Each day at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 9-19), indieWIRE is publishing a frequently updated dispatch from Toronto.
5:00pm: Live @ TIFF Lounge, 22 TIFF Reviews indieWIRE unveiled its lineup of guests for its inaugural Live at the Lounge with indieWIRE series, that kicks off tomorrow with Catherine Keener, Clive Owen and David Schwimmer, in town to promote “Trust.” Other guests to appear at TIFF’s new Filmmaker lounge are Danny Boyle, James Franco, Xavier Dolan and Guillermo Del Toro to name a few. Those on the lookout for what to catch, and what to miss, at TIFF be sure to read up on Eric Kohn’s take on 22 films playing at the festival.
2:30pm: Kohn on Lightbox Opener “Trigger” “The engine of Bruce McDonald’s ‘Trigger” is chatter, and it rarely lets up,” Eric Kohn writes of the film, which will be the first to ever screen at the new TIFF Bell Lighbox. “Gliding along on the controlled nature of its two lead performances, the movie portrays two aging women rockers in unflattering detail. Former childhood friends Vic (Tracy Wright, in her last performance before succumbing to cancer earlier this year) and Kat (Molly Parker) hit it big with their titular nineties punk band. A decade later, both have transitioned into phantoms of their former identities. Although structurally uneven, “Trigger” develops enormous power from the solemnity of these performances.” More.
12:20pm: Fury of Deals Capitalizing on people’s attentions on TIFF, a flurry of acquisitions have just made news, despite not being TIFF entries. Fox Searchlight Pictures has picked up U.S. rights to Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” which was rumored to play at TIFF this year. They’re planning for a 2011 release. Chris Morris’ Sundance fave “Four Lions,” was nabbed by Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse, under their new Drafthouse Films label. [Nigel M. Smith]
11:00am: Kohn on Affleck’s “I’m Still Here” Ahead of its TIFF bow, indieWIRE‘s chief film critic Eric Kohn offered up his thoughts on Casey Affleck’s documentary “I’m Still Here” which chronicles Joaquin Phoenix’s infamous public meltdown. On his blog Screen Rush, Kohn revealed the films he’s most looking forward to seeing at this year’s fest, and the method to his TIFF reviewing madness.
10:00am: Welcome To Toronto! The indieWIRE crew landed in Toronto yesterday to prep for today, the first day of the 35th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Ahead of the opening night screening and world premiere of Michael McGowan’s “Score: A Hockey Musical” at the Roy Thompson Hall, TIFF has already kicked into high gear, with the news that George Hickenlooper’s “Casino Jack,” starring Kevin Spacey, has been picked up for U.S. distribution by ATO Pictures ahead of its TIFF premiere.
Also of interest, earlier this week indieWIRE published an interview with TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey, who offered up his top nine things TIFF goers should know about this year’s edition. Local Torontonian Peter Knegt meanwhile provided a comprehensive guide on where to eat, drink and shop while in town for TIFF. And just today, indieWIRE released the updated, complete TIFF List 2010, with links to pages that describe many of this year’s films.
Finally, what’s a festival without controversy? Over at CBC News this morning, Bailey defended the selection of the opening night film, which has been the subject of ridicule and scorn by many, including CBC’s own Marin Morrow who expressed at being “frankly embarrassed that Canada’s biggest and most prestigious film fete would kick off with a parochial ode to the national sport, featuring has-been pop singer Olivia Newton John as a hockey mom.” Bailey retorted, stating, “This is a film every Canadian can embrace. We are not just about highbrow. We’re a festival for everybody. There is always a film you can relate to in our lineup. This is a film that we think has a great, celebratory mood that fits with the spirit of this year’s event and has a great Canadian filmmaker.” Reviews will come flooding in tomorrow morning, so only time will tell whether Bailey’s gamble paid off. [Nigel M. Smith]