Thursday, September 14, 2006

Toronto Film Festival Farfy Foo-Foo

The TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) seriously takes over this city. I think it was Ebert (but don't quote me) that said that Torontonians are cineastes the way the Milanese are opera fans. Superficial and pretentious, yes, but it's hard to dispute when you see 73 year old WASP nerd-women lining up at 9AM, Ziploc bag of trail mix in osteoperosified hand, to see a documentary about Nigerian lesbian mimes- which will be followed by at least 4 more films that day alone. Yes, there are some certain film fest types that are very obvious and they are all amusing...

The best thing is that the aforementioned WASP granny can do her thing while teenage girls, office worker and star-fucker homos sit at "celeb" bars alone and desperate in the hope of maybe glimpsing Brad Pitt's batty-crease. A film-geek will have a heart attack laughing at very average jokes during a screening because he knows the director's in the crowd and it makes him feel connected to art and he hopes the director will notice and become his pen-pal. A middle-aged Greek tiropita folder that is culturally illiterate will see the one Greek film programmed and declare it to be the best film in the history of cinema even though she leaves the screening confused, emotionless and tired.

There are also the indie kids that have shaggy hair and bury their internal tears in tedious layers of "clever" irony and recycled wit, then further embarass themselves with pseudo-intellectual analyses of mediocre Danish films that they assume are fantastic because they are obscure and foreign. Self-satisfied yuppies go to watch documentaries about poor peeps and feel that it makes a difference while they fart into their Starbucks cup. A suburban housewife will go to see a gala screening of a Hollywood blockbuster that will be in wide-release within days only to experience a modicum of glamour and to escape the smell of her hubby's cock. Then there is me who goes to see films based largely on the amount of screen time given to penises and bums.

You get the drift.

There are, however, around 250,000 people that will attend the festival and the vast majority of them go to see a movie without a neurotic reason. It really is an exciting time in the city, which may make us seem like millions of nerds but I like to think that it demonstrates a place that is open and curious and interested in "the other". In fact, the fact that this event has become so successful and so prominent is totally fitting for the T-Dot... it isn't a hedonistic or glamorous city, but it is the insecure voyeur in the corner jerking off and who also happens to have a disco bathhouse in the basement, full of really cool people. It is also an almost obnoxiously diverse place that somehow smooths differences over, sometimes to the dismay of those who thrive on dogma and division. We've got Hollywood and Tehraniwood humping here and instead of nuclear explosions you get a Diet Coke and a falafel. You could even throw them in a blender and I'm sure it would tasty to someone.

I saw a really good film called Chacun sa nuit, but I'll post about that later.


At 9:17 PM, Blogger PDD said...

This post is on the top ten! I am printing it out and will be giving it to my boss, whom I know for certain will appreciate.

I love this post. You have no idea how much I love this post.

And it's so very true!

At 12:49 PM, Blogger WhipSlyme said...

Marvellous, mate!

Looking forward to hearing about Chacun Sa Nuit.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger marty-loo said...

That's really accurate. I didn't hear anyone trying to deconstruct the Borat movie after the screening, but I was expecting it.

(I may have heard someone fart in a Starbucks cup and then proclaim "I make stinky sound for you. You like? Great success!")

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Toby said...

Right on


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