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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

September 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Too many movies, too little time: Here comes TIFF

It happens every year: Labor Day weekend approaches, the movie business seems to shut down for the holiday, and I’m frantically untangling the complete mess that is my Toronto International Film Festival schedule. I’ve been going to TIFF since 2000, and every year it’s a thrill — a chance to sample some of the upcoming season’s best movies, and chat with a few of their directors, writers and stars. Movies start screening first thing in the morning — I remember seeing “Sideways” there at seemingly the crack of dawn; an odd time for such a wine-soaked movie — and go until late at night. It’s exhausting, and it’s a kick.
So, today and Tuesday (I fly out Wednesday morning), I’m figuring out if and when I can talk to novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, whose work I love (he’s in Toronto for “Never Let Me Go,” based on his novel), what time I can possibly be squeezed in to talk to Colin Firth about “The King’s Speech” (in which he plays England’s King George VI), noting on my schedule to not forget to pick up a ticket for a late screening of Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” excitingly imagining Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” (I have a thing for ballet movies), anticipating a chat with documentarian Errol Morris about his latest film “Tabloid,” deliciously picturing Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier as scheming colleagues in “Love Crime,” and wondering how early to get in line for the world premiere of Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter.” And I’m remember some great Toronto moments from past years: seeing Frederick Wiseman’s sublime “La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet” last year, in an inexplicably near-empty theater; talking with the exceptionally friendly and thoughtful Jodie Foster for “The Brave One”; discussing Wilkie Collins with Nick Hornby last year; revelling in Pedro Almodovar’s gorgeous “Volver”; eavesdropping while waiting in line last year and hearing someone regret having missed “I Dodged Your Vomit,” which remains my favorite made-up movie title. (I misheard; he said “I, Don Giovanni.”)
Peter Howell, at the Toronto Star, has posted his annual “Chasing the Buzz” survey of what to watch in Toronto: At the top are Werner Herzog’s 3D cave documentary “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (which, alas, I think I’m going to miss, as it screens after I leave Tuesday afternoon) and “Black Swan”; also getting strong mention are Julian Schnabel’s “Miral,” Charles Ferguson’s high-finance doc “Inside Job” (I”ve seen it; it’s scary as hell), the Canadian rock-musician-sisters drama “Trigger,” and “Never Let Me Go.” I hope some of you will enjoy following the festival with me starting next Wednesday; I’ll be catching as many of these movies as possible. In the meantime, have a glorious long weekend, and we’ll talk “Mad Men,” belatedly, on Tuesday.

Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield in “Never Let Me Go.” (Photo by Alex Bailey; courtesy of Fox Searchlight)

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