MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

TIFF 2010: It’s a Wrap

Another year of TIFF has officially wrapped, the awards have been announced, and everyone’s gone home. It was a really great fest this year with a solid slate, although I can’t say I disagree with those who feel the fest would benefit from cutting their slate a bit to be a little more discriminating. I saw some films that surprised me (The Illusionist, A Night for Dying Tigers), some that were disappointing (Hereafter, Miral) and some that took my breath away with their vision and execution (Black Swan, I Saw the Devil).

The move to downtown, for me, was fine. It didn’t quite have the feel of a “festival village” yet this year, though I expect that will come over time as the fest gets more deeply embedded there. But there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops within walking distance of both the Bell Lightbox and the Scotiabank, the subway is a quick and efficient means of getting from further uptown (like in Yorkville, where we stayed again this year) to the Scotiabank or Lightbox for press screenings, or to the Elgin, Ryerson, AMC or Varsity for the occasional public screening.

And I don’t know about you, but I made good use of the Filmmaker Lounge, which was just a block or so from the Scotiabank, to hop on the free wifi for quickly filing between screenings, or to grab a quick bite to eat, or even to hunch over my laptop in a corner during a loud and crazy happy hour, letting the energy in the room reenergize me as I banged out a review. So for me, I’d give the smoothness of the move overall a C+, maybe a B- this year; it would have been a notch higher if they’d had the free TTC passes they used to have for press, which would have made it cheaper to get around by subway or bus. Of all the years to lose that sponsorship, oy.

It was great, as it always is, to feel the energy of everyone at the fest, from filmmakers to press to publicists. There’s a kind of frantic energy the first couple days that finally starts to mellow a bit around day five or so, and then just when you get into the fest groove, it’s time to pack up and head home. But there’s nothing quite like TIFF for both seeing, and discussing, and even passionately arguing about some of the films that will end up on the awards circuit over the next few months.

And hey, if nothing else, it gives you a bit of a jump start on the flood of “for your consideration” screeners that will start flowing soon; a lot of the films that will be in the running I’ve already seen at TIFF, and I have an even longer watch list of films I missed at the fest that garnered positive buzz or at least made me curious to see them. So long, Toronto … see you next year.

Here’s my best of the fest.

TIFF TOP TEN NARRATIVES (alphabetical order)

127 Hours
Another Year
Black Swan
The Illusionist
I Saw the Devil
Never Let Me Go
A Night For Dying Tigers
Silent Souls


Inside Job


Made in Dagenham
Dirty Girl
Black Swan


Javier Bardem, Biutiful
James Franco, 127 Hours
Lesley Manville, Another Year
Natalie Portman, Black Swan


Miranda Richardson, Made in Dagenham
Andrew Garfield, Never Let Me Go


Ji-Woon Kim, I Saw the Devil
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Biutiful

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4 Responses to “TIFF 2010: It’s a Wrap”

  1. Jane says:

    The free TTC passes weren’t part of a sponsorship but due to a tourism/recession initiative that only played out for 2009.

    I’d love to see TIFF get some stability in the press office. It’s frustrating when people get told “it’s always been done this way” when you know it hasn’t for over a decade.

  2. kattysat says:

    The King’s Speech – the big winner at TIFF – does not appear on your list. Were you not impressed by it?

  3. Mazgalica says:

    Hello imi place blogul tau te-ar interesa un schimb de linkuri cu siteul meu?

  4. Scriptie says:

    I Am Slave was an unbelievably powerful film.

Quote Unquotesee all »

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