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That was the fest that was

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"The Host": It all depends on how you look at it.

I kinda wish I'd had girish's Toronto. I saw some great stuff -- "Pan's Labyrinth" and "The Pervert's Guide to Cinema" being my favorites, and was also impressed with "Volver," "Shortbus," "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" and a few others. Not bad, but (as I wrote earlier) not as overwhelming as last year. I steered away from most of the big commercial titles (except for "Borat"!) and concentrated on some of the high-profile foreign and "specialty" films, including some that had attracted attention at Cannes. In other words, titles I thought readers of Scanners would be particularly interested in.

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Girish, on the other hand, followed his bliss and... well, here's his assessment of his Own Private Toronto:

Of the eight TIFFs I’ve attended, I think this year’s was probably the strongest. Unlike last year, I took my laptop with me and fully expected to blog the fest, but it turned out that many of the films I saw were not so casually bloggable. I’m still trying to figure out how to think about many of them.

Of the twenty-five films I saw in Toronto, there were two flat-out masterpieces: Jia Zhang-ke’s Chinese diptych "Still Life"/"Dong"; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s "Syndromes And A Century" from Thailand. Other favorites: Pedro Costa’s "Colossal Youth" (Portugal); Alain Resnais’s "Coeurs" (France); Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s "Climates" (Turkey); Abderrehmane Sissako’s "Bamako" (Mali); Sophie Fiennes’ "The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema" (UK); Hong Sang-Soo’s "Woman On The Beach" (S. Korea); Bong Joon-ho's "The Host" (S. Korea); Jafar Panahi's "Offside" (Iran); etc.

I had most of those on my "want to see" list, but they got bumped by other screenings or time I spent blogging from the fest. I'm hoping I'll be able to catch up with many of these (and I'll have to look up that Mali film in the catalog).

So, out of the "10 days, 352 films, and 27,747 minutes" of the 2006 TIFF, has anybody else had time to digest/recover? How was your Toronto?

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