It's Sunday night, I'm bleary-eyed, and I'm waiting for the mid-TIFF energy to kick in. It might seem strange, but I always find the beginning of a festival more exhausting than the end. Having a day pass, I have the bonus of seeing the films with the eager, excited TIFF filmgoers, but I also have to schedule all my screenings before 5 P.M. This means a lot of early mornings and long lines for coffee. It also means that the first few days consist of me sleepily stumbling around, hoping that my films are engaging enough to keep me awake. Luckily enough, this year's festival is an amazing collection of solid, fun, and powerful films.

I started things off early on Friday, but I really crowned my festival experience with the premiere of My Winnipeg, Guy Maddin's surreal docu-fantasy about the cold city in Manitoba. This is looking to be my lone evening screening for the fest, and it took place in Toronto's unique Winter Garden Theatre -- the perfect place to watch some Maddin. See, this is a theater on top of the Elgin, where lots of the big films screen. That's right, here in Toronto you get multi-level, ornate theaters. You go up flight upon flight to enter a garden world -- complete with faux ivy, trees, and trellises. A premiere Guy screening also means seeing faces of Canadian film nestled in the cozy prime seats in the middle of the theatre. Actor/director Don McKellar was there with Monkey Warfare co-stars Tracy Wright and Nadia Litz. (James Rocchi reviewed the flick during last year's festival.)
categories Cinematical