Capsule reviews and notes from the Toronto International Film Festival, Thursday, September 17th.
Blood of My Blood [Italy, Marco Bellochio, 4] In the 19th century, clerics try to wring a confession of witchcraft from a nun; in the 21st, fading vampires fear encroaching bureaucracy. Thinky historical allegory given life by a series of striking images.
From the director of Fists In Pocket and Devil in the Flesh.
Full Contact [Netherlands, Thomas Verbeek, 2] French drone targeting pilot confronts the new stresses of 21st century air warfare. Dispenses with the obvious beats of a drone war story in act one, then shifts, none too compellingly, into the Antonioni zone.
The main problem with making fiction about the drone war is that it is already an overly obvious metaphor.
The Clan [Argentina, Pablo Trapero, 4] State security officer in the late days of the Argentinian dictatorship enlists his family in a kidnap-for-profit ring. Bracing true crime drama takes cues from the Scorsese style guide.
From the director of Carancho.
Baskin [Turkey, Can Evrenol, 4] Cops called for backup at an abandoned, Ottoman-era police station descend into Hell. Hypnagogic pageant of initiatory creepiness, conjured with micro-budget ingenuity Sam Raimi would be proud of.
This is what I want in a Midnight Madness title--from somewhere unexpected, working at the very edge of its ambition, crazy but knowing. And with a blood-drenched taste of political subtext, too.
So to sum up: Turkish auteur cinema, back on festival moratorium. Emerging Turkish genre cinema, the opposite of that.
Der Nachtmahr [Germany, AKIZ, 4] Teen girl is haunted by a homunculus-like creature, leading both her hard-partying friends and uptight bourgeois parents to think she’s going crazy. Delirious fable of misunderstood youth plays like the Austrian spawn of Harmony Korine and Frank Henenlotter.
With Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth fame as the girl’s English teacher.
And Austria, you’ve got to stop undercutting your fantasy and horror pics by imposing the wrong kind of logic on them. You know what I’m talking about, Austria.
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