Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Toronto After Dark Film Festival



Who is in the mood for scary movies? I know I am! If you are too you are in luck as the 2nd Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival of new horror and fantasy cinema is less than a month away!
Currently 7 feature films for this year's festival have been announced, and I have to say it's a very exciting line up so far. Here are my current most anticipated flicks:

The Wolfhound / Volkodav iz roda Serykh Psov (Nikolia Lebedev)
Russian epic fantasy with swords and a warriors quest, I am so there.

Automaton Transfusion (Steven C. Miller)
Some serious looking zombie scariness here, I might have to bring a blankie and cover my eyes.. but it will be worth it!

The remaining 7 feature films and 36 short films will be announced later today.

The craziness doesn't end at the movies, on Sunday October 21, 2007 will be the Official Toronto Zombie Walk so remember to stay up all night and get some healthy bags under those eyes, throw some (fake!) blood on your sunday's best clothes and stumble with fellow undead-ers.

I'll be attending the festival this year and looking forward to reporting all the ghoulish details.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

TIFF '07 - Wrap Up

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Was it only a week ago today that we all woke up without a schedule of multiple films to see in one day? How quickly the time has passed. Here are some of my favourite moments and films for TIFF 07, after 10 days, 2 pens running out, 2 notebooks filled, multiple cups of tea and 41 films later.

Stand out Films:

Action: Chrysalis, SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, Flash Point

Drama: Boy A, Wolfsbergen, The Stone Angel, Contre toute espérance, Le Cèdre penché

Documentary: The Wild Horse Redemption

Unclassifiable artistic works of wonder: My Winnipeg, M

Favourite Program: Midnight Madness ties with Contemporary World Cinema in terms of proportionate enjoyment factor of the films I saw in each program overall which historically is consistent for me. The most surprizing to me is that program I tend to avoid, Vanguard, had a huge rate of success in terms of the films I as really impressed with (Boy A, Chrysalis), but it also included ones I wasn't as fond of.

Best Experience: The Midnight Madness Screening of SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, by far. There is really nothing like the crowd at these screenings, it's completely wild and fun (see footage of the intro here). I would highly consider reshifting my whole TIFF process to included going to the Midnight Madness films at midnight and then have no morning films. The only thing is - seating at the Ryerson, not my favourite thing especially if anything is subtitled. I guess I'll decide that next year.

Funnest collective experience: The mighty collective anti-piracy 'Arggggggg!'

Best Q&A's: Lee Myung-se for M and Dario Argento for The Mother of Tears (see footage here).

Weirdest repeated Q&A question: How much of the film was improv?

Still has me thinking:
Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient - "It's not enough to like a film, you have to like it for the right reasons"
Nos vies privé / Our Private Lives - fascinating look at intimacy
Mongol - thought provoking issues involving power, responsibility, social dynamics and the right to choose

The weird and bizarre: Shadows, DAINIPPONJIN, Glory to the Filmmaker!

Most impressive first feature: Blood Brothers

Weirdest reoccurance: Canadian documentaries that aren't about Canada or Canadians, but still really great films and compelling issues: The Wild Horse Redemption and A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman.

Repeating themes: Social isolation

Fullest Screenings: SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, Encounters at the End of the World, Paranoid Park, DAINIPPONJIN

Wish I hadn't missed: Secret Sunshine

Thanks everyone for visiting over the amazing 10 days of TIFF and beyond! Please feel free to bookmark, blogline and return regularly as I will be posting reviews, TIFF Q&A's and more festivals in the future.

To see all of my posts on TIFF 07 click here.
To see the results of all of the polls posted on Movie Moxie for TIFF 07 click here.

Here are some great resources and sites to visit for more TIFF 07 info and commentary:
TIFF 07 (official site)
TIFF's Blogs
1st Thursday
TIFF Talk
Midnight Screenings
Movie Martyr at Tiff
TIFF Reviews
TOFilmfest.ca

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

TIFF 07 Awards

The final day of TIFF was ballot free for the People's Choice award for which the results are in. Here is the list of awards for TIFF 07:

People's Choice Award: David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises

First runner up: Jason Reitman's Juno
Second runnder up: Ellen Spiro's Body of War

Best Canadian Feature Film: Guy Maddin's My Winnpeg

Funny side note on this one, as it was the last film I saw at a 8pm screening and in the regular preshow ramble it was introduced as "being elidgible for the Toronto City Award for Best Canadian Feature Film for which it just won..."

Best Canadian First Feature Film: Stéphane Lafleur's Continental, un film sans fusil

Best Canadian Short Film: Chris Chong Chan Fui's Pool

Discovery Award (voted by international media): Amelia Guzmán's Cochochi

Artistic Innovation Award: Anahí Berneri's Encarnaci

Prize of the International Critics: Rodrigo Plá's La Zona

See press release regarding awards here

A bizarre personal running trend I've found is that the awards tend to be films that I've not seen! This repeated itself this year with the exception of getting to see My Winnipeg. I will say that Eastern Promises did receive across-the-board acclaim from fans and critics alike.

Well those are the offical TIFF awards for 2007. I would have to say my list would be quite different, mostly becuase I saw only 1 film on that list at all. Stay tuned for my fave's of 2007.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

TIFF 07 Day 10 - Sept 15/07

Day 10 of TIFF 07, we are at the end of this glorious journey and it all feels so surreal. Of course, it started with being the chilliest day of the fest which is always nice. I'm very thankful that I only was in one outside line up and that only lasted 15 minutes. No ballots today for voting for people's choice and it was strange to leave the theatre without hearing the lovely volunteers calling for ballots and reminding us to fill in the title of the film. Even stranger was leaving Scotiabank around 2:30pm with no TIFF-ness in site. Box office gone, festival daily gone, 'the board' gone, staff gone all gone! No wonder the rest of my screenings were at other locations.

Nanouk Leopold for Wolfbergen
Nanouk Leopold, director of Wolfsbergen

Wolfsbergen
Dir: Nanouk Leopold
Reason to see: Drama, human stories, from The Netherlands.

Impressions: Absolutely amazing film about life and family. Stellar acting, calmly dramatic storytelling. I would not be able to say that this is anything short of outstanding, it is a complete cut above. Along with Boy A it's tied for best drama of the festival for me.

DAINIPPONJIN
Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Reason to see: Woot! Fit in another Midnight Madness! I don't even remember what it replaced, but I'm happy.

Impressions: I wasn't sure what this film was about going into it, after listening to the intro, or for quite a long period of time during viewing. Once I finally figured it out I realized you aren't really supposed to figure it out. It feels like one part faux documentary and one part monster movie. It had a lively and responsive crowd and I can say with confidence it was the most bizarre film I've seen this year.

