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Toronto Day 4: Minute by Minute

Toronto Day 4: Minute by Minute

Each day at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 9-19), indieWIRE is publishing a frequently updated dispatch from Toronto.

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4:30pm: IFC Buys “Super”? That’s what Deadline is reporting. James Gunn’s superhero comedy – which played to an enthusiastic audience here in Toronto – has reportedly been sold to the distributor in “seven-figure commitment” that resulted from “an all-night bargaining session.” More on indieWIRE soon… [Peter Knegt]

3:30pm: Too Many Canadian Films? That’s what TIFF CEO Piers Handling says in this Toronto Star article.

There are 72 Canuck films screening at TIFF 2010, a figure that includes co-productions and represents both features and shorts. The features number comes from 250 submissions, which Handling says is “shocking.”

“We shouldn’t be making 250 feature films in this country,” Handling says. “I don’t think it can sustain. Where are those films going? I mean, are they just home movie productions done on credit cards? For what audience? I’m happy that people are making films and all that kind of stuff, but what kind of resources have been taken away from filmmakers who perhaps needed those resources, that could have used those resources? Are there significant filmmakers with things to say?”

Read the rest of Handling’s comments here, which are sure to spark some anger from many in the Canadian film industry.

2:00 pm: Clint’s Worst Ever? Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” had its first official screening for press and industry yesterday, and while reviews are embargoed until after tonight’s public screening, tweets have suggested things are not looking good. Cinematical’s Erik Davis tweeted: “First word back from our writer: ‘It might be the worst thing Eastwood has ever directed.’” [Peter Knegt]

12:45 pm: Yves Saint-Laurent doc “L’amour Fou Debuts” The equally charming and elegant director Pierre Thoretton and the star of the Yves Saint-Laurent documentary, Pierre Berge were present at the Isabel Bader Theater for the world premiere of L’amour Fou last night in Toronto. The visually decadent film walks us through Saint-Laurent and Berge’s love story, after Saint-Laurent’s death in 2008. We see the life of Berge and Saint-Laurent unfold through the acquisition and then the selling of their art collection, which is went to auction at Christie’s.

Though the film is beautiful in every way, from entering into their Parisian and Marrakech homes, to the not so candid photographs by Andy Warhol and the French artist duo Pierre et Gilles amongst others, one can’t help but notice the lack of intimacy between Berge and Saint-Laurent. With as much access as we have in this film, there is not a photo or home movie of the two lovers who’s relationship spanned over 50 years showing their feelings for each other.

Berge claims that he is not nostalgic, but the film feels that way, and much like selling off their possessions, which Berge says he is “setting free like birds, to have a new life”, the film and the process of selling his worldly possessions seemed cathartic for Berge more than anything else. [Margot Keith]

10:45am: Crowd Pleaser “Dagenham” Hits Toronto “I just wanted to say something really simple,” “Made in Dagenham” producer Elizabeth Karlsen said upon taking the stage at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto last night, where “Dagenham” was having its world premiere. “I went to a conference recently on inspirational women and I was made aware of something called the Bechdel Test. It’s really simple and about movies: Are there more than two women in it? Do they talk to each other about anything other than men? Think about it. Remarkably, there are few films that pass this test. But this one does with flying colors.”

Indeed it does. A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination, “Made in Dagenham” features an excellent ensemble of actresses (certainly more than two) who talk very little about the men in their lives – unless they are the men behind Ford Motors’ discrimintatory wage policies. Though predictable and sentimental, a slew of fantastic performances from the likes of Sally Hawkins, Rosamund Pike, Andrea Riseborough and Miranda Richardson (who is likely heading for an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of British Secretary of State Barbara Castle) help make “Dagenham” a charming and very affecting addition to the “cookie cutter civil rights movie” genre.

The Toronto audience last night seemed the agree. At various points they burst into applause as the women in the film achieved a variety of victorious moments, suggesting “Dagenham” could be pleasing many a crowd come mid-November when Sony Pictures Classics releases it in the U.S.

“This isn’t a history lesson, though it could be,” the film’s director, Nigel Cole (“Calendar Girls”), said before the screening. “What it is is a celebration for 187 women who one day decided they were going to stand up and say that they were as mad as hell and they weren’t going to take it anymore… I couldn’t believe that there could be such a wonderful story out there that just hadn’t been told.It hadn’t been told in any medium. So it was thrilling to be given the chance to make it.” [Peter Knegt]

10:00am: A “Love Crime” in Toronto It was a solemn night at the Winter Garden Theater last night, before the Special Presentations screening of “Love Crime,” from director Alain Corneau, who recently passed away. Actress Ludivine Saigner was in attendance and spoke fondly of her experience working with Corneau. Corneau’s last film is a deliciously twisted workplace thriller, in which Saigner plays a young ingénue working her way up the cooperate ladder. Kristin Scott Thomas stars as her sexy, manipulative boss who tries to get in her way. What unfolds is a deliberately calculated battle of the femmes, with a touch of French class. [Nigel M. Smith]

9:30am: Live at the Lounge! During yesterday’s Live at the Lounge with indieWIRE, James Franco stopped by to discuss his fall possible awards contender “127 Hours,” from director Danny Boyle. indieWIRE‘s very own Eugene Hernandez, who caught the film at Telluride before TIFF, chatted with the actor.

Today director Guillermo Del Toro is expected at the Lounge to talk about “Julia’s Eyes.” Tony Goldwyn, the director of “Conviction,” will also chime in to talk about what it’s like directing Hilary Swank. Also on today’s lineup is “Incendies” director Dennis Villenueve. The film was Hernandez’s top pick from the Telluride crop. [Nigel M. Smith]

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