TIFF Recap #3: The Movie Doesn’t Start Until Harvey Weinstein Walks In (+ Thoughts On Gravity)

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Strombo interviewing Harvey & co (via @TheReelTimes)

Sunday was a white blank page for me (Mumford & Sons reference). I didn’t have much planned for the day except for reuniting with my bed (which was beautiful thanks for asking) and my friend wanted to TIFF but was only free after 5. Devil’s Knot & a few other high profile galas were happening that night but 12.12.12 – the Harvey Weinstein documentary about the Hurricane Sandy concert/relief fund – caught my eye. I was less interested in the film and more interested in being in the same room as Harvey. How do I explain who he is to those not as well versed? Sports fans: it’s like being in the locker room with John Tortorella. Or, like, sitting in a studio with Clive Davis. Having dinner with Julia Child. He’s just a really big f-cking deal. And I just wanted to see what that was like in person and it delivered.

When Harvey  is in the room, it’s about Harvey. The movie was scheduled to start at 8 and, for the most part, the films at the festival usually start when scheduled unless there is some sort of hold up. They’ll start without the main actors in the room/inside the building every once in a while, but the movie started at exactly 8:08…which was when Harvey had been seated. And that’s when my movie began. I focused about 60% of my attention on what was happening on the screen and about 40% on what was happening a few rows over. Harvey didn’t clap for the volunteers commercial like everyone does always. He laughed as his own jokes…very loudly. He sat with his arms crossed the entire time. Look, this may sound absolutely snoozerific to you but it was glorious for me. This is the shit I live for. By the end of the film, Canada’s pride & joy George Strombo (seriously, I love him) sat down with Harvey & the other producers for a brief Q&A. There was this really interesting story about Kristen Stewart (what follows is a scattered recollection of what was said): some prince was willing to donate to the Hurricane Sandy relief benefit concert. This prince had a certain obsession with Kristen Stewart and would donate more to have a brief conversation/time spent with her. Harvey called up K. Stew, tells her the deal, K’s response? “How much is he willing to donate?” She did it, but kind of made him raise his donation price. Kind of a great Stewart moment, right? WHY DOESN’T SHE LET ME SEE MORE OF THESE!

12.12.12: it’s fine. It’s nice. It feels MUCH longer than it really is. The performances that are included are too long, and this should really be an hour long documentary rather than a full 90 minutes because there isn’t that much material to work with. With that said, I lived for the celebrity interactions that are shown in the movie. Great moments between Eddie Vedder, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal, etc… There’s this amazing moment between Tony Danza and Jeremy Piven that includes a Who’s The Boss? reference that I appreciated a lot. It’s worth a watch for those kind of moments alone. I just didn’t need to know the story of this benefit concert.

Leaving the theatre we stuck around to see the cast of Devil’s Knot (which I’ve heard very mixed things about) leave the theatre. There was an audience waiting for them, and as I had anticipated, Laura Jeanne Poon had no time for her fans and ran to her car because she remains the worst. And um…so did Colin Firth which is kind of dissapointing. One of the driver’s told me they were headed to Spin (Susan Surandon’s ping pong club on King St. for the after party). How does one follow up being in the same room with Harvey Weinstein? Well, today slapped yesterday in the face. My day began with a screening of Gravity. Fun bit: Geddy Lee of Rush was seated in the row in front of me.

Gravity: Jesus f-cking Christ. Just, brilliant. I summed it up on Twitter today but let me repeat: it’s an Expierience with a captial E. It’s a master class in filmmaking. It’s goosebump inducing. It’s riveting. Just see the thing. It needs to be seen on the big screen, IMAX perferably and in 3D. YES IN 3D. And Sandra gives what is proabbly – outside of Practical Magic – the best performance of her career. AND THE SCORE IS AMAZING! Alfonso, you are a gifted filmmaker.

Post-screening I tried to rush August: Osage County (which I’ve been lovingly referring to as September: Sausage Factory) but the line was so long we didn’t end up getting in. While in line though I witnessed the red carpet. Um, it was 1999 again in Toronto for a hot second. Julia Roberts is just as important now as she was then. The city ROARED for her, like Katy Perry. It was insane. Anyway, after not getting a ticket,  my friend & I made our way to dinner at Momofuku, which is just up the street from Roy Thompson Hall if you’re looking for a great place to eat during the rest of TIFF. I spoke to one of the staff while waiting for our table and she let me know that they were currently holding an InStyle party upstairs. Well, 20 minutes & my bowl of ramen noodles later, Adrien Brody walked in. Followed by Mila Kunis, who, you guys, from the quick glimpse I got is a Vision.

 

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