Greetings from . . . uh, hang on a sec. Yes: Toronto. | Bleader

Greetings from . . . uh, hang on a sec. Yes: Toronto.


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For the next week I'll be blogging daily from the Toronto film festival. Today's big news is that I actually managed to get to Toronto.

This morning at 7 AM, I presented myself at the baggage check for Air Canada, patting myself on the back for a crisply executed predawn regimen that got me to O’Hare a professional 90 minutes before my flight was scheduled to depart. The check-in clerk took one look at my passport and informed me that it had expired a month earlier. If I wanted to get to Toronto today, I'd have to haul ass downtown to the Federal Building and apply for an emergency renewal by noon.

After an interminable wait outside the U.S. passport office, I was granted an emergency renewal. "Don't feel bad," the woman at the service window told me. "You're not alone." Comforted by this remark, I confessed that I'd made the same trip to Toronto a year earlier, and noted then that I'd have to get my passport renewed before I went the next time. "Oh," she replied. "Well, maybe you are alone."

Ten hours after I'd first arrived, I was $168 lighter ($135 for the passport, $33 for one-inch-square photos of a frazzled-looking movie writer) and bound for Toronto, with passport in hand and lessons learned. Among them is that you can go through four security checks in a single day and still experience a crippling insecurity.

While cooling my heels I had plenty of time to go over the schedule of films screening. Following are a handful of titles I'm hoping to see, if I can get to the screenings without falling down an open manhole. I've listed them by day, in case you're interested enough to check back, though I can't promise I'll stick to this list.

Friday: Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man; Jason Reitman, Up in the Air; Michael Haneke, The White Ribbon.

Saturday: Terry Gilliam, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Don Hahn, Waking Sleeping Beauty; Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, How to Fold a Flag; John HIllcoat, The Road.

Sunday: Fatih Akin, Soul Kitchen; Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story.

Monday: Werner Herzog, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans; Bong Joon-ho, Mother.

Tuesday: Todd Solondz, Life During Wartime; Francois Ozon, Le Refuge; Joe Dante, The Hole.

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