With the surprise announcement yesterday from the Toronto International Film Festival, that Michael Fassbender will be their guest for this year's TIFF Soiree, you're probably pulling your hair out wondering, 'Will Simone go to Toronto or stay home eating ramen noodles while she saves her pennies and plot out her plan to move to Los Angeles?' My friend, I too am pondering what to do. As the Editor of Fassinating Fassbender, it would be remiss of me to miss this once in a lifetime soiree with the topic of this blog - this is a one time deal for Michael Fassbender, and for me. Tickets are currently on sale to TIFF members, and general public tickets go on sale next week. This gives me time to contemplate.
When I went into my email yesterday and read that TIFF email subject line, I felt a bolt of adrenaline, just like when I hear about a new Pearl Jam tour announcement! The same damn feeling that has been a symptom of complete unwavering support and adulation since 1991, has now crossed completely over into my Fassbender zone. After reading the details of the event, I was irritated that it would be the year when I made the decision to skip this year's TIFF. I was a little less than impressed with last year's festival, and it bugged the hell out of me that Steve Jobs skipped TIFF altogether. So it is with great surprise that Michael will be part of TIFF this year at the soiree.
Now the question that is on everyone's mind is, what other role will Michael have at TIFF? We know that his movie with Alicia Vikander, The Light Between Oceans, is a film for festival audiences, but it's scheduled to be released on September 2nd, days before the TIFF soiree on September 7. Unless the film is scheduled to screen at Telluride, with Michael and Alicia promoting it there in late August, and then Michael will go to Toronto to spread some love to TIFF with the soiree. I doubt Oceans will play at TIFF. Although it would be pointless to screen 'Oceans' there, it's possible if the Canadian theatrical release date is different than the US release date. If that's so, Oceans could technically screen at TIFF as a Canadian Premiere, and not a World/North American premiere. It is not unusual for films to screen at TIFF and open mere days afterwards in the States, but since this is in Canada, a release date later in September would make Oceans prime TIFF screening fare.
Otherwise, perhaps Michael's 'Trespass Against Us' with Brendan Gleeson will have its festival premiere there. It's an indie film that could benefit from being screened at TIFF, but it would be unusual for Michael to go to TIFF to promote a much lesser known and lesser anticipated film, than his romantic drama with two Oscar winners (and a film that could garner him a third nomination). So my feeling is that Michael could be attending TIFF for this special soiree to keep his name out there at the start of the film festival, and use his conversation event to reintroduce himself to the very people who have supported his career since 2007 in Toronto, and keep him on the radar through Oscar season.
There is a very slim chance that 'Assassin's Creed' (AC) will screen there as the film may still be in special effects editing mode, and it's not the typical high-brow fare for a film festival. So that leaves another Fassbender film to make a prime festival debut, and it is the oft forgotten Terrance Malick project, 'Weightless'. I think AC has a stronger chance to debut at TIFF than Weightless, but, stranger things have happened. The point of all this speculation is to help me maneuver my priorities to accommodate this surprising Fassbender event. I have a strong desire to just attend the soiree so that I can watch the conversation with Michael and report on it for FF. I cannot attend the festival this year, but I will figure out how to attend the soiree.
I'm logistically close to Toronto, I can take a day off work, and be in and out. Trust me, I've driven great distances to attend a Pearl Jam concert on a weekday night, hang out with the Jamily, and crawled into work the next day... so I got this. It's not ideal, and the placement of these soirees are so that only those who truly want to attend, can attend. That's why these don't occur on a more convenient Friday or Saturday evening. The most economical ticket cost is $300, which is nothing to sneeze at if you're a working class person. Considering that some fans will have to book a hotel room (prices jump during TIFF time), airfare, food... hell, even buying a new outfit to attend the soiree, will surely go north of $1000, at the least. I can drive to and from Toronto on a tank of gas, leave Toronto by 10pm, be home by 2:30am, sleep until 7am, be at work at 8:30am. Being so close to Toronto is what I will miss when I move to California. Air Canada will be my new bestest friend airliner.
I will let you all know of my decision as soon as possible. Attending this TIFF soiree will just allow me to cover the event as a fan, observer, and editor of this blog. I will not have the chance to meet him face to face, and I'm fine with that. Just being there will be a treat for me and sharing notes and pictures with you all.