Okay, we’ve been in Toronto for a full 24 hours now, and finally feeling warmed up. Literally. What is it with the weather in Toronto this year? It feels like Texas! And that’s not such a good thing. We’re hoping things cool off as the weekend continues, but so far everyone’s energy level is up and excited. Jarod, Lya, and I arrived in Canada and – in a surprisingly short amount of time – had our bags, a cab, and our hotel. We immediately picked up our credentials and ran into a lot of familiar faces.
I went to see Baltasar Kormakur’s Jar City, which comes to Toronto after rave reactions at Karlovy Vary (where it won the top prize) and Telluride. It’s an Icelandic police procedural that uses the landscape and culture as a haunting atmosphere that delivers more than not. Effectively entertaining, even if the stakes are rather low, I felt it was a solid detective story. Meanwhile, a North American deal for this is about to be announced. Keep your eyes open for that, and for this film’s eventual release stateside. Jarod and Lya went to see Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton, which they seemed rather lukewarm on. And then, they saw the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men, which they seemed to love as much as I did when I caught it at Cannes.
Speaking of Cannes, I get to save time at Toronto because I saw so many films in France this May. The ones playing here that I heartily recommend include: No Country, Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, Harmony Korine’s Mister Lonely, Chang-dong Lee’s Secret Sunshine, Anton Corbijn’s Control, Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Orphanage, and Alexander Sokurov’s Alexandra. If you’re attending the Toronto International Film Festival, and reading this, try to see as many of these as you can. Plus, try to see Amir Bar-Lev’s My Kid Could Paint That, Ellen Spiro’s Body of War, and John Sayles’ Honeydripper. Also, on Sunday, Sept. 9 I’m taking part in the Doc Roundtable sessions at the Match Club. So, stop by…
Okay, off to more movies and meetings. I’ll start putting pictures up, too, very soon.