Toronto International Film Festival

Ugo Scarlata

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 1, 2000
Since there are at least a couple of HTF'ers who will be attending the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, I thought I'd start a general thread about it. Hopefully the moderators won't mind -- this is after all a major event on any film lover's calendar.
My idea is to use this thread to post initial reactions to films we have seen at the festival, as well as any recommendations or "good buzz" about films that are about to be screened.
My initial recommendation (and the only film that I have already seen) is Nanni Moretti's wonderful La Stanza del Figlio (The Son's Room)... It was awarded the Palme d'Or at Cannes, earlier this year, and is a shoo-in for at least a best foreign picture nomination come Oscar time. Catching it at the festival might be a good idea: it won't get a wider release until February of next year.
[Edited last by Ugo Scarlata on August 30, 2001 at 01:05 AM]

David Ely

Supporting Actor
Sep 1, 1998
Here's my schedule of films for the festival (my first choices)
Thursday Sept 6
5:30pm to 11:15pm - La Commune
Friday Sept 7
2:30pm to 4:10pm - Last Wedding
Saturday Sept 8
9:30am to 11:00am - The Orphan of Anyang
12:30pm to 4:15pm - Lagaan
Sunday Sept 9
9:00am to 11:01am - Quitting
12:00pm to 1:38pm - No Man's Land
3:00pm to 4:27pm - Cyberman
Monday Sept 10
9:15am to 11:01am - The Devil's Backbone
12:30pm to 2:28pm - Pulse
3:15pm to 4:58pm - Full TIme Killer
Tuesday Sept 11
9:00am to 10:30am - Earth
12:15pm to 1:59pm - Focus
4:00pm to 5:40pm - Trouble Every Day
Wednesday Sept 12
9:00am to 10:23am - Blue Spring
1:30pm to 3:21pm - The Killing Yard
4:15pm to 5:42pm - The Only Journey of his Life
Thursday Sept 13
9:00am to 10:25am - Khaled
11:15am to 2:08pm - Atanarjuat
3:15pm to 5:50pm - Hotel
Friday Sept 14
12:30pm to 2:15pm - Taking Sides
3:15pm to 5:00pm - The Man from Elysian Fields
5:45pm to 8:19pm - Musa
Saturday Sept 15
9:30am to 11:01am - Revolution #9
12:00pm to 2:30pm - Asoka
4:00pm to 5:30pm - Treed Murray
I hope I get most of these, but I have chosen some good backup films.

Dave Yeung

Jan 30, 1998
Here's are the movies I ordered as first choice, (there are others I'd like to see, but you need to draw the line somewhere).
Sep 7
2:30pm Last Wedding
Sep 8
9:30am Heart in Atlantis
12:30pm Waterboys
3:00pm Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
(Akai Hashi Noshitano Nurui Mizu)
9:30pm Tape
Sep 9
9:30am Novocaine
12:30pm All About Lily Chou-chou
5:15pm Pauline et Paulette
8:30pm Hush
Sep 10
9:30am Life As a House
12:00pm Dark Blue World (Tmavomodrý svet)
3:30pm Mulholland Drive
Sep 11
9:30am Last Orders
12:30pm From Hell
3:30pm Rare Birds
Sep 12
10:00am Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair)
12:00pm Kissing Jessica Stein
3:30pm Heist
6:15pm Lan Yu
Sep 13
9:00am The Triumph of Love (Il Trionfo dell'amore)
12:30pm The Last Kiss (L'Ultimo bacio)
3:00pm Everybody says I'm fine!
6:30pm Treed Murray
9:30pm The Son's Room (La Stanza del figlio)
Sep 14
9:00am Broken Silence
12:00pm Le Pacte Des Loups
3:45pm Bank
9:30pm Fluffer, the
Sep 15
9:30am Enigma
2:00pm Emil and the Detectives (Emil und die Detective)
5:15pm Happy Man
After reading through the programme book, I already want to change my list, but it's too late now. Let's wait and see what happens.
Update: I get all my first choice movies, so I'll be watching 31 movies this year listed above.
[Edited last by Dave Yeung on September 03, 2001 at 10:15 AM]

Ugo Scarlata

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 1, 2000
Here are my selections... lots of conflicting choices, I know, but most of the tickets were courtesy of the TIFF.