DAINIPONJIN poster
DAINIPONJIN poster

XXY
Dir: Lucía Puenzo
Reason to see: This one fit snuggly between another two films after I swapped to a second pick somewhere else. It's all about the timing.

Impressions: A daring drama centred around gender and identity with a very powerful performance by Inés Efron. I enjoyed the pace and storytelling style however sometimes I found some of the symbolism a little over the top but all in all a great film.

My Winnipeg
Dir: Guy Maddin
Reason to see: I repeat, Dir: Guy Maddin. He’s an artistic genius, I will see anything he does. His films are out of this world, textural, vivid and bizarre. And Canadian to boot!

Impressions: Lovely, artistic film by the phenomenal Guy Maddin. Texturally and layered imagery, bizarre ideas and collected information about Winnipeg and a great narration. I was every so slightly disappointed as I heard that in the first screening Guy Maddin did the narration live so I crossed my fingers this would be the case tonight, but alas it was not. All in all it was a great way to end the festival with some homegrown excellence.

Highlight of the Day: Q&A for Wolfsbergen with director Nanouk Leopold, there was a fair amount of time therefore many questions were answered but overall I loved her attitude and honesty.

We'll that sums up today! I am planning to post my fave films and experiences shortly as well as reviews and Q&A's over time, likely to parallel theatrical release when applicable. I hope everyone had an amazing TIFF 07!

Poll results: What is the earliest you've lined up for a film

71% - 1 hour+
14% - 3 hours
14% - less than an hour
0% - 2 hours+

Thanks for voting!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Poll results: Overall, your TIFF 07 experience was....

66% - Amazing! I'll be first in queue next year
16% - Satisfying, will be a regular thing
16% - Ok, will consider revisiting
0% - Not a great year for me

Looks like we mostly had a great time this year! Thanks for voting!

Friday, 14 September 2007

TIFF 07 Day 9 - Sept 14/07

Day 9 of TIFF was full of great films and full audiences. It has been such a journey so far, and although tired I'm a little sad to only have 4 more films on my roster. I've been extremely happy with my selection so far and still have a few to look forward to. I do anticipate it to be busy tomorrow and expect to see full rush lines as people are using up the last of their tickets. This may be for me the first year in a while I'll make it out to something on the final day. But enough about tomorrow, here is what happened today!

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(Tom Collins)

Kings
Dir: Tom Collins
Reason to see: Underdog story, Colm Meaney (woohoo!)

Impressions: Turns out not so much of an underdog story as a story about being displaced from ones culture, in this case a group of Irish friends whom have lived in London for the majority of their lives. The film played to a very responsive audience. It was also a treat to hear a film in Irish Gaelic.

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(Wilson Yip)

Flash Point / Dao huo xian
Dir: Wilson Yip
Reason to see: I always try and work in at least one film at the festival that has martial arts, and this is this year’s selection for me. I also missed SPL in 2005 (I still remember the woman running the rush line shaking her head when I asked at my chances), so I’m really looking forward to it.

Impressions: Oh man, if you like martial arts films you have to see this. The fight scenes were just beyond belief. The acting was solid and I could follow the story but in general we know what it's all about - fighting, fighting and a little side of fighting and boy oh boy did it deliver. Great music rounds out the film and kudos to the audience as well whom were really into it as well. This makes it into my top 5 for this years festival films.

Flash Point Poster
Flash Point poster

Stone Angel, The
Dir: Kari Skogland
Reason to see: Canadian film based on the book of the same name staring Ellen Burstyn.

Impressions: Brilliant film with astonishing acting and huge cast. This film feels 100% Canadian experience, and just like a Canadian novel you start of watching and watching thinking to yourself that you aren't that involved and then all of a sudden you find you couldn't tear yourself away if you tried. It also gets accredited for the second tears of the festival from me.

Thousand Years of Good Prayers, A
Dir: Wayne Wang
Reason to see: Going to this one with my sister, and she suggested it so that’s the reason!

Impressions: Touching film exploring family, loneliness, and forming new/reforming old relationships. This film includes a standout performance by Henry O, gently placed and in a lovely combination of languages. This is a companion piece to The Princess of Nebraska, however I only viewed A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.

Highlight of the Day: Q&A for Flash Point which included some lovely tidbits of information such as only 1 scene used wirework, one of the action sequence took a month to shoot and that there were many many injuries during filming.

Released in regular theatres with week

Three films from TIFF 07 are been released in regular theatres today: Across the Universe, The Brave One and Eastern Promises.

To find out all of this week's releases, check out my sister site Film Fan Fridays, a weekly listing of theatrical releases and festival in Toronto. If you would like to have Film Fan Fridays sent directly to your mailbox, email me at moviemoxie at gmail dot com and ask for the newsletter.

Poll results: Are you festival'd out?

66% - A little bit
16% - No way, I'm ready for more!
16% - Not yet
0% - Yes, make it stop!


Thanks for voting!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

TIFF 07 Day 8 - Sept 13/07

Today was my Gala day! I selected only two Gala films this year Blood Brothers and L'Âge des ténèbres and who would have thought but then ended up being back to back screenings with slightly quieter audiences. Things do feel like they are winding down. I'm sure today will be the last of the quiet days heading into the last weekend at TIFF, weekends are always busier. I'm hoping for some good weather and cheerful lineups.

Films of the Day:

Sun Also Rises, The / Tai Yang Zhao Chang Shen Qi
Dir: Jiang Wen
Reason to see: Sounded like interesting stories told over time with possible mystical notes.

Impressions: Interesting stories, great acting and powerful visuals in this film. However I will admit I was pretty tired and I had a hard time following what was going on. I would really like to see it again, and will take the opportunity to do so if it returns to Toronto.

Alexi Tan director Blood Brothers
Alexi Tan (right) director of Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers / Tian Tang Kou
dir: Alexi Tan
Reason to see: This one I was concerned I would not get a ticket, it’s a Gala and looks a little brutal in terms of violence but historical and highly stylized.

Impressions: As I expected this film was quite violent, it's a gangster/brotherhood film set in Shanghai in the 30's but I'm glad I knew that going in because there is so much more to it than just that. As a lot of films in the festival this year, it is a film about choices but in the realm of a gangster film it felt like a very unique look at this. To top it off, the ensemble cast is phenomenal, during the Q&A director Alexi Tan said that all of them were his first choice and that he was looking to cast the next generation of Chinese superstars. This film also made me rethink my own reaction when I see something billed as "from the producers of...", which I usually would write off pretty quickly. But in essence this is a film just like that, with a first time director and produced by John Woo & Terence Chang and it's an excellent film.

Âge des ténèbres, L
dir: Denys Arcand
Reason to see: It’s Denys Arcand - need I say more? Well if you insist Les Invasions barbares is one of my favourite films, ever.

