TIFF 2013 - Kill Your Darlings

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 Kill Your Darlings Movie Poster

"Kill Your Darlings" is a 2013 American biographical drama film written by Austin Bunn and directed by John Krokidas. The story is about the college days of some of the earliest members of the Beat Generation (Lucien Carr, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac), their interactions, and the killing in Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City.

My luck was back today as I got to see Kill Your Darlings with Daniel Radcliffe. The start time was at 6.30om at Roy Thompson Hall. Seeing as yesterday the rush line was enormous for August: Osage County I didn’t really have much hope.

I arrived at the venue at 4.50pm and was surprised to see that the line was tiny. There were about 30-35 people ahead of me. It must have been the heat. Today was a crazy weather - almost +35C and high humidity. I doubted that I would be able to stay in the heat for so long to get a ticket.

Surprisingly, it was not that bad and I did have an umbrella with me. I met a nice teenaged boy from Ukraine with whom we talked about the movies and life and Canada.

The line started to slowly move around 6.25pm. At 6.50pm we were almost at the front of the line, and the movie was rolling credits. We were among the last 8 people to be admitted! I was lucky again!

We missed a couple of minutes of the movie though. It was also the venue with the tightest security I have seen at TIFF. We were directed all the way to the box office and then to the mezzanine with an insane amount of staff at each step, directing us where to stand and walk in one line. That was pretty strange after being left to our own devices at other venues the moment we got inside. Maybe it was so, because of some other events going at the venue (like a drinks/buffet for the sponsors at the terrace - but maybe it was unrelated).

I loved the movie. It was brilliantly shot and very emotional. The way some memories scenes unfolded through back motions and a bit surreal (in terms of very contemporary sounding music - contemporary for our age, that is) was mesmerizing. Daniel was amazing. I forgot that he used to play Harry Potter and was a British actor. All I saw was Allen Ginsberg.

I loved the emotions and how every character had his own demons to fight. How they wanted to make changes and were experimenting with everything, trying to define the norm. It was all about booze, smoke/drugs, sex and writing. They surely had fun.

I would love to see it again.

Also, not really recommended for anyone under 18, as there were quite a lot of racy themes.

There were no Q&As at the end, although the whole cast was sitting in the audience! The beam was light was directed at them after the credits started to roll and they all stood up. (Daniel is so adorably short!) I would have loved to have Q&As with them, but seeing as they were sitting at the balcony and not below, it was obvious that there would be none.

I think it is pretty cool that they stayed to watch the movie though. I honestly didn’t stay till the end of the credits, so I am not sure if anything happened afterwards.

That is the last time I was rushing the ticket this year. I am going to see three more movies (Blind Detective, Cold Eyes and Violette) but I have the tickets for all of them.

Stay tuned!

 

TIFF 2013 - Dom Hemingway

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 9, 2013

 

"Dom Hemingway" is a 2013 British-American black comedy–crime drama film directed and written by Richard Shepard.

I bought the ticket for Dom Hemingway knowing almost zero about the movie. Only thing I knew was that Jude Law was in it. And that was enough for me.

The venue was Princess of Wales and I was lucky to buy the ticket beforehand. I arrived there around 9.25pm (the movie started at 10pm). The line for ticket holders was UNBELIEVABLE. I mean it was my first time going for a movie with a ticket, but rush line compared to that is tiny.

We were told that people at the rush line probably won’t get any tickets. I wondered at that because I managed to get to see The Fifth Estate and 12 Years A Slave that were more high profile (in the regard of the buzz) and tickets for Dom Hemingway were available no prob…

The line started to move around 9.35pm. It was moving pretty fast, which is a good thing, since I was almost at the end of line (almost 2 blocks away from the theatre, so I had no idea what was going on at the red carpet, but I knew that Jude Law would be there). Seeing as I was almost at the end of the line, I got my place at the balcony. But it was OK.

The movie was presented by the producer, Richard Sheppard, and the whole cast. After the movie there were Q&As for about 15-20 mins. Everyone was joking and Jude Law was very funny and charming.

I can’t say I liked the movie a lot. It is an odd black comedy type of movie about an ex-con Dom Hemingway, who comes out of jail aster spending 12 years there. He tries to get back his money, his life, get in touch with his estranged daughter. There is a lot of swearing, vulgar jokes and randomness. The movie is funny, but if it weren’t for Jude Law, I would have never gone to watch that. Just not my thing. But Jude is really good, really believable and funny.

I liked Q&As. One of the things that I remember was when somebody asked how Jude prepared for the role and he said that he did nothing, ate lasagna for dinner, ice cream, whiskey, and was being lazy.

