Sunday, August 31, 2008

TIFF 2008 (Vickie's Diary): TIFF (Sept. 4th – 13th) -- Let the games begin!

Missed a TIFF diary? Want to catch up? Enjoy:
2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002

Oh. Hey. Guess what? It’s *yawn* film festival time again and... blah blah blah... film festival DOs and DON’Ts blah blah.

What’s that, you say? You’re wondering if there’s a distinct lack of enthusiasm in this annual diary intro where, typically, I am overflowing with excitement and glee and exclamation points?

Well, you are not mistaken. I’m feeling twinges of bitterness and increasing frustration as each year passes, and maybe I’ve finally plateau-ed. I hit the wall mid-way through last year’s festival, and it was a bit of a wake-up call. I've never been that tired before. So, I’m aiming lower this September. Seeing fewer films and attempting to pace myself so that, you know, I don’t burn out completely on day four.

TIFF 2008 hasn’t even started yet and I’m already beat. Already working at a stamina deficit. Already feeling like I should be sleeping more and eating better. I kind of feel like I’ve been TIFFing for a good week or two already... and, in many ways, I have been. I’ve racked up a handful of pre-fest screenings, and have once again endured the supremely lame insanity of the annual ticket lottery. Seriously, this immensely flawed system has been in place for, what, 10 years or so?, and it STILL DOESN’T WORK. It’s still unfair. But whatever. That dead horse has been beaten beyond recognition at this point.

Last year, the fest added a slew of convoluted extra steps to the ticket-ordering process, and they remain in 2008. I fully expect fingerprinting, retinal scans and DNA sampling to be incorporated at some point in the not-too-distant future.

In a bid to appease disgruntled festgoers like me, TIFF has introduced a number of new outdoor initiatives at the Yonge/Dundas Square... presumably to distract us from the fact that they’ve relocated their main box office to the busiest intersection in the city, and planted it right in the middle of an already crowded third-floor food court (!), accessible only after ascending two escalators (three if you're coming from the subway level) and servicing a huge volume of people. Convenient.

TIFF has also reduced the number of films at this year’s festival, programming 312 (down from 349 in 2007) but adding screens at the AMC Yonge/Dundas -- a move that may very well make people long for the comparable civility of the previously maligned Scotiabank Theatre. So, one would assume that there might be fewer movies but more screenings. Can’t say for sure whether that’s true. That's math I have no interest in doing.

Anyhoo, I am thrilled to bits that Moviepie’s Eric will be returning to Toronto for his second TIFF! This not only means extra blogging over at Moviepie ‘Musings, where we’ll update daily, but it means a huge amount of fun regardless. So, you know, YAY! And I know that his presence will instantly buoy my enthusiasm, so... onwards!

I’ve decided to pare down my daily entries this year, though, because I think a lot of the extraneous information was, well, extraneous and boring. So, in addition to the daily recaps, I’m only going to spare Celebrity Sightings and Line Buzz™. They’re the most important ones, anyway.

So, while I load up on protein shakes and B12 shots, and attempt to rest up before the circus hits town, check out the official TIFF 2008 website for all the screening info you could want.

See you in line! (Probably.)



maria said...

I hope once the festival starts will resume! I'm getting pretty excited and am heading to TO this Thursday morning. I was thinking last night how "unrelaxing" this "vacation" is for me and how exhausted I'll be when I get back. But this is my 6th festival and I've made new friends each year, so my excitement and ability to gear up is now helped by excitement to see my film buds.

Vickie said...

Oh, there's definitely a surge of excitement once the fest gets underway, so I look forward to that.

And I agree with you about running into TIFF buddies each year -- just today, while making new friends in the pick-up line (no pun intended ;-)), I talked about how you meet folks during the fest, then they disappear for a year, then they inevitably return the following September.

Linda said...

I know what you mean about being exhausted by the time the fest actually starts. That's how I felt this year with SIFF... the fest program is published two weeks before the fest. You frantically pore through the listings. Make a list. Make a shorter list. Cross things out. Make another list. Finalize most of your picks. Get the tickets. Then there is still at least a week until it starts. And our fest is THREE AND A HALF WEEKS LONG.

But I still love it. I tend to have most momentum at the beginning and the last weekend (when I panic that it will soon be over).

Vickie said...

The nice thing about SIFF (and most film festivals) is that you buy tickets and GET tickets. At TIFF, you buy tickets and MAYBE you get them, maybe you don't.

I wound up getting only 18 of the 29 tickets I requested, so I have a whole lot of rescheduling to do today...

Lou said...

I surely hope that ear infection has vamoosed and that life has settled down long enough for you to enjoy these coming days of films, films. I look forward to your reviews--count on them even!