Impressions: First things first - this was my only screening this year at the Elgin, and what a marvellous location it is. But, to my surprize, I saw a sign ...one I expected to say the normal 'only bottled water past this point' but alas, it said that... along with popcorn! POPCORN? At the Elgin? What a shocker. I had to have some! Anyhow, on to the screening.... I don't actually have too much to say. I am such a huge fan of Les invasions barbares, but this one wasn't quite on par to that. It was a touching story, however quite intrenched in the male experience therefore I didn't find all of it accessible but what was accessible was great, sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious and oftentimes both. The audience reaction was very positive and filled with laughter.

Gillian Armstrong for Death Defying Acts
Gillian Armstrong (right) director of Death Defying Acts

Death Defying Acts
Dir: Gillian Armstrong
Reason to see: Last minute substitution and sounded very compelling.

Impressions: First impression was "Why on Earth is the line so long and photographers lined up?" This was a back up choice for me and I barely had any recollection as to what it was about (at 41 films with 1-3 back ups each it really is a lot to remember). So I trotted along, snagged a seat in the first row on the side, and intro included the wonderful director Gillian Armstrong and one of the actors... Guy Pearce! Wow, now that was exciting! But, on to the film which was a dramatized look at Harry Houdini and his $10,000 reward for the last words from his mother. Enter Catherine Zeta-Jones and Saoirse Ronan as a mother-daughter psychic performers. I will not say more about the plot but rather that it was a quite enjoyable film.

Gillian Armstrong, Guy Pearce for Death Defying Acts
Guy Pearce (right) and Gillian Armstrong (centre) at the Death Defying Acts Q&A

Highlight of the day: Today's highlights were definitely the Q&A's. Both Blood Brothers and Death Defying Acts had wonderful Q&A's with great questions from the engaging audience and lovely giving responses. A bizarre parallel was both Alexi Tan and Gillian Armstrong said that their next film they want it not to be a period piece.

Poll: Have you walked out on a film this year?

60% - No
40% - Yes - becuase of the film
0% - No - but I wish I had
0% - Yes - to get to another film

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

TIFF 07 Day 7 - Sept 12/07

It feels almost strange that I only went to 3 films today. It was intentional, so I could get some sleep after going to midnight madness last night. Even so it ended up feeling like a well rounded selection of films yet again. I was also very happy today as one of my selected screenings was M, which is the film I was most looking forward to this year.

Kevin Zegers and Carl Bessai for Normal
From the Normal Q&A: actor Kevin Zegers (left), director Carl Bessai (right)

Normal
Dir: Carl Bessai (Unnatural & Accidental)
Reason to see: Canadian film with Canadian Actors (Carrie-Anne Moss, Callum Keith Rennie) set in Vancouver. Yep, I’m there.

Impressions: I had a couple of challenges settling into this film. First was a chatty couple sat beside me, and then I moved (they were chatty preshow and 2 spots away in long row where we were the only three people). I felt a little bad and awkward that I moved, and ironically they ended up being quiet during the show. Then during the film, the guy in front of my was using his blackberry for a good 30minutes, scrolling, reading, typing. Their screens are pretty bright so it was pretty distracting. He eventually left and only then did I start really watching. The subject matter was pretty sad as the basic premise is around grief and grieving. I felt the characters were well developed and touching and the acting was good as well. It's always great to see so much Canadian talent in one production.

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M
Dir: Lee Myung-se
Reason to see: This is by far my most anticipated film of the festival this year. I absolutely loved Duelist from 2005 which combined a beautiful story, fantastic visuals and tugged at the heart strings but also and soaring swords. I’d be happy to see anything by Lee Myung-se and now I know why the fans in the audience that year were so excited and I undoubtedly will be one of them this year.

Impressions: A truly wonderful film to watch. The visual description is so delicious and varied, layer upon layer of sights and sounds. There was an air of mystery to everything which perfectly pararelled the story. Not to be missed for us visual folk. The Q&A was also delightful where director Lee Myung-se revealed that the idea of this film began with a dream he had where he met Hitchcock, who gave him a book in the dream titled M.

Teona Strugar Mitevska for I Am From Titov Veles
Teona Strugar Mitevska, director of I Am From Titov Veles

I Am From Titov Veles
Dir: Teona Strugar Mitevska
Reason to see: How many opportunities do you get to see something from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia? I’m not giving up this chance. Also noted in the write up was magical realism, which I tend to enjoy.


Impressions: Who knew I would see both of the Macedonian films this year? It was quite interesting to hear the Q&A on this one and seeing the director made me realize this was the first film of the festival I've seen directed by a woman. It does tell the stories of women, three sisters in an industrial town with limited means of prosperity. An element of magical weaved in and out of the story as well.

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Highlight of the day: I would have to say that as I expected, it was the screening of M and the Q&A that followed with director Lee Myung-se where he completely charmed the fans (pictured above getting autographs) and I knew I was in for a good laugh ... after I heard the translation of the responses. Delayed giggles for me, but giggles nonetheless.

M Poster
Poster for M

TIFF 07 Day 6 - Tuesday Sept 11/07

Now that is one heck of a crowd (Intro for the Midnight Madness screening of SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO)

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What a day! I was beginning to get a little festivaled-out but today I was completely back in the swing of thing trotting from film to film. I had some vegetables too, so that helped I'm sure - gotta have vitamins! I've also been popcorn-free so far and for Day 6 I'm impressed with myself. I will break eventually, but not yet. Not yet.

Vexille
Dir: Sori
Reason to see: I'm not usually first in queue for animated flick but this looks gorgeous and I find the premise of a futuristic yet self-isolated country fascinating.

Reaction: I quite enjoyed this film even thought it took me a while to sort out the story (that is on par for animated films as they currently occupy a small percentage of what I see). It was sad to hear that the director was hoping to attend but couldn't make it, that would have been quite an interesting Q&A I'm sure. The animation felt like a combination of highly stylized landscapes and action-like creatures and technology. A stand out for me was the interplay of the sound and the action sequences - truly superb, and was a joy to see it at Scotiabank where they have a great sound system. I'd love to see it again, and will keep an eye open for this director im the future.

Shake Hands with the Devil
Dir: Roger Spottiswoode
Reason to see: I saw a preview in regular theatre and was compelled, and that is hard to say because I usually avoid any films about war. Starring Roy Dupuis as General Dallaire, I couldn’t pass this one by.

Reaction: Director Roger Spottiswoode introduced this film with the information that upon discussion with Dallaire about making this film that Dallaire requested three things: 1) To tell the truth 2) To make a film about Rwanda and the genocide 3) to not make a hero out of him. He said he succeeded with this first two, but could not do so with the third and I don't see how anyone could disagree with him. It's a very important issue for which we should not forget and continue to be proactive to see that it does not reoccur. This film is not for the faint of heard, and although it depicts the atrocities in a very tactful way, it still is really hard to see them.

