Stylish Filmgoing in Toronto
In Toronto two nights ago I found myself spoiled for choice on things to do – a natural conundrum for a Saturday night in a big city. If I had planned the night more effectively ahead of time, I would have ended up at a hockey game or theatre performance, but the spontaneity card took me to a movie theatre instead… and the venue itself (seen above) was a highly memorable one.
The TIFF Bell Lightbox functions as the year – round home of the Toronto Film Festival, and even at this time of year, the opposite end of the film festival, it remained busy and active. An impressive four or five floors of cinemas rise up from the main lobby, which reminded me more of a European museum than a cinema with a bright, white interior and very high ceiling.
This entry is taking way too long to write (oh, distractions and the internet), so I’ll try to do just a quick summary…
Of a plethora of diverse and unusual films to choose (best seen here) I went for the unknown and chose a screening of Possible Worlds, directed by noted Quebec-based theatre & film maker Robert Lepage. whom I’d actually seen perform in Berkeley several years ago. Turned out he was there for the screening and gave some brief introductory remarks about the film along with the producer and writer. Lepage was also being feted in Toronto for a prize of some sort… I don’t recall the specifics.
The film at hand, Possible Worlds, was highly impressive. Originally released in 2000, I’m not sure if it enjoyed a US release, and I don’t recall hearing about it at the time. It offered a typically strong lead performance from Tilda Swinton, just before she transitioned to more “mainstream” roles (or perhaps just more well known roles) and beautiful location photography in Montreal and the Magdalen Islands region of Quebec. I don’t want to say too much more about it, except that it was provocative and thought provoking, and you should Google it.