The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a festival whose mission is “to transform the way people see the world through film”. Since its creation in 1976, this festival has grown into one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and is thought of as the festival that kicks off the film award season. Many Oscar contending films premiere at TIFF each year, and most films are accompanied by their directors, producers and all-star casts.
As a self-proclaimed film and pop-culture buff, I have always wanted to attend some screenings at TIFF. This September, I traveled to Toronto for a few days for work and was fortunate enough to overlap the TIFF schedule and obtain tickets to a couple of the shows: Iceman and Love, Marilyn. If you are familiar with my LomoHome, it will be obvious why I chose these two films.
Iceman is based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski, a Polish-American hitman hired by the mafia. The film was (loosely) based on the biography titled “The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer”, written by Philip Carlo. When I arrived at the beautiful Princess of Wales Theater about an hour before Iceman started, I was shocked to see the line-up had already begun and that it was already three city blocks long. It is hard to describe the atmosphere around the theater as there was a lot of buzz and excitement in the air, but it made me instantly fall in love with the city of Toronto.
One dilemma that I always face when travelling as a Lomographer is which camera(s) to bring. For this trip, I wanted to pack as light as possible, so I took a big risk by only selecting one camera: the Horizon Perfekt. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had much opportunity to experiment with using this camera for night shots and long exposures. But nevertheless, I did my best to capture a few decent shots of my TIFF experience.
After being seated in the theater before Iceman began, I was pleasantly surprised when members of the cast such as Winona Ryder, Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta, etc. came on stage to introduce the film. They also conducted a “question/answer” period after the film. The cast was very charming and funny.
Although I wasn’t feeling Winona’s Jersey accent at the beginning of the film, it seemed to get better as the film progressed. Overall, I did love Winona in the role of the Iceman’s wife. Michael Shannon’s portrayal of Richard Kuklinski was outstanding. I actually think he made him far more likeable/relatable/etc. than he would have been in real life. Overall, the entire cast was great, with the exception of David Schwimmer who basically played a mustachioed Ross Geller. Most of the crowd seemed to find him amusing, but I just found his character annoying. There were some key aspects of Richard Kuklinski’s life that I felt could have been included in the film – like his traumatizing upbringing or his claim of being involved in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa – but otherwise it was a decent film.
I will save my review of Love, Marilyn for another time.
Meanwhile, I will be looking forward to my next opportunity to attend TIFF, with a more varied array of cameras.
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The Horizon Perfekt shoots images the length of two standard frames. With full aperture and shutter settings, this premium panoramic camera gives you total control over your shots. Prepare to be blown away by the amazing Horizon Perfekt, available here.