Thursday, August 24, 2006

How to Schedule Movies and Not Go Crazy (Part 1)

There's 352 movies at TIFF this year. Let me repeat: 352 freakin' movies. Picking out 30 (or 50 or 10, etc.) from the total can be daunting. Suffice to say, scheduling can be monstrously complicated, especially when you factor in multiple screenings and the necessity to travel from one far-flung theater to the next in a short amount of time. Indeed, it nearly drove me crazy last year trying to hammer out the complexities.

It doesn't have to be this way. There are many, many ways to overcome these dilemmas. The simplest method is to randomize the process. Simply fill up the schedule with no concern for premise, genre, director, etc. There's a certain purity to this approach, and if I hadn't spent as much money as I have on this thing, I might actually try it. But I'm a control freak and giving the entire experience up to chance seems downright perverse to me.

The next is a method employed by an old friend. It involves locating the extremely rare Andalusian Puffy Snake, which has fur and skin in place of the usual scales. After shaving and milking the snake (to calm it), pre-moisten your fingers with guarana juice and goji berries and massage the snake's tender pale skin. Placing the snake in a terrarium with several others of its kind, turn off the lights in your room and stare intently at the snake tank. The friction of the bare, rubbing skin of the Andalusian snakes will form giant blue arcs of static in the air. When the static arcs become large enough to extend out of the tank, begin dropping gummi bears through a funnel system into their path (make sure you have pre-soaked the gummis in a beer/mayonnaise slurry, or else the snakes will devour them). Hours later, return to the tank and gently remove the now-sleeping snakes. The gummis will have melted in a fine-gelled layer on the bottom of the tank. Closely examine this gummi sheet and you should be able to identify images from thirty to fifty films. Repeat the process for alternates, preferably with new snakes.

Of course, you could always just try the method I'll begin explaining in my next post. I'll put that up later tonight.


GlenLake8 said...

The last two years I've noticed a pattern. If you just choose movies that show at The Ryerson then you will make out pretty well. This used to be the case for Uptown 1, before it was demolished. Now those shows are at the Ryerson. First, the most of the Galas have their second show the next morning at The Ryerson. The midnight madness is at the Ryerson. And several of the films that play at the Elgin, also have their second show at the Ryerson. And finally, when you consider that The Ryerson seats 1200, the chances of sellout is much less than say the Cumberland, or Varsity theatres. Of course, you don't get to experience the fun that IS the festival if you simply stay at one theatre. You have to be on the go. But...if you have limited time, check out The Ryerson.

Crunchy Squirrel said...

Great advice, glenlake8. The Ryerson was one of my favorite theaters last year. It seemed to bring out the best in every audience.