New Year, New Programming

Okay, it's 2013. Now what do we watch?

With just two new releases opening this week, things may seem a little slow on the movie front. Don’t worry, they’ll pick up soon enough. Why, just next week we’ll see the Toronto openings of Amour and Zero Dark Thirty, two of the season’s most heavily praised films. (I’m on record as liking them quite a bit myself.) But there’s a lot more than that coming our way.

The TIFF Bell Lightbox may be busy with Canada’s Top Ten this week, but next week they’re going into overdrive with two new series. A Man And A Woman: Jean-Louis Trintingnant And Emmanuelle Riva pays tribute to the stars of Amour with a selection of their earlier work it’s a happy coincidence that said work just happens to serve as an overview of major European filmmakers. Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima, Mon Amour Eric Rohmer’s My Night At Maud’s François Truffaut’s Confidentially Yours and Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue and Three Colors: Red are just a handful of the great, great films that will be screening over January and February. You won’t want to miss them.

And then there’s TIFF’s oddest program in a while. Screening Friday nights from January through early April, Whoa: The Films Of Keanu Reeves salutes Canada’s most singularly talented screen performer with a retrospective of key films. Again, major filmmakers are well-represented, including Kathryn Bigelow, Gus Van Sant, Francis Ford Coppola, the Wachowskis and Richard Linklater. But … well, you know what you’re getting into. (I just wish they’d made room for Marisa Silver’s Permanent Record, a terrific, barely-remembered 1988 drama about high-school kids dealing with an unexpected loss that features one of Reeves’s best performances.)

I’ll be covering both of these programs in more depth soon, but you should definitely make some space in your schedule for them.

You won’t need to budget a lot of time for this month’s other new program you just have to ride the subway. Or rather, you just have to wait for a train and watch the TTC platform screens, where John Greyson’s Murder In Passing will unfold in silent, 30-second installments every weekday from Monday (January 7) to March 1.

It’s an experimental multi-media work that will feature clues to the eponymous mystery on the series’ blog, over Twitter and in issues of Metro. The day’s episode will repeat every 10 minutes, with Friday’s episodes running Saturdays and Sundays as well. I’m curious to see whether commuters will have the presence of mind to follow the plot over nearly two months – but even if they don’t, it’s great to see someone try something like this, isn’t it?

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