TIFF 2008 (Eric’s diary): stop-motion, start festival

Our Rating

Today we kicked off the first day of TIFF with a little tourism, hitting something called Casa Loma. It’s a mansion (which felt more like a castle) built by a very rich guy who built a very big house before losing all his money and dying while living with his chauffeur. All I know is, we turned off the electronic tour guide and posed erotically on top of a tower. It was worth the price of admission.

Like yesterday, the overbearing heat sapped our energy and caused rivers of sweat to flow down our faces. If you thought Canada in September might be chilly, try putting on a Victorian dress and having professional photographs taken by an angry Russian woman. I did. More explanation later.

Most importantly, however, tonight kicked off the festival and we attended our first screening of the year at the Varsity! Tonight’s film was Edison & Leo (7/8), the first stop-motion animated feature produced in Canada. EVER! The director, producers, writers, several voice actors, and several animators were in attendance and participated in an awkward Q&A in which they all took turns trying to avoid speaking in front of the microphone.

The film itself was just awesome, and visually tasty from start to finish. It concerned George Edison, a 19th century inventor whose son, Leo, has been cursed to be “electrified” for life, leaving him unable to touch anyone or anything without electrocuting it. It had an irresistibly dark sense of humor well-paired with the visual quirks of stop-motion animation. I am hopeful that Edison & Leo will see the light of day beyond this festival.


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