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Toronto International Film Festival: An insider’s guide to babe magnets and albino alligators

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Bruce Springsteen, perpetually black-leather-jacketed, is in town along with his singer wife, Patti Scialfa, for the hero-worshippy but fascinating documentary “The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town.’ ” As part of the festival’s “Mavericks” chat series, Springsteen revealed to chat mate Edward Norton, also in basic black, that his 20-something children aren’t interested in seeing him perform. “Why would any kid want to come and see thousands cheer their parents? They’d rather see thousands boo their parents.”

Fun guy Woody Allen, at a press conference for his soon-to-be-released new OK movie “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” was similarly upbeat. “I’ll be 75 in a couple of months and I do see myself as being waning and decrepit. For me, it gets worse and worse: I see absolutely no advantage in aging. It’s total annihilation with no hope of resurrection.”

On a brighter note, Keanu Reeves, in town to promote the romantic caper movie “Henry’s Crime,” said he might be up for a sequel to “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” – but “only if they come up with a good script.” Reeves was often mobbed by the public in what, in the trade, is now referred to as a “cluster grope.”

The reliably cranky Mike Leigh was in fine form at the public screening of his mostly terrific new film “Another Year.” I always look forward to his meltdowns when confronted with dumb postscreening audience questions. A few years ago, at the Q-and-A for “Happy-Go-Lucky,” a woman wanted him to fill her in on what she missed when she ducked into the ladies’ room. (His reaction is unprintable.) This year, someone asked him why “Another Year” had to end sadly. “Well,” he responded, with a look that would wither granite, “we were going to have a happy ending with elephants and monkeys but we ran out of money.”

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