Toto the Hero

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Toto the Hero

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri May 22, 2020 10:52 am

Image

The acclaimed debut film from Jaco Van Dormael (Mr Nobody) is a funny and magical journey in the spirit of Cinema Paradiso and My Life as a Dog.

Thomas is obsessed with the idea he was swapped at birth with his neighbour Alfred during a hospital fire. Believing the wealthy and privileged Alfred has lived the life he should have had Thomas is heart broken by the loss of his sister and plots his revenge, imagining himself to be the secret agent, Toto the Hero.

Cutting between past and present, comedy and tragedy Van Dormael’s multi-award-winning film is presented on Blu-ray for the first time.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
  • High definition digital transfer
  • Original Uncompressed mono audio
  • Newly translated optional English subtitles
  • Memories of Hero – an extensive documentary on the making of Toto featuring members of the cast and crew
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow
    FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jon Towlson

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Toto the Hero

#2 Post by knives » Fri May 22, 2020 10:57 am

Would have been a good opportunity to include some shorts. Oh, well. Still glad to see this.

stroszeck
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:42 pm

Re: Toto the Hero

#3 Post by stroszeck » Fri May 22, 2020 6:38 pm

knives wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:57 am
Would have been a good opportunity to include some shorts. Oh, well. Still glad to see this.
Any chance this is going to be region free or R1?? I don’t know anything about Arrow but I dropped like $25 on a shitty old possibly bootleg DVD of Toto a few months back.

bad future
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Toto the Hero

#4 Post by bad future » Fri May 22, 2020 7:13 pm

stroszeck wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:38 pm
knives wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:57 am
Would have been a good opportunity to include some shorts. Oh, well. Still glad to see this.
Any chance this is going to be region free or R1?? I don’t know anything about Arrow but I dropped like $25 on a shitty old possibly bootleg DVD of Toto a few months back.
It was announced as a US release in addition to UK.

This has been on my list so I was happy to see this announcement, but I also kind of hate Cinema Paradiso and My Life as a Dog... are those comparisons from Arrow pretty accurate?

stroszeck
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:42 pm

Re: Toto the Hero

#5 Post by stroszeck » Fri May 22, 2020 7:32 pm

If you haven’t seen it it’s a pretty great movie. Kind of has some dark salty moments. It used to be on a lot on the old IFC of the 1990s.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Toto the Hero

#6 Post by knives » Fri May 22, 2020 7:36 pm

bad future wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:13 pm
stroszeck wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:38 pm
knives wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:57 am
Would have been a good opportunity to include some shorts. Oh, well. Still glad to see this.
Any chance this is going to be region free or R1?? I don’t know anything about Arrow but I dropped like $25 on a shitty old possibly bootleg DVD of Toto a few months back.
It was announced as a US release in addition to UK.

This has been on my list so I was happy to see this announcement, but I also kind of hate Cinema Paradiso and My Life as a Dog... are those comparisons from Arrow pretty accurate?
I haven't seen this particular one, but I'd say no. His biggest adherents nowadays are Gondry and Jeunet so thinking more in terms of that school is probably better though he is still fairly different.

bad future
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Toto the Hero

#7 Post by bad future » Fri May 22, 2020 9:24 pm

Thanks! I’ve seen Mr. Nobody and Brand New Testament and really enjoyed those (especially the latter) but... boyhood-centric movies are pretty fraught territory for me and Arrow had to to namedrop two of my least favorite. Still interested in seeing it though; for now I’ll just chalk the comparisons up to the fact that those films seemed pretty widely adored by people who aren’t me...

User avatar
NABOB OF NOWHERE
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
Location: Brandywine River

Re: Toto the Hero

#8 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat May 23, 2020 3:45 am

knives wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:36 pm
bad future wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:13 pm
stroszeck wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:38 pm
This has been on my list so I was happy to see this announcement, but I also kind of hate Cinema Paradiso and My Life as a Dog... are those comparisons from Arrow pretty accurate?
I haven't seen this particular one, but I'd say no. His biggest adherents nowadays are Gondry and Jeunet so thinking more in terms of that school is probably better though he is still fairly different.
Yes it does not share the same syrupy sentimentality as Cinema Paradiso. I think you can bracket Toto in with the branch line that sprung out of the 'The Look' era of French film making which treated sentimentality more playfully and had a retro urge - which is pretty much a staple ingredient for a lot of French pop culture. I'd put it into a universe with planets named Leconte, Carax and Jeunet where the humour has a dash of circus panache.
Hopefully one day someone will get round to reissuing 'Les Convoyeurs attendant' with an early starring role for Benoit Poelevoorde.

User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Toto the Hero

#9 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:22 pm

It's interesting that Nabob mentions Carax- I definitely see the similarities in blending fantasy with reality, though this film found a more sustained magical space of unreliable narration that felt novelistic in its expressionism. Resentment, and the most unhealthy psychological ego-defense mechanisms to alleviate such an already-dangerous perspective, are the primary driving forces of this skewed narrative. Tonal shifts are born in the psyche producing these scattered memories, and while nothing can be taken as fact (a baby remembering being in the crib!) the experience and feelings associated could not be more real. This is one of the more striking depictions of how resentment spoils us like a disease, ruining our life and the lives of those around us, sourced in an inability to accept the cards we were dealt. It's also a showcase for the power of escapism through fantasy- from trauma, external forces, or most often, the self.

I thought this was just a wonderful piece of art that colors dynamics and characters the way we see them subjectively. No other style could be as authentic for emulating a memory through cinema. There is so much anger and confusion about the enigmatic bruises from life sewn into the fabric of even joyous recollections. This is definitely one to see today in the age of the knee-jerk "Me" generation of self-pity, though it finds room for some bittersweet moments of brief contentment in the cracks! I've always been fascinated by the way intense emotion contradicts nihilism, even when it's negative- and the imaginative exploration we engage in, just as the film does, is evidence of resilience toward locating meaning- which is often not in the wheelhouse of our expectations. That's almost always more meaningful.

The introduction of a new perspective in the last act is the most beautiful reminder of our limitations, and the need to diffuse resentment to practice acceptance, to ultimately find gratitude. The opportunities that one can see when they actually look beyond their rigid self-delusions are everywhere- as indicated by the kickoff from this encounter that serves as a unique catharsis completely opposite to what Thomas anticipated. The catharsis we get is so much better, the kind of liberation that is accepted on the spot despite the many chances to dwell on it coming too late. It's just beautiful it came at all.

Post Reply