TIFF my day three…

After one too many parties Monday night and waking up to a wet and dreary Toronto morning I decided to sleep in and missed Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing. But not until I checked to make sure there was another screening. I finally got out the door for D.O.A.P. It’s not a doc, but a mock doc from the UK about what would happen if President Bush were assassinated, so it was of interest. Plus it’s been getting tons of buzz, making sales and caused a huge lineup of folks trying to get in. I was turned away along with about 100 other people. So, after two misses I decided on a no miss situation, the video library.

Right next to the press office you can find the video library. There are about 15 stations set up with VCRs and DVD players for press and industry. You can throw on some headphones and dive right into film after film if they have them available. Lucky for me, there were several docs I wanted to see and there was a station available. The staff running the place are very helpful, but they do like it if you book time in advance instead of just waltzing in and trying to watch whatever you want whenever you want. I settled into station #9 and watched Macky Alston’s The Killer Within. The film deals with huge issues, is well made and is interesting on both a personal and political level. What do you do when you find out your loving father, a university professor of environmental psychology, killed his dorm roommate 50 years ago? He, his wife and his two children, one biological and one from his wife’s previous marriage, both expose his crime and attempt to understand it in this very personal film. It is heartwrenching to watch the two sisters talk to their father about his crime as they try to process his actions that happened long before they were even born. If he had been put away for life, his biological daughter would not exist.

I really wanted to see …So Goes the Nation. They say that as Ohio goes, so goes the nation. Filmmakers James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo went to Ohio in 2004 to see how the politics of campaigning could affect the outcome of the election. How could one state change everything for the country? The film follows republican and democrat volunteers as they work their hearts out trying to make a difference. Good music, great characters, but while the film seems non-partisan I couldn’t help wondering what side the filmmakers were on. It’s a slick piece with good information, but it’s no personal story.

I was too tired to try any parties for the evening so I decided to stick around the Varsity Theatre for Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn. It’s a big Hollywood movie, but it’s based on Dieter Dengler’s life and stories during the Vietnam War. Herzog originally profiled Dengler in the 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. The film is a crowd-pleaser with Christian Bale in the title role. I must have been entertained, because I stayed awake the whole time! Hooray!! I even found myself scootched forward and sitting at the edge of my seat a few times. After watching Christian Bale and his co-stars starving on screen, their faces thinning the longer they are prisoners in the Laos jungle I had to get something to eat. I found a great place on Bloor called 7 West that’s open 24 hours. I sat at the bar and had bacon and eggs at midnight. The cakes looked amazing, but I couldn’t deal with a sugar high so I trudged out into the wet street for the hotel another day in Toronto finished.

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