Photobucket
Bernard Émond, director of Contre toute espérance

Contre toute espérance
dir: Bernard Émond
Reason to see: It’s Canadian and I loved Émond’s La Neuvaine from 2005.

Reaction: Absolutely wonderful film. This is the second in a trilogy about Faith, Hope and Charity. La Neuvaine was for Faith, and Contre toute espérance is for Hope. A tale of a normal couple faced with trying times portrayed with elegance by actors Guy Jodoin and Guylaine Tremblay. A lovely paced journey that I would happily go on again. I can't wait to see the third instalment of this gracious trilogy. Bernard Émond was absolutely lovely during the Q&A and it was a treat to hear him talk about the film and the process, as well as have him say French phrases out to the audience and quickly received a response of the English equivent. The audience loved him, and his film it was a beautiful screening.

Paranoid Park
Dir: Gus Van Sant
Reason to see: This one is a bit of a risk for me. Gerry is one of my favourite films, however I was not impressed at all with Elephant. I am curious to see this one but am taking it with a grain of salt. Also, considering it was a Cannes award winner I was not holding my breath that I’ll get in.

Reaction: This film felt a lot more like Elephant that Gerry to me so unfortunately I was dissappointed. I did like the textural feel of the film and the music but not the plot and/or message. It is also the only film so far that had images that I wish I had never seen. The crowd responded very well and I am sure it will received high acclaim for artistic vision and edgy position but it did not sit well with me.

SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO
Dir: Takashi Miike
Reason to see: Whoops, I thought this was by Takeshi Kitano. Anyhow it looks completely compelling a Midnight Madness film that is a western gets a ‘go’ for me.

Reaction: What a thrill! This is the first Midnight Madness film that I've actually attended the midnight screening and I tell you there is nothing like the energy in the room at such an event. The crowd went completely mad when Colin Geddes announced that that actors Yusuke Iseya and Yoshino Kimura were in attendance. The film itself was a lot of fun. I always find it wild to watch a film in English with English subtitles. The story was wild, the acting was great and the costuming was beyond brilliant. If you are a fan of westerns, martial arts and/or horror films this is should go on your 'too see' list. Fair warning for violence (as to be expected), including some gender specific violence.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Pictured above(L->R): Yusuke Iseya, Colin Geddes, Yoshino Kimura

Highlight of the day: Nothing can compare to the midnight madness screening. 2 year I've had tickets to an actual midnight screening and copped out. This year I decided to go with someone (Thanks Danette!), and we had an amazing time. There is nothing like an enthusiastic crowd to make for a memorable and enjoyable movie going festival.

Poll: Do you have a favourite film so far?

66% - Yes
33% - I'll wait til I've seen everything to answer
0% - No

Thanks for voting!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Poll Results - Seen any celebrites yet?

100% - Yes, by chance
0% - Yes! I look for them constantly
0% - Nope, not my thing

Wow, the first sweep poll! Thanks for voting!

TIFF 07 Day 5 - Monday Sept 10/07

Well, here we are at the end of day 5 and therefore halfway through the festival. Now I'm feeling completely in the groove of things it's hard to imagine not spending my days in dark theatres.

Mongol
Dir: Sergei Bodrov
How often do you get to see a co-pro from Germany/Kazakhstan/Russia/Mongolia? Add to that epic historical? I’m there

Impressions: Gorgeous landscapes and an epic production in this 12th century period piece about the quest for change of the Mongols. It is a grand tale of enemies and allies with many action and fighting sequences. Pretty impressive.

Photobucket
Julien Leclercq, director of Chrysalis (second from left)

Chrysalis
dir: Julien Leclercq
French SciFi = yes. Concerned about level of violence though especially considering it’s part of the Vanguard program.

Impressions: Wow, this one blew me away. I don't think I've ever seen a scifi film at the festival before and I love scifi! The look of the film is just awesome, almost everything is silver and just advanced enough to look futuristic but recognizable. Fair warning: lots of fighting and violence as well as scary ideas/images in the way only SciFi can. But balance that with and interesting story and stellar performances therefore it's so far in my top 2 films of this years festival.

Sad Vacation
Dir: Shinji Aoyama
Look interesting, fit into my schedule. It seems pretty plot driven so I only skimmed over the description to yay/nah it and I yay’d it.

Impressions: Wow, second film of the day with Tadanobu Asano as the lead (he was also in Mongol), both performance were very impressive. This film deals with a lot of tough issues (abandonment, human trafficking, violence) but in a very everyday manner which I think left if a little hard to access for some. It had me for 95% of the time but there were some things that I was left with wondering if I didn't believe or rather, that I didn't want to believe.

Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog, director of Encounters at the End of the World

Encounters at the End of the World
Dir: Werner Herzog
I have heard so many good things about the director and his latest wild release, Rescue Dawn with Christian Bale and I’ve not see anything by him so my curiously was piqued. Then to add the film is about the South Pole, and I was hooked.

Impressions: As with all the documentaries this year I've found that I only know what the subject matter would be but not the take on how it was presented. This film being about a trek to Antarctica I thought it would be mostly about the land however the films focus surrounds the people who go there, and why. All in all it was a fascinating film and was met with hugely positive response. It was I believe the first film I've gone to that had virtually no seats available and that not only was the director in attendance pre and post show, but was actually in the audience during the screening. Very excited!

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Antonin Svoboda (right), director of Forever Never Anywhere

Forever Never Anywhere
Dir: Antonin Svoboda
The picture in the book got me, stories about people stranded can be interested and involved great acting although can also be straining. Fit nicely into my schedule.

Impressions: I am so glad that the director mentioned before the film that this was dark comedy otherwise I would have been very confused (and tisk tisking the audience). It really plays with tolerance levels people in extreme situations. The audience was in stitched and I giggle quite a lot myself, but you need to be in a bit of a twisted mood.

Highlights of the day: Q&A with director Julien Leclercq for Chrysalis. His responses were so great to the questions such as:

Q Can you talk about the design of the film?
A I don't like colour in my life. I live in a black and white apartment. I was interested to imagine a film in black and blue.

Q Why did you have so much violence? I had to look away from the screen a lot
A Just like I say to my Mom, I'm a boy. I like the fighting.

Intro by Colin Geddes during the 'we'd like to thank.... and antipiracy' info:
"Turn off your cell phones, no one is going to call you."

Those are slightly paraphrased due to memory and sketchy handwriting.

Shout out to those in the peanut gallery: We can hear you, whether you think you are being quiet or not even trying to. Button up til the end of the film please.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Poll!

Do you understand the lineup's and ticketing system?

