* Wake up and take stock of my faculties. How badly do I want to see First Comes Love? Do I need more sleep? I feel much better, likely on account of ten hours of sleep. I decide to head to Yonge & Dundas and make a day of movie-going.

* First Comes Love is a sweet, funny, and honest look at a single woman’s quest for motherhood. Nina Davenport’s documentary style is very lo-tech, with her just walking around with a camera in her hands at all times. You get the impression from her friends and family that this is just par for the course in knowing her, and that you should just come to expect every conversation you have recorded.

* The movie had me cooing over babies right up until we watched her son be born. I know the miracle of birth is a thing of beauty of whatever, but when that lid came out of her with all the goo and with an elongated head all I could think was “I was right. Being pregnant is just like Alien.” No motherhood for me anytime soon!

* Leave that screening to immediately hurry to the Lightbox for Room 237. I’m excited for this one, I actually had no idea how obsessed some people were with The Shining.

* The movie is absolutely fascinating. These people have analyzed The Shining, forwards and backwards (literally), and for them, nothing is coincidence or a continuity error. This is a movie with a very clear message or motive. The difference being, each person has interpreted their own message or motive, with no interest in anyone else’s interpretations. It was basically a giant lesson in semiotics and I can think of a film prof back at Carleton who would have shown us this film in enraptured glee.

* Room 237 ends and I consider my options. I originally had a shift at this time, one that had started about 20 minutes before my film got out, but I gave that shift away and now have the day to myself. What to do? After consulting my film list I see that I am 3 movies away from seeing 30 flicks this year. If I time it right, I can absolutely pull this off.

* I decide to rush Here Comes The Devil at Scotia, then run to the subway in the hopes of getting to Yonge & Dundas in time to rush Thieves. After that, I’ll end my TIFF experience with a film called The End which seems somehow poetic.

* Here Comes The Devil was a surprise. Considering how mildly disappointed I was in a lot of the Midnight Madness selections, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of a horror movie relegated to the Vanguard programme instead. Turns out, this one should have been in Midnight Madness. It was sexy, it was scary, it was fucked up but in the best possible way… This is how you do a possession story. This is how you tell the tale of super creepy Spanish children. This is how you give me the creeps. A+.

* Movie ends a little later than anticipated. Pretty sure I can’t make it to Thieves, but decide to try anyway.

* No dice. Spend a good hour or so hanging out with Vanya and my supervisor Alex and totally distracting them from work like the jerk that I am. They are both going to films after work as well, so now I have a choice – do I wanna stick with The End, a film I’ve wanted to see since the start of The Festival? Or see The ABCs of Death, which I missed at Midnight Madness and should probably be experienced in a theatre? Or see The Deep, based on a true story of a man who is shipwrecked and manages to survive at sea for so long he becomes a medical marvel? Decisions, decisions…

* Get a bite to eat and finally decide to stick with my first choice. The End has been on my list of weeks, I should probably see if my instincts are right.

* Waiting in the rush line, I befriend two girls who are experiencing TIFF for the first time. I explain how the rush line works, the benefits of ticket packages, and explain why it’s worth the time and effort to volunteer for the Fest. Both were genuinely enthusiastic and I’m pretty sure I just recruited two new people into the TIFF family. Telling Vanya this afterwards, she refers to me as “The Godmother of Film”. I’ll take it.

* I was also standing in line in front of the director of Mumbai’s King, one of the City to City selections. I wish I had seen the film so I could chat with him.

* The End was pretty damn good. It was a little bit like Vanishing on 7th Street from 2 years ago, but less sinister. It was fairly ambiguous, definitely open to interpretation, especially the ending. I really dig that sort of thing but I suspect others seeing the film did not concur.


1) Newborn babies, straight outta the oven, are GROSS. Sorry. They get super cute though!

2) The Shining is about the massacre of Native Americans at the hands of the white man.

3) The Shining is about Nazi Germany and the plight of the Jewish people.

4) The Shining is Kubrick’s secret confession that he filmed the fakes moon landing footage.

5) The one thing The Shining is not about is Stephen King’s novel “The Shining”.

6) Spanish children are creepy. Oh wait, I learned that Day Eight…

7) Here Comes The Devil might be the sleeper hit of the Festival.

8) Seeing only 29 movies instead of a perfect 30 bothers me far more than it should.

9) TIFF will do its damnedest to kill me, year after year, but my movie loving soul is too resilient to give up.

And that is all she wrote, kids! After 11 days of fun and mayhem I am wiped. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures and I promise to write more in depth reviews of the films I’ve seen at a later date. For now, I sleep.


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