The Reel Deal Goes to the Toronto Film Festival!!! Day 1

September 7, 2012 No Comments

The train has landed, the sun is shining and the movies are rolling in Toronto!!!  The Detroit Film Theatre has once again organized an epic experience in this premiere film world.  The festival is organized well, but there are lines (not the kind to learn, but the ones to stand in) to be had everywhere.  The group is staying at the Hilton, which is centrally located for most of the theatres, the TIFF ticket office (where we buy and exchange tickets) and the Bell Lightbox (an amazing venue for screening and learning).  Movies here are often screened with the directors and various cast members present and the two films I saw today were no exception:  “After the Battle” is an Egyptian film directed by Yousry Nasrallah (who introduced his film) which captures the turmoil in Egypt following the events of last year.  It is a documentary-like attempt to share the tenuous future awaiting those thrown into uncertainty.  “Simple” people who want “simple” things–safety and security–for themselves and their children.  Films like these are important reminders for the rest of the world who has already moved on to the next hot topic.  “After the Battle” is the kind of film that may not receive wide distribution outside the festival circuit, so keep an eye out for it.

The second film was the gala presentation of Jacques Audiard’s intense “Rust and Bone.”  Seeing Marion Cotillard on the red carpet added even more elegance to the Elgin Theatre!  The movie is not easy to watch (Audiard won the Palme d’or at Cannes for “A Prophet”), and I am still processing my feelings about it which starkly follows broken people (most of the bones in the title seem to be broken) dealing with loss and confusion with rage and rage.  Children and animals are the innocent targets much of the time and nervous audience laughter doesn’t really qualify as comic relief.

Day 2 will begin with “Breakfast with Elliot” and we will have a chance to digest the experience so far.  Maybe a trip back to the box office to see if any films have been “released” for sale or perhaps just stay with the three already programmed.   And some time for non-popcorn food would be good!  Happy Movies!!!!!    Jolyn Wagner

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