To all the film connoisseurs and film fans in Toronto, ever wished you could watch some of your favorite iconic movies on the big screen? Well, now you have a chance to! TIFF has compiled a list of the “Essential 100” and these films will be screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox to inaugurate the opening of the cultural landmark.
Let’s see which Asian films made the Top 100 cut.
Seven Samurai (Dir. Akira Kurosawa)
Considered to be one of the most iconic filmmakers in cinema, Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is a classic film that has influenced many in the industry.
Rashomon (Dir. Akira Kurosawa)
This is another classic film by Kurosawa that highlights narrative structure and form. It centers around four different characters who each have a different recollection of a murder, resulting in a story about human complexity.
Tokyo Story (Dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
Tokyo Story takes place in post-war Japan where an old couple travels to the city to visit their children. In the Eastern culture, family is an important institution and this film analyzes the inevitable drift between parents and children.
Ugetsu (Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi)
It seems like a lot of classic Asian films were made in the fifties (four in this list alone!) Ugetsu highlights the themes of obsession and greed as two peasants leave behind their wives and families to pursue selfish desires.
In the Mood for Love (Dir. Wong Kar-wai)
For all Asian film fanatics, Wong Kar-wai is a household name. Starring Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, In the Mood For Love offers a contradicting and beautiful alternative to the common love story.
Dust in the Wind (Dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Dust in the Wind is a bittersweet tale about youth that is reminiscent of Yasujiro Ozu’s cinematic style. It is a coming-of-age story about a young high school couple who moves to the city, only to find a life of monotony and unhappiness.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Dir. Ang Lee)
This movie is probably the most well-known of the Asian films in the Top 100. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the winner of 4 Academy Awards in 2000. It doesn’t hurt to watch to watch it again on the big screen!
Chungking Express (Dir. Wong Kar-wai)
Chungking Express is another classic film by Wong Kar-Wai. Wonderful story, great acting and beautiful cinematography. It’s on the Essential 100 list for a reason.
Oldboy (Dir. Park Chan-wook)
This is one of my favourite films. Oldboy, the second installment to Park Chan Wook’s vengeance trilogy, is a psychological thriller that follows Oh Dae-su as he carries out his revenge after being mysteriously locked-up for 15 years.
If you’ve missed the following two films at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, here is another chance to see them at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Winner of the Pale d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2010, Uncle Boonmee is filled with layers of symbolism that explores one man’s ability to recall his past lives.
I Wish I Knew (Dir. Jia Zang-ke)
I Wish I Knew is a film especially commissioned by the Chinese government for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Shanghai underwent a great transformation in the last decade and is now considered to be one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies. I Wish I Knew explores these changes through interviews and beautiful landscape cinematography. During the summer I got to visit Shanghai for the first time and absolutely fell in love with the city. I didn’t know much about the history beforehand, but was left with such a good impression that I wanted to learn more about Shanghai. I Wish I Knew is at the top of my To-See List!
Visit TIFF Bell Lightbox website for the full schedule listing.