7/29/14

MIDNIGHT MADNESS PACKS A POWERFUL PUNCH OF THE WILD, WACKY AND WEIRD AT THE 2014 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness programme brings thrills, chills and all sorts of kills to Festival audiences once again. Get your passports stamped and experience an international cinematic rollercoaster which includes: a Yakuza street gang hip-hop musical epic; spine-chilling Spanish zombies with insatiable appetites; a Finnish boy hunter rescuing the President of the United States from terrorists; and Flemish cub scouts trapped in the woods with sinister companions.

“Midnight Madness has been entertaining connoisseurs of the exquisitely explicit for over 25 years, and is now an essential destination for cinematic masters of outrageous expression,” says Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival. “After the sun sets on the Festival days, fearless audiences will converge at the Ryerson Theatre to be served a visual feast of the bizarre, the horrifying and the wonderfully wacky.”

Along with the triumphant return of last year’s People’s Choice Award-winner Sion Sono, Midnight Madness will also welcome back renowned alumni Adam Wingard, Mark Hartley and Jaume Balagueró. The Festival is also set to proudly celebrate indie legend Kevin Smith’s homecoming after 20 years.

Jaume Balagueró, Spain World Premiere

Angela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, sole survivor and witness to the horrific events inside the building. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying a virus? Distrust spreads through the isolated facility while new, even more deadly forms of evil spread even faster

Jalmari Heleander, Finland/United Kingdom/Germany World Premiere

The fate of the most powerful man in the world lies in the hands of a 13-year-old boy. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Oskari and the president must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives.

Jonas Govaerts, Belgium World Premiere

Young, imaginative 12-year-old Sam heads off to camp with his Cub Scouts pack. In the woods, he stumbles upon a strange treehouse and a masked, feral child. When his leaders ignore his warnings about the mysterious boy, Sam starts to feel increasingly isolated from the pack, and convinced a terrible fate awaits them all.

Mark Hartley, Australia International Premiere

Director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed!) continues his delightful documentary disinterment of down-market movie detritus with this chronicle of the rise and fall of 1980s action-exploitation juggernaut Cannon Films, whose contributions to the cinematic canon include American Ninja, The Delta Force, Death Wish II and Masters of the Universe.

Adam Wingard, USA Canadian Premiere

The follow-up to Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s wildly popular You're Next, The Guest tells the story of a mysterious and devastatingly charming visitor, David (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey) who arrives on the doorstep of a bereaved family claiming to be the best friend of their dead son, a young soldier who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, their teenage daughter Anna (Maika Monroe of It Follows) starts wondering if David is responsible.

David Robert Mitchell, USA North American Premiere

For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can't shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind. With a riveting central performance from Monroe and a strikingly ominous electronic score by Disasterpeace, It Follows is an artful psychosexual thriller from David Robert Mitchell, whose The Myth of the American Sleepover premiered at Critics' Week in 2010. The film also stars Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.

Midnight Madness Opening Night Film
Sion Sono, Japan International Premiere

Set in an alternate Tokyo of the near future, director Sion Sono continues his run of sensational films with the explosive street gang tale, Tokyo Tribe. Tokyo Tribe is the first live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga series Tokyo Tribe 2 by Santa Inoue, which has sold two million copies and has been published in Asia and the west to great popularity.

Kevin Smith, USA World Premiere

Wallace (Justin Long) is a podcaster on a mission who thinks he has found the story of a lifetime in Howard Howe (Michael Parks), an adventurer with amazing stories and a curious penchant for walruses. When Mr. Howe’s true desires unfold, things take a dark turn and Wallace faces a terrifying transformation at the hands of his captor. As his friends Alison and Teddy (Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment) search the backwoods of Canada to rescue him, they discover a nightmare from which there is no escape. Conceived from one of indie legend Kevin Smith's own Smodcast’s, Tusk is an unprecedented tale that is equal parts hilarious and horrifying.

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, New Zealand/USA. Canadian Premiere

Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi), and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) are three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles—like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection, modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the Midnight Madness Pack, which includes all 10 screenings for $180, or $115 for students and seniors.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433

or visit the Gupta Box Office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 20 while quantities last.

TIFF prefers Visa.

The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4 to 14, 2014.
Social Media:
@mmadnesstiff @TIFF_NET
#MidnightMadness #TIFF14
Facebook.com/MidnightMadnessTIFF
Facebook.com/TIFF

About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

The Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L'Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada and the City of Toronto.The Midnight Madness programme is sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment and Space.

7/2/14

Midnight Madness Passes On Sale Now!

