Friday, August 28, 2015

Schedules and Ticket Info for Italian Films at Toronto International Film Festival

The 40th Toronto International Film Festival will take place September 10-20, 2015. There are seven Italian films that will be shown this year. Below are the show times and links to buy tickets for six of them. We are still waiting for specific info on obtaining tickets for Federica Foglia's "Exit/Entrance", which will be screened in the Short Cuts Program. For now, you can purchase a general festival ticket at the link provided next to the film. Those will go on sale September 6th. You can also follow the film on Twitter.

Marco Bellocchio "Blood of my blood"
September 15 - 7:00 PM
September 17 - 9:00 AM
September 19 - 9:00 PM
Blood Of My Blood is one of strangest and most haunting films in Marco Bellocchio's long and illustrious career. It is, ultimately, unclassifiable, and that is part of what makes it fascinating. It has elements of a vampire film and is set between two very different time periods. Much of it has to do with the Inquisition. It is dark, troubling, enigmatic; a kind of nightmare of interlocking narratives. It also shows that Bellocchio has lost none of his power to surprise, a quality evident in his brilliant Fists in the Pocket, still one of the most impressive first features in the history of cinema. The film opens with some startling imagery. A bearded man arrives at a monastery to find a nun hanging from the ceiling from her feet. Federico Mai (Filippo Timi) has come on a mission: his brother committed suicide and cannot be buried in consecrated ground unless his lover, Sister Benedetta (Alba Rohrwacher), confesses to their sin, thereby saving the dead man's soul. Benedetta is subjected to trials by water and fire and questioning by the apostolic hierarchy, whilst Federico watches — and hopes. Yet his vigil takes a strange turn. Ruptures in time project us into the present day, in which a Russian wants to buy the monastery where Benedetta's torture occurred. Living in the monastery is a strange assortment of people, among them a Count and a woman whose husband has disappeared. But this is just the beginning of the mystery. Blood Of My Blood demands careful attention, for Bellocchio has detailed a labyrinthine story of conspiracy, betrayal, and corruption where the ground under your feet shifts constantly. With this brave and elusive narrative, the director captures the sense that corruption and duplicity are timeless, and that little has changed over the centuries.
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Piero Messina "The Wait"
September 13 - 3:15 PM
September 15 - 10:30 AM
September 20 - 12:30 PM
Dazzingly shot, wonderfully conceived and executed, The Wait heralds the arrival of a talented new voice. Former assistant director to Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), Piero Messina shows that he has learned much from working with one of the world's finest contemporary filmmakers. With Sicily as his backdrop, Messina navigates a range of emotions in telling the strange, compelling story of an encounter between two women from two different generations. The Wait begins with the camera sinuously caressing a carving of Christ on the cross, a prefiguring of the tale to follow, a tale of grieving, concealment, and connection. As a house descends into mourning, mirrors draped in black crepe, a young French woman arrives from the mainland by ferry, blissfully unaware of the events that are about to take over her life. Jeanne (Lou de Laâge) is the girlfriend of the son of the family matriarch, Anna (Juliette Binoche), who has never met Jeanne and is surprised by her visit. Anna's son, Giuseppe, is not there; Jeanne calls his cellphone and leaves numerous messages. As Anna and Jeanne await Giuseppe's arrival, they slowly begin to form a friendship. Jeanne, confused and a little mystified at first, gradually gives in to the charms of the island. She swims in the sea and makes friends, while Anna, watched over by a long-time family friend, grows closer to this unexpected guest. Messina's film is, true to its title, all about the wait. But it's also a film about watching and listening. Its mood is contemplative, tentative, made up of discreet scenes of quiet power that gradually coil with the expectation of release. With its carefully measured approach, The Wait will bring to mind some of the most impactful and influential first features of Italian cinema.
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Paolo Sorrentino "Youth"
September 12 - 5:45 PM
September 13 - 10:30 AM
September 18 - 3:00 PM
Two old friends (Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) reflect on their past, present, and the beauty and absurdity of the world during a vacation in the Swiss Alps, in the lovely and heart-warming new film from Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty).
Youth is a superb follow-up to Paolo Sorrentino's glorious The Great Beauty, which played the Festival in 2013 before going on to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Sorrentino sets his new film against the perfect summery backdrop of the Swiss Alps, in a spa to which several disparate characters have travelled for very different reasons. Forming the spine of Youth is a beautifully expressed relationship between two old friends, both artists, whose life experiences are fodder for reflections on time and aging. Fred (Michael Caine), a retired composer and conductor, has been coming to the resort for decades. Sitting on the immaculate grounds in a comfortable chair, reading his newspaper, he has the air of an Englishman at peace with himself. On the other hand, his bosom buddy Mick (Harvey Keitel), an American filmmaker, is at the spa to finish his new screenplay along with a group of brash young collaborators who banter ideas and dialogue back and forth ceaselessly. The two friends are also in-laws, as Fred's daughter (Rachel Weisz, also appearing at the Festival in The Lobster) is married to Mick's son. As the days pass, they reflect with humour and wisdom on both past and present, on the ways and wiles of the world. Adding colour is a motley collection of eccentrics: actors, models, footballers, and masseuses, whose antics populate the film like musical diversions. Sorrentino has always honoured absurdity, along with a wry sense of the incongruities of modern life. But if Il Divo and The Great Beauty employed excess in order to convey a bewilderment with the world, Youth exists on a different plane, where the depth of ties between families and friends signifies a tender understanding. The anger of Sorrentino's earlier work is replaced with a beautiful note of acceptance, and his assured hand as director bolsters exceptional performances by the stellar cast. The alpine landscape, meanwhile, acts as a silent foil to the dalliances of the mortals who play in its shadows.
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Nanni Moretti "My Mother"
September 13 -  9:45 PM
September 14 -  9:00 AM

