For the dedicated cinephiles the arrival of Fall indicates only one glorious event: Toronto International Film Festival. Like every year, the Festival started this year full speed with an unbelievable list of films and documentaries that will take the breath away of even the most calm and collected film lover.
This year politics at large is THE theme of the Festival. From Brian De Palma's highly anticipated film 'Redacted,' that deals with the War in Iraq, to the one of a kind documentary 'Heavy Metal in Baghdad;' the Festival is determined to bring the voices from parts of the world that hasn't been widely heard for the longest time. And the audiences here absolutely love it.
Toronto also offers a wide selection of films that are dealing with another essential, current political subject: Immigration and, also the inevitable culture conflict that arrives with immigration. And on this subject no one in recent years has dealt with this topic more uniquely and effectively than the German-Turkish Auteur, Fatih Akin, whose 'Gegen Die Wand' (Head-On) brought him the Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival. Akin came to the big screen this year with another unforgettable gem that deals with immigration through a timely and extraordinary perspective. His latest masterpiece 'Edge of Heaven' is already a big audience favourite at the festival. Akin once again deals with highly political material underneath a very intimate, character-driven drama, constructed through an intelligent and true to life script that already brought him The Best Screenplay Award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
While Akin comments on the clash and the bridge between East and West, the Coen Brothers contemplate on the brutal and the compassionless times that we live in, in their latest gem 'No Country For Old Men'. Adapted from the recent Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy's novel by the same name, 'No Country for Old Men' is a dark and disturbing journey to the underworld that roams the Texas and Mexico border.
While these two movies are only two of the Audience favourites of the festival so far, if you are making a 'Must-See' List for this years festival, be sure to include: Cannes 2007's Palm D'or Winner '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,' Russian Auteur Aleksandr Sokurov's latest flick 'Alexandra,' and ' The Banishment,' which promises to be another gem from international hit 'Return's' director Andrei Zvyagintsev.
Luckily the Festival has only began four days ago and there is more than plenty to look forward to and line-up for if necessary. Among them are: naturally, the new Woody Allen film, 'Cassandra's Dream,' the most anticipated musical of the year 'Across The Universe,' 'Atonement,' which is based on Ian McEwan's unforgettable Best-Seller with the same name, and, of course, Todd Haynes' latest surreal meditations on the life of the legendary rock star Bob Dylan, 'I'm Not There,' which is what the hardcore cinephiles and fans of this musical genius have been dreaming about for decades.