Movies and music: Toronto film fest turns tuneful

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The festival also offers fictional films with musical themes, among them Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s “Chicken with Plums,” whose lead character tumbles into a hallucinatory spiritual journey after his cherished violin is broken; Sheldon Larry’s “Leave It on the Floor,” a musical set among LA’s underground ballroom dance subculture; and Bibo Bergeron’s animated musical fantasy “A Monster in Paris.”

Ryan O’Nan wrote, directed and stars in the Toronto premiere “The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best,” in which he plays a singer-songwriter reluctantly drawn into a cross-country tour with a new band mate (Michael Weston) who plays nothing but Fisher-Price-style children’s instruments.

O’Nan, who starred with America Ferrera in last year’s Sundance Film Festival premiere “The Dry Land,” wrote most of the songs in “Brooklyn Brothers” and toured as a musician for years before becoming an actor.

He had long thought about making a music-themed film, and his desire was reinforced a few years ago when he went to see an earlier music documentary from director Guggenheim, “It Might Get Loud,” the guitar dream-team portrait featuring U2’s The Edge, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Jack White of the White Stripes.

“When the documentary was done, the whole crowd stood up and cheered. I was looking around like, who are they cheering to? There’s nothing there,” O’Nan said. “There’s just something about music, man, that links people in this unspoken way that nothing else really can. They were literally cheering to a blank screen.”

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Online:

Toronto International Film Festival: http://tiff.net

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