TIFF NEXT WAVE FILM FESTIVAL (2019)
NEW WAVE Film Festival features films about youth y youth for youth - adults also welcome.
For the next generation of movie lovers: selections approved by the festival’s youth-driven TIFF Next Wave Committee
Besides parties and other activities, (Battle of the Scores; Young People Lab) films are one of the main features. There are quite a few new film entries, a few selected the are capsuled reviewed below. A few classic features including: BUT I AM A CHEERLEADER, MILLENNIUM MAMBO and PRINCESS MONONOKE will also be screened.
For the complete program check out the TIFF website at:
Note: Regular screenings are FREE for those under 25.
Capsule Reviews of Selected Films:
BLUE MY MIND (Switzerland 2017) ***
Directed by Lisa Brühlmann
This Swiss production, shot in Swiss German follows the difficulties of a young Mina (Luna Wedler) as she goes through puberty. At the same time, a strange transformation is occurring as she has appetite and swallows the goldfish in her fish tank. In the surreal tale, she attends a new school where she turns from being bullied to being belonged. Her group of school friends now accept her and she turns out to be worst then them in terms of partying and having sex with the boys. “Do you sleep with anyone, you slut!” says one of the boys to Mia. Her clueless parents are of no help either. One wishers there are more scenes with Mia’s parents as they are unintentionally funny and interesting. Actress Wedler is marvellous as Mia, creating a character that one can feel sympathetic for, despite her rebellious nature. One wonders the reason director Lisa Brühlmann inserted the surrealism in the film as the film could have done just as effective without it.
LES METERORITES (France 2018) ***
Directed by Roman Laguna
This low budget French film set in the south of France follows the misadventures of teenage Nina. Nina works at the local theme park. She falls for Morad, brother of her co-worker who warns her against being dumped by him. Nina hangs out with Morad, nevertheless. The film follows the restlessness of youth as personified by Nina who gets in trouble at work for hitting kids. Nina also smokes dope and has sex with Morad, with nudity provided uninhibitedly in the film’s sex scenes. Whether the audience would side with Nina is questionable as director Laguna does not do anything to make the audience take her side. Nina just does her thing. The film is so called because Nina sees a meteorite one night, thinking it to be the end of the world. But it is a sign that her life’s to be changed, just as meteorites were supposed to have changed the course of earth’s history by destroying the dinosaurs.
RESPETO (Philippines 2017) **
Directed by Tree Monteras II.
Directed by Montera II and written by him together with Nathaniel De Mesa, RESPETO (RESPECT) follows the routine of a rapper known as Hendrix (Abra) looking to hit it big with his rapping. The story shows Hendrix living in poverty doing the odd job like selling drugs while rap battling. He gets in trouble with the police after breaking in an old man’s bookstore. Ordered to fix up the bookstore by the court, Hendrix befriends the old man. The story is not really spectacular or credible. Why would the old man help the rapper out when all he has done are bad things? The rap routines are not that impressive either - like a poor man Filipino version of the YOU GOT SERVED movies. The only reason the film likely got attention is the fact that Filipino rap has never been seen elsewhere except in this film. The depiction of poverty and police violence among youth is disturbing. Still, it is difficult to root for Hendrix who is unambitious (except for his rap) with little to no redeeming qualities. Shit in Filipino Tagalog and English.
VIRUS TROPICAL (Ecuador/Colombia 2017) ****
Directed by Santiago Caicedo.
This full length animated feature is inspired by the graphic novel by the Colombian-Ecuadorian illustrator Power Paola, and directed by Santiago Caicedo, TROPICAL VIRUS is so called because when Paolita's (as Paola is called) mother had her in her womb, the doctors told the mother that she was not pregnant and had contacted a tropical virus. She conceived anyway going birth to Paolita, the youngest of three sisters. The film a shows us the life of the Gaviria family, seen from the perspective of her, from her unexpected birth to the inevitable journey to reside in another country. Paolitia faces a series of events that will change her perception of the world that surrounds her. Caidedo’s film is high spirited, full of keen observations, totally femminist and totally delightful an refreshing. It is a coming-of-age stay set in a foreign place (Ecuador and Colombia) though the problems encountered by the young protagonist is common to all. The animation is simple but stylist offering a different look in an animated film.