Monday, September 06, 2010

Countdown to TIFF: 2008 in Review

TIFF 2008

After taking a break from TIFF in 2007, due to circumstances beyond my control, I made my triumphant return in 2008 with a strong selection of films. Many people question how come the Oscar winning film The Hurt Locker did not make my best of the year list for 2009. The truth is that I originally saw The Hurt Locker back in 2008 and, while I did enjoy it, there were so many other films that stood out at TIFF that year. So I never fell in love with Locker way others did.

Total Number of Films Watched: 32

My Top 5:

The Wrestler
More Than A Game
Slumdog Millionaire
Witch Hunt

Honourable Mention: The Hurt Locker, JCVD, Pontypool, The Brothers Bloom, Treeless Mountain, A Film with Me In It, Ashes of Time Redux, Lost Song, Fifty Dead Men Walking

The Disappointments: The Sky Crawler, Edison & Leo, Dead Girl, Last Stop 174, A Year Ago in Winter, What Doesn’t Kill You

The Whale Riders (aka. I regret passing on these films): Wendy and Lucy, It Might Get Loud, Medicine for Melancholy, Hunger, I’ve Loved You So Long, Waltz with Bashir

Memorable Moment: Being in the last box and still getting 90% of my first choices. For those who have never experienced TIFF before there are a number of ways you can get tickets. Individual tickets are sold on the TIFF website as well as box offices downtown. TIFF also offers various packages that are designed to please a diverse range of filmgoers. To give everyone who purchases a package a fair shot at tickets to the films they really want to see, TIFF incorporates a lottery system policy in which all the submitted ticket requests are place in boxes based on when they are handed in. At the end of the selection week a box number (e.g. Box 17 out of 49) is picked at random and that is considered the starting box. The TIFF staff works their way around the numerous boxes, assigning the request tickets base on availablity, until they get back to the starting box. Obviously everyone hopes that there box is the first one picked; or at least near the first box to guarantee that the get all of their first choices. In 2008, after years of avoiding it, I ended up in the last box of the selection pool. I was sure that I would have to reselect the majority of films, as many other festival goers have had to do in the past. Yet it turned out that I received tickets for pretty much everything I wanted to see. The only ones I did not get tickets for were a few of the big budget film, such as Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno, that were not “must sees” to begin with.

Random Star Sightings: Kathryn Bigelow, Jeremy Renner, Guy Ritchie, Colin Firth, Catherine Keener, Dev Patel, Frida Pinto, Danny Boyle, Lebron James, Darren Aronofsky, Wong Kai Wai, Bruce McDonald

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