Eleven People We Want to See at TIFF 2011
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Eleven People We Want to See at TIFF 2011

Lars Von Trier won’t be at TIFF. But maybe they’ll Skype him in so we can frig with him. Here’s hoping. Still courtesy of TIFF.

So the 36th annual Toronto International Film Festival is just around the corner. And while the full lineup of film programmes won’t be announced until next week, we’ve been slobbering all over ourselves in anticipation. Here are 11 people we hope we see at TIFF, in no particular order. (Oh, and we picked 11 people because it’s TIFF ’11.)

1 A Muppet
Jason Segel will (probably) be coming to the festival, starring as he does in the Duplass Brothers mainstream bid, Jeff Who Lives at Home. The film co-stars Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon, which is all well and good. But because Segel wrote and stars in the new Muppets movie, maybe he’ll bring one of his felt co-stars along. Our vote is for Fozzie, because then we can bring him to the Melancholia screening and he’d be all “Wakka wakka wakka!” the whole time.
2 Lars von Trier
Speaking of Melancholia, Lars “I Sympathize With Hitler” von Trier’s latest is also screening at TIFF. And while Trier doesn’t travel on planes, because he hates America and is a scaredy-cat, he Skyped himself in during TIFF 2009, when Antichrist played the festival. There’s been no confirmation that Trier will be pulling a digital pop-in. But if he does, here’s what we do: pack a theatre, drop our pants, and simultaneously moon him. Imagine it: hundreds of bare asses projected right in Trier’s face, through the miracle of the internet! That’ll teach him to say stupid stuff. Well, probably not. But still. When’s the last time you mooned someone?
3 Jafar Panahi
The Iranian auteur certainly won’t be coming to TIFF, being as he’s been banned from leaving the country after being charged with “assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” But he was also banned from making films, only to co-direct This is Not a Film, which will screen at TIFF. So maybe we can Skype him in. Except not to prank him.

Tell us you don’t want to get wasted on grain alcohol and break into the AGO with this guy. Then we will tell you that you are a liar, sir or madam. Still courtesy of TIFF.

4 Nicolas Cage
Cage—who owns a pyramid tomb and a haunted house and a million other weird things—may be stopping by to promote Trespass, the Joel Schumacher home-invasion thriller he stars in. And it’s an outside chance, but if he’s here, there’s a chance you can get all frigged up on absinthe and mushrooms with the batshit crazy Nicolas Cage. You have to dream the dream, right?
5 Actually Good Movies
Celebrities are fun and all, but come on movies at TIFF 2011, be good. Just please, please be good. (Also, we know “good movies” aren’t a person. But they think, and feel, and laugh, and love! So who’s to say? Maybe movies are people too. The good ones, anyways.)
6 Mr. Brainwash
Thierry Guetta, the star of Banksy’s graffiti doc Exit Through the Gift Shop, will be at TIFF, taking part in some live street art razzmatazz as part of the Future Projections programme. Now, being as that film suggests that Brainwash is part of the corporate mainstreaming of street art, it seems odd that a corporation like TIFF would invite him. Right? Anyways, contradictions are hilarious. And maybe it’ll cause a distraction while Banksy himself works some more magic across Toronto.
7 That Spokes-lizard From Last Year
Among the top-shelf celebs grazing the red carpet at TIFF 2010 was Stri von Vectin, spokes-lizard for Strivectin “Eye Concentrate For Wrinkles.” Mr. Vectin was so popular that he even made one of the “See It Happen Here” ads for this year’s festival. Buddy, let us know if you need a couch, or a cool, dry rock, to sleep on. We can accommodate you.

Mister von Vectin! Over here! (Christopher Drost/Torontoist)

8 Bobcat Goldthwait
The honey-voiced American writer-director will be at TIFF with his new dark comedy, God Bless America, screening as part of Midnight Madness. He also made Shakes the Clown, one of the best macabre clown comedies of 1991, and should therefore receive the key to the city.
9 Aaron Sorkin
The writer known for minting the motor-mouthed writing of stuff like The Social Network and The West Wing co-wrote Moneyball, the Brad Pitt–starring baseball stats movie premiering at TIFF. We’d hate to miss the opportunity to have a patented Sorkinesque walk-and-talk with Aaron Sorkin himself.
10 The James Francobot
Also coming to town for Future Projections, an installation by Gus Van Sant called Memories of Idaho, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho. The installation was planned with James Franco, who says he’s coming to TIFF. But considering he’s in like nine grad programs and starring in movies and writing/directing/producing himself in a one-man adaptation of Blood Meridian, he’ll probably have to dispense one of his lifelike Franco robot clones. Still, maybe the Francobot and Jason Segel can get up to some Freaks and Geeks shenanigans. Like, um, the time they were going to have that keg party but then it wasn’t really beer but then everyone thought they were drunk anyways. Or the time Franco’s character lost all that money playing pool and Uncle Phil had to win it back. Wait, that was Fresh Prince.
11 Michelle Williams
Because it’s pretty hard to take Michelle Williams out for a romantic spaghetti supper if you don’t have the chance to ask her.
TIFF 2011 runs September 8 to 18 all over this movie-lovin’ town. But you already know that.