The finish line is in sight for TIFF ’23 but we’re still out and about! We spotted Ava DuVernay doing the rounds earlier! The history-making Oscar-nominated BAFTA and Primetime Emmy winner looked stunning earlier and was so lovely to stop for a snap! Her film ORIGIN was a late add to the lineup at TIFF ’23.
Shortly after, we saw Oscar-nominated Actress Salma Hayek Pinault arriving to her Red Carpet for SABOR DE LA NAVIDAD. In a rush to get to her interviews, she didn’ stop at the barricade for her fans. She serves as Executive Producer for the Film.
Also, a huge joy witnessing Chloe Domont‘s feature directorial debut FAIR PLAY. This is definitely one of the best things I’ve seen so far at TIFF ‘23. Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor play a couple who after getting engaged, live through a power struggle when one of them gets promoted at work. So wonderful seeing Domont at the Roy Thomson Hall Premiere tonight.
Please seeing Viggo Mortensen still here for THE DEAD DON’T HURT.
And last but not least, our friends at Elevation Pictures celebrated their 10th Birthday and it was a bustling party at their building on Richmond Street. They had a whopping 14 films at the Festival! Several noticables, including Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard were there.
We approach the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival with managed expectations and full-on expect things a little lower key this year. But how exciting is it to capture some of the first sightings already around town?
Seen in-town tonight already are Oscar-nominated Actor Viggo Mortensen who tries writing and directing a second time in his feature THE DEAD DON’T HURT, premiering Friday at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The Feminist Western also stars TIFF Tribute Gala honouree Vicky Krieps. He also speaks at an In-Conversation next Monday at CBC.
While we’re on the topic of excellence, Oscar-winning Filmmaker Barry Jenkins was seen arriving as well. You remember him as the Director of Best Picture-winning MOONLIGHT and he’s set to direct MUFASA, a Lion King Prequel. In additon to being a Platform Programme Juror, he will be here supporting his partner Lulu Wang as she premieres series EXPATS at TIFF ’23 as well! She wasn’t with him, but we can’t wait to see her too. Obsessed with THE FAREWELL and have been waiting since!
The Canadian Star System in full forcelast night at the North American Premiere of David Cronenberg’s Body Horror, CRIMES OF THE FUTURE. The Film, shot in Athens, got its World Premiere earlier this month in Cannes.
The Film looks Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and Caprice (Léa Seydoux), the former, a celebrity Performance Artist, who publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed… Their mission – to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.
The film has received wide-acclaim, sticking to Cronenberg‘s shocking sensibilites.
In attendance at the Red Carpet Premiere at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX was a who’s-who of Canadian Cinema including:
Don’t forget to visit TIFF Bell Lightbox as they celebrate Cronenberg‘s iconic career with display pieces from the David Cronenberg Permanent Collection throughout the building for a limited time only. TIFF will screen Crash (1996), setting the stage for both the theatrical release of Crimes of the Future and a four-film TIFF Cinematheque series spotlighting Cronenberg’s earlier work, titled Cronenberg: Crimes of the Past and running July 2 to July 10. The series features screenings of Videodrome (1983), Dead Ringers (1988), eXistenZ (1999), and a second screening of Crash. More at tiff.net.
Sphere Films will release CRIMES OF THE FUTURE June 3, 2022.
This latest effort from Auteur David Cronenberg takes place sometime in the future when the human species has adapted to a synthetic environment. In doing so, the human body undergoes new transformations and mutations. Saul (Viggo Mortensen) is a man whose organs metamorphosis. This leads him and his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) to put on performance art shows where she operates on him, removing one of these mysterious organs at a time. However, a mysterious underground group believe that Saul’s ever-growing insides might just be the next step toward evolution.
Cronenberg opens with a young boy searching the ocean as a rotted shipwreck is just off the coast. It’s clear something has happened to Earth due to climate change. His mother warns him to not eat anything he finds. From her urgent, disgusted tone it’s clear he does this a lot. Soon we watch as he eats a plastic garbage bin. It’s a powerful opening to a film that works best as a commentary on climate change.
The impact of this climate change has caused the human body to transform in order to survive. However, this has led the species to feel no pain. As mentioned in the Film, pain acts as a warning sign. This brings into question how one can survive without it. The hollowness that comes with these characters causes them to crave something to feel.
