Fresh from the Toronto Film Festival

September 15, 2014 No Comments


The TIFF screens are darkened in Toronto.

The past two weeks allowed nearly 400,00 fortunate cinephiles to view over 300 films and then bask in the glow of Q and A sessions with the directors and casts.  It is an amazing experience set in a city that takes pride in celebrating movies:  thousands of orange-shirted volunteers direct crowds and answer questions with a pleasant patience that takes the sting out of waiting in lines.  Director Ivan Reitman’s funding for the magnificent TIFF Lightbox (combination of film museum, theaters, restaurants open year round) provides an additional way for attendees to embrace the movies.

My own trip this year (my 5th festival) was once again arranged by the Detroit Film Theater and Elliot Wilhelm.  The thirty intrepid Friends of the DFT arrived (most of us by train), with six films already in hand, plans to add additional “must see” movies and the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a film world usually reserved for those in the industry.    This is a serious festival, where films are screened for the purpose of seeking distribution.  It is sadly true that some of the best films of the festival (like the Bulgarian “The Lesson”) may NEVER find a buyer, making the Toronto experience even richer.

This year’s selections seemed a bit co-opted by Hollywood movies, which may have made the red carpet walks brighter at the expense of  innovation.  Still, there was opportunity to screen Jean Luc Goddard’s “Death of Language 3D”, and Joshua Oppenhiemer’s sequel to the incomparable ‘Act of Killing’.    There was big buzz about  the Swedish film “Force Majeure” which is also likely to play in our area.

Were you in Toronto?  What were your favorite moments?  Please share your experiences!

See you at TIFF






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