There is a bit of nudity in the movie. We got the view of naked Jude several time. Nothing obscene, but definitely not for kids :)

Another funny thing was when Madalina Ghenea said that Jude pushed her into the pool (during the pool scene) but she doesn’t really know how to swim, but she survived. She was very beautiful and wore a red dress, very similar to the one she wore in the movie.

Richard E. Grant was also in the movie and he was hilarious as a sidekick/partner to Dom.

Definitely a nice movie, but I wouldn’t put it one the must watch list, unless you are a hardcore Jude Law fan, because that man’s acting is great.

TIFF 2013 - Only Lovers Left Alive

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 "Only Lovers Left Alive" is a 2013 internationally co-produced vampire film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, and starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi, and John Hurt.

 

I arrived to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema around 10:40am (the movie time was 12:15pm). I intended to arrive earlier, but I underestimated the distance. For some reason I thought it is an intersection with Yonge. Go me.

I got into the rush line. It was pretty short compared to the lines for The Fifth Estate and 12 Years A Slave. It was pretty quiet. Maybe because it was raining quite a bit.

At 12pm the line was not moving. And nobody was telling us how many people are ahead or how many tickets there might be. Compared to other screenings I went to, the volunteers here were few and not very talkative. Maybe it was the rain.

At 12:10pm the line moved a bit. Then a bit. It was moving very slowly. At 12:20pm somebody said that the movie had started (which doesn’t make sense because they wouldn’t be keeping people in the line then). Then 5 minutes later somebody said that they were going to start shortly.

There were few people ahead of me, when we heard that they would let 5 more people inside (they were letting in people in fives) and that was it.

I was lucky to be that 5th person in the line.

I got inside the theater when the movie was on already, but barely missed anything. I think they let in another 5 people after me, because I saw more people coming in later. But it was definitely not the whole rush line (compared to two other galas). And this was not even a premiere! I think there were about 30 people ahead of me in the line. So I estimate that there were about 40 rush tickets sold.

But I can only guess, since nobody told us how many people were in the line.

The movie was a visual and musical delight. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton played vampires, a married couple, Adam and Eve. They were beautiful in their Yin/Yang harmony, a pair of glamoury and artistic hippies with fangs. The story is quite simple. It is less of a story and more of a painting, where you want to watch every detail for hours. Mia Wasikowska was Ava, Eve’s younger sister. She was adorable. John Hurt played an old vampire (hinted to be Shakespeare himself).

It was an odd but pretty movie, a very soft one, with no sex, no biting, no violence. It was so different from any other vampire movie that I have seen that I want to give Jim Jarmusch an Oscar only for creating his own folklore about vampires.

Acting was brilliant. It looked as if Tom and Tilda were not playing vampires, but rather themselves, being as deep, thoughtful, intelligent and lithe as they are in real life.

There was only one scene in which both of them were naked (nothing graphic though) - both of them are so thin! And Tilda is over 50! And she looks amazing!

 

I want that movie. I want to watch it again.

The movie was shot in Detroit, Colon and Tangier. The scenery was amazing. Every single frame is worth capturing.

I didn’t expect that there would be Q&A afterwards, since it was not a premiere and there were very few people, no paps and no buzz. But I was wrong! Jim Jarmusch, Anton Yelchin (who plays Adam’s friend) and Tom Hiddleston were there!

Oh my god. I still can’t believe I saw Tom Hiddleston! He is as charming and as polite in real life as everyone says he is. Anton was adorable. And Jim was freaking hilarious. He joked about Tom, saying that they, the producers, do not really care about how nice/not nice the actors are, so far they can do their job. He laughed and said that Tom is a very nice guy. All while Tom was looking down and being all adorably abashed about it.

There were quite a few questions from the audience (compared to the gala of "12 Years A Slave" where there were no questions from the viewers, only a couple from the host). Somebody asked Tom how it was to work with Tilda and he said that it was amazing. Compared their work to dancing. It was quite lovely (he sounded so adorable).

I was sitting at the far back, but I did manage to take a picture of all of them at the podium. They were also broadcasting the image to the screen. Which was very good because I could see them, compared to 12 Years A Slave (again), where I could see almost nothing from my balcony seat.

When the Q&As were done, I left, because I didn’t want to fight my way to the front to have another look at Tom (I am still wondering if he is as tall as he looks like on screen). People were very nice though, no rabid fangirls. Everyone was leaving (as if we didn’t have the freaking LOKI in the room, but seeing as it was a bit different movie from The Avengers, some people might have not seen it), I saw only a couple of people go closer to the cast and the producer, but I think only because they were already at the front.

It was quite lovely. And seeing Tom Hiddleston made me really happy! :) A photographer was snapping shots right behind my seat all through Q&As, so I am sure we all will see the pictures of my left ear from it on tumblr.

