There wasn’t much in the way of sex in the offing at the party for ThinkFilm’s TIFF entry Young People Fucking at Toronto’s Club Wicked and once again I was reminded that I had missed the REAL fucking party two years ago. True, there were scantily clad women covered in cellophane and sushi, a couple of bored-looking pole dancers and a few of the club’s regulars walking around, but it was hardly a particularly erotic party and no one I know got even slightly moist. More’s the pity, because upstairs at Shlomo’s Penthouse, there was definitely the equipment for enjoying one’s self, including swings and cuffs, as demonstrated by the Sarasota Film Festival’s director of programming Tom Hall and the fest’s managing director Jen Weiss.
After the swing/cuffs alcove came the day beds with rubber sheets (ick!) the sweaty Jacuzzi area and the shower room. None of them, except maybe the Jacuzzi, prompted any thoughts of getting’ nekkid, although there were a few of us in the crowd (H.H., I’m talking to you) who are prone to disrobing at festival events. Alas, there are some rules to be followed that are definitely buzz kills.
But then again, does “Shlomo’s Penthouse” REALLY made you wanna strip down, oil up and start rubbin’? As an aside, how many films with “Fuck” in the title has Mark Urman released @ Think, anyway?
On the first night of the 2007 TIFF, a rather large group of indie film folks gathered at Toronto bistro Pastis for several hours of wine and quite delicious French food. A full pic of the gang can be found here, courtesy of indieWIRE’s Brian Brooks, but I have a few of my own. Following up on Brian’s post, the proprietor made sure that the wine was indeed flowing copiously, but seemed to be doing so sans bidding from the guests! Needless to say, the resulting bill resulted in cries of “Quelle horreur!”
NewFest topper Basil Tsiokos and SILVERDOCS director of programming Sky Sitney have a chat pre-dinner.
Continue reading TIFF 07: The Indie Crew Dines En Français
Directed by Jason Reitman
Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, JK Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Rainn Wilson with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner
While the tendency might be to lump Juno, the sophomore feature from director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking) and first-time writer Diablo Cody into the group (new genre?) of quirky comedies, a la I *Heart* Huckabees, Napoleon Dynamite and Rushmore, don’t. The thing is, while it contains elements of those oddball-laden films, Juno is its own animal in that it’s smart, funny and above all, real. The film should mark the coming out of several major talents, including writer Cody and Juno herself, Ellen Page. While I won’t shoot myself if Cody doesn’t get an Oscar nomination, I will be gobsmacked. While we’re at it, how about one for Page, too?
Juno MacGuff is 16 and almost too precocious. She’s smart, funny, curious and so adorable that “cute as a button” might have been coined with Page in mind. (At 5′ 1″, according to the IMDb she was apparently given the nickname “The Tiny Canadian” by some American roommates.) Well adjusted and comfortable in her own skin, Juno is the kind of kid every parent would love to have…except that she’s pregnant, the result of a one time romp with her best friend Paulie Bleeker in a living room chair. Bleeker is played perfectly in another example of deadpan wonder by comedy god of the under 30 set, Michael Cera (Superbad) as a charmingly nerdy track star with an addiction to orange tic tacs.
Continue reading TIFF 07: Juno Review
Ok, so a little more about Kiwi director Andrew Dominik’s astonishingly good sophomore outing (after 2000’s Chopper) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. To be honest, it’s 2:10am and I have to see Sean Penn’s Into the Wild in 9 hours, so I am a little worried about getting sucked into a 1,500 word review of this film that I (and others) have called a masterpiece, but I have too long a history of letting things get away from me, so here we go….
The trades and mainstream press have been bemoaning the dearth of “buzz worthy” pics leading into Oscar season this year and well, they can all shut the fuck up right now, thank you very much. As I was leaving the theater, the editor in chief of one of the major trade dailies turned to me and said, and I paraphrase: “It’s hard to imagine a better film coming out this year,” and I fully concur. If this film gets fewer than 10 Oscar nods, I’ll eat my hat (just not one of my good ones). Right now I am willing to predict nods for: picture, actor (x2-Pitt and Affleck), screenplay and director (both Dominik), cinematography (Roger Deakins), score (Nick Cave and Bad seeds bandmate Warren Ellis), editors (Dylan Tichenor and Curtiss Clayton) and at least 1 supporting actor (too many to choose). Of course many of the “smaller” categories will come along with main category nominations.
I’ll be writing something more about this tomorrow, but for now, I must be brief.
Continue reading TIFF ’07: More On The Assassination of Jesse James
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has long been one of my favorite film events of the year and while I saw a few great films in the ten days up north, I can’t help but have emerged from the setting with a rather downbeat feeling about the event. However, rather than offer up any kind of a summary here, I’m just gonna do the blog thing and mainly post shorter entries, letting my criticism fall where it may. That said, this one’s kinda long….but there’s boobies after the jump!
Continue reading Welcome to Toronto…Now Suck My Dick!