Having studied cinematography as part of my communications and design college diploma, I appreciate and absolutely love watching movies. A dark room filled with strangers becomes a collective; all experiencing and consuming the film simultaneously.  

I've always had a taste for the alternative, so it comes to no surprise that the Toronto International Film Festival is an event I planned on attending. 

It's baffling that the festival is only 40 years old, but it has definitely put Toronto on the map, much alike the Cannes Film Festival (Cannes) or the Sundance Film Festival (Utah). I wish I could go to every premiere, but that's physically impossible. I did go to an event and 2 movies that are so worth this blog post. 

1- Redbull Media House presents: A Talk with Darren Aronofsky

To say that I'm an Aronofsky fan is a serious understatement. I remember seeking different, indie movies and music in high school and stumbling upon Jared Leto. Not to say that 30 Seconds to Mars wasn't mainstream, but I was 14 and just getting out of my Baby Phat/I love Hilary Duff 4ever phase (although, I still do love her... So classy). That's when I found Requiem for a Dream. And so the Aronofsky movie marathons began. 

Having the opportunity to sit in front of him and hear him talk about movie editing, song selection, the reasoning behind his musical/directorial choices was amazing. It's always interesting to me to see how artistic geniuses talk about what they do and to see what actually influences them. 

The link between music and movies, which was the whole point of the talk, was a bit of a stretch and I don't know that those questions were truly answered. The mere fact that I got an insight into what influences Aronofsky's choices was enough for me. And also, attending anything organized by Redbull Media House is a fun time. 

I'm pretty sure there was a 'no photography' rule, but when has that ever stopped me? 

2- Black by Adil El Arbi & Billal Fallah

For more info on the movie, or to view the trailer, check it out on the TIFF website here.

When two young kids from the block fall in love with each other, despite being of rival gangs, all hell breaks loose. I know what you're thinking "Romeo and Juliet, ghetto style". Except, it's so much more than that. When people think of R&J as Shakespeare's greatest work, it makes me want to puke. It was in fact his worst, if you're a well-read in terms of the 'Speare (thank you, grade 10 Miss Ferrier). 

Very rarely does a movie have me on the edge of my seat. At times, it was even hard to watch, but I highly recommend this film to anyone seeking raw, energetic work that tackles the reality we most often ignore. 

I'm so happy with this choice of movie, and I can't believe it's the directors' first film; it's that good. 

3- The Apostate by Federico Veiroj

For more info on the movie, or to view the trailer, check it out on the TIFF website here.

In this film, Gonzalo Tamayo, a form of David, is helplessly trying to erase himself from the Catholic Church's database (aka, trying to annul his baptism). The Goliath in question, being the Church. His reasoning? He was baptized unwillingly- but, aren't we all?

Had we lived in a country where religion and more particularly the institution were more present and influential in our daily lives, I think I would have found this funny. There were so many irrelevant plot lines that were never explained, it became annoying. I could have passed on that one, but hey, you live and you learn.