Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Toronto Jewish Film Festival to Screen Horror/Fantasy Series (May 01-11)

This year at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, expect to see vampires, demons, golems and a number of other paranormal specters drawn from Jewish folklore as part of the TJFF's 2014 Horror/Fantasy Series.

With a series of screenings and talks by scholar and author Dr. Mikel Koven, this year's Toronto Jewish Film Festival has pieced together a programme of Jewish filmmakers who have attempted to represent the diverse representations of the metaphysical and spiritual horrors of Judaism and Jewish folklore. Screenings will include:

The Dybbuk, directed by Sidney Lumet (USA) - May 02

Acclaimed filmmaker Sidney lumet’s 1960 television adaptation of Sholom Ansky’s supernatural tale of possession. This rarely-seen production stars Theodore Bikel, Carol Lawrence and (a very young) Vincent Gardenia.

The Fearless Vampire Killers, directed by Roman Polanski (USA) - May 10

Some critics hail roman Polanski’s 1967 comedy as brilliant while others decry it as vulgar and anti-semitic. Decide for yourself, as Professor Abronsius and his dim-witted assistant confront the evil Count Von Krolock and his Jewish minion in a fairytale-like eastern europe.

God Told Me To, directed by Larry Cohen (USA) - May 03

A series of bizarre and seemingly random murders leaves a NYPD detective baffled, until his investigation confronts a charismatic figure who may be the messiah. From Larry Cohen (Maniac Cop, The Stuff, Street Trash, Q the Winged Serpent, It's Alive) an underappreciated horror movie by the master of 1970s American exploitation cinema.

Goldberg and Eisenberg, directed by Oren Carmi (Israel) - May 10

A hit at the Slamdance film festival, this "intelligent edge-of-the-seat psychological thriller” (Film Threat) has been compared to the work of the Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino. The routine of a meek computer programmer is suddenly disrupted by a mysterious and violent bully. This impressive feature debut by director oren Carmi is tense, dark and enjoyably perverse.

The X-Files: Kaddish, directed by Kim Manners (USA) - May 10

In this episode from the fourth season of the popular series, FBI agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate the brutal murder of a young Hassidic man and find themselves face to face with Jewish folklore in the guise of Crown Heights’s very own golem. While The X-Files’ writers took tremendous liberty with the Prague legends, the episode nicely illustrates how supernatural tales are able to comment on the dangers of our very real world.

Zeitgeist, directed by Navot Papushado (Israel) - May 10

A haunting short film by Navot Papushado, one of the co-directors of Rabies and Big Bad Wolves, which explores the persistence of Holocaust memory on the contemporary Israeli psyche. Unsettling and beautifully realized.

For more information and tickets, visit tjff.com

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