I’ve been going to the Film Festival. TIFF. The Toronto Film Festival of International renown. The emphasis this year, for me anyway, is more film than festival, which is to say I’ve actually gone to see a couple of movies. And paid for them myself. You see, in years passed, I would get media accreditation, which would allow me to get into the press conferences and invited to the parties, but I rarely found time to actually see any of the films. Furthermore, many of these parties would not get going until late in the evening, and they would sometimes go all night. I have vague recollections of going straight from some star-studded bash into work at 5 in the morning, but I was twenty-something then, when a fresh coat of lipstick was all you needed to hide the sins of the night before.
Not so anymore, heavens no. More like a can of Spackle. Furthermore, I am SO not star struck. Quite the opposite. Interviewing celebrities on the red carpet is my idea of the inner ring of hell. It’s beyond small talk. It’s MINISCULE talk: “who are you wearing, are you excited about the movie, are you enjoying Toronto?” The stars always look bored, the interviewer completely inane. Last night, as I came out of my screening (Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm – incredible), a huge crowd had gathered to witness the arrival of the stars of the next screening, namely Keanu Reeves, making his directing debut with Man of Tai Chi. It was 30 degrees, humid as hell, and people swarmed the entrance of the theatre, five or six deep, held back by barricades, to see … what? I, on my way out, paused in my tracks to take a look, as I was practically on the red carpet myself, and a volunteer/security person actually SHOOED ME AWAY. “Move along, please”, I was told. Apparently you’re not to be allowed a glimpse of a celestial being unless you stood in line for hours for the privilege. Jeez. It’s Keanu Reeves, for Pete’s sake, not the risen Christ.
Anyway. The films, for the most part, are outstanding. I’ve also seen All is By My Side, the Jimi Hendrix biopic, and I have a single ticket to see an afternoon screening of Prisoners, the Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal thriller that had its premiere last weekend. Thank God they won’t be there, although the risen Christ might be. In which case, I might line up.