Volume 21, Issue 9 / September 2017

Festivals 2017

The popular (and let’s admit it important) Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) gets two reports in this issue. Offscreen welcomes film critic Jordan Adler with the first of two reports on TIFF, setting up some interesting behind the scenes controversies before concentrating on the films, with a nice focus on some Canadian showings. As is par for the course for Michael Sooriyakumaran, his second TIFF report concentrates on the more esoteric offerings at Toronto 2017. Regular festival scribe Philip Gillett reports on the 30th edition of the Leeds International Film Festival. Peter Rist reports on what might be the last edition of the struggling World Film Festival (though people have been saying that for several years now!). Concluding the issue is an essay that seems fitting given the almost daily rumblings and controversies surrounding Trump’s presidency. In “Film Depictions of WW2 in the Trump & Brexit era” Leon Calvert looks at a group of mainly successful post Trump Post-Brexit World War 2 films, and assesses their ideological position with respect to today’s political and ideological landscape, and the social gains post-WW2. Many of these films engage history, and for the younger generation, represent History. Because of this filmmakers have a certain moral responsibility to balance history in a way that respects the past but also engages the past with contemporary values. Can a film be anti-War and be conservative? What does it mean for a film to be ‘Anti-war”? These are some of the issues that Calvert looks at, which go beyond the considerations of the War film as only or mainly an entertainment machine, but as a cinema which can help inform, shape and maybe change public perception and recognition of major political issues surrounding war, foreign policy, violence and governance. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

Featured image from High Fantasy by Jenna Bass

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