Sundance gets Banksy. We get Mr. Brainwash. That's TIFF.
Sundance gets Banksy. We get Mr. Brainwash. That’s TIFF.
Can’t wait for the Being Erica where she time travels back to TIFF and pulls a sunnier face. That’s what that show’s about, right? Time travel?
Mark our words, in a decade Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be so popular that teens will pin up photos of him in their lockers.
Kardinal’s still got that northern touch bicka-bicka-bicka-baaaay-beeee!
Looking not contemptible at all, Ghomeshi.
Go to bed already, guy.
Wim Wenders. It’s just fun to say.
Bono, Davis Guggenheim, and The Edge, posing as if they were a trio of stooge-like figures.
Who are these people?
Did anyone ever figure out who, exactly, Salt is?
Admit it. You like him. It’s impossible not to like him.
Evan Rachel Wood is really good at looking severe.
The remaining half of Jonah Hill.
You’ll never be a real hero, or a real human being, with that wiseacre smirk, Gosling.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! We are handsome men and best friends!!!”
David Cronenberg’s face has more character than his latest film! Hiyo!
Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen mug on the red carpet.
Hey Luke Kirby! Who are you?
That Sarah Polley’s always up to no good.
Between an okay movie and a terrible one Seth Rogen managed just under 50/50 at TIFF 2011.
Save it, Silverman!
Emily Blunt, getting into the spirit of things. Or something.
Michael Fassbender manages to keep it in his pants as he struts down the red carpet for Shame.
Avert your eyes, children! She may assume other forms!
Hey look, it’s local drag sensation Donna Rama, all dolled up like the Material Girl!
All hail our once relevant pop queen!
Geoffrey Rush has been slumming around town since The King’s Speech premiered last year.
We could make some Weisz-ass comment, but…oh.
Roger Ebert was back in town for TIFF 2011, even taking time to sign copies of his new autobiography.
Attention: cute kids are cute!
Damn you people! Go back to your shanties!
Neil Young is like a movie. Except he’s a man.
“Hi, I’m Joel Schumacher. And I’m as surprised as you that I’m appearing at what’s supposed to be a legitimate film festival.”
Look! We made a baby!
Sure, Maggie Gyllenhaal is pretty. She’s just not as pretty as her brother.
The ever-expressive Nic Cage.
“Oh! I’m James Gandolfini! I’m scowlin’ over ‘ere!”
“We’re in The Day! Yay!”
Don’t worry. It’ll all be over soon and you’ll be back to people not knowing who you are Dominic… whatever-your-last-name-is-again.
For lovers of film who fundamentally believe in some way or another that the medium provides the chance to (paraphrasing TIFF’s manta here, if only because there’s some truth to it) change the way we see the world, red carpets always rankle a bit. Painters and jazz musicians never seem subjected to all the flashbulbs and circumstance. All the fuss serves a weird function in artistically delegitimizing cinema, while also shoring up the system that allows cinema (or at least a certain kind of super-expensive cinema) to exist. Brad Pitt’s a fine actor, sure. But hanging over a guard rail just to get his signature seems so stupid.
There’s something about stars, though. About all the glitz and glamour that we invest ourselves in, and in the very idea of celebrity, that’s of course appealing. In the same way that believing in a god or feeling the need to have yourself physically dwarfed in the presence of big mountains or the Taj Mahal is appealing. But this is first-year cultural studies term paper stuff. The star system (and Hollywood, writ large) will probably always be at odds with the idea of a pure cinema: of something that facilitates empathy, expression, compassion, and awe like no other art form. Because when cinema is really, really good, not even the novel comes close. In a way, though, it’s the love-hate tension that makes TIFF so tolerable. It’s snarking and smirking at the celebs strutting their stuff down some length of fabric and hating them because they think they’re better than us (even though we actively create the circumstances that allow them to present themselves as better than us) and then racing to see their films. And, we’ll admit it, this is part of why we love TIFF. Because it elicits such a wildly divergent range of emotions. You know, like cinema.
Though we’ll also admit that, for reasons which are no fun to bring up, the person we most wanted to see in Toronto over the past two weeks won’t be getting anywhere close to a red carpet. But that Jafar Panahi’s (un-)film, This is not a Film, found distribution at TIFF, opening up avenues for larger audiences to experience the house-arrested Iranian director’s unqualified high masterpiece, seems to make the festival’s more grating aspects seem altogether worthwhile.