x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Toronto film festival will open and close with music

A documentary on Michael Jackson by Spike Lee will highlight the event.

Music will highlight next month's Toronto International Film Festival, with a Michael Jackson documentary by Spike Lee and a closing-night film featuring Vanessa Redgrave as a terminally ill choir singer. Redgrave's Song for Marion will end the festival, which runs from September 6 to 16.

Lee's documentary, Bad 25, marks the 25th anniversary of Jackson's 1987 album Bad. The film features footage shot by Jackson himself, along with interviews with the likes of Mariah Carey.

Among the films playing during the 11-day event are Peter Webber's Emperor, starring Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur; Ben Affleck's hostage-rescue saga Argo, co-starring Bryan Cranston; and Brian De Palma's Passion, a romantic thriller featuring Rachel McAdams.

Other highlights include Lee Daniels' The Paperboy, a murder story set in 1960s Florida that stars Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey; Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, with James Franco and Selena Gomez; and Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the story of a Second World War navy veteran drawn into a cult by a charismatic leader. Looper, a sci-fi thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, will open the festival.

Along with the Venice festival that precedes it, Toronto is a prime launch spot for many Oscar contenders. Among previous Oscar winners that played in Toronto were The King's Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire and Crash.