' Cinema Romantico: 10 Not-at-TIFF Movies to See

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

10 Not-at-TIFF Movies to See

Ah, another Toronto International Film Festival has arrived. You know, the movie Eden where any film dreaming of reaping that all-important cultural cachet this awards season will be screening, each one yielding a torrent of 140 character Twitter reviews, and those 140 character Twitter reviews yielding all manner of instant Oscar buzz, and that instant Oscar buzz yielding instant denouncements of the instant Oscar buzz as an unfortunate byproduct of our everything now culture, and so the circle will go, onto into forever, looping back around to meet at that point where I get a headache. I mean, it’s not like I’ll be there, after all, and so I won’t really have any frame of reference for any of this, and neither will most of you, faithful frustrated readers. And so what good are those 10 Movies to See at TIFF lists to us anyway?

So let’s curate our own film festival instead, what do you say? Forget the myriad 10 Films to See at TIFF lists, which are no good to us since we are not there, and indulge in this list of 10 Films Not At TIFF to See

10 Not-at-TIFF Movies to See


Wimbledon. TIFF opens with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s “Battle of the Sexes”, chronicling the 1973 tennis match in which Billie Jean King stomped Bobby Riggs, which, as a tennis fan, I am sorta curious to see. But we will have to make due with “Wimbledon” (2004) instead, with a familiar plot and a wheezy evil father that still gets by via Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany’s B+ banter, less King v Riggs than, say, Martina Hingis playing mixed doubles with John McEnroe.


Telephone Video. While we just spent some time semi-lampooning film festivals, we would be remiss if we failed to state for the record how sad we are to miss the premiere of Lady Gaga’s documentary “Five Foot Two”, even if it will be re-premiere a couple weeks later (September 22) on Netflix. So we will find solace on Day 2 by re-familarizing ourselves with the unimpeachable glory of Stefani’s soda can curler wig.


A Fond Kiss. Ken Loach’s more socially, religiously conscious spin on Romeo & Juliet bore obvious similarities to this year’s “The Big Sick.” I don’t necessarily like one more than the other but I really liked “A Fond Kiss”, and I dare say it is likely less seen stateside so, hey, let’s put it in the program for Not-at-Tiff ’17.


10 Things I Hate About You. Haven’t you heard, dude? The nineties are back. The Julia Stiles Resurgence begins here.


Stay Cool. No doubt, faithful frustrated Cinema Romantico readers, you have heard about the just announced project starring Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves as two malcontents at a wedding who, as they no doubt must, fall in love. But, faithful frustrated readers, did you know about “Stay Cool”, pre-Winona comeback, in which Ms. Ryder portrays the object of affection of an author returning to his hometown? I thought you didn’t. So let’s watch and all regret it together.


Sunshine. The recent Total Solar Eclipse got us in the mood for Danny Boyle’s almost-but-mostly-anyway mega-brilliant 2007 sci-fi film in which a future mission to save mankind by re-starting a faltering sun requisitely goes awry. It is more contemplative, even spiritual, than that sounds, like the scene when the whole crew sits down to watch Mercury orbit around the solar system’s most vaunted star, which, because I pitifully bring everything down to movies, is what I thought of as Earth was gripped by Eclipse fever.


Mr. Jealousy. “Mr. Jealousy”, which is sort of to Noah Baumbach what, say, “The Killing” was to Stanley Kubrick, an early film not as often discussed in terms of his overall oeuvre, was screened twenty years ago at TIFF 1997 and is due not so much for a re-examination as a simple re-visitation.


Broken Noses. That faux-athletic abomination of a money grab from a few weeks ago having finally receded into the garbage vapors where it belonged from the get-go, let’s re-visit pugilism from something of a slightly purer angle with this 1987 Bruce Weber documentary set at the Mount Scott Boxing Club in Oregon.


Amber Waves. No, not a fake Lifetime biopic about the Julianne Moore character in “Boogie Nights”, which is naturally what I thought too, but an extremely early made-for-TV entry in the Kurt Russell canon where, per IMDb, “Two seemingly disparate men experience powerful life lessons when a wheat harvester gives a hitch-hiking male model a ride on what feels to be the worst day of their lives” which is a synopsis that pushes past Must See to Can’t Miss.


Adventures in Babysitting. If no one else is celebrating the 30th anniversary of this Chris Columbus adaptation of the famed forgotten Homer epic poem then, dammit, we sure will.

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