(Titles in bold are tickets I've already received.)
Thursday, September 6:
**9:15 PM: The Orphan of Anyang [Varsity 1]
Friday, September 7:
**6:00 PM: Quitting [Uptown 2]
**6:30 PM: Hearts in Atlantis [RTH] [GALA]
**7:00 PM: Un Crabe dans la Tête [Elgin]**
**9:30 PM: Training Day [RTH] [GALA]
**9:30 PM: Thirteen Conversations About One Thing [Elgin]
Saturday, September 8:
**3:00 PM: Warm Water Under a Red Bridge [Elgin]
**6:30 PM: Novocaine [RTH] [GALA]
**6:15 PM: Italian for Beginners [Varsity 8]
**7:00 PM: Buffalo Soldiers [Elgin]
**9:30 PM: No Man's Land [RTH] [GALA]
**9:30 PM: Mulholland Drive [Elgin]
Sunday, September 9:
**3:00 PM: Cyberman [Varsity 8]
**4:00 PM: Prozac Nation [Uptown 3]
**7:00 PM: Focus [Elgin]
**9:00 PM: The Devil's Backbone [Uptown 2]
**9:30 PM: In The Bedroom [Elgin]
**9:30 PM: Dark Blue World [GALA]
Monday, September 10:
**3:30 PM: Mulholland Drive [Uptown 1]
**7:15 PM: Heist [Uptown 1]
**6:30 PM: Last Orders [RTH]
**7:00 PM: Picture Claire [Elgin]
**9:30 PM: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain [Elgin]
**9:30 PM: From Hell [RTH] [GALA]
Tuesday, September 11:
**4:00 PM: Trouble Every Day [Cumberland 3]
**6:00 PM: Éloge de l'Amour
**7:00 PM: Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner [Elgin]
**7:15 PM: The Believer [Varsity 3]
**9:30 PM: Cet Amour-là [RTH] [GALA]
**9:45 PM: Waking Life [Elgin]
**11:30 PM: Le Pacte des Loups [Uptown 1]
Wednesday, September 12:
**3:30 PM: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain [Uptown 1]
**3:30 PM: Heist [Varsity 8]
**6:30 PM: Il Trionfo dell'Amore [RTH] [GALA]
**7:00 PM: La Chambre des Officiers [Elgin]
**7:00 PM: Cyberman [Varsity 8]
**9:30 PM: L'Ultimo Bacio [RTH] [GALA]
**9:45 PM: Who Is Cletis Tout? [Elgin]
Thursday, September 13:
**3:15 PM: Hotel [Varsity 8]
**7:00 PM: The Man From Elysian Fields [Elgin]
**9:30 PM: La Stanza del Figlio [Elgin]
**9:30 PM: Taking Sides [RTH] [GALA]
Friday, September 14:
**6:30 PM: Enigma [RTH]
**6:30 PM: Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (with Toronto Symphony Orchestra) [Elgin]
**9:30 PM: Tosca [RTH] [GALA]
**9:30 PM: Lilith on Top [Elgin]
**10:00 PM: Revolution 9 [Varsity 3]
Saturday, September 15:
**12:30 PM: The Sun Behind The Moon (Kandahar) [Uptown 1]
**2:45 PM: La Stanza del Figlio [Uptown 2]
**8:00 PM: Lantana [RTH] [Closing Gala]
[Edited last by Ugo Scarlata on September 06, 2001 at 11:33 PM]

