Event horizon: cinemania

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Attention, film geeks: the Guardian's Toronto International Film Festival desk is up and running and frantically trying to patchwork together a schedule that crams in as many movies as possible without incurring some kind of mental break with reality as a result.

It's a delicate balance, really, and one that brings forth a feeling of excitement, panic, and jet-lagged punchiness that I've never really felt at any other time in my life. Ideally, one figures out a way to see everything worth seeing (note: a personal judgement call all the way) while still leaving room for spontaneity, last-minute interviews, random networking, and bothersome other crap like meals, caffeine, and sleep. This is my second year at the fest, which happens to be the same exact age as me (31), and I'd be lying if I said I had the whole crazy shebang figured out.

I do have a pretty good grip on tomorrow, though, which looks to include Ken Loach's Cannes-winning drama, The Wind that Shakes the Barley; Pedro Almodovar's latest, Volver, which may or may not end my longstanding rejection of all things involving Penelope Cruz; and one of my most-anticipated fest picks, Bong Joon-ho's monsta thrilla The Host. Early word is it's excellent.

So far, the entry that's gotten the most buzz is a film about which TIFF has already released a press release, defending their decision to program it: D.O.A.P. (or Death of a President), a British mock-doc that imagines what would happen in the wake of George W. Bush's assassination. Friends, you know I will be in the front row for that one.

More from T.O. tomorrow ...

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