TIFF 2012, aka The Ten Days That Finally Ended My Sanity

Here it is folks, my mostly finalized schedule. If I manage to pull this off and see everything I’m planning to, that’s 36 films and 1 super boss live table read. Of the 20 films I was most excited to see, I was able to squeeze 16 of them into my schedule to potentially take in. Of those 16, I’m only confident about actually seeing half of them, the other 8 are a total crapshoot as far as I’m concerned. Welcome to my TIFF experience, ladies and gents.

Thursday, September 6th:

8:00am: The madness begins! Wake up and rush Looper at 9:15 or die trying. This is my only option for seeing it at the Festival and JGL won’t even be there. Don’t care. Must see.

11:15am: Get out of Looper and try to decide if I can make it from the Lightbox to the screening of Thermae Romaeat Scotiabank Theatre at 11:30. If I can, rush that. If I can’t, maybe get something to eat.

1:30pm: Rush Argo at 2:00, or try anyway. Ides of March didn’t work out too well for me last year, and I can see Argo following that pattern. Consider trying for The Hunt at 2:30 instead.

4-4:30pm: Eat something then get in line for a good seat at Jason Reitman’s Live Read of American Beauty. Try to contain my excitement.

6:00pm: Jason Reitman directs a live stage reading of American Beauty. He’s been doing a series of these live readings for awhile now and even though they’ve yet to announce the cast, I already bought a ticket. I DON’T CARE WHO IS IN IT, I WANT TO SEE THIS. It sounds downright fascinating!

8:00pm: Reading ends, I head home to get ready for the opening night party that evening. Begin to realize that this year might be the year TIFF finally kills me.

10:00pm: PAR-TAY! This year it is literally hosted across the street from me, so I am pretty much set. Try and make new friends so I’m not clinging to Heather all night.

Undetermined Time?: Trudge about 6 feet to get home and pass out. Feel smug about how I don’t have to fight for cabs or worry about traffic.

Friday, September 7th:

8:00am: Wake up. Remind myself that sleep is for the weak and head to Scotiabank to rush Lore at 9:15am. Try to remember Chapters won’t be open by the time I get there, get Starbucks elsewhere on the way.

11:05am: Leave the Lore screening only to immediately join the rush line for Imagine. If that doesn’t work out, make my way to Ryerson to attempt rushing Rust & Bone at noon. Hopefully I’ll have remembered to pack snacks for the day. At some point, eat said snacks.

2:30pm: Observe the rush line for Imogene and try to decide if it’s worth waiting. Weigh the benefits of possibly seeing Darren Criss and Kristen Wiig against the hassle of potentially running from the screening to work. Attempt some mental math to determine if I can get out of the 3pm screening in time for my 5pm shift. Decision to be determined.

5:00pm: My first box office shift of the Festival. Hopefully have co-workers as awesome as last year.

10:00pm: Finish my shift and head to Midnight Madness to rush Seven Psychopaths. Hope and pray I get in. My two hour wait in line better be worth it…

1:50am: Movie ends. Track down a cab. Head home. Pass out.

Saturday, September 8th:

7:30am: Wake up. Might take a couple tries. Remind myself that What Maisie Knew looks really good and Alexander Skarsgard is in it. Drag my ass out of bed to rush it at 8:45. If I don’t make it in time, try getting to the Lightbox for 9:00 in an attempt to rush My Awkward Sexual Adventure. If both fail, get breakfast somewhere.

11:00am: My first non-rushed film! Head to Ryerson to see The Place Beyond The Pines, ticket in hand, and cross my fingers that I am three for three for seeing Ryan Gosling at the Fest. Take many pictures and swoon.

1:50pm: Leave Place Beyond The Pines and eat. Not just whatever I throw in my purse for the day, actually sit somewhere and eat. Consider treating myself to Swiss Chalet.

2:45pm: Work time. Mourn my inability to see the Premiere of Much Ado About Nothing. Hunker down for 8 hours of ticket sales and remain hopeful that some sort of minor celebrity might come in for tickets. (Spoiler alert: They won’t.)

10:45pm: Finish shift and head to Midnight Madness. Am slightly indifferent about seeing No One Lives but Midnight Madness is just so much fun and I’ll rush just about anything there.

1:30am: Cab. Home. Sleep. Try to remember what normalcy feels like.

Sunday, September 9th:

8:00am: Wake up and force myself out of bed with the reminder that to not take advantage of these free films is a downright tragedy. Head to the rush line and have an internal debate as to whether I want to see Greetings From Tim Buckley or Fin (The End). Decision to be determined.

