What to check out at the Calgary International Film Festival
A brief preview on some potential highlights of CIFF 2017
By Colin MacGillivray, Arts Editor
If you’re a movie theatre maniac and want to get your film-freak on instead of focusing on the monotony of work, school, and the mundane existence of humankind, then I definitely have a very special event for you. From September 20 to October 1, the Calgary International Film Festival, will be showing over 200 feature and short films from 50 countries around the world.
Over 200 films might seem incredibly daunting, but the Calgary International Film Festival will not only be an incredibly exciting and entertaining event for you, your friends and your family, but it will be an opportunity to see some of the best and brightest filmmakers and actors in the business today. With such a plethora of films being shown over a 12-day period, obviously I won’t be able to preview them all, but here is a quick rundown of some noteworthy feature films and documentaries.
Tennis isn’t the most exciting sport. Catching the highlights is honestly a superior way to consume a sport where top tier athletes whack balls at each other with rackets. Surprisingly enough, I am completely enthralled by the idea of watching the legendary 1990 Wimbledon match between the two biggest names in tennis, John McEnroe and Björn Borg. Maybe it’s the superb casting that pits Sverrir Gudnason, a near identical match to Borg, against Shia LaBeouf, who’s hot-headed personality in reality makes him the perfect candidate to play the reckless and brash McEnroe. In any case, the highly anticipated sports biopic could celebrate a classic sports rivalry in a riveting cinematic experience, something that highlights can’t do on their own.
Jumping from one biography to another, Stronger depicts the harrowing, yet absolutely inspiring story of Jeff Bauman, a man who lost both of his legs during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Bauman’s long journey through physical, mental, and emotional rehabilitation after the tragedy is arguably the perfect story to portray on screen. Jake Gyllenhaal, who is one of the best actors in the business today, is poised to deliver a standout performance as Bauman. Come awards season, do not be surprised if Stronger is nominated all over the board. With a truly inspiring story serving as the film’s narrative, Stronger will be a tear-jerker, but it will most likely satisfy anyones need for raw storytelling and compelling characters.
Independent Film Series:
My Friend Dahmer
There have been countless films depicting the life stories of serial killers and their crimes, yet rarely do they dive deep into the inner workings of why these people do what they do. With My Friend Dahmer, the teenaged years of one of the most recognizable American serial killers in history is laid out on screen. With the events taken directly from John Backderf, the writer of the internationally acclaimed graphic novel that shares its name with the film, My Friend Dahmer puts an interesting spin on the serial killer film genre. With the killer in question being perfectly cast, My Friend Dahmer could be the most chilling, interesting and thought provoking film in ages.
Call Me by Your Name
Personally, my most anticipated film at Calgary Film this year is Call Me by Your Name. Ever since its debut at the world renowned Sundance Film Festival back in January, I have heard nothing but incredible things about the coming of age drama that centres around the lust a young Italian teen has for his father’s charming intern. An apparent slow-burn erotic love story that claims to boast incredible performances by the criminally underrated Armie Hammer, and newcomer Timotheé Chalamet, as well as featuring original music by Sufjan Stevens exclusively for the film. It is safe to say that my hype for Call Me by Your Name is incredibly high. If the critical acclaim that the film has already received is something to go by, the romance could be Calgary Film’s biggest hit this year.
Not only does Rat Film boast the best title of any film I have ever seen, but it promises to explore the complex and curious relationship that the residents and the rodents of Baltimore have with one another. Supposedly, Rat Film weaves its way through the streets of Baltimore discussing everything from segregation, poverty, and rats that can jump into garbage cans. Rat Film might sound ridiculous, but I would not be surprised if this documentary is the sleeper hit of the festival.
Calgary Film has been growing steadily since its inception in the year 2000, and this year it seems ready to branch out to even more film lovers. The films I mentioned above are but a minuscule chunk of what will be shown at Calgary Film this year, and with the aforementioned 200 films being available for the public, there is definitely something for each and everyone of you at Calgary Film 2017. With the goal being to entertain and engage as many people through artistic expression a
nd the celebration of film, grab some friends, get a bite to eat, and take in some great movies this month.
Information, tickets and a full schedule of movie dates and times are available at www.calgaryfilm.com.