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TIFF 2022

R.M.N. 2022

Still from R.M.N.

Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago Leonor Will Never Die (2022)

Still from Leonor Will Never Die

Butcher's Crossing 2022

Still from Butcher's Crossing

Plan 75 2022

Still from Plan 75

Women Talking 2022

Still from Women Talking

2 Lizards 2020

헤어질 결심 Decision to Leave (2022)

Still from Decision to Leave

Vanskabte Land Godland (2022)

Still from Godland

La hija de todas las rabias Daughter of Rage (2022)

Still from Daughter of Rage

브로커 Broker (2022)

Still from Broker

The Wonder 2022

Still from The Wonder

Im Westen nichts Neues All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

Still from All Quiet on the Western Front

EO 2022

Still from EO

Pearl 2022

Within a few minutes, when Pearl racks up her first kill, it’s clear this won’t be about much other than “she’s crazy!”. This lacks the genre thrills I’d expect from something that knowingly doesn’t have much to say.

Thankfully, this is a kind of fun ride with Mia Goth just doing stuff (a similar formula that led me to liking Venom). I enjoyed hanging out with her, especially with the monologue towards the end.

Still from Pearl

Mato seco em chamas Dry Ground Burning (2022)

When picking movies for TIFF, I try to optimize for the high “maybe“s. If something is sure to be a big hit, I’ll avoid it here unless I’m seeing it with a big group (e.g. Joker). I go to the things that might need someone to root for them, and with few exceptions (e.g. Joker) I’m almost always rooting for them.

When those movies fall short though, it feels bad. I can happily hate on Joker, but I can’t do the same for this. There’s some excellent night photography near the start. I love blends of narrative fuction and documentary. This just didn’t work. Do I just never mention it? How does one share art that perhaps fails?

Still from Dry Ground Burning

The Whale 2022

Setting aside the fact that it felt too play-y for me, the characters never really got to be characters? Ellie is effectively just the character Sink plays in Stranger Things. Thomas has an interesting character trajectory that then craters during a final plea to save Charlie. Everything feels contrived and unnatural.

Were it not for the metatextual story of Fraser’s comeback, I don’t think anyone would care about this.

Still from The Whale

Unrueh Unrest (2022)

Still from Unrest

Living 2022

Infuriating. From the cast Q&A, it appears that the actors didn’t really understand what the story was about (procrastination? gender norms?) and so not too surprising that this fails to be even just a straightforward remake.

Icons, such as the bunny, remain without any of their meaning (the possibility of improving the world through one’s work). Scenes reshuffled to impart a hopeful message, rather than lament the unchangeability of these systems. It produces a far more individual-centric story and is weaker for it.

I didn’t even really like Ikiru and I’m mad about this.

Still from Living

The King's Horseman 2022

World premiere!

Interesting as an adaptation along two axes: from stage to screen, and from English to Yoruba. It never really escapes staginess (though still better than The Whale), but something special appears to be happening in the latter case.

The cast and producer spoke at length about the injection of percussion, particularly talking drums, into the film to complement the spoken Yoruba, whose tonality is mimicked by the drums themselves. I’m far from able to assess the success of the approach, but I’m fond of this dimension of adaptation.

Still from The King's Horseman

De Humani Corporis Fabrica 2022

Multiple walkouts. I nearly fainted during one operation. It’s miraculous what the body will do in response to purely visual stimuli. The man sitting to my left closed his eyes for perhaps half of it.

Lovely in its juxtapositions. The banal conversations about real estate against brain surgery (I can’t recall if that was the precise pairing). The primitive nature of hammer and chisel against ribs compared to the multi-device orchestration of a prostatectomy.

“I’m lost. I’m too zoomed in. Everything’s a bit abstract”, the surgeon said. Same here.

Still from De Humani Corporis Fabrica

The Taste Of Apples Is Red 2022

70 year old men with 50 year old grudges. Wasn’t sure where this was going until the last 15 minutes of Chekhovian payoff.

Most remarkable, perhaps, for its skill in communicating and being steeped in a particular set of religious views, particularly with regards to the rules of reincarnation.

Still from The Taste Of Apples Is Red

Retour à Séoul Return to Seoul (2023)

Still from Return to Seoul