Sunday, August 5, 2007

2 official, 2 unofficial TIFF announcements

The big TIFF07 news this week is that Woody Allen’s newest feature, CASSANDRA’S DREAM, will premiere at the festival as a Gala presentation. The film stars Colin Farrell, Tom Wilkinson, and Ewan McGregor and will no doubt be on many critc's must see lists as the festival countdown continues. The festival describes the film as "...a powerful and thrilling story about two brothers (Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell) who are desperate to better their troubled lives. One is a chronic gambler up to his ears in debt; the other is a young man in love with a beautiful actress (newcomer Hayley Atwell) whom he has just recently met. Their lives gradually become entangled as a result of a sinister situation with intense and unfortunate results."

It seems that there are 2 types of filmgoers; the kind that adores the filmmaker that brought us the films ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN, and those that will respond to this announcement with a shrug of the shoulders and the click of a mouse. So depending on the camp you’re in, this announcement may or may not have the resonance a press release like this tends to garner. Either way, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering its appearance in Venice days earlier.

The other title that was “officially” announced this week is the film ACROSS THE UNIVERSE from Julie Taymor. This will also be screening as a Gala presentation and unfortunately, seems to have been overshadowed by the above announcement. The film is a romantic musical set in the 1960’s and follows the story of two lovers as they explore the challenges and changes of the turbulent times, all to the soundtrack of “30 revolutionary, generation-defining songs”. As the current list stands, this looks like one of the more intriquing Gala releases.

Two more titles were also added to the festival roster recently, albeit unofficially. Outside sources report that Ang Lee’s World War II-era espionage thriller LUST, CAUTION will have an official screening, as well as Shinji Aoyama's SAD VACATION. SAD VACATION will be a part of the Vanguard program, while the program for LUST, CAUTION has yet to be confirmed. While these have not been officially announced by the festival, expect to see a press release with these titles soon.

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