TIFF 2016 Dispatch: Chapter 41 Opens3 min read

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The Toronto International Film Festival’s 41st chapter runs 8-18 September 2016 and will feature 397 feature and short films from 83 countries screening across 16 programs. As in previous years, overall content from Asia is proportionally scarce. East Asia’s trio of Chinese-language, Japanese and South Korean cinemas, which constantly form the bulk of TIFF’s Asian programming, offer their usual several to a dozen titles each. But this year, TIFF’s preferred flag-bearer of Southeast Asia—the Philippines, normally represented by at least several films due to curatorial dedication, is down to just two features. Elsewhere, films from Bhutan and Myanmar are welcome additions due to their rarity.

Nods to Asian cinema can nonetheless be seen elsewhere in the lineup. This year’s high profile opening film is Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven (2016), an update of John Sturges’ eponymous 1960 Western, which was in turn remade from Kurosawa Akira’s classic Seven Samurai (1954). On a more contemporary front, competing in TIFF’s Platform competition is Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s Daguerrotype (2016), his first film shot outside Japan. A France-set, French-language spectral tale centred on the ghostly photographic technique, it recalls his supernatural vintages over the years in what’s no doubt an enterprising attempt to produce Japanese wine for French tastes.

This year’s Asian or Asian-interest feature films are:

Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (Khyentse Norbu, Bhutan/Hong Kong 2016) – Platform

Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming) (Ann Marie Fleming, Canada 2016) – Special Presentations

China/Hong Kong/Taiwan
Godspeed (Chung Mong-hong, Taiwan 2016) – Vanguard
The Horse Thief (Tian Zhuangzhuang, China 1986) – TIFF Cinematheque
I Am Not Madame Bovary (Feng Xiaogang, China 2016) – Special Presentations
Leehom Wang’s Open Fire Concert Film (Homeboy Music Inc., Taiwan 2016) – Special Presentations
Mad World (Wong Chun, Hong Kong 2016) – Discovery
Old Stone (Johnny Ma, Canada/China 2016) – Discovery
Soul on a String (Zhang Yang, China 2016) – Contemporary World Cinema
Ta’ang (Wang Bing, France/Hong Kong 2016) – Wavelengths

Headshot (Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, Indonesia 2016) – Midnight Madness

After the Storm (Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan 2016) – Masters
Harmonium (Fukada Koji, France/Japan 2016) – Special Presentations
The Long Excuse (Nishikawa Miwa, Japan 2016) – Special Presentations
Rage (Lee Sang-il, Japan 2016) – Special Presentations
The Red Turtle (Michael Dudok de Wit, Belgium/France/Japan 2016) – Discovery
Sadako vs. Kayako (Shiraishi Koji, Japan 2016) – Midnight Madness

Interchange (Dain Iskandar Said, Indonesia/Malaysia 2016) – Vanguard

In Exile (Tin Win Naing, Germany/Myanmar 2016) – TIFF Docs
The Road to Mandalay (Midi Z, France/Germany/Myanmar/Taiwan 2016) – Contemporary World Cinema

Ma’ Rosa (Brillante Ma Mendoza, Philippines 2016) – Masters
The Woman Who Left (Lav Diaz, Philippines 2016) – Wavelengths

Apprentice (Boo Junfeng, France/Germany/Hong Kong/Qatar/Singapore 2016) – Contemporary World Cinema

South Korea
The Age of Shadows (Kim Jee-woon, South Korea 2016) – Special Presentations
Asura: The City of Madness (Kim Sung-soo, South Korea 2016) – Special Presentations
The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, South Korea 2016) – Special Presentations
The Net (Kim Ki-duk, South Korea 2016) – Masters
Yourself and Yours (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 2016) – Masters

By The Time It Gets Dark (Anocha Suwichakornpong, France/Netherlands/Qatar/Thailand 2016) – Wavelengths

ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail
(Steve James, USA 2016) – TIFF Docs
All I See Is You (Marc Forster, Thailand/USA 2016) – Special Presentations
Birth of the Dragon (George Nolfi, Canada/China/USA 2016) – Special Presentations
Burn Your Maps (Jordan Roberts, USA 2016) – Special Presentations

Brandon Wee

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