Toronto International Film Stresstival

Aaaargh. AAAHHHHHH!!!! Why do there have to be so many motherf(*@&$ films I want to see? I know I bought 30 tickets for a reason, but I can’t actually AFFORD to use all 30 tickets, and plus I have about 30 people who want to get tickets from me for themselves and their significant others. And I’m not talking one or two. I mean like, six.


Here is my tentative list of movies that I would like to see this year:

Thursday September 7, 2006
HANA, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2006 VARSITY 8 6:00 PM (Samurai film by the director of Maboroshi and After-Life)
Fido, Andrew Currie, 2006 RYERSON 9:15 PM (Canadian zombie film with Carrie-Ann Moss and Billy Connoly as the pet zombie)

Friday September 8, 2006
Penelope, Mark Palansky, 2006 ROY THOMSON HALL 6:30 PM (fairy tale about pig-snouted girl starring Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon)

Saturday September 9, 2006
Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Larry Charles, 2006 PARAMOUNT 2 1:15 PM (Sasha Baron Cohen aka Ali G. Respekt.)
Stranger than Fiction, Marc Forster, 2006 VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) 6:00 PM (Will Ferrell in some weird dramedy about writers and books and stuff)
Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006 ROY THOMSON HALL 9:30 PM (cool crossover film between Spain and Japan with Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt)

Sunday September 10, 2006
Never Say Goodbye, Karan Johar, 2006 ROY THOMSON HALL 1:30 PM (Bollywood film – nobody will want to see this but me and every ex-pat Indian in the GTA)
Paris, je t’aime, Bruno Podalydès, Gurinder Chadha, Gus Van Sant, Joel and Ethan Coen, Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas, Christopher Doyle, Isabel Coixet, Nobuhiro Suwa, Sylvain Chomet, Alfonso Cuarón, Olivier Assayas, Oliver Schmitz, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Wes Craven, Tom Tykwer, Frédéric Auburtin, Gérard Depardieu, Alexander Payne, 2006 RYERSON 3:00 PM
The Last Kiss, Tony Goldwyn, 2006 RYERSON 6:00 PM (Zach. Braff.)
Cashback, Sean Ellis, 2006 VARSITY 1 8:45 PM (starring Sean My-staff-is-Bigger-than-your-Staff, aka the hottie Quidditch team captain of Harry Potter fame)

Monday September 11, 2006
Fay Grim, Hal Hartley, 2006 RYERSON 6:00 PM (Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum… I dunno, it looks interesting)

Tuesday September 12, 2006
The Fountain, Darren Aronofsky, 2006 VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) 6:00 PM (this is the guy who directed Pi and Requiem for a Dream; I am prepared for weeks of nightmares. Also, for the ladies, HUGH JACKMAN is in it with Rachel Weiss as his romantic interest. Hot.)

Wednesday September 13, 2006
Breaking and Entering, Anthony Minghella, 2006 ROY THOMSON HALL 6:30 PM (Again, I don’t strictly speaking NEED to see this, but it stars Jude Law, Juliette Binoche and Robin Wright Penn. Also, Minghella directed Truly, Madly, Deeply.)
Bugmaster, Katsuhiro Otomo, 2006 PARAMOUNT 3 9:30 PM (Otomo is king. Otomo directed Akira. This movie sounds extremely cool to anyone who likes Japanese legends. And I do.)

Thursday September 14, 2006
Jade Warrior, Antti-Jussi Annila, 2006 VARSITY 4 8:45 PM (Inspired by the Kalevala, this is a Finnish film with a Finn dude fighting an ancient Chinese demon. Helloooo martial arts epic set in Helsinki)

Friday September 15, 2006
The Banquet, Feng Xiaogang, 2006 ROY THOMSON HALL 6:30 PM (Okay, I suppose I don’t NEED to see this either, but it has Ziyi Zhang, and some swords, and a Shakespearean plot, and I’m in.)
The Magic Flute, Kenneth Branagh, 2006 VARSITY 8 8:30 PM (Branagh sucks for ditching Emma Thompson, but I like Opera, and I like historical romances, so there you have it)

