Art And Literature Make A Strong Showing At TIFF22

Still from Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Pierre Földes (Image courtesy of TIFF)

Along with a wealth of films about music of multiple genres, TIFF 2022 offers audiences movies about art and literature. Here are some titles to keep on the radar as they are put into wider release in theatres and streaming services in the coming months.

Visual Arts

Visual arts and artists always make an intriguing subject for a film treatment.

Still from Daliland (Photo courtesy of TIFF)
Still from Daliland (Photo courtesy of TIFF)

Daliland

Starring Ben Kingsley as the aging iconic surrealist, and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho), Daliland focuses on the artist’s marriage with Gala, aka Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, the Russian divorcee who became his manager and muse. Their world is seen through the eyes of a young gallery assistant (Christopher Briney), who is drawn into their inner circle. Daliland is the name for the suite he and Gala would rent in New York City’s St. Regis Hotel, where the party went on 24 hours a day with stars and celebs like Alice Cooper (played by Mark McKenna). Underneath the glitz and high art hijinks is a critique of the corruption of the art world.

A still from William Kentridge's Self-Portrait As A Coffee Pot (Image courtesy of TIFF)
A still from William Kentridge’s Self-Portrait As A Coffee Pot (Image courtesy of TIFF)

Self-Portrait As A Coffee Pot

South African artist William Kentridge lets viewers into his artistic process in this documentary film. Self-Portrait is three segments of a nine-part series where the artist and filmmaker crates wall-sized drawings in charcoal using his unique technique. Kentridge is known for workin and reworking his pieces, leaving the almost rubbed out earlier versions underneath what emerges. He often depicts scenes from his childhood in Johannesburg, and offers his thoughts and comments with a sense of humour and insight.

Literature

The lives of writers are often as interesting, or even more so, than their works.

Emily

Actor Frances O’Connor makes her debut in the role of writer/director with the story of Emily Brontë. Emma Mackey (Sex Education) stars in the role, in an interpretation that puts a feminist spin on the author whose work is still much beloved some two centuries later. O’Connor takes the outlines of Brontë’s life as we know it, and fleshes it out with her inner life and thoughts as imagined from a contemporary lens. It’s an imaginative take on the author’s life.

  • The film will be released in theatres in the UK on October 14, and will likely follow to North America or streaming in the coming months.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

This French-Canadian-Luxemburgian-Dutch feature film animates short stories by Haruki Murakami. Six stories in total make up the surreal film, taken from his collections: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, The Elephant Vanishes and After The Quake. Fans of the author and his work won’t be surprised at the plot, involving a talking frog who helps a bank employee save the city from a giant sandworm-type creature that’s causing an earthquake. The film uses a 3D motion capture technique within a two-dimensional film. Written and directed by Pierre Földes, it’s likely to continue making the film festival round into 2023.

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