21 September, 2009

11 Masters Screening At TIFF

THE WHITE RIBBON (Michael Haneke)

by Sandy Mandelberger, TIFF Dailies Editor

The 34th Toronto International Film Festival presented 11 works as part of the Masters programme, which brings audiences new works from the world’s greatest filmmakers. The program is dominated by European auteurs.


Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/France/Italy
This is a groundbreaking, deeply disturbing and graphic nightmare vision about gender relations from one of the most important and influential directors of the last 30 years. The film is a break from von Trier’s previous work in terms of aesthetics, resembling a Japanese horror movie re-imagined by Andrei Tarkovsky. Antichrist features unforgettable and courageous performances by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe.

Amos Gitai, (Israel/France/Italy)
History in the Middle East is a complex mix of the present and the past. Then, there is also the personal and Gitaï is uniquely placed to reflect on his own past as a soldier and as the father of a young man caught up in the present conflicts that engulf the region.

(Goran Paskaljevic, Serbia/Albania/Italy)

Two young married couples take off and travel abroad to the promised lands of better opportunities, but hope collapses when their expectations disappear into thin air and their dreams turn into nightmares.

Hotel Atlântico
(Suzana Amaral, Brazil)
Enigmatic and perturbing, Suzana Amaral’s Hotel Atlântico takes us on a mysterious journey through Brazil’s southern landscapes. The film follows an unnamed actor as he wanders into new experiences, living life in the moment.

Melody for a Street Organ
(Kira Muratova, Ukraine)

Two young orphan siblings travel to Moscow in search of their missing father. Scared of being separated and sent to orphanages, they hope to reunite with the last link of their shattered family.

Le Refuge
(François Ozon, France)
The French master returns with this unsettling tale of a rich, beautiful young woman who finds herself pregnant after her boyfriend dies of an overdose. Retreating to a seaside home, she is joined by his brother.

(Marco Bellocchio, Italy)
This fictionalized portrait of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini concentrates on his youthful years before he rose to power in Italy. It uncovers the details of his first marriage and the child he had with a passionate woman whom he later totally disowned and abandoned.

Margarethe von Trotta, Germany

One of the major auteurs to emerge from the New German Cinema, Margarethe von Trotta returns to the Festival with Vision, a study of the remarkable Hildegard von Bingen, the Benedictine nun who emerged as a Renaissance woman before there was a Renaissance.

White Material
Claire Denis, France

A family of French expatriates living in an African country where they own a coffee plantation find that their livelihood is threatened by the outbreak of civil war. They struggle to keep their lives together in the face of rival factions fighting for power and gun-toting child soldiers who have no sympathy for their plight.

The White Ribbon
Michael Haneke, Germany/Austria/France/Italy

In Protestant Northern Germany on the eve of World War I, strange incidents begin to occur in a village community and increasingly take the form of a ritual of punishment. This latest work from Michael Haneke won the Palme d’Or for best film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The Window
Buddhadeb Dasgupta, India

When Bimal decides to give something back to his alma mater, he chooses to replace the broken window of his favourite classroom. Plans to pay for this gesture go awry and he cannot bear to tell his fiancée.

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