Toronto 2013

  • Brandon Wee


TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVALToronto’s 38th edition (5–15 September 2013) was as big and diverse as its ambitions allowed, but its stubborn public image partial to Euro-American content continues to weaken its “international” status. The festival hasn’t struck a respectable balance between indulging the puffery of dominant film industries and supporting lesser-known cinemas. Indeed, this year’s milestones went largely unplugged. There were encores: at least five directors – Hong Sang-soo, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Kim Ki-duk, Brillante Mendoza and Sono Sion – returned with films for the second year running. There was discontinuity: Miyazaki Hayao and Tsai Ming-liang delivered what could be their last features after retiring. There was politics that ordained merit: no film was as insincerely hyped as 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s take on Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography about chattel slavery – a lifeless adaptation writ large given this skeleton’s dead weight. On the other hand,...