It's official: The Master is coming to TIFF.
The Toronto International Film Festival released another slew of titles screening in this year's festival (because it's Tuesday, and that's just how Tuesdays work now), confirming in the process that Paul Thomas Anderson's much-anticipated drama, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a drifter who falls under the spell of Philip Seymour Hoffman's enigmatic guru, will be making its North American premiere at TIFF 2012 - in 70mm! - as a Special Presentation.
Well, technically The Master was announced for TIFF last night on Twitter by festival co-director Cameron Bailey; apparently he was too excited to wait for a formal reveal. But everything else you're about to read is brand-spanking new.
TIFF's Closing Night Gala will be Paul Andrew Williams's Song For Marion, "a feel-good, heart-warming story" starring Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton. Two more Galas were announced: Emperor, starring Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur, and What Maisie Knew, a Henry James adaptation from directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel, makers of The Deep End and Uncertainty.
Among the other titles joining The Master in TIFF's Special Presentations series are Arthur Newman, starring Colin Firth, Emily Blunt and Anne Heche; Greetings From Tim Buckley, starring Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley as the singer Jeff Buckley; Passion, a new erotic thriller from TIFF semi-regular Brian De Palma starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, and Nick Cassavetes's Yellow, starring Sienna Miller, Gena Rowlands, Ray Liotta and Melanie Griffith. And Spike Lee's documentary BAD25 celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's last great album, continuing TIFF's questionable tradition of passing off future DVD supplements as major artistic accomplishments.
Lee Daniels's controversial Cannes premiere The Paperboy, starring Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey, will make its North American premiere as a Special Presentation, as will Walter Salles's On The Road, which stars Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen in an adaptation of Jack Kerouac's Beat classic.
TIFF's Contemporary World Cinema program takes a new tack this year, partnering with the Munk School for Global Affairs to provide live lectures after five of its films. Conflict-management expert Janice Gross Stein will speak after Yousry Nasrallah's Tahrir Square drama After The Battle; foreign correspondent Brian Stewart will speak after Benjamin Avila's Argentine thriller Clandestine Childhood; Ron Levi will speak after Dror Sabo's Israeli vigilante actioner Eagles; cyber-crime expert Ron Dielbert will speak after Robert Connolly's look at the teen years of Julian Assange, Underground, and former leader of the federal Liberal party Michael Ignatieff will peak after Asoka Handagama's Sri Lankan war story Him, Here, After.
James Ponsoldt's Smashed pairs Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul and Scott Pilgrim's Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a couple whose marriage is thrown out of balance when one of them decides to stop drinking. Sion Sono's The Land Of Hope is a drama about a family living on the edge of the evacuation zone after a Fukushima-like disaster. And The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is another generational drama from Edward Burns, who gave us The Brothers McMullen.
The avant-garde Wavelengths program will feature - among others - the Canadian debut of Quebec director Denis Côté's docu-feature Bestiaire, as well as the North American premieres of Wang Bing's epic documentary Three Sisters, Ying Liang's true-crime thriller When Night Falls and Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel's experimental fishing documentary Leviathan, which generated spectacular buzz at the Locarno Film Festival earlier this month.
The Future Projections program will offer a host of free installations around downtown Toronto, most running for the duration of the festival. Every evening, the atrium wall at the TIFF Bell Lightbox will be taken over by Callum Cooper's video projection The Constant And The Flux. The ROM's Thorsell Spirit House will host Kelly Richardson's Mariner 9, a "panoramic video installation" that simulates a dust storm on Mars, while the Gladstone Hotel serves as the site for Ming Wong's Making Chinatown, a new take on Roman Polanski's 1974 classic neo-noir.
CONTACT Gallery will host Luther Price's slide series Number 9 And Number 9 II, fresh from the Whitney Biennale, while the rocker Peaches takes over the Drake Hotel with Peaches Does The Drake, a video installation that will include a night of live performances September 14.
And that's just a sampling of the new titles announced today. More are sure to follow; after all, there are still three Tuesdays remaining before TIFF 2012 kicks off September 6.
Complete details of today's announcements can be found at tiff.net.