Toronto Film Festival

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: Shape of Water, The Florida Project

I was in line for a French film when it was cancelled and this was its replacement. A fellow queuer said, it’s the new Sean Baker, and people love it. I’d seen Baker’s earlier MTV series “Greg the Bunny” and his L.A.-by-iPhone Tangerine but they didn’t prepare me for this: a documentary-like view of poor people who inhabit a residential motel in Orlando, only a few miles from Disney World.

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Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: Toronto Wrap

TIFF is a mess! Well, that’s not exactly true, but the anarchic element that is the Toronto International Film Festival is part of its charm and vitality.

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Confessions Of A Film Festival Junkie – Part 3

Toronto is one of the fastest growing cities in North America, increasing population by 200,000 a year on average in the past decade with no sign of letting up. The downtown core can’t cope with mounting traffic and new subway routes to alleviate congestio are unlikely. And for locals and visitors alike, it was tougher because six blocks of King Street West (where the TIFF Lightbox sits) were turned into a pedestrian mall with food trucks, vendors, live concerts and teeming crowds. They’ve been doing it for at least three years and there’s no question it adds to the general festival experience.

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Confessions Of A Film Festival Junkie: Day Two

The Toronto International Film Festival opening day announcement was all about the escalators not working at the Scotiabank Theaters. Film festivals are not all about the art of cinema. The Scotiabank complex, has 18 screens. The climb is the equivalent of four flights and the grade is as severe as the London Undergroun’sd. I wondered why they simply didn’t reverse the working escalator and discovered they couldn’t because the “up” escalator operates on two motors and the “down” only has a single motor. Even if this is resolved overnight, it still has to be approved by a city inspector and I’m told there’s an epidemic of broken escalators in the city.

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Confessions of A Film Festival Junkie: Toronto Day One

I’ve attended the Toronto International Film Festival since when it was still called The Festival of Festivals, a moniker discarded in 1994. There have other changes across the years, of course. It’s been a long time since TIFF could be shorthanded as a “plucky” or “upstart” festival.

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Pre-TIFF, South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo On How He Maximalizes The Minimalism

Pre-TIFF, South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo On How He Maximalizes The Minimalism

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Simon Houpt Surveys Canuck Kino Scene, Makes Crisp Points About The State Of North American Indie Cinema To Boot

“Nearly 50 homegrown features will make their debut at the Toronto International Film Festival–but most will disappear without a trace.” Simon Houpt Surveys Canuck Kino Scene, Makes Crisp Points About The State Of North American Indie Cinema To Boot

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Toronto Int’l Adds Truth, I Saw The Light, Our Brand Is Crisis, More

Toronto Int’l Adds Truth, I Saw The Light, Our Brand Is Crisis, Hardwicke, Reiner, Haigh, Szumowska, Moretti, Scafaria, Portman, Kawase, Tsangari, Muntean, Chris Doyle, Sono, Tsai, Loznitsa, Gomes, Akerman

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Toronto Int’l Gala Presentations Include New Helgeland, Mehta, Moorhouse, Sollett, Vallée

Toronto Int’l Gala Presentations Include New Delpy, Egoyan, Emmerich, Frears, Helgeland, Mehta, Moorhouse, Scott, Sollett, Vallée

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Pete Hammond Counts Down The Quality Pics Without Distribution That Are Running Out Of Time For A 2014 Awards Season Release

Pete Hammond Counts Down The Quality Pics Without Distribution That Are Running Out Of Time For A 2014 Awards Season Release With – Fleming On New Purchasing Powers At Toronto

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The Torontonian reviews This Is Where I Leave You

Like a middling episode of House-“Arrested Development,” Shawn Levy’s This Is Where I Leave You—adapted from the Jonathan Tropper novel of the same name—is a dysfunctional family dramedy lacking in laughs and an emotional punch to really bring it home. The film gets by on its likable cast, but the fact that this film merely passes despite such a talented crop of comedic talent should speak to a general failure, or at least a sense of disappointment.

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How Par Plucked Chris Rock’s Top Five At TIFF, Plus Notes On Other Acquisitions

How Par Plucked Chris Rock’s Top Five At TIFF, Plus Notes On Other Acquisitions

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TIFF-Preemed 99 Homes Listed By New Distrib Broad Green

BROAD GREEN TAKES US RIGHTS TO HYDE PARK – IMAGE NATION’S ’99 HOMES’ BY RAMIN BAHRANI AND STARRING ANDREW GARFIELD, MICHAEL SHANNON AND LAURA DERN LOS ANGELES (September 16, 2014) – Broad Green Pictures (BGP) announced today that they have acquired all US rights to Ramin Bahrani’s feature 99 HOMES. BGP plans to release the film,…

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Alison Willmore Outlines How Baumbach’s Latest Is Really A Twist On Catfish

Alison Willmore Outlines How Baumbach’s Latest Is Really A Twist On Catfish

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Wrapping TIFF 2014

It was a really good TIFF. Solid.

What was missing, really, were the home run hitting feature films. (Great docs… but we expect that.)

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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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The Torontonian reviews It Follows

One of the most enjoyable aspects of David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows—alongside its brilliant cinematography and chilling scares—is the inventive premise, which is as much to fun to describe as it is to watch (tell your friends about the “sexually-transmitted ghost” movie and watch their faces turn from disgusted to wildly amused).

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At Toronto, SPC Takes Still Alice For North America

  NEW YORK (September 12, 2014) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they acquired North American rights to STILL ALICE, starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish. The film reunites Co-Directors and Co-Writers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD) with Sony Pictures Classics, who worked together…

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SPC Buys Into Julianne Moore-Starrer Still Alice At Toronto

SPC Buys Into Julianne Moore-Starrer Still Alice At Toronto

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Toronto Film Festival

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“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg