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Post by Admin on Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:08 pm

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/toronto-film-festival-29445

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Madonna Coming to Toronto Film Fest
Published: July 26, 2011 @ 7:30 am

By Steve Pond

George Clooney's "The Ides of March," Madonna's "W.E." and David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" (with Viggo Mortensen, photo below) are among the films that will screen at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, the key fall festival that often serves as the unofficial kickoff to Oscar season.

Following the success of last year's gala world premiere of the Bruce Springsteen documentary "The Promise," the festival will open with Davis Guggenheim's U2 doc "From the Sky Down."

Viggo MortensenBennett Miller's "Moneyball" (with Brad Pitt), Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" (with Clooney) and Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz" (with Michelle Williams) will also receive world premieres at the 11-day festival, which announced a star-studded and wide-ranging first batch of movies at a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday morning.

Other directors who will be represented with world premieres include Fernando Meirelles ("360"), Michael Winterbottom ("Trishna"), Luc Besson ("The Lady") and Korean Huh Jong-ho ("Countdown").

Cameron Crowe's Pearl Jam documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty," Ralph Fiennes' Shakespeare adaptation "Corolianus" and Francis Ford Coppola's "Twixt" were also announced by festival director/CEO Piers Handling and co-director Cameron Bailey.

A large number of films that made a splash at earlier festivals will also attempt to launch Oscar campaigns in Toronto; this group includes the Cannes entries "The Artist," "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "Drive" and Lars von Trier's controversial "Melancholia," and the Sundance favorites "Like Crazy" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene."

The festival begins on September 8 and runs through September 18 at several different theaters in the Canadian city.

The 50-plus films announced on Tuesday represent only a small portion of the full TIFF slate. Additional films, programs and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

Toronto is the first of the fall's major film festivals to announce its lineup, with the Venice Film Festival (which takes place just prior to Toronto, and will likely screen a number of TIFF films) set to reveal its slate on Thursday.

Last year's festival provided a key launching pad for the Oscar Best Picture winner "The King's Speech," and for Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" and Danny Boyle's "127 Hours."

The films announced on Tuesday (world premieres indicated with asterisk):

Opening Night:
"From the Sky Down," Davis Guggenheim *

Galas:
"Albert Nobbs," Rodrigo Garcia *
"Butter," Jim Field Smith *
"A Dangerous Method," David Cronenberg
"A Happy Event," Remi Bezancon *
"The Ides of March," George Clooney
"The Lady," Luc Besson *
"Moneyball," Bennett Miller *
"Peace, Love and Misunderstanding," Bruce Beresford *
"Take This Waltz," Sarah Polley *
"W.E.," Madonna

Special presentations:
"Americano," Mathieu Demy *
"Anonymous," Roland Emmerich *
"The Artist," Michel Hazanivicius
"A Better Life," Cedric Khan *
"Burning Man," Jonathan Teplitzky *
"Chicken With Plums," Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
"Corolianus," Ralph Fiennes
"Countdown,"Huh Jong-ho *
"Dark Horse," Todd Solondz
"Deep Blue Sea," Terence Davies *
"The Descendants," Alexander Payne *
"Drive," Nicolas Winding Refn
"11 Flowers," Wang Xiaoshuai *
"Elles," Malgoska Szumowska *
"The Eye of the Storm," Fred Schepisi
"50/50," Jonathan Levine *
"Friends with Kids," Jennifer Westfeldt *
"Habemus Papam," Nanni Moretti
"Headhunters," Morten Tyldum
"Hick," Derick Martini *
"The Hunter," Daniel Nettheim *
"Jeff, Who Lives at Home," Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass *
"Killer Joe," William Friedkin
"Like Crazy," Drake Doremus
"Machine Gun Preacher," Marc Forster *
"Martha Marcy May Marlene," Sean Durkin
"Melancholia," Lars von Trier
"The Oranges," Julian Farino *
"Pearl Jam Twenty," Cameron Crowe *
"Rampart," Oren Moverman *
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," Lasse Hallstrom *
"Shame," Steve McQueen
"A Simple Life," Ann Hui
"The Skin I Live In," Pedro Almodovar
"Take Shelter," Jeff Nichols
"Ten Year," Jamie Linden *
"360,"Fernando Meirelles *
"Trishna,"Michael Winterbottom *
"Twixt," Francis Ford Coppola *
"Tyrannosaur," Paddy Considine
"We Need to Talk About Kevin," Lynne Ramsay
"Where Do We Go Now?," Nadine Labaki
"Woman in the Fifth," Pawel Pawlikowski *

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Post by Admin on Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:13 pm

http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/tiff/2011/shame

Special Presentations

Michael Fassbender plays a New York man confronting his sexual compulsions and the self-destructive acts of his sister (Carey Mulligan). From the director of Hunger.

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Film Information

Shame

Steve McQueen
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 2010
Language: English
Runtime: 99 minutes
Format: 35mm
Executive Producer: Tessa Ross, Robert Walak, Peter Hampden, Tim Haslam
Producer: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman
Production Company: See-Saw Films
Principal Cast: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie
Screenplay: Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen
Writer:
Cinematographer: Sean Bobbitt
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Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:16 pm

http://www.hollywoodnews.com/2011/08/23/brad-pitt-george-clooney-lead-list-of-a-listers-headed-to-tiff-2011-awards-alley/

Tue, Aug 23 2011 | Published in *NEWS, AWARDS, AWARDS ALLEY, CELEBS, HEADLINE, HEADLINES, MOVIES
Brad Pitt, George Clooney lead list of A-listers headed to TIFF 2011 – AWARDS ALLEY
By: Sean O'Connell


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Brad Pitt, Keira Knightley, George Clooney, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Gerard Butler and Ryan Gosling are heading to Toronto for the 36tht international film festival, which kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The fest today confirmed the hundreds of celebrities that will be attending the can’t-miss event, promoting films and making the rounds as the annual awards season starts to take shape.

Davis Guggenheim, Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne, Luc Besson, Oren Moverman, Malgoska Szumowska, Bennett Miller, Sarah Polley, Jessica Yu, Michael Winterbottom and Werner Herzog are just a few of the filmmakers who have confirmed their attendance.

Celebrities making the trek include Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, Clive Owen, Jon Hamm, Shahid Kapoor, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Yeoh, Freida Pinto, Glenn Close, Matthew Goode, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Salma Hayek, Viggo Mortensen and Woody Harrelson. Musicians U2, Pearl Jam and Neil Young also are expected to be at TIFF in support of their respective documentaries, while Pearl Jam plans to perform at least two evening shows.

The 36th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2011. We have a complete list of announced attendees below:

The following filmmakers are expected to attend the Toronto International Film Festival:
Adam Shaheen, Adam Wingard, Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr., Agnieszka Holland, Akin Omotoso, Al Maysles, Alain Fournier, Alejandro Brugués, Alejandro Landes, Alex Gibney, Alexander Gorelick, Alexander Payne, Alexandre Bustillo, Alexandre Courtes, Alina Rudnitskaya, Alison Murray, Amir Naderi, Andrea Arnold, Andrew Cividino, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Angelina Nikonova, Ann Hui, Anne Emond, Anne Fontaine, Arnaud Brisebois, Asghar Farhadi, Ashley Sabin, Atia Al Daradji, Audrey Paounov, Avie Luthra, Axel Petersen, Ayten Amin, Barbara Willis-Sweete, Béla Tarr, Ben Wheatley, Benjamin Schuetze, Bennett Miller, Bertrand Bonello, Bess Kargman, Bibo Bergeron, Bill Duke, Blake Williams, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bradley Kaplan, Branwen Okpako, Brian Cassidy, Bruce Beresford, Bruce McDonald, Bruno Dumont, Byran Wizemann, Calvin Thomas, Cameron Crowe, Carl Bessai, Carlos Sorin, Cedric Khan, Channsin Berry, Chantal Akerman, Chelsea McMullan, Chris Kennedy, Christian Petzold, Christian Sparkes, Christophe Honoré, Christophe Van Rompaey, Clarissa Campolina, Corinna Belz, Costa Botes, Craig Goodwill, Cristián Jiménez, Dain Said, Dan Lindsay, Daniel Nettheim, Darrell Roodt, Darrin Klimek, David Cronenberg, David Hare, David Redmon, David Rokeby, Davis Guggenheim, Debbie Tucker Green, Dee Rees, Derick Martini, Diego Noguera, DJ Parmar, Dominik Graf, Dorota Kobiela, Douglas Aarniokoski, Drake Doremus, Duane Hopkins, Dusty Mancinelli, Dylan Akio Smith, Eduardo Menz, Eduardo Sanchez, Egil Denmerline, Elisabeth Perceval, Elle Flanders, Emanuele Crialese, Emmanuelle Millet, Enrico Colantoni, Erik Canuel, Evan Morgan, Eve Sussman, Fernando Meirelles, Francis Ford Coppola, Francis Leclerc, Frederic Jardin, Frederic Louf, Frederick Wiseman, Gareth Evans, Gary Hustwit, Gary McKendry, Geoff Lindsey, Geoffrey Fletcher, George Clooney, Gerardo Naranjo, Ghassan Salhab, Gianni Amelio, Gina Haraszti, Goro Miyazaki, Greg Crewdson, Gus Van Sant, Guy Edoin, Guy Maddin, Han Jie, Haofeng Xu, Harold Cross, Helvecio Marins Jr, Hugh Dillon, Hugo Santiago, Huh Jong-ho, Ian Fitzgibbon, Ian Harnarine, Ian Lagarde, Igor Drljaca, Ingrid Veninger, Isaac Cravit, Ismael Ferroukhi, Ivan Grbovic, James Benning, James Franco, Jamie Linden, Jan Zabeil, Janine Fung, Jay Duplass, Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, Jean-Guillaume Bastien, Jean-Marc Vallée, Jeanne Leblanc, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Jeff Nichols, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jens Liens, Jesse Gouchey, Jessica Yu, Jim Field Smith, Joachim Trier, João Canijo, Joaquim Sapinha, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, Joel Schumacher, John Mcllduff, John Price, John Scoles, Johnnie TO, Jon Shenk, Jonathan Demme, Jonathan Levine, Jonathan Sagall, Jonathan Schwartz, Jonathan Teplitzky, Jose Henrique Fonseca, Joseph Cedar, Joseph Israel Laban, Joshua Bonnetta, Joshua Marston, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Juan Minujín, Julia Leigh, Julia Loktev, Julia Murat, Julian Farino, Julien Maury, Justin Kurzel, Kaat Beels, Kamila Andini, Karim Aïnouz, Karl Markovics, Katsuhito Ishii, Ken Scott, Kevin Jerome Everson, Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Kyle Sanderson, Lasse Hallstrom, Lav Diaz, Léa Pool, Leonard Farlinger, Lou Ye, Luc Besson, Luc Dardenne, Luis Recoder, Lynn Shelton, Lynne Ramsay, Madonna, Maggie Peren, Malgoska Szumowska, Marc Forster, Marco van Geffen, Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud, Mark Cousins, Mark Duplass, Mark Lewis, Mark Slutsky, Markus Schleinzer, Martin P. Zandvliet, Martin Šulík, Mary Harron, Mathieu Demy, Mathieu Kassovitz, Mathieu Roy, Mathieu Tremblay, Matias Meyer, Matthew Rankin, Melanie Shatzky, Mia Hanson-Love, Michael Glawogger, Michael Winterbottom, Michale Boganim, Michel Hazanavicius, Mike Clattenburg, Mike Dowse, Mike Maryniuk, Milagros Mumenthaler, Miranda de Pencier, Mohamed Al Daradji, Mohammad Asli, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Morgan Spurlock, Morten Tyldum, Mr. Brainwash, Nacho Vigalondo, Nadine Labaki, Nancy Savoca, Nanni Moretti, Nathan Morlando, Nathaniel Dorsky, Ngoc Dang Vu, Nicholas Klotz, Nicholas Pye, Nicholas Winding Refn, Nick Broomfield & Joan Churchill, Nick Murphy, Nicolas Prividera, Nicolas Provost, Ole Christian Madsen, Oliver Hermanus, Olivia Block, Oren Moverman, Ozcan Alper, Pablo Giorgelli, Pablo Trapero, Paddy Considine, Pankaj Kapur, Pawel Pawlikowski, Pedro Pires, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Peter Lynch, Philippe Baylaucq, Philippe Falardeau, Philippe Garrel, Raha Shirazi, Ralph Fiennes, Randall Cole, Rebecca Daly, Rémi Bezancon, Renaud Hallee, Ridha Behi, Rithy Panh, Robert Lieberman, Rodigo Moreno, Rodrigo Garcia, Roland Emmerich, Rolando Colla, Román Cardenás, Ron Fricke, Rúnar Rúnarsson, Ruslan Pak, Ryan Flowers, Lisa Pham, Ryan O Nan, Sandra Gibson, Santiago Mitre, Sarah Goodman, Sarah Polley, Sean Durkin, Sebastián Brahm, Sebastián Lelio, Sheila Pye, Sheldon Larry, Shinya Tsukamoto, Simon Davidson, Simon Ennis, Sono Sion, Sophie Goyette, Sophie Michael, Stefano Chiantini, Stephanie Dudley, Stephen Kessler, Steve McQueen, Susan Youssef, Suseendran, T. Marie, T.J. Martin, Tamira Sawatzky, Tamae Garateguy, Tamer Ezzat, Tanya Wexler, Tawfik Abu Wael, Terence Davies, Todd Solondz, Tomáš Luňák, Toshiaki Toyoda,Ute Aurand, Victor Ginzburg, Vimukthi Jayasundara, Vincent Garenq, WANG Xiaoshuai, Wei Te-Sheng, Werner Herzog, Whit Stillman, William Friedkin, Wim Wenders, Wojciech Smarzowski, Xiaolu Guo, Xstine Cook, Yan Giroux, Yoakim Belanger, Yorgos Lanthimos, Yossi Madmony, Zaida Bergroth.

