August 19, 2008

Final Film List (2008)

So here it is: The Full List.

For me, the biggest news is that Agnes Varda and Terrence Davies will be participating in Dialogues. Varda, who will be accompanying her latest project to Toronto, will also discuss her first very first film, La Pointe courte (1956). Davies, who also has a new film at the fest, will be talking about the trilogy of films he made in 1984, Children, Madonna and Child, and Transfiguration.

I'm also happy to see Olivier Assayas, Kelly Reichardt, Samira Makhmalbaf, and Ryan Fleck and Anne Boden among the last additions to the Contemporary World Cinema lineup.

Biggest disappointments? No Hong Sang-soo or Ross McElwee. I'm also kind of surprised The Road didn't make it.

  • Canada First! -- A new film by Lyne Charlebois
  • Contemporary World Cinema -- 25 titles added, including new films by Assayas, Reichardt, Fleck/Boden, and Samira Makhmalbaf.
  • Dialogues -- With Agnes Varda, Terrence Davies, Joan Dupont, and Deepa Mehta
  • Gala Presentations -- The Coen Brothers are coming
  • Masters -- New films by Paul Schrader and Werner Schroeter
  • Mavericks -- Featuring Kathryn Bigelow, Howard Zinn, Julian Schnabel, and Chuck Close
  • Real to Reel -- Three more titles added
  • Special Presentations -- Two new titles, including another omnibus film, this one about New York


js munoz said...

No Martel!

Darren said...

Oh, crap! You're right. What the hell happened there, I wonder? That is a major disappointment.

msic said...

Yes, this is a travesty. It's only the most critically acclaimed film from Cannes. If you're going to drop a "major" film from that group, why not make it Three Monkeys?

Crunchy Squirrel said...

I agree about the Martel. Huge disappointment.

Also, what happened to the Visions program? I know they tried to cut back the films this year, but did they have to slash one of the most interesting programs?

Darren said...

Visions is still around. In fact, the Serra and Alonso films are near the top of my to-see list.

Crunchy Squirrel said...

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I was just noticing how the list dropped from seventeen films last year to nine this year. There were a couple of films I was hoping to see in there (including the Martel) and was surprised they didn't beef it up a little.

Darren said...

A friend just reminded me that the Garrel film is missing, too. Sonofabitch.

Darren said...

I guess the new Theo Angelopoulos film didn't make it either. There are 20 or 30 films playing that have the potential to be really, really great, so why am I fixating on the ones that got away? I don't remember this happening in the past.

msic said...

I think it's because the sheer number of egregious omissions has seldom been higher. This, along with the bizarre but pointed realignment of their festival categories (10 Masters! 11 Visions! But 53 Special Presentations and 58 CWCs?) indicates a seismic shift in priorities, servility to industry and distributors, and an all-round Rotten in Denmark feeling.

Darren said...

Do you think the realignment of programs represents a change in programming or a change in marketing? In other words, are they selecting more of the types of films that have always been categorized Special Presentations, or are they rebranding Visions-type films as Special Presentations in order to draw more viewers and potential buyers?

Frankly, I've never understood how the Masters label worked. I'm a pretty knowledgeable guy, I think, but there have been a couple "Masters" over the years that I'd never heard of.

Indiewire posted an interview with Cameron Bailey today in which he talks about his interest in building the Discovery program and his pride in the number of nations represented at the fest this year.

msic said...

Well, Discoveries equals World Premieres, in all but a few cases. And that's just it. Bailey's clearly more interested in carving out a niche in a crowded marketplace, where a bunch of smaller films can be thrown into a media spotlight in the hopes that one or two will vault to prominence (a la Whale Rider) and then Toronto will be have a "brand" like Sundance and (increasingly, god help us) SXSW. It's all about the Benjamins.

And as far as the categories go, CWC has always been a grab bag, so I don't know why anyone would be more likely to gravitate to a film in that section. I suspect they did some kind of test marketing and found that Masters sounded too stodgy and Visions sounds too intimidating. I.e., cinephilia is being called into question as a draw for a film festival, which strikes me as a fundamental problem. But yes, things like the Denis, the Gerima, the So Yong Kim, the Petzold, would have been in Visions or Masters before 2008. But so would Martel, Hong, Angelopoulos, Garrel, or Eimbcke.

msic said...

Okay, I double-checked, and most Discoveries films are World OR N. Am. premieres. In either case, Toronto is basically introducing them to the North American sales corps.

Maya said...

No Lake Tahoe. Sigh. But I will not complain. I'm going to be hard-pressed as it is to see everything I want to see while there.