Avoiding Toronto’s TIFF Traps

TIFF is halfway through, and it seems like ticket opportunities are fading fast. Slow down, though—by this point in the festival, you’ve got to be careful of what you pay for. Consider skipping the following.

The Shameless Blockbuster

Oh, I get it—this movie skipped the summer season and landed in a film festival, so it must be “arty.” Except it’s advertised on all the streetcars travelling down King, Yonge, and College, and it comes out at the end of the month anyway. Not that you can see Looper anymore anyway; its only festival appearance was basically a feature-length trailer.

The Vanity Project

Sure, sometimes a star turns out to be a great director. But, for every Ben Affleck there’s a Madonna ready to ruin the silver screen with half-witted nonsense precariously built on a great reputation for something other than filmmaking.

The One Starring a B Horror Movie Director

Life’s too short to wait upwards of 90 minutes to see Eli Roth decapitated. It’ll be on YouTube next month, and a .gif the day after that.

The Smart Film Without Context

See, this is your fault, not the film’s. Everyone else knew that this would be about the Transnistrian rebellion, so they Wikipedia’d it before showing up. What’s your excuse?

The Dredd 3D British Camp Extravaganza

If anyone is capable of re-imagining a dour, post-apocalyptic wasteland the way it should have been, it’s the Brits, since that’s essentially where they live, but we’ve learned our lesson about going to TIFF galas on mushrooms.

The Not-Actually-a-Film Table Reading of American Beauty

Who wouldn’t want to participate in a staged reading of a 13-year-old movie directed by the guy who made Juno? Apparently, Woody Harrelson.

The Documentary Too Good For Hot Docs (i.e., all of TIFF’s documentaries)

Hot Docs is one of the biggest documentary film festivals in the world, but if a director can swing TIFF—hey, upgrade! Don’t actually skip this one; I just didn’t want to leave Hot Docs out.

The Half-Baked Didn’t-Try

The movie ends and everyone scratches their collective heads: what were the filmmakers thinking? Chances are, the programmers must have been very impressed by the working cut of the film they saw six months ago when they committed; too bad the filmmakers were done, though.

The Adaptation Where Everyone Speaks in British Accents (starring British, the go-to accent for foreigners and people from the past alike)

A classic novel or play always translates into big screen brilliance, as long as the syllables aren’t too harsh sounding, right? Right?

The 9-Year-Old Reissued-in-3D Kid’s Film

You’re either a cool uncle, a beleaguered dad, or you screwed up the ticket buying, didn’t you?

The TIFF Party

Wait, this isn’t a film at all. Red carpet stake-outs, style guides, which stars ate together—why has a film festival become so utterly devoted to Torontonians at their neediest and most pathetically insecure?

Heading to TIFF? Avoid asking these dumb questions at the Q&A. Also, I’m covering it here. Check it out. That’d be cool.

Image courtesy of Josh Jensen.

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