Toronto Flick Picks: Wim's Favourites, Trash Palace and more
Laurie Bird, James Taylor and Dennis Wilson in Two-Lane Blacktop
We looked at the Wim Wenders retrospective at TIFF last week. It's a gift that keeps on giving. Not only do you get Wenders' own brilliant and curious oeuvre, but also a whole 'nother programme covering his influences like the above Two-Lane Blacktop. As a result, we all get a chance to see some of the best films of all time on a big screen.
This week you can check out the Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train (Jan 30 4:15 p.m.) — from a novel by Patricia Highsmith who wrote "The Talented Mr. Ripley," which became Wenders' The American Friend — and Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (Jan 31 6:30 p.m.). There’s also a chance to see Nicholas Ray’s fantastic and sad look at the modernized wild west through, I kid you not, the rodeo circuit in The Lusty Men (Jan. 31 5:00 p.m.). It’s one of Robert Mitchum’s best roles. There are many more films coming up.
There’s another TIFF retrospective ramping up I’m quite excited about. This one looking at Japanese stylist Seijun Suzuki whose absurd and wonderful crime pictures are all over the work of people like Tarantino and Sian Sono. I’m giddy for this myself as I have not seen many of Suzuki's films other than Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter (Criterion Collection spines 38 and 39 respectively). It kicks of with Story of a Prostitute (Jan. 30 at 9:00 p.m.)... which admittedly is a title that sounds like an arthouse parody.
CineCycle (129 Spadina Ave.) is hosting the Trash Palace’s re-launch tonight (Jan. 29) at 8:30 p.m. They’re also bidding farewell to founder and 16mm collector Stacey Case, once long ago interviewed in this column, as he heads off to Hamilton. The film screening this time stars George Kennedy and is called Zig Zag. The plot involves a dying man staging a crime so his daughter can live off the reward money, which backfires when he ends up being cured.
Dating all the way back to the 90s when the Metro Theatre was still in operation at Bloor and Christie, Kung Fu Fridays are back, now at The Royal. This month’s offering, 8:00 p.m. Jan. 29. is Jackie Chan’s 1978 breakthrough Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow.
Lastly, don’t forget that you can check out the live action and animated shorts nominated for Academy Awards this weekend at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. More here.
Toronto Screengrab of the Week
Last week was the J-Lo cop flick Angel Eyes. This week’s entry stars Sean Connery in one of his last roles before retiring. It doesn’t use Toronto much but Connery’s apartment set was built here.