Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Own Private TIFF

Ironically, my own TIFF experience this year was just about over just at the Toronto International Film Festival actually got under way, what with six advance screenings in the week and a half or so prior. I could've seen more, would've loved to of, but I am a one mere mortal with a schedule that already included working on a magazine article, editing a book manuscript under contract and a fairly tight deadline, getting four college level online creative writing courses ready for the fall semester that began September 11, a couple of modeling gigs, oh, and getting my lines ready for a play that began rehearsals on the 13th. And I have to admit I'm totally out of shape for the movie watching gig, my back was in agony by the end of it. I couldn't take much more!

Two odd themes that kept coming up in my random selection of films:
  • the general shittiness, and often cruel and brutal nature, of the human race (sigh.. it's why my at home movie collection consists of uplifting stories like Beetlejuice, Spiderman, Hellboy, Blade and such.. to hell with reality!).
  • groovy old British actors - Michael Caine in Harry Brown, Christopher Lee in Triage, and Christopher Plummer in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.

On that last note and by the by, the Toronto born Christopher Plummer is set to play Julius Caesar in a production of Caesar and Cleopatra at the Stratford Festival in the 2010 season - should be an incredible production.

One of the really nice things about writing on the web is the great people from all over the place that it brings you in touch with. I know Triage, the Colin Farrell film, brought a lot of traffic from Irish film fans, Colin Farrell fans in Europe, and Jeffrey Wells of In fact, Jeffrey was kind enough to invite me to his annual welcome to Toronto soirée at Bar Mercurio in Yorkville. Too busy for much socializing, I did make it to the Suck after party at the Phoenix (pictured dimly below!) There's a lot of buzz about this flick, so let's hope it translates into some ticket sales for Canadian film, similar to the success enjoyed by Young People Fucking, TIFF 2007's breakout hit.

The other aspect I really enjoy is meeting and interviewing artists from all over, like Dorothée Van Den Berghe and Matthias Schoenaerts (of My Queen Karo,) and Athena Karkanis (George Romero's Survival of the Dead) - both pieces just below this. It's always interesting to hear about how people approach their work.

Ah.. the mayhem in Yorkville's genteel streets, the preponderance of media types, the crowds where you begin to see every person with geez, he looks familiar, isn't that..? (mind you, in Yorkville even the baristas at Starbucks look like they're in film- and they probably are!) It was fun, but there's too much art and culture out there to discover to slow down my pace any in the weeks to come - c u l8tr tiff till next year.

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