Midnight Madness & Real to Reel series at TIFF 2009

Announced late Tuesday morning is the line-up for the Midnight Madness, Real to Reel, and Wavelength sections of the Toronto International Film Festival. Below is the tally for the first two sections, with IMDB links:



Jennifer's Body

(dir. Karyn Kusama, USA - World Premiere)

Jennifer's Body tells the story of small-town high-school student Jennifer (Megan Fox) who is possessed by a hungry demon and transitions from being "high school evil"—gorgeous (and doesn't she know it), stuck up and ultra-attitudinal—to the real deal: evil/evil. The glittering beauty becomes a pale and sickly creature jonesing for a meaty snack, and guys who never stood a chance with the heartless babe take on new lustre in the light of her insatiable appetite. Meanwhile, Jennifer's best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), long relegated to living in Jennifer's shadow, must step-up to protect the town's young men, including her nerdy boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons). Written and executive produced by Oscar®-winner Diablo Cody (Juno).


A Town Called Panic

(dir. Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, Belgium/Luxembourg/France, North American Premiere)

An outlandish animation style captures the absurd wit and surreal adventures of plastic toys Cowboy, Indian and Horse.

Bitch Slap

(dir. Rick Jacobson, USA, World Premiere)

In this campy action comedy from the creators of Xena and Hercules, three hot-blooded women try to uncover some booty in the desert using feminine charms, fists and machine guns.


(dir. Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, Australia/USA, World Premiere)

Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill star in this sci-fi horror about a future populated by vampires where humans are the minority.

George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead

(dir. George A. Romero, Canada, World Premiere)

Master director George A. Romero returns to his world of the undead, this time pitting two feuding clans in the middle of the fallout of a zombie epidemic.

The Loved Ones

(dir. Sean Byrne, Australia, International Premiere)

A troubled teen's prom dreams are shattered by a series of painful events that take place under the mirrored disco ball, involving syringes, nails, power drills and a secret admirer in this wild mash-up of Pretty in Pink and Misery.

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning

(dir. Tony Jaa, Thailand, Canadian Premiere)

Martial-arts superstar Tony Jaa stars in and directs this epic tale of revenge set hundreds of years in the past. Featuring a huge cast and hordes of elephants, this prequel takes Jaa's skills to the next level, showcasing him as a master of a wide range of martial-arts styles - while proving him to be a promising director as well.

[REC] 2
(dir. Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza, Spain, North American Premiere)

In the follow-up to the acclaimed [REC], a SWAT team enters the old apartment to control an epidemic with terrifying results.

Solomon Kane

(dir. Michael J. Bassett, United Kingdom, World Premiere)

From Robert E. Howard, the legendary creator of Conan, comes this tale of a savage mercenary in sixteeth-century Century England who owes the devil his soul and seeks to redeem himself by fighting evil.


(dir. Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan, International Premiere)

Japanese comedy superstar Hitoshi Matsumoto (DAINIPPONJIN) stars in and directs this absurd and outlandish comedy about a man trying to escape a unique dilemma.



The Art of the Steal

(dir. Don Argott, USA World Premiere)

This art-world whodunit investigates what happened to the Barnes collection of Post-Impressionist paintings—valued in the billions—that fell prey to a power struggle after the death of owner Albert Barnes.

(dir. Mehran Tamadon, Iran/France/Switzerland International Premiere)

For three years, Mehran Tamadon immersed himself into the very heart of the most extremist supporters of the Islamic republic of Iran (the Bassidjis) to understand their ideas.

(dir. Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi, USA World Premiere)

The Mormon religion preaches against the content of R-rated films, so several Utah-based entrepreneurs started offering “clean” versions of Hollywood movies at specialty DVD stores. But the thriving industry runs into legal problems and its own sex scandal.


(dir. Chris Smith, USA World Premiere)

From the acclaimed director of American Movie, this portrait of radical thinker Michael Ruppert explores his apocalyptic vision of the future, spanning the crises in economics, energy, environment and more.

(dir. Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell, Ireland World Premiere)

Several beekeepers around the U.S. cope with colony collapse disorder - the phenomenon that has caused millions of bees to mysteriously disappear - in this beautifully shot debut from a gifted directing duo.

