The blockbusters of summer are receding in the rearview
mirror. Vacations end, school begins and
the awards season heats up even as the weather cools. Until the December 31st deadline for
Oscar-eligible releases, expect to see the serious and the worthy.
Leading the pack in the abandonment of frothy
fare is the Toronto Film Festival, with what its organizers describe as a
return to relevant cinema. From
September 6th through the 15th, the festival screens 349
films from 55 countries, many with somber themes: the CIA’s secret detention
practices (Rendition), a child’s escape from Poland during the World War II
(Fugitive Pieces), organized crime in London (Eastern Promises), U.S. soldiers
fighting in Iraq (Redacted).
Does relevance have to be such a downer, though? And is relevance always a desirable trait in
a film? Before you stow the sunscreen: what do you think are the most and least relevant films of the
past few years?