Flick Picks: Play in Hell at The Royal, Warhol at TIFF


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Image: Films We Like

Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono always serves you a feast. So if you’re after a healthy dash of absurdity with your violence his flicks are the place to go. His film Tokyo Tribe screened at Midnight Madness this year at TIFF, but to be honest, I thought it was a bit of a mess. However, his 2013 film, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? actually won the People’s Choice Award for the Midnight Madness fest the year before and is a real gem.

Encapsulating Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is no easy task. Think of it as the goriest possible rendition of a romantic melodrama with some Japanese game show camp. The story is made up of two warring Yakuza clans, and a father’s quest to make his daughter a superstar – for the sake of his wife, who is serving hard time for kicking the crap out of four hit men who made the mistake of storming her kitchen – by financing a movie. They hire a group of young film mavericks called The F*** Bombers, who come with their own homegrown action hero Sasaki (wearing Bruce Lee’s yellow jumpsuit from Game of Death) ready to do anything to make a great film.

Catch the film starting Jan. 23 at The Royal Cinema at 9:20 p.m.

 

Andy Warhol is coming to TIFF

The fine folks at TIFF are making an annual tradition of enshrining a big name in their exhibition space. It was announced last week that this year would be the second straight dead guy taking the space as TIFF presents Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen from Oct. 30 to Jan. 24 of next year.

This year will be a bit of a departure from past exhibits, which focused on themes like James Bond and directors like David Cronenberg and Stanley Kubrick. This exhibit stresses the celebrity obsession that infused a good deal of Warhol’s work in the arts.

“Fame fueled Warhol in so many ways, and his work became a generator of fame, just as it recorded and documented it at the same time,” said Eric Shiner in a press release, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, which has partnered with TIFF to provide the artifacts in the exhibit.

You can expect to find Warhol’s collected photos of stars like Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor as well as his childhood scrapbooks. There will also be prints and Polaroids of stars like Jane Fonda and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a selection of his film works. I sure can’t wait for the screening of 1964’s Empire which is an eight hour take of the Empire State Building… and that’s it.

I’m sure there will be much more unveiled as the exhibit draws near.

A reminder, film fans, if you haven’t seen TIFF’s Stanley Kubrick exhibit, please do yourself a favor and check it out before it wraps up Jan. 25. It’s pretty cool. There’s even a screening of the international cut of The Shining Saturday at 9:00 p.m. You will not find many director-approved cuts of a film that are shorter than the familiar version.

Toronto Screengrab of the Week

@YoungDrunkPunk successfully nabbed last week’s entry as Johnny Mnemonic. So, in tribute to some savvy social media marketing, I guess we’ll give them a plug. Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. CityTV. Everywhere. You can check out former Kid in the Hall Bruce McCullogh’s Post City interview on the matter here. [http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/Do/January-2015/Post-Interview-All-the-young-punks/]

Last week saw the announcement of the Academy Award nominations. This film won a bunch of those things and was shot in part right here, including on the steps of Old City Hall. 

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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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