Tuesday, September 25, 2007
People were lined up outside the Best Buy on 45th & 5th, waiting for the game to go on sale at midnight. Several different TV channels and shows were doing ongoing coverage of the event, including G4.
When Aaron wasn't being interviewed, I helped him hand out t-shirts to the voracious fans waiting on line. Before I knew it, I had been there for three hours!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Don't read the review if you're easily offended. And definitely don't see the movie.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The film was great. Tony Leung (one of the main reasons I wanted to see it) played a truly horrible person, who is somehow really compelling anyway. You can't help but hate him and be fascinated by him at the same time. And that's just how the heroine feels about him, too, so it's very appropriate. While I was watching it I was thinking, "There's no way this film is getting an R rating." Later I found out it's going to be rated NC-17. A little bit of violence, and a lot of graphic sex.
Later that day I saw Nightwatching, by another favorite director, Peter Greenaway. I'm not sure how I felt about this one. There were some things I really liked about it, but it was dense, and I was tired, and I wasn't following it all that well. It was gorgeous, and Martin Freeman was great as Rembrant. But if I want to know what was actually going on with all the intrigue, I'm definitely going to have to see it again.
On Monday morning I saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Is that the longest title in movie history? Probably not, but it's considerably longer than it needs to be, I think. The film itself is aslo quite long, and when director Andrew Dominik stepped on stage to greet us before the screening he said he hates introducing the film. He said it's long, it's slow, and he hoped we all had plenty of coffee that morning. Not a real enthusiastic way of introducing your film, I have to say. Or maybe he was just being overly modest, in reaction to the media frenzy surrounding the film's star. (And no, Brad Pitt wasn't there for this early morning screening, making it a much less frenzied event).
Anyway, he needn't have been so apologetic. I thought the movie was great. Yes, it was long (2 hours and 40 minutes), but it was very engaging. I've seen much shorter movies where I was looking at my watch and wondering when it would be over. Brad was great in it, as were Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Sam Rockwell, and many others. I'd certainly recommend it to people.
The last film I saw before heading back to NYC was probably my favorite - a film by Jason Reitman called Juno. It stars Ellen Page as the title character, a high school girl who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. She finds a good candidate family in Jennifer Gartner and Jason Bateman. Oh, and her friend/baby daddy is played by Michael Cera. The script by Diablo Cody is excellent - hilarious and very real. I was laughing pretty much the whole way through.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I stuck around for a few minutes, and the couple soon arrived, to much shrieking and cheering. They walked up and down the barricades on both sides of the street, signing things and posing for photos. Really I could only tell this by the direction people were pointing their cameras, because mostly all I could see was the back of other spectator's heads. I did catch a quick glimpse of them as they walked by. And I managed to get a couple photos (poor quality I'm sure) by holding my camera as high as I could and aiming it randomly where I guessed they were. I haven't had a chance to get those off the camera yet, but I'll post something when I do.
I suppose that was worth waiting 5 minutes for, but I still can't understand the people who waited for 4 hours.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Later in the day I saw the new Coen brothers film, No Country for Old Men. Pretty good stuff. Very violent & mysterious. Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem were both pretty amazing. The story, the characters, the dynamic between them, and the rampant brutality reminded me a little of History of Violence. Unfortunately, I was sitting in the balcony, and the sound was kind of crappy, so some of the dialogue went right by me.
At the venue, though, the screening was a little overshadowed by all the hoopla surrounding the imminent arrival of the world's most newsworthy couple, Brad and Angelina. See, Brad Pitt's new movie was premiering in the same theater immediately following No Country, and the festival actually closed off the entire street in front of the theater four hours before the film, in preparation for the red carpet. When we went into the theater for the Coen Bros film, there were already hundreds of people lined up out front, waiting by the barricades. By the time we came out of the theater, the crowd had taken over the entire block.
And, of course the power couple was on the cover of most of the Toronto papers today. I thought the choice of the above image, by the Toronto Star, was kind of odd. Aside from being a really unflattering angle, they both look exhausted and miserable. She looks on the verge of tears! Maybe it's a little hard to tell from the online version of the photo, but blown up bigger on the front of the newspaper, it looks much worse.
More about the other films I saw when I get back to the U.S. in a couple days.