Toronto 2011 Journal, Part 4: Location, Location, Location

The Projector
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TORONTO -- Cool-looking theater, huh? This is the Roy Thomson Hall, a huge venue with a capacity of around 2,600 where a few of the pubic premieres happen during the Toronto Film Festival. The first time I went to the theater, it was a couple years ago for a last-minute assignment to cover director Rodrigo Garcia's "Mother and Child." I had to scramble to get a ticket and, to make a long story short, I ended up in the same intimate balcony section as Garcia and some of his producers and close friends. Thankfully, I wasn't close enough to actually have to speak with him: I'd interviewed him before and really enjoyed the experience, but I was about to review his film and didn't want to seem conflicted in any way. I needn't have worried: I thought "Mother and Child" was great.

I was at the Roy Thomson again last night for another premiere, Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz." It's just a great space, not bad for a venue that's usually a concert hall. It's funny how much I associate different theaters with the movies I've seen there. Go with me to any theater in L.A. and I can probably rattle off 20 films I watched in the same space. (Fun thing I like to do with my annual Top 1o list: figure out where I saw each movie.) I'm a nostalgic person in some ways, I guess.

But enough of nostalgia. Time to figure out today's screening schedule, which will be more of a hodgepodge than usual. First thing in the morning, I'm going to try to get into "Rampart," the new film from "The Messenger" director Oren Moverman that stars Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Ice Cube and Sigourney Weaver. There's going to be a huge rush, I'm betting, so wish me luck.

After that, I may try out "50/50" in advance of its September 30 release. I am becoming progressively more concerned about this so-called cancer dramedy. The first trailer was artfully done, but the second seemed to be very concerned that we get that this is a COMEDY with ROMANTIC ELEMENTS.

Or I may check out "Damsels in Distress," the first film from "Last Days of Disco" writer-director Whit Stillman in 13 years. (Even Terrence Malick has been more prolific of late.) I'm hearing good things about the film and its lead, Greta Gerwig.

But what I'm pretty sure I'm gonna catch is "Shame," the follow-up film from "Hunger" director Steve McQueen that once again stars Michael Fassbender. It's received fantastic reviews, and Fox Searchlight just picked it up. Those two factors clinch it as a must-see.

So, as you can see, I'm gonna go with the flow today. As you don't need to be reminded, today's September 11. If ever there was a day not to get too worked up about needless things, it's probably today. Stay safe out there, folks.