Archives For Sarah Polley

TIFF’12: The Great Wrap-Up

September 18, 2012 — 6 Comments

Another year, another TIFF. The first movie I ever saw at the Toronto International Festival was Juno in 2007. It was the only film I saw that year, and my friend and I chose it completely on a whim, not knowing anything about it until we got to a wifi hotspot to check it out. The next year, 2008, I saw ten films, including Synecdoche, New York and Slumdog Millionaire. Each year since, I’ve pretty much gone “full TIFF” and seen as many films as I could fit in. This year, 2012, I broke my record from 2009 for the number of films I watched. It was also the most exhausting year of TIFF for me, not only because of the number of films, but because I squeezed that higher number into fewer days.

Seeing so many films in so few days has its advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious are the disadvantages. I’m sure anyone who has seriously done a film festival has been subsequently asked by others, “can you even remember all the films you watch?” Well, yes. Yes, I can. But there is a kernel of truth to the question/accusation. Ask me which films I saw at TIFF’12 and I’m going to start drawing blanks. Remind me of a specific film and it’ll all come back to me, but when I consider them all in a group it’s difficult to separate one from the other. The other major disadvantage is the exhaustion. Watching twenty or thirty or fifty films in a little over a week sometimes sounds to people like an easy vacation. Sit back, in the dark, watch movies. Only, at a festival you aren’t usually there to watch films passively. The mind is constantly working and processing and that’s tiring, especially when hours get thrown out of whack and it becomes so hard to find time for a meal that you sometimes forget to eat at all. Watching a silly movie like Ghost Graduation might be okay when you’re exhausted, but what about when it’s a new Terrence Malick film? Was my reaction to that film too heavily influenced by the fact that I’d rather have been sleeping? It’s hard to say.

Still, the advantages are there. Seeing films with like-minded people is one of the best things about the experience. For the most part, the people who come to a movie at the festival WANT to be watching a movie at the festival. These aren’t the chatters or texters or other sorts of assholes who regular ruin the moviegoing experience. At TIFF, generally, it’s an appreciative audience of fellow film lovers. They’re respectful to the films and to the people around them. There’s also something to be said for being in a cinematic state of mind. Normally, throughout the year, I intersperse movies amongst all sorts of other things. During the festival it’s all movies all the time. My brain is set to movie-mode. That’s what I’m built to think about and process and enjoy. I could never do that year round, but for about eleven days per year it certainly works. And none of that touches on the chance to see films that either may never be released or may be months or years away from coming out. I saw The Loved Ones at Midnight Madness back in 2009, and it only got a release in the US this Summer, and is finally coming out on DVD here this month.

But enough thoughts about film festivals in general; let’s talk TIFF’12! CLick to read more.

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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.

It’s been a Batman kind of a week. It’s also been a pretty crazy few days at this blog. My post about angry Batman commenters was featured in the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress.com front page. I’ve gotten a lot of views from this. Like, an abnormally high number. Basically, in the last 48 hours I’ve gotten more hits than any previous single month. I’ll try not to let it go to my head, but for now I’d like to say thank you to all the people who have been reading my piece and some of the other pieces I’ve written. I’d also like to thank and welcome those who intend to stick around. Hopefully I can continue delivering content worthy of your readership.

As for what I’ve been watching this week? Well. Not much. Not much at all. It’s mostly Batman’s fault. Click to see what I’ve been watching.