25th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Two

Friday, Sept. 8th. – Day 2 and the Festival is fully underway. Today was a pretty busy day for the DigitalHit team, with one screening, two press conferences and four different premieres.

The screening was Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. The film is a semi-autobiographical look at Cameron’s youth, when at the age of 16 he ended up writing for Rolling Stone. The film is a love song to the rock and roll of the Seventies and is full of energy and great performances from the entire cast. Definite buzz on this one. We also attended the press conferences for Denys Arcand’s Stardom and Crowe’s Almost Famous.

The subject of Denys Arcand’s film is the cult of celebrity and life imitated art as photographers hustled to get a photo of Jessica ParĂ©, the 20-year-old star of the film. Dan Aykroyd stated that there were more important things in the world that could be covered, which was sort of a bizarre point to raise considering he was there to promote the film and probably wouldn’t have been too happy if none of us had shown up.

The press conference for Almost Famous illustrated the genuine good spirits of the ensemble cast. Reporters asked how Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup felt about their “star-making” roles. Hudson replied that she doesn’t really buy into the whole stardom concept. If it’s a by-product of working in good roles she’ll accept it, but she doesn’t seek celebrity. The actors also discussed the homework that Crowe gave them, telling them to listen to songs and albums he felt would have been important in the lives of their characters.

As the evening drew near we began to focus our attention on the premieres and as I said, we had four of them today. The two Gala screenings at Roy Thompson Hall were for Christopher Guest’s Best in Show and Crowe’s Almost Famous. At the Uptown, we had a more subdued premiere for Stephen Frears’ Liam. Frears will be the subject of a Gala retrospective on Saturday. Finally, we ended the night with a hectic premiere for David Mamet’s State and Main, which features Alec Baldwin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Stiles.

TIFF Day Two Photo Galleries