Chapter 6

Examining the Models

The year 1976 was a good one for film. It was the year of Rocky and Taxi Driver. It was the year when Peter Finch declared, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more,” Redford and Hoffman took down Richard Nixon, Sissy Spacek was doused in pig’s blood at the prom, and Jodie Foster switched bodies with Barbara Harris on a particularly freaky Friday. It was also the first year of a small, upstart film festival in Toronto, Canada.

The Festival of Festivals, as it was then called, was created to give Torontonians access to the best films from around the world. Back then, most of us still saw movies exclusively at our local theaters—in dedicated venues, typically with a single screen. Almost all of ...

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