Artwork by Cain Motter
As I write this our main man: Colin Geddes is locked away furiously reviewing Midnight Madness submissions to make sure we get to see the absolute best of the best. We're still a while away from his big reveals but you know whatever he picks is gonna be a party. With that said.... MIDNIGHT MADNESS PASSES ARE ON SALE NOW RIGHT HERE!!! Well, as long as you have a Visa, otherwise you have to wait till July 9th.

Don't get caught ticketless in a rush line. The Midnight Madness Pass is the only way to guarantee you a seat to all ten Midnight Madness screenings. No dealing with flex pass vouchers, off-sale screenings, or premium this or that. Just 10 tickets to the biggest party at TIFF14!

Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the Midnight Madness Pass, which includes all 10 screenings for $180, or $115 for students and seniors. Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day here. Information on purchasing tickets over the phone or in person is available here.

11/18/13

Find the Madness Online and One Last Arrrrrrr!



We've shut things down here at the blog until next year's Midnight Madness Programme and MM Programmer Colin Geddes has been disassembled and sent to the shop for cleaning (you wouldn't believe what gets stuck in his cogs and gears), but things are going strong on the Midnight Madness Facebook page and on our new Midnight Madness Tumblr. So if you need a little dose of the Madness come by for a hit.

And, courtesy of Madnik Heather, click through for one last pirate "Arrr" available whenever you need it throughout the year!

Thanks to Colin, all the bloggers, all the filmmakers and volunteers, and most especially thanks to our audience for making the Madness happen!

9/24/13

The Madness, Sketched!

All Cheerleaders Die

Francis Foster made some very nice sketches of the 2013 Midnight Madness program at his Tumblr page, Sketchy Musings. Click through to see reviews of the films and more sketches every day.  


All Cheerleaders Die


The Green Inferno



The Station / Der Blutgletscher



Afflicted



Oculus

Almost Human



Rigor Mortis

R100


Why Don't You Play In Hell?

9/20/13

The Guardian Reports On The Madness!

Overcome by the Madness, audience member toy with the very globe!

The Guardian reports on Midnight Madness and gives our own MM Photographer, Ian Goring, a mention. Midnight Madness does make dreams come true!

When it first began 25 years ago, Midnight Madness was "a little bit more rough and tumble, and the audience was, like, drunk and stoned and rowdy", says Geddes. "But after a while, realising that what they were seeing was the crème de la crème of genre films, it built this kind of genre sophistication." 
The poster boy here is Eli Roth, whose groundbreaking horror Cabin Fever came out of nowhere in 2002 to earn not only audience devotion but some of the year's biggest sales. Writing in this month's Hollywood Reporter, Roth was effusive about how Midnight Madness changed his life. Other films to make their name at the Ryerson cinema include Ong-Bak, Hostel and The Raid. (Geddes: "I think I can accurately boast that I'm the first person to get 1,200 people into a cinema in North America to watch a film from Indonesia.") 
Fittingly for Tiff, Midnight Madness hasn't just been a springboard for directors. "There was one kid I would run into," Geddes recalls. "Shy, quiet kid. He always asked to take a picture of me and the director after the film. Then one year he sent me the pictures – and they were beautiful. He and his father drive in every day from Niagara Falls, an hour's drive away, see Midnight Madness and drive back. So I ended up getting him a media press badge – he's now my official paparazzi. He even took pointers from the other photographers, so now he knows how to get a star's attention: 'Over here, look over, to the right …'"

Read more here.

9/18/13

Midnight Madness Memories: Robert A. Mitchell, Midnight Madness Junkie

 
Iko Uwais interviewed by Robert Mitchell at The Raid World Premiere.
 
A few days ago, we posted the memories of MM Photographer Ian Goring, today we're sharing the first Midnight Madness screening of another MM Blogger who you don't hear from much around here, MM Interviewer, Videographer and Man On The Scene, Robert A. Mitchell. This was originally published on the 2008 Midnight Madness blog as, "The Genesis of a Midnight Madness Junkie, (a.k.a., The Night I Met Prachya Pinkaew)." ~The Editor
 
Howdy All.

As a way of introducing myself, and also to take a little time to do a some reminiscing, I wanted to talk about my first Midnight Madness screening.

It was a Saturday, the second day of the 2003 film festival and the second year I was attending. I was set to watch two films that day. The first was Takeshi Kitano's latest film Zatoichi at the Elgin theater theater at the base of Yonge street followed by a screening of Alien with Sir Ridley Scott in attendence. That is already an amazing day of cinema. Little did I know what the night would bring. Suffice to say Zatoichi was amazing and I wasn't the only one who must've thought that because several days later the film would win the audience award.







