TIFF13: Beneath the Harvest Sky, We Are the Best!, “Method”

 

My TIFF13 marathon continues! My thoughts on Beneath the Harvest SkyWe Are the Best, and “Method” below — spoiler alert: I liked them all!

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Beneath the Harvest Sky

directed by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly (who were in attendance along with cast members Callan McAuliffe, Emory Cohen, Aiden Gillan, Sarah Sutherland, and Zoe Levin)

Two best friends in small-town Maine, nearing the end of high school. One a ‘good kid’ with promise (Dom, played by Callan McAuliffe), the other a shit disturber named Casper (Emory Cohen), and both want to get the hell out of the town where the future holds two options:  farming potatoes or selling drugs. I loved everything about Beneath the Harvest Sky: the friendship between Dom and Casper, the supporting cast was effing brilliant (including Aiden “Littlefinger” Gillan and a one-scene role for Carrie Preston), the film was beautifully shot. Tense, funny, sweet, tragic, and full of a barely contained rage from Emory Cohen’s Casper. In the Q&A afterward, it was hard to separate the actor from character with him; apparently when they went to prep the film in the small town in Maine (there was a potato farming family, La Joies, in the audience, who’d consulted and helped on the film), Emory made pals with all the locals — teens and drug dealers — and they all knew ‘Casper.’ Saying “he’s one to watch” seems, like, really corny and cliche, but…watch him. (He was also in The Place Beyond the Pines, which I will now be checking out.)

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We Are the Best!

directed by Lukas Moodysson (who was there for the Q&A)

After the dark/tragic/had a little cry of Beneath the Harvest Sky, the sheer fun of We Are the Best! was just the thing. It’s the early 1980s. It’s Stockholm. And Bobo (center above) and Klara (right) are 13-year-old best friends and misfits at school. Because they are punks, and punk is not dead, despite what you might have heard. With zero musical skill, they form a band and rope a third girl into it, the seriously talented Hedvig (left). It’s a boatload of fun, and just gets so many aspects of that age, of being female and the expectations to be pretty above anything else, of friendship tensions in a group of 3, of parents and how super embarrassing/awesome they can be — all in a subtle and honest way. The three leads (Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, and Liv LeMoyne) are all so spot-on with their performances, that I kind of doubt they are actually teenagers now; I think Lukas Moodysson probably time-travelled to capture this excellent, raucous moment in their lives. I sincerely hope it gets a release here so everyone can revel in the wall-to-wall Swedish punk music and joy of being a 13-year-old misfit.

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“Method,” part of Short Cuts programme 3

directed by Gregory (The) Smith

Hey that lady looks like my sister!! Oh it is. Sarain had a great time filming this short, and Team Sarain (me, Sarah Deeee, and Erin S., all coincidentally wearing black blazers and looking like a proper uniformed entourage) saw it on the big screen along with five other shorts, most of which were amazing. (One short was not. Time is relative, and watching it felt like an eternity. But let’s focus on the good!) “Method” is up on YouTube (and embedded below), so take 8 minutes and give it a watch. Sarain is particularly funny in it, in my humble and totally unbiased opinion. Other highlights from the Short Cuts programme 3: “Jimbo,” and “We Wanted More” (which features Orphan Black‘s Kira, and which totally freaked me out).

Next up! Oculus, How I Live Now, Sarah Prefers to Run

And then my last three, which I’m seeing tonight/tomorrow: Concrete Night, The Double, Omar

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