The following guests are expected to attend the Toronto International Film Festival:
Alia Shawkat, Abbie Cornish, Adam Brody, Adam Scott, Adepero Oduye, Agnieszka Grochowska, Albert Brooks, Alessandra Negrini, Alexander Skarsgard, Aline Morais, Alison Pill, Allison Janney, Alexis Bledel, Analeigh Tipton, André Wilms, Andrea Riseborough, Andrey Fomin, Angie Cepeda, Angrzej Chyra, Anton Yelchin, Antonio Banderas, Arielle Kebbel, Ashley Bell, Akshay Kumar, Ben Foster, Bennett Miller, Benno Fürmann, Bill Nighy, Blake Lively, Brad Pitt, Brian Ladoon, Bryce Dallas Howard, Caleb Ross, Carey Mulligan, Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Keener, Chace Crawford, Charlotte Rampling, Chloe Moretz, Chris Pratt, Chris Nilan, Christopher Lovick, Christopher Plummer, Clive Owen, David Thewlis, Deepa Mehta, Dominic Monaghan, Do-Yeon Jeon, Durukan Ordu, Eddie Redmayne, Elena Anaya, Elias Koteas, Elizabeth Olsen, Emile Hirsch, Emily Blunt, Erin Brockovich, Ethan Hawke, Evan Rachel Wood, Evelyn Vargas, Ewan McGregor, Ezra Miller, Fabian Lojede, Fadi Abi Samra, Felicity Jones, Frances O’Connor, Freida Pinto, Gael Garcia Bernal, Gaye Gürsel, Geoffrey Rush, George Clooney, Gerard Butler, Glenn Close, Greta Gerwig, Harry Knowles, Hugh Dancy, Hugh Laurie, Husham Hlail, Iko Uwais, Isabelle Huppert, Jamel Debbouze, James Gandolfini, Jane Fonda, Jason Reitman, Jason Statham, Jay Baruchel, Jean Dujardin, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Schuetze, Jessica Chastain, Joe Taslim, Joely Richardson, John Lydon, Jon Hamm, Jonah Hill, Jonathan Schteinman, Jordon Gelber, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Julia Maxwell, Juliette Binoche, Juliette Lewis, Jung Jae-Young, Juno Temple, Katlyn Maclang, Keira Knightley, Kelly Reilly, Kevin Durand, Kirsten Dunst, Kyle MacLachlan, Lana Hay Yehya, Lauren Ambrose, Leighton Meester, Liana Liberato, Lily Cole, Louise Bourgoin, Lucia Siposova, Luke Kirby, Luong Manh Hai, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marc-André Grondin, Maria Isabel Laban, Maria Schrader, Maria Yokohama, Mariana Padial, Marisa Tomei, Matt Ellis, Matthew Goode, Max Minghella, Maya Rudolph, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon, Michael Weston, Michelle Williams, Michelle Yeoh, Mira Sorvino, President Mohamed Nasheed, Nat Wolff, Neil Young, Nicolas Cage, Noe Hernandez, Oliver Platt, Pascale Bussières, Patrick Huard, Paul Williams, Pearl Jam, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Piet Suess, Rachel Weisz, Rebecca Frayn, Rebecca Hall, Robert Wieckiewicz, Robin Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Rosemary DeWitt, Ryan Gosling, Said Husham, Salma
Hayek, Salman Rushdie, Sam Neill, Sami Bouajila, Saoirse Ronan, Sarah Bolgar, Sarah Gadon, Sarah Silverman, Scott Speedman, Seann William Scott, Selma Blair, Seth Rogen, Shahid Kapoor, Simon Ibarra, Simone-Elise Girard, Solmaz Panahi, Sonam Kapoor, Stephanie Sigman, Tahereh Saeidi Balsini, Tammy Blanchard, Terrence Howard, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Tran Dang Khoa, Tyler Johnston, U2, Viggo Mortensen, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Willem Dafoe, Woody Harrelson, Yara Shahidi.

Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:19 pm

http://www.hitfix.com/galleries/20-must-see-movies-at-toronto-2011

20 Must-See Movies at Toronto 2011: 'Friends with Kids', 'Sarah Palin', 'God Bless America'

Plus: 'W.E,' 'Jeff Who Lives at Home,' 'Shame' and more

By Drew McWeeny, Gregory Ellwood Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 2:10 AM

'A Dangerous Method'

Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley
Why: Because David Cronenberg is one of the smartest filmmakers in the world, and his post-horror film career has been endlessly interesting, full of demanding, adult movies that are hard to describe or categorize. His work with Viggo Mortensen has been consistently rewarding, and adding Fassbender to the mix can only be a good thing. Plus… it's about Jung Vs. Freud? It sounds too good to be true.

'Shame'

Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan
Why: Fassbender's busy year continues as he reunites with his "Hunger" collaborator for this drama about a sexually compulsive New Yorker who deals with an unexpected visit from his out-of-control sister (Mulligan). Pedigree pushes "Shame" high on the screening list.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:45 pm

http://www.tribute.ca/tiff/index.php/2011/09/10/whos-walking-the-red-carpet-on-day-3/

Who’s walking the red carpet on Day 3?
More News , TIFF 2011

Although a press conference for the movie Killer Elite starring Robert De Niro, Clive Owen and Jason Statham was cancelled, all three are still expected on the red carpet today for the gala screening of the film at Roy Thomson Hall this afternoon. Later at Roy Thomson, TIFF favorite Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley are scheduled to attend the screening of their movie, A Dangerous Method, directed by Canadian David Cronenberg. Their co-star Michael Fassbender, originally slated to appear, unfortunately bowed out at the last minute. The final gala screening tonight at Roy Thomson Hall will be Canadian director Sarah Polley‘s second feature length film, Take this Waltz, starring Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams. Polley and Rogen will walk the red carpet, but Williams has cancelled due to her shooting schedule. Over at The Princess of Wales, Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt will be at the world premiere of their new film, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, directed by Lasse Hallström.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:51 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erica-abeel/in-toronto-storytelling-t_b_957362.html

In Toronto, Storytelling Takes Center Stage
Posted: 9/11/11 05:04 PM ET

At near mid point, a couple of trends have emerged at the Toronto Film Festival. Filmmakers are returning to solid story telling, scripting shapely narratives with a satisfying payoff, while avoiding slick, Hollywood-style wrap-ups. Secondly, auteurs who usually work the dark side have gone more mainstream. Witness hell-raiser David Cronenberg with A Dangerous Method. And quirky Alexander Payne with the family-friendly The Descendants (more about Payne upcoming).

A Dangerous Method is a triumph of filmmaking, partly thanks to that master of screenwriting, Christopher Hampton. Drawn from historical fact, it's a fairly straightforward account of the turbulent triangle formed by fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and the gifted but troubled patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) who came between them. Cronenberg has managed the rare feat of dramatizing intellectual discovery, capturing the excitement and daring of two brilliant doctors as they pioneer the new field of psychoanalysis during a repressive era, and their respectful though competitive relationship.

Dangerous hits the ground running as Sabina, shrieking like a banshee, is carted off to Jung's elegant Swiss clinic. In a fascinating series of encounters, Jung gives his new "talking cure" a trial run, dragging from his patient the revelation that she was aroused by her father's childhood beatings. Sabina herself soon becomes a psychiatric student, her gifts and restless mind enabling her to break from the reigning patriarchy. Not too surprisingly, she also seduces the married Jung. Spankings figure heavily in their erotic repertoire, linking the film to Cronenberg's previous explorations of the marginal and perverse. Despite his passion for Sabina, Jung remains tied to conventional family and Victorian values. When the shattered Sabina continues her studies with Freud, in a potent scene the great man cites their bond as fellow Jews, adding that Jung displays an "Aryan" coldness. A series of time jumps takes the film to the brink of WWII.

The richly gifted Fassbender is steely, restrained, and flat-out magnificent as the ambitious Jung who places science and family before love. And as the cigar-smoking Freud, Mortensen -- sporting a nose prosthesis -- all but steals the picture with his knowing gaze and wry insights. In fact, his character injects an unexpected and delicious humor. This duo will surely be mentioned come Oscar time.

Knightley grows increasingly assured throughout the film, her emotionally volatile Sabina a foil for the doctors' poker-faced impassivity. Shot in locales around Switzerland and Vienna, the film is gorgeous, contrasting the light-filled lake country with Freud's faithfully reproduced Victorian study. Despite the film's talky approach, its intellectual breadth and kinky romance should cross over to general audiences. Though in the land of "You betcha," Cronenberg's mischievous assumption that S/M games are an acceptable feature of sexuality may not pass muster.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:22 pm

http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/film/14939191/toronto-international-film-festival-2011-a-dangerous-method-keyhole-god-b

Toronto International Film Festival 2011: A Dangerous Method, Keyhole, God Bless America, Sarah Palin—You Betcha!
Posted in Out & About blog by Ben Kenigsberg on Sep 11, 2011 at 7:16am

Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender in A Dangerous Method

It's around this time of the festival when everything goes to hell. Late Friday, word spread that the ubiquitous Michael Fassbender had canceled his plans to come to Toronto, which immediately prompted speculation—later confirmed—that he was winning a prize at the overlapping Venice Film Festival. Interviews were scotched, schedules were shuffled and tables at parties were rearranged. (I wasn't seated with Bryce Dallas Howard, nor do I have any idea why such a nice-seeming person would play yet another hateful character in the new film 50/50, but she officially achieves Jedi status in my mind by appearing to be cool while chatting with film journalists.)

Fassbender won the Venice award for Steve McQueen's Shame, but he could have easily taken the prize for his role as Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg's film version of Christopher Hampton's play The Talking Cure. The movie explores the early days of psychoanalysis through the relationship between Jung and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a Russian-Jewish patient who would go on to become a therapist and psychoanalytic theorist herself. Knightley's accent is so exaggerated that it works as an alienation effect, much as Ed Harris's stylized performance did in A History of Violence.

The film has been criticized for what, by Cronenberg standards, seems like its relative conventionality, but it's hard to think of another movie so intent on imagining this particular moment. The period-piece stiffness and artifice are entirely deliberate—A Dangerous Method out to be a crypto-comedy in which Jung and Freud (Viggo Mortensen) compete to rationalize the irrational. Cronenbergian shock effects cut through the air of propriety. All of the director's films deal with the split between the mind and the body; A Dangerous Method merely explores that realm from a more cerebral angle. It's also, in more subtle ways, Cronenberg's most Jewish movie, with a punch line that makes the preceding debates about repression seem deeply irrelevant—or perhaps relevant in entirely different ways.

Canada's other favorite filmmaking son, Guy Maddin (My Winnipeg), misfired with Keyhole, an admirably strange but fatally discombobulated brew of noir, Greek myth and Lynchian fantasia commissioned by Ohio's Wexner Center for the Arts. Maddin is generally funnier when working in anachronistic media; his new movie sometimes seems like a Troma parody of a heist-gone-wrong film, with Jason Patric as an unusually distracted ringleader.

Across town, the audience was more receptive to the world premiere of God Bless America, Bobcat Goldthwait's satire of idiocracy culture. The film follows a sad sack (Joel Murray, Freddy Rumsen on Mad Men) and a teenager (Tara Lynne Barr) who go on a killing spree; their targets include a Kardashian clone and an American Idol. The movie hits exactly one, aggressively un-p.c. note, and while its sick, take-no-prisoners approach makes for solid laughs for about an hour, the film doesn't have anywhere to go in its second half. "I think I may have made my Springtime for Hitler," Goldthwait told the audience after the screening—and indeed, God Bless America has elements that could make it either a flop or a hit.

Speaking of one-note: You won't find anything new in Sarah Palin—You Betcha!, in which the former Alaska governor's hometown gets punked by British documentarian Nick Broomfield. It's certainly amusing to see the residents of Wasilla baffled by the professional sleazeball filmmaker, and it's possible that his complete lack of seriousness made him less threatening to, say, Palin's parents. But there are no revelations here that will surprise anyone who reads Andrew Sullivan's blog, even if the film does manage to be less insufferable than the last Palin documentary.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:46 pm

http://www.deadline.com/2011/09/toronto-descendants-premiere-gets-big-reaction-searchlight-has-no-shame-about-controversial-shame-pickup/

Toronto: ‘Descendants’ Premiere Gets Big Reaction, Searchlight Has No Shame About Pickup Of Controversial ‘Shame’
By PETE HAMMOND | Saturday September 10, 2011 @ 11:54pm PDT

Fox Seachlight’s annual party at the Thompson Hotel for the Toronto International Film Festival seemed especially ebullient Saturday after its growing Oscar contender, The Descendants, premiered to a standing ovation. Exactly a week earlier, the film received a similar enthusiastic response in Telluride. On top of that, Searchlight’s co-presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula had just won rights over The Weinstein Company and Sony Pictures Classics to the controversial Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which missed out Saturday on the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival but did nab star Michael Fassbender the Best Actor prize for his raw, let-it-all-hang-out performance as a sexually addicted man in freefall.

