Filmmaker Joseph Kahn is already dropping bombs ahead of the Toronto midnight premiere of his controversy-courting battle rap pic "Bodied," rattling the legions of Beyoncé fans who have accused Taylor Swift of lifting from Bey in her music video for "Look What You Made Me Do," which Kahn directed.
"It’s not ‘Formation’ at all," Kahn said when the subject of his Twitter war with the Beyhive came up during a Times chat about "Bodied," his unapologetically brazen satire about race, hip-hop, cultural appropriation and freedom of speech.
"They try to say she’s wearing a black crop top and Beyoncé wore a black crop top. But they don’t realize in 2015 in ‘Bad Blood,’ Taylor Swift was wearing a black crop top. I really do think, by the way, that Beyoncé copied ‘Bad Blood.’ "
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This year's Toronto International Film Festival, which runs Sept. 7-17, will provide an artistic response and even collective therapy to the roil emanating from Washington — all while offering a glimpse at how the country might debate issues and seek solace at movie theaters in the months to come.
"Our job is to try to rip down walls and start conversations, and this year's festival reflects that," said TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey just days before the controversy over DACA boiled over in the U.S. "What TIFF is here to say is that the forces trying to build walls are not going to win."
Bailey and other festival executives say they don't explicitly privilege movies about current affairs or identity politics. Yet charged social topics percolate through many of the fest’s North American premieres just the same as the films play in the Canadian metropolis ahead of what is typically a major commercial rollout in the U.S by the end of the year.
The Toronto International Film Festival will slim down its lineup this year by about 20%, hoping to remove some of the bloat that lately has made the festival a comprehensive but dizzying affair.
But if the quantity of the films has decreased, the quality of the included filmmakers has not. New movies by Darren Aronofsky (the genre tale “Mother!”), Alexander Payne (magical-realist class picture “Downsizing”) and Guillermo del Toro (creature-feature drama “The Shape of Water”) will all play the post-Labor Day gathering. So will films by Wim Wenders (romantic drama “Submergence”) and Stephen Frears (immigrant-themed royals tale “Victoria and Abdul”).
The festival also will showcase a number of movies from prominent actors turned directors, organizers announced Tuesday. Among them are George Clooney’s home-invasion race critique “Suburbicon” featuring Matt Damon (he does double duty with “Downsizing”); Angelina Jolie’s fact-based Khmer Rouge drama “First They Killed My Father,” a Cambodian production rooted in native culture; Greta Gerwig’s California comedy “Lady Bird” starring Saoirse Ronan as the title character; and Andy Serkis’ “Breathe,” about the real-life polio activist Robin Cavendish, played by Andrew Garfield.
Los Angeles Times film team members pick their most anticipated films at TIFF, including Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" and Darren Aronofsky's "Mother!" starring Jennifer Lawrence.
The Los Angeles Times film team pick their most anticipated films at Toronto International Film Festival, including Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" and Darren Aronofsky's "Mother!" starring Jennifer Lawrence.