The industry-media mob began leaving the Toronto Film Festival on Tuesday, and they really took off yesterday. You could almost hear a pin drop in the main upstairs lobby of the Scotiabank plex on Richmond and John. I’ve got an 11 am screening of Jay and Mark Duplass’s Jeff Who Lives At Home at the Elgin, a film yet to be chosen in the early to mid afternoon at the Scotiaplex, and then Jeff Nichols‘ Take Shelter at the Ryerson at 6 pm.
I regret reporting that I had dealings yesterday with two mentally challenged Toronto Film Festival volunteers.
(1) I asked a female Scotiaplex lobby volunteer how much the media-industry attendance had dropped since the previous day (the absence of bodies was quite noticable) and she said that it was pretty much the same as last weekend and that nothing had changed. I looked at her, smiled and said, “Okay, thanks”…but she was clearly short a couple of cards in the deck.
(2) Then I went into a dark theatre and stood at the side looking at the audience, and a flashlight-beaming volunteer said, “Can I help you?” I’m cool, I said in a half-whisper. Just let my eyes adjust to the dark. The volunteer said, “I can’t have you standing here, sir…you’ll have to find a seat.” Will you hold on?…I’m waiting for my eyes to adjust. He started in again: “Sir? I’m sorry, sir…” Jesus, get away from me, you little rodent! To which he replied, “Excuse me?” If I was Lee Marvin and this was Donovan’s Reef, I could have dropped him with my rifle butt…but I had to ignore him.