Skip to main content

TIFF '09 Day 5: The Beauty of the Bosphorus

MEN ON THE BRIDGE I go to TIFF for films like this, films that probably won't be playing on multiple screens at the local multi-plex, and which, if they make it to television, will appear on a niche channel rather than on a network station. I like to see how people live in other countries, and this film gave me a glimpse of Istanbul that I have never seen before. The film follows the lives of three different sets of people who are all connected by the Bosphorus Bridge. The story of the young, uneducated street kid, who tries to find a job other than selling flowers to passing cars on the bridge is my favourite. Like the others, he is trying to improve his life, but with no schooling, his chances of getting even a minimum wage job are not good. My second favourite story is that of the single traffic cop who dreams of finding love and leaving Istanbul. His story elicits from us a certain sadness as we witness his ineffectual attempts at dating. Of least interest to me is the taxi driver with the harping wife. Their story is overshadowed by my personal interest in the other two storylines. When the couple appeared on screen I was biding my time until I could go back to the street kid and the cop. These character studies, the historical and political references about Turkey, and the scenes of Istanbul (the bridge at night, the Bosphorus Sea, ancient Turkey beside the modern) were all very satisfying for me.

HIROSHIMA I can't tell you why actor, Juan Andrés Stoll (director, Pablo Stoll's brother) is walking around in his underwear because I didn't stay around to find out. I was looking forward to this film because I had enjoyed the director's previous work (with the late Juan Pablo Rebella), Whisky, and I wanted to see a modern silent film. Well, I was disappointed on all levels. I happen to like silent films and go whenever I can, especially when there is live musical accompaniment. Silent or not, a film won't work for me if the characters aren't interesting. Perhaps this film would have worked better as a short film, but as a feature, I am not interested in watching someone walk from his job at a bakery to his home, where he goes to bed wakes up, does the dishes and cleans out the closet. Maybe if the Juan Andrés could act, I would pay more attention, but his facial expression never changes. Deadpan only works for Buster Keaton. The absence of a score, and the infusion of rock music that is only suitable for annoying your neighbours got on my last nerve. Contrived and boring. Want an introduction to silent film? Go to the TIFF screening of KELIN (see my review under Picks & Pans #1).

Comments

filmster said…
I like The Conversation and I loved Accident. I went in thinking it would be an action film and was pleasantly surprised that it was something else. I thought everyone gave a good performance especially the lead actor and I liked the staging of the 'accidents'. Yes the film was slow but it really was what I wanted to see even though I didn't know it at the time

Popular posts from this blog

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 2 aka The Miscasting of Renée Zellweger

APPALOOSA

Appaloosa wasn't on my "Must See" list of films, simply because my Festival experience is seeing the films without the big stars that may not get distributed. Appaloosa is directed by my love, Ed Harris (who also stars in the film) and has such notable names as Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. I love Westerns, and an invite to the film had me in line at the elegant Elgin Theatre. While I enjoyed the Marshall (Harris) and his gun-toting, literate sidekick (Mortenssen) battling it out with the bad guy (Irons), I did not enjoy Renée Zellweger in the role of the woman who clings to whatever alpha male is dominating the scene. I kept trying to re-cast her, but it wasn't until I got home that Virginia Madsen's name popped into my head. Virginia would have been perfect and also luminous. Renée may be from Texas, but I wasn't buying her in this one. If you think I'm being harsh everything I've just written was also said by two guys walking behi…

Ross Petty's Sleeping Beauty BFFs: Meet Alexandra Beaton & Taveeta Szymanowicz

Fall/winter theatre favourite Ross Petty Productions is back with another fairy-tale pantomime! This year's treat is Sleeping Beauty-The Deliriously Dreamy Family Musical. The beauty is Kinky Boots star, AJ Bridal and playing her best pals are Alexandra Beaton and Taveeta Szymanowicz of Family Channel's The Next Steps. Taveeta and Alexandra were in rehearsals but took time out to share some insights into their roles.


donna g: Were either of you familiar with pantomime before being cast in Ross Petty's version of Sleeping Beauty?
Taveeta: Yes! I saw Ross's production of Peter Pan when I was in Elementary school. I remember having such a lovely time. I was thus very excited when I was cast in Ross's 2015/16 production of Peter Pan in Wonderland last year. I was thrilled to be cast again this year! 
Alexandra: Of course! Growing up in Toronto, going to the Panto at Christmas  time was a tradition for a lot of my friends. I even saw a few myself.
donna g: You both play Bea…

TIFF16 Day 5: Lion, (re)ASSIGNMENT, Julieta and a monk

Five days into TIFF16 and I'm exhausted. Its a happy tired for most of us who cover the festival, because we love film and we want others to love film too, which is why we share what we've been up to. We want to communicate the passion that is in the air around the central hub at King and John streets, the cinemas, and the stages that show the films and host the conversations.

Yesterday, I began my morning standing in the rush line on Queen Street, around the corner from the Elgin Theatre (called the Visa Screening Room during TIFF) waiting to see if I could get into the public screening of Lion, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. I was number 78 in the line but I got in and had a bird's eye view of the screen from my lovely single seat next to a column in the balcony.

I rarely cry at the movies, but Lion got me in end. Upon sharing this shocking news on social media some friends of mine quickly let me know that they teared up too. This from a feel good movie where we …