September 18, 2017

#TIFF17: Wild Poliziotteschi and Celebratory Varda

Let the Corpses Tan (France, Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani, 4) Armored car robbers shoot it out with a motorcycle cop in the ruined seaside villa of an eccentric artist (Elina Lowensohn.) Tribute to 70s Italian poliziotteschi in which every shot is an ostentatiously perfect shot further amped by slamming sound design.

Samui Song (Thailand, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, 4) Actress hires hitman to vanish her abusive husband; he botches the job. Noir tale keeps the viewer off-balance with leaps in tone, viewpoint and time.

Vampire Clay (Japan, SoƮchi Umezawa, 3.5) Sculpture students are stalked by killer modeling clay. Showcase for adorably icky practical effects.

You can't say it’s like all the other killer modeling clay movies.

Faces Places (France, Agnes Varda and JR, 4) Legendary director Varda and acclaimed street artist JR go to French villages looking for people to meet and celebrate in enormous photo murals. Documentary double act full of life, joy, artistry and friendship.

And that’s it for TIFF ‘17. I’ll collect the capsule reviews into a handy round-up to clip and save, with ruminations on a decidedly lackluster year, either later today or on Tuesday.

Capsule review boilerplate: Ratings are out of 5. I’ll be collecting these reviews in order of preference in a master post the Monday after the fest. Films shown on the festival circuit will appear in theaters, disc and/or streaming over the next year plus. If you’ve heard of a film showing at TIFF, I’m probably waiting to see it during its upcoming conventional release, instead favoring choices that don’t have distribution and might not reappear.

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