Shame Michael Fassbender Carey MulliganUtley confirmed that Searchlight will release Shame this year in time for the Oscar race, possibly December. Although they have not dated it, they do want enough time to put a campaign together. She was thrilled that Fassbender got the Venice prize for the film, which premieres in Toronto tomorrow night, after playing to raves in Venice and mixed response in Telluride (where I caught it last week). Utley and Fox co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, also at the party, confirmed that the film will not be cut and is expected to receive an NC-17. Gianopulos told me this isn’t a film that you can cut here and there to bring it down into R territory. It’s not a “snippable” film, he said, but he seems happy that Searchlight stepped up to get it. It wouldn’t be the company’s first NC-17; Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers carried that rating in 2003. By bringing in the film for this year, they are creating Best Actor competition for their other major contender, The Descendants’ George Clooney as well as Shailene Woodley for Supporting Actress — they also plan to support Fassbender’s co-star Carey Mulligan in that category for her complete change-of-pace role in which she goes full frontal and sings New York, New York (not at the same time). They have a third Supporting Actress possibility in Jessica Chastain from Terrence Malick’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Tree of Life. They will also run Brad Pitt for Supporting Actor for that film, despite his lead billing (Sony is going to campaign him for Best Actor for his terrific Moneyball performance). What the conservative faction of the Academy will think about Shame remains to be seen, but I would love to be a fly on the wall at the official Academy screening. Utley said she liked the film from the moment they saw it in Telluride. “It was the kind of movie you just keep thinking about,” she told me.

Gianopulos was practically jumping up and down with glee over the Toronto reception to Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. “The reaction and standing ovation were just tremendous here. Did you see it?” he asked me about the 6 PM “official” world premiere tonight. I could tell he’s smelling Oscar again with this one. Instead of baby pictures, a Searchlight publicist pulled out her iPhone to show journalists photos of the standing ovation.

And yet another Searchlight movie contingent was really in a party mood at the Thompson, the big group behind Sundance sensation Martha Marcy May Marlene, with writer/director Sean Durkin telling me he’s happy it’s finally hitting theaters on October 21. He has traveled with the film from Sundance to Cannes to Toronto. Star Elizabeth Olsen, who has won raves for her work, recalled how she used to go to school with “Jim G’s” (Gianopolus’) daughter. Co-star Sarah Paulson was just happy to be in a film people seem to be excited about, after 15 years in the business. “I have never been in a good movie before, I mean one that everyone likes. This is the first time,” she told me. Their movie gets its premiere here tomorrow, too.

I don’t think I have ever been to a film festival that has more parties, dinners and daily gala premieres. It’s amazing anyone has time to see films. Today alone there were red carpet calls for A Dangerous Method, Take This Waltz, The Descendants, Breakaway, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Rampart, The Oranges, Killer Elite, The Burning Man, Melancholia, Drive and Americano. Whew. And most of them had their own parties or dinners. Tomorrow there are several more. One cocktailer and dinner that was canceled was the planned gathering for Bruce Beresford’s Peace, Love and Understanding, which stars Jane Fonda as a hippie grandmother. The film, looking for distribution, will premiere Tuesday, but Fonda was going to appear at the Monday night party for the film. Unfortunately, according to a publicist for the film, doctors have ordered her not to fly due to a “private medical matter”.

One premiere I attended this afternoon, followed by an after-dinner at Bymarks, was for the new film version of Christopher Plummer’s Tony-winning portrayal of John Barrymore in Barrymore. Plummer is originally from Montreal, so it was a nice homecoming for him. Among the guests at the intimate dinner was Former Canada Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who made a heartfelt speech to the group after the film’s producer Garth Drabinsky spoke first. Both Drabinsky and sales honcho Andrew Herwitz told me they hope to get a distribution deal in time to release it this year and qualify Plummer for the Best Actor race. Director Erik Canuel just finished the film yesterday and is still going to tweak it. Herwitz thinks Plummer could pull off dual noms for this and his June release Beginners, for which he has landed on just about every pundit’s list of Supporting Actor contenders. The 81-year-old star said he’s happy to be having such a great year, and added that he’s also really excited about being part of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Sony’s December release. He offered nothing but praise for director David Fincher, who he says is among the best he’s ever worked with, and was really impressed with the Fincher method. He called him an “extraordinary” director. Despite a long film career that began in 1958′s Stage Struck, Plummer has had only one Oscar nomination, and that came just two years ago for The Last Station. He didn’t even join the Academy until a year before that.

This version of Barrymore was filmed in Toronto this year over seven days even though, at 81, Plummer is more than 20 years older than Barrymore was when he died. He said drinking had taken such a toll on the star, though, that they actually look about the same age. As for returning to the same material he has performed so many times over the past decades, Plummer said “it was like getting on a bike again.” If the film, which has been given a nice visual style and some cool cinematic touches by its director, does get distribution and a release in time for Oscar this year, it is not unprecedented to see a one-man filmed play get a nomination. James Whitmore did it for the filmization of Give ‘em Hell Harry in 1975. Plummer said he has no plans to retire. “I’ve got to go out and make some more movies,” the longtime Connecticut resident said. “Hurricane Irene did some damage to our house.”
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Post by Admin on Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:11 am

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/tiff/news-and-buzz/what-to-see-and-where-to-be-on-day-3-at-tiff-2011/article2160845/

British actress Keira Knightley arrives for the premiere of a "Dangerous Method" at the 68th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. - British actress Keira Knightley arrives for the premiere of a "Dangerous Method" at the 68th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. | AP

TIFF 2011
What to see and where to be on Day 3 at TIFF 2011
tamara baluja
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 10, 2011 8:30AM EDT
Last updated Saturday, Sep. 10, 2011 4:13PM EDT

THE GALAS

Hollywood actors Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen take on challenging roles in A Dangerous Method, a provocative drama exploring the relationship between psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and his pupil Carl Jung. Needless to say, there should be enough here to whet the appetites of celebrity spotters! The film is also one of the Globe critics’ top 10 choices of films to watch this year at TIFF and has Torontonian David Cronenberg in the director’s seat. Roy Thomson Hall, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

A Canadian hockey drama with a Punjabi twist, Breakaway will likely appeal to the multicultural sensibilities of Torontonians. Actor Rob Lowe, comedian Russell Peters and the newcomer Vinay Virmani star. And for Bollywood fans who didn’t get their fill of Indian cinematic stars during the IIFA awards earlier this year – feast your eyes on Akshay Kumar at the red carpet, who makes a cameo on the film. Elgin Theatre, Saturday, 9 p.m.

Who can seriously resist an Irish accent? Actors Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson as well as Jonathan Rhys Meyers of Tudors fame star in Albert Nobbs, a period drama set in 19th-century Ireland. Check out the gala event, Roy Thomson Hall, Sunday, 9:30 p.m.

THE EVENTS

The great Canadian thespian Christopher Plummer brings John Barrymore’s final moments to the cinematic screen in Barrymore. Following the world premiere of the film, Plummer will take to the stage, addressing the full span of his remarkable career, with Chloe director Atom Egoyan moderating the conversation. TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Milk star James Franco and director Gus Van Sant will discuss their latest project, Memories of Idaho. The film is a meditation in multiple parts of Gus Van Sant’s 1991 film My Own Private Idaho, reputed to have had a major impact on the younger Franco. Listen to the pair in conversation at TIFF Bell Lightbox 5, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Don't miss seeing acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola talk about his new film, Twixt, which premieres at TIFF, as well as discuss his accomplished filmography, including the Godfather films and Apocalypse Now. TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, Sunday, 12 p.m.

THE PARTIES

So far, all we can do is reiterate those rumours, but here are some of the party hot spots you might want to hit up on Saturday night: Gerard Butler and Rhys Ifans are expected to drop in at the Roosevelt Room, while the cast of The Oranges, including Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester, are supposed to be at the Atelier.

Kathy Griffin will host the Cinema Against Aids gala, which features a special performance by John Legend. The evening will also include a special tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor. The Carlu, Sunday, cocktail reception at 6:30 pm., performance at 8 p.m.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:28 am

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/16/showbiz/movies/tiff-what-we-learned/index.html?npt=NP1

5 things we learned at TIFF
By Tom Charity, Special to CNN
updated 5:17 PM EST, Fri September 16, 2011

Woody Harrelson, right, has never given such a commanding and well-rounded performance as he shows us in "Rampart."

(CNN) -- As the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) winds to a close, here are five takeaways from the event, which traditionally features lots of premieres, star power and schmoozing.

1. Alexander Skarsgard isn't good in bed -- or so quipped Kirsten Dunst when asked how her character, Justine, could walk out on him on their wedding night in Lars von Trier's "Melancholia." Judging by the ecstatic reaction he received from the TIFF audience, Skarsgard has no reason to worry. If Dunst doesn't want him, there are plenty of eager replacements waiting in the wings.

2. Woody Harrelson could be a serious Oscar contender. Harrelson has shown his mettle before of course, in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt," when he was nominated for Best Actor; in Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers"; as well as in last year's Iraq vet drama "The Messenger" (when he was nominated in the Supporting slot). But he's never given such a commanding and well-rounded performance as he shows us in "Rampart," a second collaboration with "Messenger" director Oren Moverman, a no-holds-barred portrait of a corrupt cop penned by James Ellroy. Harrelson doesn't just dare to show us this dinosaur's very dark side, he also dares us not to care.

3. The classics are going multicultural. The Brits have always been famed for their literary adaptations and costume dramas, but they never used to look like this.

In the past, Emily Bronte's romantic hero (or anti-hero) Heathcliff has been played by Laurence Olivier, Timothy Dalton and Ralph Fiennes. But Andrea Arnold is the first director to cast a black actor in the part -- in fact two black actors, as she also tackles the full scope of the story, from Heathcliff's arrival on the moors as a child to his return as a grown man (played by newcomer James Howson).

While literary purists may see the sense in that casting, they will have to take a deeper breath before sizing up Michael Winterbottom's updated version of Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" (previously filmed by Roman Polanski with Nastassja Kinski). Winterbottom -- who once relocated "The Mayor of Casterbridge" to the Yukon Gold Rush -- has switched the action to modern-day India, and cast the luminous "Slumdog Millionaire" Freida Pinto as Tess, or rather "Trishna." Hardy would probably also be surprised by the lashings of sex Winterbottom has worked into this provocative drama.

4. Michael Fassbender can't get enough of it. Sex, that is. First, the "X-Men: First Class" star played Sigmund Freud's heir apparent, Carl Jung, in David Cronenberg's witty history of the early years of psychoanalytic theory, "A Dangerous Method," in which Jung embarks on a reckless affair with a masochistic patient played by Keira Knightley. Then he showed up as a contemporary sex addict in Steve McQueen's hardcore drama "Shame," a stunning performance that won him the Best Actor award at the recent Venice Film Festival. Asked how he researched this role, Fassbender insisted he spent quality time in bed -- with his script.

5. Ryan Gosling will never live down his past. At least, not in his native Canada, where a generation apparently grew up on the young Gosling's adventures in "Breaker High" and "Young Hercules" and won't let him forget it. "Breaker High" was the first thing he was asked about after the premiere of "Drive." Somehow, the show had passed by his "Drive" co-star, Albert Brooks, who needed filling in on how it fitted in before Gosling's "Mickey Mouse Club" days. Gosling took it on the chin. Asked at the end of the session if there was any message he hoped unified his diverse acting roles, he deadpanned: "Basically, I'm just trying to relive 'Young Hercules' every time. That was the high point for me."
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:52 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/15/us-toronto-acquisitions-idUSTRE78E4Q820110915

Toronto film fest announces latest acquisitions

British screenwriter Rebecca Frayn, British actor David Thewlis, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh and French director Luc Besson (L-R) pose at a news conference for the film ''The Lady'' at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival, September 12, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Cassese

By Steve Pond

Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:42pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - So much for the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival being a slow one for sales. After almost a week of slugging activity on the acquisition front, a slew of announcements came out on Wednesday.

In the last one of the day, Cohen MediaGroup bought U.S. rights to Luc Besson's "The Lady," with its awards-potential performances from Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis.

Prior to that, IFC added Lynne Shelton's "Your Sister's Sister" and Abel Ferrara's "4:44 Last Day on Earth" to a TIFF slate that already included "The Incident."

Earlier in the day, Oscilloscope acquired North American distribution for Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights," while Palisades Tartan acquired the rights to Jafar Panahi's and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb's "This Is Not a Film," which was covertly filmed after Panahi was arrested and barred from making films by the Iranian government.

MPI Media Group picked up "Yelling to the Sky," with Gabourey Sidibe and Zoe Kravitz. When it comes to public screenings, most of the highest-profile films have already debuted. Wednesday saw the first public TIFF screenings of the Duplass brothers' "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," which has been well-received, as well as Joel Schumacher's "Trespass," Julia Leigh's "Sleeping Beauty" and Canadian director Ken Scott's "Starbuck."

In some ways, Steve McQueen's sexually explicit "Shame" continues to be the talk of the festival, prompting a spirited Twitter exchange on Wednesday between pundits David Poland, Kris Tapley, Scott Feinberg, Brad Brevet and Garth Franklin over whether the film implies that the brother and sister played by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan ever had sex.

Another "Shame" note: Anthony Kaufman reported that a female patron sitting in front of him passed out during a graphic scene (but not a sexual one) late in the movie.

"I can't imagine Fox Searchlight, the company that announced its acquisition of the film over the weekend, were aware that the film could make viewers pass out," wrote Kaufman at indieWIRE. "Let's hope it doesn't stop them from mounting a vigorous release of this stunning film."

