Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Toronto International Film Festival announces 2015 Masters and Classics programmes

Including Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Wim Wenders, Jafar Panahi, Philippe Garrel, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Hong Sang-soo, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Patricio Guzmán

The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced the selections for the 2015 Masters programme. This year’s lineup features the latest bold, exciting and moving works from masters of contemporary cinema, including Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Wim Wenders, Jafar Panahi, Philippe Garrel, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Hong Sang-soo, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Patricio Guzmán.

Films screening as part of the Masters programme include:

11 Minutes (11 Minut) Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/Ireland (North American Premiere)
A jealous husband out of control, his sexy actress wife, a sleazy Hollywood director, a reckless drug messenger, a disoriented young woman, an ex-con hot dog vendor, a troubled student on a mysterious mission, a high-rise window cleaner on an illicit break, an elderly sketch artist, a hectic paramedics team and a group of hungry nuns: a cross-section of contemporary urbanites whose lives and loves intertwine. They live in an unsure world where anything could happen at any time. An unexpected chain of events can seal many fates in a mere 11 minutes.

The Assassin (Nie Yinniang) Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan (North American Premiere)
Ninth century China. A general’s ten-year-old daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who transforms her into an exceptional assassin. Years later, she is sent back to the land of her birth with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised. Nie Yinniang must now choose between the man she loves and the sacred way of the righteous assassins.

Bleak Street (La calle de la amargura) Arturo Ripstein, Mexico/Spain (North American Premiere)
Mexican maestro Arturo Ripstein (Deep Crimson) directs this true-crime story about the bizarre 2009 murders of midget-wrestling brothers Alberto and Alejandro Jiménez. Starring Patricia Reyes Spíndola, Nora Velázquez and Sylvia Pasquel.

Blood Of My Blood (Sangue Del Mil Sangue) Marco Bellocchio, Italy (International Premiere)
Italian master Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket, Vincere) returns with this haunting, enigmatic tale that takes us from the 17th century to the present day as it traces the dark history of a cursed monastery.

Cemetery of Splendour (Rak Ti Khon Kaen) Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/United Kingdom/France/Germany/Malaysia (North American Premiere)
A young medium and a middle-aged hospital volunteer investigate a case of mass sleeping sickness that may have supernatural roots in the gorgeous, mysterious, and gently humourous new film from Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives).

Every Thing Will Be Fine Wim Wenders, Germany/Canada/France/Sweden/Norway (North American Premiere)
A winter evening. A car on a country road. It’s snowing, visibility is poor. Out of nowhere, a sled comes sliding down a hill. The car comes to a grinding halt. The driver is Tomas, a writer. He cannot be blamed for the tragic accident. It's also not young Christopher’s fault, who should have taken better care of his brother. Tomas falls into a depression. The film follows Tomas and his efforts to give meaning to his life again. Starring James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Rachel McAdams.

Francofonia Alexander Sokurov, Germany/France/Netherlands (North American Premiere)
Master filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark) transforms a portrait of the Louvre museum into a magisterial, centuries-spanning reflection on the relation between art, culture and power.

In the Shadow of Women Philippe Garrel, France (North American Premiere)
A Parisian documentary filmmaker becomes embroiled in a romantic triangle in this luminous love story from the great director Philippe Garrel (Frontier of Dawn, Regular Lovers).

Jafar Panahi's Taxi Jafar Panahi, Iran (Canadian Premiere)
Internationally acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (This is Not a Film) drives a yellow cab through the vibrant streets of Tehran, picking up a diverse (and yet representative) group of passengers in a single day. Each man, woman, and child candidly expresses his or her own view of the world, while being interviewed by the curious and gracious driver/director. His camera, placed on the dashboard of his mobile film studio, captures a spirited slice of Iranian society while also brilliantly redefining the borders of comedy, drama and cinema.

Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary) Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan (North American Premiere)
Three sisters — Sachi, Yoshino and Chika — live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father — absent from the family home for the last 15 years — dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings. Starring Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho and Suzu Hirose.

The Pearl Button (El Botón de Nácar) Patricio Guzmán, Chile/France/Spain (North American Premiere)
The great Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile, Nostalgia for the Light) chronicles the history of the indigenous peoples of Chilean Patagonia, whose decimation by colonial conquest prefigured the brutality of the Pinochet regime.

Rabin, The Last Day Amos Gitaï, Israel/France (North American Premiere)
Lauded director Amos Gitaï (Kippur) delves into the prelude and aftermath of the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in this gripping docudrama.

Right Now, Wrong Then Hong Sang-soo, South Korea (North American Premiere)
The delightful new film from Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo (In Another Country) presents two variations on a potentially fateful romantic encounter between a filmmaker and a painter, tracing each to its own very distinct outcome.


The Toronto International Film Festival® announces the lineup for its TIFF Cinematheque programme, featuring both 35mm prints as well as new digital restorations of classic films from around the world including Marcel Ophüls’ The Memory of Justice, Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers and Kelly Reichardt’s River of Grass.

“We believe that cinema has a rich heritage that must be protected, celebrated and preserved for current and future generations. This year’s TIFF Cinematheque lineup highlights our commitment to both preservation and restoration,” said TIFF programmer Brad Deane. “We’re thrilled to present some of the best new digital restorations along with some beautiful new 35mm prints, embracing both the future of the medium as well as the past.”

