With the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) now only one month away, more film titles have been confirmed for the festival which runs from 6th - 15th September.
Following on from last week's news regarding the Midnight Madness strand (which already boasts premieres of George A. Romero's Diary Of The Dead and Stuart Gordon's Stuck), the line up will be completed by the latest films from Japanese maverick Takashi Miike and - as predicted - Italian legend Dario Argento!
MOTHER OF TEARS Dario Argento, Italy/USA
Italian horror fans rejoice! The maestro of cinematic murder, Dario Argento, is back with the long-awaited conclusion of his The Three Mothers trilogy (SUSPIRIA and INFERNO were the first two films) with MOTHER OF TEARS. Archaeology student Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento, the director's daughter) opens an ancient urn that releases the demonic forces of a powerful witch. Havoc explodes in the streets of Rome as waves of suicide and violent crime herald the dark priestess' rebirth. The Age of Witches is at hand, but Sarah is the only one who can save the world from descending into a hellstorm of supernatural chaos. Also starring Udo Kier and Daria Nicolodi.
SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO Takashi Miike, Japan
Tighten your saddlebags, load your revolvers and pack your chopsticks for cult cinema bad boy Takashi Miike's audacious wagon ride mash-up into the wild, wild east. A familiar spaghetti western premise that involves a mysterious stranger arriving into the middle of two clans feuding over hidden loot gets sliced and diced into new Americana-Kabuki-baroque fare: Buddhist temples sit alongside saloons, samurai swords hang from gun belts and sake flows with blood. Blue-eyed samurai Quentin Tarantino makes his first Japanese film appearance in Miike's first English language film. Starring Hideaki Ito, Koichi Sato, Yusuke Iseya, Yoshino Kimura, and Masanobu Ando.
In addition to the exciting Midnight Madness programme there are already a number of other films screening at TIFF which will be of interest to genre fans and which I will be hoping to cover while I am out there.
These include David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises (also just confirmed as the opening film at this year's London Film Festival in October) and No Country For Old Men, the latest from the Coen brothers:
THE BRAVE ONE (Dir: Neil Jordan, USA/Australia)
Two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster stars in a bracing thriller from filmmaker Neil Jordan (BREAKFAST ON PLUTO, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, THE CRYING GAME). New York radio host Erica Bain (Foster) has a life that she loves and a fiancé she adores - and it all is taken away when a brutal attack leaves Erica badly wounded and her fiancé dead. Unable to move past the tragedy, Erica begins prowling the city streets at night to track down the men she holds responsible. Her dark pursuit of justice catches the public's attention, and New York is riveted by her anonymous exploits. But with the NYPD desperate to find the culprit and a dogged police detective (Terrence Howard) hot on her trail, she must decide whether her quest for revenge is truly the right path, or if she is indeed becoming the very thing she is trying to stop. Also starring Naveen Andrews, Nicky Katt and Mary Steenburgen.
CHRYSALIS (Dir: Julien Leclercq, France)
In Julien Leclercq's action feature debut, a lieutenant returns to the line of duty to hunt down a dangerous smuggler behind a series of murders, including his wife's own. The investigation leads him to a state-of-the-art clinic where memories are a precious and highly coveted commodity. Starring Albert Dupontel, Estelle Lefébure, Marie Guillard, Marthe Keller and Mélanie Thierry.
EASTERN PROMISES (Dir: David Cronenberg, UK/Canada)
Acclaimed director David Cronenberg reunites with his A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE leading man Viggo Mortensen for a new thriller. EASTERN PROMISES follows the mysterious and ruthless Nikolai (Mortensen), a Russian gangster tied to one of London's most notorious organized crime families. His carefully maintained existence is shaken when he crosses paths with Anna (Naomi Watts), an innocent midwife who accidentally uncovers potential evidence against the family. This sets into motion a harrowing chain of murder, deceit, and retribution, with Nikolai at the apex of it all. EASTERN PROMISES also stars Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinead Cusack, and Jerzy Skolimowski.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Dir: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, USA)
Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds a pickup truck surrounded by a sentry of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law - in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) - can contain.
RENDITION (Dir: Gavin Hood, USA)
Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, Peter Sarsgaard and Alan Arkin head an all-star ensemble cast in RENDITION, a compelling thriller from Gavin Hood, director of the Academy Award-winning TSOTSI (winner of the TIFF 2005 People's Choice Award). Witherspoon plays Isabella El-Ibrahimi, the American wife of Egyptian-born chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) who disappears on a flight from South Africa to Washington. Isabella desperately tries to track her husband down, while a CIA analyst (Gyllenhaal) at a secret detention facility outside the U.S. is forced to question his assignment as he becomes party to the man's unorthodox interrogation.
THEY WAIT (Dir: Ernie Barbarash, BC)
Inspired by true events, the skillful and stylish THEY WAIT tells the terrifying tale of one family's encounter with angry spirits during Ghost Month, a traditional Chinese festival. After living in Shanghai for three years, Sarah (Jamie King) returns to North America with her family for a funeral. Soon after they arrive, her son falls ill and she must save him from the grip of a tormented spirit. Also starring Cheng Pei Pei, Terry Chen, Henry O, Colin Foo, Regay Oey and Michael Biehn.
WALK ALL OVER ME (Dir: Robert Cuffley, AB/MB)
Starring multiple Golden Globe nominee Leelee Sobieski, WALK ALL OVER ME is the story of Alberta (Sobieski), who runs into serious trouble when she takes on her friend's identity as a dominatrix (Tricia Helfer) in order to pay the bills. Alberta's soirée with her first customer is interrupted by a trio of criminals and she soon becomes targeted by one of them who believes that she has their money. Also starring Lothaire Bluteau and Jacob Tierney.
For full details of this year's TIFF check out the website at www.tiff07.ca.