Saturday, September 10, 2011

TIFF pauses to remember a fateful day

The Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing just as it was when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center 10 years ago. To mark the tragic event a short film will be shown before all public screenings today, but only today. 

Solace in the Dark as the working title is called by its producer Canadian freelance artist, filmmaker, editor and music-video-director, Lucius Dechausay is a five-minute short featuring what TIFF director Piers Handling calls "a small compendium of memories of that moment." The piece includes empowering stock footage, archival material from TIFF's film reference library and almost a dozen interviews with individuals who remember attended the festival a decade ago.

It was TIFF's 26th installment. 

"Close to 90 U.S. films had been brought to the festival, luring hundreds of American publicists, stars, distributors, media representatives, directors and producers to Ontario's capital. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, droves of them began to check out of their hotels, and drop interviews and meetings, propelled by just one thought: Get back home," according to a report by Toronto's Globe and Mail.

Among those trying to get home on Sept. 11, 2001 was Paul McCartney.

After the attack he returned to the U.S. and organized a concert to benefit and honor the first responders. Documenting McCartney's time in New York preparing for and performing in the concert was Albert Maysles, filming in a style similar to the work he did in capturing the The Beatles' first visit to America in 1964. 

For years the footage went unseen, requiring the passage of time to put it in perspective. Now 10 years later, Maysles along with director partner Bradley Kaplan and editor Ian Markiewicz have emerged with a deeply intimate film that uniquely explores the roles of art and artists in a time of crisis. 

Maysles documentary of McCartney, The Love We Make debuted at TIFF this past week. 

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