a quasi-stop making sense sequence

Film festivals, especially major ones like Toronto, are never about films. They are also about experience– Changes of scenery, proximity of celebrity and talent, hobbies and network opportunities and face names. If you are not working them, as a publicist or a journalist or an executive to make a deal, they can also double as holidays, dining in the spaces between screenings and sightseeing. With the filling. Nobody is very right this year, definitely. Because of COVID, film festivals that have not been canceled outright have mostly gone online, reducing the element of travel and now-dangerous interactions. That is to say, in 2020, film festivals suddenly are doing All about movies. For some time, cinema is once the only remnant of these communal events.

The Toronto International Film Festival, which began today, did not completely cut the in-person element. There are public screenings and live talks and interactive activities – all that make TIFF an annual destination for film- and culture lovers. But the festival is limiting attendance, and if you live in Canada, you don’t have to leave your house to watch any movies; Buy a ticket and you can stream them right in your living room. This year the press is experiencing TIFF through a virtual system in which movies become available online for a time window on a rolling basis.

It is a smaller and less glamorous lineup. Toronto (along with Telluride, one of the festivals that simply canceled its 2020 edition) is often thought of as a ground zero for the awards season — a place where studios can premiere and expect their big Oscars Can create a discussion for. But since American movie theaters are either closed or at half capacity, the very possibility of an award season in the air is in the air, because let’s be honest, most distributors care about the accolades as they parlay it into the box office Can. As a result, the studio has pushed back its major contenders – and by extension, has opted to sit the festival circuit. This leaves the TIFF leaner and lighter, with a slate of just 50 features and a noticeable dip in the collective star power and autority pedigree.

Still, one of Toronto’s many pleasures – one that doesn’t really depend on being in person – is being done for something you had no expectations of. I rapidodic about the possibility of seeing a blue masterpiece every year, even as I move towards known amounts in most lineups. And if no one boasts this year Joker or Wedding story or Jojo Rabbit or Uncut gem or knives out (Boy, was last year Standing With the big ones, wasn’t it?), There is still potential for great movies just waiting to be discovered. And next week and to change myself, myself and Katie Ruff will be looking for them, like treasure hunters holding beeping detectors on the landscape of this scale-back, web-only TIFF. Check us daily for our findings. Just don’t expect any visual colors about the malfunction escalator in the best hotdog stand near Scotiabank or Lightbox.

David Beren American Utopia

David Beren American Utopia
Photo: Toronto International Film Festival

It is comforting to know that the epidemic has messed up EveryoneThe festival is planned this year. Even Spike Lee’s. The veteran director was slated to serve as head of the competition jury at Cannes 2020, but the festival, held in May each year, had no choice but to discontinue this year’s edition. (Programmer did Release list of movies There will be something that is now popped into TIFF instead.), But don’t cry too hard for Spike. Despite it being a very good year,Mostly) Great reception for this summer’s Netflix joint Da 5 blood For today’s world premiere of his instantly acclaimed concert film David Byron’s American utopia (Grade: B +). The latter is a quick reminder of how different this TIFF is going to be. How is it that in a year with a severely trimmed lineup, the programmers finally picked something really exciting as the opening night film?

American utopia Over the past year, from February to February, four months of Bern immortalized the Broadway residency – during this time he not only sang songs off the 2018 record, but also chose his entire career. ). Clearly and unavoidably, the format puts this new film in the shadow of the old: stop making Sense, 1984 essential document of Jonathan Demay’s Talking Heads Tour. Part of the film that is perhaps the greatest of all concert films, Dame understood his ability to make the best seat in the house, not only by bottling up the energy of the band’s live performances, but by offering a vantage that no real concertgoer would ever have. Could not be either. Shooting from different angles for several nights, the director teamed up with Byron to enhance his offbeat rendition. Simultaneously, the two created minimalism seems too large; He found the actors to be a spectacle in just performing.

These are big shoes (or a big suit) to fill. However, in a way Byron has created the performance equally – starting solo on stage, then adding new musicians to each song – the film has its own festive, eccentric identity. It is more relaxing, perhaps more intimate and inviting. His band, a multi-national 11-piece uniform embellished in gray suits, performs their work in space with both smooth and synchronized movements. The stage is empty, save for a chain curtain along its edges; No device is visible, no device is wired. At a certain point, Barrios reveals himself as an expression of Byron’s philosophy about the relationship between artist and audience: “Us and you, that’s what the show is about,” he says. When the singer removes a song by playing different parts of each musician, it is not simply a refutation of the doubt that he employs a previously recorded track on stage, but also portrays his collaborative spirit. is. Similarly, the setlist itself, which surprisingly overshadows songs cut with other artists including X-Press 2, BPA, St. Vincent and Brian Eno.

Like Dame before him, Lee clings to the ideological ambitions of the front. He has stage show experience, built specifically around a magnetic personality; He captured for the first Broadway post-production Passing Strange And filmed versions of the one-man show presented by Roger Gunevur Smith. Lee knows what to look for American utopia (He gives the keys to winks and gestures), and knows which angles — like a busby Berkeley overhead of the band marching in a circle around the barn — would best illustrate the design of the choreography. If nothing else, the film is a model of live-music coverage. Mostly, Lee allows Byron and company to supply personality, which creates moments when he supplies a bit of his own songs. Late in the film, Breeden’s complex, multi-song focus on national identity reaches its most poignant crescendo including Janelle Monae’s 2015 protest anthem “Hell You Talabout”. (Nothing if not self-conscious, Byron accepts the optics presenting this song and assures us that he received her blessing.) As the singer calls Black. Men and women are killed by law enforcement or hate crimes, with Lee (possibly family members) photographing the dead. It is these two artists who are encapsulating their political conscience – another expression in the faith of Bern.

Has turned 68, a liberal and humane elder statesman of the Rock. He often addresses the audience, through anecdotes, calling for mob work, self-deprecating taste, and civic action. And he honestly invests with even the goofy ideas, the people who created stop making Sense Tender, affectionate, Documentary Now! Parody. For example, as the film opens, Byron has composed a song to a plastic brain. idiot? A little. But also a quick visual symbol of his mission to get his audience’s mind on his feet as well as in the right direction. By the end, you’re thankful for such a love-filled record of the show, though the upshot is Bitterwhite: when Byron and his band made their way through the crowd during the encounter, it’s not hard to process American utopia As both a balm and an essential item for live experiences, such as going to a concert with a group of screaming fans or sharing a Catherine movie with an auditorium full of people. “Thank you for leaving your homes,” Byron says via introduction. Anand, then but now especially, will be our everything.