Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Waiting 127 hours for “127 hours” in Toronto


So it wasn’t exactly 127 hours of waiting, but Saturday was not the smoothest day for the 35th Annual Toronto International Film Festival, if the screening delays and theater changes were anything to go by.

Hard-core festival goers are used to planning their days with military precision from 9am until the wee hours of the morning.

For the media, Saturday’s hiccups meant hours of waiting, in-person apologies from festival co-director Cameron Bailey, canceled and postponed interviews, missed screenings and other appointments.

2:25pm. Showing up 20 minutes early for a press screening for director Danny Boyle’s much anticipated “127 Hours” means being relegated near the back of the line. This isn’t a public screening, so who knew the crowd would be bigger than opening night for the “Dark Knight”? (Or so it seemed.)

Truth or fiction?

Tiff-truthorfictionSometimes that line between truth and fiction is so blurry it’s hard to tell it’s there. First there was the JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, who stormed off his job (and left down the emergency chute) after an altercation with a grumpy passenger — a true story so odd that it almost had to be fiction.

And now there’s movie flight attendant who storms off her job (and leaves down the emergency stairs) after an altercation with the demons in her own mind — a fictional movie story so odd that it almost had to be based on Steven Slater’s true story.

Sarah McLachlan, Sarah Ferguson lend voices to AIDS benefit at TIFF


amfar(Reporting and writing by Jennifer Kwan)

There’s something about Sarahs.

Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan used her star power to help draw more than 350 people to a charity event on Tuesday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, crooning her songs Adia, World on Fire and Angel.

And Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, teased from the crowd an astounding C$150,000 bid for a one-week, group ski trip at a fancy private chalet, complete with lessons from ski pro Manu Gaidet.

Michael Douglas, no”Solitary Man,” says family is top priority



(Reporting by Frank McGurty)

Michael Douglas has done just about all one can do in Hollywood. He grew up a member of show business royalty as the son of legendary Kirk Douglas. He won an Oscar for best movie by producing ”One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and another one for best actor with “Wall Street.” He’s been in big blockbusters like “The American President” and little, independent movies such as “Solitary Man,” which played here at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

So, it’s little wonder that when asked by reporters at TIFF how he balances making movies and being a father Douglas, 64, who is currently married to Catherine Zeta-Jones with whom he has two young children, said he doesn’t anymore – so much.

It’s hard being a vampire in a recession — especially at TIFF



(reporting and writing by Cameron French)

Tough economic times appear to have hit the Toronto Intertnational Film Festival (TIFF) right where it hurts — in the liver.

At a premiere party for the rock ‘n roll themed vampire flick “Suck” late Friday night, attendees were surprised to to find that organizers did not provide an open bar. Rather, they doled out two drink tickets per person. It’s got to be hard for a vampire to live on only two Bloody Marys?

Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly share a love of — applying makeup


bettanyWhat’s that old saying? The couple that plays together, stays together?

Well, when it comes to actors Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly, who are married in real life and play Mr. and Mrs. Charles Darwin in the new movie “Creation,” it could very well be the couple that plays together, stays together AND does their makeup together!

On the red carpet at the opening night gala for the Toronto International Film Festival, Connelly was asked about working with her husband on the set of “Creation” and, of course, she lavished praised on Bettany and his performance as the evolutionist whose seminal work, “The Origin of Species,” espoused theories of evolution and natural selection.

Rose McGowan and the IRA: what does she know?


It’s one thing to be a movie actress portraying a character in a secretive anti-government group, but it’s a far different to be a person in real life battling a government every day. In movies, guns fire blanks; in real life, they shoot bullets.

So, when actress Rose McGowan told reporters at a Toronto film festival press conference for her new movie ”Fifty Dead Men Walking” that if she had lived through Northern Ireland’s ”Troubles,” she would have joined the Irish Republican Army, she almost immediately drew a protest from the very man upon whose life the film is based.

For LeBron James, Toronto festival is “More Than a Game”


rtr21nfu.jpgBefore he became King James of the basketball court, he was a boy from the ‘hood who grew up under the media spotlight from the time Sports Illustrated crowned him “The Chosen One”.

The story of LeBron James and the storied state championship team he lead at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s high school is well-documented, but what isn’t as well known is the story of friendship and loyalty among the boys he played with. They happened to be pretty good at basketball, too.

Toronto talks Oscar, but do movie fans listen?


hathaway.jpgA lot of buzz at the Toronto film festival inevitably is about which movies may compete for Oscars as Hollywood begins its months-long campaign for film honors that often — although not always — bring stars fame and movie studios money.

Taken together with film festivals in Venice and Telluride, Colorado, which annually occur in late August and early September, the Toronto event is a key Oscar campaign launch site. But sometimes the movies suffer a critical backlash if they are too widely hyped. Other times critics jump on a movie’s bandwagon and propel the film forward.