TIFF 2011: Eye of the Storm
It is shocking, but I don’t have a single photo of myself from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Well, none taken by me anyway.
Here is a very belated write-up on the Festival for UK’s The Spectator Arts Blog. If last year was a whirlwind, this year was a delicious blur. Immediately post-TIFF I got thrown into another pile of work, and then it seemed a stretch to recap on something more than two weeks old in the Fall film festival circuit. Though when Scott Harris, the editor at The Spectator Arts Blog, asked me to do a piece for them, I was happy to have an excuse to reminisce about some of my favorite cinematic highlights from this year’s TIFF, where I worked closely as Programming Associate for Cameron Bailey from summer leading up and through the festival.
Due to word limits the article is divided into a short series. Part 1 consists of a general intro and a capsule review of WUTHERING HEIGHTS, directed by the incomparable Andrea Arnolds, who in her unabashedly poetic ways, through her gloriously passionate lens, remains one of my favorite directors working today.
Dir. Andrea Arnold
A timeless classic and a tragic love story of haunting proportions, Wuthering Heights has been criticized, analyzed, and adapted in many forms ever since its birth. Here, the incomparable Andrea Arnold bravely takes on the challenge and creates an effervescent take on the age-old tale of forbidden passion and doomed affair. Almost entirely devoid of a soundtrack, the film breathes with the damp, howling winds of Yorkshire moors and finds pockets of shimmering poetry in between the blows.
Shot on handheld cameras that sway and dart with the vague passions of youth, every look is captured; every touch felt, buried in wet black mud and carried on feathers of a bird in the wind. Emotions radiate instead of announce. Silences carry notes of tremendous repertoire. To say the cinematography by Arnold’s long-time DP Robbie Ryan is pure poetry is an understatement.
Following her gritty and uncompromising portrayal of fitful passions in Red Road and Fish Tank, Arnold goes even further here. Refusing the aid of sweeping score and elegant speech, she strips a classic tale down to its bones: where anguish floods, regret foams, love survives, but choices made in moments of youth cut eternal, and can never be undone.