TIFF’12: Day 8

September 17, 2012 — 3 Comments

Ah, what a pleasure it is to only start my day in the evening. Of course, that didn’t stop me from waking up early for no reason and being extremely exhausted throughout the day, but at least I could sit around and do nothing until 6pm. I’d considered heading down to check out the new Barry Levinson horror film, The Bay, but despite the solid word-of-mouth I just didn’t feel like sitting through a found footage movie.

I won’t make any bones about it. The back half of my TIFF’12 experience was not as great as the front. I mean, sure, I was still having a blast, but the films were mostly not as good. I attribute this to my front-loading  the films I most wanted to see in the hopes that I’d add in several films with great word-of-mouth for later. I did do that, but I was also still adding in random films that fit my schedule and looked decent. Either way, my Day 8 started very well, but took a sour turn. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 7

September 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

I had to wake up early for Day 7, not because I had a movie to see, but because I wanted to head down to the festival box office to exchange some of my back-half vouchers for tickets. I went ahead and did that, but then had nothing left to do, so I decided, to throw in an extra screening for the morning.

It’s not always easy choosing a random option at the last minute, especially since many screenings are already “rush line only.” I didn’t have too many screenings to choose from, and ultimately I settled on something with a director I didn’t care for, but a cast I loved. Continue Reading…

TIFF’12: Day 6

September 16, 2012 — 1 Comment

Day 6 was a slow day for me. And by slow I mean I only saw two movies. Actually, it was kind of nice to bring it down to just the two. Of course, that doesn’t mean I got any extra sleep or felt any less exhausted, but I suppose it provided a bit of relief after a few more busy days.

Of course, the risks were piling on, even in this day of only two movies. To the Wonder, the new film from Terrence Malick, was already getting some very mixed buzz out of Venice and various press screenings. Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers looked good, but then so did his previous film, Kill List, and I was decidedly unimpressed by that one. Still, I was prepared to jump in, and in fact I was expecting to enjoy both. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 5

September 16, 2012 — 3 Comments

Going to a film festival involves risk. Specifically, the risk of seeing bad films. It’s going to happen. If you’re doing more than just a few films you can’t avoid it. My first bad film of TIFF’12 was Hellbenders, but I suppose going into that one I knew the risk of badness at Midnight Madness would be higher than normal, and honestly I didn’t go to that film expecting it to be any good.

It’s always more disappointing when you expect a film to be good and it ends up not only disappointing, but being outright terrible. A good example for me would be Tyrannosaur last year. I went in fully expecting to like it, and considering the huge standing ovation the film got i suppose most people felt it delivered. I, on the other hand, hated the film. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t believe the positive reaction the film was garnering around me. But that’s the risk. You can’t enjoy every movie. Sometimes there will be bad ones. Sometimes you will come out of a movie loathing it. That’s what happened to me on Day 5. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 4

September 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

Day 4 and already I’m hit with film festival exhaustion. It might sound like an easy thing to do nothing but watch films for several days. I’m here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. Films require a kind of mental attention. Watching more than two in a row tires out the mind. Factor in the fact that at a festival as big as TIFF you’re also running all over town, standing in line-ups, getting up early, going to sleep late, and by the end of it you feel like you’re going to collapse.

All that being said, a film festival is a gloriously fun thing. It’s exhausting, but also rewarding. And even when the films themselves aren’t rewarding, the people you meet and hang out with make it all worthwhile. The night before I’d stayed up until 3am finishing off Cloud Atlas so that I’d have read it all before seeing the new film adaptation. It was worth it. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 3

September 16, 2012 — 1 Comment

Weather in Toronto is a funny thing. It’s a city with a pretty wide range of climate, and it can often be quite random. For example, while I was nearly dying of heat in line for the American Beauty live read on Thursday, standing in line for Frances Ha on Saturday was a cold, rainy experience. That’s not to say the weather put a damper on the day (it didn’t at all), but it’s one of the factors that makes TIFF a simultaneously fun and frustrating experience. You just never know what you’re going to get day-to-day from the clouds above.

