September 3, 2011

THE BIJOU @ TIFF: Judgment Day

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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At 7AM today (East Coast time), the Toronto International Film Festival opened its boxoffice for single ticket sales, package orders having been filled a couple of days ago.  As usual, the result was chaos:  if you were lucky enough to get onto the screen where selections could be made, hitting “Send” froze that page; after a few minutes, even trying to get back where you started put you into a “Virtual Waiting Room” (which lacked even virtual magazines), where the waiting time magically went up instead of down, the Bunuelian version of an actual queue:  1 hour to 1.5 to 2…. (when last seen, it was up to 5.5 hours).  Meanwhile, it was impossible to get through on the phone lines, either the toll-free international number or the Canadian one.

The new wrinkle this year was an apparent preference TIFF has among browsers (thanks to almighty Twitter for spreading this news around):  while Firefox and Safari were being shunned, Internet Explorer users had a much easier time of it–and at this writing, still do.

So where did we end up?  Not badly, all things considered.  Between the package and single tickets, SHOWBUZZDAILY has all but 3 or 4 of the hot titles (and always the possibility of last-minute Rush tickets for the rest).  Starting on Thursday, look here for reviews of such films as Gus Van Sant’s RESTLESS, Cannes hit THE ARTIST, MONEYBALL with Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Francis Coppola’s TWIXT, Steve McQueen’s controversial SHAME, Glenn Close in ALBERT NOBBS, Madonna’s W.E., Whit Stillman’s DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, Rachel Weisz in Terence Davies’ THE DEEP BLUE SEA, George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s THE DESCENDANTS, and much, much (much!) more.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."