Moore, a native of Flint, Mich., sister city of Hamilton, was commenting on the speculation that the Maple Leafs were employing some sort of veto power to disallow the bankrupt Phoenix Coyote franchise to relocate to hockey-mad Southern Ontario. "[The Leafs]should believe in democracy, and they should believe in fair play and competition - it's about sports for Christ's sake."
The latest documentary from the hurly burly provocateur rails against the "evils" of capitalism, which is a popular economic system he suspects has wrecked the "national sport of Canada" as well. "You've allowed a piece of your soul to be ripped out and made into a commodity," the left-winger Moore said, referring to the 1996 relocation of the Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix. "I can't believe you've allowed any Canadian hockey team to be bought and taken to a place where there's palm trees." Staff 2 p.m.
Tom Ford's film A Single Man, which is also screening at TIFF, picked up two awards at the Venice Film Festival: the best actor award (for Colin Firth) and the Queer Golden Lion (an unofficial award, independent of the festival, for the best gay-themed movie). The film's writer, David Scearce, from Burlington, Ont., reacted to the news in an e-mail from Italy: "Seeing the film premiere at Venice was an incredible experience," he wrote. "When you're close to the material, it can be difficult to see it objectively. Yet, when the end credits began to roll, the crowd gave it a very sincere and long standing ovation. To now return for the North American premiere of my first film feels like quite a homecoming, indeed." Also in Venice, Lebanon, an Israeli film that recounts Israel's 1982 invasion of the Middle East country through the eyes of four soldiers in a tank, picked up the Golden Lion (for best film). It is also screening during TIFF. Iranian filmmaker and photographer Shirin Neshat snared the Silver Lion for best director for her feature debut Zanan Bedone Mardan ( Women Without Men), also a part of TIFF. Staff 3 p.m.
"Did you see Brian De Palma in the audience for my film?" The question bubbles up in a boyishly excited rush, which both charms and surprises me. That's because the questioner is French director Gaspar Noé, the last guy you'd expect to give a tinker's damn about the audience or anybody in it. His approach to filmmaking, in Irreversible and now again in Enter the Void, is, well, combative, assaulting us with triple-barrelled bursts of brutal imagery and fractured time-frames and kaleidoscopic effects. All sighted through his talented eye, the result is riveting to some and revolting to others. People get mesmerized by his movies, people walk out of his movies, and Noé has always seemed delighted with either reaction. Clearly, though, this is an exception: He wants Brian De Palma to have been there, and he really wants Brian De Palma to have stayed.
So Noé continues in the same bubbly rush: "Someone told me he was in the audience yesterday. At the press and industry screening. So I rushed over and looked at the seats but I couldn't see him." A pause, then he repeats: "Did you see Brian De Palma in the audience for my film?"
Okay, I was there, the theatre was maybe half-filled, and, since poor Noé seems on the cusp of imploring, I'd love to give him the right answer. But. "Um, sorry, I did not see Brian De Palma in the audience. But I was looking up, not around, and I've heard that De Palma, even when he doesn't have a film at the fest, has a history of coming to Toronto anyway just to watch lots of movies, so, you know, maybe he was there."
Noé, who spent several years raising the money for Enter the Void and two more years shooting and editing it and who doesn't yet have a North American distributor for his prodigious labour of love, tries to take heart from that "maybe." And who can blame him?
8:45 p.m. Saturday
Elgin Theatre. Flashes light up the red carpet as the Coen brothers arrive for the premiere of their film A Serious Man, but they bypass the press and zoom inside, followed soon after by the actress Tilda Swinton, looking soigné in a sheer black dress and cropped blonde hair. TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey reminds the audience that the Coens brought their first film, Blood Simple, to TIFF 25 years ago, and that last year they were here with Burn After Reading, which co-starred Swinton. (Their next picture reportedly will be a remake of True Grit starring Jeff Bridges, who played the title character in their 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski.) Joel Coen (the hairier one) mumbles into the mike, "We do have a long association with TIFF and we're happy about that." Ethan (the shorter one) whispers introductions to the cast, including Richard Kind and the appealing new star Michael Stuhlbarg. Someone in the audience shouts out, "Louder!" but it's too late - the elusive Coens have evaporated. True to form, they do not return for a Q&A. Staff Sunday, 11:30 a.m.