Aging and parental death have been at the heart of many recent films but, not surprisingly, the latest work from Nanni Moretti takes a distinctly different approach. If most films dealing with aging and death are sombre and melancholic, My Mother adds large doses of glorious, anarchic comedy. In fact, the film oscillates between extremes, making metaphysical points along the way about how mourning and joy can be inextricably intertwined. The film's story has a clear autobiographical bent: a filmmaker juggles production on a new film with trips to the hospital bedside of a dying mother. But director/​​actor Moretti gives the filmmaker role not to himself, as one might expect, but to the charismatic Margherita Buy. He steps into a secondary role as the brother/​​son who does much of the caregiving while his sister runs between film set and hospital, trying frantically to be both a consummate professional and a dutiful daughter. What also elevates this film into a gentle kind of feminist manifesto is not just Buy's character, but also that of the mother (Giulia Lazzarini), a retired teacher of classical literature. These strong women form the centre of My Mother. Moretti displaces himself further by giving the major male part to John Turturro, who plays the brash, outsized American star of the film-within-a-film with great comic flourish. My Mother finds Moretti at the height of his powers. A comedy-drama inflected with a quiet sense of grief, it's a work that revels in human imperfections — in people who simply can't stop being who they are: selfish and spoilt, yet still very endearing. Moretti celebrates both the best and worst in all of us.
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Pietro Marcello "Lost and Beautiful "
September 15 - 9:45 PM
September 17 - 7:00 PM
Pietro Marcello gained international prominence with his taboo-breaking documentary hybrid La bocca del lupo. His latest film weaves together stirring documentary and archival footage, art-historical references and beguiling fiction as it draws from the true story of a humble shepherd who became a symbol of hope and generosity for a struggling and conflicted country. Popularly known as "the Angel of Carditello," Tommaso Cestrone had volunteered to serve as caretaker of the abandoned Bourbon palace of Carditello in Campania, deep in the heart of the "Land of Fires." Subjected to threats and intimidation from the mafia and frustrating inaction from the Italian government, Tommaso succumbed to a heart attack during the making of Marcello's film, causing a fissure in the footage from which emerges a fable haunted by memory.
Its title referring to the rousing libretto from Verdi's Nabucco ("O my country, so lovely and so lost"), Bella e perduta summons Pulcinella — a mythic Campanian character who often appears in commedia dell'arte — from the bowels of Vesuvius in order to grant Tommaso's last wish: to rescue a young buffalo called Sarchiapone from the former royal palace. As Pulcinella and Sarchiapone embark upon a journey through an Italy atrophying under austerity and mass corruption, the sad-eyed beast — now granted the power of speech — relates his story and that of the castle he guards, which is itself a microcosm of this lost and beautiful land.
Shot on expired 16mm film, Bella e perduta looks and feels like it comes from another era, evoking the fusion of neorealism and fantasy in mid-period Pasolini. In the midst of general despair, Marcello's film argues for meaningful gestures, which can renew our faith in humankind despite the grim realities of the present and the uncertainties of the future.
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Roberto Minervini  "The Other Side"
Sep 10 - 9:15 PM
Sep 12 - 9:00 AM
Sep 20 - 12:30 PM

Roberto Minervini is quickly carving out a considerable reputation with his hybrid form of filmmaking: people essentially play themselves, creating the look and feel of documentary, while the director clearly intervenes to create situations rather than observe them. His work is among the most interesting to emerge from the US in recent years, which may be surprising considering he is an Italian who has decided to poke his camera into the margins of American society. On the heels of his superb trilogy of Texas-based films (The Passage, Low Tide, Stop the Pounding Heart), Minervini moves his focus to Louisiana, where we come face-to-face with a group of people who seem to have stepped out of Deliverance. Faces carry the lines and scars of hard living, clothes are tattered, living conditions are chaotic. Some of his subjects are drug addicts; others are libertarian fanatics who hate the federal government. Yet Minervini finds a compassion and tenderness behind their gruff exteriors. Much of the film focuses on a small-time drug dealer and the girlfriend he lives with (and shoots up with). But, as The Other Side gradually shifts its attention to a group of local militia who are convinced that the feds are on the verge of declaring martial law and taking away their freedom, we are shown a more disturbing image of contemporary America. Sometimes it takes the eye of an outsider to provide a new perspective. Minervini is one such outsider. We feel he is at home with his subjects, as he peers into corners that many Americans choose to ignore.
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Federica Foglia "Exit/Entrance or Trasumanar"
September 14 - 6:45PM
(Tiff bell light box - CINEMA 3)
September 19 - 3:45PM
(ScotiaBank Cinema 11)

The film, which tells the story of an immigrant artist who wanders the streets of the town he lives in, is an ode to our current era of constant migration, touching on nostalgia and the desire to belong.
-All festival tickets will go on sale September 6 at
"Exit/Entrance" will be shown in the Short Cuts Program
Information page

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