#TIFF16 kicks off with red carpet premiere of The Magnificent Seven

Last night marked the start of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. For those of you living in the rest of Canada it can be hard to imagine what kind of impact this festival has on that city over the week and a half it is on. Basically, it takes over the city, with so many fans hitting the various TIFF locations to go star-watching and autograph-hunting. The event most definitely takes over all the local TV newscasts as the stations hit the red carpet to get interviews with all the big stars, and the CTV Toronto news story above is a good example of that. 

(Hey, it’s Zuraidah Alman anchoring! Cool.) 

This is what I really miss about Toronto now that I live way out in the ‘sticks: all that excitement. That, and Major League Baseball. Oh, and in another week Toronto will also be hosting the World Cup of Hockey, but that’s another topic.

Last night, the film festival kicked off with the premiere of The Magnificent Seven, which features stars such as Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke and is directed by Antoine Fuqua. This is being billed as a “contemporary” and “progressive” Western for today’s audiences

This is also a remake of the 1960 movie, which probably is better known today for its theme music, which was used for years in commercials for Marlboro cigarettes! (Of course, you younger folks probably have never seen a cigarette commercial in your entire lives, so seeing one would be a huge shock.) Anyway, the new version hits theatres Sept. 23.

Later tonight is going to be the red carpet for Snowden, the movie about the ex-CIA employee who leaked all those NSA files. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Ed Snowden in the movie, which is directed by Oliver Stone. So it’s probably worth seeing simply because Stone is the director; he usually brings his “A” effort to whatever he does, even if the finished product ends up looking, well, conspiratorial (Nixon, JFK, etc.). (Wasn’t it an SNL skit that dubbed Stone the world’s first “investigative director”?)

That is about it for now; for more festival coverage I notice eTalk and ETCanada are at it again and so is Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.