My favorite story from TIFF came from a friend who had gone to see Starting Out in the Evening. She loved the film, and said that the end had made her teary-eyed. Impressed with Frank Langella's performance, she walked up to him as she was leaving the theater and told him so. "Are you crying?" he asked, and then wiped her tears away. That Frank is a slick, slick man.
On Wednesday, The Last Lear Q&A with Rituparno Ghosh was cut short when someone pulled the fire alarm. As is usually the case when the bell starts ringing, everyone ignored it and we continued the discussion. (How often do people actually pay attention to those things from the get-go?) Then, mid-sentence, Ghosh was cut short and we were told to exit the theater immediately, because it wasn't a drill as they initially assumed. Whoops. At least it didn't happen during the film. Pisay, on the other hand, had a few technical problems -- thankfully, it was a digital screening, so we didn't end up missing anything.
Wednesday also brought one of the biggest treats -- almost the entire cast and crew of Weirdsville came out for the Q&A. (They did the same thing at the Friday screening, which was a rare treat since most filmmakers and cast leave as the fest peters out.) Allan Moyle, Willem Wennekers, Scott Speedman, Taryn Manning, Wes Bentley, a Satan worshiper or two, and some Medieval little people were on-hand. (I use "little people" begrudgingly. While it seems to be the preferred term, it sounds so completely condescending.)
Anyhow, Speedman, as you can see to the left, is a bit bashful. He pretty much sat there, looking down and not saying much. I later found out that a friend of mine went to school with the actor, and he's pretty much that guy -- down to earth and a bit reserved. Bentley, on the other hand, knows how to work the crowd. If his acting career ever stalls, I bet he becomes an interviewer or game show host. Moyle and most of us were in agreement that Speedman and Bentley need to work together more -- so perhaps we'll see the pair become the buddy duo of indie comedy.
Thursday brought a fangirl frenzy at Deficit, seeing that Latin heartthrob Gael García Bernal was there. I was at the back of the theater, and the entire place was a sea of glowing digital camera screens as everyone tried to get a good picture in the dark. I don't think I have ever seen that many cameras in a screening. I didn't get one myself, but I bet you can find some online, somewhere. Later that day, I got a glimpse of Richard Roxburgh, who introduced his feature film debut, Romulus, My Father. He is, of course, The Duke from Moulin Rouge!, and he's the guy with the mic on the right.
With weather all over the spectrum, TIFF wrapped with one heck of a cold Saturday. In the past, I've ended the fest with some real stinkers, but this year, I was blown away by my final film -- Nobuhiro Yamashita's A Gentle Breeze in the Village. It was one heck of a film that soared well beyond its passive name, and seemed to wow just about everyone in the audience. There were a few moments in the film that spurred some of the full house to cheer and clap. (Stay tuned for my review.)
And with that, the fest bid adieu, and now we have to wait way too many days for it to come again.