TIFF 2009: A Preamble

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For those of you who have been Moviepie readers for a while, you’ll know that, for the past seven years, I’ve covered the Toronto International Film Festival extensively with an annual day-by-day diary.

Well, that time of year has arrived once again but, unfortunately, coverage in 2009 will be rather limited.

For starters, I almost broke up with TIFF last year.

My experience at the fest in 2008 blew. From the horrible ticket lottery to being manhandled by a staffer to seeing far less than the 35 films for which I paid, it was one big, long, exhausting, frustrating, VERY expensive headache, and one which I really wasn’t interested in repeating this year.

For a while last fall, I actually debated whether I would attend TIFF 2009 at all.

Of course, time eventually heals all wounds (or scabs them over well enough), and I will be hitting the festival in a couple of weeks… but with a drastically slashed film slate (only ten films for me this go-round, plus whatever press screenings I can manage) and minus my Moviepie partner-in-crime-and-bad-cinema, Eric.

There won’t be day-by-day coverage in ’09 because, frankly, there will be days where I don’t see anything. And, really, in rereading the blog entries from TIFFs gone by – especially from the past couple of years – all I see is bitterness. Who wants to read 10 days of angry ramblings? Not me and, I would guess, not you. Besides, there are a TON of people blogging about TIFF nowadays, so I will happily turn the reins over to them.

Instead, I may drop in occasionally with some capsule reviews, or stories of anything wildly funny or infuriating that I experience.

And, I have to say, the back-to-basics approach I’m adopting this year – it’s been more than a decade since I saw fewer than 30 films at a fest – is wonderfully liberating. I don’t have to spend hours and hours trying to organize 35 films, nor will I have to re-organize them if I’m junk-punched by the lottery again. Seeing a mere ten movies allows for a huge amount of freedom and is much more recession-friendly, budget-wise. I don’t have to buy two meals each day for nine days, I don’t need to get a Metropass… I can walk to and from my sole screening of the day and eat at home. More importantly, I won’t have to stay up until 1am writing my coverage at the end of a long day of moviegoing.

So, there you have it.

For more on TIFF 2009, check out the official website.

For info on the films screening this year, peruse the TIFF film list.

For details on the how, when and how much of tickets, visit the online box office.

Happy TIFFing to us all… fingers crossed…!

Note: For those of you looking for TIFF Diaries from 2007 or previous, please visit the old Moviepie blog. When we relaunched the ‘Pie this past spring, we lost much of our archives and will be re-uploading them over time. For now, TIFF 2008 is done, and older years will follow eventually. Oh, and sadly your comments (thank you!) from the old blog didn’t survive the transition, either. Apologies.


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