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TIFF Round-Up: A short look at the festival that was

TIFF Round-Up: A short look at the festival that was

And…scene. TIFF is over for another year. We heard good things about The Wrestler and bad things about Burn After Reading (“burn after viewing” some say). A few critics grouched about the cult of celebrity that grips the city once a year, recalling those halcyon days when it was all about the films, while other critics got whacked with binders of some kind while trying to see one of said films. Someone crashed the InStyle party (not us—we wouldn’t have been wearing head-to-toe black). No one crashed One X One (though an attempt was made). Brad Pitt came, saw and split. Yeah, it was quite the year.

We devoted an incredible amount of space to Paris Hilton. When she’s around, it’s impossible to look away: her entrance at Ultra was met by a small forest of iPhones aloft, as was her entrance to the screening of Adria Petty’s Paris, Not France the next day at Ryerson. You’d think that these two crowds would be utterly different. The former, composed of hot club girls and their hangers-on, seemed genuinely interested in Hilton’s appearance, in breathing the same air and drinking the same drinks for even a few hours with Paris the heiress. Though we can’t vouch for their nocturnal activities, the film crowd maintained a look of cultured nonchalance until Paris entered the room, and then, boom! IPhones up.

So this makes two lessons learned for TIFF 2008: Paris Hilton is the great equalizer, and yes, even Brad Pitt makes a bad move every now and then. There’s a lot to fix at TIFF—the lineups, showboating corporate sponsorship, and the non-existent environmental policy, to name a few—but the one thing that ain’t broke is its ability to make the city buzz about where the action is. It’s all around, and we love it. IPhones up.—Katy P

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