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TIFF 2016: Reza's Top 5 Picks

10 September 2016 / by Reza Hassanirad (author)
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CJRU's resident movie buff, Reza Hassanirad, brings you his top picks for TIFF 2016.  


1. All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone

 Without an impartial news media and truth-seeking journalists democracy flounders.  In "All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone," Canadian filmmaker and journalist Fred Peabody contrasts the failures of today’s media with the dogged pursuit of truth and accountability exemplified in the work of American journalist I.F. Stone and his muckraking heirs.  There will be a moderated panel discussion with journalists featured in the documentary on Saturday, September 10th at the Munk School of Global Affairs.  

 

 

2. Arrival

Aliens have landed, and it looks like the linguists are going to be the heroes. Quebec-based director Denis Villeneuve teams up again with composer Johann Johannsson to create what looks like an atmospheric and cerebral story about alien visitation. Joined by Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, Amy Adams plays a linguist who’s tasked with figuring out what the aliens want.

My hope that "Arrival" will match the cerebral and cinematic heights of "2001: A Space Odyssey" might be overblown but it seems likely to pack a winning combo of artistry and entertainment.

 

 

3. Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming

Based on the quaint title you know this isn’t your typical Hollywood blockbuster. A Persian-Chinese poetess who travels to Iran for a poetry festival and experiences an aesthetic adventure? Sign me up! With unique animation and the voice talents of Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Ellen Page, Window Horses gives the impression that it might be a remarkable standout at this year’s festival. 

 

 

4. Jackie

Sitting immediately next to a United States president when he’s assassinated would be horrendous - having it also be your beloved husband would be incomprehensible. Chilean director Pablo Larrain explores the impact of such trauma on Jacqueline Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of her husband’s violent demise. With the talented Natalie Portman portraying Kennedy’s devoted wife, "Jackie" promises to be a well-crafted meditation on the wrenching process of coming to terms with spectacular loss, personally and publicly. TIFF 2016 will also be screening a second Larrain film, this one about celebrated Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

 

 

 

5.  Rats

Documentarian Morgan Spurlock, of "Super Size Me" fame, turns his attention to the ubiquitous and infamous member of the order of Rodentia - the rat. Spurlock examines the fraught relationship between these intelligent and disease-carrying creatures and various societies throughout the world. Sure, these scurrying, gnawing, long-tailed mammals might give you the heebie-jeebies, but look at it as an opportunity to lean into your fears, broaden your horizons and come to a better understanding of this oft-maligned quadruped. You might even want to snack on some cheese in solidarity during the screening.

 

 

 

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The author

Reza Hassanirad

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