I say this every year before the Toronto and Sundance film festivals, and nobody ever listens. I’ve just listed roughly 60 films that I’d really like to see in Toronto next month, and I’ll be very impressed with myself if I wind up seeing half of them. One obvious remedy is to catch some of these in New York or Los Angeles before Telluride/Toronto begins. I’m therefore begging all L.A.-based publicists representing these films to please screen some of them for select L.A. critics and columnists. Doing so will obviously provide time to tap out reviews that will be a little more thoughtful and won’t be adversely influenced by furious, gut-instinct, teeth-chattering deadlines.
The Toronto math is inescapable — some of the 60 are going to either be ignored or not be given a fair shake in the heat of the moment. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that deep down people like myself and Steve Pond and Eric Kohn and Peter Debruge don’t respect films that are pre-screened before a major festival — that we regard pre-screenings as a sign of weakness on some level and that only festival-locked films with an inferiority complex are shown prior. I understand why you might presume this, but I know this thinking isn’t as strong as the sheer mathematical reality of Toronto.