66% say Yes

33% say No

Here is some info for that 33%. When you arrive at the theatre you need to know where you are at. Do you have your tickets (an actual ticket with the film title on it in hand), do you want to get tickets or are you going to try and rush the show?

If you want to get tickets, you can check 'the board' outside the theatre. They are the large boards that list all the film titles. Theatres sell tickets for any show playing at that theatre on that day (for advance and online ordering check out the tiff site: http://www.tiff07.ca/). Unless the show you want to see say 'Rush Only' go to the box office (inside the theatre) and buy your tickets. Then you are a Ticket Holder...

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If you have your tickets, you go to the Festival Ticket Holders line up. Some theatres (like Scotiabank) have signage that specifies the cinema you are lining up for. Others (like Cumberland) all ticket holders are in the same line. When in doubt, ask a staff member or volunteer and show them your ticket.

If the show has gone Rush, then you are looking to join the Rush Line:

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Rush tickets are usually released at the last minute. Make sure you let the person manning the Rush line what show you are there for and that you have your cash, pass or voucher handy. The is usually 1 rush line for all cinema's within a theatre, so don't get intimidated if the line if long. That being said there is no guarantee you will get in from the rush line, but there is always a chance.

Happy festivalling & see you in line!

TIFF 07 Day 4 - Sun Sept 9/07

Today was a marathon day, I managed to get in six films. I'm glad I only have one day like that I'd not recommend it. However I would recommend seeing Boy A. It is the best film I've seen this year at the festival by far, I would say that for me it is this year's True North (the only festival film I have ever liked so much I saw it twice). It is not an easy subject matter by far but the story is amazing and the acting is phenomenal. Not only is the wonderful Peter Mullan in it, but film newcomer Andrew Garfield's performance is beyond words. There is one more public screening Fri Sept 14/07 at 9am at the ROM.

Boy A
Dir: John Crowley
Swapped in a Sunday morning film to allow for an early night somewhere else. That was a tough choice... subways open late on Sundays and I'll have to tape Coronation Street.

Impression: So worth getting up early on a Sunday morning it was unbelievably good, see praise above. The crowd was head over heels for it and it received a well deserved standing ovation. Best film I've seen this festival by far.

September
Dir: Peter Carstairs
Coming of age, friendships, social commentary of 1968 Australia.

Impression: Strong performances depicting the subtle relationships and choices in Australia. Compelling story about choices, family and friends.

Wild Horse Redemption
Above: From the Wild Horse Redemption Q&A

Wild Horse Redemption
Dir: John Zaritsky
Documentary about inmates training horses, that’s interesting. And it’s (yes you’ve heard it before…) Canadian.

Impression: This is the second Canadian documentary I've seen this year that was not set in Canada. Set in Colorado with an inmate horse training program. Amazing stories about the inmates and the horses and the impact that those building that kind of relationship as well as a skill can have. Truly inspiring.

Nos vies privées / Our Private Lives
Dir: Denis Côte
Canadian, looks compelling with the themes of isolation and connections

Impression: I really enjoyed this film and I think it's absolutely wild to know that it was written in English, translated to Bulgarian and the two actors are Bulgarian however it was shot in Quebec and the director doesn't speak Bulgarian. Would you know any of that by seeing it? Well, you'd pick up it's in Quebec and in Bulgarian but the rest I think not. I thought it was marvellously successful in showing various emotional stages of a long drawn out yet hyper speed relationship. You almost never saw what you would expect however it always felt 100% true. A brilliant film.

Love Comes Lately
Dir: Jan Schütte
Hmm.. not sure on this one, probably because I liked it better than other options at that timeslot.

Impression: The audience loved this film, laughing all along the way. I laughed a few times but it was not to my taste.

Shadows
Dir: Milcho Manchevski
Wow, I’ve no idea. Possible because it’s part of the Masters program and European co-pro.

Impression: Freaking scary! The director said before the screening that it is not for the faint of heart and that is very true. It was very creatively told story and visually stunning, but pretty freaky. I'd very much be interested in seeing more of the directors work, however next time perhaps during the day.

Highlight of the day: John Crowley, director of Boy A saying to the audience "I know you love film but good God what time of the morning do you call this?" for the 9:15am Sunday morning screening.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Poll Results - Day Three!

Who do you festival with?

25% - My, Myself and I
0% - my Partner
50% - Friends
25% - Combination of the above

Thanks for Voting!

TIFF 07 Day 3 - Sept 8/07

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Today was the first day I had a screening at Scotiabank (I still think ‘Paramount’ in my brain though), and nearby is one of my favourite convenience store: St Patrick’s. They have great pick up and go food including sandwiches, salads, and often ‘real’ food like some carrots, a piece of cheese and fruit. The staff is really nice and they always have flowers out front. The only thing is - just be sure that I don’t see you take the last egg salad sandwich, because you will so be in trouble.

Today is officially substitution day! Three out of five of my original picks were not available so was surprize after surprize after surprize. The two that were on my original list were Beyond the Years and Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient.

Seating at the Bader: Quite a nice theatre, but after watching 2 subtitled films I was needing to sit very straight at attention to see the subtitles. Today I decided to check out the seats along the sides of the theatre and I loved them! So much better for me, but then again I’m 4’9” so your mileage may vary. They are single seats though so it’s not very suitable when going with a larger party.

Amours d'Astrée et de Céladon, Les
Dir: Eric Rohmer
Reason to see: Random substitution and director's name sounded familiar.
It took a while for me to get into this film but once I did it was quite worth it.

A historical romantic comedy described as a 17th century interpretation of 5th century story. Mostly beautiful young people and a relationships that goes awry. I likened it to Twelfth Night. The audience loved it, there was much laughter and enjoyment and the occasional peanut gallery comment. Great chemistry between the title roles, and various others throughout. Infectiously enjoyable.

No Q&A

Beyond the Years / Chun-Nyun-Hack
dir: Im Kwon-taek
reason to see: Masters program + Asian directors usually = amazing. I also missed seeing Chihwaseon in 2002. Story sounds compelling.

Revolving around the tragic tale of a brother and sister pansori drummer and singer whose lives grow apart over the years, this film is an astonishingly emotional experience. The music and the performances are wonderful and it drew a huge crowd.

No Q&A

Peter Raymont, Ariel Dorfman for A Promise to the Dead
Director Peter Raymont, Ariel Dorfman from A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman

Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, A
Dir: Peter Raymont
Reason to see: This is my 100% wildcard. I had not anticipated at all that I would need a second for this timeslot. Alas, after reading the description it sounded good and it was a documentary too which I don't normally end up seeing at TIFF. Something new every year!

