Greg’s 2008 TIFF Report: Day 2

Usually I set the atmosphere at the internet cafe where I am, but this year I’m staying with someone who has a decent computer (sorry, bro). So, the only mood I can set for you is the fishing show that is on the TV. My roomie may have a good computer…but cable is not an option.

Moving on… Day 2 will go down as the greatest day I have ever experienced at TIFF and probably one of the best moments of my life.

“Everybody sees and everyone agrees that you and I are wrong and it’s been that way too long.”
“At the corner of your lips, as the orbit of your hips, eclipse, you elevate my soul.”
“You need coolin’, baby, I’m not foolin’. I’m gonna send you back to schoolin'”
Don’t worry I will explain a little more.

First thing I tried to do today was find a place for the ol’ truck. The guy running the paint shop across the street told me it would be $14 a day. I said ‘Fuck that’ and walked out. The commuter parking lot is only $11 a day! When I got back to the apartment, my buddy Jason from college had replied to my request and found a spot for me. Big shout out to the big man for that.

The first film I check out is the new one from Guy Ritchie. You’ll remember him as the director of the entertaining Snatch, the less entertaining Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the abhorrent Swept Away. There was a pungent odour when Guy walked by me and I’m pretty sure it was the smell of Madonna. I also think that Guy should go by Guy as in Lafleur and not Guy as in Smiley.

I would say that RockNRolla was a return to form for Guy Ritchie. I rather enjoyed this movie. In a nutshell, this was about a real estate scam set in London involving four different parties: A bribable city councilor, a Russian mobster, a British mobster and some local hooligans. The film stars Gerard Butler from 300 as one of the hooligans. When you add in the lending and subsequent theft of a lucky painting, the robbery of seven million pounds (twice) and a double crossing accountant you get the high energy mix of action and comedy that Ritchie has become famous for.

After the movie ended I had to head out to Etobicoke to drop off the truck and take the subway back. I have to say that nothing amusing has happened on the subway yet this year. Except for the college guys running around acting like veloceraptors. Yes, I more than likely spelled that incorrectly. I get off the subway and walk right into a parade. I quickly realize that the parade is not for me. It makes me sad. It was something about a student day or student rights. You’ve got the right to get the hell out of the middle of the street.

My next film is the new one from Richard Linklater, director of Dazed and Confused, Suburbia, School of Rock and the remake of the Bad News Bears. This one is called Me and Orson Welles. The film is set in 1937 and is about a teenager who gets cast by Orson Welles in the Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar. The teenager is played my friend Elaine’s new love intrest…Zac Efron. Yeah…the kid from High School Musical. He was there (and quite orange) and I was a few feet from him and briefly thought of abducting him for her because that’s what friends do for each other. Abduct celebrities that their friends want to molest.

The guy playing Orson Welles was someone I had never heard of, Christian McKay, and I’m not sure he’ll do anything else after this. He was good, but all he really did was an Orson Welles impression for two hours and I’m not sure you can make a career like that. The movie itself was pretty decent although Clare Danes is looking really old. What happened to her so-called life? See what I did there? Ha!

After this film ended I had to turn around and line up again for the next film which was a documentary called It Might Get Loud about rock and roll guitarists. Specifically, Jack White, the Edge and Jimmy Page. While waiting in line a crazy 60 year old woman kept talking to me about the film festival. She was in line right ahead of me and I couldn’t avoid her. You all know how much I love it when strangers talk to me. So, this was torture, but I was nice and just let her talk. Back to the documentary.

It was directed by Davis Guggenheim who directed An Inconvenient Truth. He followed the three guitarists around to where they began playing and forming their bands and it was a brief history lesson on the three of them. Intertwined in all of that was a meeting between the three of them discussing and playing guitar. I had heard that Jimmy Page was going to be there and was pretty stoked when all three showed up and I got to shake the hands of Jack White, the Edge and Jimmy Fucking Page.

At the end of the movie when they walked past my seat again, I stood up to shake Jimmy’s hand again and it was such a good handshake. By the smile on his face you knew he was pumped to be there and it seemed to me that he is one of those rockstars that really appreciates his fans. I’ve met some rockstars — Angus Young, Geddy Lee, Michael Stipe — all of them could be considered legends, but being that close to those three and shaking their hands in such a short time span was incredible. I know I’m mostly known as a movie guy… but I went to broadcasting school and spent 7 years in radio and the another 5 selling music, so this was a big deal to me. Jimmy Fucking Page.

However, that wasn’t the amazing part. Some of you know that one of my all-time favourite songs is one called “The Weight”. Written by Canadian Robbie Robertson and performed by the Band. It’s one of those songs that gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it. Lately, one of my current favourite bands, The Trews, have been playing it as an encore and on Jeff Healey’s last album before he died he recorded a decent live version of it, but during the closing credits of the film Jack White, the Edge and Jimmy Page played it. Jack and Edge singing and the three of them on accoustic guitars.

Honestly…I almost teared up. Incredible.

Best day at TIFF ever.

One film and V-Fest on Saturday!

I remain,
Greg

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  • Greg, Jay was razzing me this past week because I asked him if he was stoked about having The Goblin Man of Norway selected for The After Dark Film Festival. He was razzing me about my use of the slang word “stoked,” which I noticed you happened to use in your post. So be sure to use the word “stoked” when in the presence of Jay.

    I was wondering, Greg. Do you ever get the autographs of the celebrities you shake hands with? It would be pretty cool to have Jimmy Page’s John Hancock on the cover of Led Zep IV. But I guess it would be pretty dorky carrying around a record cover. I guess journalists are supposed to be professional and not ask for autographs?

    Posting digital pics from TIFF would be cool, but I can’t imagine you taking photos for some reason.

    And yes, it’s “velociraptor.”

  • Greg…funny stuff (“There was a pungent odour when Guy walked by me and I’m pretty sure it was the smell of Madonna.”)</i) and congrats!

    However, Reed does bring up a good point; you have a chance of mingling with the stars and you bring nothing to get autographs on? How about photos? Its not difficult to smuggle a small camera around.

  • Jimmy Page is god damned amazing, I sympathize with your feelings meeting him. I don’t like Jack White. I like some of U2’s stuff, but right from the start I thought that a grown up man calling himself “The Edge” was ridiculous and kind of pathetic. Not much respect there.

    Meeting Jimmy Page would have been a very emotional and memorable experience for me as well though. I would have shared much of your sentiments had I had this experience.

  • Neil M

    I’m seeing ‘It might get loud’ tomorrow morning. Can’t wait!

  • Greg

    Autographs are not really my thing. Especially not there. I don’t own a camera, so photos are out.

    I’m all about the handshakes.

  • Have you washed your hand yet, Greg?

  • James

    Wow. I’m so jealous, especially about Jack White. A relatively new rock god. And ‘The Weight’ is a fucking awesome song that never gets old. I would’ve teared up, too.

  • Nice.

    And yeah…something tells me Guy Ritchie could never wash the stink off.