Searchlight executives probably had a flashback at the "Shame" screening, since they experienced so many faintings with "127 Hours" last year that the sideshow threatened to take away attention from the quality of the film. But they should be safer this time around; "Shame" seems likely to prompt lots of controversy, but not many fainters.

According to indieWIRE's criticWIRE feature, incidentally, "Shame" has received the most positive reviews of any film in Toronto. The site tallies letter grades from dozens of critics and will publish a full rundown of TIFF grades at the end of the festival - but now that the festival is in the homestretch, they've published a preview of which films are doing best, and Peter Knegt says that "Shame" is at the top of the list.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:57 am

http://www.cleveland.com/moviebuff/index.ssf/2011/09/toronto_international_film_fes.html

Toronto International Film Festival 2011: Sex and the Cinema -- Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley push the envelope
Published: Friday, September 16, 2011, 2:00 PM
Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer By Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer
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michael-fassbender-tiff-2011.jpgAPMichael Fassbender wowed in two TIFF films: "Shame," and "A Dangerous Method."

There's a cure for what has been a rather blah movie year, and it's the Toronto International Film Festival. The annual fall movie kick off, which wraps Sunday, featured several winning films headed our way -- George Clooney's "The Ides of March, David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" -- but the overwhelming theme of some of the most-buzzed about movies was an old one: sex.

Not "sexy," like you might find in the faux seductions of a romantic comedy, not "sexual situations," as the motion picture ratings board strains to label everything from kissing to innuendo, but actual sex.

The chief practitioner: Brandon, the dashing, Manhattan-dwelling gentleman played by Michael Fassbender in "Shame."

Brandon is constantly on the make. He can even seduce a stranger on the subway using only his eyes. His sex-addiction is hurtling him rapidly towards self-destruction when his younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in uninvited. Then his life really goes haywire.

Fassbender is fantastic in this intense character study from director Steve McQueen, who collaborated with Fassbender in 2008 on "Hunger," the painful tale of Bobby Sands' prison hunger strike. "Shame" features full male nudity, full female nudity, masturbation, straight sex, gay sex, group sex. All the art house standards.

The film came to the festival seeking a distributor but seemed like a tough sell because the aforementioned ratings board would probably slap "Shame" with an NC-17, letters and numbers loathed by both distributors and theater owners. It prohibits wide release, limits the potential audience and hurts future DVD sales as some retailers refuse to carry NC-17 movies.

A similar fate befell Atom Egoyan's "Where the Truth Lies," a few years ago. The drama starring Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon as a quasi Martin and Lewis team with dark secrets, featured several sex scenes that earned an NC-17. (The distributor opted to release the film with no rating, but theaters still had to restrict admission to adults, and the under-promoted film quietly disappeared into oblivion.)

Despite those concerns, Fox Searchlight acquired "Shame" in Toronto and plans to release it later this year. It will be interesting to see if the film is subjected to some clever editing, lobbying, or if they roll the dice on the harsher rating. (Option three is extremely doubtful.)

In either case, it's a compelling film, and Fassbender will be in the mix for acting awards. He'll also be competing with himself, because he delivers an even more powerful performance as Carl Jung in "A Dangerous Method," another sex-obsessed film.

a-dangerous-method-knightley-fassbender.jpgEntertainment One"A Dangerous Method": Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender.

David Cronenberg's period piece, drops in on Jung, his frantic, sexually deranged patient Sabina (Keira Knightley) and Sigmund Freud (an excellent Viggo Mortensen) during the early years of psychoanalysis. While Freud worries about anti-Semitic attacks and being shunned by the scientific community, Jung struggles with his exceedingly inappropriate relationship with his patient.

Of course, as much as Jung attempts to expand his understanding of strange dreams, masochistic behavior and the depths of the human condition, the calming Freud, puffing away on his cigar, reassures him not to stress out too much because in the end, it's all about sex. This being a David Cronenberg movie, I kept waiting for Jung to leap up and smash Freud with a crowbar. (Did they have crowbars in 1908?)

Sex is also a recurring nightmare for Elizabeth Olsen in "Martha Marcy May Marlene," and unfathomable destination for Michelle Williams in "Take This Waltz," and fuels the moral misjudgments of "The Ides of March."

As Martha, Olsen is subjected to the welcome-to- my-farm ritual performed by cult leader Patrick (John Hawkes). Martha eventually escapes, but is haunted by her experiences after moving in with her sister, Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and Lucy's well-off husband (Hugh Dancy). It's a sad and dark film and the feature debut for director Sean Durkin, who apparently has a thing for women's names. His short films are "Doris," and "Mary Last Seen."

"Take This Waltz" is the newest effort from writer-director Sarah Polley. I love Polley. She gave us the masterful "Away From Her," with Julie Christie, which was one of the best films of 2007.

I'm sorry to report that "Take This Waltz" is a less than thrilling concoction about a bored wife named Margot (Williams) who leaves her clueless husband (Seth Rogen) to cavort with quirky Daniel (Luke Kirby). There's lots of sex and nudity in this one, too, but it lacks a compelling story to truly drive the characters. At one point Daniel delivers a really (really! really!) long speech on what he would do in bed with Margot. I don't know if this will become a favorite new fantasy-dreamy-sensitive-male movie moment for women, or will they just find it laughably overwrought?

Political sex scandals are not new. But George Clooney, who directed, co-wrote, co-produced and co-stars in "The Ides of March," spins his political saga not so much around the candidate (he plays a governor running for president), but a deputy campaign manager played by Ryan Gosling.

Set in Ohio during a crucial primary (and shot in part in Cincinnati), Gosling's character must navigate all manner of malfeasance while juggling the needs of an intern (Evan Rachel Wood), his boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of the opposition (Paul Giamatti) and a New York Times reporter (Marisa Tomei).

Needless to say, the great cast makes for some fun Ohio political wranglings, but in the end the film is about finding one's moral compass.

Cleveland opening: One of the best films I saw in Toronto, Jeff Nichol's "Take Shelter," now has a firm Cleveland opening date, Friday, Oct. 28, according to producer Tyler Davidson of South Russell. The well-acted psychological drama starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, was shot in Northeast Ohio in 2010.

It will have its local sneak-peek debut the night before, at 8 p.m., at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. (Tickets: $9; $7 for CIA members; $5 ages 25 and under. cia.edu/cinematheque.)
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:18 pm

http://www.indiewire.com/article/criticwire_tiff_shame_tops_critics_as_fest_winds_down/

criticWIRE @ TIFF: Steve McQueen’s “Shame” Is Top Pick As Fest Winds Down (UPDATED)
by Peter Knegt (September 16, 2011)
criticWIRE @ TIFF: Steve McQueen’s “Shame” Is Top Pick As Fest Winds Down (UPDATED)
Michael Fassbender in "Shame." Fox Searchlight.

The Toronto International Film Festival is in the midst of the ninth day of its 2011 edition, and indieWIRE is in the midst of entering in hundreds of critics grades to our criticWIRE section. Many more are to come (and many films have yet to receive 4 grades and are thus not included here - but check out a guide to all Toronto films here), but as it stands now: Steve McQueen’s “Shame” has the highest average of any film screening in Toronto. It joins four films - Wim Wenders’ “Pina,” Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation,” Sarah Polley’s “Take This Waltz,” and Bela Tarr’s “The Turin Horse,” - as the only films with an A- level average, though clearly that will change as more grades trickle in.

Only one of those films - “Take This Waltz” - actually premiered in Toronto. “Shame” made its debut in Venice a week earlier, while the others are all alums of Sundance, Berlin or Cannes. Of the films that premiered in Toronto (at least officially), ones to received quite high scores from critics include Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” Jonathan Levine’s “50/50,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Alps,” Lynn Shelton’s “Your Sister’s Sister” and Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball,” each of which have B+ averages.

Listed below is a summary of criticWIRE @ TIFF thus far. Only films with four or more grades with averages of a B- and higher have been included, and averages may change as new grades come in. What is listed here is current with the time of this story’s publishing. Please also note the films are listed in alphabetical order within each grade average category. Click on the film’s title for more information and a full list of critic scores. indieWIRE will offer a much more extensive listing of criticWIRE grades from Toronto at the end of the festival, but we figure why not give you a sneak peak at how things are tracking.

criticWIRE average: A-:
Pina, directed by Wim Wenders
A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi
Shame, directed by Steve McQueen
Take This Waltz, directed by Sarah Polley
The Turin Horse, directed by Bela Tarr

criticWIRE average: B+:
50/50, directed by Jonathan Levine
Alps, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne
Le Havre, directed by Aki Kaurismaki
The Kid With a Bike, directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Like Crazy, directed by Drake Doremus
Martha Marcy May Marlene, directed by Sean Durkin
Moneyball, directed by Bennett Miller
Pariah, directed by Dee Rees
Take Shelter, directed by Jeff Nichols
Your Sister’s Sister, directed by Lynn Shelton

criticWIRE average: B:
Damsels in Distress, directed by Whit Stillman
A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg
The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Terence Davies
Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Friends With Kids, directed by Jennifer Westfeldt
From The Sky Down, directed by Davis Guggenheim
The Ides of March, directed by George Clooney
Melancholia, directed by Lars von Trier
The Skin I Live In, directed by Pedro Almodovar
Tyrannosaur, directed by Paddy Considine
We Need To Talk About Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay
Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold

criticWIRE average: B-:
360, directed by Fernando Meirelles
Albert Nobbs, directed by Rodrigo Garcia
Anonymous, directed by Roland Emmerich
Beloved, directed by Christoph Honore
Chicken With Plums, directed by Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud
Coriolanus, directed by Ralph Fiennes
Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar
Habemus Papam, diected by Nanni Moretti
Into The Abyss, directed by Werner Herzog
Michael, directed by Markus Schleinzer
Sleeping Beauty, directed by Julia Leigh

Check back with indieWIRE for a more extensive listing of criticWIRE grades from Toronto at the end of the festival.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:40 pm

http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/09/17/thats-a-wrap-the-best-and-worst-of-tiff-2011/

That’s a wrap: The best and worst of TIFF 2011
Mark Blinch / Reuters

National Post Staff Sep 17, 2011 – 8:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Sep 16, 2011 4:09 PM ET

Best man-locks Several leading men were wearing their hair down on the red carpet, including Val Kilmer with his shoulder-length streaky mane, Viggo Mortensen with his choppy bob and Brad Pitt with his straight do parted down the middle and tucked behind his ears. The best hair award however, goes to Gerard Butler for his soft beach curls, à la Matthew McConaughey. Melissa Leong

Sexiest elevators The lifts at the Intercontinental on Front Street, which purr “lllobby” when they reach the ground floor. Chris Knight

Least sexy elevators At the Bell Lightbox. Unless you like it rough. C.K.

Worst place to be Stuck in a tiny elevator — the only way to get to press conferences on the sixth floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox — with overworked, sleep-deprived, bitchy journalists. It’s the start of a horror movie — called Deadlines. Barry Hertz & M.L.

Most annoying down escalators Tied between those at the Scotiabank (out of commission for several days) and those at the Lightbox (non-existent). C. K.

Worst rumour that we all sadly wanted to believe The Globe and Mail reported that volunteers were told to turn their backs so that Madonna could walk down a hallway unseen while promoting her film, W.E., at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. After that whole hydrangea thing, everyone was quick to hate on the Material Girl. But Madonna’s publicist quickly rebuffed the story, saying neither the star nor her security staff gave such instructions. M.L.

Best party Alliance’s Friday night fete was hand’s down the best bash I attended: oyster bar, excellently curated swag bag and a surprise, sans-Gwyneth performance from Cee Lo to boot! B.H.

Most asked whimsical question “Who would play you in a movie?” Scott Speedman (Edwin Boyd, The Moth Diaries) said I was the fourth person to ask that question. To coax an answer from him, I told him I’d want Jackie Chan to play me. M.L.

Most blatant inducement to piracy “You have my blessing to download it illegally somewhere on a bit torrent.” — Quebec filmmaker Philippe Falardeau, on hearing that I had not seen his 2000 film The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge. C.K.

Best faux-hawk Ewan McGregor. Shinan Govani

Most madjestic invite-only Dinner with Madonna on the top of the Grey Goose Soho House, Monday, presided over by host Bonnie Brooks. S.G.

Best handshake Michael Fassbender, who has been gabbed about at the Fest for another appendage, but whose grip at the CAA party was described by me in this paper as “Not too soft, but not too suspiciously bone-crushing, either. No unctuous, extended pumping. Just the ideal 2-3 secs. Ballsy smile. Deadly eye-meet.” S.G.

Most likely to succeed Michael Fassbender is the new Ryan Gosling. If there was an It Boy at the festival, it was him. Ben Kaplan

Most annoying use of cellphones during screenings Every. Single. One. Note to everybody: You’re not that important. C.K.

Best reason to quit their day job TIFF 2011 will be remembered as the Year of the Music. Bono opened the festival, Pearl Jam handled its middle days and Madonna provided the fest’s biggest story, and was also its biggest star. Record sales have long been diminishing. Perhaps more musicians should get into films. B.K.

Commodity most in short supply TIFF interviews, which were once a standard 20 minutes long, have now been cropped to 15 minutes or frequently less. A talk with Isabelle Huppert and Anne Fontaine, the star and director of the French film My Worst Nightmare — held at the bar on the rooftop of a Mercer Street building — was cut to 11 minutes when a bee kept flying around, pestering the talent and sending Huppert to her feet several times to swat it away. Jay Stone

Best showing of spousal territory-maintenance Melanie Griffith holding on tight, and creating blockage, to her husband, Antonio Banderas, while putting forward a Nancy Reagan-ish beam at his premiere, as well as at Spice Route later, for the Sony Pictures Classics 20th anniversary party. S.G.

