This is so exciting. My first ever TIFF experience the way it should be. Though I have seen plenty movies at TIFF in the last decade, never more than 2-3 a year. This year however, planets seem to have lined up just perfectly for me to jump-in with both feet in. The plan is to watch 23 Films at least (17 Confirmed + 4 Rush Tickets + 2 If I can get the tickets) in 11 Days!
TIFF is the only live-action festival that I have explored in-depth. Ottawa Animation Festival and Annecy are of course, all animation. Planning in advance to get choice screenings for Annecy seemed challenging until I entered the maze that is TIFF! Choose a package, the number of movies, limited booking windows, pick from 300 movies, schedule your 1st , 2nd , 3rd, 4th AND 5th choices, reserve ALL your tickets in a nail-biting 1 hour window while balancing what seem to be a million considerations, virtual waiting rooms, long line-ups and the list goes on. Am not complaining, it is fun for me, but I doubt a casual movie goer can sign up for this time-consuming and quite a cerebral (if you REALLY want to have an optimised festival experience) exercise .
So after all the drama and planning, I have ended up with the following list. Have purposely avoided some sought -after premiers of big releases like The Fifth Estate or 12 Years A Slave in the favour of smaller films because you know the latter will have distribution lined-up if not already. Some smaller movies like Blue Is The Warmest Colour were just impossible to schedule, unfortunately! These are what I could slot-in AND get tickets for.
Day 1: Sep 5, 2013
1. The Big Chill - SE (6:00 pm, Princess of Wales Theatre)- A supposed classic I have not yet seen. What better way to see it than on its 30th Anniversary with a Q&A with cast and crew...including Glenn Close! :)
2. The Past - SP North American Premiere (9:30 pm, Visa Screening Room)- Last year's Oscar winning director of A Separation, Asghar Farhadi's newest. Starring Bernice Bejo, the best thing about The Artist.
Day 2: Sep 6, 2013
3. Faith Connections - TDOCS World Premiere (1:45 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox)- I planned for this because I mistook the director to be Ron Fricke of Samsara (2011) and Baraka... but this looks promising none-the-less.
3. Tim's Vermeer - TDOCS World Premiere(1:30 pm, Scotiabank)- This is the one I originally wanted to see. Changed to Faith Connections because of the misunderstanding. Might move back to this if I can get tickets exchanged at the last minute. Looks extremely intriguing!
4. Horns - VAN World Premiere (6:00 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)- Looks like fun. Starring difficult-to-avoid Daniel Radcliffe, who has THREE movies at the festival!!
Day 3: Sep 7, 2013
5. The Railway Man - GALA World Premiere (11:00 am, Visa Screening Room)- "RUSH-ing" this!
One of the big movies could not resist watching. Don't want to miss the opportunity for a live Q&A with Nicole Kidman & Colin Firth !
6. Therese - SP World Premiere (3:30 pm, Princess of Wales Theatre)- A period, romantic thriller starring the awesome Jessica Lange (also attending the screening)
7. The Double - SP World Premiere (8:00 pm, Winter Garden Theatre)- An Dostoevsky update, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska (cast & crew Q&A)
Day 4: Sep 8, 2013
8. Dallas Buyer's Club - SP World Premiere (11:00 am, Visa Screening Room)- "RUSH-ing" this!
Great buzz, promising trailer and an awesome cast (also attending), Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto and the director of C.R.A.Z.Y
9. Visitors - SP World Premiere (6:00 pm, Visa Screening Room)- MOST pumped about this. Steven Soderbergh will introduce Godfrey Reggio's latest! The man behind the ground-breaking Koyaanisqatsi Trilogy. Cherry on the cake... the sixty-six member Toronto Symphony Orchestra will play the score by Philip Glass, LIVE!! Once in a lifetime experience.
Day 5: Sep 9, 2013
10. Devil's Knot- SP World Premiere (9:00 am, TIFF Bell Lightbox)- "RUSH-ing" this!
Never seen an Atom Egoyan film. This would be my first. Stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.