11:00am: Get some Starbucks and a bite to eat, then head to Isabel Bader to wait in line for Much Ado About Nothing. Spend my hour long wait vibrating with excitement. Eventually my friend Steph will join me and we will gush over how magical it is I was able to get tickets and how AMAZING would it be if Joss actually came (OH GOD PLEASE I HOPE HE COMES…)


2:30pm: The movie is supposed to end at 2:17, with an extra half hour given for Q&A. Since I start work at 2:45, I must FORCE myself to leave at 2:30, regardless of whether or not the Q&A is complete. No, really. I’ll leave. I swear.

2:45pm: I want to say I will be at my shift, on time and ready to go. I want to say that… I predict lots of running and an out-of-breath collapse at my computer. Hunker down for an unbearably long shift.

7:00pm: Finally begin to feel the effects of my overzealous movie intake coupled with my back-to-back 8 hour shifts. Drown my exhaustion in Starbucks and vitamins. Question my life choices.

10:45pm: Shift ends and, depending on my exhaustion, consider rushing Hellbenders at Midnight Madness. This decision will directly determine whether I rush anything in the morning.

Monday, September 10th:

8:30am: A 70mm rush screening of The Master takes place. Is it worth the lack of sleep? To be determined. If I don’t decide to go, chances are I won’t rush Writers at 9:00 either.

11:00am: Strongly consider rushing Thanks For Sharing, but time constraints might make The Iceman a more viable choice. Still torn. I think Iceman might win.

1:30pm: Rush The Impossible and prepare myself to be emotionally drained by the end. Take bets now as to whether it will make me cry or not.

3:20pm: Movie done, I will go home to eat and relax before my shift. I will make a real meal and perhaps even take a relaxing bath? Depending on time constraints.

5:15pm: Work time! Try to show up early to make up for what was potentially a late start the day before.

10:30pm: Finish my shift and forgo Midnight Madness because I just can’t bring myself to care about Rob Zombie’s The Lords Of Salem. If I didn’t get my bath that afternoon, take one before bed. Get a full night’s sleep for once.

Tuesday, September 11th:

10:00am: Sleep in! (For TIFF, this is sleeping in.) Head to the 10:45 rush screening of Song For Marion because it sounds really adorable. Terrence Stamp singing in a senior’s choir?! Yes please.

12:20pm: Leave the Song For Marion screening to immediately join the rush line for A Liar’s Autobiography. If I don’t get into this one, I’ll be super bummed.

2:10pm: Run from Scotiabank theatre to Yonge & Dundas so I can make the rush line for Berberian Sound Studio. Once again, if I don’t get in, SUPER bummed. This is a public screening so I’m a little more concerned about my chances…

4:45pm: My screening ends and my shift begins. Thank my lucky stars the screening takes place in the theatre I’m working at. Make super nice with my coworkers because at this point I suspect I’ll have cut it close getting to work on time on numerous occasions.

10:45pm: Shift ends and despite having already seen three films, will likely rush Aftershock at Midnight Madness. Truth be told, I have a slight crush on Eli Roth and I’m pretty much going just to see him.

1:35am: Will likely regret my decision immediately following the film. So tired. So, so tired…

Wednesday, September 12th:

9:00am: Wake up. Rush Arthur Newman at 10:00. Try not to fall asleep during. Hope that Colin Firth will be engrossing enough to keep me awake.

12:00pm: So, I got a ticket to Ghost Graduation at 2:00, but upon further reflection I’ve decided I would rather see Disconnect at noon. Alexander Skarsgard might be there! I clearly didn’t think this through. If all goes according to plan, I will be able to exchange my Ghost Graduation ticket for a Disconnect one. Then I can see Alexander Skarsgard in person and possibly pass out from being that close to his natural hotness.

2:30pm: Leave Disconnect on a cloud of bliss, then run my ass to Scotiabank. If I can make it, rush the Byzantium screening. If I miss that, try for the 3:15 screening of The Paperboy.

5:15pm: Work. Lament not getting to see Here Comes The Devil, but only half-heartedly. Finally reach that point in the Festival where I’m ready to die, or coming into my second wind. Hopefully it’s the second one because I really want to see the Midnight Madness film that evening.

10:30pm: Shift ends. Nut up and hit the rush line for Midnight Madness so I can finally see The Bay, which has been intriguing me for weeks now.

2:00am: Utterly exhausted. Pour myself into a taxi and decide that as weirdly delightful as I might find A Werewolf Boy, it is not worth losing sleep and forgo early morning screenings.

