Reel Asian’s 2014 TIFF picks – Short Cuts

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The city is already in a buzz for the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 4-14). We’re only a couple weeks away, but with all the latest film and guests announcements, it’s hard to not get swept up by the excitement. We’ve combed through the entire film programmes and selected our Asian picks.

Short Cuts Canada

The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer | Canada | Dir: Randall Okita

In this bold blend of live action and digital animation, the lives of two brothers with conflicting memories of their common past take very different directions. Randall Okita bends the boundaries of cinema with his spellbinding, seamlessly rendered visuals.

Day 40 | Canada | Dir: Sol Friedman

The story of Noah’s Ark has been told in countless ways, but few have ever envisioned the tale from the animals’ perspective. In this darkly comic and animated account, the assorted fauna reveal their decidedly unholy natures as the water rises ever higher.

The Encounter | Canada | Dir: Frieda Luk

Following an assault on a young woman, we track her attacker through the streets of Paris. Quietly yet with a growing sense of fear, Frieda Luk’s film takes us into unknown territory.

Burnt Glass | Canada | Dir: Ray Wong

Sally and Jack, a young couple in the city, discover a strange phenomenon in their backyard that duplicates organic life. Sally quickly envisions its wild possibilities, while Jack suffers its consequences.

Short Cuts International

8 Bullets | France | Dir: Frank Ternier

This feverish, suspenseful mixed-media animation follows a grief-stricken French expat in Taipei who obsessively tracks down the man he believes is responsible for killing his family.

Newborns | India | Dir: Megha Ramaswamy

A hauntingly beautiful documentary that follows female survivors of acid attacks, who bravely defy the trauma and fear that will always accompany them.

Oh Lucy! | Japan/Singapore/USA | Dir: Atsuko Hirayanagi

Rooked into taking over her niece’s English lessons, Setsuko, a fifty-five-year-old “office lady” in Tokyo, is at first taken aback by the blond wig and new identity as “Lucy” the unconventional teacher gives her — but being “Lucy” awakens desires Setsuko never knew she had. Oh Lucy! is a charmingly absurdist comedy about identity, loneliness, and the art of finding yourself.

Tricycle Thief | Macau | Dir: Maxim Bessmertny

Macau’s colour-saturated late-night landscape of dark streets, back alleys, and neon lights is tailor-made for trouble, as a desperate tricycle driver discovers in this cautionary tale of need and greed.