1) The new venue. Once upon a time the LAFF was in Hollywood. The it was in Westwood next to the UCLA campus. Then it was in the LA LIVE center downtown. All three areas managed to dwarf what was going on around it. In Hollywood it didn’t stick out enough from usual Hollywood goings on. At UCLA film goers were over run by campus dwellers (even though it was during Summer break). At LA LIVE it looked like it had been dropped into some Blade Runner-esque hybrid of LA and Tokyo with some sports championship or pop concert running […]Read On »
It’s come to this: either the LA Kings have to stop winning hockey championships or the LA Film Festival has to change it’s dates or location. Held at the massive and massively impressive LA Live Center it includes the Regal Cinema complex that boasts one screen so large it’s “the biggest movie experience in Los Angeles.” It also is adjacent to the Staples Center where the Kings play (and insist on keep on winning). The Kings and the LA Film Festival are both part of the rebirth of the downtown area but it may be becoming too much of a […]Read On »
It’s time to conclude what happened at the Toronto International Film Festival by dividing up the films into three categories. So here are the winners, losers and something in-between so just for fun I’ve broken them down into buzz terms, HOT, WARM and COLD. Part 3: THE COLD (BUZZ+CRITICAL REACTION+AUDIENCE COMMENTS) YOU ARE HERE Road trip comedy drama with Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis CONSENSUS: Writer/director Matthew Weiner’s surprising limp big screen debut. The leads are irritating, the plot so-so, the overall effect dull. Maybe Weiner just too tired after obsessing over every MAD MAN detail. Would make a good […]Read On »
After 11 days, more than 300 films, 4,743 industry delegates, 180 guest speakers, 57 panels and countless fans the 38th Toronto International Film Festival ended on September 15th. Below are a select number of awards that were given out. BLACKBERRY® PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS This year marked the 36th year that Toronto audiences were able to cast a ballot for their favourite Festival film, with the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award. This year’s award goes to Steve McQueen for 12 YEARS A SLAVE. First runner up: Stephen Frears’ PHILOMENA. Second runner up: Denis Villeneuve’s PRISONERS.
We’re just past the half way point for the 38th annual Toronto International Film Festival and its time to take stock. Here’s the countdown… (or is that count up?) 0: Number of personal letters Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) kept from his affair with an underage girl in THE INVISIBLE WOMAN. 2: Number of big buzz films so far. GRAVITY, the 3-D space epic with Sandra Bollock and George Clooney and 12 YEARS A SLAVE starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt. 2: Number of endings there are for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, the big screen adaptation of the gritty play […]Read On »
Here in the bizarro world of SXSW up is down and down is up. So is it any surprise that their film awards don’t occur at the end of the festival but in the middle? Or that instead of the winners getting choked up the presenters are the ones with the cracking voices. And so it goes in Austin Texas that on day five of a ten day film festival the awards were presented in the once posh, now just all-out retro cool Paramount Theater.
With three festivals occurring simultaneously (film, music and interactive), it would be sheer madness to try and drive around downtown Austin Texas during SXSW. That leaves taxi cabs, pedicabs and the bus. Cabs can be tricky, pedicabs are known to overcharge, but for two bucks you can ride any Austin bus as many times as you want for 24 hours. And on the buses you meet the most interesting denizens.
A proper, successful film festival these days needs a savvy combination of 1) Fresh Discoveries, 2) Unique Foreign Films, 3) a smattering of the Boldly Bizarre AND to get the crowds big enough to support all those mentioned, 4) Highbrow Hollywood Pictures. The 2012 AFI Film Festival held November 1st-08th worked all those elements into play with amazing ease. Now in its fourth year of just giving tickets away to screenings, the AFI Fest seems to have hit its groove. Screenings were right on Hollywood Blvd at the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the satellite cinemas Chinese 1-6 and the historic […]Read On »
Picture this: the Toronto International Film Festival just two years ago. Venues and events spread out all over the biggest city in Canada. Picture this; Toronto today. After moving last year a great majority of the events and screenings into the newly constructed TIFF Bell Lighthouse film center the 11 day festival has become more centralized than Hollywood itself. What exactly is the TIFF Bell Lighthouse? An entire city block at King and John Street, downtown Toronto. Four stories that house a three story atrium, five cinemas, two galleries, learning studios, a bistro, a restaurant and plenty more. But while […]Read On »
The Toronto Film Festival has always been more than just a bunch of movies. With the easy mass transit, the wealth of great restaurants and swinging parties it’s a world class event. But who wants to hear about what I ate and drank? It’s all about the movies dummy. Here’s the highlights… BALADA TRISTE (THE LAST CIRCUS) The best film of the festival also had the most confusing title. In some press books it was referred to as THE LAST CIRCUS in others THE BALLAD OF THE SAD TRUMPET. Never mind. What you need to know about this Spanish film […]Read On »