Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TIFF List Drops, Frustrating Many

The final list of films dropped today, along with a couple of frustrating bombshells. I wasn't expecting anything spectacular, but I assumed TIFF saved some unexpected announcements for the end. Apart from Burn After Reading and the Mavericks presentation with Howard Zinn, there isn't anything that catches the eye. Of course, it could be because they haven't even put out the full announcement online for the Contemporary World Cinema additions. Still, the list of films announced prior to today is good enough to moot my concerns.

No, the real bombshell today is the release of the VISA Screening Room and Gala schedule. I'm not too put out by it, but I think a lot of pass-holders are going to be pretty pissed. For those who haven't read my previous post, the VISA Screening Room will no longer be part of the ticket lottery, which sets a whole lot of films off-limits for the rest of us. Here are the affected films from the Special Presentations and Gala programs (note: 'second screening' refers to Gala presentations)

Un Barrage Contre le Pacifique
Blindness (two screenings)
Burn After Reading (second showing)
Burning Plain
Che (Part 1 and Part 2) (two screenings apiece)
The Duchess (second showing)
Easy Virtue (two screenings)
Empty Nest
Fauborg 36
Flash of Genius
Ghost Town
The Good, the Bad, the Weird (second screening)
Heaven on Earth
Inju (two screenings)
The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (second screening)
The Lucky Ones (second screening)
Miracle at St. Anna (two screenings)
Nothing But the Truth (second screening)
Rachel Getting Married (second screening)
Woman in Berlin
The Wrestler
Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Now, it's entirely possible that TIFF intends to screen all of these films at least once outside of the VISA screenings. But if they get only one screening, expect those showings to be very difficult to attend. I would pay particular attention to The Wrestler, in that regard. The two screenings of Aronofsky's The Fountain, two years ago, were some of the hardest tickets to score at that TIFF.

As I said, I'm not too angry about it this year, since two of my most anticipated--The Brothers Bloom and Synechdoche, New York--will both premiere somewhere else (most likely the Ryerson). But I am angry about this in general, because it's yet another step towards further undermining the egalitarian nature of the festival. Frankly, I'm not too confident about that.


Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I noticed this yesterday as well, I knew that the Elgin was now hands-off to people who've purchased passes but since I don't normally see films there I wasn't worried.

Until I looked at the screening list. I've been looking forward to The Good The Bad and The Weird for ages and if it doesn't get another screening it will be a big dissapointment. Also, to make it tougher to make a decision, if I remember right the premium tickets go on sale Saturday, which is before the full Schedule comes out.

Jeremy Heilman said...

If Blindness, Che, Easy Virtue, Inju, and Miracle at St. Anna are the only films I can't see because of the pass restriction, I can't say I'd be too annoyed.

If I get shut out of the alternate screenings of some of the other Special Presenations, that would be terrible, I agree.

I suppose there's always the option of buying $40 individual tickets to these shows, but none of those 5 really inspire me to do that, especially when I have no idea what movies they will be playing against.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

The Mad Hatter (http://mcneilmatinee.blogspot.com/) reports that Blindness will not have any screenings outside RTH and Elgin, but that Che will. He emailed TIFF. I'm just gonna cross my fingers until Tuesday AM when the schedule comes out.

Crunchy Squirrel said...

I thought that might happen. As I said, I'm not too put out, but I know a lot of people who will be pretty mad about not getting to see Blindness. I suppose that also means no one in the lottery gets to see The Good, the Bad and the Weird either. Damn, that hurts...