MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

Klady By Leonard KladyKlady@moviecitynews.com

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: It’s a Wrap

Officially there were 366 features shown at the just completed edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. I saw about 30. So it should come as no surprise that few of this year’s public and jury prize winners managed to elude my grasp.

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Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie

It’s kinda official. To be honest I really haven’t noticed anyone taking notice of the fact that Toronto mayor Rob Ford hasn’t shown his face at the Toronto International Film Festival. Granted the local attendees don’t appear to be his constituency and there is a mayoral race coming up before the end of the year. In fact, there either was a debate scheduled (there are three others on the ballot) or one that went forward that Ford opted out of without extending much of a reason.

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Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: Toronto 2014 – Getting Started

Naturally my Canadian content level has risen in recent days and came into focus last week when Telefilm Canada hosted a pre-fest event for journalists and buyers in Los Angeles. Apart from product reels and a limited bar, the ‘do also had a healthy supply of TIFF’s program book … or rather tome. To the event’s credit it’s developed a rather good system of press and industry screenings that run parallel to the public showings. The veteran TIFFer can keep to the P&I projections with a couple of regular screenings tossed in to mingle with the hoi polloi.

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Confessions Of A Film Festival Junkie: TIFF 2014 Opening Days

The first thing you notice, or, rather, sense about Toronto is there is no recession. In the midst of festival village and all around there is massive construction. A couple of natives (and former TIFF employees) told me they hadn’t seen this level of building activity in the downtown district for at least two decades. So it’s noisy. Traffic, human and vehicular, is very stop-start. And just to up the ante the festival got the city to agree to closing off about four blocks and turning the area around its Bell Lightbox into a temporary mall with art and live music events.

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Knights At Table: Remembering Mazursky

On the appointed day I made my way toward Bob’s Donuts and could hear laughter and boisterous banter well before I reached my destination. When I finally spied Mazursky I could see him at the center (not literally) of a group of about eight people—the loud folk I’d heard from a distance. I approached cautiously and as I neared he waved me over.

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Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: AFI 2012

The AFI Fest opened Friday with the world premiere of Hitchcock, a likable yarn focusing on the iconic filmmaker and his wife at the time of his filming Psycho. In retrospect it seemed an almost anachronistic choice in light of the recent broadcast of “The Girl,” a more Machiavellian portrait of the man and his mentor/Svengali relationship with his The Birds discovery Tippi Hedren.

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Friday Estimates: November 2, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph takes the high score with $13.4 million and will hang onto it for the weekend. Flight takes off with a strong start with $8.1 million and Man with the Iron Fists is in a dead heat for the third spot with Argo.

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The Weekend Report: Abandon Hope

A couple of new releases hardly made a ripple in weekend movie going that sunk to a level not seen in decades. The Words, a convoluted yarn of authorship, bowed to an estimated $4.8 million that ranked fourth on the leader board while the thriller The Cold Light of Day, a leftover from Summit, bowed with $1.8 million. The latter film has already opened overseas where it already grossed a disappointing $12.5 million.

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Gross Behavior: Summer on Low Simmer

The preliminary numbers are in and summer season 2012 clocks in at approximately $4.04 billion at the box office. The figure represents roughly a 5% gross decline in gross revenues and an 8% decline in actual tickets bought during the period running from early May through the conclusion of Labor Day weekend.

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Friday Estimates: July 6, 2012

After opening big on Tuesday, Spider Man stays topside with another $20.3m on Friday. Ted will pass $100 today and Brave holds strong. Oliver Stone’s Savages debuted in fifth on the list with $5.6.

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Friday Estimates: June 30

It’s a stripper and teddy bear weekend! While Merida and her Brave friends will no doubt capture more of the family market, Ted and Magic Mike are at the top of the box office charts on Friday.

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The Weekend Report: Shipwreck!

No one expected the trio of new national releases to unseat “The Avengers” … they just expected them to be more competitive. “The Avengers”‘ third weekend prevailed with an estimated $55.2 million with “Battleship” not quite right behind with $25.3 million. Third spot went to “The Dictator” with $16.7 million and the third freshman, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” slotted fifth with $10.5 million.

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The Weekend Report, May 6, 2012

“The Avengers” rewrote the record books with the biggest ever opening three-day weekend that’s estimated at $200.5 million. With $30 million more than the former champ, there’s little chance that the Monday actual will change Sunday’s ebullience.