Ugo Scarlata

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 1, 2000
Hi Bill!
I don't mean to pry, but how did you get free tickets from the TIFF?
They kindly set aside tickets and so-called "vip" passes for people affiliated with the industry, the sponsors and those representing governments of the various countries participating in the festival ...such as Italy, for example... (hint, hint)

But there is nothing particularly "vip" about these passes anyway (other than being free, of course) -- you are still not guaranteed that the tickets you want will be available.
Another type of pass I was able to get my hands on is the "p.r. pass", which gives you access to all the press screenings. They take place in a couple of dedicated auditoriums at the Varsity, but they are "first come, first served", so you still have to line up early. And unfortunately most of the screenings are held very early in the morning (starting at 9am!)
So will you be attending the festival this year? That would bring the total HTF members in attendance to a whopping 4!
(C'mon, there have got to be more!?)

Bill McA

Senior HTF Member
Oct 18, 2000
quote: They kindly set aside tickets and so-called "vip" passes for people affiliated with the industry, the sponsors and those representing governments of the various countries participating in the festival ...such as Italy, for example...[/quote]
Unfortunately, I am not affiliated with any of those groups

quote: Another type of pass I was able to get my hands on is the "p.r. pass", which gives you access to all the press screenings.[/quote]
I was not aware that these were available to the public, I always thought that you had to be an accredited member of the media to gain access to these screenings.
Unfortunately, this will be the first time I will not be attending since 1995, but I will keep track this thread for all of your reports!
Incidently, fellow HTF members Gary Tooze and Troy_S will be attending!
DVDBeaver & My DVD Collection
[Edited last by Bill McA on September 01, 2001 at 08:28 PM]

Mark Kalzer

Second Unit
Mar 19, 2000
I'm interested in attending, seeing as I live in the area. So, how does one 17 year-old like me go about getting tickets to a show? There's really nothing in particular I have in mind, just any film will do! I'm not picky! (Although quality does help a bit!)
Is there some website I can visit?

Bill McA

Senior HTF Member
Oct 18, 2000

Dave Yeung

Jan 30, 1998
In order to get all the screenings to exempt from film classification by the Ontario Film Review Board, all audiences in the TIFF is restricted to 18 years or older. Actually, I think they won't even allow infants or toddlers into family films.
Mark, I'm afraid you'll have to wait till next year. Keep an eye on the TIFF website, and they usually start selling passes around July.
[Edited last by Dave Yeung on September 02, 2001 at 05:30 PM]

Eric Howell

Stunt Coordinator
Jun 5, 1999
These are the ones I'm going to try and get into(my hands are tied on the Training Day thing, so here's hoping that one is sold out
Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), Zacharias Kunuk, 2001
Birthday Girl, Jez Butterworth, 2001
Buñuel and King Solomon's Table, Carlos Saura, 2001
Clip Cult (Vol. 1), 1999
Electric Dragon 80,000 V, Sogo Ishii, 2000
Enigma, Michael Apted, 2001
Exterminating Angel, Luis Buñuel, 1962
Fidel, Estela Bravo, 2000
From Hell, Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, 2001
Full Time Killer, Johnnie To, Wai Ka Fai, 2001
Heist, David Mamet, 2001
Hotel, Mike Figgis, 2001
How Harry Became a Tree, Goran Paskaljevic, 2001
Ichi the Killer, Takashi Miike, 2001
Joy Ride, John Dahl, 2001
Le Pacte des loups, Christophe Gans, 2001
Maya, Digvijay Singh, 2001
Millennium Mambo, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001
Mulholland Drive, David Lynch, 2001
Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror, F.W. Murnau, 1922
Novocaine, David Atkins, 2001
Pulse, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001
Revolution #9, Tim McCann, 2001
Rollerball, Norman Jewison, 1975
Sidewalks of New York, Edward Burns, 2001
The American Astronaut, Cory McAbee, 2000
The Devil's Backbone, Guillermo del Toro, 2001
The Navigators, Ken Loach, 2001
The Quickie, Sergei Bodrov, 2001
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Jill Sprecher, 2001
Training Day, Antoine Fuqua, 2001
Versus, Ryuhei Kitamura, 2001
Waking Life, Richard Linklater, 2001
Warm Water Under a Red Bridge, Shohei Imamura, 2001
Who Is Cletis Tout?, Chris Ver Wiel, 2001

