Steve reporting on the Toronto International Film Festival
So I'm back in America now. (Truth be told, I've been back in America since last Saturday -- in fact, my last update was posted from my home computer... but now I'm spoiling the illusion). TIFF is but a sweet memory. Yet where have we been, really? Let's look back and see what good that Fest Pass really did.
Top 5 films: 1) Silent Light (Carlos Reygaydas)
2) My Kid Could Paint That (Amir Bar-Lev)
3) Stuck (Stuart Gordon)
4) My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin)
5) 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu)
Worst film: Christian Frosch's dreadful, incoherent sci-fi slagpile Silent Resident.
<-- Best lead actor: Martin Freeman in Nightwatching. (Runner-up: Guillaume Depardieu in The Duchess of Langelais.)
Best lead actress: Inés Efron in XXY. (Runner-up: Anamaria Marinca in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.)
Best supporting actor: Vlad Ivanov in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. (Runner-up: François Berléand in A Girl Cut in Two.)
Best supporting actress: Ann Savage for My Winnipeg. (Runner-up: Laura Vasilu in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.)
Worst acting, any division: Jaime King trying to look distraught in They Wait. (Runner-up: The rich kid in the mummy outfit in Diary of the Dead.)
Best direction: Carlos Reygadas for Silent Light. (Runner-up: Hou Hsiao-Hsien for Flight of the Red Balloon.)
Best cinematography: Silent Light. (Runner-up: Eat, for This Is My Body.)
Number of films seen: 36
Number of films liked: 19
Number of films walked out on: 2 -- Takashi Miike's Sukiyaki Western Django (I fell asleep) and Ulrich Seidl's Import Export (the forty minutes I saw didn't convince me that it would be about anything other than how Austria and Eastern Europe are the most awful places in the world).
Number of films to which I had tickets but skipped seeing: 7 -- Lee Myeung-se's M (terrible buzz), Doug Pray's Surfwise (arrived late), Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (napped), Ben Hackworth's Corroboree (napped), Jacob Thuesen's Erik Nietzsche: The Early Years (packing), Jiang Wen's The Sun Also Rises (left a day early) and Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury's Inside (ditto).
Film I most regret missing: Until the last couple days of the fest, it was Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine, but after a late surge of great notices, it's now José Luis Guerín's In the City of Sylvia.
Film I least regret missing: Either Nothing Is Private or The Jane Austen Book Club, take your pick.
--> Number of times I told people that Silent Light was my favorite film of the festival: At least twice a day after Day 4.
Number of times that was greeted with, "What's that?": About half the time.
Number of trips to the liquor store: Just one, surprisingly.
Number of days I rejoiced in not driving my car: All nine, baby.
Number of nights in which I got over five hours sleep: Two. And one of them was the pre-fest night.
Number of cups of coffee drank: Somewhere between 25 and 30 (I lost count).
Number of beers consumed: 18
Number of beers consumed in completing this rundown: Only one, but it's a big one -- Avery The Beast Grand Cru Ale 2006. 14.6% ABV will get words a-flowin'.
And that should just about do it for me... thanks for reading, folks. And thanks again, Nathaniel, for letting me blather on as I have. It's been fun.