En route to the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, I feel compelled to begin this week of film festival coverage by describing just what kind of stamina it takes to actually get to the mythological film world mecca in the first place. Sadly, the journey is not always full of glamor, starlets’ pretty shoes and hot gay parties. In fact, at least for me, this epic trip frequently begins with a bargain-basement Amtrak train ticket, eating at Subway constantly, arduous border-crossings, and more often than not, months of meticulous planning and re-planning being undone at the very last possible second for little or no reason.
For a representative of an independent website like me, traveling to an out-of-the-country festival is fraught with anxiety and scrambling: scrambling to actually fund the trip; scrambling to get my non-movie writer life in order before leaving for more than a week; scrambling around Toronto bug-eyed and crazy to see as many movies as quickly as possible and write something of decent, coherent quality; and finally, scrambling to have one’s voice heard in a sea of indie and corporate-owned sites and blogs who can afford to not bring original, academic analysis to the table because of ridiculously high traffic (this hierarchy of writers is marked by a bold letter “P” for “priority” on the passes of those particular deities, who get first crack at access to a wider variety of film screenings that the lowlies do, much like Cannes’ color-coding system). All I know is by the time I return to Massachusetts, my dogs will hate me, as will a few studio flacks and maybe a couple of filmmakers.