TJFF: Edith Jorisch’s The Heir / L’heritier (2017)

May 11, 2017 | By

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller’s “Children on Their Way Home from School.”

I’ll be attending today’s rare 35mm screening of Joshua Then and Now (1985), Ted Kotcheff’s film version of the dryly funny Mordecai Richler novel, which is part of TJFF’s salute to the author’s work in film and TV.

Producer Robert Lantos is slated to appear for a (presumed) Q&A, and given the film is only available on home video via a Fox MOD DVD-R (sporting a very old full screen transfer), this presentation at Innis Town Hall at 3pm quite special.

I’ll have thoughts on the film and this rare screening at a later date (think next week, after I catch up on remaining TJFF reviews), but up today The Heir / L’heritier (2017), Edith Jorisch’s very personal doc on her grandfather’s quest to reclaim 3 paintings stolen by the Nazis when Austria was smothered with tanks and soldiers in 1939.

The hour-long doc screens in tandem with Billsville today at 5:30pm at Cineplex’s Empress Walk in North York.

Lastly, a 35mm print of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) screens tonight at The Royal as part of the Ladies of Burlesque series. TIFF’s blog Outside the Box did an interview with series curator Alicia Fletcher, and the screening is co-presented by Rue Morgue Magazine, and will feature related DVD and Blu-ray goodies for sale from Bay Street Video.

Somewhere in a box in a truck in storage is an unused double-pass from the film’s sneak preview at the Bayview Cinemas, which I found years ago being used as a bookmark, because at the time I got two. I’m pretty sure I received the passes from Book City (we used to get lots, plus posters, in those days), and my starkest memories of that screening were:

1. It was loud. Incredibly loud. I’ve never heard a film with so much bass droning grinding through my stomach (except maybe any movie scored by Trevor Jones around the same time).

2. It was overbooked (like an Air Canada flight!), so a bunch of us sat the whole time on the aisle rug. Pretty sure that wasn’t legal even in 1992, due to fire regulations.

I am not one of the film’s converts. I haven’t seen it since its release, but buried in that mess is a good 45 min. prequel episode, but bias aside, I’m open to a revisitation, and want to see if any of those deleted scenes would’ve helped a film that nevertheless has two great moments: scummy Booker Boys telling the girls “Welcome to Canada” (we are a welcoming nation, after all), and the entire last third where Lynch piles on a level of visual and aural intensity that’s worth the price of admission. Sheryl Lee having freakouts in the first hour are unintentionally hysterical, but once the events leading up to Laura Palmer’s demise begin, sit back and grip the hand rests.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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