Toronto 2011 in 60 Seconds: Madonna's Volunteergate, Deals Fall Into Place, Tweeting Joy and Discontent

Toronto 2011 in 60 Seconds: Madonna's Volunteergate, Deals Fall Into Place, Tweeting Joy and Discontent

Sep 13, 2011

Madonna at press conference

CELEB SIGHTINGS
 
Madonna has been denounced! So reads the highlight at The Globe and Mail, though the article merely reports that Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) organizers blamed "an outside security firm" for insisting that festival volunteers face the wall as Madonna left a press conference. (Press conference pictured above, Andrea Riseborough to the left.) We're still waiting, breathlessly, for Madonna to make a video about volunteers, as she did about her hatred for hydrangeas. Meanwhile, Madonna denies culpability -- credit to Sarah Lilleyman for dubbing the incident "volunteergate 2011" and for snapping a photo of the press release, which was passed out on the red carpet. 
 
Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender (fully dressed), Brian Cox, Gerard Butler, Seth Rogen, Scott Speedman, Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Kate Mara, and Neil Young have all been spotted within the past 24 hours. Glenn Close, Madonna, Janet McTeer, Madonna, Abbie Cornish, Andrea Rosenborough, David Thewlis,  and Michelle Yeoh, among many others, walked the red carpet, which must be getting worn down. (Star sightings by Toronto Life, Torontoist and Toronto Star.) 
 
 
MOVIES.COM COVERAGE
 
Christopher Campbell concedes that Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, a documentary by Morgan Spurlock,  is "a puff piece, no doubt, but it’s also an endearing profile of a phenomenon that non-geeks may think is impossible to understand or relate to. …  it’s about as mindless and entertaining and wide reaching as nonfiction films get. Even your grandma should like it, even if she finds some of it strange or familiar. I guarantee if you’re human you’ll get it."
 
Alison Nastasi posted two TIFF trailers that are definitely worth watching. Sleepless Night, a French thriller, gets a trailer that "reveals more than it should, but you get a taste for the film's frenetic vibe." The film revolves around "Corruption, betrayal, a drug heist gone bad, and a few dirty cops."
 
The other trailer sees Sean William Scott star in Goon, a hockey comedy with Jay Baruchel, Liev Schreiber, and Alison Pill. The sport "is not [expletive deleted] baseball!" and Goon may not be your run of the mill raucous, rowdy, and a little bit bawdy sports flick. 
 
Be sure to follow along with all the action by bookmarking -- and then frequently visiting -- this link.
 
 
DISTRIBUTION DEALS
 
A few more deals fell into place in the last 24 hours or so. Goon, trailered above, got picked up by Magnet Releasing, which plans an early 2012 theatrical release as part of parent company Magnolia Pictures' "Ultra VOD" program. Deadline has the press release. 
 
Variety says that Cohen Media Group will distribute The Awakening in the U.S. Set in 1921 and described as a supernatural thriller, the film stars Rebecca Hall as a woman "aiming to expose all séances as shams." Dominic West and Imelda Staunton co-star. 
 
Negotiations will soon be concluded on The Incident, Deadline reports. The horror film debuted in the Midnight Madness program and reportedly has already incited fainting among audience members. 
 
Deadline also reports that Magnolia is closing a worldwide rights deal for Bobcat Goldthwaite's dark comedy God Bless America
 
William Friedkin's Killer Joe has been acquired by Liddell Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It "wasn't a slam-dunk sale" because it's "dark and centers on questionable characters." Also, the film "features plenty of full-frontal nudity and has a much-talked about sexual act performed using a fried chicken bone." The cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, and Juno Temple. I'm afraid to ask who is sexually involved with the fried chicken bone.
 
 
HASHTAG HIGHLIGHTS
 
What we're skimming on Twitter: 
 
@grahamslaughter: "So far I've seen Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Gosling, Kiefer Sutherland and Elizabeth Olsen at #TIFF2011."
 
@mybestlifecoach: "#tiff..movie stars, people watching. Anybody coming to watch the movies?"
 
@ryotgrrl: "A rare night of watching a #TIFF2011 film without a notepad balanced on my lap. Heading to my first Whit Stillman joint. Expecting goodness."
 
@CSRjames: "About to see "Terrafirma" at #Tiff2011 - so excited."
 
@zherrm: "THE LONELIEST PLANET - a triumph of minutaie. Every gesture/moment counts, esp. in retrospect. Read as little as poss. going in."
 
@CanasianMe: "I used to love the whole #TIFF thing. I'm pretty much over it. I really don't care what celebrities are wearing or where they are eating."
 
 
BLOGS AND NEWS PIECES
 
"I always hope my movies lead to physical violence," Seth Rogen told James Rocchi at The Hitlist. Rocchi sat down with Rogen, Sarah Silverman, and Luke Kirby to talk about Take This Waltz, directed by Sarah Polley. 
 
Ethan Hawke says, "I don't think we knew in the '90s how good we had it with independent movies." He talked with Andrea Baillie of The Canadian Press about his new movie, The Woman in the Fifth, a French-language drama. Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) directed.  
 
At The A.V. Club, Noel Murray and and Scott Tobias run down (and occasionally praise) eight movies in their latest daily capsule roundup. 
 
Reuters reports on the films that are generating buzz, then claims that "a nagging question about the future of dark dramas in Hollywood has hovered over the event."
 
Eric Kohn, indieWIRE film critic, takes his shot at explaining why deal-making is down, suggesting that the movies that have sold are "safe bets, not major discoveries" like last year's The King's Speech -- did he really mean to imply that The King's Speech was anything but a safe bet? He also observes that "a festival is a charged environment and a festival audience isn’t the same thing as a real audience," which is true enough, but may surprise the thousands of Toronto residents who line up and pay their own money to see movies at the festival. Hmm, I thought Toronto public screenings were supposed to be markedly different than the ones attended by press and industry. But I've never attended, so I can't speak from personal experience as Mr. Kohn can. 
 

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