Just a few things, comments that have irritated me during this great festival.
1) I was standing in the holdout line for the Gala screening of 'Babel.' A couple in front of me was having an animated discussion with one of the volunteers. The source of anger. Wording on the ticket. You see, if you buy a Gala package, you will have something to the effect of "Priority" on the ticket. For those who buy the single tickets, they say "Best Seat Available." But it really means best seat available in the 2nd or 3rd balconies, not the floor. The woman was arguing that "Best seat available" should mean she should be able to wait until the last minute and then choose empty seats on the floor. "They used to let us do that." She really hated that those who were lucky enough to get RUSH tickets, got to go to the floor seats. "There is a huge difference in terms of seeing the film on the floor (the best) and seeing it in the balconies. We want to be able to see the stars. This is RUINING our festival experience. It makes it not worth our time to hire a babysitter." Aaarrghh.
a) There is such a HUGE difference between the floor and the balconies that the stars ALWAYS are seated in the 2nd balcony. Not the floor.
b) There is probably a reason they don't want a mass of people hanging by the doors are the off chance that floor seats MIGHT be availabe. And since the RUSH tickets are given out until during the opening comments, they MIGHT just want to make sure everyone is seated quickly. The fact that they did it in the past shouldn't matter. They're not doing it now, adjust. It normally takes only one idiot to screw it up for the rest of us, and that's probably what happened.
c) I've gotten better pictures from the second/third balconies than from the first. The angle is better. If it's not, buy yourself a camera that's not cheap ass.
d) Buy the GALA package, you get floor seats.
e) If it's really not worth it, keep your ass at home and let REAL movie lovers get the tickets. It should be 1) about seeing the MOVIE and 2) about the whole festival experience of being in the house with the stars. Any bitching is sour grapes.
2) I saw "Shortbus" on Sunday night. There is ZERO chance this film will play at my theatre. That's because within the first two minutes of the film, before even the credits, it's going to land an NC-17.
The MPAA and exhibitors across the country have so messed up the NC-17 that it is worthless now. Most exhibitors refuse to play NC-17 movies. What idiots we are. We should embrace the NC-17. We should want more filmakers to make film NC-17. Remeber NC-17 does not mean pornography. There's still the X. It does mean adult. It does mean NO ONE under 17. How is this not being embraced?
What's one of the keys to the TIFF? No one under 18 is allowed into any of the screening, except the kiddie films. That means NO crying babies, NO gigly teenagers running back and forth doing their mating ritual of girls running to the bathroom together, with the boys following, NO kids running up and down the aisle, NO wondering what the hell is that parent bringing their kids to see THIS movie. How is this, the NC-17, not a win-win for the director and the exhibitors. Serious minded adult films, ones that don't even have explicit sex/violence, could apply for the NC-17 just so that kids could be kept out. And as far as kids sneaking in, an NC-17 makes our job easier. For an R rated film, they could be with an adult 21 yrs or older, but with an NC-17, if we catch them, they're gone.
Somehow, the MPAA and exhibitors either need to create a new rating, or claim back the NC-17. The moviegoing experience could only benefit.