Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 2

As I said last blog, I have 3 documentaries today. Things kicked off in the afternoon with Urbanized. This was from the director of a popular doc from a few years ago called Helvetica, which was about the font of the same name. Urbanized was all about city planning and architecture and focused on a few cities from around the world like Mumbai, Rio, Detroit and New York. It was pretty crazy to see cities in India or China that have millions or billions of people and where the fuck they put them all. On the contrast you have cities like Detroit, which are bigger than Boston, San Francisco and Atlanta combined, but only has 700,000 people. You see a lot of rundown buildings and neighbourhoods, but the documentary introduces you to a guy in Detroit that got the cities’ permission to turn an empty lot into a massive community garden where the residents help take care of it and enjoy all the fresh produce for free. Amazing that no one has ever thought of that before.

I ran into my buddy Doug from high school, like I do every year at TIFF. It`s almost like clockwork. It was good ripping on the douchebags we went to school with. Ha. I keed, I keed.

I`m still sticking with my diet and went to W Burger on Carlton St. for a fresh turkey burger on whole wheat with veggies on the side. Healthy food is really boring, but as my friend Steve reminded me: Mustard is your friend. As always, meals never go smoothly for me. First I sat down at the bar to read the menu and shortly after another dude came and sat beside me. At this place they dish out carrots and celery to everyone, the same way some sports bars give you peanuts. Well, the waitress stuck one basket between the two of us like we were supposed to share. If we had come in together, that would have made sense, but that was not the case and it just got awkward cause those carrots looked delicious. Finally, I asked for my own and things started looking up cause that other dude got up and left. Weird. All was not meant to be good though as an odd Asian kid sat in the seat and did air guitar to the music that was playing. “Green Grass and High Tides” by the Outlaws. Great song, but still weird to be playing air guitar in public. This was also the point when I realized that he had some extreme body odour. It was potent and palpable. My eyes watered. I finished up and got the hell out of Dodge.

My next documentary was pretty god damn depressing. It was called Last Call at the Oasis and was about the impending fresh water crisis around the world. Half of the population of the world could be without access to water by 2025. Las Vegas is powered by the hydro plant at Hoover Dam and within 4 years the water levels at Hoover Dam will be too low to power the city. Erin Brokovich was in the movie and there are still hundreds of cases across North Anerica where companies are still poisoning the water supply with chemicals. Basically, we all gonna die soon. Huzzah. All those stupid Italians washing their driveways have killed us all. Thanks old Italian people. Enough with the murdering, now go make me some gnocchi. In all seriousness, Last Call at the Oasis was pretty good and it had an impact on the audience. It certainly has made me think about my water usage and in front of all of you I vow to cut my daily showers to just 4 per day.

On the way to my last film of the day, I passed an older guy with some pamphlets who told me that Hellfire was upon us and that Jesus saves. I was wearing a t-shirt that had flaming skulls and skeletons on it. I was probably the wrong guy to tell that too. I chuckled.

My last film of the day was a hockey documentary called the The Last Gladiators. It was about enforcers and considering the summer that hockey has had it could not be more timely. It focused mostly on Chris ‘Knuckles” Nilan, the enforcer from the Montreal Canadiens in the 1980’s. Nilan was one of those tough guys that could fight all the time, but still be a good hockey player…like Bob Probert. The transition from hockey player to real life was tough on Nilan after he retired as he got hooked on painkillers, alcohol and even heroin to battle the depression of not being able to play in the NHL anymore. Although, I liked the stories that were told and I found the film interesting, this documentary was put together quite shittily. Is shittily a word? It is now.

2 more documentaries tomorrow. 3 words: Pearl Jam Twenty. Pumped.

Around the Web:



  • Greg

    I love how Larry Robinson looks so disinterested in the fight in that pic.

  • Greg

    Wait…uninterested. He looks uninterested. I need coffee.

  • Keep up the great entries Greg. By far, your TIFF reporting is my highlight of Film Junk. Well, that and Cantankorous.

  • Jill

    I approve of these documentaries.

    By the way, I finally found a copy of Dungeon Masters… at the freaking LIBRARY of all places. I’ve never even seen it in a video store.

  • patrik

    I love the TIFF reports. =)

  • kyri

    Actually community gardening is illegal in most countries.

    ps. the end is near.

  • Kasper

    Love these reports, Greg. The fact that you mix the movietalk with what happens during the day is what makes it interesting. You blog like a boss.

  • RC

    The Last Gladiators is something I was really looking forward to until now. I was a fan of Cris Nilan when he played. I was hoping that it would be superb.

    That is an awesome photo. Larry Robinson sporting the beard, Harold Snepsts sporting the ‘stache and Chris Nilan serving Tiger Williams a knuckle sandwich.