The surgeries, and performance art, act as a substitute for sex in Crimes of the Future. As Kristen Stewart’s character Timlin explains: “Surgery is the new sex.” Stewart steals the show with her portrayal of the mousey Timlin. Particularly, in her advances upon Saul. It’s a shame she’s underused. But this statement is true as we see when watching Caprice (a daring and captivating performance from Seydoux) perform the surgeries on Saul. The look of desire and lust spreads across her face as she controls the procedure.
This theme of sex throughout the Film directly correlates to the idea of reproduction that continuously comes up. The evolution of humans won’t happen if no one is reproducing. One scene has Caprice unzip a part of Saul’s stomach and perform what is akin to oral sex. It’s as though Cronenberg is asking: how will the human race continue if they don’t procreate? They can adapt all they want, but without procreating the species will cease to exist.
The stylistic world Cronenberg and his Production Design team have created brings us into this futuristic world. The bed Saul sleeps in resembles a cocoon. He eats in a chair shaped like a skeleton that constantly moves. When he’s getting operated on, the machine looks like he’s in an incubator. This world and Cronenberg’s vision are fully realized.
There are Subplots that Cronenberg explores in the Film. He touches on how the Government police human bodies. They don’t want the characters to stray from the natural transformation their bodies are going through. This is the significance and the young boy from the beginning and the underground group who are attempting to perform surgeries to progress the human body. This Subplot is an intriguing one and we wish we had more time spent to evaluate it.
Crimes of the Future does have its share of queasy moments, however, it might not be as nauseating as was promised. The gruesome aspects come from the operations Caprice performs on Saul. Although, even then these scenes aren’t horrific – unless you are terrified of organs. The brutal aspects come more from the child. These two segments of the Film aren’t for the faint of heart, but they do tie everything together.
The 2022 Cannes Film Festival might have started a week ago, but the excitement continues to build as David Cronenberg’s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE premiered tonight. In attendance were none other than Kristen Stewart, whom our Amanda Gilmore spotted at the Press Junket and Photo Call earlier in a pink Chanel suit. Also in attendance were Léa Seydoux, Scott Speedman and Viggo Mortensen.
The Horror centers on a Performance Artist couple Caprice (Léa Seydoux) and Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen), whom publicly showcase the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed… Their mission – to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.
The Horror received both walkouts and a standing ovation, divisive as Cronenberg expected. CRIMES OF THE FUTURE arrives in theatres June 3, 2022 via Sphere Films.
Also spotted around town were Jamie Foxx, seen enjoying the French Riviera on a yacht.
Canada’s Nina Dobrev and Shaun White also were spotted around town at both the Top Gun: Maverick Premiere last week, and a Fundraiser for Ukraine, the With Love for Peace Gala.
Huge news! Hot off its Premiere at Cannes, David Cronenberg‘s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE will get a Canadian Premiere in Toronto at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX on May 30, 2022. This event is brought to us by TIFF, Sphere Films (known formerly as MK2 | MILE END) and Seredipity Point Films.
The event will be followed by Q&A with the Director, the Producer, and members of the Cast at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the exclusive Canadian venue to screen the film’s North American premiere. The Film opens across North America on Friday, June 3, 2022 including TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Tickets for the Crimes of the Future special one-night-only event as well as tickets for the film’s regular theatrical screenings go on sale starting at 10am on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 for TIFF Members, and to the general public on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Tickets will be limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Synopsis: Crimes of the Future is a meditation on human evolution. As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen), celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed… Their mission — to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.
Following its North American premiere on May 30, Crimes of the Future will start its theatrical run at TIFF Bell Lightbox on June 3, 2022. On Tuesday, May 31, the day after the premiere, TIFF will screen Crash (1996), setting the stage for both the theatrical release of Crimes of the Future and a four-film TIFF Cinematheque series spotlighting Cronenberg’s earlier work, titled Cronenberg: Crimes of the Past and running July 2 to July 10. The series features screenings of Videodrome (1983), Dead Ringers (1988), eXistenZ (1999), and a second screening of Crash. Tickets for Cronenberg: Crimes of the Past go on sale Wednesday, June 22 for TIFF Members and to the public the following week on June 29. All screenings will take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Pieces from David Cronenberg‘s collection will be on-display also throughout TIFF Bell Lightbox in celebration of the Film.
