What I'm Watching at TIFF '18: David Ehrlich
"My body is ready."
What I’m Watching asks the friends of the Toronto International Film Festival, both old and new, what films they’re most excited to watch at this year’s Festival.
Today: Film critic and TIFF Long Take guest, David Ehrlich.
Senior Film Critic, IndieWire
Number of years attending TIFF:
Favourite past TIFF movie:
The Duke of Burgundy by Peter Strickland
The most movies you’ve ever seen at one Festival:
42 in 2013
If Beale Street Could Talk
dir. Barry Jenkins
James Baldwin was a pretty good writer. Barry Jenkins is a pretty good filmmaker. I’m a simple man, but I have to think that one adapting the other should make for a pretty good movie.
In all seriousness, early indications suggest that Jenkins’ unflinching, head-on, emotionally direct brand of humanism is a perfect complement to Baldwin’s aching story of love and injustice. If you don’t have If Beale Street Could Talk at the top of your TIFF list, go rewatch Moonlight and see if that changes.
If Beale Street Could Talk plays TIFF on September 9 and 10 as part of the Special Presentations programme.
dir. Brady Corbet
I was knocked sideways by Brady Corbet’s dizzyingly ambitious The Childhood of a Leader, a debut film as discordant and uncompromising as the Scott Walker score that accompanied it. I’m not surprised that his second feature is an even bigger swing for the fences, and I can’t wait to see how Corbet’s dark sensibilities colour a multi-generational character study about a pop star (Natalie Portman!) whose career is shaped by violence. And not only is Scott Walker back, but he’s brought Sia with him. My body is ready.
Vox Lux plays TIFF on September 7 and 10 as part of the Special Presentations programme.
dir. Alfonso Cuarón
Gravity may not have moved the needle for me, but Alfonso Cuarón is a genuine visionary, and I can’t wait to see him come down to earth with his “most personal” film to date. Rumour has it that it might also be his best.
ROMA plays daily at TIFF from September 10 to 16 as part of the Special Presentations programme.
dir. Claire Denis
A new Claire Denis movie? Dayenu — that alone would have been enough. A new Claire Denis movie set in outer space? Stick it in my veins. A new Claire Denis movie set in outer space, starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, and André Benjamin!? This thing is basically film nerd Star Wars.
High Life plays TIFF on September 9, 11, and 14 as part of the Gala Presentations programme.
dir. Mia Hansen-Løve
If I’ve learned anything at TIFF over the years, it’s that Mia Hansen-Løve might be the world’s most consistently great working filmmaker. After the likes of Goodbye First Love, Eden, and Things to Come (in a row!), I don’t need to know much about Maya to know that I need to see it.
Maya plays TIFF on September 12, 13, and 16 as part of the Special Presentations programme.