2008: A Cinematic Odyssey

Film Reviews and Other Pop Culture Happenings

Posts Tagged ‘TIFF’

TIFF ’08: The Toronto International Film Festival

Posted by Jesse on December 8, 2008

On September 6th and September 13th, I attended The Toronto International Film Festival. The Festival, which started on September 5th, was full of wonderful films this year and I was lucky enough to see two of them. On September 6th, I attended the gala premiere of Fernando Meirelles’ new film Blindness. On the 13th, which was the closing day of the festvial, I attended a screening of Darren Aronofsky’s new film The Wrestler. Both of these films were great and the experience will stick with me for a long time. It was my first film festival experience, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Alice Braga in Blindness (2008)

Alice Braga in Blindness (2008)

The best part of the festival had to be seeing all of the stars walk down the red carpet at the gala premiere of Blindness. Stars like John Malkovich, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Geoffrey Rush, Evangeline Lily, Dominic Monaghan, Danny Glover, Sandra Oh and the extremely lovely Julianne Moore walked only steps in front of me down that luminous carpet. After waiting outside for a long time to get into the theatre, a friend and I took our seats in the second row and awaited the speech from director Fernando Meirelles. Once he walked out onto the stage I was in awe. He was literally six feet away from me speaking about his work on the film and how proud he was to be presenting it at the Toronto International Film Festival. Meirelles is one of my favourite directors and watching him speak with such passion about his art was really inspirational. After he spoke, he introduced his cast and had them walk out on stage. Having Julianne Moore stand only eight feet away from me is something I will never erase from my memory. She looked fantastic and I was so lucky to share the viewing of this film with its fantastic cast and director.

Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler (2008)

Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler (2008)

The screening of The Wrestler, however, was not a gala premiere. There were no stars or director on a red carpet, but the experience was still wonderful. The film screened in one of Ryerson University’s theatres and we once again got decent seats. This film was miles better than Blindness and I was in shock over Mickey Rourke’s performance. I never knew the man could act like he did. This is a film that will, or at least should, be recognized come Oscar season.

The Film Festival experience of mine was truly memorable. I shared it with good friends and I know they won’t forget it anytime soon either. I cannot wait until next year for TIFF ’09! I will certainly be going and seeing even more films in the upcoming year.


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