Although Steven Spielberg is the undisputed king of blockbuster filmmaking, he’s never been the recipient of a TIFF Cinematheque retrospective until now, and there might not be a better time to spend an entire day taking in some some of his most celebrated, successful, and beloved works on the big screen than over the holidays.
TIFF Bell Lightbox
TIFF’s annual celebration of the best in Canadian cinema feels more essential than ever before. Canada’s Top Ten (running from Friday, January 12 to Sunday, January 21) comes at a unique and potentially dire moment for the country’s cinematic history.
TIFF Bell Lightbox plays host to a wide range of classic and modern films shot on the nearly extinct, yet somehow resurrected large scale 70mm film format with a retrospective running from December 23 to January 7.
Legendary performer and filmmaker Ida Lupino could burn up the screen and cut a cad down to size with a well timed quip or passing glance. She also continually kicked down doors off screen, making her own opportunities and becoming one of the earliest and most prolific female filmmakers of all time. The importance, significance, and overall quality of Lupino’s career in front of and behind the camera can’t be understated or easily summed up in a single retrospective, but TIFF does justice to this pioneer with a late summer look back at a selection of her best known works in the screening series Ida Lupino: Independent Woman, running Friday, August 4 to Saturday, September 2 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Although award winning American filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has only directed ten theatrically released feature films across her almost forty year long career (including the forthcoming Detroit, opening in early August), her resume includes some of the most suspenseful thrillers and influential action movies ever made. Well deserving of her own TIFF retrospective this summer – Kathryn Bigelow: On the Edge (running from July 21 to August 15 at TIFF Bell Lightbox) – Bigelow’s particular brand of cinema is rousing and primal, balancing big budget spectacle with intelligent subtext in a way that few of her contemporaries are capable of matching.
TIFF Bell Lightbox plays host to a wide array of unique visions, hidden gems, and auteurist masterpieces in their Cinematheque sidebar screening series Panique: French Crime Classics (running through September 3rd). While the series title suggests a lot of hard-boiled, lurid thrillers (and there are definitely some of those), this TIFF curated series of films delightfully stretches the definition of a “crime classic” or “thriller.” Running the gamut from human drama to political allegory to parody to horror, this series has something for every taste. Here we take a look at five must see classics to check out this summer.
No filmmaker has made a life of crime look as cool, confident, and stylish as French legend Jean-Pierre Melville. Often imitated by big name filmmakers of the modern era (but never fully replicated), Melville’s body of work – which wasn’t solely comprised of crime thrillers – oozed with charisma and gracefully boasted a great amount of artistic and social merit within an often thought disreputable genre. Those familiar with his work know that few filmmakers could capture smoking, trenchcoats, stained carpeting, and thundercloud gray walls as gorgeously as Melville could. The uninitiated – who can catch up on most of his career at this summer’s TIFF Bell Lightbox retrospective, Army of Shadows: The Films of Jean-Pierre Melville (running June 29 to August 13) – would learn a lot from seeing the works of one of the most influential names in suspense.
Unlike many filmmakers that he sometimes gets lumped into company with, French writer-director Oliver Assayas can’t fully be regarded in rigid terms as an auteur. More of a masterful experimenter capable of constant reinvention and a filmmaker seemingly incapable of making the same film twice, Assayas has produced a wide array of work across his thirty-plus years as a proper professional artist. While it could be easy to classify him as a prolific director with distinct critical and social proclivities coming through in most of his works, Assayas is an increasing rarity among his contemporaries: a filmmaker beyond labelling. When one takes his career as a whole into account, as examined in this summer’s comprehensive TIFF Bell Lightbox retrospective Something in the Air: The Cinema of Olivier Assayas (running from June 22 to August 20), the diversity of Assayas’ imagination and soul are immediately apparent.
Writer David Lipsky’s greatest contribution to the literary world to date might be a recounting of a lengthy encounter he had with a fellow author,. Before his appearance as part of TIFF’s Books on Film series next week, we talk to the journalist about how his time spent with David Foster Wallace became the inspiration for his own book and the film The End of the Tour.
While most TIFF retrospectives focus on filmmakers, award winning Italian actress Anna Magnani, once referred to by Bette Davis as the greatest to ever live, has an impressive body of work worthy of such distinction. Here are five of her most notable performances from her TIFF retrospective, Volcano: The Films of Anna Magnani.