Toronto 2018

TIFF Docs and Midnight Madness Lineups

Jamie Lee Curtis in David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018)

Horror of both the real-world and fictional varieties takes the spotlight in the two lineups announced today by the Toronto International Film Festival. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9, a documentary about the aftermath of the presidential election on November 9, 2016, will open the TIFF Docs section, and David Gordon Green’s Halloween, a John Carpenter-approved reboot, will see its world premiere in the Midnight Madness program.

The title of Moore’s new doc echoes that of his 2004 critical takedown of then-president George W. Bush, Fahrenheit 9/11. That film won the Palme d’Or in Cannes and became the most financially successful documentary of all time. Fahrenheit 11/9 promises to come down hard on Donald Trump, and TIFF assures us that, even though the film may be “radical,” it’ll also be “humorous.” Trump has been in office for only a year and a half, and documentary filmmakers have been tracking his administration and its impact every step of the way. American Dharma is Errol Morris’s profile of former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who’s currently campaigning for far-right political parties all across Europe. And Roger Ailes, who died in May 2017, was not only an advisor to the Trump campaign, but also, and more notoriously, Chairman and CEO of Fox News, the only television network that the president doesn’t consider to be “fake news.” Alexis Bloom will chart the rise and fall of one of the most feared men in media in Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes.

In all, twenty-seven films will screen in the TIFF Docs program. Meeting Gorbachev is a portrait of the former Soviet leader based on interviews conducted by Werner Herzog. Gorbachev also has his say, along with Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, in Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses, which tracks the current Russian president’s rise to power. TIFF notes that a third of the documentaries in this program have been directed by women, including Rashida Jones’s portrait of her father, Quincy, and the program’s closing film, Margarethe von Trotta’s Searching for Ingmar Bergman.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle are back as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers in David Gordon Green’s Halloween, the eleventh film in the franchise launched by John Carpenter’s classic in 1978. Carpenter liked Green, Jeff Fradley, and Danny McBride’s pitch for a reboot so much that he’s come aboard as composer, executive producer, and creative consultant. Midnight Madness will open its program of ten films with another sequel of sorts, The Predator, the third installment in the series if you don’t count the three films that pit the monster against the Alien franchise.

Among the other world premieres are In Fabric, the latest film from Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio, The Duke of Burgundy) which tracks the fates of customers who come into contact with a cursed dress, and Kiah Roache-Turner’s Nekrotronic, your basic tale of a tribe out to destroy the demon who’s in possession of the entire Internet. Starring Monica Bellucci. Midnight Madness will also present two critical favorites from Cannes, Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino, winner of the Critics’ Week Grand Prize, and Gaspar Noé’s Climax, in which a dance party spins way, way out of control.

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