Day Two at TIFF

Sep 9, 2016 by Kristin Morris on The Nickelodeon Blog

Second day at TIFF with three new films. I kicked off the day with an early morning screening of Free Fire by Ben Wheatley starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Armie Hamer. It’s produced by Martin Scorsese and most definitely has his stamp of approval on it. A story of a gun deal gone bad in the 1970’s Boston. Lots of shooting with some pops of humor thrown in. Armie Hamer had a great performance even with all the gunshot wounds.

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Second film of the day was Sergey Loznitsa‘s Austerlitz. A reflexive and lyrical documentary, it was disconcerting and difficult to process. It’s a beautiful and unrelenting commentary on modern tourism in German concentration camps. Shot without any camera movement and in black and white, you’re forced to ruminate on the thoughts (or lack thereof) of tourists who visit these sites. The opening shot is powerful while you watch a group of tourists enter the gates of the camp while a young person with a “Cool Story Bro” shirt takes photos on his cell phone.

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The last film of the day was Message from the King by Fabrice Du Welz and starring Chadwick Boseman. While this story was a classic revenge tale – an older brother visits Los Angeles from South Africa to find his younger sister who is in danger – it had some surprises, but mostly an impeccable performance by Boseman. It will set him up well to star in next year’s Marvel film Black Panther.

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I also attended a party for Fox Searchlight this evening celebrating the screening of their festival films, including The Birth of a NationI hadn’t been to an industry gathering like that before and it was an unforgettable and surreal experience. I did get to see Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley and Bobby from Sons of Anarchy. Next time I come to TIFF I’ll pack a fancy dress. ;)

Day two was great. Looking forward to the weekend!

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