Final Comments on Toronto

Stephen Cremin asianfilmlibrary
Fri Sep 3 17:03:51 EDT 1999

Thanks for emailing the other Asian film titles.  Yes, contextualisation 
does help and it semms much stronger than when looking at the Japanese films 
in isolation.  I wasn't aware who was programming the Asian films at the 
Toronto festival this year, but I know the person mentioned has a very good 
reputation.  And very much one of the good guys.  Good to see that David 
Overbey's SE Asian focus is continued with a very strong Philippines lineup. 
  Anyway, its early days and only fair to see how Toronto develops over the 
next few years.  Montreal and Fantasia are much stronger competitors now and 
it'll be hard for Toronto to find a position for itself.

I have this awful dilemma.  I do think that criticism of festivals is of 
paramount importance: if one agrees that film criticism as a whole serves a 
purpose then so does criticism of festivals.  Especially given the power 
they have.  Taiwanese directors, for example, don't have a domestic audience 
so they at least depend on festivals for introducing them to the world.  But 
at the same time perhaps its wholly unprofessional of me to criticise other 
festivals.  I'm always to-ing and fro-ing on that one.  Well, I'll keep my 
mouth shut for a while in penance...

Stephen Cremin
The Asian Film Library

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