Sunday September 7, 2014

I almost didn’t write about Sunday, because it was somewhat of a “day off” from movies (and when I say “somewhat” I mean “entirely” – I saw nothing on Sunday).

Still, no-movie days are a more-frequent-than-I’d-like reality of my festival life these days, and it was nonetheless a chock-full day of adventures and activities, so I won’t skip over it just because I am too ashamed to admit that I’ve already miserably failed to achieve my “minimum three, maximum five” goal and it’s not even the end of the opening weekend.

The duke of Burgundy

The duke of Burgundy

I started the day with a fantastic appointment – interviewing Peter Strickland, whose film, The Duke of Burgundy, is shaping up to be one of my absolute faves of the festival. It’s always a pleasure to speak to a smart, articulate, eloquent person about interesting things like relationship dynamics, sado-masochism, and gender politics. But it’s especially pleasant when that person has just made a film that wraps all of those subjects up in a pair of silk stockings and hands it all to you like a sumptuous gift. What a film! And what a charming and intelligent director. I’ll be writing it up for Toronto Film Scene and posting soon.

Meanwhile, the Hal Hartley interview I conducted last week has been posted, and I spent a goodly amount of time on Sunday trying to finish writing it up. The transcription was the easy part. Mr. Hartley speaks clearly and slowly enough that I typed up the 30 minute interview pretty much in real time. But choosing what to keep and how to wrap it up in my own prose was the tough part, since I hadn’t yet, at that point, seen his film. Spoiler alert: I saw it on Monday and loved it beyond measure, but that’s for a blog-post-to-come.

After the interview with Mr. Strickland, at which he gave me a vinyl recording of some cricket sounds (swoon)(except, the gift was actually for Colin!)(he gets all the coolest gifts during this festival), I went to CBC’s Canada House at the corner of Peter and King to watch the REEL CANADA team talk about the importance of Canadian film, and of getting it out there into the world, for the Canadian public to enjoy. It’s always a pleasure to watch people talk about how great we are, but hearing the genuine appreciation from Charles Officer (who took his doc, Mighty Jerome, to five cities across the country with REEL CANADA’s help last Feb as part of a Black History Month) was really touching.

team REEL CANADA talks Canadian film

team REEL CANADA talks Canadian film

I had lunch at Paese (my favourite of the “across from Lightbox” lunch options, in case you’re asking) with the RC team and then jetted off to meet with a sales agent who’s interested in Rite of the Witch Goddess. After the quickie meeting, I managed to zip back to the hotel for a change of clothes before the Midnight Madness cocktail, where I caught up with an infinite number of people and drank many gin & tonics. People occasionally disbelieve this fact about me, but I’m not naturally great at parties. It can sometimes take me a while to build up to full-schmooze mode, and I find it incredibly draining. I am certainly not one of those lucky extroverts who actually feels energized by interacting with lots of people.

Post-party I had intended to have dinner with the lovely Norbert (director of Replace) and his equally lovely wife Nadine, but after a quick meeting I went to the hotel, crashed, and woke up hours later completely confused and with a phone full of missed calls and texts. C’est la festival vie, eh?

I ordered spicy Thai soup to the hotel room and stayed the hell in for the rest of the night. I’d seen It Follows in Cannes, and while it would have been fantastic to see it on a much bigger screen with a much wilder crowd … going to bed early(ish, my body clock is all screwed up so I didn’t really get to sleep before 2am) was better.