A Volunteer's Look Inside the 2005 TIFF (Part 2)

Day 3: 13hrs, 3 gala presentations at Roy Thompson Hall*

*Note: the mysterious disappearance of day two can be attributed to the Absolut Vodka of opening night, as well as the sheer exhaustion of working and watching from 12:15pm to 12:45am today. At this point, I remember little about it. Another common symptom of Festival Fever. But today, wow. Where to begin?

Matinee gala, Dreamer, 1:30pm. Them kids love little Dakota Fanning. Probably the only gala we'd ever allow people in with hand-made signs. WE LUV U DAKOTA etc. The film's a Sea Biscuitesque underdog story about horse racing, the importance of hope, faith, family- you know the drill. A little girl asks me, in all seriousness, if there will be a horse on stage with the actors during the opening. Easily the best question so far. What follows is also likely the cutest bit of audience member interaction I am likely to hear all festival. It goes something like this...

Little girl (turning to couple in row behind her): Is that your wife?

Man: No.

Girl: Is she your fiance?

Man: No.

Girl: Well, is she your sister or something? Who is she?

Man: My girlfriend.

Girl: Your GIRLFRIEND. Just your girlfriend? Why haven't you asked her to marry you yet?

Audience: laughter


Loads of talent on stage for the premiere: Dakota, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Shue, Luis Guzman (in blue jeans, awesome). You know when a movie's built to manipulate you in to tears? You sit there while every sad sap cliche is thrown your way, aware of every device, but dammit, you're up in the balcony welling up in spite of it all? Dreamer is such a flick. I'm not saying run out and see it, but, if the little tykes in your life are hunting down a dvd next february, get this one, and watch it with them.

Even if you abide by the theory Dakota is not in fact a child, but a being from another planet, the same one that Sixth Sense kid came from, she's still something of a fine actress. There, I said it.

One hour break: A five dollar pork chop is consumed at the Taste of Toronto. Delicious.

6:30pm gala, The History of Violence. Sunny has returned to work this shift. I am excited to see her. A group named Handsome Male Models is sponsoring the event, and the predominantly female group of volunteers seem excited. My roomate and I feel this group may steal our thunder a bit. That for tonight, and hopefully only tonight, we will not be the sexiest dudes on the RTH main level. Geez.

Thankfully, we have director David Cronenberg's gritty, explosive film ahead of us. Read the reviews. They're all bang on. This thing is awesome.

9:30pm gala, Elizabethtown. We're too pumped up to be tired. The setups are running smoothly. We all have our seat guard spots. We're starting to recognize the cinefiles in the audience who have been to every show thus far. We chat it up with these people we may never otherwise have encountered, about films, of course, and "the wonderful city of Toronto." The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive. People love this place, this festival, the films they've been seeing. Now we've got Cameron Crowe's new flick, Kirsten Dunst, Orlando Bloom, and Susan Sarandon in the house; and this particlular crowd, on a Saturday night, is absolutely buzzing.

Against better judgement, I decide to stay for this movie as well. Crowe's heart, a la Almost Famous & Jerry Maguire, is in the right place once again. Yet, this movie is in some serious need of a good editor, as it's really about four different movies at once. Kudos for using Ryan Adam's Come Pick Me Up in the soundtrack, however.

1:30am, writing this blog. With three more films tomorrow, I'm more exhausted than I've been in awhile. And there's people involved with this festival working ten times harder then we are. My respect for everything that goes into such an event is deepening. Another great day.

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