1999 Toronto International Film Festival

Forward The Film Festival

If it's September, it must be the Toronto Film Festival. Here are my journal entries from this year's do. For a change, I think I'll start out with the Q&A session I had when I resurfaced after 10 days of watching movies. You can play along if you like; just read the "Q" lines out loud, then read the "A" lines silently to yourself (alternatively, imagine that Jeremy Irons is speaking them):

Q: Was it a good year overall?
A: I think so. I'm glad I went.

Q: So how many films did you see?
A: 41 in all, but I walked out on 3. And one was a program of short films.

Q: Did you see any good films?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you stay in Toronto, or did you drive back to Waterloo every night?
A: Drive back to Waterloo? Are you crazy? I wouldn't get home until 1:30 in the morning! And then I'd have to leave six hours later.

Q: Did you see anyone famous?
A: I saw Stephen Rea.

Q: Who's Stephen Rea?
A: "The Crying Game"? He played the lead? Irish actor? Always looks sad? [Most people still just shake their heads in non-recognition. I try to pick someone with a higher profile.]

A: I saw Forest Whitaker
Q: Who's Forest Whitaker?
A: "The Crying Game"? [More mystified looks. Why do I even bother. Let's try this again:]

Q: Did you see anyone famous?
A: Sure! Arsinée Khanjian, Don McKellar, Sarah Polley, Stephen Rea, Katherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker, Atom Egoyan, Jim Jarmusch, Léa Pool. A friend saw Robin Williams on the street (Bloor?) and said that in his wake he left a trail of people all asking each other "Was that Robin Williams?"

Q: Is your butt sore?
A: Yes.

Q: 41 films, eh? That must have left you...
A: Stupid? Yes.

I'm always at odds with how to organize my thoughts about the films without flooding you with useless information. You can graze the entire journal (which includes thoughts about things other than the films), or you can work your way through the list of films, or one of the "Top 10" lists.

The usual disclaimer: These are my journal notes. They're not particularly good film reviews, and I don't often make a point of being very objective. Q&A sessions are recorded as faithfully as I could, but are probably not exact quotations. I note whereever I have extensively paraphrased. You want better accuracy? Buy me a tape recorder. And while you're at it, could you get me a coffee? There's a good chap.

The Days

Day 1: Thursday, September 9
Day 2: Friday, September 10
Day 3: Saturday, September 11
Day 4: Sunday, September 12
Day 5: Monday, September 13
Day 6: Tuesday, September 14
Day 7: Wednesday, September 15
Day 8: Thursday, September 16
Day 9: Friday, September 17
Day 10: Saturday, September 18

The Top 10 Films

1999 Madeline
Away With Words
The Cup
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Human Traffic
Une Liason Pornographique
Me Myself I
Spring Forward

The Worst/Most Disappointing 9 Films

Les Amants Criminels
The Emperor And The Assassin
A Girl Is A Girl
Kill By Inches
One Piece!
Pas de Scandale
Tempting Heart

The Interludes

(Sept 9) Rachel Griffiths
(Sept 11) The Giver Should Be Grateful
(Sept 13) Dealmaking At Starbucks
(Sept 13) Sucking Back A Shake At Greg's
(Sept 15) Smoking, Sleeping, Cleaning
(Sept 17) "Dogma", Dogme, Dogma
(Sept 17) Wordplay
(Sept 17) Indigo Café
(Sept 18) Philosopher's Walk

All The Films

17 Years
1999 Madeline
8½ Women
Les Amants Criminels
Away With Words
Babette's Feet
Bajo California -- El límite del tiempo
Barren Illusion
Le Bleu Des Villes
The Carriers Are Waiting
The Color of Heaven
Les Convoyeurs Attendent
Crazy English
The Cup
La Donna Lupo
Don't Think Twice
The Emperor And The Assassin
Les Enfants Du Siècle
Eve Meets Feliz
The Excitement Of The Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl
A Girl Is A Girl
The Girl Of Your Dreams
Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai
Human Traffic
Janice Beard: 45 WPM
Just Watch Me: Trudeau And The 70's Generation
Kill By Inches
Une Liason Pornographique
The Life Before This
Me Myself I
One Piece!
Pas De Scandale
Second Date
Simon The Magician
Spring Forward
Tempting Heart
Wedding Knives
Yojimbo The Bodyguard

The Front Page

The First Day