#TIFF2013: Ready!

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival has wonderful promotional campaign that depicts moviegoers as an assortment of different types of personality types with particular titles. From The First-Timer to The Veteran, from The Auteurist to #The #Hashtag #User, the festival organizers have done a really great job compiling these profiles that a wide variety of people can identify with without making overly broad assumptions about its audience demographic. As a person who feels truly manifested on the Internet and Twitter, so it’s not too difficult to think which type of personality I identify with this year.

I have never in my life considered myself a film buff, but I certainly do enjoy watching movies, as well as appreciating the storytelling nuances and emotional resonance within. While my writing and reflections in consuming visual media has, in the past, been tied mostly to anime, there was still a part of me that enjoyed the feature-length animated film; now that I’ve broadened the scope of my writing beyond japanese cartoons, I feel as if participating in an event such as the Toronto International Film Festival is a fantastic idea. Writing about it would be even better.

Given the posts that I’ve written so far, I absolutely love the new approach of my new blog, and the opportunities that it provides for the growth of my own writing, and the freedom that allows me to do something that I truly love without any pretense or social obligation. Starting a blog and building an audience from scratch is a challenging task, especially when you don’t have the luxury of having a pre-existing blogging community to reach out to. Social media is more critical than ever, and I find myself fully manifested on the Internet, namely twitter. I want to get into the conversation, announce to the world that I’m here, and that I write about things I love!

As such, for this year’s festival, I decided to watch 12 movies within the span of the 11 day event, and to write about each one I watch. This is an exercise in developing my habit of constantly writing. No matter what the occasion or excuse, I should always be writing something, and this experience should be the ultimate opportunity to provide material from which I could write. Again, I’m no art house film critic, nor am I a proclaimed movie blogger; I write more so about myself and my own reflections on my life experiences.

Watching so many films in such a short duration certainly sounds like a task, but I imagine it won’t be as demanding as my friend Jessica’s experience with Malmö filmdagar; she’s watching 12 movies in only 3 days, and intends on writing a bunch as well. Inspired by her successful foray into movie blogging after moving on from writing about video games, I decided to follow suit, albeit within a relatively less demanding schedule.

In her post about the experience of watching all of those films at once, she reflected upon the toll that so many films took on herself, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Having a strong background in marathoning anime and spending long stretches of consecutive days watching multiple episodes from within a single series, spreading them out like this certainly helps; the main difference here is that the group of movies that I have selected vary greatly in tone, genre, subject matter, language, and even medium itself.

As Jessica noted, the subject matter of modern films trend towards heavy, heart-wrenching, depression-fests. While the compact nature of her schedule bogged her down in trying to cope with mentally washing out and clean-slating one’s mind for each movie, I wouldn’t be surprised if I myself were adversely affected. I am an emotionally driven individual, and despite my ability to compartmentalize my experiences into an emotional database of sorts, an experience like a 12-film TIFF (and subsequently, having to write about each one) would be one of the most emotionally draining exercises I’ve ever done.

Which is why I’m going to do it. In order to grow as a person, one has to always be put out of their comfort zone. I selected 12 films that span a wide range of experiences and subject matters, in an attempt to broaden my emotional repertoire, as well as provide an intense, demanding distraction as the date of my next visit to my girlfriend draws ever closer.

Thursday, September 5: Salinger.
Friday, September 6: Cinemanovels.
Saturday, September 7: N/A, but I will be spending Saturday evening attending The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of The Goddesses.
Sunday, September 8: Khumba.
Monday, September 9: We are the Best!.
Tuesday, September 10: Ningen.
Wednesday, September 11: The Wind Rises.
Thursday, September 12: Bends.
Friday, September 13: The FakeWhy Don’t You Play in Hell?.
Saturday, September 14: R100.
Sunday, September 15: Hotell & Unforgiven.

There’s a little bit of everything in this itinerary, even an event that doesn’t even pertain to TIFF at all! The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of The Goddesses is a wonderful show at the Sony Centre that takes place on the Saturday; I bought orchestra seats long in advance, such that I had almost forgotten about it until I received an email the other day reminding me of the show. I ended up having to reschedule The Fake, which originally took place on the same day as Zelda, to the following Friday. It’s going to be ridiculously hectic, and I’m going to be writing nearly every minute of it.

Tonight is the opening night for TIFF, and I kick off with a screening of the famed documentary, Salinger, which examines the life of J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye. It’s going to be a fantastic experience, I can’t wait for the evening to arrive!

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Loving writing all the time.

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Posted in Blog, Film
2 comments on “#TIFF2013: Ready!
  1. Jessica says:

    Hey there! Found you!
    What a wonderful schedule you’ve made there. I’m so curious about that Salinger doc, can’t wait to hear what you make of it. And I’m really happy that you took my advice to see We are the Best! and Hotell. (Although I have to be honest to say that I haven’t seen We are the Best myself since it has yet to open in Sweden. But the trailer is adorable and I have previously good experiences by the director so I hope for the best.)

    Your new blog will probably be a quiet place for a while. You know how it is when you start out fresh. You may get an audience eventually but it boils down to how much you decide to network. Well you know all that, you’re as experienced as I am – if not more. Anyway I hope you can find joy in things being a little quiet. It gives you a lot of freedom to try out you writing tools, to play around, to just enjoy yourself. And knowing you, I know that you have that inside you. Your writing is like improvied jazz (I still remember a blog post you wrote with that theme.)

    Anyway: It’s good to be here! See you aroud!

    • Erick Rand says:

      It’s wonderful to see you commenting on my blog; I have a really good feeling that these won’t be the last I hear from you, especially considering that I will definitely be writing about some of the films in which you are interested. Salinger was eye-opening and it made me think deeply about what it means for me to write, and how to relate my own life to it, going forward. I honestly look forward to seeing the two Swedish films, as foreign cinema outside of China and Japan tend to be very unique experiences. I understand that there are stylistic differences on a regional level, but I am excited by the similarities in emotional resonance that are in store for me as the screen dates draw ever closer.

      I’m glad that I can stretch my legs on this blog for a while before readership (hopefully) starts to pick up. I’m not sure how I want to network, but I certainly do realize that cultivating an audience is important to the independent approach to publishing. I can’t expect to suddenly have on overnight. Growing readership is a labour of love, and I certainly love writing, so we’ll see how that goes!

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