Most awkward exit from a press conference At the end of Monday’s presser for Shame, I was told journalists couldn’t leave the room until the talent had dispersed. It was only a matter of three or four minutes, I know, but are we really that disagreeable? Do organizers not trust us to walk down the hallway without peppering the actors with more questions? OK, don’t answer that. Mark Medley

Most dangerous-looking celebrity Jason Statham, who sat in a simple stackable chair for an interview about Killer Elite, in which he attacks Clive Owen while tied to a simple stackable chair. C.K.

Best performance in a Post photograph Comedian Russell Peters lay on a table in a perfect plank for our photo. His manager doubled over in laughter: “You know you’ve already made it, Russ, you don’t have to do this anymore.” M.L.

Weirdest celebrity delivery To Viggo Mortensen, who received a coffee tin full of tobacco (which he proceeded to roll) and a coffee urn (full of coffee I presume) while discussing his role in A Dangerous Method. C.K.

Nicest celebrity delivery Sarah Polley’s baby, due next spring. C.K.

Biggest foot-in-mouth moment? I asked the members of Pearl Jam how it feels to have to answer my questions because Eddie Vedder doesn’t do press. Stone Gossard, the band’s long-time guitarist, responded: “He does press. You just couldn’t get the interview.” B.K.

Best trooper A very pregnant Bryce Dallas Howard, who took on the mantle of ‘Most Ubiquitous Party Guest’ at this year’s fest: S.G.

Best Pre-Movie Entertainment This year’s promos were sometimes better than the films they preceded. The best of the lot starred Uncle Marv, a well-connected producer who’s always happy to help out aspiring filmmakers. I’m pretty sure the real-life Marv (or at least the actor who plays him) was sitting behind me at Wednesday’s Moneyball press screening. He exited the theatre before I had a chance to confront him, however, and ask him to invest in my screenplay. M.M.

Oddest interview location In the back of Jessica Chastain’s limo on Front Street, where we broke the law. (Toronto’s anti-idling bylaw, that is.) C.K.

Most annoying pre-movie ads The down-market Lightbox spots that invite you to “grab a bite, see a movie … because if you like movies, you’ll love TIFF Bell Lightbox.” C.K.

Worst interview question At a roundtable interview with Antonio Banderas (The Skin I Live In), a Toronto radio reporter told the Spanish actor that he had the sexiest voice ever (“Your voice could solve world problems”) and asked him to say the reporter’s name in “a really sexy way.” When Banderas graciously obliged, the reporter said, “My ring tone. Thanks dude.” J.S.

Best example of when you hope a Tweet isn’t literal Gossip maven Elaine “Lainey” Lui Tweeted on Sunday: “Currently eating George Clooney’s leftovers. Literally. #TIFF2011.” M.L.

Coolest world leader at the festival President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives has been imprisoned, tortured and exiled in the name of democracy. He now faces a more unforgiving battle — the one against global warming. The dapper and candid 44-year-old president was here for a screening of The Island President, a documentary about his first year in office. M.L.

Best example of when you didn’t ask for something but you’re happy to have it A playful Cory Monteith of Glee started to sing Shania Twain’s From This Moment On at the start of our interview. M.L.

Snazziest place for star-gazing Luma, the restaurant on the second-floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Above the hullabaloo on the ground floor, this civilized oasis of class and calm would be portrayed by Dame Helen Mirren if it was turned into a film. B.K.

Heaviest gift bag At the Producers Ball at the Shangri-La, every parting goody bag contained a Nescafé Dolce Gusto espresso machine and the MAC Wonder Woman collection, weighing in at nearly 15 lbs. N.A.

Best, most frequently heard suggestion TIFF isn’t likely to take Instead of front-loading the fest for the first weekend, why not spread the marquee celeb love over the entire festival? Or, better yet, just cut the whole thing in half. Attending deserted press conferences is just as awkward for journalists as it is for humbled filmmakers. B.H.

Film title most likely to accidentally attract Woody Harrelson to a screening Burning Man. C.K.

Hotel with the biggest count of stealth A-listers The Hazelton, in Yorkville (downtown who?). S.G.

Nicest guy at the festival Jay Baruchel. When asking him how he was holding up, he responded that he was doing fine, and then asked how I was. He said the job an actor has to do at the festival is easy, compared to the work of the worn-out press. (What Baruchel didn’t realize, however, was that this year the media room was catered by Oliver & Bonacini, and that after we had finished talking, I would be eating prime rib.) B.K.

Most in need of a gift certificate to the Running Room Moderator Henri Behar should probably think about quitting smoking. My heart skipped a beat as he tried to climb the podium to interview the cast of The Lady. Dude: There’s a reason jogging has become such a trend. B.K.

Least hyped debut Mathieu Demy’s debut feature Americano somehow flew under the radar, despite the fact that he’s the son of legendary directors Jacques Demy and Agnès Varda. N.A.

Most gracious/accessible celeb There were no ropes nor curtains separating stars from commoners at the Melancholia party in the Hugo Boss store, which meant everyone could take their turn getting a photo with Alexander Skarsgård. And they did, the very tall actor obliging anyone who asked. Maryam Siddiqi

Best prop, by far, of the fest Evan Rachel Wood’s glass-encased tooth — a result of a ‘mishap’ in a Paris nightclub last week. She was showing-and-telling the tooth to anyone who dared ask in Toronto. S.G.


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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:39 pm

http://www.theprovince.com/entertainment/movie-guide/TIFF+rolls+carpet/5415822/story.html

TIFF rolls up the red carpet

Our film critics reveal the best of this year's film festival

By Jay Stone and Katherine Monk, Postmedia News September 16, 2011

Michael Fassbender got naked and intense. Albert Brooks got evil and scary. The movies of the Toronto International Film Festival were made up of great performances and memorable moments. Here are some of the best:

■ Best performance, male: Michael Fassbender won the best actor award at the Venice film festival, then came to Toronto to show us why. In Shame, Steve McQueen's troubling drama about a sex addict — a designation that seems more metaphor for the age of online porn than it does a description of a disability — Fassbender is alternately intense, troubled, flirtatious and heartbreaking. A scene where he stares at a woman on the subway and then chases her up the stairs at the next stop is a brilliant evocation of addictive need, told without a word.

■ Best performance, female: Tilda Swinton's distraught mother in We Need To Talk About Kevin is a marvel of underplaying. The film itself could be something of a horror movie — the misunderstood son who's a monster in disguise — but Swinton's confusions and pleas turn it into something my symbolic: how a child looks different to parents who need different things from him. Swinton portrays maternal grief with a finely-calibrated sense of hopelessness and apology.

■ Best surprise by a supporting actor: Albert Brooks plays against type as Bernie Rose, the amiable Jewish gangster who gets involved with Ryan Gosling's masterful getaway man in Drive. Brooks not only confounds expectations, he shows an unexpected and frighteningly realistic streak of cruelty. Is this the same guy who pleads so pitifully with a casino manager to give back the money his wife gambled away in Lost In America?

■ Bravest nude scene by a famous actor: The nominees are Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman in Take This Waltz, Matthew McConaughey, Juno Temple and Gina Gershon in Killer Joe, Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia, Keira Knightley in A Dangerous Method, and Michael Fassbender in Shame. The winner: Fassbender, because frontal male nudity is the last frontier.

■ Bravest nude camera angle by a director: Guy Maddin, the enfant celebre from Winnipeg brings elements of the Odyssey to the big screen in Keyhole, a metaphysical meditation on place, physical space and personal meaning. He also has Louis Negin on-set naked for most of the piece. "I started a rack focus on Louis's scrotum . . ." said Maddin, offering perhaps the oddest quote of the fest.

■ Best delight: The Artist, which won hearts at the Cannes Film Festival, remains the most lovable movie around, a silent black-and-white story about the dawn of talking pictures that features lovely acting, a great movie dog and an ending that has you tap-dancing out of the theatre.

■ Creepiest character: John Hawkes, best known as the drug addict Teardrop in Winter's Bone, is subtly repulsive as Patrick, the leader of a cult that lures young women in Martha Marcy May Marlene. Always in control, but with a frightening hint of madness in his insistence, Hawkes brings a quiet realism to a very dangerous man.

■ Bravest trek down a beaten path: Mary Harron, Canada's own art-house enigma, took a dive into the teen vampire bloodbath with her film The Moth Diaries, and survived every single negative comparison to Twilight. Harron may well be the only director so far to fully exercise the power of metaphor in the genre by playing on the intensity of young female friendships.

■ Best casting: Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Sure, the Scottish sex symbol was able to use his brogue in character, and even push the specificities of dialect. But Lasse Hallstrom's latest film about a dream for Middle East peace also includes a scene of McGregor using a fishing rod to stop an assassination.

■ Best use of dairy: Butter. Jennifer Garner produced this script long languishing in agency offices, and assumes the starring role in this satirical comedy about a butter-carving championship in Iowa. Garner is joined on screen by an all-star cast that includes Olivia Wilde and Hugh Jackman, but the real star is the endless amount of yellow lard.

■ Best dimensions: Wim Wenders new film Pina explores the life and work of German choreographer Pina Bausch with endless poetry and compassion. Wenders captures the beauty of the body in motion, and makes use of 3-D digital technology to make it pop off the screen. A magnificent achievement that does justice to the subject without becoming a slave to technology.

■ Best ingenue of 2011: Jessica Chastain. Dubbed the IT girl of the festival for her roles in Take Shelter and Coriolanus, as well as recent prize roles in The Tree of Life and The Help — the young actor was the hottest property in Toronto, but never felt insincere or arrogant. Accessible, kind and unfathomably humble in the face of megastardom, Chastain showed everyone what real class really looks like: Beautiful and human.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:41 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/tiff/news-and-buzz/michael-fassbender-and-more-tiffs-top-acting-surprises/article2169082/

Michael Fassbender and more: TIFF’s top acting surprises
Globe and Mail Update
Published Friday, Sep. 16, 2011 2:46PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Sep. 16, 2011 4:16PM EDT

WOODY HARRELSON

As a barely hinged, highly literate thug of a policeman in the pitch-black L.A. cop drama Rampart, Harrelson will beat the Oscar’s best-actor field like they were drums, Rodney Kings and red-haired stepchildren. – Brad Wheeler

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

As the sex addict in Shame, then as Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method, Michael Fassbender delivers not one but two note-perfect performances – similar in their primal appetites but so vastly different in style. – Rick Groen

JEAN DUJARDIN

The 39-year-old French comic actor is a break-out star in The Artist: As handsome and brash as a young Gene Kelly, he also has a grain of self-deprecating silliness worthy of Steve Martin. – Liam Lacey

SHAILENE WOODLEY

Is she the next Clooney-linked young star (like Anna Kendrick in 2009's Up in the Air)? My hunch is that relative unknown Shailene Woodley, who more than holds her own against leading man Clooney in Alexander Payne's family drama The Descendants, could be in the running for a best supporting actress Oscar. – Gayle MacDonald

ADAM SCOTT

He may be best known from television roles such as his part on Parks and Recreation, but in Friends With Kids Adam Scott proves he's on his way to movie stardom. – Dave McGinn

HÉLÈNE FLORENT

She has a supporting role in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Café de flore, but Hélène Florent’s turn as a jettisoned ex-wife holds down the film’s extraordinary mélange of storylines with a thoroughly real performance. – Guy Dixon

SCOTT SPEEDMAN

At 35, Speedman has been a mainstay at TIFF for several years, but always in a supporting or second-banana capacity. In Edwin Boyd he’s the lead, playing the handsome, charismatic bank robber whose gang terrorized and entranced Toronto in the late 1940s and early 50s. Speedman aces the role, all but guaranteeing himself a Genies nod. – James Adams
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http://www.cleveland.com/moviebuff/index.ssf/2011/09/toronto_international_film_fes.html

Toronto International Film Festival 2011: Sex and the Cinema -- Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley push the envelope
Published: Friday, September 16, 2011, 2:00 PM
Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer By Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer

There's a cure for what has been a rather blah movie year, and it's the Toronto International Film Festival. The annual fall movie kick off, which wraps Sunday, featured several winning films headed our way -- George Clooney's "The Ides of March, David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" -- but the overwhelming theme of some of the most-buzzed about movies was an old one: sex.

Not "sexy," like you might find in the faux seductions of a romantic comedy, not "sexual situations," as the motion picture ratings board strains to label everything from kissing to innuendo, but actual sex.

The chief practitioner: Brandon, the dashing, Manhattan-dwelling gentleman played by Michael Fassbender in "Shame."

Brandon is constantly on the make. He can even seduce a stranger on the subway using only his eyes. His sex-addiction is hurtling him rapidly towards self-destruction when his younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in uninvited. Then his life really goes haywire.

Fassbender is fantastic in this intense character study from director Steve McQueen, who collaborated with Fassbender in 2008 on "Hunger," the painful tale of Bobby Sands' prison hunger strike. "Shame" features full male nudity, full female nudity, masturbation, straight sex, gay sex, group sex. All the art house standards.

The film came to the festival seeking a distributor but seemed like a tough sell because the aforementioned ratings board would probably slap "Shame" with an NC-17, letters and numbers loathed by both distributors and theater owners. It prohibits wide release, limits the potential audience and hurts future DVD sales as some retailers refuse to carry NC-17 movies.

