TORONTO — TIFF Cinematheque kicks off its summer programming with a series of special screenings and new restorations, along with Part 2 of REVOLUTION! in Cinema — a programme curated by Dorota Lech on the meteoric rise of socialist revolt in the 20th century — and a spotlight on Indian cinema legend Satyajit Ray (1921–1992) in celebration of his centenary, curated by independent programmer Meenakshi Shedde. TIFF recently announced Summer of Seoul, a showcase of New Korean Cinema auteurs and recent acclaimed films by emerging women filmmakers, screening July 8 through August 28.
On July 1, audiences will have a front-row seat on the uncut, 2K restoration of Rude Boy, featuring The Clash; and on July 23, Irma Vep, Oliver Assayas’s cult classic, is presented in a stunning 2K restoration. A remake of Louis Feuillade’s 1915 crime serial Les Vampires, Assayas’s satirical reflection on the state of 1990s-era French cinema is revealed through Hong Kong megastar Maggie Cheung’s point-of-view. The French filmmaker’s recent HBO miniseries Irma Vep (whose first three episodes premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival) riffs on this beloved 1996 feature of the same name. Then, in August, one of 2021’s most electrifying debuts — and winner of both an Amplify Voices Award at TIFF and Best Documentary award at Cannes — will have a limited run at TIFF Bell Lightbox: Payal Kapadia’s hybrid feature A Night of Knowing Nothing, a fever dream of impossible love tied to a broader reflection on contemporary India. Kapadia’s film is at once grand and contained, weaving fragments of a romance and moments of domestic life with handheld documentary footage captured over several years. Special thanks to our promotional partner, the Images Festival, who are co-presenting A Night of Knowing Nothing.
Satyajit Ray: His Contemporaries and Legacy is a far-reaching, 10-film retrospective that honours the legendary filmmaker, alongside films by his contemporaries and filmmakers he has influenced. Ray directed 37 works between the 1950s and early 1990s, including fiction, documentaries, and shorts, mainly in Bengali. A leader of India’s Parallel Cinema movement, he questioned the nation’s post-independence legacy, including poverty, patriarchy, and corruption — yet his films remained deeply humanist, and usually hopeful. TIFF celebrates the centenary of Satyajit Ray (a year late, due to the pandemic) from August 4 to 27. The series is curated by independent programmer Meenakshi Shedde.
Special guests joining TIFF this season include Dennis Lim, Artistic Director of the New York Film Festival, with an in-person introduction to Tale of Cinema, Hong Sang-soo’s meta-feature about the intersection of passion, cinema, and reality, followed by a book signing of Lim’s most recent book, Tale of Cinema, published by Fireflies Press; film critic Adam Nayman, with an introduction to David Fincher’s Zodiac, followed by a signing for Nayman’s recent book, David Fincher: Mindgames; Canadian director Denis Côté for MDFF Selects’ Toronto premiere screening and Q&A of his film That Kind of Summer, which will be presented as a limited run; and Canadian director Albert Shin, whose 2021 short Together will also be featured as part of the MDFF Selects’ screening series, followed by an in-person Q&A with the director.
New and Restored
July 1–August 14
A selection of recent restorations that have been painstakingly brought back to life in revived cinematic presentations. The films featured in this series include:
Jack Hazan and David Mingay chronicle British legends The Clash in this part-fiction, part-rockumentary, which flits between band rehearsals, performances (including The Clash’s set at the 1978 Rock Against Racism concert), and real footage of racially-charged riots
Andrzej Żuławski’s best-known film, Possession, is a shattering portrait of a dissolving marriage that depicts the death of love as a literal apocalypse. Sam Neill plays a man returning to West Berlin from a business trip to the news that his wife (Isabelle Adjani) is leaving him. Butchered almost beyond recognition for its original Canadian release, this full-length and new 4K restoration of Possession dignifies its status as a cult classic and singular cinematic work of art.
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
Melvin Van Peebles wrote, produced, directed, scored, and starred in this landmark of African American independent cinema, which heralded the arrival of the ’70s blaxploitation wave but stands defiantly apart from the genre’s commercial inclinations in its formal and political radicalism.
Hong Kong megastar Maggie Cheung is divine as the lead in Olivier Assayas’s brilliant behind-the-screen satire, about a beleaguered Parisian film crew struggling to shoot a remake of Louis Feuillade’s silent crime epic Les Vampires.
