TIFF 2011 in 60 Seconds: Robert De Niro's Sneakers, Gus Van Sant Talks, Bobcat Blesses America

TIFF 2011 in 60 Seconds: Robert De Niro's Sneakers, Gus Van Sant Talks, Bobcat Blesses America

Sep 10, 2011

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Celebrities at film festivals are like loss-leaders at supermarkets: There aren't enough for everybody and they don't last long, but they bring in people who might not ordinarily pay attention.
Case in point: Robert De Niro created "controversy" this afternoon not by anything he said, or because Killer Elite, the movie he showed up to support is any way controversial (it's a routine action movie, due out in theaters in a couple of weeks), but because he dared to wear blue jeans and sneakers on the red carpet. Sneakers! And he didn't shave! The New York Times weighed in on the "controversy," but didn't provide any photo coverage.
Filmmaker Lars Von Trier is a walking controversy, but, alas, he doesn't travel by airplane, so it is left to Kirsten Dunst to represent their new film, Melancholia, at the festival. She was spotted walking around the city, not causing any controversy at all except for those wondering why she's not smiling every moment of the day, dressed in black, even though it was a sunny afternoon in Toronto. 
Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor dared to eat lunch in a private hotel lounge "overlooking an actual restaurant with commoners dining."
While thousands were ensconced in movie theaters watching the stars on screen last night, many celebrities could be found at elaborate private parties, where actors mixed with film industry executive and select journalists. Among the party-goers: Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman, Tilda Swinton, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, and Paul Giamatti.
Above: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt walk the red carpet in support of Moneyball. (Photo: Lia Grainger for The Toronto Star.)
Gus Van Sant
Fred Topel sat down to talk with Gus Van Sant about his new movie Restless, a love story between a boy who's lost his parents and a girl who has cancer. They "meet cute" at a funeral. "When it comes to debilitating disease movies, again itís the details," he says in part. "As youíre taking it from script to the screen, youíre always correcting yourself and making sure that in visualizing it, itís the tone you want as a viewer and that hopefully talks to other people."
Christopher Campbell plunged Into the Abyss, "a singular story about a specific triple homicide in Conroe, Texas, ten years ago, and about those convicted of the crime, their family members and the victimsí family members." Werner Herzog's documentary "ends up more a horror movie about Texas overall than anything else. ... Maybe the problem is not the death penalty so much as the life penalties faced within this community every day. The irony is that even someone similarly against the death penalty could have trouble caring, especially through Herzogís perspective."
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@DustinWMilligan: "Stumbling home from first #TIFF2011 party after my Sisters and Brothers co-star Camille Sullivan beat me up. Girl style. I love you #canada."
@_Matty_H_: "I haven't seen any movie stars yet, just a bunch of really skinny people. Guess it's not the Toronto International Food Festival. #TIFF2011."
@megashaun: "Judging from some media coverage, TIFF should just be renamed OMG GEORGE CLOONEY AND BRAD PITT ARE HERE!"
@CoreyAtad: "I love how long the line up is for DRIVE at the Ryerson. Don't these people know it comes out Friday? #TIFF"
indieWIRE reports that Christophe Honore's Beloved has been acquired by Sundance Selects.
Drew McWeeny of Hitfix reviews God Bless America, Bobcat Goldthwaite's new comedy: "The larger point of this film is a reaction to the cruelty of our modern pop culture, and a deeply-felt revulsion at where it feels like we're headed."
Filmmaker Magazine helpfully rounds up a great variety of free movies and events for attendees.
David Hudson of Mubi's The Daily tracks the critical response to baseball flick Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.  

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