Toronto International Film Festival

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Here are five trailers for films we now know are coming to TIFF

This morning, the Toronto International Film Festival made its first in what will certainly be a long series of programming announcements leading up to the September 4 commencement of this year’s event. Today’s unveiling consisted of 13 “gala” films (meaning, big-deal premieres) and 46 “special presentations” (meaning, almost-as-big-deal premieres).

Despite having lost some major debuts to rival festivals in places like New York and Venice, TIFF’s initial offering comprises some legitimately exciting titles, including David Cronenberg’s latest, as well as a comedy with Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, and the world premiere of a new Jake Gyllenhaal movie. Here are trailers for those, and a few other movies included in today’s reveal.

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Should Toronto have a 4 a.m. last call? These people certainly think so

The term “world-class city” gets thrown around a lot these days—especially in Toronto, which seems haunted by it—but it tends to mean different things to different people. For a group of scrappy fun-lovers that have started a campaign called Extend Last Call T.O., being world class amounts to one thing: extending last call to 4 a.m.

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TIFF’s new policy: only world and North American premieres can play the busiest days of the festival

Tiff-Telluride

The Toronto International Film Festival is such a big deal to locals that it’s easy for us to lose sight of the fact that it’s just one of many global film festivals, all of which are competing for the esteem of a mercurial industry. This week, things got a little cutthroat when it emerged that TIFF is imposing a new rule on filmmakers: if a movie has already played another North American festival before it comes to Toronto, it goes to the back of the line.

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The Dark Knight: David Cronenberg’s creepy obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

The Dark Night: David Cronenberg’s obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

In a way, David Cronenberg put me in the hospital. Last January, I attended a screening of a documentary by the filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock about the black market buying and selling of human organs, called Tales From the Organ Trade. Bienstock had asked Cronenberg to narrate because his own films traffic in what she called “intelligent discomfort.” His enlistment was a wink, a good match for the director known as the Baron of Blood. Cronenberg, with his nasally, Vincent Price pitch, guides the audience through gruesome images of organ-emptied torsos and desperately ill patients who rinse their blood in whirring machines while awaiting new kidneys. His looming presence, associated with films about the sexual penetration of open wounds (Crash) and talking half-alien typewriters (Naked Lunch) and TV screens pulsating like O’Keeffe vagina flowers (Videodrome), doesn’t exactly lighten the mood. I fainted, then vomited, then went to the hospital in an ambulance.

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The 50 Most Influential People in Toronto: who really runs this city?

The 50 Most Influential People in Toronto 2013 You know you live in interesting times when the chief of police is the most powerful person in town. What propelled Chief Blair to the top of our Influentials list was Rob Ford’s Crackgate—a story that consumed the city for much of the last year and whose bewildering narrative is still being written. Of course, Ford wasn’t the only politician who behaved badly in 2013. Chronic dysfunction is evident at all levels of government, from the petty infighting at city hall to the crippling gamesmanship at Queen’s Park and the expense scandals on Parliament Hill. And yet, it’s not all doom and gloom. Some of the city’s most formidable leaders are outside the traditional halls of power: global hip-hop stars, tech titans, gossip bloggers and guitar-strumming astronauts, among others. The people ranked here all did something in 2013 that made an impact on our lives, for better or for worse. Our list demonstrates that sometimes influence is enduring, sometimes it’s fickle and sometimes it rests on a single cellphone video that could forever change the complexion of the city.

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TIFF

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TIFF Style Guide Sponsored by Yorkdale: how to pull off modern manliness like Zac Efron

TIFF Style Guide: Zac Efron

Although Zac Efron hit the bigtime via the choreographed pep and too-cute haircuts of High School Musical, the actor has since proven himself a grown-up style icon with a propensity for sharp tailoring. When he walks the TIFF red carpet for ensemble drama Parkland this week, try to ignore the hordes of screaming girls and focus on what he’s wearing: the star has mastered the art of creating youthful takes on the classics. That’s why we worked with Yorkdale Shopping Centre to show you how to pull off his look.

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TIFF

TIFF Films

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The 50 Buzziest Films of TIFF: We Cut Through the Hype So You Don’t Have To

The 50 buzziest films of TIFF 2013

Single tickets for the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival go on sale this Sunday, September 1. The schedule, packed with hundreds of films, can make choosing what to see a rather daunting task. The solution: our guide to the 50 most talked-about movies at the festival this year, in which we scrutinize the advance hype (and the buzz from Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and Venice) to separate the must-sees from the flicks that only a mother could love.

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50 Most Influential 2012: a short interview with TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey

Under TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey, Toronto has become the place to premiere an Oscar-bait film. Since he’s taken the helm, audience attendance has steadily grown and the festival has cemented its place as the city’s top cultural event. Bailey, No. 15 on our list of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential People 2012, chatted with us about his first job, his extensive knowledge of hospital food and the movie he thinks has had the most impact this year. Though he says he doesn’t have a personal motto, if he did, he thinks it would be: “Work harder. Do more. Get better.” Either way, it’s working.

