38th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Six

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 by Ian Evans

Day Six of TIFF and we made it through the crazy first five days.

Kill Your Darlings takes a look at the Beat generation and the murder of David Kammerer by Lucien Carr, who had spurned the advances of a man obsessed with him. The film takes place in 1944 and stars Daniel Radcliffe as Alan Ginsberg, Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs and Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac. John Krokidas, making his feature directorial debut, wanted to examine the roots of these counter-culture poets and what made them tick and act they way they did when they were thrust from an artistic space to dealing with a real-world situation. Actor Daniel Radcliffe said that what attracted him to the piece was that it moved along with character development instead of just relying on expositional dialogue.

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his feature screenwriting and directorial debut with the film Don Jon, which premiered at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Gordon-Levitt plays Jon Martello, a Jersey boy with a small list of priorities: “my body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, my porn”. He meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a firm believer in romance movies, but can’t escape his retreats into porn fantasy until an older woman (Julianne Moore) educates him on the meaning of true love.

Gordon-Levitt said that the idea for the script had been banging around his head since 2008 and he wanted to explore how people often fall into the trap of falling for or desiring media images to the exclusion of actually opening themselves up to the people around them.

Over at the VISA Screening Room, director John Curran was joined by star Mia Wasikowska for the premiere of Tracks, which tells the true tale of Robyn Davidson, who in 1977 set out to make a 2700km desert trek across Australia with only four camels and her dog as company. Wasikowska said that the story appeals to those moments when you consider simplifying your life and getting closer to what it really takes to survive and Davidson, who was also in attendance, echoed the sentiment, wondering why people would rather sit in front of a TV than live an interesting and challenging life.