Nov. 2 - Nov. 9
Oct. 26 - Nov. 2
Oct. 12 - Oct. 19
Oct. 5 - Oct. 12
Sept. 28 - Oct. 5
Sept. 21 - Sept. 28
Sept. 14 - Sept. 21
Book of the Week:Until Richard's book on the making of the Ken Russell classic The Devils comes out on October 1, this is the only making-of book you need to read this fall. Here's some info: "Bestselling author Matty Simmons was the founder of National Lampoon and the producer of Animal House. In Fat, Drunk, and Stupid, he draws from exclusive interviews with actors including Karen Allen, Kevin Bacon, Peter Riegert, and Mark Metcalf, director John Landis, fellow producer Ivan Reitman, and other key players—as well as behind-the-scenes photos—to tell the movie’s outrageous story, from its birth in the New York offices of the National Lampoon to writing a script, assembling the perfect cast, the wild weeks of filming, and, ultimately, to the film’s release and megasuccess. This is a hilarious romp through one of the biggest grossing, most memorable, most frequently quoted, and most celebrated comedies of all time." Buy it here!
Sept. 7 - Sept. 14
The Visa Spotlight: As one of Visa's TIFF Insiders at the 37th
Annual Toronto International Film Festival Richard will be tweeting and
blogging about his adventures at the festival. Here's a sample from day one!
"TIFF has always been a launching pad for new talent. Last year Albert
Brooks joked, “If you make it here you can make it, well, in most parts
of Canada,” but the fact is the festival has enhanced the careers of
Jason Reitman, Michael Moore, David Cronenberg and Quentin Tarantino who
won the International Critics’ Award (FIPRESCI) at TIFF for his first
feature, Reservoir Dogs..." Read more here!
Aug. 24 - Aug. 31
Movie Mash-Up of the Week:Artists Rodolfo Loaiza mixes and matches classic Disney characters with pop culture icons to create something new and startling. (at left see Tinker Bowie). Here's some info from laluzdejesus.com: "Continuing his penchant for cleverly depicting the "uncouth" customs of our dichotomous society, Rodolfo explores what would happen to our fables if they were flesh and blood and confronted with the frenetic and excessive world of fame. Who among them would prove susceptible to the excesses of drugs, alcohol, harassment or vanity?
Aug. 17 - Aug. 24
Book of the Week: "Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down." I just can't get enough stories about drunken British actors. The author of this book, Robert Sellers, has made a living telling boozy tales of the actors who made British cinema so excting in the 60s and 70s. Here's some more info from amazon.ca: "Jaw-dropping tales of legendary excess and bad behaviour from the British stars of the 1950s and 60s, from the author of the bestselling Hellraisers and Hollywood Hellraisers.
Aug. 10 - Aug. 17
Exactly how did Uma Thurman massacre 87 members of O-Ren Ishii's Crazy 88 in "Kill Bill"? These behind-the-scenes photos from Miramax show everything from "the grotesque, to the sublime, to the downright bizarre... ten must-see photos from the set of Kill Bill: Vol. 1."
Aug. 03 - Aug. 10
Hey Night Owls!: For insomniacs and those who like going to the movies when everyone else has gone to bed the Toronto International Film Festival offers up Midnight Madness, a yearly collection of the creepiest and craziest films ever projected on the big screen. Fresh from the vault at the TIFF press office comes the offerings for this year. Here's some info: "The Midnight Madness selection includes films from Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep), Academy Award® winners Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) and Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man), JT Petty (The Burrowers, S&Man) and heavy-metal horror maven Rob Zombie (see photo at left from his "Lords of Salem". Onscreen performances feature Clancy Brown, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Selena Gomez, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Eli Roth, Tom Waits, Christopher Walken and Karl Urban." For a complete list click here!
July 27 - Aug. 03
Cool Art Project of the Week: Star Wars recreations of famous photographs and paintings. (all images © david eger) Art teacher, and, I think it's safe to assume, Star Wars fan, David Eger made a New Year's resolution to pursue personal photographic projects. The result is 365 Days of Clones and 52 Weeks of Star Wars, photo studies of famous pieces of art as seen through the lens of a Star Wars fan. According to designboom.com, "Eger photographed each piece on a date relevant to the original work: the anniversary of the date the photograph was taken in the case of most contemporary pieces; or the birth or death dates of the artist for images like his recreations of Pablo Picasso's 'Guernica' or Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man'..." See more here!
