Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 5

Just a short update today as I only had one TIFF screening, but I did have a concert in the evening.

I had a documentary today called The Last Dogs of Winter. On my way up the escalator a lady in her fifties took a header at the top and did a hardcore face plant on the tiled floor.  I probably shouldn`t have laughed, but I totally did.  Hey, I waited until I had stepped on to the next escalator and there were already people helping her.  Jeez, I`m not an animal.  People falling down is funny to me.  I even laugh when I fall down because it`s funny.  I know which of you who agree and those that are ashamed to know me right now.  Still funny.

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Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 4

Sunday September 11th. 10 years ago today I had a unique experience at TIFF. I was standing in line on Yonge St. outside the old Uptown theatre just before 9am with my buddy Jason and I think we were going into see a screening of Shadow of the Vampire. Word was spreading through the line that a bomb had gone off at the World Trade Centre. As we walked into the theatre, rumours became facts and we found out that two planes had crashed into the buildings. The movie played and one of the TIFF programmers came out after and said that because of the tragedy the rest of the screenings that day had been cancelled. The only other film that day that I had a ticket for was The Believer with Ryan Gosling. I met up with my friend Kelly and we went over to the Burgundy Bar & Grill and watch CNN for a bit and I couldn’t believe what was happening.

People were freaked out. Here we all were at a world renowned event. People were wondering if something like that could happen in Toronto that day. With a small panic in Toronto, you couldn’t even fathom what it must have been like in New York or the entire U.S. Throughout the day, I watched hundreds of first responders try to help people. NYPD, FDNY, doctors, nurses, soldiers, common citizens. I’m glad they cancelled the Fest for that day as I was in no mood to watch a movie. I was watching history. A dark history, yes, but history nonetheless. I remember I called my Mom that night and she had been sick all day and had no idea that anything had happened. I bet we all wish we could have had that feeling.

The next day TIFF started right back up again and I still have never seen The Believer.

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Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 3

I had a big day on Saturday with big plans to get home early and rest up for the push through the meaty part of TIFF. That sounds unpleasant. One thing I forgot to mention on the Day 2 blog was that after The Last Gladiators, I spotted Chris Nilan in the lobby. Being a big Habs fan and remembering him being pretty awesome, I went up and spoke to him, shook his hand and survived not getting punched square in the face. He’s much shorter than I thought he would be.

I started off Saturday meeting my brother for brunch at a place called Allen’s over on the Danforth. A couple of eggs with smoked salmon and some sweet potatoes. Pretty damn good. The coffee, however, was amazeballs. Organic coffee is delicious. Ranking the places I’ve had coffee up here…it goes Allen’s at number 1, then Starbucks, and then Tim Horton’s. Now I’m not saying any of these other places had bad coffee or that I think their coffee sucks, it’s just that from an enjoyment perspective, this is how I ranked them. During our meal, I told my brother about the diet I was on and my attention became focused on a plate of food a couple of tables down. I pointed out the large slices of bacon on a girl’s hamburger. He pointed out that I noticed the large slices of bacon and didn’t even notice her other large…um…things. What can I say? I like bacon.

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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.

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Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 1

When the leaves begin to change and people start wearing jackets it can only mean one thing. It’s September and it’s time for TIFF. 9 days of films, plus 3 concerts and a football game to cap it all off. Oskee wee wee.

I headed up to Toronto on Thursday afternoon. I’ve realized it’s best to take the train into town, so I don’t have to pay for parking, plus it’s really not that much of a burden. On the train ride up, I was looking at the route map for the train service and looking at all the different routes and station names. Apparently, on the Richmond Hill route there’s a station stop named “Old Cummer”. I would not want to get off at that station. Gotta watch your step.

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Randy “Macho Man” Savage 1952-2011

I’m not sure where to begin. Growing up, most of us had people we looked up to or admired. Teachers or coaches. Celebrities or athletes. Naturally, most of my influences were in the world of sport. People like Kirk Muller, Cal Ripken Jr., Paul Molitor, Mario Lemieux and of course Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith, ‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Henning, ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage. With today’s news, the last four on that list are all gone.

TMZ broke the news that 58 year old Randy Savage (Poffo) sufferred a heart attack while driving his 2009 Jeep Wrangler. He lost control, it went over a concrete median and crashed head on into a tree. Fortunately, his wife escaped the accident with only minor injuries.

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Greg’s 2010 TIFF Report: Day 9

They say all good things must come to an end. I’m not sure who ‘they’ are, but I suppose ‘they’ are right. TIFF is over. It’s been a long 9 days and I’m exhausted. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing good ol’ Jackson Square again.

