5 Movies from TIFF 2018 to Watch Out For
With another year in festivals almost passed, it’s time to look at some of the new film releases. Handpicked from 2018’s Toronto International Film Festival, we’ve been lucky to see more and more work that showcase characters and storylines that are not only relatable, but that still allow us to fantasize about the possibilities that the world of cinema has to offer.
The Fireflies are Gone
Director: Sébastien Pilote
Starring Karelle Tremblay, Pierre-Luc Brilliant
We kick off our list with a French-Canadian coming-of-age flick La disparition des lucioles, which follows Léo, a teenage girl who longs to escape her dull home life in a small town in rural Quebec. As her high school graduation gets closer, she befriends an older musician named Steve, who teaches her guitar and gives her an outlet to become the person she longs to be. In between all this, Léo experiences frustration with her stepfather, a locally known talk show host who’s on the side of the political divide that caused her union worker dad to leave town. Despite its raw subject matter, the film still manages to hold a certain air of fantasy, which allows us to better connect with the main protagonist.
Theatrical Release: Unknown, Independent screenings across Quebec September 28th-October 4th 2018
Edge of the Knife
Directors: Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown
Starring Tyler York
Making history as the first film spoken only in dialects of the Haida language, the story of Sgaawaay K’uuna is set in 19th century Haida Gwaii (on what’s now considered the Pacific East Coast of Canada), and is based off a myth of the Haida people. It follows two large families on a fishing retreat. Kwa’s son is tragically killed in an accident caused by Adiits’ii (York) a nobleman. Tormented by guilt, Adiits’ii goes off into the wild and becomes the supernatural being Gaagiixiid. Despite everything, the families put all their efforts to have him turned back into human form. What makes this film even more compelling, is when we consider that right now less than twenty people in the Haida Gwaii community speak the Haida language fluently. Most of the cast had to learn it to appear in the film. Luckily it’s being taught once again in local schools, with elders hoping new generations will be able to preserve this part of their culture. Let’s hope Edge of the Knife gets some kind of distribution deal.
Theatrical Release: Unknown, Currently showing in different festivals
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabath Debicki, Liam Neeson
Inspired by the 1980s tv series of the same name, the story begins with Veronica Rawlins (Davis) and her husband, Harry (Neeson). The story quickly cuts to a bank heist gone wrong that causes three robbers to be led to their death. Rawlins is left widowed, with a $2 million debt. The wives band together to finish what they started by organizing a heist themselves, but unlike typical heist movies, here were offered a cold glimpse into the reality of these women. Being in a society that taught us it’s every man/woman/person to themselves, has forced them to do the unthinkable, all to be able to survive and come out on top.
Theatrical Release: November 16th 2018
The Hate U Give
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Starring Amandla Stenberg, Algee Smith
Based on the novel by Angie Thomas, here we follow Starr (Stenberg), a teenage girl born and raised in a lower class neighbourhood with a mostly black community. Yet between that she attends prep school, where most students are white. The tension between both worlds gets shattered, when one night her best friend Khalil (Smith) is shot by police, forcing her to step into a role that involves standing up for what’s right. The film manages to bring to the forefront issues around race that are often easily swept under other narratives. Unlike other similar titles, it doesn’t gloss over the reality of the main character and instead allows the audience completely into her world.
Theatrical Release: October 12th 2018
A Star is Born
Director: Bradley Cooper
Starring Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga
In his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper stars alongside Lady Gaga in the fourth adaptation of the classic story. Not quite a remake, each generation gets a version of a similar plot, which involves a male musician suffering from alcohol issues who encounters an aspiring actress and singer. What each adaptation brings to the table, depends on what era it is. Country singer Jackson Maine (Cooper) hears waitress Ally (Gaga) performing in a drag club one night. The two of them hit it off from there, and Ally becomes a music star when Jackson brings her on stage during one of his concerts. The adaptation manages to be relatable, while still offering hope in a time in modern history where not a lot of people have the chance to dream, and the soundtrack is brilliant.
Theatrical Release: October 5th 2018