Toronto International Film Festival

Okay, this is where the Toronto International Film Festival drives me nuts. They make the program guide and schedule available yesterday, and you have to pick all your films (10 each for Brooke and I, but up to 50 for some friends of ours) and drop off your schedule TOMORROW morning before 10am. Isn’t that nuts? And you rarely get all your choices, which leads to some frantic scenes of people crowding around a big board seeing if their third or fourth or fifth choice is sold out already. It’s barely controlled chaos, and every year I complain. But you know something? I love it.

This year is doubly interesting for several reasons. I work just north of Toronto, and it takes me about 75-90 minutes to get home, and then another 20 to get downtown. So I’d been thinking I’d be limited to films that started around 8 or later. But lo and behold, I’ve been called to report for jury duty the week of the festival, and the court is right downtown. Could be the greatest inconvenience ever. But, my dad is going on one of his semi-annual trips to Ireland, and I have to feed and water his two cats. He lives about 45 minutes from where I do. And he’s leaving the weekend before the film festival. I’m going to be running all over the city for that week. If I’m not as cheerful as usual in my updates, you’ll know why…

As part of the lead up to the festival, there have been a bunch of free screenings this week of the “People’s Choice” winners from the past twenty years. Last night, we saw Shine (1996). I originally saw it at the 1996 festival, and I loved it just as much the second time. Geoffrey Rush’s Oscar was well deserved. I always wondered if David Helfgott’s recording of Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Symphony was available. I mean the recording when he was a student at the Royal College of Music, the one where he collapses after finishing his performance. Does anyone know? One cool thing was that the real David Helfgott plays about half the music on the soundtrack. It’s such a great story.