Leaving the theater and stepping into the bright early September daylight I slowly wandered up Yonge street bopping in and out of stores looking at DVDs. My mind wandering, thinking of the amazing sword sequences I had just watched.


By five o'clock I found myself standing in what was supposed to be my second and last line up for a film that day. Perhaps because of kismet, the unifying field or just one of those things, the woman who stood directly in front of me had stood directly behind me hours earlier while I waited for Zatoichi.

We began to talk about many different films and she asked me if I would be going to Midnight Madness that night. I replied that I had heard of Midnight Madness but that I had never gone. She then informed me that there was a film playing that night entitled, Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior.

Since my teenaged years encompassed skateboarding, eating pizza and watching kung fu films every Saturday, I was always up for a good martial arts film, but, alas, I did not have a ticket. The woman informed me she was a volunteer and that she would use one of her vouchers and procure me a ticket. True to her words she came back from the box office with a ticket for Ong-Bak and what would become my first Midnight Madness film.

Oh yeah, the Alien reissue was amazing and, not only was Sir Ridley Scott in attendence, but Yaphet Kotto sat in the audience with us and watched the film ... but I digress.

Cut to INT.: The Uptown Theater Saturday night around 11PM.



 With the usual energy that comes with a warm Saturday night, this particular night had the added excitement of a world premiere. The crowd had changed, they were younger and much more enthusiastic. Although it was a long day and I was fighting exhaustion, one could not not get caught up in the moment and feed off the energy that you were surrounded with.

We were finally seated in the amazing theater that was the Uptown 1 (see above photo (R.I.P)) and a man came onto the stage and introduced himself as "Colin Geddes, the Midnight Madness programmer" to a huge amount of applause and cheering. He then went on to relate a tale of seeing Ong-Bak at the buyers market at the Cannes film festival and that Luc Besson, the director of La Femme Nikita, had already bought the film.

Colin Geddes then introduced the director of the film, Prachya Pinkaew, who had almost not made the screening due to being held up by customs and had to resort to taking a cab from the airport to the theater to make the screening on time. In fact, he had had no time to stop off at the hotel to unpack his luggage. When Prachya stepped out and onto the stage you would never have known that a mere hour or so before he had been on a plane coming from the other side of the world.

With the introductions finished the house lights dimmed and the curtains were slowly drawn and little did we know what we were about to see. You could look in a thesaurus and no amount of adjectives could ever do Ong-Bak justice. The film was completely and utterly amazing. When the final credits rolled and lights came back on, sitting in that theater - which was now in the wee hours of Sunday morning - you knew you had just witnessed the emergence of a new talent unleashed upon the world. The star of the film Tony Jaa without a doubt would become the next big action star.







As Colin and Prachya came back onto the stage the crowd rose in a standing ovation and if you had ever been in the Uptown 1 you can attest to how many people that was.

After the Q&A I stumbled out of the theater and into the night, dizzy from the amazingness I had just watched. Wandering around the local neighbourhood I popped into a store and bought a chocolate milk, when the thought crossed my mind to double back to the theater and see if I could get a picture with the director.

Outside of the box office stood Colin  and Prachya with a few other people. I approached them and asked if I could have a photo. Colin then snapped a picture at a crazy angle and the moment was captured.  I'm the dork with the red beard standing beside one of the greatest action directors to emerge in the twenty first century.

I don't speak a word of Thai and I believe Prachya didn't speak much, if any, English. But, when I said to him that Ong-Bak was the best fighting film I had seen since Drunken Master II, a flicker of recognition passed through his eyes. We had bridged the language gap through action films.

When the house lights came back on that Sunday morning I immediately thought to myself how many times are you going to be in a world premiere audience and be able to say I was there the night the world was introduced to the next big thing. In an instant I was hooked and have been attending Midnight Madness ever since. This will mark my sixth year.

I also would like to thank that volunteer for taking me to my first Midnight Madness screening.

What Did People Say About WITCHING AND BITCHING?

I think we all needed a few days to fully process what we saw at the Ryerson on Saturday for the world premiere of Alex de la Iglesia's Witching and Bitching and the final night of Midnight Madness 2013. The Spanish director's film, completed almost days before, blew the audience away and, as always, they had a lot to say about it!
































It was a wild ten days of bloody glaciers, haunted mirrors, zombie cheerleaders, and whatever Why Don't You Play In Hell was, and it was great to find out what the Midnight Madness audience thought about the lineup, screenings, and the Q&A.  And, of course, the inflatable Spider Man.

Until next year!