I had been warned about the TIFF dragon ladies. The vicious Hollywood publicists who ascend to Toronto and ruthlessly cramp the style and bar the entrance of every journalist trying to dish a little publicity towards their Festival project.
So I was pleasantly surprised when, after a quick explanation of our little scene covering column here, every A-list invitation arrived on my desk, every burly body guard parted to allow my entrance and every early morning skip out the party door included a “Thank you for coming”.
But first the fun stuff. The W Studio carpet showroom at Dupont and Davenport has been transformed into the swishy Film Lounge for the weekend celebrating flicks including Control, The Passage and last night’s Battle in Seattle bash. Director/writer Stuart Townsend huddled in a corner with girlfriend/actress Charlize Theron. Woody Harrelson was expectantly jolly chatting up a gaggle of shooter girls. André Benjamin wins style points for making a plaid shirt and straw hat look more chic than any red carpet frock.
Paris Hilton's cast was at the Metropolitan Hotel kicking off filming her Repo! The Genetic Opera vehicle. I wrote down Soho Metropolitan and ended up out of the loop half a kilometer too far south.
At Lee to nurse my disappointment and empty stomach, I spotted Mike Myers between bites of Black Cod. Roots man Michael Budman held court at a patio table with Robbie Robertson. It was the perfect spot for spying the party for David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises and star Viggo Mortensen at Cheval across the road.
Outside the new Jacob & Co. steakhouse on Brant, we went to check in for Inside Entertainment magazine’s Burlesque themed party. Inside Entertainment is one of those gift-with-National Post ‘zines published by FQ backer Kontent Group.
Door girl Nadia, all curls and cleavage in a gold lamé tube dress perfect for check-marking a clipboard and flirting with King West douche bags informs me that, while I’m welcome, the e-mail response to my RSVP said no guests. For the record, I now present exhibit A: Nadia’s e-mail response to my RSVP:
From: "insideE@kontentgroup.com" insideE@kontentgroup.com
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 11:50:56 -0400
To: "Andrew Sardone (fashion)" firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: NOW Magazine Film Festival event coverage
You will be rsvp'd for 2
We look forward to seeing you there!
Exhibit B: my guest was Marlene Shiff, owner of Boutique Le Trou on Queen West and always as welcome at a fashion-tainment event as the Queen would be for high tea at Buckingham palace.
Nadia isn’t budging. A brick wall of a security guard says the situation is being worked out. The CEO of the company, Michael King, is consulted and with the wave of a fake n’ baked hand, I’m told I am no longer welcome either. Nadia says he wasn’t even interested in having NOW attend in the first place and she had to fight to get me on the list.
Thanks for your help Nadia. We’re sorry we missed your awesome party.
Star sightings: Uma Thurman and Marilyn Manson sharing lobby space at the Windsor Arms. Sean Penn too and word he reprised his Toronto indoor smoking tradition with a drag at the Holts party on Friday night.