Entertainment behind the scenes
The Toronto International Film Festival closing ceremony has a refreshingly ego-free feel to it.
Unlike the glitzy, red carpet theater affairs of the Cannes or Venice film festivals, TIFF is non-competitive, so the stars don’t stick around after a gala world premiere screening of their film for splashy awards to be handed out.
Rather than declare a festival “winner”, much of the last day is all about supporting the Canadian up-and-comers over a friendly Sunday brunch of, yes, scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes.
If there’s one thing the (mostly local) media seems to do well at the Toronto International Film Festival, it’s pestering filmmakers and stars with questions about Canada, Toronto, and the festival.
Call it the Sally Field complex.
There have been some lovely and flattering comments, of course — this is a film festival, after all. But what happens when the media doesn’t get the answer they want? They’re nothing if not persistent. Undaunted. Like a dog with a bone.
By Jeffrey Hodgson
No one can accuse left-wing filmmakers Michael Moore and Ken Loach of abandoning their ideals as they joined the glitz and glamour of the Toronto International Film Festival, where Loach was promoting his Iraq war drama “Route Irish”.
Moore was briefly in town to interview Loach before an audience of fans. But even before the interview started, the “Fahrenheit 9/11″ director lamented the amount of corporate sponsorship at the festival. His event, sponsored by BlackBerry, took place in the festival’s snazzy new headquarters, which is sponsored by Canadian phone company Bell.
Forget the weighty films about serious subjects in gorgeous settings by award-winning directors that incorporate a healthy dash of subtitles. The Toronto International Film Festival is near-bursting with those.
What some festival goers live for every year are over-the-top films that celebrate the ridiculous, the shocking and the thrilling. Films like “The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman”.
Aussie native Ryan Kwanten is a long way away from his “True Blood” character, Jason Stackhouse, in the new Australian film, “Griff the Invisible”, which had its world premiere on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“Griff”, directed by Leon Ford (most recently seen in the miniseries, “The Pacific”, as 1st Lt. Edward ‘Hillbilly’ Jones), is not exactly your typical caped-crusader movie. Set in Australia, Griff (played by Kwanten) is a socially awkward and bullied office worker — a la Clark Kent. At night, he assumes his alter-ego to protect his neighborhood in Melbourne.
With the Toronto International Film Festival set to kick off on Thursday, organizers appear to have dodged a nasty subplot that could have turned the 11-day drama into a horror movie.
The trouble began last week after a Toronto woman woke up with itchy spots on her back after visiting the Scotiabank Theatre, where several festival movies will screen.