My: Hardware LDs DVDs Top Tens
[Edited last by Eric Howell on September 03, 2001 at 12:49 AM]

Eric Howell

Stunt Coordinator
Jun 5, 1999
I think this was intended to be a “buzz” thread. That didn’t end up happening, probably because everyone was too busy to post reviews(or in my case, I didn’t have internet access). Given that this was my first film festival and I went into it not having a clue what I was doing, I didn’t end up seeing anywhere close to everything I wanted to see, but I saw enough to know where I wanna be this time next year.
Special thanks to all that helped me on the other thread, in particular the advice of Bill McA.
The following 21 movies are listed in approximate order of preference along with a rating. I ended up missing out on at least 3 movies due to the terrorist attacks in the US. Hopefully others that went will post nice long reviews for those interested, but I’m afraid writing reviews isn’t my bag(I’d be happy to discuss any of these film though).
Pulse (2001, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 9/10) Easily my favorite. I’ve never seen any of Kiyoshi Kurosawa movies before, but I’ll have to see if I can get a hold of any of his other stuff. Recommendations? Doesn’t look like Netflix has any of his movies though.

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001, Jean-Pierre Jeunet , 8/10) A real crowd pleaser, and rightfully so. Amelie is charming throughout, depending on the box-office, I’d say we are talking major Oscar contender(It already has Miramax as the distributor, btw).
Full Time Killer (2001, Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai, 7+/10) No real amazing action sequences(but still very good), but the story line was awfully amusing.
Tape (2001, Richard Linklater, 7/10) Might not stand up to repeat viewings, but this one, at least the first time through, was a real hoot(What would a film review be without that phrase?). Ethan Hawke miraculously managed to carry this movie(I know that this positive Ethan Hawke comment will dissolve what little credibility I might have had at the beginning of this post).
Sidewalks of New York (2001, Edward Burns, 7/10) I admit, I’m a sucker for his comedies, didn’t like this one as much as his other two, but still very good.
Hush! (2001, Ryosuke Hashiguchi, 7/10) Although I have not seen Madonna’s “Next Best Thing”, I imagine Hush is a superior version of what amounts to be the same basic plot line.
Picture Clair (2001, Bruce McDonald, 7/10) “Lola Rennt” like editing combined with a fairly standard plot. I hear this Bruce McDonald’s “Hard Core Logo” is quite well regarded, so I put that on the Netflix queue.
Versus (2001, Ryuhei Kitamura, 7/10) These filmmakers are obviously heavily influenced by Sam Raimi, which is a good thing imho. This is the ultimate late night cable movie, and certainly worth checking out if you are into the Mindless Action/Zombie/Yakuza/Samurai genre.

