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TIFF for the First Time

Ever since I created this blog I have only written amateur movie reviews. I am just one of thousands of film fans, nothing special. Until Wednesday of last week I was limited by the fact that I was living in Quebec City where most of the movies are dubbed in French, which I hate. Great movies are made in Quebec, but because it is mostly Francophone town, they prefer to dub any foreign movie. Since I learned how to speak English when I was around six years old, I can tell that something is often lost in translation. Hence I was always eargerly awaiting  the week-end to see which movie might be shown in its original language. This summer I missed a lot of wide releases and mostly watched movies made in Quebec or France. Which brings me back to last Wednesday, when I moved to Oakville, a small town outside of Toronto.

After I obtained my B.A in English Studies, I did not see myself going anywhere hence I decided to go to Sheridan College where I was accepted in post-graduate program called Journalism-New Media. It is an intensive eight-month journalism course which focuses on the impact of the Internet on the industry. I am hoping this may eventually give me greater employment opportunities and maybe give this blog some clout.

Meanwhile, the Toronto International Film Festival officially began this Thursday and for the first time in my life I am close enough to attend. A very person in one of my classes gave me a program and I fully intend to use it this week-end and possibly the next. I would love to go see a midnight screening of John Carpenter's The Ward. I think his version of The Thing is one of the best horror movies ever made. Attending at midnight might prove a bit challenging for me since I have classes all week, am currently unemployed, am running on student loans, and it takes me an hour to get from my bedroom to downtown Toronto. But, I have been a film fan since I watched my first Dysney movie and you can bet that I will not miss this for the world.

In this day and age it seems the best job on this whole planet is to be an American movie star. You can be rich, famous, loved and admired by the whole world and be paid to go work in the Caribbean. I believe the next best thing is to be paid to watch movies and then write what you think about it. If you cannot be paid to do it, then it's still a pleasure to watch this wonderful art form and write as a hobby.

I know of two people who write movies on the Internet that fit these two descriptions. Roger Ebert, of At the Movies fame, has successfully adapted to the Internet age by posting his movie reviews online, writing on his blog, and writing some of the smartest things on Twitter. Then there is blogger Grace Wang, whose essays about movies have been featured on Roger Ebert's website. Her texts can sometimes spark intelligent debates and many posts from other online writers. Her website says that she has regular 9-to-5 job, but she is clearly a gifted writer. I once responded to one of her blogs which turned out to be about the meaning of life, of all things. I can only hope to one day be able to spark such rich debates among people, on the Internet or anywhere else for that matter.

Yet this month I have a chance to chronicle my first time at TIFF. It is one of the most anticipated film festivals of the year, the launching pad for the Oscars, and I am but a bus and a train ride away. Given the fact that I am now a journalism student, I want to make the most of this experience and hopefully look back at it one day as the beginning of a (successful?) career.

More to come. TIFF, here I come!! 


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