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Friday Estimates: May 4, 2012

“The Avengers” is out of the gate with with a Hulk-sized opening. Estimates put “The Avengers” at number two on the list of all-time opening days at the box office – behind “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part II” and the first “Twilight” movie.

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The Weekend Report

Cusp of summer box office experienced a lull with weekend revenues of roughly $115 million that amounted to a 17% decline from the prior frame. It was a steeper 30% downturn from 2011 when the bow of Fast Five blew away the competition with an $86.1 million launch. The weekend’s big noise was happening overseas with The Avengers getting a jump start on domestic with a 39 territory debut estimated at close to $180 million. Also heaping up advance gelt internationally is Battleship with $150 million to date prior to its North American bow on 5/18.

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The Weekend Report: April 22, 2012

“The Hunger Games” finally moved out of the top spot to make room for newcomers “Think Like a Man” and Zac Efron’s “The Lucky One,” both performing better than expected. Disney’s nature doc “Chimpanzee” turned in a respectable fourth with $10.2 million.

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The Weekend Report: March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games set a slew of records and debuted to a jaw dropping estimated $153.6 million. Nuff said. The competition decided there was little point to even consider a counter-programmer. But in the niches Bollywood offered Agent Vinod that bowed to an OK $440,000 at 121 venues.

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GROSS BEHAVIOR: Sound and Fury…

Movie going is unquestionably destined to become the opera of the future. By that I mean that the 18th century’s favorite form of entertainment still exists but it long ago ceded its vaunted position. The movies today cannot compete with television and that diversion abetted by home entertainment has had the biggest impact on the Seventh Art since its debut circa 1896.

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Gross Behavior: Leonard On Bingham

Bingham had a number of virtues few of us can claim. He didn’t hold many grudges and wasn’t someone prone to gotcha politics. When we talked it was a true discussion whether it was one-on-one or in a group. He wasn’t diplomatic, not that he was abusive or dogmatic. Bing simply spoke his mind and that was fine, mostly, when he was running October Films with Jeff Lipsky and problematic when he worked for others.

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The Weekend Report: Float Like a Butterfly … Sting Like a Bee

The debut of Underworld: Awakening led weekend ticket sales with an estimated $25.2 million. Two other films bowed nationally and a fourth platformed after four weeks in Oscar-qualifying exclusives. The saga of the Second World War Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails, ranked second with $19.1 million and the take no prisoners actioner Haywire kicked out with $8.9 million. Wedged in-between was the expansion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in position four with $10.4 million.

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Klady

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Almodóvar–the first name is almost unnecessary–is a genius, is a flower, is a guiding light: the last, best son of Buñuel and so much more than that. His screenplays, which he directs with passion and fine care, have taught us about the exteriors of his native land and the interiors of our own hearts. From the early, manic experimental Super-8 work to the breakthrough Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, his titles are as evocative as most people’s screenplays. Yet for all their antic energy, Almodóvar’s films are deeply spiritual: watching his disturbing, mysterious, heart-rending Talk to Her is to understand, perhaps for the first time, the full meaning of grace. An Almodóvar screenplay is a running leap off a Gaudi balcony, it flips, soars, ascends, careens, tumbles, falls – always landing, astonishingly and astonished, on its feet.”
~ Howard A. Rodman, Announcing Almodóvar’s Jean Renoir Award

“I got a feeling I am going to win in the long run, but I want to be part of the zeitgeist, too. I want to support young girls who are in their 20s now and tell them: You’re not just imagining things. It’s tough. Everything that a guy says once, you have to say five times. Girls now are also faced with different problems. I’ve been guilty of one thing: After being the only girl in bands for 10 years, I learned—the hard way—that if I was going to get my ideas through, I was going to have to pretend that they—men—had the ideas. I became really good at this and I don’t even notice it myself. I don’t really have an ego. I’m not that bothered. I just want the whole thing to be good. And I’m not saying one bad thing about the guys who were with me in the bands, because they’re all amazing and creative, and they’re doing incredible things now. But I come from a generation where that was the only way to get things done. So I have to play stupid and just do everything with five times the amount of energy, and then it will come through.”
~ Björk to Jessica Hopper at Pitchfork