A similar fate befell Atom Egoyan's "Where the Truth Lies," a few years ago. The drama starring Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon as a quasi Martin and Lewis team with dark secrets, featured several sex scenes that earned an NC-17. (The distributor opted to release the film with no rating, but theaters still had to restrict admission to adults, and the under-promoted film quietly disappeared into oblivion.)

Despite those concerns, Fox Searchlight acquired "Shame" in Toronto and plans to release it later this year. It will be interesting to see if the film is subjected to some clever editing, lobbying, or if they roll the dice on the harsher rating. (Option three is extremely doubtful.)

In either case, it's a compelling film, and Fassbender will be in the mix for acting awards. He'll also be competing with himself, because he delivers an even more powerful performance as Carl Jung in "A Dangerous Method," another sex-obsessed film.

a-dangerous-method-knightley-fassbender.jpgEntertainment One"A Dangerous Method": Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender.

David Cronenberg's period piece, drops in on Jung, his frantic, sexually deranged patient Sabina (Keira Knightley) and Sigmund Freud (an excellent Viggo Mortensen) during the early years of psychoanalysis. While Freud worries about anti-Semitic attacks and being shunned by the scientific community, Jung struggles with his exceedingly inappropriate relationship with his patient.

Of course, as much as Jung attempts to expand his understanding of strange dreams, masochistic behavior and the depths of the human condition, the calming Freud, puffing away on his cigar, reassures him not to stress out too much because in the end, it's all about sex. This being a David Cronenberg movie, I kept waiting for Jung to leap up and smash Freud with a crowbar. (Did they have crowbars in 1908?)

Sex is also a recurring nightmare for Elizabeth Olsen in "Martha Marcy May Marlene," and unfathomable destination for Michelle Williams in "Take This Waltz," and fuels the moral misjudgments of "The Ides of March."

As Martha, Olsen is subjected to the welcome-to- my-farm ritual performed by cult leader Patrick (John Hawkes). Martha eventually escapes, but is haunted by her experiences after moving in with her sister, Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and Lucy's well-off husband (Hugh Dancy). It's a sad and dark film and the feature debut for director Sean Durkin, who apparently has a thing for women's names. His short films are "Doris," and "Mary Last Seen."

"Take This Waltz" is the newest effort from writer-director Sarah Polley. I love Polley. She gave us the masterful "Away From Her," with Julie Christie, which was one of the best films of 2007.

I'm sorry to report that "Take This Waltz" is a less than thrilling concoction about a bored wife named Margot (Williams) who leaves her clueless husband (Seth Rogen) to cavort with quirky Daniel (Luke Kirby). There's lots of sex and nudity in this one, too, but it lacks a compelling story to truly drive the characters. At one point Daniel delivers a really (really! really!) long speech on what he would do in bed with Margot. I don't know if this will become a favorite new fantasy-dreamy-sensitive-male movie moment for women, or will they just find it laughably overwrought?

Political sex scandals are not new. But George Clooney, who directed, co-wrote, co-produced and co-stars in "The Ides of March," spins his political saga not so much around the candidate (he plays a governor running for president), but a deputy campaign manager played by Ryan Gosling.

Set in Ohio during a crucial primary (and shot in part in Cincinnati), Gosling's character must navigate all manner of malfeasance while juggling the needs of an intern (Evan Rachel Wood), his boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of the opposition (Paul Giamatti) and a New York Times reporter (Marisa Tomei).

Needless to say, the great cast makes for some fun Ohio political wranglings, but in the end the film is about finding one's moral compass.

Cleveland opening: One of the best films I saw in Toronto, Jeff Nichol's "Take Shelter," now has a firm Cleveland opening date, Friday, Oct. 28, according to producer Tyler Davidson of South Russell. The well-acted psychological drama starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, was shot in Northeast Ohio in 2010.

It will have its local sneak-peek debut the night before, at 8 p.m., at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. (Tickets: $9; $7 for CIA members; $5 ages 25 and under. cia.edu/cinematheque.)
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:49 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/tiff/news-and-buzz/top-tiff-encounters-tall-men-rock-gods-presidents-and-more/article2168927/page1/

TIFF 2011
Top TIFF encounters: Tall men, rock gods, presidents and more
globe staff
Toronto— From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 17, 2011 6:06PM EDT

JOHANNA SCHNELLER

Tall men! Hallelujah! I’m 5 foot 9, over 6 feet in heels, and most actors are delicate creatures. So in interviews I feel I’m looming over them like a hot air balloon. Not this TIFF. In one glorious run, I met Gerard Butler (hunky), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish), Alexander Skarsgaard (6 foot 3), and Michael Fassbender (swoon). It was like gamboling through a gorgeous forest. And it sure didn’t hurt that when I went to shake Fassbender’s hand goodbye, he leaned in for a kiss instead. (Readers, I let him.)

My favourite moment occurred with Butler, in my first interview of the week. I mentioned that, to me, he fills the brute-with-a-sense-of-humour niche that’s been woefully unoccupied since Lee Marvin and Robert Mitchum. He regarded me for a long second, and I feared I’d offended him. Then he told me that Lee Marvin and Robert Mitchum were the two exact guys who made him want to act. “I’m going to call my old mum tonight and tell her that someone compared me to Mitchum and Marvin,” he said quietly. During the rest of the week, there were plenty of moments when I questioned why I was there – when out-of-town handlers swooped in and dismissed Canadian print, with a callousness that was truly upsetting. But then I’d think of what Butler said, and force myself to remember that no matter what happens when they get to TIFF, every film, and every person in them, begins in the same place: one person, alone in a room, with a dream.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:02 pm

http://thesheaf.com/arts/2011/09/15/the-sheaf%E2%80%99s-guide-to-the-2011-toronto-international-film-festival/

Sep 152011

AREN BERGSTROM
Arts Editor

When you show up for the Toronto International Film Festival, you have to get used to the overwhelming atmosphere of it all.

Movie stars here. Industry types there. Almost everywhere you look you see pinstripe suits and cocktails dresses and people sporting Industry and Press badges slung around their necks (due to reason’s unknown, the Sheaf was denied a press pass to this year’s festival).

I was lucky enough to attend the opening weekend of TIFF. This year more than in the past, the city of Toronto has come alive for TIFF. Last year saw the construction of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, a permanent year-round home for the festival located in the heart of the entertainment district. Now with the Lightbox firmly established, downtown Toronto is constantly abuzz with celebrities in limos, celebrities chilling outside the Lightbox, celebrities on red carpets and swarms of photographers who stalk the film venues like vultures hungry for carrion.

From Up On Poppy Hill

(dir. Goro Miyazaki)

rating:

On the opening day of the festival, I went to From Up on Poppy Hill, the latest film to come out of the greatest animation studio in the world, Studio Ghibli. Directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, the film is the bittersweet tale of high school students in 1963 Japan protesting the planned destruction of their clubhouse to make way for the 1964 Olympics. From Up on Poppy Hill is Goro Miyazaki’s second feature as a director. His first film was the poorly received Tales from Earthsea from 2006, an adaptation of the popular fantasy novels. While Tales from Earthsea proved to be a little too much for Goro Miyazaki to handle, this film really proves that he deserves his father’s name.

From Up on Poppy Hill is a case of a director finding his own voice as an artist. It is both a heartfelt teenage romance and a fascinating exploration of the generation that grew up in Japan following the Second World War. Gorgeous animation, fleshed out characterization and a wealth of humour make the film a real treat to watch. Although it is devoid of the magic that typifies most Ghibli films, its realism makes it all the more compelling. From Up on Poppy Hill is a wealthy addition to the Ghibli canon, standing alongside Only Yesterday and Whisper of the Heart as a great piece of animated realism.

A Q&A session with Goro Miyazaki followed the screening. Although he had to communicate through a translator, Miyazaki was quite forthcoming about his working relationship with his father. “Working with Hayao Miyazaki is a real pain in the ass. And not just for me, for everyone.”

Into the Abyss

(dir. Werner Herzog)

rating:

Saturday afternoon I attended a screening of Werner Herzog’s latest and most restrained documentary, Into the Abyss. The German director best known for Grizzly Man and Aguirre: The Wrath of God typically layers his films with esoteric questions and colourful narration. Here his voice is only heard behind the camera, asking sombre questions about the facts of a horrendous case of human depravity and letting those involved in the events tell the story for themselves.

Into the Abyss is the story of a triple homicide in Texas in which two teenagers shot down a mother, her son and the son’s best friend. Through his interviews with the killers Michael Perry and Jason Burkett, the killers’ families, the victims’ families and workers on death row, Herzog sheds light on capital punishment and a troubled prison culture.

Within the film Herzog admits that he is against the death penalty, but the film is not an explicit argument against capital punishment. He never seeks to exonerate or condemn the killers, merely to illuminate the sad facts of reality that surround these particular murders.

This is an extremely dark film. Within it, Herzog tries to affirm life where he can, but the ultimate vision we come away with is that society is severely broken and that family is the greatest determinant of a person’s future.

Melancholia

(dir. Lars von Trier)

rating:

The North American premiere of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia occurred on Saturday night with a red carpet presentation and stars Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland and Udo Kier in attendance. Von Trier was unfortunately not present, likely due to his controversial Nazi-related comments at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Melancholia is about Justine (Dunst), who struggles with depression, and her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg). It is also about a mysterious planet (named Melancholia) zooming towards Earth on a collision course. It is an ambitious and unconventional film, the kind a Hollywood studio would never produce. It is visually dazzling and von Trier often melds extreme slow motion with the music of Wagner, creating triumphant images of apocalyptic proportion.

Melancholia is also a profound exploration of depression, showing just how crippling and overwhelming it is. Both Dunst and Gainsbourg put in excellent performances.

During the Q&A, a gutsy audience member asked Sutherland whether Jack Bauer would have handled the film differently. Sutherland’s answer was priceless: “He wouldn’t have since Lars von Trier would’ve kicked Jack Bauer’s ass.”

Twixt

(dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

rating:

On Sunday afternoon I attended the world premiere of Twixt, the newest film by veteran director Francis Ford Coppola. Twixt is a dream literalized. It is more similar in tone to the films of David Lynch than any of Coppola’s previous films like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. It follows a bargain bin hack writer, Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer), as he investigates a murder and falls into a dream reality in a small Northern Californian town.

This all may sound very serious but Twixt is most definitely not serious. It is fun and experimental with plenty of cinematic innovating. Parts of it are in 3D, parts are in a monochromatic colour that looks very similar to black and white, and the entire film is shot in High Definition Digital, giving the visuals a hyper-realistic quality.

Val Kilmer does not make many good movies anymore, but Hall Baltimore is a part that plays to his strengths, utilizing his excellent comedic timing. The film may seem unrefined and feel like an exaggeration of the macabre, but it does accurately capture the feel of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories. Ultimately, Twixt is the rare example of a master director trying things new in strange, untested ways.

A very informative Q&A with Coppola and Kilmer was held after the screening. Unlike most filmmakers, Coppola actually gives profound and honest answers to questions. Most interestingly, he revealed that the whole film was based on an alcohol-induced dream he had in Istanbul. Twixt is Coppola trying to work out that dream.

Shame

(dir. Steve McQueen)

rating:

The North American premiere of Shame took place on Sunday evening. Shame is a drama focused on one damaged individual: Michael Fassbender’s character Brandon, a compulsive sex addict. Brandon spends his days at the office surfing Internet pornography and masturbating in the washroom. He spends his evenings having sex with attractive strangers and prostitutes, and watching sex webcams. Brandon does not have a close relationship with anyone, so when his erratic sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan playing against type) arrives at his apartment, his whole routine of isolation and gratification is upset.

Fassbender is marvelous in this physically and emotionally taxing role. His performance is simply devastating. The comparison of Fassbender to a young Daniel Day-Lewis is not unfounded — his performance is just that good.

Steve McQueen’s direction is as impressive as Fassbender’s performance. McQueen displays the same formal command that he demonstrated in his debut feature Hunger (also starring Fassbender), but where that film lacked narrative and emotional continuity, Shame is focused. McQueen’s film environments are controlled — the sound design, the colour palette and the camera’s movements are all exact. With Shame, unlike with Hunger, McQueen has kept his editing consistent and his artistic flourishes never distract from the emotional arc of the character.

Shame is a powerful film. Fassbender won the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his work and an Oscar would be deserved.

Both Fassbender and McQueen were in attendance at the screening and stayed for a Q&A afterwards. The crowd predictably swooned for Fassbender, but it was McQueen whose answers were most interesting. When asked why he set his film in New York City, McQueen answered that “in no other city is there as much excess and access. Even London hasn’t caught up to it in regards to sleaze.” Fassbender quipped back, “you just don’t know where to look.”

I Wish

(dir. Hirokazu Kore-Eda)

rating:

I went into Monday’s screening of I Wish not knowing what to expect, as I was unfamiliar with Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s previous work. Often, that is the best way to be surprised by a film.

I Wish is the story of two brothers who yearn to live back together. Koichi and Ryu’s parents are separated and Koichi lives with his mother while Ryu lives with his father. They live cities apart and haven’t seen each other in six months. Two new bullet trains are being built in their province so when Koichi hears and believes a schoolyard rumour stating that whoever witnesses the trains pass each other gets a wish, he sets out to see the trains pass and wish for his family to be reunited.

I Wish is a film about children. Its children are more mature than its adults, and the adults act like children. Kore-Eda’s portrayal of childhood friendship is similar to the kind displayed in this summer’s Super 8, in that the children are completely honest and realistic.

