This is going to strike some of you as ridiculous, but you know how I like to unwind after a month of press screenings and interviews on the Toronto film-festival beat? I go to the movies.[rssbreak]
Honestly, there's something about seeing a movie for pleasure - catching up to a film that I want to see, rather than a movie I have to see - that just feels good. I got into this line of work because I love the movies; if I was naturally averse to spending a couple of hours in a darkened theatre, I'd be a really crappy fit for the gig.
So, yeah, if I can get out to the burbs and finally catch up to Indiana Jones And Holy Crap Does Harrison Ford Look Old, I will. Even if the movie's pulled some of the worst reviews of Steven Spielberg's career, I've seen every one of his films since Jaws in a theatre, and this seems like the wrong time to break the streak.
If that doesn't work out, I'll hit the Bloor Cinema Sunday night for a genuine classic that I've been waiting for decades to see on the big screen, Ingmar Bergman's Monika.
As far as I know, Monika has screened just once in Toronto in recent years - as part of last year's Janus Films series at Cinematheque Ontario. (I, of course, was out of town.) The print was the same laboriously restored, reportedly pristine edition that had New York critics swooning in November; it comes to the Bloor this week for just three shows, from Sunday to Tuesday. And even that feels like a miracle.
I've discussed it in this space before, but theatrical runs of restored prints are an increasingly endangered species. I'm almost afraid to ask how many people actually attended the Bloor's recent screenings of Truffaut's Jules And Jim and The 400 Blows, or Godard's Vivre Sa Vie; for all I know, they played to empty rooms. But I really hope Monika draws a crowd; these films aren't meant to be seen alone, but shared.
Next week: The Godfather returns to the big screen, three days after a restored DVD boxed set arrives in stores. Speaking of empty rooms ...