Belatedly Hot Docs - 2

And so we come, at last, the end of a month of frenzy that has taken me into the United States twice – for Ebertfest and ActionFest – and back to Toronto again for TIFF Kids and Hot Docs. The only beggared stepchild of the whole process, unfortunately, is Who Remembers How It Ends, which stagnated at the final cut stage due to bad daddyship; I am aiming to lock picture with Steve this week and then hastily sort out sound and visual effects, with the outside ambition of still getting it in front of some TIFF eyes before their shorts deadline. I am far more hot for what comes next at this point, and am actively developing the next slate of projects. I also spent some of today scribbling out character biographies for guys I’d like to write/play in the untitled IBP writing project; The Twins, particularly, will be fucking incredible if they can be fleshed out / pulled off. The idea of dedicating serious production design and special effects to a new level of IBP gags is devoutly appealing.

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Belatedly Hot Docs - 1

Film festival exhaustion? Yes, undoubtedly so. No complaints though; it has been an embarrassment of riches. Between the cold I’ve been fighting and the thunderhead that rolled in over Toronto around sundown, my head was pitching a fit from around 2 in the afternoon till just about now, threatening to burst, but I just couldn’t help it – it was warm, and it finally feels like spring, and yet another film festival was calling. When the clouds finally break open all the pressure in my head snaps in a rush. I got myself a cup of coffee and an Empire magazine and stood in line outside the Bader to finally join Hot Docs on its eighth day, for back-to-back screenings of the two films I’ve most been looking forward to in the program, Sexy Baby and The Queen of Versailles. And Sasha and Jonny and Courtney showed up for a while and hung out, and when the line went in I snugged myself away in one of the solo seats off to the side, and life is good.

If I’m not quite yet sick of movies, I’m certainly sick of their ads – The Avengers and Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises chief among them. The decisions being made here are wearying. (What? The Avengers needs this level of support to break through?) But summer is finally arriving and I inevitably feel like a kid all over again. A year ago I was anticipating the shuddering calamity of a Pirates 4. Now I feel the red blood pumps of The Avengers; contemplate the mysteries of Ridley Scott’s return to LV-426; and feel the wintery chill of Nolan’s last Batman movie. Hollow pursuits? I don’t hold much enthusiasm for that line of intellectual snobbery. Make use of all the beats on your iPod, not just the slow ones.

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Hot Docs 2012 Preview

They keep setting ‘em up and we keep knocking ‘em down! The film festivals don’t stop coming, and even with ActionFest and TIFF Kids behind me, and the Mamo road trip to Ebertfest this week, there’s still Hot Docs to look at, which runs in Toronto from April 26 to May 6.

I’ll be missing the first half of the festival to spend time with Mr. Ebert, but I still scanned the book and brought back my picks for the highlights of the festival. To everyone who comes to me annually asking for help picking their films, you can peep ‘em here.