This movie is very much worth seeing. And also this also answers another questions - if it is worth going to any screening but galas/premium. Yes and yes.

And I can’t believe I got lucky again! Woohoo! Hopefully my luck holds through the rest of TIFF.

Happy movie watching!

TIFF 2013 - 12 Years A Slave

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 6, 2013

 

"12 Years A Slave" kicked off today at 6pm (in fact it started almost an hour later) at Princess of Wales theatre. I got there around 5pm in the hopes of if not getting a ticket, but at least seeing Benedict Cumberbatch.

I was in the line. The weather was nice and much warmer compared to yesterday. The line was on John street, so once again I had no view of the red carpet. And the fans’ screams were deafened by some techno music playing at the venue right behind us.

The line was not moving by 6pm. I was told that there were about 110 people before me. The chances of getting in were estimated as 50/50.

By 6.30pm the line was moving pretty fast, I got my token (as well as two lovely ladies ahead of me) and we were told that Brad Pitt was inside, as well as Benedict (I was watching twitter and live feeds meanwhile, so I was aware of it), and we might actually see them.

Then we queued briefly before the entrance. The lovely TIFF lady in blue dress said that we were all very lucky, because the whole line was getting in! And there were about 50 people after me! Wow!

We rushed inside, got our tickets, and were walking up the stairs to the balcony, as we heard some fan screams outside. One of the girls ahead of me rushed to the window and moaned that it was Benedict. I didn’t see him outside the window and I was on my way up. :(

 

The film has started by the time I got into my seat, but I didn’t miss anything. It was around 7pm, I believe.

12 Years A Slave is a very powerful movie based on true story. The acting of every single one of the cast members was flawless. I am absolutely sure that this movie will be nominated for best actor, best actress and best movie and probably director as well.

It is a very moving story, quite graphic (not overly so though) sometimes. I kept my eyes covered at some violent parts (e.g., slaves were abused) - couldn’t really watch it. It was really vivid. Couple of funny parts. The audience reacted quite strongly to beatings and emotional moments. The funniest reaction was probably when Brad Pitt’s character said that he was not “from these lands” but from Canada. People clapped.

By the end of the movie a couple of ladies were sniffling behind me. I can totally understand it, because it was a very, very emotional scene.

The end of the movie was met by huge wave of applause. Then we applauded again after the credits. When the producer came into the stage there was a standing ovation. Then rest of the cast came out (except for Ben) and got their round of applause.

No idea why they call it Q&A though if there were only 2-3 quite boring and predictable questions and only a couple of people talked. Brad Pitt was there. I admit of not being his hugest fan (or any fan at all) and I was pretty far at the balcony, so I could barely see him. The only thing that I remember him saying is that if it was his last movie, he is fine with it, meaning that it is a great movie. (Sorry don’t really remember his exact words.) And the producer said they were not actors but artists. Which is really true.

Benedict was quite lovely in his role of Mister Ford. Period drama suit him. Thank goodness, he is one of the good guys. Somehow I was not really surprised, although I found it funny: Benedict and Brad - good guys, Michael Fassbender - a bad guy. No surprise here, eh? ;)

I am amazed at my luck of getting tickets to two very anticipated and hot premieres. I am a bit sad that I didn’t see Benedict. He didn’t stay for Q&A afterwards and he would not be in Toronto for August: Osage County premiere on Monday.

Probably that was my only chance to see the man (since he is not coming to Toronto for Crimson Peak shooting next year - but the fact that it is Hiddleston who steps into his shoes is quite extraordinary) but I am still more happy about getting in to see the movie.

Although next time I might do the opposite - stalk red carpet and watch movies later after world premiere. Because each gala ticket at TIFF costs $45. Ouch.

Tomorrow I plan to rush for Only Lovers Left Alive. Hopefully will get in with no problem, since it is not a gala. I have a ticket for gala opening for Don Hemingway on Sunday (although I am honestly not sure I want to see it). I will attempt to get a rush ticket for August: Osage County on Monday and Kill Your Darlings on Tuesday. I have a gala ticket for Cold Eyes next Friday and Violette (which is not a premiere) next Saturday.

Hopefully I will get to see all those too! Stay tuned! :D

TIFF 2013 - The Fifth Estate Premiere

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved

“Courage is contagious”

 

I admit I feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I have two reasons for that. (Although it is almost one and the same.)

One. I was lucky to get a rush ticket for “The Fifth Estate”.

Two. The movie itself.

Let me start with how I got the ticket. It is my second TIFF and the first time I rushed a ticket. I have never done that before. I tried to google it, I asked around. People kept saying quite opposite things: some said I should be there at least 30 minutes early, others - no less than 3 hours for a gala. Some people said that there would be only 35-40 tickets, others - over a hundred.

