TIFF 2018 without the lineups
Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival
Our correspondent finds ways to see all the Donald Trump-themed films he wants, and with no waiting required
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — Today we invoked another Toronto film festival rule for the retired critic, which is that we don’t stand in line for anything. This is partly because life is too short, and partly because you might not get in anyway and so you’ve used up some of your precious remaining minutes idly shifting from one leg to the other, indulging in the futile hope of getting a seat that will probably be in the front row, and standing behind people who talk in bored nasal voices about their film festival experiences. One tries not to listen, but one is human, after all, and one is in danger of grinding away all the remaining enamel on one’s teeth.
The downside of this guideline is that one doesn’t get to see a lot of movies that everyone else is dying to see, which is perhaps not serving one’s readersh...
TIFF 2018: Wandering in and out of this and that
In which our retired film critic decides at the last minute what he wants to see and discovers he's chosen an eight-hour epic
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, or, in the case of the Toronto film festival, ceaselessly into the next lineup.
People who come to film festivals to scout movies for other festivals, or who own theatres and are looking for something to show in them, move through Toronto’s cinemas like sharks, dipping their fins, as it were, into this auditorium and that. In a few minutes they can decide whether what they’re watching is worth the acquisition. Then it’s off to feed in the next hunting ground.
Film critics, on the other hand, are expected to do some research, make a schedule, and head off to the likely movies. You stick it out because you might be interviewing the stars, or the director, and they might ask you what you thought of the ...
Mina Shum Gets Her Freaky Friday On
Interview: Mina Shum
The Vancouver filmmaker always wanted to make a movie about how she and her mother are so different, and in her new movie Meditation Park, she reunites with Sandra Oh to make it happen.
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER — Mina Shum says she’s trying to be “a good Chinese daughter.” After a greeting at the door of the hotel suite, she ushers me to a seat, and checks to make sure the publicist is comfortable. The place is all too generic for a talk about the particular. With its creamy white walls and bleached white linens, the hotel room overlooking Vancouver’s downtown skyline is all postcard pretty, displaying snow-capped mountains and green-patina copper rooftops. Shum says she loves every corner of this coastal town, but her new movie Meditation Park is looking at a different view of the city she calls home.
Set in the Eastside neighbourhood of Sunrise-Hastings, and focused on one family’s love-laden unravelling, Meditation Park stars Asian ...
Kathleen Hepburn Takes a Metaphorical Skinny Dip
Interview: Kathleen Hepburn
The first-time feature director went back to the family cabin in northern B.C. -- and deep into the wilderness of mother-child dynamics -- in Never Steady, Never Still
The parents and children of TIFF
Three movies the the Toronto film festival present different versions of the cinematic parent — Interfering Mother, Distant Father — with varying success
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — It was parent-and-child day at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is always interesting for those of us who are parents and wonder which of several cinematic categories we might fall into: Distant Father, Interfering Mother, Demanding Taskmaster (or –mistress), Indifferent Hippie or Kooky Eccentric. I think that’s all of them.
We began with a terrific little coming-of-age title called Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan — heroine of yesterday’s movie marathon and providing further proof here that she can do no wrong — as a rebellious high school student growing up in terrifyingly unhip Sacramento, Calif. She laughs with her best friend, dumps the friend for some new rich kids, dumps the rich kids for the old friend, meets a couple of boys who are variou...
TIFF diary: My day in Auditorium 12
What's it like to spend the entire day in one cinema, watching whatever comes along? Jay Stone sets out to find out at the Toronto film festival
TIFF Opens with an Overhead Smash
Festival's opening movie, Borg/McEnroe captures, an epic battle at Wimbledon and the two contrasting personalities — the emotional American and the cool Swede — who fought it out
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — A magazine called Screen has a special edition at the Toronto film festival, and it runs capsule reviews of some of the movies showing that day. Wednesday’s edition included a review of Miracle, a Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production, in which “the owner of a struggling post-Soviet pig farm finds a surprising benefactor in a visiting American investor, whose ‘good’ intentions upend the gentle rhythms of small-town life.”
And that’s the film festival for you: it might be a warm and wonderful comedy, or it could be what you might later describe as the best Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production of the month. You can’t tell without actually going to watch it, and who has time for that?
As it happens, I was reading this while seated next to ...
Oliver Stone says paranoia is par for the course
Movies: Snowden press conference at TIFF 16
The director and stars of Snowden say they now put bandaids over the cameras on their computers and have a new appreciation for what freedom really means
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO — It didn’t take long for Oliver Stone to affirm his public reputation for being a little paranoid, calling President Obama “the most efficient managers of the surveillance world,” pointing out the presence of “rockets 200 miles in space peeking in on us” and accusing the U.S. government of “lying all the time.”
In other words, it was everything you could have wanted out of an Oliver Stone press conference. This time, the director of JFK and Nixon was speaking about Snowden, his latest feature screening at the Toronto International Film Festival starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as whistleblower Edward Snowden and Shailene Woodley as girlfriend Lindsay Mills.
“It’s out of control,” Stone said, citing Snowden’s own words from a recent ...