September 12, 2017

#TIFF17: Several Flavors of Revenge

Revenge (France, Coralie Fargeat, 4) When young woman’s desert hunting camp dalliance with a married rich guy ends in rape and attempted murder, she must pick up the gun to survive. Style-forward, semiotically loaded, gore-slicked feminist detournement of that ever-problematic grindhouse genre, the rape-revenge thriller.

Princesita (Chile, Marialy Rivas, 4) Commune-dwelling teen being readied to bear her sect leader’s holy successor is sent to attend public school. As in Malick’s Badlands, a dreamy atmosphere marks the character’s dissociation from the horror of her experience.

Under the Tree (Iceland, Hafsteinn Gunnar SigurĂ°sson, 4) As one son’s marriage unravels, a woman embittered by the other’s disappearance escalates a neighbor dispute. Drama with black comedy overtones indicates that Iceland’s feuding spirit still lurks within the national psyche, waiting for the right trauma to let it loose.

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.