#TIFF19: “JOJO RABBIT”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is an impressionable young boy who is part of the Hitler Youth. He is a bit shy, and tends to talk most to his imaginary best friend, Adolf (Taika Waititi). He supports all of the Führer’s ideas and despises the Jews. But his beliefs are put to the test when he discovers that a young Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) is hiding in the attic of his home.
Wow. That was my immediate reaction after watching Jojo Rabbit. Waititi’s anti-war satire is an incredible, unforgettable experience and easily one of the best things I have watched so far at #TIFF19. Full stop.
It is outrageously-hilarious and deeply-tragic, often in the exact same scene. Waititi walks a fine line here, effectively balancing the light hearted, satirical elements with the horrors of war, never once shying away from the human cost of this horrible period in history. And no, he is not sympathetic towards any of the Nazis. The period detail is exquisite, and his reinterpretation of recognizable pop songs is unique to say the least. The stacked cast of talent is amazing in their roles, each carving out their own memorable moments. And while Waititi is terrific portraying Hitler in the most asinine and ridiculous way possible, it is first-time actor Davis who steals the show and your heart.
JOJO RABBIT screens during TIFF at the following times:
Sunday September 8, 9:30pm @ Princess of Wales [World Premiere]
Monday September 9, 10:00am @ Elgin Theatre
Friday September 13, 9:30pm @ Winter Garden Theatre
Sunday September 15, 12:00pm @ Ryerson Theatre
#SXSW: 2019 SXSW FESTIVAL DAY ONE RECAP
By Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Today was the official start of the 2019 SXSW Festival and it didn’t disappoint.
The day began with a bunch of conferences from those in the Tech world, like Pricilla Chan, to those in the Film industry, such as Busy Phillips. Earlier in the day Chan spoke about the work and impact the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is doing. Later on in the afternoon, Phillips sat down and had a talk with her close friend Hillary Kerr. The two spoke about the career Phillips has had and her new late-night talk show Busy Tonight which airs on E! Network.
But the main event for the day was the World Premiere and Opening Night Film Us directed and written by Jordan Peele. For films at SXSW, people typically begin lining-up about two hours in advance, at most. However, for Us, the line began a whopping six hours in advance. By the time that two-hour mark hit, it was a guessing game of if you were going to get in or not. Thankfully, we made it in and it was worth the wait. We were also treated to many Cast and Crew being there, such as Jordan Peele, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss and more. All stayed after the show for a Q&A. To know more about this anticipated Film, make sure to check out our Review here.
Film isn’t the only thing of focus at SXSW, they also have a wide selection of Television events. Tonight was the What We Do In The Shadows Premiere and Executive Producers Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement were on hand to introduce the upcoming FX Series based on their cult classic Mockumentary. They were quick to put on quite the two-man show for the audience. Each made jokes about turning their Film into a TV show. Waititi also spoke of Toronto during his hilarious banter with Clement. Waititi said the show takes place in Staten Island, even if it looks like Toronto. This was in reference to the Vampires on the show living on Staten Island, but production taking place in Toronto.
At the end of the night, 6th Street was bright with the glow of lights coming from the restaurants and bars. There was a smell of street food wherever you walked with the sounds of after parties and students heading out for the weekend in the background.
Day Two has more marquee premieres with The Beach Bum and Long Shot. We received word that Matthew McConaughey and Isla Fisher will be on hand for the former and that Seth Rogen and Charlie Theron will be here for Long Shot Premiere. There are also some pop-up events and conferences featuring Amber Heard and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. So keep checking back here for more updates as we go!
(Photo credit: Amanda Gilmore)
#SPOTTED: TAIKA WAITITI IN TORONTO FOR “THOR: RAGNAROK”
Taika Waititi might not yet ring a bell in these parts but he is on the brink of major recognition. The Actor/Comedian/Writer/Director is in Toronto today for Thor: Ragnarok which he helms! The New Zealand native is known for his acclaimed work in acclaimed Oscar-nominated short Two Cars, One Night and Feature Films Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which broke Box Office records in his homeland. There are several “rumours” as he claims still, he will be directing an upcoming Back to the Future reboot.
Thor: Ragnarok marks Waititi‘s Hollywood debut and he just may be returning for a second Thor: Ragnarok Film! We’ll soon see!
He loved Billy‘s Thor costume (available at Petsmart)! Pleasure meeting him at CITY‘s Breakfast Television as he kindly made time for Fans.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release THOR: RAGNAROK Friday, November 3, 2017. 🔨
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Marvel)