After a frustrating four and a half hours, I finally got my hands on tickets for twenty films at this year's Toronto Film Festival. I'm packing them in, but I'm very excited about the variety. As an avid traveler and reader of literature in translation, I equally enjoy foreign films and I love the secret thrill I get when one art form references another. I'm seeing films from France, India, Japan, Brazil, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Uruguay, Spain, Portugal, Turkey (Istanbul is this year's spotlight city) as well as a smattering of Canadian, American and British films. I generally eschew the more mainstream, Hollywood films that will be out in theatres over the next few months (although I always make an exception for Colin Firth -I've got a ticket to The King's Speech ), and most of the literary adaptations at this year's fest - Never Let Me Go, Barney's Version, Tamara Drewe - fall into that category. But one never knows with foreign films whether they will ever get a North American distribution deal, so I made sure to nab a ticket to Tran Anh Hung's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's novel Norwegian Wood. I've read some Murakami, but not that one although I'll try to remedy that before the screening.
We'll also get a chance to finally see TIFF's new home, the Bell Lightbox building. Apparently it's going to contain a bookstore which I'm excited to check out. It would be so wonderful if it not only featured books on film but also had a great selection of international literature. Meanwhile, the city is getting ready for the buzz and the celebrities. My favourite part of the whole experience is just chatting to other film buffs in the line-ups - most of whom usually have a book in their hand as well.