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Sunday, September 17, 2006

DAY 10 - once upon a time there was Candy and Dan - the last day of 06 TIFF

the sounds of Camera Obscura Lloyd, I'm Ready Ready To Be Heartbroken

42 films so far and the last day is at hand.

Double double toil and trouble - but we have chosen at last and we are landing these last three/four films - starting with a revisit to Candy

1:15 pm

Viewing Candy for the second time is still as great as the first. Clearly my favourite film of 06 TIFF.

Once upon a time there was Candy and dangerous Dan. Be ready to have your heartbroken - a tale of a couple fuelled by their deep love for each other - and drugs, lots and lots of drugs. The tale depicts their fall from Heaven to Earth to Hell itself. The couple are played to the hilt by Abbie Cornish, my favourite Australian actress from 04 TIFF's Somersault, who can go from zero to 60, and Heath Ledger as the loser junkie Dan. In the beginning Candy is an innocent, new in the way of taking drugs and this wild lifestyle. Their refuge in the storm is Dan's longtime friend Kasper, portrayed by Geoffrey Rush, as a gay Professor of chemistry at the university who can manufacture his own drugs and has found the way to transform morphine into liquid heroin - his golden elixir. He gives Dan money when he comes begging for it, and the fix they need when necessary. He befriends Candy with the cautionary words. "new to this way of wonder, you can quit when you want to, but when you want to quit " - it's the paradox.

"I did not set out to destroy Candy's life, I just wanted to improve mine," narrates Dan [ Heath Ledger ].

3:45 pm

Hong Kong director Johnny To brings three films to this year's festval. Exiled, and these two parts of Election which tells the tale of the Triad [ the Chinese Mafia so to speak ] and the politics of the ascension to power and the post of Chairman or Godfather. Election 2 is the more polished effort and takes place two years after the first Election. The current chairman is loathe to give up power and has designs to keep power. Jimmy Lee has tried to put his Triad's days in the past and has become a very rich and powerful businessman, mainly through his distribution networks and the pirating of discs. However, he has the backing of many of the nine Uncles who decide who becomes the next Godfather. No matter how he tries to distance himself, just when he thought he was out he is brought back in. And thusly concludes Election 2.

Of course any movie about the Triad and the Godfather demands the third part Election 3 - and hopefully we will be able to see this soon at a future TIFF.

8 pm

It's 3:15 in the morning and the lady and the girl are on the run for their lives.
London to Brighton is the gripping story of a middle aged woman and a nearly teenage girl on the run for their lives. In this story of power, violence and sordidness, it turns out the woman is a hooker under threat from her boss to seek out suitable prospect for a client with a taste for young girls. The hooker finds the young runaway bumming for change on the streets and befriends her. When the pimp himself is intimidated by the client by immediate violence and given 24 hours to find the girl or lose his life, the chase is on. As the pimp with his mate tries to find the two, interludes of the girl innocently playing on the of the beach in Brighton while they seek refuge with the hooker's friend in Brighton, underscore the painful tragedy of their lives.

Turn on the lights - exit the theatre - and just like that the film festival is over and back to reality - but the magic of cinema lingers

10 days - 46 movies later - many gems - much enchantment - enduring the line-ups and the mad dashes between movie theatres - the chance to see your favourite movie stars and directors of now and the past and future this year amidst the red carpet throngs [ Laura Linney, Christina Ricci, Emily Barclay again, Werner Herzog, Christian Bale, Jeremy Davies, Zach Braff, JLo ] - we are counting killer black sheep tonight - it's all about the movies. What more can you want out of 06 Toronto International Film Festival? except to hope to do the same again in 07 ?

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