The 2005 Toronto International Film Festival

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance - Park Chan-wook
Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy For Lady Vengeance

I’m sure you’ve already seen this, if you’ve been slavishly visiting various film sites like ye olde Twitch, that is — the full list of films for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was announced earlier this week. I won’t be making the northward trek this year but if I was going, these are the films I would be lining up to see (in no particular order)…

The President’s Last Bang — I don’t know much about this one, but the folks at Twitch have been raving about this for awhile, so I’m interested.

The Willow Tree — I didn’t know this even existed, and it’s not even listed on IMDb, but it’s a Majid Majidi film and that’s good enough for me. I’ve been a Majidi fan ever since I saw The Color Of Paradise two years ago.

L’Enfant — The Dardennes’ follow-up to the critically-acclaimed The Son. A QuickTime trailer can be found here.

Tideland — A new Terry Gilliam film? Sign me up!

Bangkok Loco — I’ve already seen this, but what I wouldn’t give to see this on the big screen with hundreds of other folks at the stroke of midnight.

Banlieue 13 — I’ve heard mixed things about it, but I’d still love to see some major ass-kicking along with all of the artsy-fartsy stuff. Trailers can be found here.

The Great Yokai War — Japan’s answer to the Harry Potter films, and it’s directed by the one and only Takashi Miike! (No word on how prominently various bodily fluids will feature in this one yet, though.)

SPL — One of the big martial arts films of the year, starring Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Wu Jing, and Simon Yam star in this. No wires, no CGI, none of that stuff, and supposedly, the film’s major fight scene between Yen and Jing is completely unrehearsed.

Beowulf & Grendel — With the passing of the LOTR movies, I need some fantasy in my bloodstream. This might fill the bill nicely.

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party — Dave Chappelle in a musical comedy directed by Michel Gondry. Nuff said.

Seven Swords — It looks like Tsui Hark’s returning to the filmmaking of his past, and it’s about time. The sooner we put that City Of Masks stuff behind us, the better. The trailers I’ve seen for this one look epic in every sense of the word.

Shopgirl — Based on Steve Martin’s acclaimed story, starring Martin, Claire Danes, and Jason Schwartzmann. Watch the trailer here.

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance — Park Chan-Wook’s conclusion to his “Vengeance” trilogy, which began with Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance and continued with OldBoy. One of the big buzz films of the year, as far as I’m concerned.

A History of Violence — Viggo Mortensen stars as a small-town man whose violent past comes to light when he saves a cafe from a couple of robbers. Directed by David Cronenberg. You can find the trailer and a short clip here.

Revolver — Guy Ritchie returns to the filmmaking that made him famous in the first place, before Madonna came along.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit — Come on, it’s Wallace & Gromit. How can I resist? Watch the trailer here.

L’Enfer — Danis Tanovic, who directed the wrenching No Man’s Land. Now, he’s making a movie based on a Krzysztof Kieslowski script (the second part of Kieslowski’s “Heaven/Hell/Purgatory” trilogy).

The Duelist — The new film from Lee Myung-Se, whose last film, the critically acclaimed Nowhere To Hide, came out 6 years ago. Twitch mentioned a trailer earlier this month. I just finished watching it, and sure does look real purty.

Walk The Line — I’ll admit, I was pretty skeptical about this Johnny Cash biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Man In Black. But then I saw the trailer and well, I’m a believer.


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