By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall September 7, 2006 at 4:15AM
Today was an adventure. Up at 6:30am in order to get on the internet for some very special tickets; the public tickets for the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival! The box office opened at 7:00am this morning and I can only imagine the hordes of people who bombarded the festival box-office on the phone, on the web, and in person. All I know is that, logging on at exactly 7:00am, I wasn't able to complete my teeny-tiny transaction online until 8:30am. Pounding the re-dial button on my cell, the phone harshly sang out an unwavering busy signal as, meanwhile, the web site pages loaded like it was 1995 all over again, slowly undermining my constant attempts at ordering, and just when I go to click the final 'Buy' button to confirm a purchase, the entire system collapses in a series of error messages that send me back to square one. I am persistent. I breathe in, I breathe out. I click. I dial. I dialclickbreathe. At 8:30am, magic strikes. I click the 'Buy' button, cross my fingers tightly, hold my breath, and my order goes through. I weep.
As a result of my single-minded assault on my personal electronic devices, I am now the proud owner of four tickets for Guy Maddin's Brand Upon The Brain! There is only one screening (Friday, September 8th), with a live orchestra, two live foley artists, and a narrator accompanying Maddin's brand new silent film, which he describes as a companion to his classic Tales From The Gimli Hospital. You can see a nice 'making of' Brand Upon The Brain! by clicking HERE.
Eat Your Heart Out, Kids: Guy Maddin's Brand Upon The Brain!
My mission accomplished, I quickly finished packing for my trip, jumped into the car service, and made my way through LaGuardia Airport in record time. I ran into a friend and, after a nice conversation about the book I was reading, we hopped the small plane to Toronto. A quick bus and subway ride ($2.75 and at my hotel in 40 minutes!), I checked into my room, and was off to Industry Registration. No line. In and out in two minutes. Is this really happening?
More friends have already begun to arrive, the corner has been turned, and I feel like work is officially under way. I couldn't be happier. Tomorrow, I hit the ground running with a great schedule of screenings (12:08 East of Bucharest, Chronicle of An Escape, 7 ans, Dong, Palimpsest, and The Session Is Open; food is optional) and I am ready to go. This year, the festival has set up an official Toronto FF blogging community and I am happy to say i was approved to join the group. You can click on the pretty, blue temporary TIFF banner on The BRM sidebar to jump to the TIFF blog group at any time or, if you fancy, you can add your own blog to the conversation. I love this idea and hope that more festivals encourage feedback and community building in this way. Looking forward to a great year, so stay tuned and I promise to write as often as I can.