Notes from the Editor: Toronto Film Festival

Well it's that time of year.... Autumn. Which brings the Toronto Film Festival! I have mixed feelings about the Fest, on one hand I love that Toronto is a only second to Cannes as the best film fest in the world. Pretty cool distinction. Some great films have their debuts here (Roger and Me, American Beauty).

But on the other hand, I hate what film festivals have become. I work in Yorkville, which for those who don't know, was once the hot spot for folk music in the 60's, and later the hippies became yuppies, and now it's a great place to shell out a grand for a T-Shirt. Which also means it's ground zero for the festival. It's where the celebrities stay. So, when I walk to and from work, I'm greeted with swarms of people trying to catch a glimpse of Brad Pitt (who, I might add, they'll never see). I can understand the paparazzi to a point... I mean, they're working for a paycheck... I may not agree with it, but I think Priests are over payed too, so what do I know? The people who get me, are the ones who stand outside the hotel all day, with their digital camera's, just waiting to get that picture of Jennifer Aniston's arm hanging out of a black, tinted window, SUV, so they have proof for their co-workers (I assume these people have to work sometime) that their vacation was well spent. The thing is, I've worked in the area for 3 festivals, and you know how many celebrities I've seen? One. And it was Steven Weber (the guy from Wings who wasn't in Spiderman 3... no, the other guy).
It also brings out the people DESPERATE to be seen. Now, in Yorkville there is all ready a lot of this, but it reaches a certain extreme at festival time, you see them on the patio at One Hazelton primping and eating their $25 salad (roasted Mushrooms are $13, and they're not the kind that get you high... I checked).
Well, what was I here to talk about? I got on a bit of a rant there... Oh yes, movies.
So here are 10 films that I'm interested in (Although I won't be seeing any of them... Even Roger Ebert has trouble getting into some of the screenings). I've linked trailers to the titles where applicable.

Guy Richie is back.... which isn't that exciting when you think about it... Lock Stock and Snatch are fun films, but he also made Swept Away... and the under seen (for good reason apparently) Revolver. But the trailer looks good, and the cast is pretty cool... could be old timey fun.

I mentioned it in yesterdays post. Jean Claude Van Damme in a movie that doesn't suck (or some I'm told). I'm interested.

New Coen Bros. film. That's usually all I need to know. On top of that the cast (is in all of their films) is stellar. Some advanced reviews have been less than favorable, but the Coen brothers worst films are still better than your best.
I hadn't heard of this one until recently. Richard Linklaters new film is about a 1930's teenager with dreams of making on broadway. He runs into Orson Welles, and is thrown into the world of theatre.... whatever it's about, I love anything to do with Orson Welles and Richard Linklater. I couldn't find a trailer, so I linked to a video of Orson Welles reading from Moby Dick.

When I first heard the title I was like "Oh man, is this going to be a shitty modern update of the great Thin Man movies? That's super dumb." But then I saw Michael Cera's name and thought, "Ok, it probably has nothing to do with the Thin Man... Phew... but I do Love Michael Cera... I think I may watch this some day.... but not at the festival, I wouldn't be able to get tickets..."

I loved Paris, Je Taime. Thought it was fabulous... especially Alexander Payne's touching short. When I heard they were going to do the same thing with New York I though "Great! The could get Sydney Lumet! Woody Allen! Spike Lee! Martin Scorcese! The choices are ENDLESS!!" So, what directors did they get for this one? Brett Ratner. Really? That's the biggest name director you could talk into this? what else ya go? Scarlet Johannson and Natalie Portman... wait, aren't they actresses? Oh man. I very concerned... great cast though.

Steven Soderbergh's 4 hour and 18 minute film of the life of Che Guevara, featuring the perfectly cast Benicio Del Toro. For some reason they've broken this film into two parts. I guess the audience at Toronto can't handle a four hour movie? Or maybe, they just want to milk as much money out of the audience as the can. Cause, as far as movies go, 4 hours ain't that long. Anyways, it should definitely be an interesting movie. I can't imagine that Soderbergh will romantice Che as much as Walter Salles did in the Motorcycle Diaries. No trailer, but i linked an interview with the cast and crew.

I like a good western, and I like Ed Harris, as an actor and director. His only other directorial film was 2000's fantastic Pollock. It also stars the very popular (and talented) Viggo Mortensen, and personal favorite Jeremy Irons.

Michael Winterbottom has proven to be one of worlds leading directors. Confidently covering many genres, Winterbottom always creates something worth while. Some of my favorites of his include 24-hour Party People, Code 46 and A Cock and Bull Story. I really know absolutely nothing about this film. Can't even find a trailer. But that's the fun of a film fest! Seeing something you know little to nothing about (cause you can't get into the big films). I linked to the trailer for 24 hour party people... no trailer for Genova.

Brothers Bloom
I was slapped in the face a few years ago by an impressive little film called Brick. That film was helmed by first time director Rian Johnson. This film is his follow up. The trailer makes it look like a con man comedy, featuring Rachel Weisz (mmm), Adrian Brody, Mark Ruffalo and the young girl from Babel, Rinko Kikuchi.

Anyways, I'm off to dodge some wanna-be photographers and actors! If there is a god, I won't see Ben Mulroney's insincere mug this year. One can dream. Anyways, if there is a film in the fest that you're excited about, please let me know in the comments section! See ya.

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