I experienced much culture this weekend. Possibly too much as I'm totally exhausted tonight.
Thursday night after work I saw my first two TIFF movies. Room 237 was great. The conspiracy theories and secret meanings behind the movie The Shining are not very credible but the presentation in Room 237 was most amusing. My favourite theory is that The Shining is both an admission of guilt and an apology by Stanley Kubrick for faking the footage from the original moon landing. The theorist was quick to note that he does believe NASA landed on the moon, just that the footage was fake. I'm really glad I re-watched The Shining just last week as it added a lot to this film. Student was a much harder movie. I had forgotten how dark and serious the novel Crime and Punishment is; the movie adequately reminded me. The cinematography was great though and it was amazing the beauty presented in the dilapidated suburbs in which the movie took place.
Friday over lunch I saw Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. This was by far my favourite of the four films I saw this year. It was shot over twelve days using the original script from Shakespeare and the set was just Joss Whedon's house. You could tell the cast and crew had a great time making the film and that it must have been a big fun party. The result was fantastic and enjoyable and everything you'd expect from such talent. Watch this movie. I also made the effort to read the play before seeing the movie and this definitely added to my enjoyment. I really need to go see Shakespeare more (I think I've only seen two of his plays ever). Stratford is so close...I need to exploit that.
Friday night a couple friends came over for a Scotch Tasting Night. As much as I enjoy fine beers I'm trying to find a back up drink for when I don't feel like consuming many pints of liquid. Scotch seems like a good drink to pursue because of the complexity of flavour and the many many years of history behind it. We managed to bring together 7 or 8 different kinds and then spent the evening moving through them while playing board games. We had good variety and I'm definitely interested in trying more in the future. The winner of the night for me was the Cragganmore 12 Year Old Single Speyside Malt.
On Saturday Matt and I went to our first Tafelmusik concert of the season up at Bloor and Church. It was good as usual and it was a great day to walk so we walked there and back from downtown. After the concert we met up with Adrienne and got supper before heading out to Echo Beach at Ontario Place for the Sheepdogs concert (again walking). There were three opening bands: Zeus, The Sadies and Yukon Blonde. I really enjoyed the Sadies and of course the Sheepdogs and it was a pretty good venue (despite being a bit chilly). After the concert I walked home for a total of about 20km of walking on Saturday.
Today I had my final TIFF screening, The Suicide Shop. I was a bit surprised to find that the movie was in 3D and so I had to wear the glasses. I try to avoid 3D movies because it normally doesn't add anything. They didn't do a bad job for this film, but again, it didn't need it. Despite the 3D, the animation had great style and I loved just looking at the film. The story was fantastic for the first three quarters but the ending struck me as trite and simplistic. The movie sets itself up to deal with the very real and serious issues of depression and suicide (through farce and dark comedy) and then doesn't really follow through. Overall though it was worth watching and I'd definitely watch it again.