Saturday September 16, 2006
The Banquet, Feng Xiaogang, 2006 VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) 12:00 PM (if I can’t see this on Friday, maybe I’ll see it Saturday?)
Love and Other Disasters, Alek Keshishian, 2006 RYERSON 12:15 PM (Ooh! Ooh! A hidden chick-flick lovers gem! Brittany Murphy and Matthew Rhys, but but BUT also DAWN FRENCH. And some Orlando Bloom, for those that like that sort of thing…)
Macbeth, Geoffrey Wright, 2006 ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM 7:45 PM (Shakespeare done in old language with new guns, Aussie-rules gangsta-style. Sounds promising, no?)

You see what I mean? DO YOU SEE?!?! I can’t be watching this many movies in one week. I’ll go batty. (More batty.)

5 thoughts on “Toronto International Film Stresstival

  1. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why I do this to myself. Every damn year.

    It seems I’ve bought into the idea that the film festival is almost totally inaccessible to those schmucks who don’t buy books of ticket coupons so that they can enjoy the “privilege” of participating in the absurdly rushed, incredibly stressful advance lottery process.

    Being one of the schmucks who has bought a book of thirty tickets intending them for use by myself and my group of friends (to save them the pain of rush ticketing while increasing my own pain) every year for the past five or six years, I think I can honestly say that no matter how frustrating and costly it might be to attempt to buy same-day or rush tickets for a movie you know might be sold out, it can’t be much worse than this.

    Solution: next year, either cap myself to five movies with a friend by buying ten advance coupons all for my own use, or just go with the flow and buy them online after the advance lottery closes.

    Time to simplify my festival life.

  2. These all sound great! (I know some will be and some won’t be, but seriously, good picks!)

    And eeee, Sean Biggerstaff!!


  3. Aha! I knew you would ask about that… have you bought tickets? Do you even know there is one (because there is – it’s called “Unnatural & Accidental”)

    Producer: Carl Bessai, Jason James
    Screenplay: Marie Clements, based upon her play “The Unnatural and Accidental Women”
    Cinematographer: Carl Bessai
    Editor: Julian Clarke
    Production Designer: Thom Ward
    Sound: Miguel Nunes
    Music: Clinton Shorter
    Principal Cast: Carmen Moore, Callum Keith Rennie, Tantoo Cardinal

    In Canada, the relationship between our Aboriginal communities and our cities has always been characterized by a kind of malign neglect at all levels of government. Separated from their communities, many Aboriginal men and women live on the fringes, exiles in their own land, and as a result have fallen prey to the most unsavoury aspects of society. This problem is especially acute for Aboriginal women, and nowhere is the problem more evident or more wilfully ignored than in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside, an area dominated by the drug and sex trades. The dire extent of the problem became glaringly evident several years ago when news of a serial killer who had murdered dozens of Vancouver prostitutes over the course of many years made international headlines. Many of his victims were Aboriginal women and, despite complaints from families and friends, the city’s police department had done little to investigate their disappearances.

    This catastrophic situation is the subject of Carl Bessai’s dark and courageous Unnatural & Accidental, based on a play by celebrated Métis playwright Marie Clements. The film begins with thirty-something Rebecca (Carmen Moore) being told by her dying father that her mother, Rita (Tantoo Cardinal), is still alive and living on the Eastside. She sets out to find her mother, unaware that Norman (Callum Keith Rennie), a psychopathic killer, is preying on Aboriginal women.

    Unnatural & Accidental is far more than a thriller or a social-issues film; its reach and significance exceed the traditionally limited confines of those genres. Shot in a hallucinatory style – in which reality, memory and fantasy merge and characters assume iconographic, emblematic status – the film captures the miasmic, tortured reality of women who are caught in a version of hell, one that’s seemingly allowed to flourish with little or no significant action by the authorities. The chillingly appropriate title comes from the phrase used to explain away the women who die under these or similar circumstances – a phrase that suggests both foul play and fate while avoiding any sense of responsibility.

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