Today I’m giving away the 2000 TIFF program guide and introducing a new feature – Film Fridays. I have about 20 program guides dating back to 1990 (I must have pitched the ones from the 80’s). They’re quite large and I don’t want to hang on to them any longer so every Friday for the next many weeks I’m going to highlight one of the programs and my favourite movies/discoveries from that year’s Festival.
The 2000 festival was pretty rich. It was their 25th anniversary, according to the cover, and they had a tribute to Stephen Frears who made many of my all-time favourite movies including The Grifters and Dangerous Liaisons. But the new movies screened were amazing and had a lot of great aha moments for festival goers. My best impressions and strongest memories were of…
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon a flying fighting movie of no compare from the impressively versatile Ang Lee
Sexy Beast, where we saw Ben Kingsley un-Gandhi himself and we fell in love with Ray Winstone
You Can Count on Me revealing Kenneth Lonergan and, even better, Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney, all of whom I didn’t know up to that point. I think they all had a following for great stage work but I’m a movie person and didn’t know them.
Memento Christopher Nolan’s writing feat, which I think I didn’t see in the festival but watched later after all the buzz. Remember how much we all loved Guy Pearce? People watched that movie backwards and forwards.
Requiem for a Dream an in-your-face horrifying slippery slope drug story. Darren Aronofsky did more in two hours than 8 years of Just Say No. Again, I don’t think I saw this in the festival but later on the advice of my filmy friend David.
And my favourite…
Before Night Falls It was directed by Julian Schnabel, whose first feature was the incredible Basquiat, and it starred Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp (in drag) and Sean Penn. Javier owned every inch of that movie and haunted you aftwards. He played Reinaldo Arenas, a Cuban poet and writer, who was jailed by the government and had a crazy persecuted life until he was able to leave Cuba and move to New York. It was programmed by Kay Armatage, one of my favourite programmers while she was at the festival, and she described his performance as “a stunning combination of flash, nuance and intelligence.” He was smokin’
I’m giving the programs to the Toronto Film School who seemed really excited to get them.