Calum Marsh is a freelance film critic and essayist living in Toronto. His writings have appeared in Esquire, the Village Voice, and Sight & Sound magazine.
This month TIFF celebrates the work of the ever rigorous and challenging French director, whose Beau Travail was a fixture on just about every “Best of” list of the 2000s. Here follows a cheat sheet to the one director everybody ought to know.
I have spent more time this week in hotel rooms, bars, and lobbies than in the movie theaters where the Toronto International Film Festival is ostensibly held. Last year, I covered the festival pro bono, successfully maintaining the illusion that TIFF could be experienced as an unadulterated cinephilic paradise by simply watching anything I fancied and writing in leisure about whatever I liked. This year, I am a responsible member of the occasionally commercial workforce, and I have had interviews to conduct. Lots of them. Up against the studied nonchalance of some of the seasoned critical veterans, it’s hard sometimes not to feel like a bumbler. It’s a tricky rhythm to adapt to.