A sinister manservant (Dirk Bogarde) insinuates himself into the life of his feckless playboy employer (James Fox) in this deliciously nasty and poshly perverse black comedy from screenwriter Harold Pinter and director Joseph Losey.
Winner of the Best Director and Best Actor awards at Cannes in 1993, Mike Leigh’s Naked is charged by a skewed, wildly imaginative humour with very dark undercurrents, and features a career-defining performance by David Thewlis.
Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.
Live Zoom Q&A with writer-director Leslie Harris and TIFF Next Wave Committee member Saharla Ugas.
Writer-director Leslie Harris revolutionized and broke new ground in American cinema when her film Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. premiered at TIFF in 1992. It was one of the first films to focus intimately on the perspective of a young Black woman. Thirty years after its acclaimed debut, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. is a joy to watch, and remains, to this day, one of the most honest and real Black coming-of-age films of all time.
This event is co-presented by TIFF Cinematheque and TIFF Next Wave.
REVOLUTION! In Cinema
Part 2 of Dorota Lech’s series REVOLUTION! In Cinema begins in China with a preamble to the Cultural Revolution: Xie Jin’s 1960 The Red Detachment of Women, one of the eight revolutionary “model theatrical works” that formed the official canon in Mao’s Republic. The series then moves to North Africa with The Battle of Algiers (1966), Gillo Pontecorvo’s account of the popular uprising against French colonialism. At the same time in the Middle East, instead of exchanging land for peace per a UN resolution calling for occupied territories to be given up at the end of 1967’s Six-Day War, Israel began encouraging its citizens to move into the Palestinian territories it occupied. The third film, Ramallah-based director Mohanad Yaqubi’s 2015 Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory, uses traces of Palestinian struggle cinema — films relating to the Palestinian revolution, produced from 1968 to 1982 — to show a people’s battle for self-determination under horrendous and ongoing attacks on their nationhood. Lastly, closing the series is Yugoslavian-born Mila Turajlić’s illuminating 2010 Cinema Komunisto, a dazzling study in how a government used fiction, illusion, smoke, and mirrors to create — and retrain — narratives of power.
Cronenberg: Crimes of the Past
David Cronenberg, the prolific, boundary-pushing king of body horror (and a Canadian national treasure), has been shocking and entertaining audiences and critics alike for over 50 years. In celebration of the director’s star-studded new release, Crimes of the Future, TIFF Cinematheque presents four Cronenberg classics, each exploring — with muted wit — the blurred boundaries between technology, the human form, social infection, and pyschosexual eroticism. A successor to the Freudian gynecology (Dead Ringers), umbilically-charged virtual reality (eXistenZ), televised mind control (Videodrome), and car-crash fetishism (Crash) of the filmmaker’s previous works, Crimes of the Past immerses you in that liminal Cronenbergian space where reality, fantasy, and nightmare collide and promises bizarro, grotesque kicks aplenty.
July 7–August 27
Back by popular demand, two of Jordan Peele’s films are featured in TIFF Cinematheque’s ongoing series of classics, favourites, and rarities: On July 7, Peele’s Get Out, which won him the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and revitalized the American horror film, re-establishing the genre as a vehicle for radical social and cultural critique; and then, on August 27, Us, where Peele delivers another symbolically rich horror film about inequality.
Additional films in this series are: Payal Kapadia’s electrifying debut feature A Night of Knowing Nothing, which is structured around letters, discovered on a film-school campus, from an unseen protagonist to her estranged lover; Chess of the Wind, Mohammad Reza Aslani’s narrative feature-film debut, considered lost until 2020, when a negative of the film was discovered by his son in a Tehran antique shop. Presented by Wes Anderson and made available after years of obscurity, William Klein’s cult-classic documentary The French is a timely and fascinating view into the cloistered, high-stakes, and increasingly polemical world of Grand Slam tennis. A screening of David Fincher’s Zodiac, a gripping and moody meditation on the elusiveness of truth and based on the true story of the hunt for San Francisco’s “Zodiac Killer'' in the early 1970s, features an extended introduction by film critic Adam Nayman followed by a signing for Nayman’s recent book, David Fincher: Mindgames.
Special thanks to our promotional partner, the Images Festival, who are co-presenting this limited run of Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing.
Midnight Madness Presents
July 30 & August 27
Introduced by Midnight Madness programmers Peter Kuplowsky and Liane Cunje.
