Thursday, September 20, 2007
Sunday, my last day at the Toronto Film Festival and what should be my 9th & 10th films, however, 8 films in 3 days seems to be my limit, I’m all screened out.
I’m skipping “The Silence” in order to just hang out and chill before leaving Toronto.
I had 5 goals for this trip, they weren't all met, but I still feel good about my time here:
Goal 1) to have a real film festival experience, not just see films, but be a part of the happenings, parties etc... I should have known from Philadelphia Film Festival attendance, that this isn’t possible unless you are connected to a film or the press or the festival itself.
Goal 2) I wanted to believe I’d innocuously strike up a conversation with someone where the chat turned to talk of brilliant screenplays, giving me an opportunity to mention my screenplay, which is a compelling blend of suspense, spirituality, humor and romance. The person would turn out to be connected with a production company and say “send it to me, I’d like to read it” and the rest would be history!
Goal 3) Celebrity spotting- Camping out in front of the Four Seasons and Roy Thompson Hall for the Gala Premiers, is quite time consuming. Although, my 4-hour stint on Saturday was also quite exhilarating! There’s a sense of camaraderie among the crowd you’re pressed against.
You can feel the palpable excitement as you wait and watch and then someone screams and everyone shouts “Who, Who do you see"? and then you see them, and then you scream, and try to get a good shot (with a camera). Then you want to slap the security personnel trying to push you back; you don’t care if a Town Car’s side mirror strikes your hip and comes dangerously close to running over your new boots; you hit someone in the head with your camera, trying to get a shot above your head, and the person laughs, knowing it’s all a part of the celebrity hunt!
My time was rewarded, my naked eye got to see: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher (sans Demi, unfortunately) Zach Braff, Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman and….. BRAD PITT!
Goal 4) To be a tourist- walk and explore the city, visit the CN Tower, enjoy good meals, wines & beers, shop along Bloor Street or at least window shop :) and hang at the trendy Drake Hotel, which I figured would be worth the $20 cab ride from my hotel, except, it was closed for a private event upon my arrival. :(
Goal 5) To competently and confidently travel and maneuver alone, not knowing another soul in another country.
FILM REVIEW SHORTS
(Festival ballots instruct viewers vote 1 as awful & vote 5 as great, which of course is the opposite of Suck My Pretty Toes usual rating system of Big Toe Great, Pinky Toe awful)
THE MAGIC FLUTE (Kenneth Branagh) – I’m not an Opera buff, but neither am I a Shakespearean enthusiast, so why did “Hamlet” and “Much Ado About Nothing” come to life on the big screen and this did not? Festival Vote: 1
REQUIEM (Hans-Christian Schmid, Germany) – Exorcism is a deadly cure for epilepsy. I gave it a Festival Vote: 2
THE JOURNALS OF KNUD- (Zacharis Kunuk, Norman Cohn, Canada/Denmark) I have great respect for revealing past traditions, philosophies and spiritual practices of a culture of people. However, off key Inuit singing should always be edited to snippets, not whole songs.
Festival Vote: 2
CONFETTI (Debbie Isitt, United Kingdom) –Brilliant screenplay, but guess what? No screenwriter, the actors adlibbed! Festival Vote: 5
AN EVENING WITH MICHAEL MOORE (moderated by Larry Charles)- A hot ticket for a good reason. Moore is a modern day, unassuming profit. We got to witness snippets from his next film “Sicko”. This will be more than an expose on our atrocious health care system, but it will comment on how our health care system is a reflection on American society on the whole, particularly in contrast to other countries. Also, I love that Moore learned film making on the fly during “Roger & Me”. Festival Vote: 5
VOLVER (Pedro Almodovar, Spain) --There’s something here in this Pedro Almodovar creation, but it needed a strong Sophia Loren type to play the main character and Penelope Cruz’s presence isn’t big enough in my opinion. Festival Vote: 3
STRANGER THAN FICTION (Marc Forster, USA)– Queen Latifah is wasted in her unnecessary role, but otherwise it’s a quirky and very engaging flick. Will Ferrell plays it straight- well, sorta, but it works. Festival Vote: 4
ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (Midnight Madness showing, USA)- The Director, Jonathan Levine, looked 15 years old, which is probably why he was able to concoct a fun ride of teen gore and sex. No surprises in this film, but it still delivers.
Festival Vote: 4
A GOOD YEAR (Ridley Scott USA)- Predictable, but entertaining. Russell Crowe is somewhat secondary to the wonderful chateau winery set in Provence, which becomes the key character of the film. Festival Vote: 3