David Cronenberg‘s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE will be premiering at Cannes! This is the sixth time the Canadian Filmmaker has appeared at the Festival in competition.
Shot in Athens, the Film stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart and Scott Speedman.
As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen), celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed… Their mission – to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.
From Sphere Films (formerly MK2 | MILE END), the Film will be opening across Canada on June 3, 2022, following its world premiere in the Official Competition at the Festival de Cannes
Following its premiere at TIFF ’20, FALLING gets a release in Canada via Mongrel Media. See the new Trailer!
John (Viggo Mortensen) lives with his partner, Eric (Terry Chen), and their daughter, Monica (Gabby Velis), in California, far from the traditional rural life he left behind years ago. His father, Willis (Lance Henriksen), a headstrong man from a bygone era, lives alone on the isolated farm where John grew up. Willis’s mind is declining, so John brings him west, hoping he and his sister, Sarah (Laura Linney), can help their father find a home closer to them. Their best intentions ultimately run up against Willis’s angry refusal to change his way of life in any way. In his directorial debut, Mortensen explores the fractures and contrasts of a contemporary family. Willis’s abrasive nature, by turns caustic and funny, is aggravated by memory loss, bringing past and present into conflict. As father and son finally confront events that have torn them apart, including their differing recollections of John’s mother, Gwen (Hannah Gross), we embark on a journey from darkness to light, from rage and resentment to acceptance and hard-won grace.
See the Trailer:
Mongrel Media release FALLING February 5, 2021 on-demand, digitally and in select theatres (TBD).
Viggo Mortensen’s Toronto-made directorial debut follows a turbulent relationship between father and son. With Falling, Mortensen examines the strong bond between relatives even after they’ve become severed. The focus here is on the relationship between John (Mortensen) and his ill yet overtly profane father Willis (Lance Henriksen).
Early, the conflict starts with conservative Willis being forced to move from his rural farm to Los Angeles to be cared for. It’s a difficult decision for John to make. Willis physically and mentally-abused his wife, Gwen (Hannah Gross), while John was growing up. He also relentlessly spews sexist, racist and homophobic remarks. Despite being against his father’s hateful rhetoric, John decides to move Willis in with him, his husband and child.
Mortensen’s Film works. His Script is filled with familial conflict and tension. For example, scenes where John’s family are having or making dinner are filled with tender moments of affection. These moments are often challenged by Willis who figuratively has his hand on the trigger, aiming at his family’s happiness. Although this makes for complex, emotional scenes it creates an irredeemable character. Mortensen doesn’t give much room for the audience to sympathize with Willis. His repetitious hate speech causes our blood to boil. However, this might be Mortensen’s intension. If so, he’s succeeded.
John repeatedly forgives his father’s inexcusable insults. Even when Willis is degrading who John and his family are. This becomes problematic for the story because John is happily married to a man. There isn’t a clear explanation as to why he easily forgives his father’s repugnant insults. Unfortunately, it’s this gray area that’s not clearly explained which hinders the storyline.
The one thing about Willis that isn’t wrong is who’s playing him. Henriksen is a powerhouse as the ailing repugnant patriarch. He’s fully committed to each hideous line Willis spews. Mortensen turns-in a touching performance as a man torn between caring for a hurtful father and protecting his family from degradation. While not getting a lot of screen time, Gross manages to turn in an impactful performance as the endearing Gwen.
Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut follows the turbulent relationship between a father and son.
With Falling, Mortensen examines the strong bond between relatives even after they’ve become severed. The focus here is on the relationship between John (Mortensen) and his ill yet overtly profane father Willis (Lance Henriksen). The performances are outstanding, particularly Henriksen who plays a remarkably unlikeable character. Willis continuously makes sexist, racist and homophobic remarks, however, no matter how hateful his rhetoric John always forgives him. This becomes a problem for the story because John is happily married to a man and there is no explanation behind why he easily forgives and forgets his father’s repugnant insults.
Falling screens at Sundance on Fri, Jan. 31st at 6:30 PM at Eccles Theatre, Sat, Feb. 1st at 5:30 PM at The MARC Theatre, and Sun, Feb. 2nd at 3:30 PM at Rose Wagner Center.