First standing ovation I’ve seen this year. Ties with Le Voyage du ballon rouge for fullest house I've been in so far. A very compelling tale of social activist and writer Ariel Dorfman, and his various Exiles. I was so impressed by his articulation of ideas as well as his message for non-violence.

Q&A with Peter Raymont and Ariel Dorfman, see transcribe of Q&A here.

Todd McCarthy for Man of Cinema
Director Todd McCarthy (left) from Man of Cinema

Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient
Dir: Todd McCarthy
Reason to see: Film about Pierre Rissient, behind the scenes of in the film world. Yep, got me.

Fascinating man in a wonderful film. Even if just to make note of the titles to add to you ‘too see’ lists. I found him completely inspiring in his enthusiasm for film and for persisting to make thing happen. Tons of footage of films in this film as well as lots of interviews including Clint Eastwood, Jane Champion and HSO Hsiao-hsien. A great film for any cinefile.

Q&A with Todd McCarthy

Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, Leonardo Sbaraglia for King of the Hill
Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, actor Leonardo Sbaraglia from King of the Hill

King of the Hill / El Rey de la montaña
Dir: Gonzalo López-Gallego
This was my fourth and final choice for one night. Might be a bit brutal... we shall see.

Very sucessfully tense film with amazing performances. In general, it was a bit violent for me in general but I did think it had a good story and was making and interesting point. There definately was tension in the room throughout the film which quickly lead to warmth for the film during the Q&A with Director Gonzalo López-Gallego and actor Leonardo Sbaraglia.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Poll Results!

Did you get all you picks?

50% said Yes! Woohoo!

33% said Almost all of them

16% said Some of them

0% said Not many of them

Friday, 7 September 2007

TIFF 07 Day 2 - Sept 7/07

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Things to note: Ryerson Theatre is still freezing this year! I had a shirt, sweater, armwarmers and I still had to pull out a thin jacket 1/2 way into a film there. Also, I'd rather a little bit back from the front in the advance ticket holder line because then you can sit down for a bit in line. I also had a nice time catching up with the staff at the Cumberland, my old stomping grounds from 05 & 06. I'll be back to visit soon!

Film of the Days:

Glory to the Filmmaker!
Dir: Takeshi Kitano
Reason to see: I saw this director’s film Takeskis’ in 2005 and I have to say it was one of the oddest films I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see what he’s come up with this time.

Impression: This felt a lot more accessible than the Takeskis' and the first half of it I was often in stitches. It was very metafilm, and spanned expressions of many genres which was fascinating and often hilarious. I'm still very new to his style, but on the whole I enjoyed it.

No Q&A but the was a pre-recorded Q&A with the 'doll' that was brillant. A great festival moment.

Mother of Tears, The
Dir: Dario Argento
Reason to see: Third in the trilogy that opened with Suspiria, I couldn’t pass over the opportunity to see this one. Although not impressed with picture in the program book.

Impression: Ok, fair warning as this is a midnight madness film and I was a little hesitant after seeing the picture in the program book (see here). In general this film was a great horror movie and if you've liked Suspiria this is for you. There is excessive gore, EXCESSIVE. I had to look away a few time. There was also some random (or you could argue thematic) nudity and 1 thing I totally could have done without seeing in terms of violence and women. But, I knew that coming and I don't really think it would be a surprize to anyone so I can't hold it against the film. One of the things that was fantastic about the screening was the fans, I love going to Midnight Madness films specifically for the fans. They get really into the film and were really excited for the intro and the Q&A with director Dario Argento and cast members Asia Argento & Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni.

Highlights from the Q&A:


Dario Argento said that he didn't think that it would be a trilogy at first, and isn't entirely happy that it's complete as it was like a brother to him and now he is alone.

Asia Argento is Dario's daughter and was born during Suspira, she likened the Mother's of the previous films to being her grandmothers and aunts in her life.

Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni described working with Dario as quantum physical.

Voyage du ballon rouge, Le
Dir: Hou Hsiao-hsien (Three Times / Zui hao de shi guang)
Reason to see: Early promo print got me interested, then when I found out it was the director of Three Times, the green light was lit.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Pictured above: Juliette Binoche

Impressions: A wonderfully paced film that was really natural and flowing. The acting was phenominal I thought the story was interesting even though the process was described as mostly improv, and all shots where 10 minutes long with no rehearsal and no second takes. It was an amazing experience to watch it unfold, I never found myself trying to figure out what was going to happen or what was the meaning of this, but it was still completely engaging which is quite a feat. I did feel like I was missing something, and perhaps that would have been solved by seeing The Red Balloon first, although I would in no way say it would be required.

The film was introduced by Juliette Binoche and there was a Q&A after. I completely wasn't expecting that at all but when I arrived at the theatre and saw a bunch of people some heavy duty cameras, I had my suspicions. My favourite part of the Q&A was Juliette Binoche describing how she found that the process of making and saying that being able to as an actor to do what you feel like, trust you ownn being and not have someones approval at the end of the take. To see a very detail description of the Q&A check out TIFF Talks post here.

Ulzhan
Dir: Volker Schlöndorff
Reason to see: Looks like might be bizarre and magical

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Pictured: Ayanat Ksenbai


Impressions: I quite enjoyed this calmly paced film about one man's elusive journey. To where, or why - do we need to know? That is the question. Do all questions need to be answered? Do all journey's need to be alone? We have some persistent travelling companions, such as Ulzhan herself. A compelling story with always a hint of the mystical this and fascinating landscape brings together this film.

Highlights with Q&A with lovely Ayanat Ksenbai include her description of Kazakhstan with many landscapes over it's diverse terrain including desert like areas to the mountains, as well as its two capital cities. She currently is studying in New York and considers film a hobby. I, myself, would love to see her in more films she had a calming and very expressive presense.

Highlight of the day: Dario Argento talking about what it was like working with a monkey on set, and doing little impressions of the monkey. How does such a sweet man make such crazy films?

Poll Results: How Many Films Are You Attending This Year at TIFF?

0% are attending 50+ films
33% are attending 26-49 films
16% are attending 15-25 films
33% are attending 5-14 films
16% are attending 1-4 films

Thanks for voting!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

TIFF 07 Day 1 - Sept 6/07

Things to note: The Advance Ticket line at the Varsity extends outside the building this year. Previously I only remember lining up inside around and around and in stairwells and twisting and turning through the Manulife Centre. Anyhow, not to self and others to keep that in mind on less than nice weather days.

Film of the Day:

Cèdre penché, Le
dir: Rafaël Ouellet
Program: Canada First!

I highly recommend this film. It was a real joy to watch, naturalistic and non narrative. The two leads play sisters that are singer-songwriters and the music was amazing. Producer Denis Côte was there for the Q&A and revealed that him and Rafaël Oouelle made an agreement to both make films for $10,000 and this is Rafaël Oouelle entry. A stunning achievement that is, and such a beautiful film. I look forward to seeing Denis Côte film, Nos vies privé which is also playing at the festival.

