Toronto Dumps

Since I have to get my Toronto wish list down from 40 to 30 films (to be seen over nine days, starting on 9.9), here are some films I’m thinking of jettisoning. I’m aware of the cruel-sounding nature of this procedure, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to dump any of these — I want to see everything — but something’s got to go.

Special Presentation Dumps (6): Brighton Rock (d: Rowan Joffe); Cirkus Columbia (d: Danis Tanovic); Henry’s Crime (d: Malcolm Venville); Love Crime (d: Alain Corneau); Stone (d: John Curran); The Whistleblower (d: Larysa Kondracki).

Gala Dumps (5): Barney’s Version (d: Richard J. Lewis); Erotic Man (d: Jorgen Leth); Essential Killing (d: Jerzy Skolimowski); Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (d: Apichatpong Weerasethakul — satirical Cannes comment opportunity); The Ward (d: John Carpenter).

Real to Reel Dumps (2): Cool It (d: Ondi Timoner); Mother of Rock: Lillian Roxon (d: Paul Clarke).

Reel to Reel Addition: Thom Zimny‘s The Promise: The Making of Darkness at the Edge of Town.

25 thoughts on “Toronto Dumps

  1. Robert Cashill on said:

    If poor Alain Corneau hadn’t died today, your public rejection might have killed him. :)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/movies/31corneau.html?ref=obituaries

  2. You’re a fool to dump the Weerasethakul. But you’ve had a pretty foolish attitude about this movie from the start–I still hold it against you that you quoted that idiotic Peter Howell article approvingly without having seen the film. Apichatpong is the real deal and you are missing the boat, big time.

  3. I think you should still check out Barney’s Version, as I heard Dustin puts on an Oscar worthy supporting performance. I’d think you’d keep anything on your list deemed Oscar worthy and then cut the fat from there.

  4. I know this is a broken record around here, but I don’t understand not seeing films without distribution for the sake of seeing films that will be released in the next three to six weeks. I’d think the appeal would be twofold: one, to have a better sense of the film year than most, and two, to sing the praises of something neglected and even possibly play a role in getting it more attention. I mean The Town looks awesome, I get it.

  5. I’m hoping you are dumping Boonme because it will be at NYFF. Barney’s Version seems like it would be up your alley though. Everything else I can agree with. The Promise is going to be available everywhere in November and Essential Killing doesn’t sound or look that great, maybe if it gets phenomenal reviews in Venice. Cool It seems like minor Timoner if there is such a thing.

  6. I know John Curran’s directing, but Stone gives me the same vibe as Righteous Kill. Just looks like DeNiro & Norton having fun in a trashily generic genre pic.Besides, Barney’s Version has Rachelle LeFevre from the first two Twilight pics. It’ll increase your hits.

  7. What, no BRIGHTON ROCK? I for one can’t say no to Graham Greene. And I agree, Weerasethakul is a must see for any serious film lover.

    I don’t know if DLB is overrated, but his script for MILK was probably the most pedestrian thing about the film.

  8. A new Carpenter movie REEEEALLY doesn’t seem like something Jeff would enjoy or need to see ASAP, but personally that would be one of the big highlights for me… It’s been nine (ten?) whole years since the last Carpenter theatrical film, and what can I say, I always, always cling to the hope that he’ll get back even an iota of that old magic that pretty much defined movies for me as a kid and teen… That 76-88 run for me, like a lot of guys my age, was practically as legendary and singular of purpose as any auteur could ever muster– the cynicism, the black-and-blue cinematography, the creepy synth music, the CREDIT FONT, the anti-heroes, the tough chicks, the use of widescreen…

    But ever since then, it’s been bad whammy-bar blues guitar and clunky flat lighting and cable-TV production values and years and YEARS between projects as Carpenter gladly sold off remake rights and laughed all the way to the bank… At this point he seems unlikelier than even Landis, Bogdanovich, or Hill to ever fully return to old form (or even care about doing so), but in some weird way that brazen, cynical laziness is even part of his classically antiauthoritarian charm. I’d all but put money down that THE WARD will turn out clunky and generic and framed with haphazard “good enough” indifference there damn sure won’t be any Tom Atkins or Charles Cyphers…. But there’ll never be a day where I don’t get giddy as a school kid at the prospect of a new Carpenter movie. Even if it’s the worst thing ever, I’m just glad he’ll have a new movie.

    Hopefully he’ll leave that godawful Satriani guitar sound at home though.

