Attitudes change, thanks to Scud missiles (which destroy their practice space and all of their instruments), pressure from a culture that frowns on long hair and headbanging, and a post<\d>Saddam Hussein environment of extreme danger (machine-gun fire is just part of the street noise). Less contemporary but no less absorbing is Joy Division, Grant Gee's reverent and artful look at Manchester's pioneering post-punkers. Lead singer Ian Curtis is the focus of Control, a black-and-white wonder by music-video vet Anton Corbijn that focuses mostly on the troubled Curtis's rocky personal life. Meanwhile, Todd Haynes creatively interprets the music biopic as he's done before with Superstar and Velvet Goldmine with I'm Not There, a freewheeling (yet carefully calibrated) look at Bob Dylan. An array of famous folks the stunning Cate Blanchett among them portrays an array of Dylanesque characters. Though I could feel the movie being deliberately arty at times, it worked for me. And I'm not even a huge Dylan fan.
I'm running out of space, and I haven't even gotten to three of my favorite TIFF films, so I'll just lump 'em in here. Son of Rambow got mad props at Sundance, and with good reason; you'd have to be completely heartless to not love this tale of two British boys who bond over the one thing they have in common: First Blood. You know you're gonna see No Country for Old Men anyway, because seeing the new Coen brothers movie well, that's a no-brainer. Lucky for you, it's their best film in years. If Oscar don't bite, there's no hope for Oscar. I know the gold guy will totally ignore Harmony Korine's Mister Lonely, and that's OK. I doubt the multiplex crowd will go for its sweetly bizarre tale of celebrity impersonators (Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe specifically, but other faux familiar faces, including Abe Lincoln and Buckwheat, make appearances) and that's not even mentioning Werner Herzog or the skydiving nuns. Amid all the witches, zombies, and actual movie stars, it was my favorite TIFF film.*