Tuesday, September 15, 2015

TIFF 2015 first round-up

I've been seeing some movies. Once again this year I started out with the intention of being moderate and not letting movie-going interfere with the back-to-school family fussing. And once again I find myself seeing two movies in a day, not being home when school gets out, throwing together dinner.

Whatever.

So far I have seen three movies, none of which I have actually paid for! I won free tickets for a show on Sunday of The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Wonderful, wonderful! We got great music, and the stories of several of the musicians who make up the Silk Road Ensemble, from China, Iran, Syria, Galicia and all points even remotely connected. The thing I like best about the film festivals here is the opportunity to see the directors and stars on the stage after the show for Q&A sessions with the audience. After a bit of chit-chat, the moderator said he'd noticed a cello backstage, and we got a teeny weeny live concert by Yo-Yo Ma to finish the afternoon off. Just stunning, all around. The only standing ovations so far: one for the movie and one for the music.

A friend gave me a ticket to a "suspenseful crime drama" that I thought was not really to my taste, so I swapped the ticket, picking instead Colonia, with Emma Watson. She's so sweet, what could go wrong? Since I hadn't seen a trailer for it, I didn't quite appreciate that a movie set in Pinochet's Chile was going to be just as suspenseful and violent as the other, but it was very good. At times I had to restrain myself from clawing at the arm of the fellow sitting next to me, and I noticed he was leaning forward and clutching his hair as well. I had to leave before the Q&A of this one; just had time to learn that the actors who played the horrible people were really very nice. Acting! (I almost giggled when Emma Watson drops down a trapdoor. She is very good, but sometimes one just sees Hermione.)

Then I dashed off to see another show I'd won tickets for, the Meddler with the great and wonderful Susan Sarandon. This was a very funny and awkward and kind look at someone's mom who doesn't really know what to do with herself after her husband's death. A great antidote to the stress of the morning's movie.

Why we should leave some things to the professionals:

My best picture of Susan Sarandon, JK Simmons, Jason Ritter and director/writer Lorene Scafaria


This afternoon I am off to the Dressmaker, a movie I actually paid full price for. Looks fab; will report in.