As of writing this, TIFF is just about two weeks away, and the anticipation is high.
Arianne and I will be covering the festival for The UnderSCENE as press, and we are ready to tackle this festival properly this year.
We’ve both tweeted out our schedules for the festival, even though that will change daily, so if you want to stay up to date with what we’re watching, you can always follow us on Twitter.
While there are many films I’m planning and hoping to watch, it’s doubtful I’ll cover them all in depth. As usual, I’ll try to do our round-ups so at least the films I want to talk about and love will get a paragraph or two at least.
But a handful stands out of all the films playing and is on my “can not miss” list. So before the festival starts, let’s start with those.
As always, in alphabetical order.
Directed by J.D Dillard
I mean, Jonathan Majors should be all I need to write. Majors plays Jesse Brown, an incredibly talented Black pilot. No matter how great he is, the world is always against him. Even at the top of his field, racist assholes try to take him down, but he doesn’t want to let them win. He finds a way of balancing facing internal struggles while being outgoing and charismatic, which makes his playing this role complete sense. Playing and made for the giant IMAX screen, Devotion looks like a big blockbuster film filled with more emotional beats. Spectacle and substance, what more can we ask for?
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Directed by Rian Johnson
I remember when Looper opened the festival a decade ago. I waited across the street at the red carpet premiere to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis or Rian Johnson. Years later, when he returned for Knives Out, I wasn’t able to get a ticket – I did get to see him introduce The Last of Sheila, which is incredible and a huge inspiration for his film – so as he returns with a sequel, I know I can’t miss it. A murder mystery is a challenging genre to do correctly, but when Rian did it a few years ago and hit a home run (as he usually does), it makes me excited to know he’s returning to this world.
Directed by Ti West
Earlier this year, I got to go to Austin for SXSW. I had an incredible time with some great friends and saw fascinating films. One of which was X. I saw the film late into the fest and missed the premiere, so I had missed out on the announcement/trailer for Pearl itself. Pearl and X fascinate me as we’re about to dive into more of this world but still relatively removed from the one we were in. When I discovered there was a spin-off starring Mia Goth, I thought it was from her leading character role. I’m not sure what type of film Pearl is, but it looks violent, and Ti West rarely disappoints, so bring it on.
Directed by John Hyams
Please excuse my excitement for a moment, but Kevin fucking Williamson. I think it’s common knowledge that this site is a massive fan of the Scream franchise (and honestly, most of Williamson’s oeuvre), so the moment you tell me he has some form of a credit on a project, I’m going to at the very least put it on my watchlist. Sick has only a story by credit, so my expectations are lower. Still, the film is being directed by John Hyams, who directed Alone (which will be linked to my review of it), which I saw at Fantasia two years and loved. Give me a fun time with a great crowd. This Williamson fanatic will be happy.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg. A semi-autobiographical film about him falling in love with movies. It’s all I need.
Directed by Maggie Levin, Johannes Roberts, Tyler MacIntyre, Flying Lotus, Joseph Winter, Vanessa Winter
The franchise continues! Over the past few years, I’ve grown to love and fall for the found footage genre. There is so much that artists can do and be inventive while on a budget. The VHS franchise fits in there perfectly. Sometimes, you can tell that the films don’t have a high budget, but what they’re capable of doing is still astonishing. You never know what you’ll get from an anthology film, but with these filmmakers working in this world? A bloody good time is what I’m expecting.