Growing up in Toronto, September means only one thing - the Toronto International Film Festival
. The stars, the buzz, that certain excitement in the air....I spent most of my teenage years bemoaning my inability to attend due to lack of money and time. But last night I got to attend my very first festival film! Woohoo! It was great. It was one of the movies I was not able to pre-buy tickets for, so I got to rush, which means you need to just line up and see if there end up being tickets left over. I was a bit nervous at first, because there were loads of people in line, but the day was saved when I was hollered at by my super-movie-buff friend Matt
, who was near the front of the line! Yay! As it turned out, I didn't even have to wait til they let the ticketholders in, because a couple people came to the line trying to sell extra tickets they had. It was quite the stroke of luck, because although the line was for several movies, the people looking to sell all had tickets to the one I wanted to see. I swear, sometimes I think I must have a horseshoe up my butt ;)
So what did I see?? The Orphanage, a Spanish horror/thriller about a woman who returns to the orphanage where she was raised to start a home for children needing special care. It's the first feature length film by director Juan Antonio Bayona and was produced by Guillermo del Toro of Pan's Labyrinth
It was fabulous!! Soooo creepy. I will not give anything away, but what happens is that shortly after arriving with her husband and little son, her son begins to make certain imaginary friends.... The film is full of stunning sea-side shots and haunting images, many of which will stay with you long after the film is over. So definitely not for the faint of heart! Belen Rueda was incredible, I can't even imagine how a person could manage to play out all that emotion, particularly since you see far more of her than any of the other actors, and she often carries the whole scene on her own. It can't have been easy, expecially since the director revealed to us (at the Q & A after the movie - pic below) that they had spent much of the filming finding different ways to trick and frighten her, sometimes in the interest of the scene, and sometimes....not. Lol! It did sound like they had quite the time making the film, though.
I am awfully glad I got to see it, but it will be the last of it's kind I will be seeing at the fest, I think. I'm not sure yet what else I may be rushing, but the films I've got tickets for are all much more of the hopeful/romantic/wistful type. I've been kind of needing more of that these days ;) So far I have tickets to see Chaotic Ana (Caótica Ana
), another Spanish film about a young girl who lives in a cave on Ibiza with her father, selling her colourful paintings, until one day she follows a French woman to an art school in Madrid and her adventure begins. That one will be on Wednesday, I can't wait! And then there's yet another Spanish movie (I swear I picked them based on the plots!!) called Dans la ville de Sylvia, as it takes place in Strasbourg and is partially in French (also called En la Cuidad de Sylvia
There is one more film I will be seeing, the one I decided long ago I had to see. But I will need more time than I have at the moment to tell you about it ;) As it is, I have to run to take a shower and make my way to the Virgin Festival, which is taking place on our own little Toronto Island and which I am only going to so I can see my most beloved Björk!!
I haven't seen her since the concert she held just before my departure for Germany, 4 years ago. It almost seems like she is here again to see me off :) And to make it all the more fun, my darling friend Pete has come all the way from Rochester to see her too! He is the biggest music lover I know. We met through the Björk mailing list almost ten years ago, when he was just a babe in the woods (barely 16!) and was oh so nervous about meeting these people he had only met on the internet
(horror of horrors!!) and would be on his own in a great big foreign city! But never fear, we took good care of him, make sure he got back to the hotel where his parents were nervously waiting and have been dear friends ever since :) And aside from that, he is just the biggest cutie ever, so I'll be sure to get some nice picks of us to show you (and if I can manage, of the magnificent Björk as well). Wish me luck!