TIFF: Day 9 lookahead

arts-imaginarium-392.jpg The late Heath Ledger is a mysterious outsider who joins a traveling theatrical troupe in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. (TIFF)

The second-last day of TIFF delivers a couple of films we’ve been hearing about for what seems like forever. Still, anticipation is fairly high, especially for one of the quirkiest rock docs ever shot. More on that in a minute.

But first on the docket: Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Destined to be known forever as “Heath Ledger’s final film,” this fantastical tale received lukewarm – if not downright negative reviews – at Cannes. As most film fans know, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp agreed to fill in for Ledger as a kind of trio tribute, since the Australian hadn’t quite finished shooting his scenes at the time of his death. Homeboy Christopher Plummer plays a character reminiscent of Prospero in The Tempest – interesting because he recently signed on to play that role at the Stratford Shakespearean festival next year. Tom Waits rounds out the eclectic cast.

Fans of quality rock and roll and/or Canadian travelogues – have been waiting a long time for The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights, a rockumentary-concert film about that band’s 2007 cross-Canada tour. Trooper, beware! Step back, Blue Rodeo! The scale of this operation puts most Canuck bands to shame: the Stripes went to every province and territory, and even performed a mini-concert on a Winnipeg bus. It easily qualifies as the one of the most imaginative musical treks ever taken in this massive nation. Oddly enough, it’s Jack White’s second TIFF movie in two years, following last year’s It Might Get Loud.

Here’s the just-released trailer, which definitely rawks:

-- Greig Dymond

Comments (2)

AC wrote: Posted: 2009/09/18 at 12:21 PM

When the Whites Stripes came to Yellowknife, it was definitely one of the best concerts I've been to - small venue, big sound, and almost everyone at the concert knew each other so it was like a big party (one of the benefits of living in a small town).

Thanks for visiting us, Jack and Meg - can't wait to see the film (if the theatre in Yellowknife bothers to bring it up here).

Rita wrote: Posted: 2009/09/21 at 6:10 PM


As a first time TIFF goer I expected the experience to be great and I was very excited. My boyfriend and I arrived 10 mins after the start of the program. We were asked if our tickets were 'rush' or 'pre-ordered', we bought them online so we answered "pre-ordered". The attendent then told us "oh, we can't let you in I'm sorry". We then said "Okay, they are Rush tickets then.", to which the attendent answered "No, you only get one answer, you already said they were pre-ordered". This meant that if we had said "rush" he would have let us in. Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. The attendent then explained that our seats were given away to those in the Rush Line Up (but we PAID for these seats. TIFF already received OUR MONEY, but then SOLD our seats out AGAIN?!). After alot of back and forth discussion and arguing we realized we were getting nowhere. We then asked another employee to go into the theatre to see if there were any seats available. Surprise! There were many empty seats inside, yet we were denied access to them - Once again, we already PAID for those seats but were not allowed in. That was fine, we were not allowed in, we weren't going to watch the film so we went to ask for our money back. No luck here either. We were asked to call Customer Relations and talk to them and explain the situation. However, a refund or exchange was in no way guaranteed. My boyfriend and I WILL be calling Customer Relations, that is for certain. It is unbelievable how in a country such as this one and in a festival with an international audience there would be such 'illegal' seeming policies. I can't begin to understand how TIFF is allowed to resell tickets that way. Why even bother having the option to buy online? Rush Line-ups make more sense in this case. Imagine: for that one seat TIFF made TWICE the profit. I paid $20 for my seat and TIFF resold it for $20 more. I can understand access being denied and then our tickets being refunded, but this? Unacceptable. TIFF will be receiving our call. Our money will be refunded. That is if they don't want to risk having the festival tarnished some more. I have no reservations in sharing my experience with anyone who will listen. We all know all to well how the "Elitist" comment soured the festival last year, 2008. This will certainly be the first and the last time we participate in TIFF.