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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira:

September 15, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Back home, as TIFF goes on

Back at P & P Headquarters this morning (i.e. a messy Seattle Times desk with a lot of empty Diet Coke cans and a Johnny-Depp-as-Sweeney-Todd poster), and the entire Toronto experience feels like a blur — an overheated five-and-a-half hour evening flight can do that to you. I’m please to report, though, that I never once succumbed to the Burger King fries-with-gravy at the Scotiabank multiplex during my TIFF stay, though I did once, in a weak moment, have the chocolate gelato from the cart next to the Burger King and it was delicious. (Yes, this multiplex had a gelato cart. And a pizza counter, and a wine bar, and I bet I could have found a steak in there if I looked hard enough.)
TIFF continues through Saturday, and so far it’s been a quiet festival in terms of dealmaking. Over the weekend, The Weinstein Company picked up the teen road movie “Dirty Girl,” starring Juno Temple, and IFC picked up the superhero satire “SUPER,” which features Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page as superhero Crimson Bolt and his sidekick, Boltie. News comes this morning that Sony Pictures has picked up the horror flick “Insidious,” directed by James Wan (the man responsible for the “Saw” series), and that the Weinsteins have picked up “Submarine,” described in the TIFF program guide as “the Welsh ‘Rushmore,'” which sounds quite promising indeed. reports this morning that Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate are finalizing a deal for Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator,” in which the movie would sit out this year’s Oscars and be released in the spring. I’d imagine that John Cameron Mitchell’s very Oscar-friendly “Rabbit Hole” might be close to a deal, but no news yet.
I’ve been asked by a few people now, both on this blog and on email, whether TIFF is worth attending as a vacation trip for movie-loving nonjournalists, and whether it’s difficult to get tickets. My take: yes, I think it’d be a blast. This year I went to more public screenings than I usually do — four, for “The King’s Speech,” “127 Hours,” “Hereafter,” and “Another Year” — and really enjoyed chatting with the people near me in line and in the theater, who were as a rule much more cheery than the press/industry types. (I even met a lady named Moira, which rarely happens outside of the British Isles.) Most did not seem to have a special connection to the festival, and had bought their tickets online when they first went on sale. All of them said that it can be difficult to get tickets to the very biggest films, but persistence pays off. TIFF is different from SIFF in that, far as I can tell, there are no passholders — all screenings seem to be individual tickets only (except for press and industry screenings, which are not open to the public). You can buy packages of tickets, and I believe that making a donation to the festival gets you priority in ticket-buying, but TIFF tickets do seem to be well within reach for all — and the good seats are available to anyone with a ticket who lines up early. If anyone else is curious about TIFF ticketing, their FAQ is here.
Back to my regularly scheduled work, as two TIFF movies (“The Town” and “Easy A”) open here Friday and reviews must be written. Nice to be home, though.



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