CATEGORIES Classics, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Newsstand, Michael Moore, Other Festivals, Movie News, CinematicalThough the film won't make its official debut until next month at the Toronto International Film Festival, Borat was actually screened for a paying audience for the first time at Michael Moore'sTraverse City Film Festival over the weekend -- I guess that's what you call a soft open? The film's director, Larry Charles, was even on hand for the screening, and took a bow after a sustained standing ovation, telling the crowd he wasn't allowed to answer questions about the film until he meets the press in Toronto. Man, I can't wait to see what critics at TIFF think of the film -- it's hard to tell right now if the manic buzz stems from actual quality, or just a desperate love for the outrageous Sacha Baron Cohen.
Most of the fest's program consisted of films that have already been released, from the new-ish like Scoop, Little Miss Sunshine, The Squid and the Whale (with Jeff Daniels in attendance) and Wordplay, to oldies like A Clockwork Orange (with Malcolm McDowell), Full Metal Jacket (with Matthew Modine), Amadeus, Spartacus and Three Kings and Flirting with Disaster (with director David O. Russell). Also on the program were This Film is Not Yet Rated, which isn't released until next month, and smaller, festival-friendly films like Pittsburgh and I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With. Wow -- most big-city, big-name festivals would kill for that lineup.