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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

DAY 7 - Top of the World - Dixie Chicks Shut Up and Sing

Have to fly down to see the Dixie Chicks - Shut Up and Sing and the rain is coming down.

9:30 a.m.

Day 7 started the day with a very uplifting documentary by directorial duo Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck of their look at the Dixie Chicks : Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, Emily Robinson - from back in the day when they were the #1 country act in the USA and were touring Top of the World - then contrasted with their lives and career now since the "incident". The incident of course is the comment made by lead singer Natalie Maines - known for her mouth getting the Dixie Chicks in trouble [ not just for Bush but also their feud with Toby Keith ]- at their London concert at Shepperd's Bush in 2003 just on the crest of the Iraq conflict: "We're embarrassed that the President is from Texas."

The Dixie Chicks toughed out the subsequent fallout. Shut Up and Sing is often very humorous with the especially sassy remarks by Natalie and the Dixie Chicks manager Simon Renshaw - the audience is often laughing at lines that drip with dramatic irony and moments when they were in a running feud with Toby Keith complete with FUTK and FUDC t-shirts [ Natalie jokes the DC refers to Vice-president Dick Cheney ] - at the time how were the Dixie Chicks to know the consequences, including the boycott by country radio and their conservative members of their audience south of the Mason-Dixon line? The documentary goes behind the scenes with very personal looks at the Dixie Chicks' lives, their children, visits to the hospital for ultrasounds, listening in on recording sessions for the new direction on their new album Taking The Long Way. On the morning of the selling of the tickets for their 2005 tour, it is shown their return is not totally triumphant with a steady refusal south of the Mason-Dixon line - but they have found a new audience in Canada. The end of the film shows the girls back at the scene of the crime two years later back in London and still unrepentant. The Dixie Chicks rule! They are my new heroes.

Then the race up to the Varsity in the rain for Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrnth.

11:45 a.m.

A grim fairy tale come to life, Guillermo del Toro's flight of fancy stands as a gorgeous retelling of an Alice in Wonderland story on its own - but beneath the exterior is an allegory of the 1940's Franco Spain which del Toro tries to subvert and cast it into nothing but a faded memory.

2:30 p.m.

A refusal to accept a life of unhappiness triggers out of marriage relationships and personal collisions in this desperate housewives suburban nightmare of secret lives and frustrations. Directed by Todd Field of In The Bedroom, Little Children moves tediously slow.

5 p.m.

In this spooky Midnight Madness horror portion of the festival, The Abandoned proves the adage there is no place like home.

9 p.m.

Laura Linney ! She was there with Gabriel Byrne ! and she was just in the row over watching the movie with the crowd - Jindabyye, a compelling take on the Raymond Carver short story expanded to a full length movie taking place in the Snowy Mountain district of NSW in Australia.

Gone fishing. The men on a fishing trip find the body of a dead teenage Aboriginal girl. So what do they do? They keep fishing and tie her leg to a log so she does not float away. The fallout, the reaction of the communities to the men's inactions spark the movie. Laura Linney and Gabriel in the third failed marriage together onscreen [ they were together 2 year's ago P.S. at 04 TIFF ] - it's marvellous to see the two together.

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