TIFF 2013 Dispatch: The 38th Toronto International Film Festival Opens2 min read

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tiff 2013

Toronto’s most celebrated annual film festival runs 5-15 September 2013 and will screen more than 360 films from 70 countries across 15 programs. Known more for its launch platform for American films as the fall award season begins in the US, Toronto has nonetheless maintained its reputation since inception as a festival that aims to serve the cream of contemporary world cinema each September.

Although Toronto doesn’t specialize in Asian cinema the way the Vancouver International Film Festival does, it still mounts a decent, if inconsistent selection of Asian films. Like the rest of its programming, the range here spans the genre gamut: art house, experimental, middlebrow, extreme, and everything in between. This year, Chinese-language and Japanese films are the most visible, followed by those from South Korea and the Philippines.

Hotly anticipated films include three that won major awards at the Cannes Film Festival in May: Like Father, Like Son, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s switched-at-birth tale; A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhangke’s commentary on the ills in Chinese society; The Missing Picture, Pahn Rithy’s partly-animated Khmer Rouge documentary; and Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen’s domestic drama. Also expected to attract interest is Miyazaki Hayao’s The Wind Rises—the Studio Ghibli co-founder’s last film in view of his retirement announcement a week ago.

At a glance, here is Toronto’s selection from (or about) Asia:

Canopy (Aaron Wilson, Australia 2013)

The Missing Picture (Pahn Rithy, Cambodia/France 2013)

China/Hong Kong/Taiwan
A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, China/Japan 2013)
American Dreams in China (Peter Chan, Hong Kong/China 2013)
Bends (Flora Lau, Hong Kong 2013)
Blind Detective (Johnnie To, Hong Kong 2013)
Man of Tai Chi (Keanu Reeves, China/USA 2013)
Rigor Mortis (Juno Mak, Hong Kong 2013)
Soul (Chung Mong-hong, Taiwan 2013)
Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang, France/Taiwan 2013)
‘Til Madness Do Us Part (Wang Bing, France/Hong Kong/Japan 2013)
This is Sanlitun (Róbert I. Douglas, China/Iceland/Ireland 2013)
Trap Street (Vivian Qu, China 2013)
Unbeatable (Dante Lam, Hong Kong/China 2013)

An Autumn Afternoon (Ozu Yasujiro, 1962)
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alan Resnais, France/Japan 1959)
Like Father, Like Son (Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2013)
Ningen (Guillaume Giovanetti and Çagla Zencirci, Japan/Turkey 2013)
R100 (Matsumoto Hitoshi, 2013)
REAL (Kurosawa Kiyoshi, 2013)
Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (Sion Sono, 2013)
The Wind Rises (Miyazaki Hayao, 2013)
Unforgiven (Lee Sang-il, 2013)

The Philippines
The Bit Player (Jeffrey Jeturian, 2013)
Manila in the Claws of Light (Lino Brocka, 1975)
Norte, The End of History (Lav Diaz, 2013)
Sapi (Brillante Ma Mendoza, 2013)
La última película (Raya Martin and Mark Peranson, Canada/Denmark/Mexico/Philippines 2013)

Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen, 2013)

South Korea
Cold Eyes (Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo, 2013)
The Fake (Yeon Sang-ho, 2013)
Intruders (Noh Young-seok, 2013)
Moebius (Kim Ki-duk, 2013)
Our Sunhi (Hong Sang-soo, 2013)

Brandon Wee

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