Films from Herzog, Von Trotta and Hartley to drop

Films from Herzog, Von Trotta and Hartley to drop

Last week, the Toronto International Film Festival started to roll out the big guns, announcing the names of 20 international titles set to drop at this year’s festival. You can check out the full list yourself on the festival website, but what follows is a break down of the sweetest sounding names (to this critic’s ears at least).

The first piece of big news is that Werner Herzog, fresh from his showcase at Hot Docs, will be back in Toronto to show the world his newest film, Rescue Dawn . If you’ve seen Herzog’s 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly, then you’ve experienced a rendition of this story already. In Rescue Dawn, Herzog returns to the story of Dieter Dingler, a German-born, American Navy pilot shot down over Laos and taken prisoner by Pathet Lao. This time, in lieu of walking back through time with the real-life Dieter, he has cast Christian Bale in the pilot’s role. Check out the trailer here.

Also included in this year’s Masters’ Series is the newest film from the grande dame of German cinema, Margarethe von Trotta, entitled I am the Other Woman. Penned by former Fassbinder scribes Peter Märthesheimer and Pea Fröhlich, the film tells the schizophrenic tale of an architect whose one-night stand with a mysterious woman leads him to more than he ever bargained for. The trailer and stills are here.

The most exciting news was the announcement that the festival will feature the world premiere of American indie king Hal Hartley’s Fay Grim. A sequel of sorts to Hartley’s 1997 Henry Fool, Fay Grim stars Parker Posey as a single mother desperately trying to protect her son from growing up like his now-vanished father, Henry, an egomaniacal garbage man and failed genius. The CIA tells her Henry died in a hotel fire in Sweden soon after he disappeared. But her brother Simon, whose been ruminating over the issue from his jail cell, is convinced that Henry’s seemingly worthless autobiography contains the coded history of unknown atrocities committed by a whole slate of foreign governments. When Fay heads to Paris to pick up Henry’s property, she falls into a rabbit hole of espionage that ultimately exposes the secret history of her “worthless” husband. It’s probably a good idea to see Henry Fool first, but either way, this promises to be a dry, intellectual tour de force.

Also of note:British it-kid Shane Meadows’ This is England, about a young boy growing up in Thatcherite Britain who, after the death of his father, embraces skin-head culture and participates in the 1983 race riots.

Eytan Fox’s The Bubble, about the ripple effect felt by a group of previously politically oblivious young Tel Aviv scenesters when a gay romance blooms between two of them: Noam, an Israeli and Ashraf, a Palestinian.

Laurent Herbiet’s Mon Colonel, written and produced by renowned filmmaker Costa Gavras, about the conflicted relationship between a colonel and young officer during the colonial war between France and Algeria.

Acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s first samurai film, Hana, about a young man struggling to avenge his father’s death.

Ari Sandel’s Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show, a behind-the-scenes look at the complex psyches of four rising stand-up comedians as they ride around the states with Vince Vaughn.