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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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The Torontonian reviews This Is Where I Leave You

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Wrapping TIFF 2014

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

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The Torontonian reviews It Follows

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Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie

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The Torontonian Reviews NIGHTCRAWLER

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

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The Torontonian reviews Eden

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Confessions Of A Film Festival Junkie: TIFF 2014 Opening Days

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The TIFF 2014 Doc Sneak: Thom Powers Lays It Out For You

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MCN Videos

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Disobedience, Rachel Weisz

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Disobedience, Alessandro Nivola

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Gringo, Nash Edgerton

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Black Panther, co-writer Joe Robert Cole

MCN Festivals

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

“People want to go home and have sex after your movie. Don’t make them feel urggghh. Don’t do that to your fellow sexually active people.”
In Toronto, Michael Moore Reminds Documentarians To Entertain 

“I’m telling you straight and true that Paul Dano‘s performance as the youngish Brian Wilson in Bill Pohlad‘s Love and Mercy is almost spookily great.”
Avers Jeff Wells

NY Times

“This movie was born in a blaze, and will be released in a blaze.”
Kevin Smith’s Tusk Gets Medicinal Marijuana Tie-In severe spoiler

NY Times

“People could call him a sociopath. But I wouldn’t at all. I would call it the birth of an artist. It’s poetry to him.”
Jake Gyllenhaal Tries A Festival-Friendly PR Tack For Nightcrawler

“I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about it yet, but screw it: I love this nasty little movie! It’s f—ing bonkers, and I can’t wait for you to see it.”
Kyle Buchanan Serves T. O. Buzz With His Starred-Up 15 Picks For The Fest

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“With every table in the dining room occupied and me, the only waiter, neglecting the needs of a good fifty patrons, I approached Roth. Holding out Balls as a numbness set into the muscles of my face, I spoke. “Sir, I’ve heard you say that you don’t read fiction anymore, but I’ve just had my first novel published and I’d like to give you a copy.”

“His eyes lifting from his iPhone, he took the book from my hands. He congratulated me. Then, staring at the cover, he said, “Great title. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it myself.”

“These words worked on me like a hit of morphine. Like two hits. It felt as if I was no longer the occupant of my own body. The legs had gone weak, the ears warmed, the eyes watered, the heart rate increased rapidly. Barely able to keep myself upright, I told him, “Thank you.”

“Then Roth, who, the world would learn sixteen days later, was retiring from writing, said, in an even tone, with seeming sincerity, “Yeah, this is great. But I would quit while you’re ahead. Really, it’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.”

“I managed, “It’s too late, sir. There’s no turning back. I’m in.”

“Nodding slowly, he said to me, “Well then, good luck.”

“After which I went back to work.”
~ Julian Tepper

“Any form of physical or sexual assault is a very serious matter, potentially a legal matter. But I’m also wondering, what about having some kind of “extreme asshole” clause? I know lots of people who have been abused verbally and psychologically. That’s traumatizing, too. What do we do with that?  It takes a lot of energy to be an asshole. The people I admire most just aren’t interested in things that take away from their ability to make stuff. The people I really respect, and that I’ve met who fit this definition, have a sense of grace about them, because they know that there is no evolving and there is no wisdom without humility. You can’t get better if you behave in a way that shuts people off. You can’t! You don’t have all the ideas necessary to solve something. You don’t! I’m sure if you spoke to Harvey in his heyday and said to him what I just said to you, he would believe that he accomplished all that he had because of the way he behaved.”
~ Steven Soderbergh