Greg’s 2012 TIFF Report: Day 1

September.  There’s a few things that you can count on: An upcoming NHL season, leaves of red, yellow and orange, and Peyton Manning suiting up for the Colts.  Wait..what?  I’ve just been told that there’s a strong possibility that the NHL season won’t start on time, leaves are either still green or dead because the seasons are all screwed up and Manning plays for the Broncos now.  What the hell happened?  At the end of the day though, there is one thing that you can hold on to.  TIFF.  It’s back.  I’m there.  Let’s do this.

I realize that TIFF started on Thursday, but I’m a busy guy.  I have dogs now and they come first.  Yes, I still have my bunny, Janis Hoplin, but she requires less involvement from a pet standpoint.  It’s 15 seconds in to this blog and I’m already distracted.  If you came to read about pets, then go to my pet blog at www.ireallydon’thaveapetblogiwasjustbeingsillyican’tbelieveyou’

So…TIFF.  2 films in the evening so I took a late afternoon GO Train ride into this busy metropolis.  The first thing I noticed is that there is a serious lack of crazy people here.  I understand that I work and spend a lot of time in the fucked centre of the universe known as Jackson Square, but I think I always expect more crazy here.  Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough.  Maybe I need to create my own crazy.  Maybe it’s just not there.  No, you’re right.  It’s there.  I’ll find it.

The first thing I needed to do was head to the TIFF box office and pick up my tickets.  I have to say that this was the first time that I can think of where I had a quick and pleasant experience at the TIFF box office.  Well done, TIFF.

First movie of the Festival for me was a documentary called the Act of Killing.  I met Beauty Day director and Film Junk maverick Jay Cheel in line and we discussed the possibility or trying out the new Coke machine at the Scotiabank Theatre.  The Scotiabank Theatre has the `Escalator of Terror` and once had the most amazingly comfortable chairs in the lobby.  What’s so new about this Coke machine? For one thing, it’s do it yourself and 2nd there are over 100 flavour combinations.  Think of drinking Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Barq’s, and Coke Zero and the possibility of adding in Cherry, Vanilla, Raspberry, Lime, Orange or Cherry/Vanilla?  Crazy, right?  Who the fuck drinks Orange Coke?  Assholes, I guess.  I had Vanilla Coke Zero and it was repulsive.  Jay was pretty milk toast about it and went with Mr.Pibb.  Mr.Pibb is like Dr.Pepper except he didn’t go to medical school, but got a job as an investment banker or something like that.  In refreshing soda retrospect, Jay ended up making the better choice.

Okay, the Act of Killing.  In Indonesia, back in 1965 the military overthrew the government and in order to control the citizens, death squads were created and they helped the army kill more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals in less than a year.  Usually, in a very sadistic way.  The movie is about killers and murderers who have won.  They’ve never been prosecuted because these death squad leaders are revered as legends in the military.  The military group is so strong now that they are happy to boast about the killings, rigged elections and corruption.  It’s absolutely nuts how freely these men talk about what they did and the joy that it brought them.  They act out scenes to replay their horrors for the film crew including using extras, costumes, make-up and fake blood. No remorse.  Slitting throats, raping children, burning homes, taking money and beating people to death was just all in a days work.

The second film I saw was a horror movie called No One Lives.  Here’s the set up, a gang of thugs kidnap a couple who are moving across the country and discover things aren’t exactly as it seems.  Honestly, if I tell you any more it will ruin everything.  I will say that it’s violent and bloody and hilarious.  This movie was backed by WWE Studios, but sadly it doesn’t star the Rock or ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin or Terry Funk.  There is only one wrestler in it and he has a very small role.  Who is it?  Well, it’s ‘the Funkasaurus’ Brodus Clay!  Anyway, I had a lot of fun watching this.  It’s very theatrical much like a WWE event.  Check it out, you’ll have a blast.

The night ended with a smelly bus ride home complete with an unfortunate seat sharing of a young girl and drunken Uncle Bad Touch.  Well done, 2am Saturday Bloor-Danforth Bus.  You helped me find the crazy after all.

Four films Sunday including cops, sprinters and vampires.

  • Kasper

    Sounds like an epic soda machine. Here there’s rarely more than the standard 4-5 tastes in such a machine. I only ever drink Coke now because Fanta and Sprite has been replaced with Zero variants, and I don’t like the taste of Zero.

  • Greg, so glad you’re journals are back. Honestly, I look forward to them every year. You should cover more film festivals. If you ever want to cover the big International Film Festival in my neck of the woods, San Francisco, I can probably pull some strings and get you free tickets.

    Keep the entries comin’

  • jane

    Well Done!!

  • It’s nice to have you back Greg.

  • Vanilla Coke Zero is my current favorite soda flavor, so let me say in its defense that sometimes those extra flavor injectors are not the same as if you just bought it pre-mixed in a can or bottle.

    With that out of the way, your TIFF posts are always humorous (humourous?), and I really do wish you could find other events worth posting to the blog for. Always entertaining, Greg.

  • anonymiss

    killing it greg!!!! like always!

  • kyri

    It’s only a matter of time until someone goes out-there and creates a just like they created the Greg-Gaspari comic book:

  • Bryan

    Better band name – “Janis Hoplin” or “Uncle Bad Touch”?

  • Bas

    Easy: Janis Hoplin and the Bad Uncle Holding-‘r-Company.

    That was the most fun I had reading an article on Film Junk, thanks Greg!

  • Steve Kasan

    HAHA no wonder they did that injury angle on the Funkasaurus months ago. Well, it cannot get any worse than Knucklehead, or The Chaperone, or The Marine 1, 2, and now 3, or, See No Evil, or, Legendary, or…well, you get the idea.

    Please note I have not seen any of these WWE films. Only The Condemned is worth mentioning as it is mildly good. Even with Nickleback end-credits ballad.

  • Gil

    I fucking love this!

  • Brendan

    My favorite line of the post: “Who the fuck drinks Orange Coke? Assholes, I guess.”

    Great TIFF report, Greg, as always. I’ve encountered that Coke dispenser at a local Burger King. I agree with Deven Science that the flavors are probably different from the canned varieties (of those flavors that exist anyway). Although, I admit I’ve only gone with Cherry Coke, but that taste is a bit different (in my case, I found it better than canned). Of course, Coke Zero tastes awful, so maybe that was your first mistake. Now I’m wondering what’s the worst flavor combo you can make. Maybe lime/raspberry root beer?

    Back to the movies, I guess (unless this is now “Soda Junk”). That “Act of Killing” sounds horrific. I’m interested to hear the full reviews. The subject is obviously compelling, but I’ll be interested to hear more about how it was handled as a film.

  • Bryan

    “Janis Hoplin and the Bad Uncle Holding-’r-Company”

    Nice one, Bas. And yet so very wrong at the same time. Perfect!

  • Falsk

    Ugh–Five Guys has those soda machines now. Stupid futuristic soda machines. This sounds like a good first entry for the FoodJunk blog. Eh? EH?!

  • Nicolas

    It’s “milquetoast” actually, “milk toast” is a breakfast food. Yes, I am a horrible soulless un-fun person who comments on blogs to point out minor mistakes.