July 20 - July 27
Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory of the Week...No, Make that the Year!: Blustery talk radio host Rush Limbaugh claims that "The Dark Knight Rises" is an attack on presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.He makes a connection between Romney's former investment company Bain, and the super-villain Bane, played by Tom Hardy."There's discussion out there as to whether or not this was purposeful and whether or not it will influence voters. It's going to have a lot of people," he ranted on his show. "The audience is going to be huge. A lot of people are going to see the movie. And it's a lot of brain-dead people -- entertainment, the pop culture crowd -- and they're going to hear Bane in the movie and they're going to associate Bain. And the thought is that when they're going to start paying attention to the campaign later in the year," Limbaugh asserted, "and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, not Bain Capital but Romney and Bain, that these people will start thinking back to the Batman movies, 'Oh yeah, I know who that is!'" Listen here! What he seems to not know is that the character was created in 1993, a year before Romney ran for office of any kind AND while the film has an Occupy style plot line, the hero turns out to be a billionaire who saves Gotham from the teeming masses.
July 13 - July 20
Spy Style of the Week: London's Barbicon Centre is playing host to 50 years of James Bond paraphernalia until September, after which the exhibit goes on tour, landing in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in October. Featuring costumes, props, set pieces and design drawings from half a century of 007 films the exhibit is the most complete public display of Bond memorabilia ever assembled. Read more here!
July 06 - July 13
Truth in Advertising of the Week: It's rare that a movie comes along that sums up its entire story with a well chosen title. Let's take "Hobo with a Shotgun." Catchy, succinct and as good a plot description as you'll get in four words. The good folks at the Shiznit.co.uk have taken Hollywood to task and created posters for the summer's biggest films with the titles they should have had. For instance "The Amazing Spider-Man" becomes "With Great Power Comes Great Repeatability" and "Rock of Ages" morphs into "Guitar Hero: The Movie." To see all of Shiznit's revamped movie posters click on the "If summer 2012's movie posters told the truth" link.
June 29 - July 6
Charity Event of the Week: To raise money for Drop in the Bucket, a Los Angeles based water and sanitation charity who brings safe drinking water to war ravaged countries through field offices in Uganda and South Sudan,The Projection Booth Theatre (1035 Gerrard Street East- between Pape and Jones) will present two homegrown horror films. Here's all the info you need to help this great cause and see some cool flicks: Fangoria Presents Fright Nights at the Projection Booth is giving genre fans two films for the price of one Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 8pm with grindhouse flicks If A Tree Falls and Kill from directors Gabriel Carrer and Chad Archibald. Half the proceeds collected from the evening will go to the Henry Rollins fronted international charity "Drop in the Bucket." Here's a message from Rollins!
June 22 - June 29
Cool Movie Poster Collection of the Week: From Poster Collective (Wall Things Considered) comes 30 posters inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. Everything from "The Pit and the Pendulum" to foreign versions of "The Black Cat" and "House of Usher" are represented in all their gruesome glory. Add to that some titles that borrowed liberally from Poe's aesthetic and you're left with a beautifully curated collection of world horror art. Beautiful, lurid and in some cases more interesting than the movies they were advertising, these posters harken back to a time when advertising art was eye catching and exciting.
June 15 - June 22
Skill Testing Graphic of the Week: Think you can name all 26 movies pictured in the Comedy Film Alphabet from designer Stephen Wildish?It's part of the Friday project, brought to you by WILDISH&CO a creative design studio. "The Friday project aims to create something witty or pretty once a week," they write on their site.This is the latest in a series that includes the Sci Fi, Horror, 1950s Film, Superhero and War Film Alphabet. One part art, one part time waster, this is a beautiful diversion from the grind of the day. I'll give you one hint... Jerry Lewis doesn't appear anywhere here. Good luck.
June 08 - June 15
All Hail Ziggy: Forty years ago on June 7, 1972 "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars" hit stores. To celebrate this holy day--I'm suggesting we stretch it out to a week at least--there are lots of Ziggy related activities on the web. Put the record on, enjoy the eleven perfect songs and click here to create your own Ziggy album cover art. Here's some info on the making iof the classic album: "Originally released through RCA Victor on June 6, 1972, Ziggy Stardust was David Bowie's fifth album, co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott. Incredibly, the album was conceived and written while Bowie was recording 1971's Hunky Dory album, with recording beginning months before that album's release. Recording took place at Trident Studios, London between November 8, 1971 and February 4, 1972, with the line-up of Mick Ronson (guitar, piano, backing vocals), Trevor Bolder (bass), Mick Woodmansey (drums) and Rick Wakeman, harpsichord on "It Ain't Easy" with backing vocals by Dana Gillespie on same. In addition to performing vocals, Bowie played guitar and saxophone on the album, with arrangements by Bowie and Ronson." Relive the Ziggy glam giddy-up by watching D.A. Pennebaker's documentary Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture!
June 1 - June 8
Dual Tribute of the Week: In honor of Bill Murray's eighth collaboration with Wes Anderson (in "Moonrise Kingdom," and Richard's review under the Review-O-Rama tab!) and the imminent release of "Total Recall," here is a poster from the Kings of Movie Poster Mash-Ups, Empire Magazine that celebrates both. For more mash-ups click here.