The kids are not alright in this double dose of Midnight Madness on July 30, which collides the transgressive rebel yell of Richard Kern’s no-wave short You Killed Me First with Peter Bogdanovich’s disturbingly evergreen 1968 thriller Targets. Then, on August 2, there’s the absurdist chaos and macabre thrills of TIFF and Midnight Madness alumnus auteur Álex de la Iglesia’s debut short Mirindas Asesinas, followed by Perdita Durango, his ambitious adaptation of the novel by Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart), which stars Javier Bardem and Rosie Perez, with a pre-recorded introduction from the director.
Boosie Fade Film Club
TIFF Cinematheque’s ongoing series of cult classics that have made a huge impact on hip-hop and R&B culture. This month’s film, La Haine, is presented in 4K and features an introduction by Jordan Sowunmi and James Rathbone, co-founders of Boosie Fade. Set in a Parisian banlieue, the film begins in the aftermath of a riot spurred by an act of police violence against a young man, and stars Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, and Saïd Taghmaoui. La Haine was a critical and commercial success that won filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz the Best Director prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. Soundtracked by the pioneering French hip-hop group Assassin, this film is an early example of hip-hop’s international impact.
Satyajit Ray: His Contemporaries and Legacy
This series features extended introductions by series curator Meenakshi Shedde.
TIFF’s presentation of Satyajit Ray’s (greatest) works opens with the filmmaker’s personal favourite, Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), about a married woman snuffing out her literary talent to save her affair; Devi (The Goddess, 1960), in which a patriarch’s dream turns his daughter-in-law into a goddess incarnate; Nayak (The Hero, 1966), about a matinee idol’s insecurities; and Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players, 1977), a magnificent historical film in Hindi about the British overthrow of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh in 1856. Also showcased in the series are films by four Ray contemporaries: Ritwik Ghatak’s Partition masterpiece Subarnarekha (The Golden Thread, 1965); Aparna Sen’s Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002), which addresses communalism through a love story; Jago Hua Savera (Day Shall Dawn, 1959), directed by A.J. Kardar (born in Lahore, part of West Pakistan when the film was made), and shot in Bangladesh (then in East Pakistan); and Mani Kaul’s astonishing, avant-garde documentary Siddheshwari (1989). Works by more contemporary filmmakers include Amit Dutta’s breathtaking Nainsukh (2010), which drew inspiration from both Ray and Kaul, and Anik Dutta’s Aparajito (The Undefeated, 2022), a charming primer on how Ray made his first film.
July 28 & August 25
MDFF co-founder Kazik Radwanski will host a Q&A with directors following their screenings.
TIFF’s showcase of the world’s best, most challenging, and most provocative new international cinema. On July 28, Hong Sang-soo’s 25th feature, Introduction, a simple but haunting tale of young people on the edge of adulthood, makes its Toronto premiere (it recently won the Berlin Silver Bear for Best Screenplay). Introduction epitomizes minimalism, with a run time of only 65 minutes; its elliptical plot spans years, continents, and a number of life-changing events. The film is preceded by Albert Shin’s South Korea–set short Together (selected by TIFF for the 2021 Canada’s Top Ten list). Following the screening, director Albert Shin will join MDFF co-founder Kazik Radwanski for an in-person Q&A.
On August 25, TIFF Bell Lightbox welcomes Denis Côté back to MDFF Selects for a third time with the Toronto premiere of That Kind of Summer (Un été comme ça), followed by a post-screening Q&A. The prolific Canadian director’s latest film, which recently made its world premiere in the Berlinale’s Competition section, is about three hypersexual women who spend 26 days in a quiet house by the lake. The film will screen twice more as a Limited Run on August 27 and 28.
Announced late last year, a new membership benefit has been added to TIFF Memberships for the duration of 2022: Members now receive free access to over 200 Cinematheque screenings, which includes new essentials, classics, rarities and recent restorations. Additionally, TIFF recently introduced the TIFF Under-25 Free Pass, which offers young film lovers under the age of 25 a pass to access a range of free benefits, such as tickets to Cinematheque screenings, encouraging them to take advantage of exclusive year-round benefits and be part of a community of up-and-coming film lovers.
Effective June 6, 2022, visitors, staff, and audiences visiting TIFF Bell Lightbox will no longer be required to wear a mask. However, all TIFF employees in customer-facing roles, such as concessions or box office, will continue to wear masks. For more information tiff.net/covid-19.