Since tonight's CFL football game has turned out to be such a bust (the Calgary Stampeders lead Edmonton 29 to 8 as I write this), I thought I would rant about the Toronto International Film Festival and crow yet again about how great it is out West and how Toronto continues to go down the tubes without me there.
Earlier this year I had considered scheduling my vacation time around the annual Star!Schmooze -- or rather, the eTalk Festival Party because that was what it was last year. I thought maybe I could do some star-gazing there and maybe catch some of the film festival in Toronto. Well, it's a really good thing that I didn't schedule a trip to Toronto to coincide with the red carpet of the annual Festival party on Friday night -- because there is no Friday night party and no red carpet!!!
Was reading that the folks at CTV are discontinuing the Star!Schmooze -- or rather, what they had renamed it to. I still refer to it as the Schmooze, though. All I have to say is that I saved my money yet again by not going to Toronto this year, as another one of the things that marked my time in Toronto has gone right down the tubes.
It's obvious to me why the Schmooze is gone. It's because of the recession, and CTV obviously has no money. All kinds of parties and big events have been taken down by this big recession and I'm sure this event was an easy target for the bean counters. They might as well have killed the Schmooze, though. The Schmooze was going downhill anyway.
It seemed to me that when CTV took over the Schmooze after the CHUM takeover, they stopped focusing on the film festival and turned it into a big music event, loaded with any celebrities they could find regardless of whether they had a film at the festival or not. Last year, the CTV event had Lindsay Lohan show up to party hard with her girlfriend Samantha Ronson. But I don't even think Lohan even appeared on the show CTV put on about the event. And Lohan didn't have a film at the festival to begin with, I don't think. She was just there to party.
I think it had to have been tough getting the A-listers out to this Schmooze thing. Most of these film people and film stars aren't into these "parties" anyway -- they're into filmmaking! These parties are just a big distraction and a sure way for your smiling mug to appear on TMZ. If I were a filmmaker I'd stay far away from public events like the former Schmooze and go to some private function instead, far away from these animals in the press.
Also -- this is the last year of the Festival as we know it, before the big move into the Bell Lightbox next year. Now, this is all good for the festival, but still -- I wonder what it's going to mean for the Yorkville area where a lot of these films have been shown. They show a lot of the movies at the various theaters in that neighbourhood, and that is sure to mean a change with the move of these movies out to the new venue, which is closer to downtown. Of course, one of the big disadvantages for years was the fact that the festival was spread out over a number of venues and that there was no real central location. Half the stuff was happening in Yorkville, while other events were way downtown at Roy Thomson Hall or at Ryerson. That's going to change and I suppose that's good and it's progress. Still, it's going to make for a much different moviegoing experience for people attending the festival in the future.
I wonder if the organizers might try and pull a stunt like upping the ticket prices for the movies at the new venue. Forgive me for being cynical, but I would not be surprised in the least if that happened. I hope not.
I will have more news on TIFF as the event kicks off later this week -- and that's when I'll add a bunch of links to all the Festival media coverage going on. Suffice it to say you'll have to rely on that, because I won't be there. Again.