May 25 - June 1
Philatelic Geek-Out of the Week: Stamp collectors slash movie fans will want these stamps to round out their collections! Here's some info: "Four extraordinary film directors — Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston and Billy Wilder — received a stamping ovation today with the issuance of the Great Film Directors First-Class Forever stamps. The dedication took place at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center where some of their works were showcased. Available nationwide today, the stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724) or by visiting US Post Offices."
May 18 - May 25
Business Card of the Week: Tired of answering the same questions over and over again?Tom Wilson a.k.a. Biff from the "Back to the Future" movies was. He's now a comedian and musician with a business card that answers everything you've ever wanted to know about those movies and weren't afraid to ask. Some of his snappy answers: "I hold my co-workers in the best light, but have no idea what any of them are doing now." and "I made less money than you think." Read the whole thing here. Still have questions about the "Back to the Future" series? Click here for Wilson's musical ode to the movies.
May 11 - May 18
Shameless Plug of the Week: Hundreds of interviews! Dozens of press conferences, Q&As and an easy, not-for-download-way to watch This Week On Movies! All that and more available on Richard's new youtube site RichardCrouseMovies! Check it out here and prepare to get lost in the internet tubes!
May 4 - May 11
Must Be Heard to Be Believed: Fans of Bowie and Kubrick will lose their minds over this mega-mashup of the music of the former and the images of the latter. Here's some more info from the Bowie 2001 website: "Bowie2001 is a non-linear existential gothic drama hyper-cycle, a divine odyssey about the creation of the cosmos. Starman telling the story of starchild. Ziggy covered in moon-dust geysering into the vacuum of space. The Thin White Duke's pursuit of a wide black monolith. Major Tom killing Nathan Adler's electro-mechanical reincarnation as HAL 9000. From the Dawn of Supermen to Life in Mars and Beyond the Infinite, astronaut Dr. Dave Bowie tells the story of the universe with a supersonic musical piece synchronised with a intergalactic film, producing the transcendent experience known as Bowie2001; a mixtape, a movie, and also a remix album."
Apr. 27 - May 4
Underrated Movie of the Week: “Tyrannosaur,” a drama from actor-turned-director-and-writer Paddy Considine—best known for his work in films like “In America” and “24 Hour Party People.” It's a grim but compelling look at a man hell bent on destruction, until he meets a woman who gives him a glimmer of hope. Read Richard's review here! Watch Richard's interview with "Tyrannosaur" director Pady Considine here!
Apr. 20 - Apr. 27
Art Exhibit of the Week: Starting Saturday, April 21 the Copro Gallery (in the Bergamot Arts Complex, 2525 Michigan Ave T5, Santa Monica, CA - 310-829-2156) will present a collaborative art show celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," the big-screen prequel to David Lynch's hit cult TV series. Curated by Rob Wilson and Lynch, the show features work created by a variety of artists to celebrate the strange and wonderful characters form the film. For more info click here. Or here.
Apr. 13 - Apr. 20
Cool Blogspot of the Week: Sometimes the randomness of the internet yields unexpected and delightful finds. Awesome people hanging out together is such a site. There's no commentary--other than comments from users--and no context, other than the overarching theme of interesting people posing for photos. It's simple and boy is it a time waster. Click here and prepare to get lost...
Apr. 6 - Apr. 13
Art Exhibit of the Week: Toronto: Cinema City. From the city's first movie screening (that was a Lumiere film at the Exhibition in 186) to the heyday of Toronto movie palaces, this exhibition details the romance Torontonians have always had with the movies. Here's more info: "Running now until April 28th, the Urbanspace Gallery in 401 Richmond is hosting an exhibit dedicated to the history of Toronto as a global cinematic hub. Did you know that the first film to screen in Toronto was a Lumiere film at the Exhibition in 1896? These and more archival works and artifacts from Toronto's cinematic history are free for you and yours to see. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m."
Mar. 30 - Apr. 6
Blu Ray of the Week: Monster Brawl, one part wrestling, one part creature feature, all cool.
Mar. 23 - Mar. 30
The Hunger Games in History: We'll never know how "The Hunger Games" might have turned out if, say, Alfred Hitchcock or Roger Corman had directed, but EW.com (Entertainment Weekly) has put together a gallery of what the posters might have looked like. Check out the Roger Corman version (pictured). To check out the rest click here!
