Consider spending this year’s Christmas Day at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, where there are some wonderful programs and films intersecting.
As a part of the Magic Motion: Stop Motion Animation Festival is the delightful film The Boxtrolls, featuring Isaac Hempstead-Wright as the voice of Eggs. The Laika film features a sequence towards the end demonstrating how labour intensive stop-motion truly is, so a film like this one truly deserves to be appreciated, and Wes Anderson’s whimsical adaptation of the children’s classic Fantastic Mr. Fox plays later in the day, and pairing these two films makes for a fascinating study in contrasts (as well as similarities). The film’s First Men in the Moon (directed by stop-motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen) and freakin’ The Terminator also play on Christmas as part of the far-reaching retrospective, (there is a sequence at the end of The Terminator that incorporates stop-motion animation, but any excuse to watch it is a good one).
Michael Fassbender plays titular king Macbeth in Justin Kurzel’s dark adaptation of the Scottish play which airs in the New Releases section. So does Paolo Sorrentino’s sprawling Youth, which stars Michael Caine, who was in The Dark Knight Rises with Lady Macbeth, Marion Cotillard. Opening on Christmas Day is the Laszlo Nemes film Son of Saul, the devastating Holocaust drama that is the odds-on favourite to win Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. See this movie, and see it properly in 35mm.
As well, make sure to watch the 1970 film Patton, as a part of the Magnificent 70mm program playing at TIFF. The Toronto International Film Festival is one of a few organizations that actively project films in their original formats, and quite frankly, there are few places in Canada that can even play 70mm and play it is such a comfortable setting. Patton on Christmas Day would be a great start to appreciating the 70mm experience.
Please see www.tiff.net for more information about TIFF’s programs.