After getting some needed tickets early this morning, I met up for lunch with a friend – Bill Taylor. We met in line for TALK TO HER at TIFF in 2002, and we’ve stayed in touch all these years. He’s a talented filmmaker, and we will screen one of his films – THE YOUNG PRIME MINISTER – at this year’s LGBT Film Fest (it plays with I KILLED MY MOTHER on opening night – Friday, Sept. 24). Do you already have tickets?
In regards to screenings, I saw three films today.
First off was Susanne Bier’s IN A BETTER WORLD. Bier is an incredible filmmaker. The first film I saw by her was also at the 2002 festival – OPEN HEARTS. She is also responsible for the original BROTHERS (the superior film on which the American remake was based). IN A BETTER WORLD is quite wonderful. The film goes back and forth from a refugee camp in Africa to a small town in Denmark…and follows two families along the way (one of the protagonists is a doctor who makes trips to aid with medicine at the camp). There are lots of details to the plot, but the film is essentially an examination of ethics while pursuing justice. The photography is lovely, and the performances are great. Being that Sony Classics has picked it up, I imagine we will bring it to THE NEON. (sorry…no subtitles on the trailer)
Next up was Julian Schnabel’s MIRAL – starring Freida Pinto (from SLUMDOG) and with smaller parts by Hiam Abbass (from LEMON TREE and THE VISITOR) and Vanessa Redgrave. The film is the true story of an orphaned Palestinian girl growing up in the volatile Arab-Israeli War. Though not his best work, the story is of epic scale and is a strong story. With Schnabel as a Jew and the author of the book – Rual Jebreal (the main character of the story) – as a Palestinian, the creation of the film already nods toward peace. The final credit states, “This film is dedicated to everyone, on both sides, who still believe peace is possible.” This film will certainly spur discussion.
MIRAL was introduced by Schnabel, Pinto, Abbass, Jebreal and a couple other supporting actors. Their Q&A after the film made the film have even more impact.
Lastly, I saw John Cameron Mitchell’s RABBIT HOLE – based on the Pultizer Prize-Winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire. The film stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as parents who are grieving the loss of their 4-year old boy who was hit by a car. The film opens 8 months after the accident, and though the film is full of sadness, it has very funny moments as well. The film is honest and beautifully photographed. I loved it! As an added bonus, Mitchell, Kidman and Eckhart introduced the film (and many other cast & crew were in the audience). This was the world premiere.
In addition to stars at their screenings, I also saw Dev Patel and Harvey Weinstein today. (And I forgot to mention in an earlier post that Josh Brolin asked me for directions the other night.)
More highly anticipated films coming soon!
Thanks for reading.