Before I get into it, I should clear up something. It was brought to my attention by one person, that I actually neglected to mention the name of the brilliant Darren Aronofsky ballet film I saw last night. It was called Black Swan. This leads me to believe one of three things happened. 1) All of you already knew the name of the movie, 2) Since it’s the weekend no one has spent much time in front of the computer, or 3) No one gives a shit about what I have to say. I think it’s mostly 3, but like every other great asshole in the world, I don’t care. I will continue.

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Greg’s 2010 TIFF Report: Day 8

All together now: Oskee-Wee-Wee, Oskee-Wa-Wa, Holy Mackenaw, Tigers! Eat ‘em Raw!! Did you all see that amazing comeback tonight? Cats down by 19 in the 4th quarter and they climb back for a win in B.C. against the Lions. Absolute gold. Made even better by the wings I ate while watching it. I have to say “Let’s Wing It” at Yonge and College might be one of my favourite places ever.

All right, now that we have that out of the way…

I hadn’t decided whether I was going to see 3 or 4 movies today, but after the 3 hours of sleep I had, I think 3 is a better idea. Morning starts off great as my friend Krista went out a got me coffee and made me brunch. Poached eggs in tomato sauce on beet greens and toast. That’s right! I had vegetables!

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Greg’s 2010 TIFF Report: Day 7

For Jackson.

5 movies today. 3 very good. 1 average and 1 very, very bad.

I hadn’t planned on five films today, but as I scanned the paper, I put together a decent schedule where I could fit it all in. At the moment, I regret that decision because it’s 2:50am and I’m just starting my blog and I have a strange craving for Pop-Tarts. Chocolate. I bought some of the ones that are supposed to taste like a strawberry milkshake earlier in the week and I’m not impressed. Late night food choices when you’re hungry usually end up on the bad side. I’ve been found standing in front of the boxes of pizza pockets in my grocer’s freezer (that’s for you, Franchise) at 3am on many occasions. Moving on…

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Greg’s 2010 TIFF Report: Day 6

A child molester and a little boy go for a walk and they end up heading towards the woods. They go into the woods and go deeper and deeper and it gets darker and darker and they get further and further from the road. The little boy looks up at the child molester and says: “Mister, I’m really scared.” The child molester says: “You think you’re scared? I gotta walk outta here all by myself.”

Just a couple of movies today because my friend Torie is making me dinner, so I needed my evening free.

I head down to the big AMC theatre for my first film and there’s a well dressed man in the middle of the Yonge and Gerrard intersection. He is yelling at the top of his lungs to anyone who will listen about the plight of the city of Toronto. Apparently, there’s a lot wrong with this town. I could have told you that. The hockey team sucks, the soccer team sucks, the baseball team sucks, the football team sucks, the basketball team sucks, and there’s too much traffic. However, I have enjoyed my stay for the most part.

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Greg’s 2010 TIFF Report: Day 5

I’m having trouble thinking of a good opening line.

I suppose that’ll do.

I head towards downtown for another day of TIFF and I’m right behind a guy walking two terriers. I’m immediately reminded of the Kids in the Hall song: Terriers. “Terrier is my very favourite breed”…anybody? Bueller? . Inside the subway station, Pizza Pizza is selling slices for a dollar. This happens every year. I have to say that it’s not fair to sell hot pizza for such a cheap price and being a fat guy with a healthy appetite makes it even less fair. Luckily, I had just flossed, brushed my teeth and used Total Care Listerine. I still had that minty breath and pizza would not be a good idea. My dentist told me to use that Total Care stuff. She’s super cute, so I’d pretty much do whatever she said.

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Greg’s 2010 TIFF Report: Day 4

I had a slice of pizza today from three different places. That’s a good day.

This happened because I set myself up for a tough day. Back to back to back movies at the same theatre. 3pm, 6pm and 9pm starts. I didn’t really have much choice as far as cuisine goes because time was a factor.

First up is Let Me In. It’s an adaptation of a swedish novel called “Låt den rätte komma in” by John Lindqvist. The novel was first adapted into film back in 2008 with Sweden’s Let the Right One In. Now, not only was Let the Right One in one of the best film of 2008, but it was one of the best movies of the last decade. Needless to say, Let Me In had some big shoes to fill. Here’s a quick plotline: A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian. This is not your typical vampire movie. This vampire does not glitter. It’s very close to the original in tone and the two young lead actors, Kodi Smit McPhee (The Road) and Chloe Moretz (Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass) carry the film well. It didn’t have the same impact as the original, but it’s a damn fine film.

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