By Sean Kelly
I can’t believe I am already experiencing my eighth Toronto International Film Festival. It seems like yesterday in 2003 I went to the festival box office in College Park, on the second day of the festival, only to be disappointed that the measly three films I had earmarked to see were no longer available. I’ve learned a lot since then. I still ended up getting tickets that year for School of Rock (which screened at the now-demolished Uptown theatre) and The TriggerStreet.com Project and I have been enjoying the festival ever since.
The following is a list of my initial picks at this year’s festival. While there are many more films that I would have liked to see, my commitments as a volunteer, as well as ticket availability, has limited what films I can see. That said, some of these films are definitely must-see, in my opinion.
Special Presentations Programme
Buried – Rodrigo Cortés, Spain/USA
This is a film that I have been personally looking forward to for a long time. The entire film consists of Ryan Reynolds trapped in a coffin, after he has been buried alive. This will definitely make for a very claustrophobic, yet intriguing film.
Let Me In – Matt Reeves, UK/USA
The debate still rages on about whether this English-language remake of the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In is really necessary. However, based on the trailer, the film doesn’t seem half bad and I am sure that Reeves (Cloverfield) made sure to add his own personal touches to the story.
Submarine – Richard Ayoade, UK
The official description describes this film as the Welsh Rushmore and in my opinion that’s more than enough reason to see it (that and the fact that I’m always in the mood for a good British comedy).
Midnight Madness Programme
The Ward – John Carpenter, USA
This is John Carpenter’s first film in nearly a decade and I am glad that this will be the film to mark my first true midnight madness experience (an actual midnight screening).
Insidious – James Wan, USA
From the director of Saw comes this new take on the haunted house film. These are always my favourite types of horror films and I am looking forward to see Wan’s interpretation on the concept.
Real to Real Programme
The Game of Death – Christophe Nick, Thomas Bornot, France
This documentary about a game show inspired by 1960s torture experiments sounds more like something from the last Saw film. That’s why this film has got me so intrigued.
Canada First Programme
The High Cost of Living – Deborah Chow, Canada
This Canadian film caught my eye mostly because it stars Zach Braff and Garden State is one of my favourite films. Either way, it does look to be an interesting drama.
Monsters – Gareth Edwards, UK
This film about a quarantined alien crash site has a very big District 9 vibe attached to it and I think it might end up being one of the sleeper hits of the festival.
Those are my initial picks. I will pick up more tickets for films during the festival and I anticipate that it should be an interesting Festival for me.