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TIFF 2003 Wrap

Yesterday, I saw my last three movies of this year's Toronto International Film Festival. The festival has ended, as has the life of the Uptown Theatre.

The 13 films I saw this year are too small a sample to judge the 330-movie festival overall. But, I'm satisfied. The choices I made may not have been as good as some past years, but I did see some great movies this year, and got to enjoy the annual transformation that Yorkville goes through.

The best movies I saw this year were The Yes Men, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring, Valentin, and Last Life in the Universe. I would strongly recommend these to anyone.

I have an Argentinian friend who sometimes reads this website, and he may interested to know that I saw three Argentine movies this year. Valentin was an emotional and touching film that I can imagine having success in North American theatres. Kamchatka centres on a family in hiding from the government after the coup in the late 70s. Magic Gloves has some funny moments, but is mainly a presentation of some unusual characters that never really comes together. I've never been there, but these three movies as a group paint a portrait of Argentina as a much more European than South American country. It might be fun to visit someday, and after three movies I was starting to remember some Spanish!

Anyway, it was a good festival and I am already looking forward to next year. I missed '02, and '01 -- where I had some good picks, including Italian for Beginners and Amelie -- was not at all the same after I came out of a long, boring Swedish movie on the morning of September 11 and read some shocking emails on my Blackberry.

Looking ahead to next year, I wonder what will happen without The Uptown? The festival is building a new complex downtown, but that will be a few years. I hope the festival's centre of gravity doesn't leave Yorkville. I'd hate to have to go to film fest showings at the Las Vegasesque Paramount.



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