more dispaches from the toronto international film festival:
yesterday afternoon i was talking to someone else who was at the botched tiff borat screening, and he told us that the replacement screening was going to be at the elgin, and we'd probably have a not-bad chance of getting rush tickets, since it wasn't hugely publicised, and a lot of the industry people would have other plans.
since the film we were seeing at 6 o'clock was also going to be at the elgin, we were perfectly positioned to investigate the line-up possibilities.
the 6 o'clock film was brand upon the brain! by auteur of the bizarre, guy maddin. it's the story of the childhood of guy maddin, housepainter, who grew up in a lighthouse where his parents ran an orphanage. but something is strange about these orphans, so the lightbulb kids, harpists and stars of the series of mystery books, come to investigate. it's a silent film, mostly black & white, and the screening was accompanied by an 11-piece ensemble of orchestra members, a few singers from the toronto children's chorus, and three foley artists. there were a few technical glitches (they didn't even let us in the building until more than twenty minutes after the film was supposed to start), but the film was so compelling, so filled with strange and wonderful inventions, that the tech problems didn't really interfere at all. trying to describe it to tg after, erin and i couldn't stop adding more details - the aerophone! the hamster-and-metronome! the nectarite ring! and on and on.
when we left the theatre, there were only thirty people in the borat rush line-up, so we decided - why not? other than the fact that i would probably fall asleep before we got in to the midnight screening (we lined up at eight-thirty - i should have brought my knitting!), and if not before, then definitely during. i haven't been one to stay up past ten o'clock at the latest since i got knocked up.
our seats were of course in the very back of the elgin theatre, but it's a well-designed venue, so our view was totally unobstructed. borat: cultural learnings of america for make benefit glorious nation of kazakhstan was... well, borat was borat. as erin described it, "slightly more shocking and slightly less funny than i expected." very shocking (you don't see that much full-frontal male nudity, among other things, in most comedies). but still very funny. it tells the story of borat sagdiyev, kazakhstani television reporter, who goes to america on a mission from his government to find out what americans are like and how they got to be the greatest country in the world, so kazakhstan can follow in their footsteps. this allows him to work his schtick. if you're familiar with borat, you know what to expect - he does the fish-out-of-water thing, plays with stereotypes and through his apparent innocence and ignorance encourages people to show off their worst sides: their bigoted underbellies. you either like borat or you don't; i like borat, so i found the film hysterical. as did the rest of the audience - i missed more than a few lines because the audience was roaring with laughter. and i didn't nod off once.