By John H. Foote
As the announcements for films screening at TIFF this year continue, the busy staff in this first year without Piers Handling have broken through with some new events tied to the past.
Back in the seventies and eighties, the programmers of The Festival Of Festivals organized career tributes to such major talents as Robert Duvall and Warren Beatty. In the majestic University Theatre, these tributes were carried out, as scenes from their films were shown along with stories from family and friends. Somewhere along the way, this idea was dropped only to return this year.
Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix will be honoured with Gala Tributes at the Royal Fairmount during the festival. Each has a film here, Streep in The Laundromat, while Phoenix is here in Joker.
Both actors have been formidable talents through their impressive careers.
Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an extraordinary twenty-one times, winning three times. She is widely believed to be the greatest actor in the history of the cinema.
Phoenix has been nominated three times, his greatest work being in The Master (2012) an acclaimed performance that remains the most daring work by an actor I have seen in the last fifteen years.
The events will be fundraisers for TIFF and will take place during this year’s festival.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.