Monday, September 28, 2009

Dark Cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival

Hello darlings... After NY Fashion week, yours truly quickly headed up North to one of my favorite cities. A friendly, cosmopolitan town, with lots of Gothic credibility. Don't believe me? According to Wikipedia, Toronto's Goth scene was a pioneer for North America's Goth culture after the UK and Germany. I remember dancing among the gargoyles of their old city hall and shopping the stores along Queen Street West (before the dreaded corporate boutiques invaded).

Back to the festival, there were two films that tickled my doomed fancy. First, was Pedro Pires' short film "Danse Macabre". Pires is a visual effects artist whose previous work included the lush The Red Violin
In his directorial debut, this film features an "Exquisitely photographed morbid ballet". Beautiful, disturbing imagery evoking the final, jolting movements of a corpse. This piece won "Best Canadian Short" at the festival, proving again, what dark tastes our friends to the North have. See the trailer here.

The second Canadian film had a decidedly different vibe. SUCK! is a rock n' roll, comedic horror story with tons of cameos by music stars Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Moby and Henry Rollins. The first film to sell a distribution deal at the festival (another tribute to the twisted tastes of Canadians). The basic plot revolves around a loser rock band whose members are at each others throats. The leader's scorned girlfriend hooks up with a shady Goth one night and returns much paler, but with a bestial sensuality that delights their fans. The band decides it's best to sell their souls for fame and fortune. Malcom McDowell plays an obsessed vampire hunter who is afraid of the dark (of course he would be in this) and Kids in the Hall alum Dave Foley plays a sleazy manager. Check out the trailer below:

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