Tuesday, September 18, 2007


As some of you probably know, the Toronto International Film Festival just closed last weekend. It ran from September 6th to September 15th this year and the top prize (the prestigious Audience Award) was taken by David Cronenberg’s “Eastern Promises” starring Viggo Mortensen. Fortunately, film fans won’t have to wait long to see the prize winner as it opened last Friday in limited release at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. That means it will be coming to a Cineplex near you in the near future. The runner up for the Audience Award was Jason Reitman's teen-pregnancy comedy "Juno", followed by "Body of War", an Iraq War documentary directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro. The big buzz films of the festival were Joe Wright's British drama "Atonement", the Coen brothers' western "No Country for Old Men", Sean Penn's fact-based drama "Into the Wild", Ang Lee's tale of espionage in 1940s Shanghai, "Lust, Caution" (which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival last week, alongside its Toronto premiere) and the comedy "Bill",starring Aaron Eckhart and Jessica Alba. I am waiting to hear from some friends who were there to let me know the titles they particularly enjoyed and will pass it on when I hear.
In the mean time, if you feel like making the trek up to Hollywood, the American Film Institute is celebrating its 40th anniversary by simultaneously screening 11 classic films, each with a live introduction by a star or filmmaker. Among the presenters will be Jack Nicholson for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Julie Andrews for "The Sound of Music," Clint Eastwood for "Unforgiven" and George Lucas for "Star Wars”. The screenings are on October 3rd at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood (see the AFI website http://www.afi.com/ for ticket information).

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