Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Loach, Inarritu...BOLL?

So I'm traipsing about the internet, a jaunty tune in my brain, when I stumble upon an interesting site. It's called TIFFreviews, and it seems to be an interesting attempt to compile all of this year's film selections in an easy-to-follow format (Well, easier than mine, I suppose). Most intriguing to me is the section in the column on the right of the page, listing unconfirmed TIFF selections. I happily scan, eager to soak in the latest rumors, when...wait one second...In the Name of the King? A Dungeon Seige movie? That's a computer game, isn't it? Hmm...Something about this sounds very familiar....
Oh. My. God.
A Uwe Boll film? At a film festival whose name doesn't include the words 'trash', 'bad' or 'turkey'? I know they had Saw a couple years ago and the Midnight Madness category is pretty free-range, but...UWE BOLL!? The only way this is gonna work is if they include a post-screening boxing match with Dr. Boll vs. some lucky audience member.

Hmm...actually, that sounds pretty good. Please disregard the post above. If you'll excuse me, I've got some training to do...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

More Titles Announced

Another seven titles were announced today. All are Spanish-language films seeing their North American or International premieres in Toronto. They are:

Of these, definitely count me in for Pan's Labyrinth. I find del Toro to be hit and miss, but the film looks gorgeous and I'm a sucker for this kind of movie. I also remember reading good things about Fantasma, though since I can't remember where, you might want to disregard. As always, check out the press release, here at the TIFF website. More later...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nightmare in Toronto (or, How I Finally Got My @&!% Tickets)

10:00 AM. I eagerly open the laptop and log on to the TIFF website. There's a cup of coffee to my right. A Visa card to my left. I'm in the zone, ready to make a ridiculously expensive purchase. Everything's good, I say to myself. Everything's good.

And that's when everything went to hell.

Buying tickets for a major film festival is probably always an ordeal, especially the first day the box-office opens. But this one was an absolute disaster. Every year, the TIFF phone lines jam like clockwork once 10:00 rolls around, but the online shopping usually works with only some minor hitches (or at least it did last year). But at some time in the first hour, the server went down. Completely. Which left the ridiculously log-jammed phone lines the only way to purchase tickets.

I'm sure most of the people reading this already know all of this, since they probably experienced similar obstacles today. That's why I want to leave this with a question:

What the hell happened? How does an organization as well-funded and high-profile as this continually screw up one of the most important parts of the film festival experience? This isn't just a server problem and a poorly tested web store. It's a consistent neglect on the part of the TIFF group and it's not getting any better. For example, last year's TIFF had a single location for purchasing and exchanging tickets and they had only five or six stations active at any given time. Considering that hundreds of people were using their services at any given time, would it have killed them to open another location (as they're wisely doing this year)?

Honestly, it's not as though this is that big a deal--something I can say now that the tickets are confirmed, natch--but if this is any indication of the level of service we can expect this year, we're all in for a bumpy ride.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Catching Up: The Movies

The following are the first 31 films to be announced for TIFF so far. Each film either links to the film's website or its IMDB page:

A handful of these films stubbornly refused to yield a website, but I'll keep trying and update when I locate something. Since films get announced each Tuesday like clockwork, this list will continue to grow and grow, so keep checking for further info.

Catching Up: The Website

The TIFF website went live sometime last week and is chock full of useful, necessary information. If you haven't gone, get thee hence, immediately.

Last year, I found the most important sections to be the news releases and the box-office. The first will keep you abreast of the latest film announcements, while the second lets you know exactly how badly you're gonna get screwed by the festival.

The whole thing is invaluable, so give it a go. I'll wait for ya.

Toronto Website 3.0

Well, giant eels didnt' invade, though you wouldn't know it from the gap between posts. Holy crap, has it really been a month?

I won't go into the details of my absence. Let's just say giant eels have nothing on real-life. Stay tuned for many, many posts as I vainly attempt to catch up.