Thursday, September 13, 2007

TIFF #10 (Vickie’s Diary): The Wall

The Berlin Wall.

The Wailing Wall.

The Great Wall of China.

All impressive walls.

But the most formidable wall of all is the one into which I ran face-first today: the “Okay, I cannot TIFF for one more minute” wall. It’s big, it’s sturdy, it’s unforgiving and it rendered me helpless. I skipped two (!) movies today, and you know what? I don’t care. I think I might actually love that wall.

I talked about this developing apathy yesterday, and it hasn’t changed. My fatigue, however, has grown exponentially thanks to a mere three hours of sleep last night. Suddenly, and not surprisingly, I’ve become a lot less excited about getting up early for 9am screenings or getting home at 11pm because I ordered a ticket to an 8:30pm film. Nope. Can’t do it. Don’t wanna do it. And I don’t feel bad about it, either.

I hemmed and hawed this morning over whether to skip my first or second film of the day....because I knew I was going to drop one of them. After much internal monologuing, I opted to head out for the 9am showing of Naissance des pieuvres (5/8), a rather slow but interesting drama about three teenage girls coming of age. Oh, and it’s set against the backdrop of synchronized swimming. (Translation: tons and tons and tons of shots of pools, swimmers and legs akimbo underwater.) Despite the somewhat vague program book description, I had a feeling this might be a gay film in disguise...and it was! Hooray! Almost as soon as the three girls appeared onscreen, I correctly guessed that two, if not all, of them would make out by film’s end.

Then it was time to skip something, so I did not make it to the ROM for Surfwise, which is simultaneously too bad and for the best. Too bad because I lurrrve surfing documentaries; for the best because I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on this one and wouldn’t have enjoyed it as I should.

After a welcome repose at home with the noon news and some snacks, I headed back into the film fest fray for Lars and the Real Girl (7/8), a surprisingly poignant comedy-drama about an introverted young man (Ryan Gosling, in a very sweet performance) who orders a lifelike, life-sized girlfriend doll online and treats her as though she’s human. What started out looking like it might be some kind of absurdist comedy actual unspooled to reveal itself as a thoughtful, moving story about love. I totally cried for its last five minutes. (Though that extra-sensitivity might also be a result of my sleep deprivation.)

All through Lars... I thought about what I would do next. See, way back when I ordered my tickets two weeks ago, I very reluctantly selected New York City Serenade, a film directed by Frank Whaley (meh) and starring Freddie Prinze Jr. (meh) and Chris Klein (super-meh), for tonight. I didn’t really want to see it, and figured I’d swap it out once the fest started. But I was slow to act (see: I’m TIRED, okay?!) and didn’t get to the box office, so I kind of accepted the fact that I’d have to suffer through this dud. Reading a few reviews where critics crapped all over the movie did not improve my outlook. So I started rationalizing that I should really skip this movie, too, because there’s no way I wanted to sit through a movie I didn’t want to see when I’m THIS exhausted.

So, instead, I decided to treat myself to a gigantic crèpe (strawberry, mango, peach AND banana, with strawberry AND chocolate sauce!!) at Marché for dinner, then I made a pit stop at a meditation group on my way home in the hopes that I could maintain some of that blissful calm long enough to actually get to sleep tonight.

I guess we’ll see. I keep telling myself I only need to hang on for two more days...

Celebrity Sightings: Nary a one, my friends.

Roger Ebert Sightings: Zero.

Random Factoid of the Day: As if the shaving in Nothing is Private wasn’t enough, thanks to Naissance... I was treated to the factoid that synchronized swimmers undergo a stubble check before a competition to make sure everyone know...appropriately hairless.

Weather For Tomorrow: Warm and humid, with a high of 27ºC and a humidex of 30ºC. Chance of afternoon thunderstorms, so bring an umb-er-ella!

Line Buzz: Positive buzz on Redacted.


Matt said...

You chose wisely. I was in New York City Serenade, my third film of four today as I rushed to use my volunteer vouchers.

It was a near walk-out... nicely shot and all, but my head was hurting trying to decide if I was supposed to be rooting for the annoying jerk (Prinze) or the supremely annoying mega-jerk (Klein). The only likeable character for me disappeared half an hour in when she had the good sense to move on with her life!

Oh, and all of this followed the longest content-free director intro I've ever seen. C'mon folks, it's premiering at the Varsity on day 8 -- you're not that important... :)

Linda said...

Please update us on your sleep report! I'm worried! Only a few days left, Vickie, this is not like you! Good luck, and may the force be with you... (always)

(Sorry, the geek just came out, I didn't see that coming.)

Maria said...

I hope you're doing better today Vicki. I just flew back home this morning and I'm pretty damm tired too. Unfortunately, my last movie viewing was my worst movie, "The Walker" at the gala. The movie's reel got out of order and a whole chunk of a murder scene was gone..we all thought we were idiots because we lost track of the plot. The poor director, and Lauren Bacall, had to go on stage and do a little Q&A and improvise while they fixed the film. When someone asked Lauren about Bogey, she said, "Okay, I think I'll go back to my seat".

I wish I left when the movie stopped, it was dreadful and caused me to get to my hotel at 1AM and get up at 5AM for my flight. UGH!

But as always, I'm very sad leaving TO, the festival and my friends. Despite lack of sleep, hectic scheduling, lack of eating properly, I love every minute of it :).

Linda said...

Yowch, poor Lauren Bacall! She's probably thinking, "Um, is anyone interested in the last 50 years of my career? Anyone?"

Hmmm... I hope when watched in normal order that The Walker is at least watchable... it is coming up in my hood at the opening night film of the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Fest.

Maria said...

We ended up watching everything in the correct order, and it was still dreadful. I'd love to hear what you think of it. From the get go, I could not buy Woody Harrelson as an older gigolo, who "walks" rich women at events, parties and galas. And this movie was written by Paul Schrader, who directed "American Gigolo".

I felt so bad for him last night. He was doing all he could to keep us entertained during the unplanned intermission. People were leaving as the wait continued, and others walked out when the movie resumed. He's done such wonderful work in the past (writer for Raging Bull and Taxi Driver). Out of respect for him, I stayed. But I still hated it and didn't understand why this was a movie. Not only was it bad casting because of Woody, but it was so boring.

Vickie said...

I actually got a bit of a second wind today, as you'll read in my blog entry for the day. I think I can hold on for one more day. ;-)

Sorry to hear about the fiasco at "The Walker" (tech issues AND the crappiness of the movie itself). I find that my last TIFF movie each year is almost always a they can't be bothered to program really amazing movies on day 10.

Matt, did Noah Cowan deliver that intro? I find his pre-film rambling to be consistently the most long-winded and pointless. (And thanks for the info on the film -- I'm relieved!)

Matt said...

Sorry, I should have said "director's intro" -- i.e. Frank Whaley rambled on as he brought producers and actors onto the stage one by one.

Steve Gravestock was the TIFF staff member and was suitably concise.

Vickie said...

Ohhhhhh. That's even worse. I mean, for starters, it's Frank Whaley.

Which of the actors showed up???

Matt said...

Almost all the major characters were there -- Freddie Prinze Jr., Chris Klein, Heather Bucha, and Sophie Nyweide (who said nothing and looked bored). Prinze had "other business" to attend to that prevented him from coming back for the post-film Q&A.

Vickie said...

Translation: even he knew the movie sucked and wanted to avoid being pelted with tomatoes.