Midnight Madness Blog

- 2008
- 2007

More Conversations From The Line

One of my favorite aspects of attending Midnight Madness and waiting in line for the audience to be let in is meeting my fellow audience members.

All year I talk to friends or colleagues at work about great films I have seen such as L'Interieur and I get a blank eyed stare, shrugged shoulders, "that's really great Rob" or "that woman tried to do what to a pregnant woman? And you actually watched this and liked it?!"

However for ten days in September I like many other moths drawn to the flame line up for Midnight Madness and it is here I meet many like-minded, kindred spirits. Waiting in line tonight (Sept 5th 2008) I met one such man by the name of Jason Herbert. He informed me that he has been attending Midnight Madness since 1994. That's when I said, "Really!", whipped out my digital voice recorder and asked "do you mind giving me a few words for the MM08 blog?" He obviously said yes or this blog entry would not have been titled more conversations from the line. Here is some of the conversation that followed.

Robert Mitchell (RM)

Jason Herbert (JH)

RM "So you have been attending Midnight Madness since 1994 can you tell me what that was like?"

JH "Back in those days the films were screened at the Bloor Cinema. The program would start at eleven o'clock and they would play an hour of music videos before the feature. The music videos would be related to whatever the movie was. Some of the videos were Danzig, Nine Inch Nails"

RM "What was the first film you saw back in 1994?

JH "Well that was a film entitled Schramm Inside the Mind of  a Serial Killer and it had some the craziest scenes I had ever watched. I was hooked and have been coming to Midnight Madness ever since"

This kind of dedication and enthusiasm (which I have been discovering runs rampant with many who attend MM) garnered my next question.

RM "What keeps bringing you back year after year?"

JH "The audiences, the crowd, the atmosphere, the movies, the insanity. I trust Colin with my life, I mean he programs the best movies every year. I totally trust him"

Not asking the dreaded what is your favorite Midnight Madness film I opted to go with the less ambiguous question.

RM "What are some of your favorite films for the almost decade and half you have been attending Midnight Madness?"

JH "First, maybe not the movie but definitely the experience was a film called Versus in 2001, a Japanese movie, the director and the actors were all trained by Sonny Chiba. It was a crazy Japanese movie where all of these guys are trapped in a forest and everything you can think of from Samurai, Yakuza and zombies are fighting each other. The director and the actors put on a little kung fu show on the stage (this is back at the old Uptown) before the movie started. It was a wild experience. It was a lot of fun the most I remembered a crowd being into a film.

Another was an Australian film by the name of Undead and was the last movie to play at the Uptown. People were passing around champange. That was really fun.

Oh, and Ichi the Killer. The director Takashi Miike was walking down the line handing out barf bags to everyone waiting to see his film. The bags had the film's logo on it. I still have it and that was from 2001. So many great experiences. The films I just mentioned were all Japanese."

Which I replied was fitting since we waiting in the line for what promised to be another Rocking film from Japan Detroit Metal City

Not only have there been many great, crazy off the wall films screened over the twenty-one years of Midnight Madness at the Toronto International Film Festival but there has been an equal amount of great stories and experiences to go with the screenings many that keep people talking for many years after, like a little film called Borat Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan which trust me it takes longer to say the title than the amount of the film we saw it's premiere night but I digress, like I often must do because as they say that it yet another story.

Robert Mitchell

Detroit Metal City was a pleasant surprise - I went in not knowing what to expect.

I hope it gets a north-american release because it has all the makings of a cult-classic!
Comment By DaveBOTN At 07/09/2021 5:24 PM
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