Toronto Film Festival 2012: The Horror Stories.
Horror One: Buying movie tickets online
There was a long line-up in TIFF’s virtual waiting room. It’s a good thing Matthew 5000 (TIFF Talk) warned us of the dangers lurking in that dark space. Using an iPad to get your tickets could be NIGHTMARISH, he reported. Some people panicked and pressed logout instead of checkout, with CATASTROPHIC RESULTS. And beware! Using Safari to surf for tickets was a DISASTER, according to another blogger. All that horror, I suspect, was the result of an invasion by little green men speaking an alien tongue. They wanted you to wait for PACKAGE FULFILMENT INTERFACE, but that was just code for “chewing your face off”. On the other hand, blogger Richard bragged that he scored 60 tickets in 13 minutes. Clearly he knows a few things about PACKAGE FULFILMENT INTERFACE. Maybe he was one of THEM! I shudder at my narrow escape.
Horror Two: The killer troops of TIFF.
Neil Morton (Metro, 14 Sept) made my flesh crawl with his cryptic references to the “tieless brigade” of underdressed male stars. But according to the OMG blog, there were scarier troopers on the red carpet: the “leg brigade”. Thigh-high slit dresses were about to TAKE OVER TIFF. I hope you took cover in time and ducked behind the bar. If those slits didn’t kill you, Jared Leto’s HUGE BEARD was ready to swallow you up and drown you in the depth of his MASSIVE FACIAL HAIR. And he threatened to grow more of the stuff when he was “not so busy with other things”. Like what? Growing his toenails into scissor points? And if that didn’t scare you to death, there was Ray Liotta’s COLD MOBSTER STARE. One hapless journalist mentioned that his teenage kids didn’t know Winona Ryder’s name. Liotta aimed his deadly stare at him and left everyone QUAKING IN THEIR BOOTS (according to Soraya Roberts on Widescreen Blog).
Horror Three: A journalist’s gruelling trek through TIFF
Johanna Schneller spent 127 hours at TIFF events and lived to tell the tale (Globe & Mail, 14 Sept). Here are the highlights of her ordeal: First, she was PINNED UNDER TIFF’s promotional boulder, then deadly DRINK TICKETS came her way and nearly did her in. She blacked out twice. Finally she was forced to eat tiny cheese sandwiches, tiny fish fritters, and tiny squash and phyllo squares using only tiny plastic forks. She staved off starvation thanks to filching 40,000 calories’ worth of chocolate bars from hospitality suites. Phew!
But not everything at TIFF was scary. Some stuff was just, let’s say, challenging. I’m talking about the newest movie genre: HANDICAPPED SEX. What are the salient features of the Handicapped-sex film? The wheelchair is clearly top prop (Hyde Park on Hudson). Preferably the handicap is the result of crippling polio (Hyde Park and The Sessions), but missing limbs are acceptable, too (Rust & Bone).
And some stuff was merely puzzling. There seemed to be an Olympic contest going on between the talent: Who can give the shortest answer to an interview question?
The Bronze medal goes to an anonymous French film director for: SEX. I LOVE IT.
The Silver medal goes to Matthew McConaughy for: ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT.
And the winner: Audrey Tautou for keeping her lips sealed and giving only an IMPERIAL SHAKE OF THE HEAD. (For more words about no words read the Globe, 14 Sept).
Other stars with a notable preference for gestures over words, leaving us to guess at their meaning:
Dennis Quaid, smoking an electronic cigarette. Really, people, what else would you smoke in TIFF’s virtual box office while waiting for your PACKAGE FULFILMENT INTERFACE?
Michael Shannon, pinching his forearms. To keep himself from blacking out after running into too many drink tickets?
Chris Brown showing off his tattoo of a battered woman’s face (Rihanna’s?). Okay, let me guess at his message. He is saying: I’m guilty. Naw. I’m proud of myself. More like it. Or he's saying: Don’t cross me, ladies, or you’ll end up with a face like this. I think I’ll go with that one. BTW, Rihanna had little guns tattooed on her body.
Those guys may be setting a trend. Next year at TIFF: no more groping for words to twitter a review. Just two tattoos: one thumb up on your left cheek, one thumb down on your right cheek, and you can do like Audrey Tautou and say it all with an IMPERIAL SHAKE OF THE HEAD.