Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mira Nair & "Looper" to open Venice & Toronto

The festival season is finally within a short breath, or a month depending on your emotional disposition this summer. It feels like the announcements of the films to open Venice and Toronto is long overdue, and I've been waiting for something grand at least when it comes to Venice. The past two years of "Black Swan" and "The Ides of March" could certainly have played host to far lesser films. Cannes too has opened rather fortunately these past two years, dealing in calm, relaxed, but spectacularly affectionate films. Unfortunately the opener for Venice this year does seem at all in keeping with the trend of strong dramatic fair, that is if we're going on simply the name value of Mira Nair.

Perhaps not immediately recognized, the Indian director is most recently known for the massive critical flop of "Amelia" back in 2009. The announcement of opening the festival with her latest film, titled "The Reluctant Fundamentalist", doesn't at all come as a pleasant notion. It kicks off the festival on a rather downtrodden note, if anything, and I'm fairly certain we'll be getting plenty reviews to that effect once late-August arrives. I could very well be wrong and operating on an assumption based on past knowledge of her work, but the title alone hints at something rather boorishly self-confident.

Hitting on Toronto's side of the board, a festival more known for massive and diverse offerings, Rian Johnson's much anticipated science-fiction flick "Looper" seems a much more fitting opener for its respective festival. Loaded with audience appeal and requisite coolness, I have a feeling we'll be getting a lot of favorable responses once it hits. As for the rest of the fests, word is the latest from Noah Baumbach, Lawrence Cantet, Terrence Malick, David O. Russell, Joss Whedon (No, not "The Avengers"), and Tom Tykwer & the Wachowskis will be premiering at Toronto.

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