Maya (2001, Digvijay Singh, 7/10) High production values Indian film. Warning some reviews of this film contain a big spoiler so beware.
James Ellroy’s Feast of Death (2001, Vikram Jayanti, 7-/10) A bit slow in parts, but this documentary is kept interesting by the very outspoken James Ellroy. (note: never read/bought any of his books, not sure if that helps or hurts my enjoyment of this film).
Joy Ride (2001, John Dahl , 7-/10) “I know What You Did Last Summer” + “Breakdown” results in this pleasing summer film. Hopefully Dahl will move back to more indie feeling films like “Last Seduction” and “Red Rock West”.
Who is Cletis Tout? (2001, Chris Ver Wiel, 6+/10) As much as I hate Tim Allen, his character’s continuous quoting of movies was really funny, and easily worth the price of admission. Aside from the movie references by Allen and others, the movie was pretty plain.
American Astronaut (2000, Cory McAbee , 6/10) This film really had big time potential. Many of the plot setups and characters were hilarious, it is too bad they couldn’t make a great movie out of all of their ideas. Unfortunately the music(this is a musical, btw) wasn’t too good either, with the exception of “Hey Boy” which had me laughing throughout(I need that song).
Brainstorm (2001, Laís Bodanzky, 6/10) Based on actual events, this movie is a harsh critique of mental institutions in Brazil. Excellent performance by the male lead Rodrigo Santoro.
Waking Life (2001, Richard Linklater, 6/10) First of all, the animation(or what ever you wanna call it) was absolutely mesmerizing. Unfortunately, the film itself is very meditative and doesn’t start to get interesting until about 2/3 of the way into the movie. This is one I’ll want to watch again though.
Fiasco (2000, Ragnar Bragason, 6/10) Probably the first film from Iceland I’ve seen. Nice and quirky, but nothing too entertaining to merit a recommendation.
Clip Cult (Vol. 1)/Electric Dragon 80,000 v (6/10) Clip cult was kind of a mixed bag, the ones I liked were Sugar Water, the animated text, the karate girl, and Bjork’s song. The other video’s ranged from just “ok” to rather bad. Electic Dragon was awful, so be careful.
Buñel and King Solomon’s Table (2001, Carlos Saura, 6/10) Wow, if only I’d seen any of Bunel’s films, I might have enjoyed this one more. As it stands, the movie just came off as moderately amusing.
Models (1999, Ulrich Seidl, 5/10) What I guess is supposed to be a hard-hitting look at the lives of models. Sadly, we pretty much know all the behind the scenes happenings this movie is trying to introduce us to.
Two Lane Blacktop (1971,Monte Hellman ,5/10) I hate road movies, luckily, Linklater’s enthusiasm for this flick was worth sitting though it for me.
3 Digital Short Films (1/10) Imagine what you might have recorded during the first 30 minutes after you bought your first camcorder. Now, imagine that two of your friends do the same thing. Slap all three of them together and there, that’s a movie.

My: Hardware LDs DVDs Top Tens
[Edited last by Eric Howell on September 15, 2001 at 07:50 PM]
[Edited last by Eric Howell on September 15, 2001 at 09:08 PM]
[Edited last by Eric Howell on September 15, 2001 at 09:12 PM]

David Ely

Supporting Actor
Sep 1, 1998
I had a GREAT time at the festival this year. I plan on posting threads for the movies I really enjoyed. Lagaan was easily my favorite film of the festival!!!!

Ugo Scarlata

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 1, 2000
quote: I think this was intended to be a “buzz” thread.[/quote]That was the gist of it, but your comments are appreciated as well!
You mentioned quite a few films that I missed -- I hope that at least some of them will get limited theatrical releases before vanishing...

I was having a great time at the festival this year, up until Tuesday morning. The festival went on, which was probably the right thing to do, but I was simply not in the mood for movies anymore, so I only attended a few screenings after that...

Here is my Top 10 list, out of the 19 films I saw at the festival:
  1. Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie from Montmartre)
  2. No Man's Land
  3. Kandahar (The Sun Behind the Moon)
  4. Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner
  5. Mulholland Drive
  6. In the Bedroom
  7. Thirteen Conversations About One Thing
  8. Secret Ballot
  9. Waking Life
  10. The Navigators[/list=a]With a honorable mention going to the special presentation of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) accompanied by a live performance of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.


    [Edited last by Ugo Scarlata on September 18, 2001 at 05:27 AM]


Sep 8, 2000
Any film festival would be pretty personal since festival goer would have different preference, get to see different movies. But this year we share the same theme, same subtitle, same grief. There is a time we all wonder in such circumstance whether there is anything left to enjoy a festival. But when I sat down in the dark room these days, I found something deep in the root of film festival, or in a greater scale, cinema. It is not about fun. It's about humanity. The humanity we see the world. Let hatred be gone, Let love amend.

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Latest member