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HocKey Or Godard: TIFF Opening Night choices

Well, one can't say that the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which opens this evening, does not offer its audience a wide range of choices. On its opening night, film lovers can decide to sample the official Festival Opener, a campy Canadian hockey musical (yes, you read that correctly) titled Score: A Hockey Musical by local filmmaker Michael McGowan or the latest movie meditation by one of the art form's masters Jean-Luc Godard.

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, presented in the Festival's Masters series, is the latest cinematic time bomb from the French director of such nouvelle vague clasics as Breathless (1960), Vivre sa vie (1962), Bande à part (1964), Alphaville (1965), Pierrot le fou (1965) and Weekened (1967). After an inactive stretch in the 1970s, Godard was back with a series of non-traditional, non-narrative film poems that were both ridiculed and embraced for their dense structure and kaleidoscopic visuals.

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His latest continues in this expressionistic mode, described as a "symphony in three movements", the film is a cri de coeur that is both ravishing and troubling. The film begins on a cruise ship where passengers indulge in the hedonistic pursuits of gambling and disco dancing. The middle section moves to a provincial gas station to examine the domestic politics of the family that runs it. The final segment revisits the cruise ship's journey around the Mediterranean, intercut with archival footage and a dizzying montage of clips from key films in Godard's encyclopedic catalogue of the cinema.

Read the rest of this article at Sandy Mandelberger’s blog Eye on North America.

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