The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off its 37th annual instalment the evening of Sept. 6 with what TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey is calling “a thinking-person’s action film,” a futuristic thriller titled Looper from U.S. director Rian Johnson. The feature, Johnson’s third, stars Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Dano, and goes into wide release three weeks after its Toronto bow.
Looper’s premiere, at Roy Thomson Hall, was one of several announcements made Tuesday at a media conference about TIFF’s film roster for 2012. Also announced as world-premiere galas were Ben Affleck’s historical thriller Argo, Liz Garbus’s documentary Love, Marilyn documentary, Canadian director Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children , David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook starring Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, and Sergio Castelllitto’s Twice Born, a drama set in Sarajevo starring Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch.
Until recently TIFF has opened with a Canadian film but last year it went with Davis Guggenheim’s U2 documentary From the Sky Down and in 2009 a British feature about Charles Darwin, Creation, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly.
Among other films bowing as world premieres are Mike Newell’s refashioning of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations with Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter, the Shola Lynch documentary Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, Hyde Park on the Hudson, a drama starring Bill Murray and Samuel West about the friendship between Frankling Delano Roosevelt and Britain’s King George VI, A Liar’s Autobiogprahy -- The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and Margarethe von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt, about the German-American philosopher/political theorist Hannah Arendt.