I was confused. So this is my experience, hope somebody would find it helpful.

I live near Elgin theatre, so after work I rushed home and then was at the venue at 5pm - one and a half hours before the start. There were two screenings at one location: “The Fifth Estate” at 6.30pm and “Blue is The Warmest Colour” at 7pm. (I wanted to see both movies, but Estate was my priority.)

The rush line started at BMO on Yonge and then turned the corner to Queen street. When I arrived there, there was a pretty long line and I felt a bit sad, because I thought there was NO way everyone would get in.

The line was for both movies. Surprisingly, almost everyone around me wanted to see Blue and not Estate. (I really hope I will catch that movie later.)

One of TIFF staff members did a count (twice). First, around the time I came. Second, around 6pm. By the second count we were told that there are about 85 people ahead of us for “The Fifth Estate” and about 30 - for “Blue Is The Warmest Colour”. It seemed like the odds were against me, but we were told that it almost impossible to predict the amount of tickets that would be released.

Around 10-15 minutes after 6pm the queue started to move. At 6.30pm we rounded the corner to Yonge street. People around me were saying that the movie must have started already. Others were saying that it was the first premiere, so they would probably delay it.

Then one of the volunteers called everyone for Estate to move forward and queue closer to the theatre, where we were given tokens and then literary ran to the ticket office.

Meanwhile there was a red carpet and paparazzi waiting for the celebrities. I didn’t expect Benedict to show up because there was another screening at Roy Thompson Hall at 8pm that he seemed most probably to want to attend. And as far as I know he never showed up at Elgin. It is difficult to say who did for Estate, besides the producer.

I was in the line to the box office and I had a very slim view of the entrance. Flashes were going off - somebody must have arrived. I admit at complete ignorance. I didn’t recognize anyone who was walking through - they might have been for the second movie. I believe the Estate cast was only at RTH.

There was a nice elder gentleman in the line beside me. He asked me if I was there for The Fifth Estate. He asked me if I knew who Benedict Cumberbatch was and if I saw Sherlock. He said he really enjoyed Sherlock. And then asked me if I had seen Benedict in some other series/movies. I admit I was so distracted and excited about the whole buzz and being almost there that I didn’t get what he was talking about. And only later I realized that he might have been talking about Hawking. I am not sure though. Too bad I didn’t have chance to talk more to that gentleman. I always enjoy discussing Sherlock with everyone.

That gentleman also seemed to be an experienced TIFF goer, because while I was being all excited and confused about the crowd of people who were rushing to get the tickets, he managed to squeeze to the box window and get the ticket before me and a couple of people ahead of me. I hope he enjoyed the movie as much as I did :)

I got my ticket for $45 (adult price for galas) and rushed inside. I guess we all were lucky because the movie started later. They showed a short video devoted to Roger Ebert (late film critic) and then the movie producer talked briefly about “The Fifth Estate”. The movie started at 7pm.

I admit I couldn’t believe my luck until the movie started. I was so happy (and still am!) that I was so lucky to get a ticket!

Now the movie itself. (Not really spoilers, but watch out nevertheless.)

I have heard about Wikileaks, but I didn’t know anything about Julian Assange. This is what I liked to do the most - go and see a movie/play or start watching a TV show knowing nothing about it beforehand. I liked to be surprised. I hate spoilers.

I did see the trailer, but that was it.

To put it simply, I loved the movie. Benedict is quite brilliant as Assange, he doesn’t even sound as himself! Except for one scene at the bar, where he did sound mostly like himself. Otherwise everything from accent to the voice pitch and gestures was really different.

At some point I even forgot that he was not naturally blond - he looked so authentic.

Quite a few lovely jokes in the movie, the ending seemed to be open, but it is to be expected since the story is still going on. Several tearful moments - great acting from everyone. I admit that I didn’t know whom I sympathized with the most.

I think the best thing about this movie is that they are not pointing fingers. They are showing this story from both sides and there is no black or white. Julian seems to be the good guy, but his actions bring consequences that hurt other good people, who have families and children, who are innocent. And vice verse.

The ending is perfect, because nothing is definite. And part of the responsibility for deciding what is truth or what is not is put on the viewers.

It was a real treat. I encourage everyone to watch it. Benedict is amazing as Assange, and I really hope he gets some reward for playing him.

 

I saw a couple of photos of the man from RTH posted to twitter - looks like people had fun there. Hope some of you got the chance to see the man or/and the movie. I didn’t expect to see Benedict himself, I focused on seeing the movie and I am really glad I went to Elgin and not to RTH. I will try to rush tickets for other movies on my must watch list. Hopefully I get lucky again, but The Fifth Estate was my priority and I am so happy that I got in!

Good luck, everyone, and have fun!