Triumphant returns

TIFF Cinematheque celebrates spring with a slate of proper classics

If my piece about the new restoration of William Friedkin’s Sorcerer premiering at TIFF Cinematheque this week got you all excited, here’s some even better news: that restoration, which has its Toronto premiere tomorrow night (Saturday, April 12), is just one of more than a dozen classics being brought back into circulation – most of them in new restorations or screened from new prints – at the Lightbox under the banner of TIFF Cinematheque Special Screenings.

This month, TIFF is offering new looks at Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s lavish Cleopatra (April 13), Henri-Georges Clouzot’s riveting, Sorcerer-inspiring The Wages Of Fear (April 15), Elio Petri’s Italian thriller Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion (April 17), Humberto Solás’s Cuban epic Lucía (April 24) and Nobuhiko Obayashi’s rather gloriously demented horror pastiche Hausu (April 24).

May offers John Sturges’s cracking-good POW thriller The Great Escape (May 6) Robin Hardy’s long-promised definitive cut of his pastoral horror classic The Wicker Man (May 8) both the Fritz Lang and Joseph Losey versions of M (screening May 8 and May 9, respectively) Losey’s twisted psychological thriller The Servant (May 11), Robert Bresson’s austere prison drama A Man Escaped (May 13) Alain Resnais’s Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime (May 15) Michelangelo Antonioni’s existentialist mystery L’Avventura (May 15) Roberto Rossellini’s emotionally fraught Voyage In Italy (May 17) and Nagisa Oshima’s lacerating social drama Boy (May 18).

Yes, it’s a massive laundry list of cinema, and a number of these are readily available on DVD and Blu-ray in very good restorations – but some of them aren’t, and none of them looks anywhere near as good at home as they will on a big screen.

Here’s a challenge: if there’s a title in the list above that you don’t recognize, just book it. I guarantee it’ll be worth your while.

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