Toronto Flick Picks: TIFF in the Park, Screening Roundup and More

This year is TIFF’s ruby anniversary and that’s the stated excuse for a kick-off party next Wednesday July 8 in David Pecaut Square for TIFF in the Park. The festivities commence at 7:30 p.m. and guests include comedian Shawn Hitchins, a surprise musical guest and more. 

First up on the screening list this year is the 1992 — which I guess would have been TIFF’s 18th anniversary — People’s Choice Award Winner Strictly Ballroom

The free screenings continue July 15 with one of the best family films of the new millennium in Whale Rider on July 15, Annie Hall on July 22, and Jennifer Baichwal’s water doc Watermark on July 29. Into August you have a couple overrated but mostly charming Best Picture winners in The King’s Speech (August 5) and The Artist (August 19), plus Dial M For Murder (August 12), which gets screened an awful lot, followed by The Triplets of Belleville (August 26), which never gets old. The capper is Joe Wright’s star-studded Pride and Prejudice on September 2. 

The concept is also being farmed out to a park near YOU this summer. Well that is assuming you reside somewhere in the GTA. You can click here for a list of screenings in Mississauga, Brampton and parks all over the city including a screening of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo in Union Station. 

Goonin’ it Up

Looks like shooting on the follow-up to the 2011 quasi-cult hit Goon has begun in Toronto. The sequel, apparently called Goon 2 Last of the Enforcers, is scheduled to lens until August 11. Co-writer Jay Baruchel is taking over the directing duties from Michael Dowse and some of the original cast, including Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber and Alison Pill are back, plus noted hockey spouse Elisha Cuthbert this time around. 

This has bad idea written all over it — have you ever actually watched Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice? — but one must give these Canucks the benefit of the doubt. 

Screening Roundup 

If you aren’t completely sated on Italian cinema with TIFF’s Summer in Italy, there’s even more to consume at the Lightbox with the beginning of a retrospective on Vittorio De Sica called More Than Life Itself. There’s a 4K restoration of De Sica’s comedy Marriage Italian Style tomorrow at 7 p.m. Go in the name of De Sica, but stay for Sophia Loren in one her best parts. 

We’ll stick with the free thing and mention that Now Magazine’s Free Flick Monday’s are back. This Monday’s offering, Big Game, at The Royal Cinema rolls at 7 p.m. Big Game, at the very least, has a wonderful synopsis which could go something like this: Air Force One crashes over Finland and the president’s (Samuel L. Jackson) escape pod is discovered by a young man on a quest to prove his self-reliance in nature. The duo must fend of a gang of kidnappers in order to survive and make their way to safety. It played last year as part of TIFF’s Midnight Madness. Unfortunately, much like Snakes on a Plane, when you sit down and actually watch it, it’s pretty mediocre. 

The Fox Theatre is hosting the 4th annual Beaches Film Festival this weekend. You can get tickets and read about the mix of Canadian and international films being shown here

Toronto Screengrab of the Week

Last week’s entry was Norman Jewison’s The Hurricane. This week we continue with Jewison, and cheat a wee bit, as this film wasn’t shot in Toronto but nearby Rockwood, Ontario at what is now a Ontario Heritage Foundation plaque for the former Rockwood Academy. Much of the film was shot in Montreal but apparently our director along with Jane Fonda et all filmed at the Academy

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