Festival Daily

The TIFF Olympics!


Still revelling in the sweet comfort of uninterrupted hours of Olympic viewing (where I discovered sport disciplines and exercises I never thought I would be interested in at 11:30 at night), and feeling the world come together in an incredibly fit form that can only give way to body issues and the like, I ask at the onset of this 33rd TIFF year… why let the magic end? Let it ride, I say. Make this TIFF athletic, Herculean, multi-disciplined and possibly spandexed. Set records, beating the clocks, the lineups, the heat; carry a torch of tickets and gift bags into the stadium of movie theatres and venues and coffee shops. In this brave new Phelpsian world, I believe what Flashdance, that great cinematic achievement, always suggested: you can have it all (including a now much-maligned 1980s ’do that I still stand behind. And I mean that somewhat literally. It was quite… big… and mimetic… but I digress.)

Opening Ceremonies: At play in the fields of your wardrobe
Even without (necessarily) inviting hundreds of live drummers into your living room, there are new- and old-world traditions to be respected as you train your wardrobe into a display of colour coordination (especially if you lack physical). Quoi? No gargantuan fireworks? No main events? No Manolos? Fear not. I made a big foot-affirming discovery last year. Flat shoes. If you do not believe, then please drain someone’s wireless network and check out online footage of the New York stiletto marathon, and remember these women are trained professionals. They are Kelly Ripas. I rest my case. That’s not to say you shouldn’t allow yourself the occasional mile-high-heeled tight-rope jaunt into one or two events. Just remember pole vaulting is not for everybody.

Marathon: All countries for all men…and women
Wear your flag, and by that I mean your lanyard, or wear your programme guide for that matter (it’s so pretty!) or your schedule (light and trim for the last hot days of summer), for the film world is coming to town.... From Iceland to Malasyia to Sri Lanka to Iran to Peru – over 60 countries are represented in this year’s Festival, covering all parts of the globe. Check out what filmmakers from all over the world are thinking about and want to share with you. Our own parade of nations, the United Colours of TIFF. It really almost makes me want to break into song and dance in the streets, which I would do anyway, but now, for 10 days, there will be probable cause. Where is Cirque du Soleil when you need them to pretzel along with you? Andrew Lloyd  Webber – if you’re in town, let’s talk.

Wrestling: Crouching fans, hidden camera phone
If you can hold your ground and contort yourself and your competitors into the strange stillness of a deadlock, then you deserve the front-row spot behind the stanchions of those now-legendary TIFF red carpets. Bader, Ryerson, Elgin and the Roy Thomson mothership beckon celebrities from many countries and the planet closest to the earth – Hollywood. Will someone be staging a grand entrance alongside sheep this year? Will other unprecedented fauna make their debut? A splash? Phelps? (He’s everywhere – it’s only a matter of time.) Flora? A brood of children? Which reminds me…Brangelina? Has someone called the National Guard? Do you have your Greco-Roman holds well rehearsed? Does Canada have a National Guard?

And what of the woman in the elevator yesterday who, perusing the programme guide’s Brad photo, was compelled to ask, “Is the other guy coming? The salt-and-pepper, good-looking one?” In a world without justice, and in the spirit of the Olympics, I think we need just be thankful for what we have. In what would be a culmination of this discipline, I envision a red carpet for a wrestling film featuring a flash of celebrity and favourite pet, preferably something striped. But that’s only a thought…for now.
Track and Field: The fast runners
You will need to Bolt. In so many ways. From screenings and cocktails (in whatever order…) in Yorkville, to free screenings and concerts at Yonge-Dundas Square, to the tandem of west-end party meccas à la Drake Hotel, you will need to run for your fest-life. From the Sutton Place lobby bar, to Park Hyatt rooftops, to clandestine shots of coffee at every corner or weird and wild energy drinks (the contents of which remain under my personal non-fact-based investigation), to the Liberty Grand, to living La Vida Lohan, to the beat of a DJ set at the continuous party at the CTV building this year. From overly lit 8am races, to hot ticket lineups, to slow limps of shame in aforementioned pole-vaulting heels into the heart of an impenetrable 3am homebound darkness, there will be rushing. There will be rush lines. There will be necklines. There may be blisters. There hopefully won’t be blood. In fact, when it counts most, think relay: take a cab.