FRIDAY, 7:30 p.m.
The directors Reitman, father Ivan and son Jason, mixed a little business with pleasure at TIFF this year.
The pleasure, of course, was seeing the positive reception given to the three films at the festival they're involved with: Up in the Air (Jason directed and Ivan produced), Chloe (Jason executive produced and Ivan produced) and Jennifer's Body (Jason produced).
But Friday night they also turned up for an hour or so at the Toronto Board of Trade to address the future tenants of TIFF's future home - the Bell Lightbox. More than 90 per cent of the residential condos in the King St. building have been sold. Scheduled to open next fall, the condos will sit atop TIFF's new headquarters.
The Reitman family owns a major equity stake in the development, since it was on that site that Ivan's father owned and operated a car wash in the 1950s and 60s.
In an interview, both Reitmans lavished praise on the Toronto film festival, calling it the greatest such event in the world. "Venice, Cannes and Berlin all have their charm," said Jason, "but Toronto is both a real people's festival and an industry festival." Staff
Saturday, 12:05 a.m.
Just a couple of hours after Beautiful Kate had its inaugural TIFF screening, the film's director and screenwriter was breaking out the champagne and cake. Not only was Rachel Ward marking the international debut of her first feature film here, Saturday was her 52nd birthday.
The film, a tale of forbidden love, tortuous memories and forgiveness set in the Oz outback, has been playing in Australian theatres for the last six weeks. And now Ward is hoping she can score several rights deals at TIFF. "It was a great birthday present last night, just to screen it in Toronto," she said early Saturday morning. "Toronto's audiences are very much like Sydney audiences because it's not just a marketplace. There are punters out there, film lovers going to things. You get a really warm and attentive audience."
Ward, you may recall, was the Megan Fox of her generation, thanks to appearances in such feature films as Sharkey's Machine and Against All Odds and, most famously, as Meggie Cleary, Richard Chamberlain's forbidden love interest in The Thorn Birds miniseries of 1983. "The face was the fortune," she laughed, claiming her looks had "faded" by her late thirties. But that certainly wasn't the case Saturday; she looked "mahvelous."
Sam Neill, who celebrates his 62nd birthday at TIFF today, was looking a little rumpled Saturday morning as he sat down to talk about his new film, Daybreakers, and warned that, despite the allotted 15 minutes, he doubts he has three minutes worth of things to say.
He has never done a vampire movie before his role in Daybreakers, and he says in general, he doesn't care for the genre. It reminds him too much of his kids' friends: "To be honest, I don't particularly like them."
"For vampire, read 'emo' - the disaffected boring youths that I've put up with because I have teenagers at home and these people are trampling through my door and I don't care for them. Then they hit 21 and they're fine, but in the meantime they're like vampires and boring vampires."
But two pages into the script of Daybreakers, he changed his mind: "When I reached the scene of the vampires, before going to work in the morning, lining up for their double shot of blood in their morning at Starbucks, I said, 'Fantastic. This is kind of thing I want to do'."
Staff 12 p.m.
Michael Douglas has no use for technology. He doesn't tweet. He's not on Facebook. And he, frankly, can't figure out how people these days have the time to chronicle every minute detail of their lives. But he told the media at a press conference for his film, Solitary Man - about an aging philanderer facing his own mortality - that his 92-year-old dad, Kirk, has embraced the movement. "My father is the oldest person on MySpace," he says. "He called me up the other day and said, "Hey Michael, I've got 800 new friends." The Academy Award winning actor, who turns 65 shortly, also shared the fact that he and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, don't critique each other's work. "I've learned that unsolicited advice can be seen as a hostile gesture," he says. Staff
The sweetest words to a journalist's ear are sentences that begin with "I'm probably going to get into trouble here..." Which were the exact words from the unguarded mouth of documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, in town to talk up his latest release, Capitalism: A Love Story. "I'm probably going to get into trouble here," Moore told the Globe and Mail, when asked about the current drama of the National Hockey League, "but the Toronto Maple Leafs should concentrate more on trying to have the best team possible instead of trying to shut out the competition."