GUEST POST: TIFF's Piers Handling shares his top films for opera loversBy Piers HandlingPosted in Guest Posts
Just like seeing an on-stage performance, nothing replaces the experience of seeing a film on the big screen. This summer at TIFF Bell Lightbox, our TIFF Cinematheque programme will delight opera lovers as we transport you to the canals of Venice and the island of Capri, whisk you off to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, and revisit some of the glamour of old Hollywood.
We will feature a slate of fascinating guests, onstage conversations, and special events.
Here are five titles playing at the Lightbox this summer that you need to see on the big screen. And just in case you can’t join us, take the pledge to visit the TIFF Cinematheque. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Director & CEO, TIFF
The film that introduced Japanese cinema to the West, and the subject of several theatre and opera adaptations, Rashomon won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, made Toshiro Mifune an international superstar, and landed Machiko Kyo on the cover of Life magazine.
One of my favourite films and a not-to-miss classic, see this beautiful 35mm print of Antonioni's masterpiece. It sparked outrage at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival but quickly established its claim as "the most important film since Citizen Kane" (Robert Benayoun) and, along with Godard's Breathless, Bresson's Pickpocket and Resnais' Hiroshima mon amour, forms the foundation of modernist cinema.
For any live music lover, Stanley Donen's lavish musical tribute to haute couture will have you contemplating crimson (as in a Givenchy gown or red-lined raincoat), noir (a beatnik ensemble of black turtleneck and Capri pants), and every shade in between.
Join us as award-winning Canadian filmmaker, writer, producer, and opera director Atom Egoyan introduces Visconti's 1965 Golden Lion–winning family drama, which was deemed "unhealthy" by Italy's Catholic Film Centre.
Opening spectacularly in the La Fenice opera house (a sequence that has influenced many films, including Scorsese's The Age of Innocence), Senso features music by Verdi and Bruckner, a script written in part by Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles, and sumptuous period sets and costumes. Especially not-to-be-missed is a central performance of blazing intensity; "Visconti's masterpiece proceeds with all the majestic rhythm and the meticulous design of grand opera" (Cowie).