There are arguably five great film festivals in the world: New York, Sundance, Cannes, Venice and Toronto. (Yes, you could argue Berlin is in that mix as well, but how many noteworthy premieres do they really get?) Out of that group, no festival has as many artistic highs and lows as Toronto. It's partly because of their huge program, partly because it's a pseudo fall film market and, well, they sort of like to have lots of famous people walk their red carpets (tough love, TIFF, tough love).
The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first 71 selections for the 2013 edition of the annual awards-season kick-off this morning and there is plenty to choose from and send any festival-goer's schedule into a tizzy. New films from Bill Condon ("The Fifth Estate"), Ron Howard ("Rush"), Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and Jason Reitman ("Labor Day") will be at the top of most people's lists, while others from the likes of David Gordon Green ("Joe"), Atom Egoyan ("Devil's Knot") and Ralph Fiennes ("The Invisible Woman") sit primed to be potential discoveries. I'm not sure a program could be much more stuffed than this, but I look forward to taste-testing whatever early gets we see at the Telluride fest a week before Toronto takes off.
I've already expressed how over the moon I am for Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" and particularly Cate Blanchett's performance therein. I spoke with Blanchett this morning and specifically asked if it was an actor's dream to work for Allen. More like greatest fear, she noted, as the bar has been set so high.
'The Fifth Estate,' '12 Years a Slave,' 'August: Osage County' and more set for 2013 Toronto Film Festival
It was revealed today that Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks found Julian Assange, will be the opening night film of this year's Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off on Sept. 5. The closing night film will be Daniel Schecter's "Life of Crime" with John Hawkes, Mos Def and Jennifer Aniston.
So in 1991 talent manager Shep Gordon supposedly held Mike Myers over a barrel for a few weeks before filming on "Wayne's World" began regarding an Alice Cooper song that Myers wanted to use in the film. I assume that was "Feed My Frankenstein?" I dunno. Regardless, the two struck up a friendship that's still strong 22 years later, so much so that Myers will be making his directorial debut with a documentary of the legend.
In a little over a month the fall festival season, and with it, the awards circuit, will officially be under way in the mountains of Colorado with the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival. It's the calm before the storm, a soothing handful of days over the Labor Day weekend to watch a few movies set to dominate the latter-year calendar, do a bit of Berlin and Cannes catch-up and even soak up some of the non-awards stuff that really helps round out the experience as a deep breath of fresh cinephile air. I can't wait.
So Comic-Con is over but the little ripple repercussions will keep spreading this week, I imagine. One nugget that dropped over the weekend that immediately caught my eye this morning was the fact that "Fight Club" author Chuck Palahniuk is working on a graphic novel sequel to the book that spawned David Fincher's 1999 consumerism-lynching film.
First reported in the LA Times this morning and confirmed at Warner Bros. Pictures' Comic-Con panel shortly thereafter, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight are finally going to share the big screen together in 2015.
"Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder, (executive) producer Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer are reuniting on the sequel to this summer's Superman reboot, which will introduce the Caped Crusader to the newly established DC Universe on film. And all I can really say is…it's about time.
Well, this whole silly, overblown, maybe-about-something-else mess has finally seen a solution…and everyone's going to just keep calling it "The Butler" anyway.
It's been revealed today that the MPAA has overturned its original ruling in the case of Lee Daniels' upcoming film "The Butler," which stated that The Weinstein Company had to change the title due to a nearly 100-year-old short film of the same name in the Warner Bros. archives. It is now accepting, however, something of a compromise, as the title can now be "Lee Daniels' The Butler," if TWC so chooses -- and I imagine they will.
I kinda feel compelled to post this because, look, I'm not in the tank for "Pacific Rim" or anything, but I'm SUPER happy for a guy like Travis Beacham, a former film school classmate, making it so big that he's signing autographs for adoring fans at Comic-Con and soaking it up and just, well, I guess I'm living vicariously. Sue me.