Posted by: Tony Carson | 5 September, 2007

Toronto’s embarrassing film festival

Toronto’s lust to be seen as a ‘world class city’ is embarrassing.

The Ontario capital can’t attract the Olympics, can’t attract a world’s fare, can’t employ any imaginative urban planners, can’t develop its waterfront, can’t win a Stanley Cup so it has to settle for something called a Film Festival.

Fine. But this film festival has all the sickening promotion of the Canadian Open of golf. “Is Tiger coming? What about Lefty?” That starts two and three months before the event.

Ditto the film festival with all its pre-teenal speculation: “Is Johnny coming? Will Alice be here?” And that promotion starts earlier now and gets more breathlessly frenetic every year.

And what is it? Nothing more than a high-cost chance for stars to pimp their usually horrifically awful films.

The Toronto Film festival has become like an ‘in’ party that is only really ‘in’ when it is validated by those who are ‘in.’ And, of course, those who are ‘in’ are always validated by those of us who are ‘out,’ as in not invited.

But the festival is a purely commercial party, isn’t it? Don’t stars only go there to promote their films. Isn’t it like a book signing at Chapters writ large?

Why is Toronto staking its claim to greatness on something so cheap and vulgar as a frigging film festival? It’s embarrassing. As embarrassing as most of the films.

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