Select Page

Day 5. I woke up shockingly early to go downstairs and pile a plate full of bacon and scrambled eggs, which I promptly brought back up to the hotel room to enjoy with Colin before we both head out, bleary eyed, into the bright and sunny Toronto day, to kick off our Monday with a 10:30 meeting. It was Colin’s meeting, but I was happy for the chance to attend, listen, learn, contribute, all that jazz. How else is a girl who’s quitting her job to get further ahead in the film industry supposed to learn stuff, if not by being invited to tag along to her fiancee’s super-interesting business meetings?

After the meeting, I raced at quite the break-neck speed to the Scotiabank to see Afghan Luke , one of my work-related assignments. I liked the film, but also became starkly aware of how different my filters are when I’m considering a film for REEL CANADA as opposed to just watching it for my own enjoyment. Afghan Luke scored very high on the “not too much questionable content and a story compelling enough to hold teens’ attention” meter, which I was happy about, because most of the Canadian fare I’ve seen this year has been way too mature for actual high-schoolers.

After Afghan Luke , I lined up for Alps , the latest from Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos. You can read my review on the site, but honestly, it’s impossible to say anything about the film without risking spoiling it, so I’ll just say this: I don’t think Dogtooth fans will be disappointed in the least.

After the brilliant and un-toppable Alps , I raced over to the Drake Underground to enjoy the Midnight Madness cocktail (or seven) and make some new friends. I spend my time glancing awkwardly at the handsome star of Sleepless Night across the bar, while actually chatting with a friend of mine about the very good indie film he’s recently directed.

Lots of drinks and many delicious snacks later, I find myself going to a second party, the annual TIFF film blogger meet-up that our friends at Toronto Screen Shots organize. I spend some time chatting with a new friend about dudes in boarding school who carry grenades (in my drunk brain, that makes them like mini versions of Martin Donovan in Hal Hartley’s Trust , and therefore exceptionally dreamy). In other words, by this point, I’m already off the rails and not a lot is making sense. Time to go to a third party!

The party for Bunohan (a Malaysian film in the Discovery program) is at a Malaysian restaurant, where the food is delicious and I just get drunker and drunker. I ran into an Australian woman who had, last year, recommended an Aussie film I quite enjoyed at TIFF, called Jucy . She didn’t remember me, but I think it’s because she was the one who was really drunk last time, so now we’re even. At some point, I’m pretty sure I inappropriately dipped a finger into someone’s discarded soup in front of the producer’s wife, who seemed only mildly horrified.

Time to check myself (out of the party circuit) before I wreck myself (in front of not only my colleagues, but even more importantly, Colin’s), and head back into the sobering world of Canadian cinema. Except, of course, for the fact that I was seeing the dreamy, hallucinatory   Café de Flore. I enjoyed the film, but it felt more like a weird dream I had than a movie. This was immediately followed by a speedy walk to a hot dog cart, followed by an even speedier walk to the hotel, where I texted Colin to say I was a “bad queen of Midnight” before falling asleep for a solid ten hours.

At some point in the hubbub of this past week, I received the two items that are sure to be my absolute favourite TIFF 2011 mementos (pictured above):

1) One of the masks from You’re Next , so that I can be creepy in the privacy of my own home, forever!

2) A limited edition vinyl teaser for the soon-to-be-released Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best soundtrack. This incredibly charming American indie totally won me over (see review, elsewhere on this site), and the first thing I said after the credits rolled was “these guys should record an album”. Luckily, the producers agreed, and their adorable original songs will, I guess, be coming out at some point. Meanwhile, my amazing friend, Darcy, snagged an extra copy of the 7″ for me.