Day 6: September 9

There were a couple of musical-oriented highlights today. Got to go to the School of Rock press conference. Pretty sparse in terms of press attendance, but a fair number of the cast were on hand to field our silly questions. Black was in good form, and I even teased him into singing some Meatloaf. All good.

Then, in the screening of Festival Express, sat behind the Band's Garth Hudson for the flick. He's looking a little road weary (he always looked like some mad mountain man, but now, with the shock of white hair, he's quite spooky... in a good rock and roll way, that is.) Still, a privilege to be in a room with the guy. Robbie Robertson showed up just to give the man his best. He looks tanned and Californian, while Garth still looks the part of a man who saw it all, did it all, and lived to tell the tale.

The Yes Men press/industry screening was packed. I'm always interested in how many senior industry people show up for these anti-big business docs. I wonder what multi-millionaires get out of a message movie like this. It's the same with Michael Moore's films, they really do play pretty well, even if they seem to attack many of the members of the audience. I guess that anything, even anti-commodification docs, can be objectively analyzed as a commodity. One day, when I've got my millions, I'll let you guys know, OK?


The Yes Men
Directed by: Dan Ollman, Sarah Price, Chris Smith

Forget prank phonecalls and stealing celebrities' cars - these guys punk'd the WTO. A doc put together by the team that made the extraordinary American Movie, this is a tale of throwing pie in the face of the political elite. Comes complete with inflatable penis and gold lamé costume. Certainly worth seeing, and the fest is your best chance to see it - aparently, they played a bit fast and loose with gaining clearance from the subjects of their film.
Grade: B+


Goodbye , Dragon Inn
Directed by: Tsai Ming-Liang

The horror, the horror.

It's a movie about the closing of a movie palace projected in the pristine, sterile Bader theatre (hellooo, Uptown 2...). Long, boring shots. Reallllly long boring shots. Woman walks up stairs, woman walks down stairs. The end. Bleh.
Grade: D-


Festival Express
Directed by: Bob Smeaton

Here's an idea - have a concert in Toronto, then get on a train to go West, young people, and play the 'Peg and other towns along the way. Genius. Except, of course, for all those hippies who feel entitled to free stuff.

Man, what were they smoking? Oh, yeah, right. That.

Locked away in the archives for decades, the film looks exceptional, and sounds even better. Janis' performances are definitive, even better than those shot at Monteray. The trip of it all was the synergy of having all these crazy cats on a train, with overnight jam sessions devolving into musical and medicinal debauchery. Groovy, this one be.
Grade: A


The Grudge
Directed by: Takashi Shimizu

Ye olde cursed-house-cuz-child-and-mom-were-killed Japanese midnight flick. Creepy kids are always, well, creepy. Enough distorted colour palates and shock cues to keep you up for the night, at least long enough to get to the credits.
Grade: B-