Thursday, September 13th:

11:00am: After a proper night’s rest, head to the Bloor Cinema for Love, Marilyn at noon, my fourth ticket of the Fest. Not sure who, if anyone, might be there for the film. Don’t care. Just want to see it.

2:30pm: Assuming my plan for Disconnect succeeds, rush Ghost Graduation at this point. Still really want to see the film so hopefully I can pull it off.

4:30pm: Time to work again. Spend downtime in my shift re-evaluating what films I am still planning to rush. Are they all worth it? How tired am I? Chances are all this dithering will result in absolutely no change in my plans.

10:30pm: Shift ends. Hope I can find a coffee place in the area still open. Get a drink and hit the Midnight Madness rush line for Come Out And Play. I might be exhausted but I do so enjoy horror flicks about creepy children, so I’m determined to stick out.

2:05am: Hop in a cab. Curse my own short-sightedness for getting a ticket for a 9:30 film the next morning.

Friday, September 14th:

9:00am: Head to the 9:30 screening of Passion, my fifth ticket. I predict I’ll be tired, but the film looks thrilling enough to keep my attention.

11:40am: Do some more mental arithmetic: is it worth going home for a nap and then heading back out to rush the 2:30 screening of Revolution? Would I be better off just staying out, seeing The Attack with a friend? To be determined.

2:30pm: Rush Revolution at Yonge & Dundas. Pray it doesn’t break my heart into a million pieces with tales of destruction of marine life. If I see a dead or dying dolphin there’s a 90% chance I’ll show up to work with puffy eyes and tear-strained cheeks.

5:15pm: A shorter work shift, should be fairly painless. Spend most of it taking stock of my faculties. Is The ABCs of Death plausible? Can I handle a horror movie that will probably be gory and gruesome and 2 1/2 hours long? Can my body handle all that? Outlook not so good.

10:00pm: Decide if the gimmick of a movie with 26 different directors is worth my mental and physical health. Unless someone can talk me into it, I don’t see myself waiting two hours to rush a film that won’t get out until 2:30. Head home. Sleep soundly.

Saturday, September 15th:

8:30am: Try to wake up. Try to convince myself that rushing Middle Of Nowhere at Yonge & Dundas is totally doable. Chances are this is a decision I will have to have made well in advance of this, since I’m seeing Cloud Atlas at Elgin with my friend Nicole and will have to have made sure she has her ticket in advance in case I’m running late. I really want to see Middle Of Nowhere, but I think I might be pushing my luck. Decision here to be determined.

11:00am: One of my last tickets of the Fest! Take Nicole to see Cloud Atlas. Resign myself to the fact that there likely won’t be any cast or crew present but the film looks so epic I’m not overly concerned. Strap myself in and enjoy the ride.

2:15pm: Film ends. Have a half hour until my shift. Perhaps get a quick bite to eat.

2:45pm: Second last shift of the Festival. Pray I have the resilience to get through this 8 hour shift. Lots of caffeine. Lots of mindless chatter to keep me awake.

10:45pm: Shift is over and despite everything in my body screaming at me that it’s a stupid idea, head to Ryerson to rush the final film of Midnight Madness. Internally grouse that John Dies At The End is showing so late in the Fest but it’s just too gloriously bizarre to pass up.

2:00am: Cab. Home. Remember I have a ticket at 9:15 the next morning. Seriously start questioning my own sanity.

Sunday, September 16th:

8:30am: Last day! Wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and prance off to my 9:15 screening of First Comes Love, ticket in hand and a song in my heart. No, seriously. That is totally how this will play out. Honestly.

11:30am: Film ends and I make my way to the Lightbox for my final ticket, the 12:00 screening of Room 237. Went back and forth on whether I should keep this ticket – film ends LITERALLY when my shift begins at Yonge & Dundas. Finally decided I wanted to see this flick too much to pass up. Will speak to my supervisor and hope that being 15 minutes late on my last shift on the last day won’t be a big deal. Here’s hoping they agree…

1:45pm: Final shift begins. Hopefully I will be there in a reasonable amount of time. Predict yet another out of breath collapse at my station.

7:15pm: Shift ends! Depending on who is going, will either hit up the staff party for a bit or try rushing one last film – To The Wonder at 9:45. Forgoing a party for a movie seems pretty dumb, but unless I get coerced by eager dancing buddies to go, will likely try and catch the Mallick flick if only to say I saw it at the Fest. Yep, I’m that person.

Midnight: Trudge home, high on the magic and wonder that is the Toronto International Film Festival. Write off Monday as a day to sleep and recoup. Remind myself that now that the craziness is over I must go back to my real life in the real world and find a new job that will give me real benefits. Choose to let Future Sandra worry about that post-TIFF.


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