Toronto Flick Picks: Doc Days of Summer, Stars at TIFF, and More


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The Wolfpack

With what is left of those summer evenings, take to the cinema says I. The amount of incredible documentaries this year is really something, particularly those that have struck a chord with a wider audience. 

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema has a chance for you to play catch up on some of the most high-profile 2015 releases with their Doc Days of Summer feature. Topics range from late rockstars, unheralded sessions musicians, masters of spin, drug cartels, pseudo-religious cults, and a pack of kids raised on the movies. 

You have two weeks to catch these films and they’re even offering discounted ticket packs (5 for $50) to help your binging.

On offer are The Wolfpack, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Iris, The Salt of the Earth, Dior and I, The Wrecking Crew, The Backward Class, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Cartel Land, Merchants of Doubt and She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.

Go nuts. Tickets and details here.

TIFF News

There has been plenty of talk about the films coming to TIFF this year, and in those titles one gets a pretty good impression of what the guest list will be, but that has just been confirmed this week.

In addition to the official schedule we know that there will be four new entries to the In Conversation… series this year with last year’s Best Actress winner Julianne Moore fronting the bunch (Sept. 11). There will also be in-depth talks with Salma Hayek (Sept. 14), Sarah Silverman (Sept. 15) and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner (Sept. 10).

Some of the biggest directors in the world will also be on-hand to present their world premiere films including Ridley Scott for The Martian, David Gordon Green for Our Brand is Crisis and Stephen Frears for The Program.

This in addition to a star-studded stream of red carpet walkers including Johnny Depp, Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Gael García Bernal, Rachel Weisz, Christopher Walken, Naomi Watts… essentially everyone in Hollywood but Robert Davi, sadly. No shortage of star power.

Screening Roundup

Grease is the word, or the lyric in this case, as the beloved (by some) musical gets a sing-a-long treatment at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Sept. 28 - 30 at 7 p.m..  

The so-so Robert Zemeckis flick Death Becomes Her, with the immortal Meryl Streep playing an immortal Meryl Streep going for laughs, is screening Aug. 29 at 11:15 p.m. as part of Rainbow Rewind Film Classics at Rainbow Cinemas Market Square. Co-presented by the MUFF Society.

While The Thing With Two Heads was spoofed brilliantly in Treehouse of Horror II with Mr. Burns grafting his head to Homer Simpson’s body, nothing can measure up to the incredulity experienced when viewing the original. Ailing evil racist rich guy (Ray Milland — that’s academy award winning actor, Ray Milland) plots to save himself from the grave by surgically planting his head on the body of a death row inmate (Roosevelt Grier). The guys at the Trash Palace are digging this emblem of bad taste out of their 16mm print collection and screening it at CineCycle (129 Spadina Ave.) Friday Aug. 28 at 9:30 p.m.

Toronto Screengrab of the Week

Last week was the 1997 Johnny Depp vehicle Nick of Time. This time out we will opt for a 2000 flick that is one of two writing credits New Line Cinemas exec Toby Emmerich has to his name. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a New Line release. it also features an early role for young Bramptonian Michael Cera.

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Paul Hantiuk is a freelance writer and journalist who attempts to pick out some interesting film events in a weekly column for Post City Magazines. By way of introduction, he doesn't have a favourite movie, Keaton over Chaplin, mid-way back with an aisle seat, the book is not always better than the movie, and you can follow him on Twitter @PaulHantiuk.

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