10. Philomena - SP North American Premiere (11:00am, Visa Screening Room)- "RUSH-ing" this! Though I am slightly more curious about Devil's Knot, might go for this Judie Dench film directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) just because it is in a larger theatre and hence a better chance of a successful RUSH ticket purchase :)
11. The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her - SP Work-In-Progress Premiere (2:00 pm, Visa Screening Room)- A love story from two point of views. Great cast of James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Viola Davis (all attending)!
12. August: Osage County - GALA World Premiere (6:30 pm, Roy Thomson Hall)- Fingers crossed for tickets for this! Red carpet with Meryl Streep & Juila Roberts. Enough said!
Day 6: Sep 10, 2013
13. Third Person- SP World Premiere (3:00 pm, Ryerson)- Paul Haggis's (Crash), newest multi-narrative piece. Great ensemble cast of Liam Neeson, Adrian Brody, James Franco, Mila Kunis etc (all attending)
14. Tom At The Farm - SP North American Premiere (6:15pm, Ryerson)- A French psychological thriller.
15. Stranger By The Lake - CWC North American Premiere (9:45 pm, Scotiabank)- Winner of best director (Un Certain Regard) at Cannes. Giving something from Contemporary World Cinema programme of TIFF a shot!
Day 7: Sep 11, 2013
16. Kill Your Darlings- GALA International Premiere (2:30pm, Visa Screening Room)- Daniel Radcliffe plays a young Allen Ginsberg.
17. The Wind Rises - SP North American Premiere (6:00pm, Visa Screening Room)- One of the highlights of the festival for me. Miyaziki's newest (yay!) and seemingly the last (sigh!). Just cannot wait!
18. Gravity - SP North American Premiere (9:00 pm, IMAX Scotiabank)- Fingers crossed for tickets for this! I was kicked to see this movie the day I heard about it. Alfonso Cuaron has yet to disappoint me. Did not want to see it at the festival as the wide release is just around the corner but since TIFF added an IMAX screening (the ONLY way to enjoy this movie), I am so so tempted!
Day 8: Sep 12, 2013
19. Attila Marcel- SP World Premiere (12:15 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)- Yet another gifted animation director makes his live-action feature film debut. Fan of Sylvain Chomet's work (The Triplets of Belleville, The Illusionist and Tour Eiffel short from Paris Je t'aime) and am pretty excited to see this!
Day 9: Sep 13, 2013
20. Prisoners- SP World Premiere (2:30pm, Visa Screening Room)- Definitely wanted to see this Hugh Jackman, Jake Gylenhall, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo starer, however not at TIFF as wide release is just around the corner. Ending up watching this as this is the only thing available AND scheduled AND on my short list on this day!
Day 10: Sep 14, 2013
21. Beyond The Edge - TDOCS World Premiere (9:00 am, Scotiabank)- A 3D documentary on the Norgay's expedition to Everest. Should be fascinating!
22. Can A Song Save Your Life?- SP World Premiere (12:00 pm, Ryerson)- Writer/Director of the wonderful Once, starring Keira Knightly & Mark Ruffalo.
23. Labour Day - SP World Premiere (6:00pm, Ryerson)- "RUSH-ing" this!
Directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air) and starring Kate Winslet. A no-brainer!
Day 11: Sep 15, 2013
Ran out of tickets for the last day! Still, might watch some left-overs which I could not make to earlier in the festival because of scheduling conflicts and non-availability of tickets.
24. Ida -SP World Premiere (9:00 am, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)- A interesting black & white film.
25. Fading Gigolo- SP World Premiere (12:45 pm, Scotiabank)- John Turturro writes, stars and directs Woody Allen, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara!! Very high on my list but just could not manage to get tickets for the right screening! A strong possibility.
26.Under The Skin - SP North American Premiere (3:00pm, Ryerson)- Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien seductress!
27.The World Of Goopi And Bagha - KIDS World Premiere (3:15pm, Scotiabank)- Hurray for Indian animation!! Looks gorgeous! :)
28. Enough Said - SP World Premiere (9:00pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox)- Rom-com with Julia Lois-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini.
Hope to keep updating blog with reviews...hope!
What are you watching? Happy festival!