All of This Has Happened Before …

Well, would you look at that. I’ve been so busy writing stuff for next week’s Hot Docs supplement that I almost forgot about all of the movies opening this week.

But only almost.

Bert Stern: Original Mad Man: Hey, did you know that the crisp fashions and stark lighting scheme of Mad Men is based on an actual aesthetic, pioneered in part by photographer Bert Stern? Here is a documentary that tells you this. John ain’t buying it.

It’s a Disaster: Todd Berger’s dreary comedy of manners about four couples trapped at brunch after a terrorist attack in Los Angeles opens just a few days after a really bad week for explosions in America. Don’t confuse luck with relevance.

Molly Maxwell: Sara St. Onge’s teen drama about a 16-year-old girl (Lola Tash) infatuated with her photography teacher (Charlie Carrick) finds favor with Rad. Wish it had been available when I was loading up on TIFF Kids screeners.

My Awkward Sexual Adventure: I  can understand Midnight’s Children and The End of Time landing on Canada’s Top Ten. (As I’ve said before, imagine the blowback if a famous Canadian director didn’t get his or her film on that list.) But I’m still unable to rationalize the inclusion of Sean Garrity’s one-not-particularly-great-joke comedy on the 2012 roster.

Oblivion: Demonstrating that the weird soullessness of Tron Legacy was not just some trick of the greenscreen, director Joseph Kosinski delivers another expansive sci-fi epic that’s as hollow as it is attractive. Although if he’d replaced Tom Cruise with Richard Jenkins — even in post-production — this could have been a masterpiece.

The Substance: Albert Hoffmann’s LSD: As the hallucinogenic compound marks its 70th anniversary (by going out to the bluffs and tripping balls, I’d expect), Martin Witz’ documentary gets a well-timed release. Rad is, like, totally down with it.

To the Wonder: Terrence Malick slips even further into the experimental than he did in The Tree of Life, telling the story of a crumbling marriage on an almost purely emotional level. Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko (who also does a little twirling this week in Oblivion) are impressively expressive, and Javier Bardem talks to God.

Wrong: Look, you either think Quentin Dupieux is a subversive genius bent on disassembling American cinema or you think he’s an inexplicably indulged twerp who can’t tell a story to save his life. I guess you know which side I’m on.

And there we have it! There’s something else yet to come today, but I’ll post that later on. Enjoy the suspense!

One thought on “All of This Has Happened Before …”

  1. You are totally right – Oblivion with Richard Jenkins becomes AWESOME. As it is, I’m struggling to remember any of it. (Not that I’m trying all that hard.)

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