Its plot revolves around a reunion, so it’s perhaps fitting that “The Big Chill” will receive a reprisal fete in its honor at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Organizers announced Thursday that they will be hosting a 30th-anniversary screening of the Lawrence Kasdan classic. Kasdan, writer Barbara Benedek, producers and much of the principal cast — including Glenn Close, Tom Berenger and JoBeth Williams — will be in attendance, though stars Kevin Kline and William Hurt were not mentioned as attendees. The principals will gather on stage after the screening for a question-and-answer session; the event will take place on Sept 5, the festival's opening night.
“Big Chill” centered on a group of Baby Boomer friends about 15 years removed from college who gather after the suicide of a close friend, hashing out old stories and grievances while examining the direction their lives have moved in. With its tagline “How much love, sex, fun and friendship can one person take?” and a soundtrack that included a host of '60s pop staples, the film became a hit among the Boomer generation it represented as well as an influential classic. It also was nominated for three Oscars including best picture.
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The movie premiered as Toronto’s opening-night film in 1983 when the festival was much smaller; indeed, festival director Piers Handling said in a statement that the movie “represents a landmark in TIFF’s own history,” helping “the festival move to the forefront of the international landscape.”
Festivals have been getting into the reunion game recently, to some effect. At last year’s New York Film Festival, organizers hosted a reunion of “The Princess Bride” that saw filmmakers and nearly the entire principal cast gather again for the first time.