Our first day was hectic as hell, so much so that we ended up going full-speed for nearly twenty-four hours straight. Note to future TIFF-goers: Do everything in your power to show up before the festival begins. Trust me on this. It's day freaking four and I still haven't recovered.
Anyway, here's my inital impressions. It was a tough day, but the movies made it entirely worthwhile:
Brand Upon the Brain! (Guy Maddin) (**** out of ****)
Easily the oddest, most amazing thing Maddin's ever done (and yes, I'd say the same without the orchestra, castrati, narration and live sound effects). A bizarre mix of children's detective fiction, oedipal drama, and 1930's genre filmmaking, tied together in a silent film package. If you're a Maddin fan, you definitely need to seek this out.
The Host (Bong Joon-Ho) (**** out of ****)
The hype has been deafening ever since this premiered out-of-competition at the Cannes film festival. And, for once, with good cause. It's a close-to-perfect monster movie that hits again and again with some of the best set-pieces I've seen in one of these films (especially that opening attack). Some have complained about the length, but even though I was exhausted from a super-long day, it never seemed too long to me. An absolute must-see when it opens later this year.
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