By: PeterK


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Another year, another TIFF, and another list of the festival’s Top 5 TIFF Nexus-y films from yours truly. Here are five films playing the 2012 festival, that whether you’re an indie game designer, new media aficionado or simply a champion of the new, you really should check it out:

Last year, I recommended The Raid for its video-game inspired structure, and it would remiss not to mention Pete Travis’ adaptation of the comic-book Judge Dredd which opens Midnight Madness this year. The film utilizes a very gamic vertical narrative conceit ala last year’s Indonesian martial-arts sensation, pitting its heroes against a wave of rouges in a ridiculously tall futuristic apartment complex. The film also sports some nifty slow-mo photography contextualized by fictional designer drug which purports to slow down a user’s perception of time. (TODAY at 12:30pm @ Cineplex Younge & Dundas 3)

Speaking of time, that is precisely what is on celebrated Canadian cinematographer and director Peter Mettler’s mind in his latest documentary feature. Traversing the world in the simple, but illuminating pursuit of observing distinct and relative perspectives of time, Mettler’s camera captures a host of fascinating subjects, from proton accelerators to the site first Henry Ford factory. Bound to inspire and invigorate the innovative and the curious. (Today at 12:15pm @ Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 2)

I’ll confess the TIFF promo image was making me think of Pac-Man, but in fact Lillian Schwartz’s 1970s experimental work in the Wavelength’s Documenta program is an innovative barrage of pixel art and which has been given a unique facelift through eye-popping ChromoDepth 3-D. Chiptune artists looking for some inspiration for their visualizations look no further. (Today at 8:00pm, Jackman Hall)

On Leviathan, TIFF Programmer and TIFF Bell Lightbox Artistic Director Noah Cowan had this to tweet: “it often feels shockingly like a first-person shooter game – same dread, same methy intensity”. I don’t know about you, but that’s all I needed to know to get me to snap up a ticket. (Wednesday, September 12th @ 7:00pm & Friday, September 14th @ 3:30pm)

It shouldn’t be any surprise that the most nexus-y pick of the festival is in fact an event presented by TIFF Nexus: RENGA is a communal and collaborative gaming experience shared by 100 players wielding laser-pointers at a movie theatre-size screen. Its a genuine interactive gaming experience that’s both challenging, engaging and even tells a story – a story that you, the audience, shapes. Combining a simple arcade-aesthetic with some fairly sophisticated game mechanics, but one that it is attuned to the audience’s unique reactions through a live “game jockey” monitoring the proceedings, RENGA boasts to be the only screening where the audience will arrive as an audience, leave as a team. (Friday, Sept. 14th at 9:30pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 3 & Saturday, Sept. 15th at 12:45pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4)


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