of Wooden Clogs, Il Posto, I Fidanzati, Time Stood Still etc), and also Sokurov's Alexandra. I haven't seen Battle In Heaven yet, but will rent/watch it before TIFF.

Darren said...

Tree of Wooden Clogs is sitting on my coffee table, and I'm hoping to watch it tonight. It'll be my first Olmi. Alexandra actually ranked higher than Secret Sunshine on my spreadsheet, but I'm ambivalent about Sokurov. I've liked each of the five or six films I've seen but haven't been blown away by any of them.

Matthew said...

The way I see it, Darren, even if you don't like Corroboree, you can sleep soundly in the knowledge that at least something halfway interesting is coming out of the antipodes.

Dan Sallitt said...

It's starting to look as if back problems will prevent me from going to TIFF, so this is a painful exercise for me. But if I had to pick five of the announced films, and if I knew this was my only chance to see them, I guess I'd go with:

The Mourning Forest
Silent Light
The Assassination of Jesse James....
The Duchess of Langeais

Other interesting objects:

Contre Toute Esperance: All three of the Emond films I've seen have been good.

Dans la Ville de Sylvie: you're right, Darren, that trailer is cool.

Sous les Toits de Paris: I like Saleem, and the negative Variety review just got me more interested.

The Savages: I guess it will get a release. Gavin Smith raved about it in Film Comment.

Les Bons Debarras: I was looking forward to seeing this again.

A Stray Girlfriend: the trailer didn't sell me on it, but Cahiers liked it.

Naissance des pieuvres: it's getting a release, but Cahiers liked it.

And Along Came Tourists: the trailer interested me.

Mutum: Cahiers likes Kogut.

Darren said...

Oh, Dan, I'm sorry to hear about your back troubles. I have a couple ruptured discs at the base of my neck, so I can sympathize. By the end of TIFF, my back is always a nightmare. I'm getting some therapy the night before I leave for Toronto, and I'm considering scheduling a couple free hours mid-festival to get some more while I'm there.

Thanks for leaving the recommendations. Contre Toute Esperance is one of the films I've been unable to learn much about, so it wasn't really on my radar. Since Knoxville isn't much of a film town, I try to avoid every film that I know will get a release here, but the trailer for Jesse James hooked me.

msic said...

Yes, Dan, very sorry to hear that, and I do hope your situation improves before September.

My tough-to-narrow top five:


(I know, that was a cheat...)

Dan Sallitt said...

Yeah, sitting through fifty films in ten days can be surprisingly hard on the back. As it happens, sitting for only a few minutes in any chair is painful for me right now....

Emond is an unashamed art director with a penchant for grim subject matter, but he always does something interesting, and so far all his films have been a little different. La Femme Qui Boit was classically composed in long shot interiors, and full of domestic drama; 20h17 rue Darling was looser, handheld, with lots of exterior tracking shots; La Neuvaine was still and somber, like a European art film. But they were all good movies.

msic said...

Oh, one other thing about the Lav Diaz film. Thursday TIFF also announced their (not very interesting, IMHO) "Future Projections" line-up, a citywide group of film and video installations and other museumesque paracinema.

The good news: the Diaz film is being shown as a walk-in at SPIN Gallery on Queen St., so interested parties (like myself) not quite ready to set aside an entire screening day for Diaz's film can get a good sample, then decide whether to take the seven-hour plunge. (I have a feeling the public theatrical screening won't sell out.)

Of the others, I'd say the Gonick could be worth checking out (he's a fellow-traveler of Maddin and Paisz, but his feature HEY, HAPPY! was pretty dismal), the Sluggett piece sounds promising, and please, everyone, avoid the Vezzoli show like the frickin' plague.

Darren said...

Geez, I didn't realize the new Diaz was another marathon event.

Michael said...