Google Baby
(dor. Zippi Brand Frank, Israel International Premiere)

In India, the latest form of outsourcing is surrogate mothers who carry embryos for couples who can’t have a child. Director Zippi Brand Frank follows an entrepreneur who proposes a new service - baby production for western customers.

How to Fold a Flag

(dir. Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, USA World Premiere)
The makers of Gunner Palace follow U.S. soldiers as they create new lives post-Iraq—from a Congressional candidate in Buffalo to a cage fighter in Louisiana—set against the backdrop of the 2008 election.

L’Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot
(dir. Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea, France North American Premiere)
Film archivist Serge Bromberg uncovers a treasure trove of imagery from an unfinished film called L’Enfer starring Romy Schneider and directed by the French master Henri-Georges Clouzot, known for Wages of Fear and Diabolique.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
(dir. Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, USA World Premiere)
Daniel Ellsberg was a valued strategist inside the American government until he leaked the Pentagon Papers and exposed the lies of the Vietnam War. This thrilling documentary chronicles this momentous chapter in history and how Richard Nixon’s obsession over the case brought down his own government.

Presumed Guilty
(dir. Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith, Mexico World Premiere)

Two young Mexican attorneys attempt to exonerate a wrongly convicted man by making a documentary. In the process, they expose the contradictions of a judicial system that presumes suspects guilty until proven innocent.

Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags
(dir. Marc Levin, USA World Premiere)

Veteran filmmaker Mark Levin (Slam) looks at the past and present of New York’s garment district, from its heyday as a base for immigrant labour and unions to its recent decline.

(dir. Vikram Jayanti, USA/United Kingdom International Premiere)

Rachael Scdoris, a blind 23-year-old, doesn’t let her disability stop her from competing in one of the most gruelling endurance contests in the world: the Iditarod dogsled race traversing 1,100 miles of Alaska’s most rugged terrain. But being blind is only the start of her challenges.

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
(dir. Leanne Pooley, New Zealand North American Premiere)

Fun, disarming and musically provocative, the Topp Twins are New Zealand’s finest lesbian country-and-western singers and the country’s greatest export since rack of lamb and the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

(dir. Erik Gandini, Sweden North American Premiere)

This penetrating look at the media empire of Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlosconi reveals how his reality TV shows full of bikini-clad women enriched his friends and beguiled a nation.

Good Hair
(dir. Jeff Stilson, USA Canadian Premiere/Special Presentation)

Rendered speechless by his daughter’s question—“Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”—comedian Chris Rock embarks on a quest to understand African American hair culture.

Turtle: The Incredible Journey
(dir. Nick Stringer, United Kingdom/Austria/Germany Canadian Premiere/Sprockets Family Zone)
Join a logger heard turtle on an extraordinary journey through the fascinating underwater world and witness how changes in the oceans are affecting marine life in this beautiful and spectacular ocean adventure.


And while this has absolutely nothing to do with TIFF, this does relate to Blogger.com.

Ideally, within the next week or two, the Editor's Blog will move over to Mondomark.com, due to several important reasons:

a) the blogs require media links that can't be easily fitted into the existing template

b) and I'm giving up on Blogger's wonkiness. Pasting text from MS Word no longer works; pasting html code from Dreamweaver results in double and quadruple spacing between paragraphs; the insertion of a top graphic causes double-spacing between paragraphs; back-spacing sometimes insn't functional when I use an older machine; inserting or trying to modify the template to house two or more pictures within the text body is a nightmare; and the scope of the existing blog template is limited.

I did try and update to a newer and similar themed template, but all the side links were corrupted, so I'm in the process of setting up a new site, using Wordpress (which, truth be told, isn't all that easy when it requires some customizing, and took more than the zippy five minutes...).

To follow, likely by the end of August, will be content from KQEK.com in mobile format. The easiest solution is Wordpress; the hardest is figuring out the template so it has wiggle room for future tweaks.

This is and isn't fun, because when it works and does what you want, it's great; and when it doesn't, you find yourself grasping for a mallet to smash a computer-like device.



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