Seems like it was just yesterday I was writing about how busy the month of April was going to be for me. And here we are. April’s just about over. Amazing. It has been a fully-packed month, both work wise and socially.
And “no”, I’m not complaining. It’s been terrific. I was sure, as I looked ahead, I’d be exhausted. But I’m not. I’ve had blogs and ads to write for clients, an event to plan, videos to shoot and, of course, my own writing to work on. There’ve been brunches, lunches, dinners, coffees and drinks. And a couple of nights out at the theatre.
Hot Docs (Canadian international documentary festival) starts tonight and lasts until May 5. A friend and I are seeing ten (culled from a choice of 205). So the month will end on as busy a note as it began.
Anyone who knows me well, will be surprised I’m seeing so few films. I always bought the fifty-movie pass for TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), which meant I was seeing five or six movies every day for ten days. Most people I told thought I was nuts. They never believed I’d remember what I’d seen.
I did, though. To this day.
So for me, ten is like a little blip. But honestly, I’m completely satisfied. When I looked at my tickets this morning and realized I have tickets for most days, it seemed like a lot. I don’t think I have the stamina for five movies a day any more.
We are going to one movie on Friday. One on Saturday. One on Sunday. Two on Monday, one at 7 pm and the next at 9:15. I screwed up, actually, when I put our schedule together. I thought they were showing at the same venue. They are not. We will have to hightail it out of one theatre and take a cab to the next. All part of the fun.
Tuesday we see two again, at 6:30 and 9:15. But they are at the same theatre and we will have time for some dinner in between. It will still be a long and busy day for me. It’s my volunteer day at the hospital and I start at 8:00 a.m. I usually work until 6:00 but I will have to leave a bit earlier. Around 5:30. We’re back to one movie again on Wednesday. Then we’re taking a rest on Thursday and Friday. And have one movie on both Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a good schedule. Easy to handle. Nothing early in the morning. The earliest start we have is 1:00 p.m. Very civilized, indeed.
For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary film festival. It’s held each year here, in Toronto. It was started in 1993 by the Canadian Independent Film Caucus, now the Documentary Organization of Canada. Last year attendance hit an all-time high of 165,000 people. There were a total of 189 films, from 54 countries.
This is a serious festival.
Our first film, “Ballerina”, is from the International Spectrum program and this is the international premiere. It’s from Denmark; and, according to the write-up, the film was inspired by the life and career of the world-famous Swedish ballerina, Elsa Marianne von Rosen. No, I’d never heard of her, that’s not why I chose it. Apparently what this film reveals “is the delicate balancing act between consuming human love and an all-encompassing artistic passion.”
A topic I can relate to. Hence, why it made the cut. Whether or not we like it in the end remains to be seen. It’s always a crap shoot. It’s one of the reasons I love film festivals. You just never know.
Usually I pick well. In all my TIFF years I saw very few lemons. Some years I loved everything. Some years out of fifty, maybe there were one or two dogs. Bad enough to walk out. But two out of fifty. Pretty damn good, I’d say.
Can’t promise I’ll blog about all the documentaries, but I’m sure I’ll write about some of them.
In case you’re wondering, I will not be pigging out on popcorn. Over the years I’ve lost my taste for it. With the number of movies I see, it’s no wonder. During TIFF you can bring any food you want into the theatres. You wouldn’t believe the stuff folks show up with. Not at Hot Docs, though.
Guess I’ll have to make do with my old standby. Twizzlers. (yawn).
Can’t wait for the reviews!
Thanks. I’ll do my best to write at least some of them up.
Hot Docs … I’m green with envy. I’m totally out of it this year … chained to the comp catching up on a serious backlog. Let’s make a coffee date for after the festival so I can get a firsthand report. Does that work for you?
Yes, absolutely. That would be great.
Vancouver’s Documentary Film Festival “DOXA” runs from May 3-12. I saw 17 last year. Wonderful, but way too many. This year I have tickets for 10.
At TIFF I used to see 50 in 10 days. Doubt I could handle that now.