CMW Film Fest Day 1: Losers, Mods and Rock Stars

Picking and Grinning had our tired film reviewer all smiles

As Jerry has already mentioned in his CMW preview, it was not easy for FTB to leave Montreal Thursday morning. We had the best intentions of getting out of town as early as possible, and while we were in the car and ready to go at a reasonable hour, the goddamn snow refused to let us leave the city that morning. Tired and frustrated when we arrived in Toronto, the bad vibe had me really down on the whole CMW experience. Thankfully, that quickly changed.

I arrived at TIFF Bell Lightbox for the CMW Film Fest Friday morning earlier then I thought; I’d originally planned on skipping the first film of the fest Picking and Grinning because the summary on the website hadn’t really done it for me. I’m so glad I did catch the screening though because this film about two loser brothers in a country band was a sweet story that pulled on all the right heartstrings. I literally had a smile on my smile throughout the entire film, a happy outcome considering the fact that I went into the screening with every expectation that it would suck.

Some of my happiest moments have been when I’m proved wrong and pleasantly surprised with films I had no faith in. When W. Earl Brown, aka Dan Dority from Deadwood showed up about half way through the film, that sealed the deal for me that this was a film not to be missed.

The Q and A afterward with the producer and star was highly entertaining, I learned some fun stories about how convincing Kenny Loggins to make a cameo in the film involved a lot of tequila one night in his beach house. If you get the chance, make sure you check out this film.

Even Sammy Hagar in the audience couldn't save this one: Go There Once, Be There Twice

The next film that I saw was the Sammy Hagar vanity piece Be There Once, Go There Twice. The website made it sound interesting, and yeah I have to admit it was cool to see the dude in person to introduce the film. But as magnetic a personality as Hagar is, his documentary about a club he started called the Cabo Wabo just didn’t end up being that interesting.

Basically the film, which was HORRIBLY edited, was a bunch of party shots edited together while Hagar talked about his career and it got pretty boring. The film was only an hour long, and I snuck out before the end. I sat a few seats down from Hagar during the screening and for the first five minutes I thought to myself hey this is cool, I’m sitting next to the dude from Van Halen, but then when people in the audience kept coming up to him every five seconds gushing or asking for autographs it got pretty annoying.

The last film I saw during day one of CMW Film Fest was Quadrophenia. This film is produced by The Who and the film programmer noted that while the band owns the rights to the film, even they don’t have easy access to copies of it. So the version we watched was a rare original theatrical release 35 mm print from a film collector in Australia. The film geek in me totally got off on the fact that I was going to be watching a rare print of a great film, and it absolutely did not disappoint.

Mods in London calling: Quadrophenia

The story of a mod in 1960s London was so great that I’m now desperate to get a bob haircut and buy a Vespa. One day when I’m not so tired I will do a thorough review of this film. What I can say though, in my half out-of-it state, is I love, love, love this film.

Speaking of sleep, I suppose I should get at least a few hours in because there’s still more CMW to come! I’ve got another full day of films ahead of me on Saturday and I can’t wait to tell Forget the Box readers all about it!

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