  9. Yeah, I’m with you on Carpenter. His last theatrical project was Ghosts of Mars, which was beyond awful, even by his own shoddy standards. I swore the villains in that flick were wearing masks from Spencer’s, and not even the really expensive ones way up high behind the counter.

    But, by and large, really good memories of all things JC-related. Still remember seeing Vampires with a group of dorm mates my freshman year of college. Certainly not in his cannon of absolute classics, but between James Woods absolute powerhouse badassery (how this guy did not get more leads in goofy B-movies is totally beyond me), Daniel Baldwin’s hilariously lazy (was it “method?”) sidekick performance, and Sheryl Lee POWER (never looked hotter), we might as well have been watching Night of the Living Dead in downtown Pittsburgh 30 years earlier.

    But yeah — sadly his days of reaching over those “heights” are probably long gone. That Cigarette Burns he did for Masters of Horror was pretty good, although I didn’t see his other McWeeny collaboration (about abortion, I think) in that series.

  10. ‘They Live’ was the last great Carpenter flick, and ‘In The Mouth of Madness’ the last good one. Fingers crossed for ‘The Ward’. I think Jeff should see this one for us, if it’s terrible i’m sure he will all entertain us with his write-up.

  11. Kudos to LexG’s astute analysis of the appeal of Carpenter’s films, on target down to the cool font that JC used for most of his movies and which I’d potentially use for one of mine if I ever had the get-up-and-go to make one rather than just thinking about it. I love IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS but have always taken Sam Neill’s despairing laugh at the end of that movie (before the cynical music kicks in) to be JC’s waving goodbye to all that motivated him to make good work prior. I have sometimes wondered how much Dean Cundey was responsible for the quality of those earlier JC movies, as things took a sharp dive once he left. That said, I still think if Russell/Carpenter/Hill hadn’t pocketed more than a third of the meagre ESCAPE FROM LA budget between the three of them, the final movie might have been half okay, instead of the clunky, poorly dressed monster it sadly is.

    Re nepotism I recall noting with zero surprise a local newspaper article showing the beaming duo of Oz author Thomas Keneally and his daughter as the latter smirked at being one of the dozen or more lucky applicants to the prestige government funded film school In Sydney, whilst the article noted that proud dad would be contributing scriptwriting advice in an official capacity to the students later that year.

  12. ‘They Live’ was the last great Carpenter flick, and ‘In The Mouth of Madness’ the last good one. Fingers crossed for ‘The Ward’. I think Jeff should see this one for us, if it’s terrible i’m sure he will all entertain us with his write-up.

  13. I wouldn’t skip Brighton Rock. The footage I saw at movie-Con was the best of the weekend. Excellent atmosphere cinematography, score and performances especially from Sam Riley.

  14. Couldn’t agree more with Bradzp1 on Brighton Rock. Would definitely suggest reprioritising that one, Jeff.

    The setting’s been smartly updated to the Brighton of the ’60s, so the Mods & Rockers conflicts of the time really add to the tension.

  15. While I’m about it – kudos to LexG for his Carpenter comment. Although for me, his purple patch stretched back to ’74 and Dark Star.

    However, what has always bugged me is the auteur bullshit “John Carpenter’s…” line he insists in slapping in front of every film’s title.

  16. @Thorne re: Carpenter & Cundey-

    I was watching Escape from New York and Halloween not too long ago, and finally figured out what IT IS about Carpenter’s early stuff… he is great at framing shots. This is one of the reasons Vampires is still enjoyable, despite its bizarre near-amateurisms.

    Don’t know what went on during Ghosts of Mars, but for whatever reason, it’s not quite there.

  17. I think Carpenter and Cundey just had a great simpatico relationship. Halloween II was shot by Cundey, buts its compositions weren’t nearly as masterful as those in the original.

  18. A new Carpenter movie REEEEALLY doesn’t seem like something Jeff would enjoy or need to see ASAP, but personally that would be one of the big highlights for me… It’s been nine (ten?) whole years since the last Carpenter theatrical film, and what can I say, I always, always cling to the hope that he’ll get back even an iota of that old magic that pretty much defined movies for me as a kid and teen… That 76-88 run for me, like a lot of guys my age, was practically as legendary and singular of purpose as any auteur could ever muster– the cynicism, the black-and-blue cinematography, the creepy synth music, the CREDIT FONT, the anti-heroes, the tough chicks, the use of widescreen… diziizle

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