Sep. 8, 2006

TIFF '06 - Day Two

No work today, just tried to get to a bunch of films. I saw two from my checklist and made a substitution to replace a cancelled screening. I'll be up at 4:00 AM tomorrow to get to my last triathlon, so this is gonna be a quick post.

As I expected, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen was a "slow" film but I found it to be very powerful. I saw it at a Press and Industry screening at 10:00 AM. The Journals is a true story of first contact with Europeans and the family and historical tensions that arise. It gave a powerful sense of the old Inuit life of tradition and superstition. The first scene was an evocative camera's-eye view of an Inuit family preparing themselves to be photographed which faded into a black and white still. As the end credits rolled photographs of the historical characters were shown. The real and supernatural worlds intermixed frequently, which made for a plot that required a fair amount of concentration.

My second film was Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan at 12:45 PM, but in the 45 minutes between films I had to get to a modeling open call (don't ask) and back. I made it with minus two minutes to spare (and did a 2km practice sprint at the same time). Sheryl, her daughter and her son-in-law were already in the packed theatre and I had to sit in the very front row. This made scanning the occassional subtitles a bit tough and I'm not giving much away when I say that there were some scenes that you didn't want to be that close to the screen. What to say about Borat? It is a hilarious expose of racial, religious and social prejudices that had the whole audience laughing in horror... This was another Press and Industry screening, I gather that at the premier the previous night Sacha arrived on a cart with a donkey beside him and "peasant women" pulling it. My God!

My third film was to be Ten Canoes, but it was cancelled because of problems with the print. In it's place I stayed later than I meant to and watched Palimpsest. Palimpsest is a Polish psychological study that starts as a police detective story and ends up being something very different. That's all I'm going to say, except that the script was intriguing and the cast gave a great performance. Palimpsest is the kind of film that people will want to see again to spot clues and details. I wish the sound mix had been a bit lower though as it was a bit jarring at times, especially since I almost dozed off because of my long day. The director's comments afterwards about how the screenplay changed during development and how he hates unnecessary dialog were interesting.

Listening to: Stars by Switchfoot from Nothing Is Sound.

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