I made some new friends on the web a couple of months ago.
I met up with all of them for the first time last week in Toronto.
We watched a lot of films, rode the subway, ate in restaurants and generally gushed and gesticulated about movies.
[in alphabetical order]:
The exemplary film critic and cinephile Doug Cummings who lives in Los Angeles and runs that tropical oasis of international cinema, Film Journey. Doug is the generous, intelligent, cohesive force behind the group.
The soft-spoken and thoughtful Robert Davis, who lives in San Francisco, and is a film critic for Paste magazine. He also keeps a very interesting and valuable weblog, Errata. We feel passionately about many of the same filmmakers and I wish we had had more time to spend discussing them.
The wryly witty and insightful Darren Hughes who is writing his Ph.D. dissertation, is the impresario of a Tennessee film club and has been covering the Toronto Film Festival in thought-provoking detail at his weblog Long Pauses. Of the entire group, it turned out I spent the least time with Darren, which I thoroughly regret.
The charming J. Robert Parks, possessor of enviable social facility and a thousand and one friends, who writes about movies in his original and engaging first-person manner. Even when J. Robert and I diverge in our opinions about movies, I find it practically impossible to tear my eyes away from the page! (A more genuine compliment to a writer I could not pay).
And through these new friends I made some new new friends--Candace [ultra-cool rock queen, why she decided she was going to spend a week hanging out with us film-obsessives I'll never know] and David [1980s pop connoisseur, rock keyboardist, writer, and urbane Edmontonian].
It was a lightning-quick week of rare and rewarding fellowship.
Is it too early to start counting down to TIFF 2005?