Okay, so it was a good if uneventful opening day. Most exciting, for the first time in years they actually had a pretty funny ad before the film. It involved producer Robert Lantos being pitched a film idea by Gordon, one of those stupid beaver characters from the Bell commercials, but in spite of that, it actually got laughs. I imagine it'll get pretty old by the end of the festival, no, by tomorrow. But at least it got a laugh on the first run. That's opposed to the very strange promo piece for the Harold Greenberg Foundation which involved someone (Ian Greenberg?) in a coffin at a funeral, with Atom Egoyan and another filmmaker, I should recognize but didn't, talking about what an inspiration the dead guy was, then he sits up in his coffin and talks. If it was supposed to be funny, I didn't get it.
Fugitive Pieces was emotionally draining, but good. Well worth seeing in my opinion. I wish I thought it was going to be a huge hit... I love when Canadian films do well, but ultimately I think the story is too sad to be a box office hit and I just don't know if the performances were strong enough for it to be a contender for Oscars or anything. Except the little kid who played Jakob as a boy. WOW. He was amazing.
I was extremely impressed with how seamlessly the writer/director moved between locals and time periods. The actors, too. The lead had to play his character over quite a long time period, and not in chronological order in the film, but it was always easy by this demeanor etc to determine what stage of the story we were in. The story moves back and forth in time, but it was never confusing. I'd have to see it again to study how he did it.
Persepolis I'd definitely recommend. I noticed on IMDB.com that they list actors for the English version (including Sean Penn, Iggy Pop, and Gena Rowlands) so I assume it'll be released in North America (and in English instead of French with subtitles.)
The animation is unique and striking and well suited to the subject and while the overall story is kind of heavy, the filmmaker adds a lot of levity. There were a few laugh out loud moments for me, and that's a lot to say about a film documenting the rise of the Islamic regime in Iran and the Iran-Iraq war.
Persepolis. My first no caveats recommendation from this year's Festival.
I don't have a film until noon tomorrow, so I can sleep in! The film is called Pink and sounds interesting. It's a Greek film but is described as having the style of Richard Linklater or Paul Thomas Anderson. Hmmm....