A new digital restoration of Julian Roffman’s The Mask (Eyes of Hell), the first feature-length Canadian horror film and first 3-D film made in Canada, makes its world premiere at the Festival. The digital restoration of The Mask (Eyes of Hell) was commissioned by TIFF using elements from the best remaining 35mm prints. One of Canadian cinema’s long buried treasures, The Mask (Eyes of Hell) creates an atmosphere of pervasive dread with its use of inventive visuals and prominent Toronto landmarks.

Other works include Harlan County, USA — the debut documentaries from Barbara Kopple which also screened at the very first Toronto International Film Festival in 1976 — and Frederick Wiseman’s searing Titicut Follies, which returns to the big screen with a newly restored 35mm print. Both Wiseman and Kopple have their latest films in the 2015 TIFF Docs programme.

Also screening is another TIFF-commissioned 35mm print of Jacques Rozier’s Adieu Philippine, an oft-overlooked French New Wave gem; and a digital restoration of The Round-Up (Szegénylegények), a landmark of post-war cinema from Hungarian master Miklós Jancsó.

The lineup features selections by the TIFF Cinematheque programming team led by Brad Deane, Senior Manager of Film Programmes, and including James Quandt, Thom Powers and Jesse Wente. TIFF Cinematheque is now in its 25th year.

As part of TIFF's ongoing commitment to accessible film education, tickets to all TIFF Cinematheque screenings during the Festival are free and will be distributed at the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office at TIFF Bell Lightbox on a first-come, first-served basis two hours before each film screening.

Films screening as part of the TIFF Cinematheque programme include:

Adieu Philippine Jacques Rozier, France/Italy
Set under the looming shadow of the Algerian war, Adieu Philippine follows a young television cameraman who meets and attempts to seduce two beautiful, inseparable young women. The trio’s frolicking fun takes them from the streets of Paris to a Corsican holiday tinged with melancholy.

Harlan County, USA Barbara Kopple, USA
Harlan County, USA chronicles a fiercely contested labour battle in Kentucky during the early 1970s. The strike began when the miners working for the Eastover Mining Co. joined the UMW, and its corporate parent, Duke Power, refused to sign the standard union contract. By living with the 180-odd families involved in the strike, Kopple shows the backbreaking burdens of the miners’ life in the best of times and the looming fear of destitution in the worst. While the film is unabashedly partisan, it’s worth remembering that the company’s refusal to sign a contract was condemned by the National Labor Relations Board and that the corporation agreed to sign only under heavy pressure from federal mediators.

The Mask (Eyes of Hell) Julian Roffman, Canada
Newly restored by TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive, director Julian Roffman’s deliciously creepy tale about a haunted tribal mask was the first feature-length horror movie and first feature-length 3-D film produced in Canada.
Using elements from the best remaining 35mm prints, TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive have digitally restored the film’s original cut in both anaglyph and polarized 2K 3D. The Mask was restored with the support of TIFF's donors and members, who contributed to a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign to launch the project.

The Memory of Justice Marcel Ophüls, United Kingdom/USA/Germany
This epic documentary by Marcel Ophüls (The Sorrow and the Pity) meditates on Western society's concepts of justice through comparisons of war crimes in Vietnam, Algeria, and Nazi Germany.
Restoration by the Academy Film Archive in association with Paramount Pictures and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by The Material World Charitable Foundation, Righteous Persons Foundation, and The Film Foundation.

River of Grass Kelly Reichardt, USA
Shot on 16mm, the story follows the misadventures of disaffected housewife Cozy, played by Lisa Bowman, and the aimless layabout Lee, played by indie legend Larry Fessenden, who also acted as a producer and the film's editor. Described by Reichardt as “a road movie without the road, a love story without the love, and a crime story without the crime,” River of Grass introduces viewers to a director already in command of her craft and defining her signature themes.
Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with Oscilloscope Laboratories and Sundance Institute. Preservation Funding provided by Oscilloscope Laboratories, Sundance Institute, TIFF, and a number of very generous Kickstarter backers.

Rocco and His Brothers (Rocco e i Suoi Fratelli) Luchino Visconti, Italy
Luchino Visconti's magisterial family saga — about an impoverished Sicilian clan who arrive in Milan in search of a better life — returns in this glorious new restoration, featuring two previously censored scenes.
Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with Titanus, TF1 Droits Audiovisuels and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by Gucci and The Film Foundation.

The Round-Up (Szegénylegények) Miklós Jancsó, Hungary
The first of Hungarian master Miklós Jancsó's historical epics is set in an isolated concentration camp in the 1860s, where imperial authorities use brutal methods to discover the nationalist rebels hiding within the ragtag group of prisoners.
A presentation of the Hungarian National Film Fund and the Hungarian National Digital Film Archive and Film Institute (MaNDA). Restoration 2K image and sound by the Hungarian Filmlab from 35mm negative.

Titicut Follies Frederick Wiseman, USA
Titicut Follies is a stark and graphic portrayal of the conditions that existed at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The film documents the various ways the inmates are treated by the guards, social workers and psychiatrists. Preserved by Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center.

The 40th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 to 20, 2015.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the Gupta Box Office at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 26 while quantities last.

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About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world, through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

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