By day two of our Toronto adventure I was feeling that old severe pain in my shoulder and began to scour the phone book for an acupuncturist. I felt better after a shower and took off to see THREE OF HEARTS: A POSTMODERN FAMILY at the Varsity. Director Susan Kaplan is a Miami Beach native, so we thought we owed her the courtesy of seeing the film. This insightful doc gives an almost all access view into the marriage of two men and a woman. Yep. You read it right. But what I thought would be a "gay" themed film turned out to be an amazing essay on love, sex, family, parenting, business, identity, self esteem, and life in today's world. A good start to a week of films.
From there I went to the German OFF BEAT and ran into Paul from Atlanta. I don't think I have ever been to a festival outside of our own where I haven't run into Paul. Toronto now felt official. OFF BEAT is the German version of Garden State, a bit edgier and more adventurous, but it gave me the same feeling in the end.
I grabbed some lunch at the cafe downstairs at the Varsity then ran into Matthew and Ian from Sundance Channel on my way to Sutton Place to check my email. In the lobby, I ran into Gary Springer, Paul and Gayle Cohen of Manhattan Pictures, and gave a nod to Bob Berney of Newmarket who was in FL for our distributors panel in March.
At 5:00 I headed back up to the Varsity (where I was destined to live this week) for THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, fully expecting to hear that familiar Pacino twang. And while there were the slightest glimmers of it, I still thought that this was a great performance considering his amazing work in Angels in America. Joseph Fiennes plays Bassanio once again turning to the Bard (although he has four other non-Shakespeare films in the works).
I found Matthew in the lobby as the film let out and we jumped in line for HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, the new Zhang Yimou film. I think the last time I saw colors that vivid on the screen was Amelie. Loved the "echo game" scenes. The story's not bad either (Matthew said he liked it better than the plot of Hero) and of course includes many daggers, bamboo climbing, arrows, horses, and snow (white=death, get it?).
By the end of the day, my back ached and we didn't hear of any parties (at least none that we would be invited to), so we packed it in early and went to bed.