My current top five might change once the program book arrives (and as I start heavily searching the films online and watching trailers), but so far it looks like this (with a couple of similarities to yours, Darren):

Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge
Silent Light
One Hundred Nails
Man from London

I sort of think of the Wavelengths as separate, so I didn't include any of them in the top 5, but, like you, I'm eagerly anticipating Wavelengths 2 and 5 (and will likely try to catch the others as well).

davis said...

Darren, based on the one Lav Diaz film i've seen, Evolution of a Filipino Family, I wouldn't go way out of your way to fit the new one in. Do you remember that Malaysian film we saw at SFIFF a few years ago, The Gravel Road? I barely do, and I had to look up the title, but Evolution reminds me of that -- except that it's about 7 times longer.

I was willing to accommodate The Gravel Road for 90 minutes simply as a look at life in Malaysia if nothing else. But to settle in for something drastically longer I'd want to feel like I was in the hands of someone who who knew what he was doing, on some level. Maybe I was just on the wrong wavelength, but Evolution seemed like a fairly amateurish and straightforward video-drama to me. Satantango it was not.

James said...

Here are my five top so far:

Secret Sunshine
Silent Light
Le Voyage Du Ballon Rouge
A Jihad for Love

Dan Sallitt said...

I wanted to see Control until I watched the trailer, and now I don't want to see it anymore. Ditto XXY, which won the top prize at Critics' Week.

Kurt Halfyard said...

I'm a bit more genre heavy in film tastes the the rest of the folks out there and over at Girish's corner of the world, but here is my top 5 anticipated out of the films already announced.

1. SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO Takashi Miike - Sphaghetti Western Stylings from

2. THE BANISHMENT - Andrei Zviaguintsev - THE RETURN is a favorite which I keep coming back to.

3. PLOY - Pen-ek Ratanaruang - Hoping this makes up for the dreadful INVISIBLE WAVES last year

4. NIGHTWATCHING - Peter Greenaway - Something approaching the mainstream from Greenaway? Probably not, but I'm glad he is over the whole Tulse Luper project.

5.WITH YOUR PERMISSION - directorial debut from Danish actress Paprika Steen, screenplay Anders Thomas Jensen

I'm also hoping that the fest picks up Yella in Contemp. World Cinema.

I'm sure if you asked again tomorrow it would be different (New Coens, New Argento, Bruce MacDonald's The Tracy Fragments, Van Sant and Cronenberg are all interesting mainstream festival films I'll probably catch too.)

Jeremy said...

Leaving off stuff with U.S. distribution in place (e.g. Paranoid Park, Cassandra's Dream or Voyage of the Red Balloon) my top 5 would look something like this:

The Man From London (Tarr), Silent Light (Reygadas), Don't Touch the Axe (Rivette), The Mourning Forest (Kawase), Diary of the Dead (Romero).

That's a pretty obvious list, I suppose, but there's plenty of stuff I'm interested in that is directed by filmmakers I'm still a virgin to, such as Inside, XXY, The Orphanage, and Munyurangabo.

It's a seemingly strong year... That all said, there are still about a half-dozen films that I hope will be revealed next Tuesday...

msic said...

Same here, Jeremy. If Breillat's "An Old Mistress" had already been announced, it would be in my top five somewhere. Also, the reviews of Kobayashi's Locarno winner, "The Rebirth," make it sound fantastic. So we'll see.

Dan Sallitt said...

Michael - is this the same guy who did Bashing (aka Twitchy-Faced Girl)? That one really didn't work for me.

msic said...

Same guy, Dan. Thing is, I really dug all the interstitial business in "Bashing," like the attention paid to the making of hotel beds and the assembly of television sets. Kobayashi displayed an impressive grasp of labor, its aesthetics and its temporality. "The Rebirth" is practically nothing but that stuff, apparently.

Paul Martin said...

The Man From London was in my top 10 films at the Melbourne International Film Festival (I saw 40), but be warned: it had more walk-outs than any other film I attended. About 60 people walked out of an audience of about 500. Most of these were around the half-way mark. While I found it suspenseful, others found it boring. Everyone agrees it's visually stunning.

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