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Venice vs. TIFF fashion showdown, Naomi Watts edition

Venice vs. TIFF fashion showdown, Naomi Watts edition
Naomi Watts seems to have a thing for evening gowns in nude and blush, so the bateau-necked lace Marchesa dress she wore at the Venice Film Festival premiere of The Reluctant Fundamentalist in late August was well within her comfort zone (though quite ornate, considering she wasn’t actually in the film—she attended as hubbie Liev Shrieber’s plus-one). However, the actress did opt for colour earlier this week with a lavender-hued gown from Elie Saab—who has been a favourite of the stars at this year’s festival—for the TIFF premiere of The Impossible. We love the pleated detailing at the waist, and we give the actress kudos for her stamina—we can’t imagine it was comfortable to spend a full night in a dress that form-fitting (or that low-cut).

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TIFF WEEKEND ROUNDUP: The five hottest parties from the festival’s first few nights

Movie debuts and closed-door distribution deals may be the driving forces behind the Toronto International Film Festival, but it’s the late-night soirées and off-hours socializing that we really wait to see every September. From cute celebrity couples cooing in the corner to a private rendezvous between Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart to the hot mess that was the Spring Breakers post-premiere party, TIFF is just as much about nonstop star-studded gloss as it is about the, you know, films. With that in mind, we offer a quick roundup of some of the best bashes from the film fest’s opening weekend.

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TIFF PARTY: Christina Hendricks and Elle Fanning catch up like schoolgirls at the Ginger and Rosa after-party

Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola and Christina Hendricks (Image: Lu Chau/Photoganist)

Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars buzzed around the Entertainment District on Friday night, promoting nine star-studded films being screened on day two of the Toronto International Film Festival. On the corner of Duncan and Pearl, a small crowd of mainly curious bar-hoppers loitered by two red carpets set up on each side of Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji’s newest venue, the AMC Storys—the location of last year’s hyped Soho House pop-up club. Still, it was after midnight before the stars started to show for the Ginger and Rosa post-premiere party.

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TIFF PRESS CONFERENCE: Bruce Willis on Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Bruce Willis in Looper

TIFF PRESS CONFERENCE: Bruce Willis on Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Bruce Willis in Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis at the press conference for Looper (Image: Erin Seaman)

Apparently, answering questions is the hardest part of an actor’s job. Or at least Bruce Willis said so, and we think quite seriously. We didn’t even notice a hint of that signature Willis smirk (and, believe us, we really wanted to see the smirk).

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Events

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The Weekender: TIFF, Lewis Black and five other events on our to-do list

Lauryn Hill performs at the ONEXONE fundraiser on Saturday (Image: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Entertainment)

1. LEWIS BLACK: RUNNING ON EMPTY
If Lewis Black comes across as a shouting man more than a funny man, that’s because there just seems to be so much to shout about—and never more so than in a U.S. presidential election year, when sanity tends to leap out the window. Hence his latest show, Running on Empty, in which Black brings his signature curmudgeonly exasperation to bear on Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers and a host of other groups that make him sick. The Daily Show regular says he enjoys playing to Canadian audiences, since they don’t arrive at the theatre with the built-in Democrat or Republican bias his U.S. audiences have, so perhaps the anger will be toned down a half per cent or so at his Massey Hall engagement. September 7. $35.50-$55.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com

2. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Toronto’s biggest, shiniest week-and-a-half-long party kicks off tomorrow with the world premiere of the confusing time-travel thriller Looper, and doesn’t let up until the end of next week at the earliest. Film buffs have already filled out their ticket packages, but for the less organized, there are still plenty of single tickets available for the less celeb-strewn screenings (check out our guide to this year’s 50 buzziest flicks for tips). Gawkers and (celeb) stalkers of all stripes will be on the scene, and party crashers will be practising their smoothest bouncer-buttering-up all weekend long. Keep a browser tab open to tiff.to for full coverage of the insanity. September 6 to 16. Various locations, 416-599-8433, tiff.net

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CONFIRMED: Fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier will be at TIFF 2012

(Image: David Shankbone)

(Image: David Shankbone)

Famed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier (you know his name from that line in The Devil Wears Prada) has confirmed his attendance at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar vet will set up a photo studio for the camera-loving stars at NKPR and RW&Co’s free swag room, the IT Lounge, considerably upping its A-list draw. [NOW]

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TIFF 2012: 17 galas, 45 special presentations and a lot of star power at this year’s festival

This morning, TIFF CEO Piers Handling and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey announced TIFF 2012’s opening night gala, galas and special presentations. The big surprise? Genre film Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, is opening the festival, and not Midnight’s Children as some had hoped. It appears that TIFF is continuing to have fun by “mixing things up,” evidenced by the fact that in the last two years, TIFF has opened with hockey musical Score: The Musical (2010) and U2 rock doc From The Sky Down (2011). But besides the surprising opening night gala, there’s a lot to be excited about, including the star power that could be coming through Toronto this September.

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