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

Thursday, September 09, 2021

10 Not-at-TIFF Movies to Watch

The Academy Awards, the it-goes-without-saying finishing line of movie awards season, were only four months ago and now, today, the 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), generally viewed as the starting line for movie awards season, kicks off. It is nothing if not evocative of how time has become virtually nebulous in the last year-and-a-half, seeming to both stand still, as if awards season never began and never ended, and moved at warp speed. It is why even with some measure of progress in the battle against the Pandemic, I feel even more disillusioned with the state of the world and exhausted than I did last year. And even if TIFF is, like the recent Telluride and Venice Film Festivals, requiring proof of vaccination, suggesting a film festival as a carrot stick, reports of breakthrough COVID cases at Telluride nonetheless just go to show that everything is not Back to Normal. And that is why even if, as the artistic director, director of programming, and chief financial officer (budget: 0$) of Not-at-TIFF, our annual alternate TIFF program for those unable to make the trek to Toronto, I had hoped to curate a more festive slate than last year’s, reality intervened. This is simply our world now. Live in it. 

10 Not-at-TIFF Movies to Watch

A Time to Kill. We will kick off Not-at-TIFF with a 25th anniversary screening of the late Joel Shumacher’s gothic sweat-soaked pseudo-masterpiece. Seriously, where are all the commemorative think pieces about this one? [Taps pencil against lips.] Hmmmmmmm.

Quiz Show. Given the Jeopardy scandal, it’s time to go back to the sordid game show roots. 

Zero Dark Thirty. This screening will include my lecture about how the CIA’s involvement in filming does not negate the movie’s ultimate framing of the fabled War on Terror as a road to nowhere.

A Life Less Ordinary. A few weeks back there was tension in the Film Twitter universe when somebody asked for people’s green flag films as opposed to their red flag films which, rather than prompting people to simply cite a movie they liked yielded a social media ethics and morals debate about red flag films because, again, everything is awful. Anyway. A green flag film for me is “A Life Less Ordinary” because if you, too, theoretical person, can groove on that ostensible bomb’s vibes than undoubtedly we could have a few beers together. (A red flag film? Hmmmmm. Probably “Another Stakeout.” I mean, if you think “Another Stakeout” deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as “Stakeout”…) 

Quantum Hoops. The recent Bishop Sycamore scandal is the only latest example of America’s unique predilection for marrying academics and sports utterly backfiring. So, let’s screen this 2007 documentary of the woebegone Caltech Basketball Team’s quest to end a 21-year streak of literally never winning a game. 

Chasing Waterfalls. I have had this Hallmark movie, which is literally about chasing mythical waterfalls and not an ode to T-Boz, Chilli, and the immortal Left Eye, saved on my DVR since March. And so now Not-at-TIFF will subject you all to it. I wonder if they can send me a 35mm print?

And then on the 7th day we will just watch Rolling Stones videos to mourn the titanic loss of Charlie Watts.

The Ice Pirates. As the American West remains mired in a megadrought, inching us ever closer to a frightfully dry future, the go-to reference for fatalists will become “Mad Max: Fury Road” of course. But let us not forget that the forgotten “Ice Pirates” saw all this clear as day back in 1984. Better start searching for that mystical Seventh World now.   

Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Need to re-watch the source material for “The Green Knight” before I write my review. 

Melancholia. Someone, I forget who, my apologies, near the beginning of the Pandemic (that is not over) said something like, welp, now you find out if you’re Charlotte Gainsbourg in “Melancholia” or Kirsten Dunst. And I guess it should come as no surprise, Kiki stan as I am, that it turns out I’m Kirsten Dunst. I am totally Kirsten Dunst. The Earth is evil. We don’t need to grieve for it. 

1 comment:

OscarJewerly said...

just go to show that everything is not Back to Normal?