This morning, I took a look at James Franco’s latest project, Spring Breakers. I went in with low expectations, due to Franco’s questionable art-making practice and the “plot”: four college students head out to Miami to get fucked up, or, as is repeated ad nauseam throughout the movie, find themselves. It’s way too long for what it is.
It’s part of the Toronto International Film Festival, better known as TIFF. To give readers a sense what this festival is like, let me begin by saying that TIFF has exceeded 260,000 attendees for the last few years, which is approximately 190,000 more visitors than Art Basel Switzerland. It is enormous, and it’s considered the world’s most important film festival next to Cannes.
Some film festivals are large enough that they even host an art program. TIFF is big enough to host two. As such, I’ve flown to Toronto to take a look at their program Future Projections, a showcase of video installations in galleries and museums across the city, and Wavelength, a selection of art video shorts that playing at the Art Gallery of Ontario throughout the 10-day festival.
In fact, the festival is so large that securing entrance to many of their events isn’t exactly easy no matter who you are. I’m here at TIFF’s invitation, and I’ve been told I’ll need to arrive at the museums one to two hours early, just so I can secure one of only twenty press tickets available for Wavelengths. I told an art publicist I thought that was absurd, and was quickly reminded that this is not an ordinary event. “In this beast?” he said, “Really, I’m just happy they host us at all.”