Friday, September 14, 2007

TIFF #11 (Vickie’s Diary): Last Gasping and Wet Legs

Know what’s SUPER-fun?

Know what makes for an excellent movie-watching experience?

Standing in line outside during a sudden rainstorm and getting soaked from the knees down (God bless my umbrella for what flimsy protection it provided during the windy downpour) and THEN sitting through a movie inside the Ryerson Theatre, where temperatures always feel like they’re in the single digits.

So went my evening. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Thanks very much to those of you who expressed concern over my fatigue. I think I slept about five hours last night, which remains the unfortunate average, but I woke up with a bit of a second wind...you know, the kind that marathon runners get if they push through The Wall and continue towards the finish line. I woke up with a little unexpected energy, had a relatively healthy breakfast and lucked into catching a bus just as I was setting out to walk to my first film. A good start!

That first film of the day was the much-talked-about Boy A (6/8) which Eric saw earlier in the week. I thought it was very well-done, but I also think all the raves I’d been hearing all week raised my expectations a little too much. But I do love Peter Mullan. I will see him in anything. I want him to record a CD of bedtime stories, I love his voice that much.

I managed to have time for a delicious pasta lunch (OMG! a real meal!) en route to my second film, Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There (6/8)...a film that defies description or simple encapsulation. It’s being labeled as “the Bob Dylan movie,” but that doesn’t exactly do it justice. It’s almost like an experimental film, jumping back and forth in time and between assorted vignettes about characters possessing Dylan-esque traits. The cast includes Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Cate Blanchett (all of whom embody one of the “Dylans” at some point), and the movie is easily one of the prettiest (visually) I’ve seen at TIFF this year.

Interestingly, I’m Not There also featured a first for me at TIFF: a Q&A before the movie. Seems Haynes had to jet so, rather than not do one at all, he and TIFF CEO Piers Handling fielded questions before the film rolled. Interesting, and surprisingly effective, given that no one there had actually seen the movie yet.

A ticket exchange and quick meal at McDonald’s (I know, I know) followed, and then it was time for my annual sit-down with my friend from Washington, DC, where we compare notes and talk movies for a couple of hours...always at Starbucks at the Manulife Centre. I should point out that this is the same lanyard-sporting friend I met way back in 2002, just because we sat next to each other at a screening and chatted. See? Make friends at TIFF!

Last up was Son of Rambow (5/8), before which was the aforementioned drenching rain. Nothing like sitting in a theater full of 1200 wet people and their wet umbrellas! I’m sure some of the more soaked individuals suffered from mild hypothermia as a result of the situation. The movie itself wasn’t quite as funny or charming as I’d hoped it would be. The story centers on a couple of British boys in the 1980s, who decide to make their own Rambo film...and, while the concept is ripe for humor, it felt a little like Wes Anderson Lite to me. As in, quirky for quirky’s sake. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very nice little movie, it just didn’t wow me. It was also an interesting juxtaposition to Boy A, which contains some of the same elements with vaaaaastly different results.

I also ran into my friend Angela at the screening. I hadn't seen her at all during TIFF, so we did a quick recap of what we'd each seen. She said she saw one really crappy movie.

"Which one?" I asked.

"Nothing is Private."

A quick but extremely enthusiastic dissection of the film (and how much it sucked) followed, with me citing many of the things Eric, Dan and I discussed after we suffered through it.

Only one more day to go...and that gives me solace.

Celebrity Sightings: Todd Haynes.

Roger Ebert Sightings: I believe Roger has left the building.

Random Factoid of the Day: I’m hating the “random factoid” entry. It will be gone for TIFF 2008.

Weather For Tomorrow: Deeeeliciously chilly! Sunny with a high of only 15ºC!

Line Buzz: Still more raves for Fados, some good buzz on Dans ma vie and Blind.

2 comments:

Maria said...

I'm still thinking through "I'm not There". It was an interesting, unique concept and I thought Cate Blanchett was incredible. My problem is I didn't know enough about Dylan's "lives" to understand everything being represented. Todd filled in some gaps during his and Christine Vochan's Q&A. I think she could get some kind of best supporting actress nom (or is it really for "actor") for this one.

Vickie said...

Definitely a "unique concept," and I agree that Dylan fans may get more out of the symbolism, metaphors and whatnot than people like me who have only a cursory knowledge of the man and the music.