The child actors are simply wonderful. Most are first-time actors but their spontaneity and earnestness makes you think they were veterans. I Wish also has a serious amount of humour, much of it provided by the kids’ hilarious antics and camaraderie. It may dip occasionally into sentimentality and operate with fanciful logic, but I Wish is charming entertainment and an often-moving portrayal of childhood yearning.

The Lady

(dir. Luc Besson)

rating:

The final film I saw at TIFF ’11 was Luc Besson’s biopic of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy activist. Besson, the French director best known for action films The Professional and The Fifth Element, may not be the best man for the job of making a film about Suu Kyi. Not to say that the film is bad — it’s not — but Besson’s signature style and obsession with violence doesn’t lend itself well to a film about a great advocate for democracy and peace.

However, The Lady still has enough to recommend itself. Both Michelle Yeoh as Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her British husband Michael Aris give admirable performances and the depiction of their strained marriage is the most affecting part of the film. The film’s script is what needs the most work. It’s often too simplistic in its themes and the dialogue can fall flat. Still, the subject matter is so compelling that it does most of the work of telling the story.

The Lady is not the film that Aung San Suu Kyi deserves, but it’s an admirable film in a similar way to Martin Scorsese’s Kundun. Perhaps the greatest reason the film doesn’t completely work is that Suu Kyi’s story is not over. Once we have a historical perspective on her work in Burma, we will be able to see a movie that is more than just a first act of her story.


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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:03 pm

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/09/15/toronto-round-up/

Sep 15 2011 11:19 AM ET

Toronto round-up: 'Moneyball' scores, while Fassbender's 'Shame' and Blunt's 'Sister' find distributors
by Aly Semigran

As the Toronto International Film Festival heads into its final days (the event wraps up Sunday), more and more films roaming the festival junket are landing deals with distributors. Here’s a brief rundown of some of TIFF’s big moments thus far:

Moneyball debuted, and the big-screen adaptation of Michael Lewis’ 2003 book about Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt (who we’re pretty fond of this week), was a winner with audiences.

The politically charged comedy Butter, starring Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Alicia Silverstone, Ashley Greene, and Olivia Wilde was screened, and its premiere boasted a headline worthy moment: Harvey Weinstein, via email, asked Republican congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to co-host the Iowa premiere of the film and to discuss her political agenda, particularly “gay rights and women’s rights.”

The super dark comedy Killer Joe, starring Emile Hirsch (who talked about the grim project with EW) debuted, while Matthew Goode got a crack (pun intended) at drama in Burning Man, which also screened at the fest.

Fox Searchlight nabbed the U.S. distribution rights to director Steve McQueen’s Shame. The film — which, in addition to playing well at TIFF, also found acclaim at Venice and Telluride — stars Michael Fassbender as a New Yorker with a compulsive sex addiction whose life begins to unravel when his younger sister (played by Carey Mulligan) moves in. The movie is already garnering a lot of buzz — both from talk of a possible NC-17 rating and Fassbender’s Oscar-worthy performance.

Cohen Media Group landed the U.S. distribution rights for Luc Besson’s The Lady, a biopic chronicling the life of heroic Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi (played by Michelle Yeoh). While critics didn’t take to the film, audiences did, and the movie is slated to get a limited release come December.

IFC picked up Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister, a family drama starring Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt (pictured) with an anticipated 2012 release. The studio also got the “apocalyptic trance film” 4:44 Last Day On Earth and the horror flick The Incident. [ScreenDaily]

Lionsgate is reportedly circling Jennifer Westfeldt’s all-star comedy Friends With Kids, which stars the likes of Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Megan Fox, Edward Burns, and Maya Rudolph. The studio also has its eye on Adam Wingard’s You’re Next. [ScreenDaily]

Other notable deals include: Oscilloscope getting the U.S. rights for Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, Palisades Tartan has both U.S. and U.K. rights to the iPhone-shot This Is Not A Film, MPI Media Group announced it had all North American rights to Victoria Mahoney’s Yelling To The Sky, a feature starring Gabourey Sidibe and Zoë Kravitz.

Which project has you pumped?
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:47 pm

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/fewer-business-deals-made-at-toronto-film-fest/184079-8-67.html

Hollywood | Posted on Sep 14, 2011 at 02:58pm IST
Fewer business deals made at Toronto film fest

Toronto: The Toronto International Film Festival reached its midpoint on Tuesday with films like the The Descendants and actor Michael Fassbender winning praise, but a nagging question about the future of dark dramas in Hollywood has hovered over the event.

Toronto, which along with recently wrapped festivals in Venice and Telluride, helps launch the movie awards season and industry pros gather here to build buzz for their films. Yet, while some dramas here have been praised for their stories and characters, few business deals have been made to put many of those movies into theaters.

Industry observers, such as Sony Pictures Classics head Michael Barker, said that while Toronto is "the ideal way to launch a film," there have been fewer deals made so far due to some content being considered a hard sell for consumers.

"Regarding new films that haven't been acquired, my personal belief is it's been slower than in previous years," Barker told Reuters. Among the more popular work has been George Clooney's starring role as a soul-searching father in The Descendants, as well as his directing and acting in political thriller The Ides of March.

Clooney showed up on the red carpet for debuts of both films. The Descendants, from Alexander Payne who directed the Oscar-winning Sideways, brings a familiar blend of comedy and tragedy set this time against a Hawaiian backdrop. It earned a standing ovation at its premiere.

Shame, which was acquired by Fox Searchlight before the festival but may be a hard sell in theaters for various full frontal nudity and sex scenes, won over critics for British director Steve McQueen and lead actor Fassbender, an award winner at last week's Venice film festival.

Fassbender, 34, has seen his acting career blossom after a performance in McQueen's first feature, Hunger, which led to a role in Inglourious Basterds and another film showing at Toronto this year, David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. He remained humble about a possible best actor Oscar nomination. "I don't think about it too much to be honest, because that way madness lies," he said. "My energy is better placed in other areas, just really in terms of my work."

Brad Pitt's low key performance in Moneyball playing real life baseball manager Billy Beane also earned applause, as did Glenn Close's gender-bending turn as a shy butler who passes herself off as a man in poverty stricken Ireland. Roland Emmerich's Anonymous also earned early praise for its tale that questions whether Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was truly the man responsible for the remarkable collection of plays and poems by William Shakespeare.

Among foreign films, Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness has impressed, and of the many high-profile documentaries here, early favorites have been Werner Herzog's Into the Abyss and the Cameron Crowe-directed Pearl Jam Twenty. Madonna's film W.E. which received mixed reviews in Venice, again was complimented for its visual style but was found lacking in story. Luc Besson's The Lady received a standing ovation and cheers at its gala premiere in Toronto on Monday, but early reviews of the movie have been mixed.

Coming off strong indie film markets at 2011's Sundance and Cannes festivals, Barker said that while the Toronto movies have been accomplished, they are not easy sells. "We have seen a lot of decent movies but a lot that are a real question mark, a real risk as to how they will work in the marketplace," he said. "These movies have subject matter that you are not as confident whether they will really cross over with the public.

One film that may divide audiences is Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, starring Viggo Mortensen, Fassbender and Keira Knightley. It includes some harrowing scenes to depict the turbulent relationships between Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and patient Sabina Spielrein. "I don't think the film is an easy film and it is shocking," Knightley told Reuters. "If you are doing that, then you are going to expect people to either like it or not."

Filmmakers and actors here hoped their films might convince studios that adult dramas still had a market because in recent years, box offices have favored comedies and escapist fare. Both Payne and Clooney said audiences do exist for adult dramas, and they want The Descendants to help prove that. "I hope that other filmmakers and financiers can point to it, if it has any degree of success, as an example that there is still a lucrative and hungry American market for such a film," said Payne.

Fassbender said the positive reaction from audiences to Shame was a good sign. "There is still a place, contrary to many of the films being made, for an intelligent, brave audience that can take chances and involve themselves in a film," he told reporters. But others had darker predictions, including filmmaker and actor Albert Brooks, who said the long-term future of offbeat, indie cinema may end up on the Web and not in cinemas. "The business of getting people into theaters seems to me have been going more of the way of the big event, hence the 3D," he said. "Being in the experimental business of cinema seems to be not a good business model.
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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:50 pm

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sex-sells-toronto-234739

Sex Sells at Toronto Film Festival
5:37 PM PDT 9/13/2011 by Scott Roxborough

Shame movie still
"Shame"
This year, racy films are everywhere at the normally conservative TIFF. But can U.S. buyers find an audience for all this titillation?

Sexy isn’t the first adjective most would apply to Toronto, but at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, sex — explicit, perverse, even criminal — is everywhere.

The first big sale of the Toronto fest was Fox Searchlight buy of Steve McQueen’s Shame, which stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. The film features full-frontal nudity (male and female) and graphic depictions of erotic acts ranging from masturbation and three-way sex to oral sex and urination.

Toronto’s most-talked about pre-sale title is Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. According to the controversial Danish director, the feature, expected to star Stellan Skarsgard, will be an examination of “the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to 50.” The idea of vonTrier depicting pre-adolescent sexuality and graphic scenes of penetration must already have the censors salivating.

Even David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, while far less explicit (aside from a topless Keira Knightly) makes sex, particularly the origins of our modern, Freudian views of sexuality and sexual perversion, its main obsession.

“Shame is a brilliant movie, the best film I’ve seen in two years or more, but the sex could be a problem in the States,” said veteran buyer Markus Zimmer of Germany’s Concorde. “Of course in Europe, we’re used to rougher stuff.”

The old adage that ‘sex sells’ has never been true for the U.S. movie market. Aside from a short fling in the DeepThroat 70s, explicit cinema has usually meant domestic box office poison. Fox Searchlight picked up Bernardo Bertolucci’s NC-17 movie The Dreamers, starring Eva Green and Michael Pitt, back in 2003. It made only $2.5 million in the U.S. compared to $12.5 million internationally.

The same year, Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible, featuring a graphic anal rape of Monica Bellucci, earned less than $800,000 for Lions Gate, while making significantly more abroad.

Von Trier is taking the sexual tolerance divide into account. He’s reportedly planning two cuts of Nymphomaniac: one hardcore and graphic and one softer and more mainstream.

Some brave U.S. distributors are betting American audiences can take a bit of the rough stuff. Shame’s producers and Fox Searchlight say McQueen’s film won’t be recut for the U.S. market. And Sundance Selects plans to release, uncut, Julia

Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty, also screening in Toronto, which features a mostly nude Emily Browning as a high-end prostitute used as a fetish object by twisted clients.

But if Americans appetite for salacious sex scandals are any indication — think Anthony Weiner or Dominque StraussKahn — distributors of this new wave of erotic art house may yet find their box office happy end.

“Steve’s (McQueen) view is that this is the elephant in the room. This is really about how we live now, the spectrum of sexuality, access to pornography around the world and our obsession with it,” says Shame producer Ian Canning. “(We knew) this was going to ruffle some feathers. Our selling point is that at least we’ve not been shy.”

Jay Fernandez contributed to this report.
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:25 am

http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/frontal-nudity-uncensored-at-toronto-film-festival/20110913.htm

Frontal nudity, uncensored, at Toronto film festival
September 13, 2011 17:23 IST

A scene from ShameShame, one of the most discussed films at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it shocked many by its frontal nudity and several explicit sex scenes, is never really erotic. And it would not shock someone who has seen many well crafted European films.

The film is never exploitative. Yet how the audiences will react to it uncut across America and Canada [ Images ] is anybody's guess.

If the Indian censors cut some of its sex scenes, the film will just not make a proper impact. Watch it, uncensored, at an Indian film festival.

Fox Searchlight, which will release the film in America, has the big challenge of convincing audiences that this disturbing and provocative film is also the story of a dysfunctional family. The troubled relationship between the brother and sister, and the latter's plea for help, could make some viewers emotional.

If the younger Oscar voters take time to see it, Shame could garner a number of key nominations.

Three years ago, Shame's director Steve McQueen won the Camera D'Or at Cannes [ Images ] for Hunger. The award is given to a first time director. His newest film consolidates his position as one of the most brilliant directors to have emerged in the past decade.

Set in New York City, it centres on the sexual addictions of Bandon, a well-placed man whose secretive life is disrupted when his sister (a brilliant Carey Mulligan [ Images ] following her breakout performance in An Education) visits him.

The unannounced visit ignites many unpleasant memories and drives the brother into the infamous New York underground where his life is in danger. His behaviour becomes even more reckless and frightening.

Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds [ Images ], X-Men, First Class) who plays the addict, was awarded the best actor prize for his work in the movie at the Venice Film Festival. The new film reunites him with British director McQueen (they made Hunger two years ago). The film received excellent reviews but many viewers found it tough.

In Toronto, Fassbender, a German who was raised in Ireland, said, "Everybody is terrified and excited to work with Steve. It is sort of like letting go and getting rid of the safety net and free-falling."

'The interesting thing about Bandon is that he does have a moral compass,' Fassbender said in an interview. 'And that is hopefully something that will endear him to the audience or make the audience think, "This is somebody who is real. This isn't someone who's a million miles away. He realises he has an illness." It's not as if he's blase about it. He's trying to battle it.'

The seemingly un-addicted characters could be doing more harmful things to themselves and the world around him, than Bandon. Among them is his boss who keeps scolding Bandon for watching pornography but has no qualms having sex with Bandon's sister within an hour of meeting her, and that too in Bandon's apartment, not worrying about the loud noise disturbing his friend in the living room.

If Hunger was about an Irish extremist who has no freedom and goes for a hunger strike unto death, the producer of Shame, Lain Canning, says, that the film is an examination of a person who has all the freedom in the Western world and who creates his own body to create a prison around him.

