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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Toronto's Midnight Madness Lineup

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the lineup for its popular Midnight Madness screenings, the programme that can launch horror, action and comedy movies. A couple of years ago, Midnight Madness’ breakout star was director Eli Roth, who went on to make HOSTEL – a reprehensible movie, but the sold-out of CABIN FEVER must have been the highlight of his life — every first-time filmmaker’s dream come true. Last year, the belle of the festival was Sarah Silverman, who rocked the house with JESUS IS MAGIC.
Sacha Baron-Cohen, who wore a startling red thong in Cannes, stars in the first midnight movie is BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKSTAN. Expect him to completely dominate all the early red carpet and party photos: Especially if he brings his own camera crew.

I have great hopes for SEVERANCE, the second thriller from Britain’s Christopher Smith. His debut CREEP was a nightmare ride on London’s Underground — and probably the last to be filmed on location there due to the 2005 terrorist attacks. In the new movie, a corporate team-building retreat in the wilderness goes terribly awry — someone (or maybe something) takes a cutthroat attitude to the competition.
With horror movies from Russia, Spain, Korea and France and the USA, this is one of the most diverse lineups in many years (I don’t know what to make of the New Zealand entry BLACK SHEEP, in which the national animal goes bloodthirsty…sheep are so damn cute.)
The 2006 Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept 7-16

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2 Responses to “Toronto's Midnight Madness Lineup”

  1. john says:

    not to nitpick, femme, but the thong sported by Borat on the Croisette was neon lime green; though red being the colour of sex, I can see how you got confused.

  2. Perhaps I stared too long at Borat’s mesmerizing man-parts and became confused and color blind.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon