Monday, September 12, 2011

Blog Mea Culpa (already)

I know, I know. I swore up and down my blog last week that come hell or high water (or both), I was going to stick to three topics only in my blog. After reading article after article from blog experts telling me that a good blog should really focus on one topic only, rather than the 62 different topics I had covered in just about as many days, I decided I would listen to them.

Since I knew that focusing on only one topic was just about out of the question for a brain like mine, I listed three topics I would blog about – only.  I would write about my journey into the world of publishing with my new memoir, Love, Complicated. I’d share some excerpts from the book from time to time and the many writing tips I learned over the years while writing it. And lastly, because it’s so important to me, I’d write about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, the cluster of disabilities, including brain damage, caused by the use of alcohol during pregnancy. My adopted-at-birth son was diagnosed with FASD when he was six. Not surprisingly, FASD figures highly in my book.

Those three topics kinda related to one another, I thought.

Yet here I am, only one week later, and all I want to talk about are the movies my husband and I just saw at the Toronto International Film Festivall (tiff) in the last two days. I should have known better than to make idle promises. But I’ll be right back on course with tomorrow’s blog. Honest.

The first movie we saw was In Darkness, a movie that Sony Classics will be releasing in both Canada and the U.S. in the next few weeks. It’s a Canadian, Polish and German co-production, a story about a petty thief who hides a group of Jews in the sewers of Poland during WWII, to save them from the Nazis. It’s beautifully made, with gripping realism. A four hanky movie with enough redemptive scenes to make it all bearable. Superb acting, cinematography, art design and directing. Agnieska Hollander, a well-known Polish director whose movie credits include Academy Award winner Europa, Europa, has a firm hand on every scene.  I can’t recommend it enough. Just don’t forget the hankies.

The lesser, more indie, art-house type films we saw were Behold the Lamb from Northern Ireland, and Footnote from Israel. It’s fun to take your chances at tiff with unknown movies, and if you’re lucky, you get to see little gems like both these well-acted, thoughtful films. There are Q&As with the directors after the Tiff films, so it’s great to get behind the scenes info and ‘the making of’ background, kinda like the Features sections on rented DVD.  

It was fun being out on King Street tonight, feeling the buzz of the tiff scene with the hundreds of other movie-goers. Sure, it’s a pain-in-the-ass to get tickets, wait in rush lines and spend $22 a ticket (!), but Toronto is really lucky to have this cultural event take over the town once a year. Why not be part of it. Next year, if I decide I can part with the money, and that’s a big if, I’m going to buy myself a pass (maybe $400 or something like that) and just go see dozens and dozens of movies in a week, and maybe even take in a gala party or two.

If I’m lucky, I’ll get to see, OMG, really OMG, real live movie stars. Tonight, I only got to clap my eyes on Atom Egoyan walking around the block with his cell phone pressed to his ear making dinner plans, and three goofy-looking guys from Corner Gas talking to a camera. Next year I’m setting my sites a little higher. Maybe Brad and Angie. 

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