Mulligan who met with McQueen in a coffee shop in London [ Images ] wanted to make sure at the first meeting that she got the part of Sissy, the emotional wreck of a sister. After discussing the project with her, McQueen wanted to leave, she recollects, adding, "and I had to keep stopping him and say, No, no! You haven't given me the part."

In interviews and at press conferences, Fassbender is repeatedly asked about his many nude scenes. "You know, I was as comfortable as you could be going to the places Steve wanted to go to," he said the other day. "It's my job to go to places that are uncomfortable to go to, or to push the envelope, so that an audience member can vicariously take that journey with me, and ask questions, serious questions of themselves."

McQueen has said: "Michael is a genius. I want to work with the best actor there is, and I think he is, basically."

Come January next year, I hope I will see Shame on many top 10 films of the year lists and I would love to see it grab many Golden Globe [ Images ] and Oscar nominations.
Arthur J Pais in Toronto
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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:49 am

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/tiff/interviews-and-features/down-and-dirty-sex-in-the-lineup-at-tiff-2011-makes-for-a-racy-festival/article2162678/

Down-and-dirty sex in the lineup at TIFF 2011 makes for a racy festival
johanna schneller
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Sep. 12, 2011 6:00PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011 8:43AM EDT

The woman at the screening was blond, German, in her 50s. “Stevie!” she called across the room to a friend, in an accent thick as icing on strudel. “I just saw Shame. It’s very naked! Full frontal. Michael Fassbender is so vell-eqvipped.”

Shame, directed by Steve McQueen (Hunger), is the prime example. It’s a raw, unadorned look at a man (Fassbender, who just received the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival) who is in thrall to sex, but only as long as it’s not attached to any emotion. To me, it’s the most socially relevant film at the Toronto International Film Festival because it confronts a phenomenon new to this generation – the ease of access to pornography and zipless sex through the Internet, with effects on sexuality and relationships that are only beginning to be felt and could be profound.

“Access to sexual content is everywhere and that access has an influence on us every day, whether we’re aware of it or not,” said McQueen at a press conference on Monday. Fassbender added, “Sex is being sold to you with your soda, even with your breakfast cereal.”

Shame’s many sex scenes are presented in a way that feels new. Typically, sex scenes have been delicately lit and highly choreographed – “Put your arm here, your leg there, we’ll do a close-up on this part only, and it will all be according to your contract.”

But this year’s sex scenes are different. Perhaps they’re commenting on the down-and-dirty nature of Internet sex, or maybe aping it. Either way, they’re much more “take off your clothes, turn on the lights, every movement you make and every part of your body are fair game, and, Action.”

There are myriad other films at TIFF that are also more frank about sex – both the subject of it and the shooting of it – than ever. Fernando Meirelles’s series of interconnected vignettes about people all around the world, 360, opens with a topless girl posing for an Internet site advertising prostitutes. The nudity of Gina Gershon, Juno Temple and Matthew McConaughey is used to startling effect in William Friedkin’s black comedy Killer Joe. The early scenes of W.E., co-written and directed by Madonna, toggle back and forth between two women naked in the bath. Burning Man, about a rakish widower (Matthew Goode) who seeks solace in casual sex, opens with a scene of male masturbation.

“It’s funny this has happened, because it’s not like we’ve all had a word with each other,” Goode said over coffee on Sunday morning. He’s a fast-talking, funny guy, and was bubbly despite a slight hangover. “You imagine people going, ‘Okay, we’re going to do one like that, too. Is he going to shave the derrière? No, neither are we, we’re gonna show the whole thing! Brilliant!’ ”

Goode also filled me in on a male-nudity rule I’d never heard of before. Referring to how, um, full a full-frontal penis shot can be, he said, “It can’t be anywhere above the Mull of Kintyre.” Pardon me? “Honestly, that’s a rule in England,” he replied. “The Mull of Kintyre is a little outcrop of land in the west of Scotland. If you see it on a map, it’s at an angle, and the penis cannot rise above that. I kid you not.” I immediately looked up the Mull on a map. He kids us not.

To continue with my list: In Sleeping Beauty, a naked prostitute drugs herself into unconsciousness so that her high-paying clients can manhandle her at will. As she’s flipped from front to back, side to side, on an off the bed, the camera lingers on her breasts and bum – both embodying and commenting on the feminist concept of the uninterrupted male gaze.

Whit Stillman’s urban comedy Damsels in Distress includes a scene in which a young man proposes sex “from the other side,” and his female lover complies. Afterward, there’s a shot following her from behind, as she walks with the slightest hitch in her step. And in Melancholia, Kirsten Dunst has aggressive al fresco sex on her wedding night with a man who’s not her husband, and also lolls lushly naked on the ground.

“I knew how it was going to be shot – it’s like a painting – and I felt comfortable with it,” Dunst said in an interview on Saturday. “It shows my character’s connection with the planet in such a beautiful, intimate way.” She sighed. “I know if I do nudity in a film it’s going to be online all over the place. But I did it, it looks beautiful, and it’s a Lars von Trier film, so fine. What I don’t like is the kind of nudity that’s cavalier and doesn’t make any sense. If I was in some comedy showing my boobs, I’d be pretty bummed. I don’t think actresses should show their boobs in a comedy. Boobs aren’t funny. They’re just not.”

It’s true that much of mainstream North American culture has been both square and immature about sexuality; perhaps now we’re simply catching up. In Take This Waltz, the heroine (Michelle Williams) has lots of vigorous sex with her boyfriend, then with her boyfriend and another woman, then with her boyfriend and another man.

“I wanted it to represent experimentation, her throwing out all preconceived notions, and just trying everything,” Polley said last week. She laughed. “It’s funny, when I show it to Europeans, they’re like [shrugging], ‘Eh.’ And every North American is like, ‘What’s with the threesomes?’ I find that hilarious.”

It’s also true that in most of these films, the frank sex and nudity are genuinely integral to their impact. Martha Marcy May Marlene, about a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who escapes from a cult on a Catskills farm, includes scenes of nude swimming, group sex and less-than-consensual sex. “Having the nudity in there is so important to telling our story,” Olsen said on Friday. “Because it’s not sensationalized, it feels like voyeurism. The audience feels like they’re watching something they’re not supposed to be watching. And that has this huge effect on you.”

Film-going has always been a kind of voyeurism, but these filmmakers are redrawing (and sometimes erasing) the boundaries. Whether it’s a refraction of Internet culture or merely a desire to keep up with it, the new frankness is here, daring us to look, and daring us to look away.

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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:52 am

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/09/12/shame-is-overhyped-rampart-mesmerizing/?iid=rcfooter-movies-toronto%3A+owen+on+%27shame%2C%27+%27rampart%27

Sep 12 2011 09:20 AM ET

Toronto: Michael Fassbender, as a sex addict, and Woody Harrelson, as a very bad cop, get down and dirty in the overhyped 'Shame' and the mesmerizing 'Rampart'
by Owen Gleiberman

There are a number of good reasons why Shame is one of the buzziest films of this year’s Toronto festival. It’s a tale with the hooky subject of sex addiction. It’s the second feature directed by Steve McQueen, the British art world superstar-turned-filmmaker whose first film, Hunger (2008), was a powerfully explicit and intense drama about the 1981 Bobby Sands-led Irish prison hunger strike. And it stars Michael Fassbender, the rising star from Inglourious Basterds and X-Men: First Class, who only last week took home the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival for his performance in Shame as a tormented yuppie Manhattan loner in a long winter coat and American Psycho hair who is secretly hooked on sex with strangers, sex with prostitutes, Internet porn, pleasuring himself in the shower, pleasuring himself in the bathroom at work…

The guy is never satisfied. Yet none of that randy activity begins to make him a happy camper. He’s joyless, you see; he can’t “connect.” I used the hopelessly outdated word yuppie on purpose to describe Fassbender’s quietly morose, rather desperate sex machine of a character, because there’s something else about Shame that’s a little dated: its whole lugubrious, moralistic Looking for Ms. Slutbar vibe, in which a man who craves easy, impersonal sex has to be punished for it by experiencing misery around the clock.

Of course, if Shame were a well-made lugubrious, moralistic sex-addict drama, I might be tempted to cut it a little more slack. The movie, though, is overstated yet slipshod — and, to be honest, often solemnly preposterous. I was a major fan of Hunger, but here, setting a tale of compulsive lust amid the streets and bars and sharply angled river-view apartments of New York City, McQueen seems to lose his bearings. On a typical New York subway ride, no one flirts, or even much looks at each other, but this movie has women — with wedding rings! — flashing come-hither grins at Fassbender during the morning commute. His boss and drinking buddy is a manic caricature of an inept pickup artist, whereas Fassbender’s Brandon is more than smooth; women tumble for him at a glance.

Fassbender, there’s no doubt, is a major actor, but he gives a real suffering-saint performance. There are too many moments when he’s not saying anything and you start to notice that the way he’s been photographed, he looks like a pastier Daniel Day-Lewis. Shame has more than its share of pretension, but not nearly enough of a script. The movie is full of indulgent, wordless sequences in which swooning music floods the soundtrack and we have to sit there guessing what’s going on in everyone’s head. Then again, all the guessing in the world wouldn’t explain the film’s most baffling character: Brandon’s sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), an adorable suicidal wreck who stalks him on his answering machine, breaks into his apartment, and cuddles up to him in a semi-incestuous fashion. Mulligan’s incongruously bouncy presence quickly becomes irritating, because no matter what she says or does, we can’t make sense of this character or their relationship. (Worst scene: Mulligan does a nightclub performance — in one endlessly extended, super-closeup shot — of “New York, New York,” and I’m still trying to figure out what this Annie Hall-meets-Béla Tarr number is doing in the movie.) Yet since she’s the only one who Brandon really talks to, she’s the closest thing the film has to an explanation of his problems.

Shame is the sort of movie in which Brandon finally lands a date with a woman who’s sexy and adorable and really clicks with him, and when they go out to eat, instead of creating an interesting scene, McQueen spends 10 minutes staging shockingly dumb jokes about wine lists and lamb served extra rare, as if no one in the movie — or the audience — had ever been to an upscale restaurant before. When the time finally arrives, Brandon can’t bring himself to have sex with her; he can’t deal with the “tenderness.” But since when did two people who really like each other need to have “tender” boring vanilla sex? Shame is full of the sort of nice-girl/nasty-girl dichotomies that seemed trapped in the past by the time of Sex and the City. It’s also full of half-baked notions of Our Inner Emptiness.

* * * *

rampart

Image Credit: Film Images

Oren Moverman’s Rampart is a terrific film: tense, shocking, complex, mesmerizing. We’ve all seen zillions of movies that use a hand-held camera to set a visual mood of random, zigzaggy “caught” reality. But hours after I saw Rampart, the story of a very bad L.A. patrolman, played with intricate demonic force by Woody Harrelson (imagine his wily sociopath from Natural Born Killers…but 20 years older and on the other side of the law), I still couldn’t figure out how Moverman was able to give the film such a raw, hand-held vérité look yet still create a mood that’s so… unique. It has something to do with the way he layers on close-ups, using them to make the audience feel as if it’s surrounded, and also with how he smudges the background colors, turning them into a dirty kaleidoscope, the way Scorsese did in Taxi Driver, so that we never feel we’re too far outside the mind of Harrelson’s Dave Brown, a veteran officer who’s like a coiled, super-intelligent animal let loose in the jungle.

Dave is an old-school LAPD badass, a viciously self-justifying racist who views himself as a “soldier,” and Rampart, named for the dangerous, densely populated west and northwest Los Angeles districts his division patrols, presents him as fierce kind of relic. The movie is set in 1999, when the department was still working to re-tailor its image for the post-Rodney King world, but Dave, who beats up suspects, and will kill criminal “scum” without very much hesitation, is shrewd about covering his tracks. He’s a sordid predator who prowls the city, his mind oiled by martinis that never quite get him drunk (just angry), sleeping with women who are drawn, often against their better judgment, by his hostile physical power. He’s also got a rather kinky domestic setup that feels very L.A. creepy: He married two sisters (not at the same time), played by Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon, and now the women, Dave, and their kids all live in the same adjoining houses; he won’t let them go (literally). The violence you feel watching Harrelson isn’t in his actions — it’s in the threat that comes off him like steam heat, the constant possibility of violence.

Rampart was co-written by Moverman and James Ellroy, and it just about seethes with ugly insider knowledge of what really goes on in the minds of cops. Dave is a fearless officer — in one way, a star — who has been in hot water for most of his career, going back to the scandal in which he killed a serial date-rapist (hence Dave’s nickname: Date-Rape) but got away with it because he passed off what may have been a cold-blooded execution as “street justice.” The other beat cops fear and admire him, because he acts out their aggression, and whenever he’s called before a supervisor, or a commission, or what have you, he snaps into diabolically clever bureaucratic language. As a crook, Dave would have been a big success, but as a cop, he’s a legally sanctioned sociopath.

The movie has a lot in common with Bad Lieutenant (both versions), except that that tale was studded with baroquely outsize noir elements. Moverman, the former screenwriter (I’m Not There) who made his directorial debut with the homefront Iraq drama The Messenger (2009), works in a mode that’s more hellishly close-to-the-bone gritty. He turns L.A. into a jagged inferno that starts to circle around Dave like a noose. A number of scenes in The Messenger were brilliant, but the movie as a whole grew a touch unwieldy. Now I think that Moverman emerges as a major directorial voice. He’s got more than talent — he’s got a filmmaking fever. Rampart is a thriller on fire.

Follow Owen on Twitter: @OwenGleiberma
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