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TIFF: 5 trends to watch out for

TIFF: 5 trends to watch out for

Posted by Juan Gavasa on September 03, 2014

Here then are five trends to keep an eye out for at TIFF this year.

The Before Sunrise Wannabes
It seems 2013's Before Midnight proved to be an inspirational reminder for many filmmakers of the Beforeseries' existence. The result being, apparently, several movies in this year's TIFF programme--Before We Go,SpringGyeongju--that not only evoke Before Sunrise, but directly reference it in the festival's descriptions of them. If even one is as good as that Richard Linklater classic, we'll be blessed.

The "Not Your Average Musical" Musical
While Hollywood releases popular, familiar musicals like Rock of Ages, Les Misérables and the upcomingInto the Woods, it's nice to know some filmmakers are having fun with the movie musical in different ways. Three "Not Your Father's" musicals appear at TIFF this year, including Tokyo Tribe (hip-hop musical), Bang Bang Baby (sci-fi musical), and The Last Five Years (an adaptation of an off-Broadway sung-through musical). The world needs all the musicals it can get, so this trend can only be encouraged.

The Movie about Actors
For filmmakers, the adage "write what you know" often results in movies about movies. At 2014's festival, it's more specifically movies about actors. With movies about established actors (Maps to the StarsTop Five,Winter Sleep), theatrical thespians (The HumblingClouds of Sils Maria), the aspiring (The Last Five Years) and the once famous (GuidanceSway), it's a veritable cinematic buffet of the lives of fictional performers.

The Power of Animation
Over the years, animation (2D, 3D, stop-motion) has proven to be a powerful storytelling tool to tackle any subject--even the most serious. Sadly, there are still those who dismiss animated work as little more than "cartoons." Many of the offerings at TIFF should provide a healthy rebuttal. Whether it be The Tale of the Princess KaguyaKahlil Gibran's The Prophet, or Luna, these serious minded animated films are steered not by fantastic animation filmmakers, but fantastic filmmakers period.

The Power of Music
Music plays an important part in our lives, what with headphones perpetually anchored to our heads playing the soundtracks of our past, present, and future. Not surprisingly, movies often want to explore this powerful force, and TIFF's movies this year in particular cast an extensive eye towards those who create music. There's the struggle of young musicians butting heads with tough teachers (BoychoirWhiplash), behind-the-scenes looks at music phenomena real and imagined, (Itsi BitsiEdenBeyond the LightsI Am HereLove & Mercy) and intimate looks at the way they weave themselves into our life (Seymour: An Introduction).

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