We are off to a great start!

Poll Results: Are You Attending TIFF This Year?

The results are in!

69% of voters said: Yes, it's a yearly ritual
15% of voters said: No, but I wish I was!
7% of voters said: Yes, I go occasionally
7% of voters said: Yes, it's my first time
0% of voters said: No

Thanks to everyone who voted!

I will be writing entries as well as posting new polls every day from Sept 6-15, 2007 so be sure to come back often!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

And it begins....things to remember while festivalling

As we are less than 12 hours before the festival begins I thought I would put out some gentle and helpful reminders on how to have a smooth festival experience.

Remember your ticket
Not much is worse than getting to the theatre and realizing your ticket is sitting diligently by the door waiting for you. Keep it (or them!) in or with something you take everywhere. Could be your wallet, glasses case, bag or purse but make sure it's on your person when you head out. If you have a pass, or a ticket that needs a pass, make sure you have that too. It's a good thing I am writing this right now - I hadn't put my pass in my bag!

Check your ticket
I'm sure you checked the film title, but it's always good to double check the date and time (am or pm... they have shows running from 9am to midnight most days) and the theatre. In the program book sometimes the eyes waver which you are looking at all those films and you don't want to find yourself at Ryerson when you need to be at the ROM.

Give yourself enough time
If you are particular about seating make sure you get there early. Also, some of the theatres are within really short walking distance of each other (Cumberland/ROM/Varsity/Bader) but others are a fair distance (Ryerson/Scotiabank).

Wear comfy shoes
Especially if you plan on going early, or have multiple screenings to go to and/or quick treks across town. One of the things I noticed on ticket pickup day was the huge abundance of sensible shoes - quite the site.

Layers can save the day
Not all theatres are created equal. I tend to always bring a sweater whenever I go to the movies, and this I would recommend just in case and if you have the space. Ryerson is notorious for being chilly especially.

Ask the right person the right questions
Have a box office (ticketing) question? Ask the box office staff.
Not sure who to ask what question? Ask someone (volunteer or staff) who is the best person to talk to.
It's always great to chat with folks in line, but if you want to know something for certain - ask staff.

For general movie going etiquette, check out Mr Manners has a great article and podcast over at Mr Manners Quick & Dirty Tips for a More Polite Life. If nothing else - turn off your phone!

And I almost forgot... check the weather! It apparently always seems to rain one day, so check ahead and have anything you need handy whether that's an umbrella or sunscreen. Toronto in September is all over the board. Vickie at MoviePie Musings had the brillant idea to post next-day weather forecast for Toronto. Great idea Vickie!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Final Film list for TIFF 07

Well, here it is! It's very exciting to now know for certain what I will be seeing, I was going to say 'because now I can plan'. Whelp, not much more time for planning considering my first film is in less than 48hours. 41 films in 10 days, I'm so thrilled. Seeing films at 9am or 11:59pm, chatting with fellow linemates, hearing the buzz or creating it I can't wait to see what this year brings.

I had 7 substitutions, but still ended up heavy in the Contemporary World Cinema and Masters Programs. I'm a little surprized I ended up with even more Midnight Madness and Vangard films, and that Discovery and Canada First! were so low, but that is the luck of the draw. Canada still reigns supreme with 10 of my selections being Canadian, then Japan and European co-pro's clock in at 5 each, followed by France with 4. Full details on programs & countries after the list.

Sucessful First Picks:

Âge des ténèbres, L
dir: Denys Arcand
It’s Denys Arcand - need I say more? Well if you insist Les Invasions barbares is one of my favourite films, ever.

Beyond the Years
dir: Im Kwon-taek
Masters program + Asian directors usually = amazing. I also missed seeing Chihwaseon in 2002. Story sounds compelling.

Blood Brothers
dir: Alexi Tan
This one I was concerned I would not get a ticket, it’s a Gala and looks a little brutal in terms of violence but historical and highly stylized.

Cèdre penché, Le
dir: Rafaël Oouelle
Program: Canada First!
It’s Canadian and this line from the program book got me “Avoiding conspicuous narrative turns, the sisters’ story advances on an entirely subtextual level’.

Chrysalis
dir: Julien Leclercq
French SciFi = yes. Concerned about level of violence though especially considering it’s part of the Vanguard program.

Contre toute espérance
dir: Bernard Émond
It’s Canadian and I loved Émond’s La Neuvaine from 2005.

Encounters at the End of the World
Dir: Werner Herzog
I have heard so many good things about the director and his latest wild release, Rescue Dawn with Christian Bale and I’ve not see anything by him so my curiously was piqued. Then to add the film is about the South Pole, and I was hooked.

Flash Point
Dir: Wilson Yip
I always try and work in at least one film at the festival that has martial arts, and this is this year’s selection for me. I also missed SPL in 2005 (I still remember the woman running the rush line shaking her head when I asked at my chances), so I’m really looking forward to it.

Forever Never Anywhere
Dir: Antonin Svoboda
The picture in the book got me, stories about people stranded can be interested and involved great acting although can also be straining. Fit nicely into my schedule.

Gentle Breeze in the Village, A
Dir: Nobuhiro Yamashita
Honestly, the kids in the print pic looked happy. Can always add a dash of happiness in the midst of all the films filled with angst, fear, disillusionment and pain.

Glory to the Filmmaker!
Dir: Takeshi Kitano
I saw this director’s film Takeskis’ in 2005 and I have to say it was one of the oddest films I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see what he’s come up with this time.

I am From Titov Veles
Dir: Teona Strugar Mitevska
How many opportunities do you get to see something from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia? I’m not giving up this chance. Also noted in the write up was magical realism, which I tend to enjoy.

Kings
Dir: Tom Collins
Underdog story, Colm Meaney (woohoo!)

Love Comes Lately
Dir: Jan Schütte
Hmm.. not sure on this one, probably because I liked it better than other options at that timeslot.

M
Dir: Lee Myung-se
This is by far my most anticipated film of the festival this year. I absolutely loved Duelist from 2005 which combined a beautiful story, fantastic visuals and tugged at the heart strings but also and soaring swords. I’d be happy to see anything by Lee Myung-se and now I know why the fans in the audience that year were so excited and I undoubtedly will be one of them this year.

Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient
Dir: Todd McCarthy
Film about Pierre Rissient, behind the scenes of in the film world. Yep, got me.

Mongol
Dir: Sergei Bodrov
How often do you get to see a co-pro from Germany/Kazakhstan/Russia/Mongolia? Add to that epic historical? I’m there

Mother of Tears, The
Dir: Dario Argento
Third in the trilogy that opened with Suspiria, I couldn’t pass over the opportunity to see this one. Although not impressed with picture in the program book.

