Thursday, 27 August 2009

TIFF'09: First Picks


We are in that often panicked time after the TIFF schedule is out but before handing in out selections. Picking what to see is no small feat, and I start the task with lots of paper and the program book, I go through program by program and pull out my must see, strongly interested, interested, not-no and flat out no's. But usually somewhere in the middle I get flabbergasted as there are just so many amazing films to see. Even with clocking in about 42 films each year, I always feel like I'm leaving so many opportunities behind. I always try to keep in mind what will end up in regular theatres as well as which films seeing at the festival would be such a fantastic experience that it's worth it to see it there. I also try and make sure I see a fair amount of Canadian film, especially French Canadian as it's rare to see it on screens here in the T-dot.

But, after making all these lists and notations it feels like most of it gets thrown to the wind as you really are at the mercy of the schedule. This year I was disheartened right away because 2 films I really want to see are in conflict (the only public screening of Dorian Gray and the 1st screening of Vahalla Rising), and I couldn't for the life of me fit in J'ai tué ma mère but other than that I think my first set is pretty solid.

I'm also stumped on the final night - I'm considering doing a 6 film day ending with Ong Bak 2 but wonder if I'll make it. There are so few choices at the pre- midnight spot thought that it really is making it difficult!

The Process

So here is the list. It's heavy with Special Presentations which is a big change, and lots of Canadian (yay!) and Australian film. There is a lot of Nordic inspired films this year which I'm totally digging. Ironically the big wig titles on there are really the best film to fit in the time slot.

First Picks List:

Air Doll
Ape, The
Beautiful Kate
Damned United, The
Deliver Us from Evil
Disappearance of Alice Creed
Donation, La
Down for Life
Every Day is a Holiday
George A Romero's Survival of the Dead
Good Heart, The
La Soga
Last Ride
Like You Know It All
Loved Ones, The
Mao's Last Dance
Ong-Bak 2
Phantom Pain
Road, The
Sawadee Bangkok
She, A Chinese
Solomon Kane
Time Trip
Toad's Oil
Unloved, The
Valhalla Rising
Vintner's Luck
Waiting City, The
Warrior and the Wolf, The
Whip It
Wild Hunt
Year of the Carnivore

Program breakdown:
12 - Special Presentations
9 - Discovery
6 - Midnight Madness
4 - Contemporary World Cinema
2 - Canada First!
2 - Masters
2 - Vanguard
2 - Visions
1 - Gala
1 - Short Cuts Canada
1 - Sprockets

Country Breakdown:
6 - Canada
5 - Australia
4 - Japan
3 - Thailand
3 - UK
3 - USA
2 - Denmark
1 - China
1 - Germany
1 - South Korea
1 - Sweden
12 - Various co-pros

On tap for today: Make 2nd choices and fill out all the forms. Oh, boy - it's gonna be another long day!

Reminder: take breaks occasionally

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


tamara said...

Now I don't feel so bad for using a spreadsheet to help me with my picks. Great lineup so far.

Paul said...

I changed my strategy this year: 10 ticket package split between me and my girlfriend for a total of 7 different films.

AFTER those orders have been filled, I will purchase extra tickets to fill in gaps based on what's interesting, what's available, and what time they're at. SO much less stress.

Am I worried things will sell out? I put THOSE films in the package, and the remaining films I'm thinking won't sell out (most midnight madness don't sell out until the show).

Paul said...

Oh yeah, for my TIFF 2009 picks!

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