Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TIFF 2006 #14: Final Thoughts on the Festival

Yes, I realize this is coming a tad late, what with the fest having rolled up its red carpets a few days ago already. But my on-again/off-again PFS and general weariness got the best of me, so my wrap-up has been slower to arrive than normal…and I suspect it will wind up being underwhelming.


Since fewer and fewer folks are surfing over here, I figure everyone’s pretty much had their fill of TIFF coverage, so I’ll keep this relatively short:

Best Films I Saw: Summercamp!, This is England, 2:37 and Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing

Best Film I Saw That I Didn’t Really Understand: Day on Fire

Films That Bored Me Silly: The Magic Flute and Quelques Jours en Septembre

Biggest Disappointments: Griffin & Phoenix (oh, how I wanted to love it), The Dog Problem (though, I can’t say I was surprised) and I Am the Other Woman (ah well)

Strangest Cinematic Theme Running Through My Picks This Year: eye surgery and random dismemberment (seriously)

The Only Thing Creepier Than Press-Conference Moderator Henri Béhar: the photo accompanying the synopsis for Pan’s Labyrinth in the program book *shudder*

There weren’t really any outstanding or memorable moments at this year’s TIFF. Aside from the Army of the Odiously Obnoxious, there were no extremes of good or bad, and nothing freakishly weird or scary, either.

So, with TIFF 2006 now a fading memory, I’d like to offer my wish list for TIFF 2007:

* I wish that someone somewhere would have a chat with TIFF co-director Noah Cowan about his eyeroll-inducing, thesaurian pre-screening intros. Honestly, Noah, just because you looked up a bunch of multi-syllabic synonyms for “good” or “interesting” doesn’t mean we’re going to be impressed – just sit down and let us watch the film, please. And the impact of your words is lost when you stand there reading them off of note cards but pretending like they’re just coming to you off the top of your head. We can SEE the cards!

* Speaking of pre-screening intros, I wish that every TIFF staffer assigned to intro a film would take the time to memorize the FOUR sponsors of the fest. I mean, how hard is it to remember Bell, Visa, the Government of Ontario and Telefilm Canada? I’m sure half the people who just read that sentence now have them committed to memory.

* I wish that ticket prices would actually drop next year. I know they won’t. I know they’ll go up again. But this is a wish list, so I’m wishing.

* I wish that once, just once, I’ll get all of my picks on the first try, and that whatever box my order lands in next year turns out to be the first box processed. I wonder what it feels like not to have to revise your selections?

* I wish that all the line cutters and line jerks would be punished immediately by attentive theater staff or volunteers and then publicly humiliated (“Hey, you! Are you cutting in line?! In front of all these people?! You should be ashamed of yourself! Who did you think you were going to fool?! Come HERE! All of your tickets are hereby revoked and you are banned from TIFFing for the rest of the fest, now GET OUT!”).

* I wish that TIFF shuttle bus would come back, but with an improved schedule.

* I wish that Michèle Maheux would program ALL the festival’s films. I think she and I share a moviegoing brain. In fact, I also wish that Michèle could somehow intro every movie showing at the festival, because she’s very dry and funny and always entertaining. So there.

And, really, that’s about it. Not much to ask, I don’t think.

Thanks to everyone who followed along with me from home, and I’ll see you back here next September!


ThisWatch said...

I've written down all the titles, and as they flow into my theaters here in Southern California, I'll know which films to choose. Thanks!!!

The_Voice said...

Don't forget! Bring back the old voting system for viewers choice film AND count the votes on the final day!!!

And don't violate fire hazards in stairwells: people are NOT allowed to sit on stairs (I'm thinking the Varsity cinemas). And celebrities aren't exempt for the indoor smoking ban, and TIFF should respect that.

OH, and although I saw 3 Colin Geddes films this year (and that's on par with my annual selections), Colin needs to lighten up and realize that Midnight Madness doesn't rule the fest. It needs to reach out to more people instead of trying to create a clique of people... and he should stop badmouthing the mainstream cinema, which, without, he wouldn't have his midnight madness.

Vickie said...

Yeah, I have to agree with the sitting-on-the-stairs thing. That happened at a few screenings I attended. Wasn't there a rule (at one time...perhaps no longer in effect?) that said people wouldn't be admitted into a screening more than 15 minutes into the film?

People wandered into some of my screenings upwards of a half hour into the movie and, when they couldn't find seats, just plopped down on the stairs.

As for Colin, I think the daytime repeats of the MM screenings are helping to expand his audience. But he *is* very passionate about his programmed films.

Matt said...

The rules on the back of the ticket guarantee you a seat until 15 minutes before, and say the film is cut off 10 minutes after. I've seen people get refused entry and it's not pretty (in one case, demanding the name of a staff member so they could lodge a formal complaint). That's probably why, where possible, they often get squeezed in. But sitting on the stairs should definitely qualify as "not possible".

Vickie said...

But I always wonder WHY people would want to go into a film when they've missed the first 20 minutes. I mean, you've missed potentially a quarter of the movie by that point...give it up! ;-)