My Winnipeg
Dir: Guy Maddin
I repeat, Dir: Guy Maddin. He’s an artistic genius, I will see anything he does. His films are out of this world, textural, vivid and bizarre. And Canadian to boot!

Normal
Dir: Carl Bessai (Unnatural & Accidental)
Canadian film with Canadian Actors (Carrie-Anne Moss, Callum Keith Rennie) set in Vancouver. Yep, I’m there.

Nos vies privé / Our Private Lives
Dir: Denis Côte
Canadian, looks compelling with the themes of isolation and connections

Paranoid Park
Dir: Gus Van Sant
This one is a bit of a risk for me. Gerry is one of my favourite films, however I was not impressed at all with Elephant. I am curious to see this one but am taking it with a grain of salt. Also, considering it was a Cannes award winner I’m not holding my breath that I’ll get in.

Sad Vacation
Dir: Shinji Aoyama
Look interesting, fit into my schedule. It seems pretty plot driven so I only skimmed over the description to yay/nah it and I yay’d it.

September
Dir: Peter Carstairs
Coming of age, friendships, social commentary of 1968 Australia.

Shadows
Dir: Milcho Manchevski
Wow, I’ve no idea. Possible because it’s part of the Masters program and European co-pro

Shake Hands with the Devil
Dir: Roger Spottiswoode
I saw a preview in regular theatre and was compelled, and that is hard to say because I usually avoid any films about war. Starring Roy Dupuis as General Dallaire, I couldn’t pass this one by.

Stone Angel, The
Dir: Kari Skogland
Canadian film based on the book of the same name staring Ellen Burstyn.

SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO
Dir: Takashi Miike
Whoops, I thought this was by Takeshi Kitano. Anyhow it looks completely compelling a Midnight Madness film that is a western gets a ‘go’ for me.

Sun Also Rises, The / Tai Yang Zhao Chang Shen Qi
Dir: Jiang Wen
Sounded like interesting stories told over time with possible mystical notes.

Thousand Years of Good Prayers, A
Dir: Wayne Wang
Going to this one with my sister, and she suggested it so that’s the reason!

Ulzhan
Dir: Volker Schlö
Looks like might be bizarre and magical

Vexille
Dir: Sori
I'm not usually first in queue for animated flick but this looks gorgeous and I find the premise of a futuristic yet self-isolated country fascinating.

Voyage du ballon rouge, Le
Dir: Hou Hsiao-hsien (Three Times / Zui hao de shi guang)
Early promo print got me interested, then when I found out it was the director of Three Times, the green light was lit.

Wild Horse Redemption
Dir: John Zaritsky
Documentary about inmates training horses, that’s interesting. And it’s (yes you’ve heard it before…) Canadian.

Wolfsbergen
Dir: Nanouk Leopold
Drama, human stories, from The Netherlands.

Newly Added due to 1st choices being gone:

Amours d'Astrée et de Céladon, Les
Dir: Eric Rohmer
Random substitution and director's name sounded familiar

Boy A
Dir: John Crowley
Swapped in a Sunday morning film to allow for an early night somewhere else. That was a tough choice... subways open late on Sundays and I'll have to tape Coronation Street.

DAINIPPONJIN
Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Woot! Fit in another Midnight Madness! I don't even remember what it replaced, but I'm happy.

Death Defying Acts
Dir: Gillian Armstrong
This one sounded very compelling.

King of the Hill
Dir: Gonzalo López-Gallego
This was my fourth and final choice for one night. Might be a bit brutal... we shall see.

Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, A
Dir: Peter Raymont
This is my 100% wildcard. I had not anticipated at all that I would need a second for this timeslot. Alas, after reading the description it sounded good and it was a documentary too which I don't normally end up seeing at TIFF. Something new every year!

XXY
Dir: Lucía Puenzo
This one fit snuggly between another two films after I swapped to a second pick somewhere else. It's all about the timing.

Didn't get:

Jar City
Dir: Baltasar Kormákur
Icelandic, bizarre, fit sweetly into my schedule. Looks like it might be a bit brutal, print shot in book has lots of jars with body parts. It’s gotten a fair amount of press, possible due to the CSI-like nature of the plot, therefore I am surprized I did not get tickets for it.

Frozen
Dir: Shivajee Chandrabhushan
Fascinating setting: India’s Himilayas in the cold winter.

Garage
Dir: Lenny Abrahamson
Misfits, unconventional friendships, noted great performance – all sound good to me.

Ploy
Dir: Pen-ek Ratanaruang
Seems like it will be interesting pacing and subject matter. I also tend to like films from Thailand, the few of which I’ve seen.

Trap, The
Dir: Srdan Golubović
I’m a little reserved on this one but it fit in my schedule and I’ve never seen anything from Serbia (it’s a Serbia/Germany/Hungary co-pro). Plot seems a little shifty and notes ‘tough ethical choices’ but I thought I would to risk it.

Under the Same Moon / La Misma Luna
Dir: Patricia Riggen
Tale of the human spirit, fit into schedule.

Program breakdown:
7 Contemporary World Cinema
6 Special Presentations
6 Masters
5 Midnight Madness
5 Vangard
4 Real to Reel
3 Discovery
2 Gala
1 Visions
1 Canada First

Country breakdown:
10 Canada
5 European co-pro's
5 Japan
4 France
3 USA
2 Asian co-pro's
2 Australia
2 Euro/UK
1 Ireland
1 South Korea
1 The Netherlands
1 Great Britain
1 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
1 China
1 Italian/US
1 Spain

Monday, 3 September 2007

Polls!

I will be having daily polls Sept 3-15, 2007 during the Toronto International Film Festival this year, be sure to cast your vote (look to the right hand side of the screen)! I will also ask people I encounter at the film festival and add that to the total.

Ticket Pick Up.... oh my.

Here are some pictures of the pick up line for TIFF this morning. I arrived at 9:30am, which was only 1/2 hr prior to them opening and I'll admit that isn't all that early. However I did not expect it to take 6 hours and 15 minutes between 2 line ups to get my tickets. There was a bit of a mix up in my order and just processing it took a long time, but the box office guy was truly lovely as we got my order sorted.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I really got a chance to chat with my fellow 'linemates' and the woman ahead of me called us. The initial pick up line took 1 1/2 hrs, and the exchange line although substancially shorter took 3 hours to get through from the back (At Yonge & Gerrard) to the box office. I kept saying to myself, and others, that my goal of the day was to leave with all 45 hard tickets. I happily can say that I did succeed. The likely sunburn and tired feet were not on my list today, but in the end it was worth it.

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Upcoming tomorrow will be my finalizied list of film, including why I choose them.
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012