For a film series that’s geared towards young film lovers, the second annual TIFF Next Wave Film Fest is surprisingly mature and wise, delightfully filled with optimism and charm. The three-day event, which kicks off tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox, has plenty of variety for the young filmgoer and for the young-at-heart filmgoer. Here are our top picks from the fest.
This documentary follows the trials of four students — a harpist, a pianist, a ballet dancer and an actress — at the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Filled with youthful exuberance and palpable tension, the film oscillates between bright-eyed optimism and ever-mounting pressure as these teenagers work at a pivotal point in their lives while still being kids (read: goofing off, falling in love). Feb. 16, 12:00 p.m.
The Breakfast Club
It’s the simplest of scenarios: five high school students, of the stereotypical variety, spend an atypical day in detention. John Hughes’ brilliant 1985 film is one that every teenager needs to watch at some point. Feb 16, 7:15 p.m.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Those who love this generation-defining movie, and those who have never experienced it (but need to), now have another chance to check it out on the big screen. Really though, it should be playing on Tuesday, around 1 p.m. or so, just in time for sixth period. Feb 16, 9:30 p.m.
A romantic sci-fi comedy, Earthbound finds a young Joe Norman discovering that he is an alien, growing up with all the problems and confusions of any normal youngster. When he meets the lovely young Maria, he has an opportunity to save his alien race, but of course, love gets in the way. Simultaneously embracing and subverting sci-fi conventions, Earthbound is full of charm and wit, and when Joe and Maria start to discuss love and sex, their ideas are gleefully simple and honest, ageless and universal. Sun. Feb. 17, 1:00 p.m.
When a savvy, self-reliant, overachieving daughter of a well-to-do family snaps over her family’s continued fighting, lethargy and overall strangeness, she takes her parents hostage for a weekend of family bonding. A bit less absurdist than it sounds, but still purposeful and clever, Family Weekend is, well, the best family movie this weekend. Sun. Feb. 17, 3:00 p.m.