By Edward Davis | The Playlist August 14, 2012 at 11:18AM
"The Last Time I Saw Macao" João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rul Guerra da Mata, Portugal/France, 85’
Part memoir, part city symphony, part noir-ish B-movie adventure, the new feature from critically acclaimed Portuguese filmmaking duo João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata (To Die Like a Man) is a sensual, shape-shifting ode to one of the world’s most mythic, alluring and exoticized cities.
"Differently, Molussia" (autrement, la Molussie) Nicolas Rey, France, 81’ Canadian Premiere
autrement, la Molussie is an award-winning philosophical fable that draws on Günthers Anders’ amazingly prescient anti-fascist novel The Molussian Catacomb and is presented on nine reels of dreamy 16mm film shown in random order.
"Bestiaire" Denis Côté, Canada/France, 72’ Canadian Premiere
Visionary filmmaker Denis Côté (Curling) offers a strikingly beautiful contemplation of the caged denizens of a zoo in this intriguing cinematic inquiry into the mysterious rapport and insuperable gulf between animals and humans.
"Far From Afghanistan" John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Soon-Mi Yoo, Travis Wilkerson, USA, 129’ North American Premiere
Taking inspiration from the collaborative 1967 militant anthology film Far from Vietnam (screening for free as part of the Festival’s new TIFF Cinematheque programme), five of the boldest and most prominent American militant filmmakers unite to create this searing (and seething) omnibus work, employing a variety of approaches to reveal the hidden costs of the United States’ most expensive and longest-running war.
"The Fifth Season" Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth, Belgium/The Netherlands/France, 94’ North American Premiere
In their follow-up to the remarkable Altiplano, co-directors Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth create a mystifying, surrealistic tale of a mountain village where spring refuses to come, inspiring the villagers to ever more desperate and bizarre measures to save their land and their lives.
"The Lebanese Rocket Society" Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige, Qatar, 93’ World Premiere
Lebanon's brief flirtation with space travel in the 1960s becomes a poignant metaphor for the Arab world's utopian dreams in this riveting documentary by internationally acclaimed artist duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.
"Leviathan" Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, France/United Kingdom/USA, 87’ North American Premiere
In the very waters where Melville’s Pequod gave chase to Moby Dick, Leviathan captures the collaborative clash of man, nature, and machine on a dozen cameras—tossed and tethered from fisherman to filmmaker. A cosmic portrait of commercial fishing as it’s never been seen and heard.
"Perret in France and Algeria" Heinz Emigholz, Germany, 110’ North American Premiere
Lauded artist-filmmaker Heinz Emigholz (Schindler’s Houses) offers an exquisite visual study of the work of pioneering French architect Auguste Perret, including privileged views of his innovative concrete structures in Algeria and such magnificent landmarks as Paris’ Art Deco Théâtre des Champs Elysées.
"Post Tenebras Lux" Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/The Netherlands/Germany, 120’ North American Premiere
Maverick director Carlos Reygadas presents his most ambitious, personal and controversial work yet with this disorienting, kaleidoscopic vision of a family torn between tenderness and violence.
"Tabu" Miguel Gomes, Portugal/Germany/Brazil/France, 110’ North American Premiere
A temperamental old woman, her Cape Verdean maid and a neighbour devoted to social causes live on the same floor of a Lisbon apartment building. When the old lady dies, the other two learn of an episode from her past: a tale of love and crime set in an Africa straight from the world of adventure films.
"Three Sisters" Wang Bing, China, 153’ North American Premiere
The masterful new documentary from Wang Bing (West of the Tracks) is an intimate, observational portrait of a peasant family who ekes out a humble existence in a small village set against the stunning mountain landscapes of China's Yunnan province.
"When Night Falls" (Wo hai you hua yao shuo) Ying Liang, South Korea/China, 70’ North American Premiere
Inspired by the notorious case of a young man's 2008 murder of six Shanghai police officers, the remarkable new film from independent Chinese auteur Ying Liang focuses on the killer's mother, as she both struggles to comprehend her son's heinous act and is persecuted by a state that willfully ignores its own laws. Winner of the Best Director and Actress awards at the Locarno Film Festival.