Saturday, September 16, 2006

Toronto trip, day 3

Hobbes handled the logistics of picking the movies/venues really well. It was so convenient to watch movies in Paramount. The Roy Thomson hall was also super-close to the hotel, but we didn't have any movies there. Having the first show in Paramount gave us a chance to sleep in till late, and the beds were so comfortable that we did exactly that :)

Started off the day with Hana. This was Kore-eda's take on the whole samurai-war-is-honor genre. He gave it a different twist where the warrior draws strength from love and humanity rather than from fighting. Having seen Kobayashi's Harakiri before, I was able to appreciate several references to it. I really liked the movie. And the treat was Kore-eda showing up on stage after the movie to answer questions. He was extremely humble and down to earth. He had an interpreter with him to translate his answers to English. One of the best films I saw in the festival.

The next film we saw was The Bothersome Man. This was a strange one. Funny in a dark way. And several scenes could be interpreted in different ways. I neither hated it nor loved it.

The last movie of the day was The Fall. This was my first Tarsem movie ever, and he was present at the screening in traditional Indian attire. It was full of rich colors, and was shot beautifully - when the credits rolled, I saw locations from everywhere around the world. It also showcased a lot of historical Indian architecture - all of which, I hope to see someday in person! It was screened at the Elgin theater - which is a beautiful venue by itself. But it seemed more suitable for a theater/play/opera rather than for a movie. It was a huge hall but seemed to fill up quickly.

This was the first day since our arrival that we had some time to ourselves in the evening. We took the subway to Gerrard St to check out Little India. Yes, there were tons of desi shops lining the street, but I would say, El Camino Real in Sunnyvale-Santa Clara-Mt View beats it hands down. I had an extremely disappointing chaat, followed by awesome "Kashmiri chai". We then took the cable car all the way back to the hotel. It was a great way to see the city. We passed through Chinatown on the way.


For dinner we went to a Thai restaurant close by. Toronto looks very different in the "touristy" vs the "regular" parts of the town. Difficult to believe that one is in the same city. The touristy part is littered with restaurants, stores, shopping malls, and tons of people. The regular part is mostly residential with empty streets.

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