The mind’s willing but the body isn’t …

Like my mother, I’m a film lover and have been since childhood. I was in my glory when I moved to Toronto and realized that, for 10 days every September, it was home to TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).

I’ve cancelled or delayed many a vacation in my time, but those 10 days were sacrosanct. I looked forward to the festival all year and I Continue reading

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A rather painful discovery

Last Saturday a friend and I went to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  We also signed sittingup for, and attended, an all-day symposium on the artist, his work, his influence (then and now) and his legacy.

Other than an hour of walking around studying his art early in the morning, we essentially sat in one place from 10:00 a.m. to almost 5:00 p.m.

Well, most people sat.  I fidgeted.

Not because I was bored, although the afternoon panel of speakers didn’t exactly enthral me (or anyone else, for that matter from what I observed).  Except for Thelma Golden, Director and  Continue reading

Day 270. At Ease …

Ahhhhh … it feels SO good.  A two-day break from movies.  A two-day break from trying to fit client work, my blog and HotDocs into sixteen or so hours.  It’s relaxingamazing how much time it all takes.  How much time it takes up.  How little time it leaves for ME.

I have to admit, I’ve been a bit stressed trying to get it all done.  It’s not like I’m crazy busy.  Writing a blog every day definitely does add pressure, but I love doing it.  My client work load is certainly manageable.  And I’ve only been seeing one, and occasionally two, docs a day.  So what’s the big deal?

Well, by the time the cats are dealt with, my blog’s posted and I’m showered, fed and dressed it’s late morning.  Until it’s time to leave for the theatre, I’m busy taking care of business.  When the films are in the evening, even early evening, it’s not bad.  But when they’re in the daytime, it really interrupts my day.  And ends up putting pressure on me.

When you’re going to regular movies during the year, you just have to get there before they start.  Even if you’ve got seconds to spare.  But with festivals you want to get there at least a half hour prior; and, if you’re particular  about where you sit (aisle seats, close or far away from the screen, etc.) you have to line up early.  An hour or Continue reading

Day 266. First Three

You remember I mentioned I’d be seeing ten films at this year’s HotDocs? Well, I’ve now seen three of them. “Ballerina”, “Anita” and “Tough Bond”. With the exception 3moviesof Anita, I can’t say I loved all of them. But I am happy I saw them.

Does that make any sense at all? Probably not. It does to me, though. Because there was something in all three I found worth seeing.

“Ballerina” was, perhaps, the biggest surprise. Why, I’m not exactly sure.

Maybe because I’ve seen several films on dance and dancers over the years, so now I have pre-conceived notions. And a couple of years ago at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) I saw “Pina”, an absolutely magnificent Wim Wenders documentary about Pina Bausch, a famous German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director.

Shot on 3D it has, for me, forever changed my expectations for this genre of film.

So maybe it just wasn’t ever going to be possible for me to love “Ballerina”. Maybe I was just unable to appreciate it, on its

Continue reading

Day 262. Movie Madness

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 projectorbeen 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. Continue reading

Day 243. The End

I’ve loved movies since I was a little girl.  I came by it honestly.  My mother loved them, too.  I grew up hearing her stories of how, every weekend, she paid a nickel tofilm see a movie and a show, when she was young.   A vaudeville act, a singer, a tap dancer, whatever.

Movies were her passion her entire life.  In fact we were planning to go to a movie the afternoon she fell, and broke her hip.  An event she never recovered from, unfortunately.  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear I could go to the movies every single day.

Which is why I can’t let the week go by without mentioning Roger Ebert.

In my opinion, he is as synonymous with the film industry as the 45-foot high Hollywood sign situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains, in Los Angeles.  In my opinion, he is as synonymous with the film industry as the actors, themselves.

A phenomenon I bore witness to, every year at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).  There he’d be, with his wife, holding hands as they walked from one theatre to the next.  And wouldn’t you know, amid the hundreds and hundreds of critics, reporters and journalists who were also there, he’s the one who always stood out.  He had as Continue reading

Day 54. Repeating Cycles

At the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), I saw a movie that was so visually stunning it literally took my breath away.  As I sat there, totally mesmerized, I had three thoughts:  One, I didn’t want the movie to ever end.  Two, I was so lucky to be seeing it, because I was sure it would never make it into a mainstream theatre.  Three, if I could have, I would have stayed right there, and watched it all over again.

For that matter, if I’d been told, right there and then, that I couldn’t see any of the other movies I had tickets for, I would have gone home more than happy.  That’s how sated I was.

Well it’s been a little over a year since that incredible evening and yesterday, in the Toronto Globe & Mail Arts Section, I read that Samsara will be playing in Toronto, beginning next Friday, October 5.

If you’re looking for me, that’s where I’ll be.  Maybe more than once, too.

Before I say another word about the film, here’s what Wikipedia says about what its name, Continue reading

Day 37. I Remember

Last evening when I finished volunteering at the hospital, I took a taxi home.  I don’t live that far away and usually take the subway, but I was tired and thought, “What the heck, I don’t feel like dealing with crowds tonight.”  No sooner was I in the car, then the driver started talking about 9/11, telling me where he’d been when he heard the news.  As it happens, he was at the license bureau, renewing his license; and then he said, “I’ll never forget where I was.”

And neither will I.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is always right after Labour Day.  I’m a real film fanatic and have been going for years (not this year, though).  And I’m one of the crazies — in 10 days, I’d see 50 films.  You do the math.  Anyway, I was in a movie.  It started at 8:30 a.m. and, because it was a ‘small’ movie made by a totally unknown director, it was showing in a small theatre, at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum).  I had four more movies to see that day; and a friend of mine was meeting me for the next one.

When the film was over I went outside and checked my voice mail.  Now that I think back, it is very strange that no one was talking about what had happened, when Continue reading