Day 3 was another “take my mom to TIFF” day. Got up reasonably early, ate some breakfast and went down to stand in line outside the Elgin/Winter Garden in the rain. Luckily, we found a spot in line with some cover. Matt Price also showed up at some point, and finally the line let in. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 2

September 8, 2012 — 2 Comments

TIFF is a crazy experience. Waking up early, blogging, getting out to see several movies each day. It’s hectic and fun and tiring. My Day 2 was all of those things, not helped in the tiring department by my adding a fourth film to the day’s schedule. It was also yet day where I knew people at every movie I saw, which was nice in terms of making sure I had seats saved even when I was cutting it a little close, but it also meant I didn’t get any time to read more of Cloud Atlas, which I need to finish before Sunday morning.

The day started off with a trip down to the Ryerson where I’d be seeing Jacques Audiard’s latest, Rust and Bone. I got in line, not far back at all, and was soon joined by several friends, including Paolo Kagaoan and Ryan McNeil. One sandwich and an hour and a half later, we were seated and ready to start the day in movie-watching. I’d be seeing Rust and Bone, The Gatekeepers, Stories We Tell and Like Someone in Love. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 1

September 7, 2012 — 2 Comments

TIFF’12 is officially on. How do I know? Well, the most obvious way to know is the line-ups. If you’re in Toronto at the beginning of September and find yourself constantly stuck in long queues, you’re probably at TIFF.

My first “screening” of TIFF’12 wasn’t until 6pm, but I still headed down early to do a couple ticket exchanges at the festival box office. That was a good idea. I got down there around 11am, had the tickets exchanged relatively quickly, and then got to hang out with Andrew Robinson of Gman Reviews, who’s in town for the fest all the way from Trinidad. What better way to kill time before Jason Reitman’s Live Read of American Beauty and The End of Time than to meet friends who I’ve only have spoken with on Skype? Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 0

September 5, 2012 — 2 Comments

It’s that crazy time of year again. The Toronto International Film Festival is upon us. For those who read this site but somehow don’t know, along with Cannes and Sundance, TIFF is considered one of the Top 3 film festivals in the world. Hundreds of films play the festival each year, from tiny foreign films to ambitious experiments to American indies to big Hollywood films looking for prestige and an Oscar bump. For ten days at the beginning of September, the cinematic world descends on Toronto, and lucky for me, it’s my hometown.

TIFF is a great time of year for me on two levels. The first is obvious: so many great films! The festival can be exhausting, but running around the city catching all kinds of movies is a joy. Adding to it all is the atmosphere. The people you meet in line and the energy in the auditoriums as the lights dim. For those ten days, it feels like I’ve found kindred spirits in everyone around me. It’s so easy to strike up conversations with strangers. “So, what have you seen so far?” Simple as that. Meeting folks from all over the country and the world. Talking movies with like-minded people. Getting recommendations on films to seek out in the remaining days. It all adds up to a wonderful experience.

I’ll be covering TIFF’12 here on my blog. One post per day and then a wrap-up at the end of it all. Come back for the reviews, as well as my general thoughts about the festival. There’s also a chance I’ll drop a few mini-podcast episodes with friends I pull from various screenings. We’ll see about that one. And don’t forget, you can follow my TIFF’12 adventure in real-time by following me on Twitter @CoreyAtad.

Finally, just so you all can get an idea of what I’ll be seeing at TIFF this year, I’ll post my tentative schedule. Keep in mind, this is genuinely tentative. A few films might change, and I’ll definitely be seeing more films than the ones I’ve listed here. For a more accurate, up-to-date list you can always check out my schedule on tiffr. In the meantime, though, head on past the break to check out what I’ve got on tap so far for TIFF’12. Click to see the schedule.

The “big” new movie this week was the spin-off/sequel/thing, The Bourne Legacy. Matt Damon replaced by Jeremy Renner. Jason Bourne replaced by Aaron Cross. David Strathairn replaced by Ed Norton. Creativity replaced by chems. Great replaced by boring. You can read my review of the film, but why would you do that when I recorded a whole new podcast episode about it?

This week on The justAtadcast, I invited on a couple fellow Toronto bloggers/podcasters. From the great website The Matinee, host of the Matineecast, Ryan McNeil attempts to bring some positivity to the discussion. On the other end, Matt Brown, co-host of the Mamo podcast and writer at The Substream, brings the cold truth. The episode was recorded at a Starbucks in downtown Toronto, so it sounds a little noisy in the background but it makes for a pretty nice atmosphere. This is what we in the industry call “going full Mamo.” You might say it’s never a good idea to “go full Mamo,” but I think the results were pretty damn good. Nice energy, good conversation, people drinking coffee, what more could you want in a podcast episode? So listen and enjoy!

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