Mar. 16 - Mar. 23
I’ll Have an Arwen on the Rocks, Please: For twenty years The Hobbit pub in Southampton has served up cocktails inspired by JRR Tolkien’s books. Says student Heather Cartwright, "Part of the wonder of this place is that you can come in and order a Gandalf." (BTW, the Gandalf is made of VS Blue, vodka, peach schnapps and lemonade.) Also on offer are live music, real ales, the aforementioned hobbit cocktails, massive garden and hobitty atmosphere. Even the client loyalty cards feature images of Elijah Wood in his most famous role. The pub is at 134 Bevois Valley Road in Southampton, but go quick! According to the BBC, lawyers of the Saul Zaentz Company are threatening the drinking hole with copyright infringement. "Are we doing any harm? I don't think so. We're bringing people to the books and the stories who haven't heard of J.R.R. Tolkien," says landlady, Stella Mary Roberts. "We don't have the financial resources to fight it -- I can't fight Hollywood."
Mar. 09 - Mar. 16
Belated Birthday Wishes To...: Theodor Seuss Geisel, A.K.A. Dr. Seuss, the man Hollywood knows as the screenwriter of "The Lorax." He would have turned 108 last week, and while I celebrated his birth by giving "The Lorax" a so-so review, I wanted to double-down on my b'day greetings by letting you know about a Dr. Seuss book you likely didn't know existed. Before The Lorax and the Gringe and red fisah, blue fish came "The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family," a charming book for adults, illustrated in his trade mark style. Publisher's Weekly says, "Originally published in 1939, this revisionist farce attempts to rectify the 'shameful' story of 'a big blond nude trotting around the town on a horse' and Peeping Tom, the 'illicit snooper.'" Read all the salacious details about Dr. Seuss's adult book here!
Mar. 02 - Mar. 09
Movie Explanation of the Week: Don't get me wrong, I like obtuse story lines, but Memento has one of the most mind bending plots in the history of cinema, so, to explain it in a concise, clear way artist and designer Greg Burney has created a graphic to explain what the hell was going on in Christopher Nolan's psychological drama. Can't remember the movie? Here's what IMDB says about it: "A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife." Add to that a non-linear narrative and a bag full of narrative tricks and you have what Roger Ebert called "a diabolical and absorbing experience, in which Pearce doggedly plays a low-rent Fugitive who patiently makes maps, jots notes and explains over and over that he has to talk fast because in a few minutes he'll start forgetting the conversation." Thanks to Greg Burney for helping sort it all out!
Feb. 27 - Mar. 02
Oscar Meme of the Week: What better way to celebrate Jean Dujardin's probable Best Actor win than by posting pictures of him napping on the internet. Not since Sad Keanu have out of context photos been so much fun. To see Jean catching some zzz's with the Cowardly Lion (pictured) or being held like a baby by Amy Winehouse or wrapped in ET's swaddling clothes click here. Don't know who Jean is? Watch the Oscars or click here!
Feb. 17 - Feb. 24
Best Director Cameo of the Week: Because producer Tim Burton wasn't able to attend the recent junket at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Illinois for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (he's busy shooting "Dark Shadows" in England) he send along this taped message instead. Learn the shocking truth of Prince Charles's supernatural past!
Feb. 03 - Feb. 10
Clarification of the Week: Confused by the proliferation of sdequels, reboots and reimaginings that have been clogging up the multi-plexes in recent years. Me too. The good folks at empireonline have devised a series of symbols to help us better understand the confusing new jargon Hollywood is inventing to rename their old ideas. Interquel, anyone? See the whole thing here!
Jan. 27 - Feb. 03
The Going Out On Top Award: Following in the footsteps of Johnny Carson and Jerry Seinfeld, who both got out before the long tragic slide to obscurity began, comes Uggie, the Jack Russell Terrier star of "The Artist," who is retiring while still at the top of his game. The snub by the Academy must have stung, but Uggie he may still take home some gold before he retires. He's nominated for two Golden Collar Awards, to be announced on February 13, 2012. "Uggie is 10 years old and has done a lot of work; he wants to relax at home," says his trainer. Read the whole story of his retirement here!
Jan. 20 - Jan. 27
Movie Posers Redux: I love these reimagined movie posters. With one foot firmly planted in today, another in the past they are not only beautiful but so accurate that when I look at them it feels like I've fallen into another dimension. James Dean starring in "Drive"? Makes sense to me. Read about the artist Peter Stults here. Here's what he had to say about his work:"What if movies we were all familiar with were made a different slice of time? Who would be in it? Who would direct it?..." Read the whole thing here!
Jan. 13 - Jan. 20
Best Primordial Dream Ooze of the Week: I'm late with this, but if you haven't seen it yet the opening credits of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is worth a look. In fact, it's more interesting than most of the film that comes after it. Part nightmare, part primer on the character of Lisbeth Salander it's a stunner. Here's an interview from the website i09.com with Tim Miller, the sequence's creative director.
Jan. 6 - Jan. 13
Weird Map of the Week: The good movie nerds at Very Small Array are famous for their graphs and love of all things cinematic have outdone themselves with a new map detailing where movies were made by state. Need more details? They kindly break down their data in several sub-categories like Earliest Movie, Median Rating and Median Year of Release. See for yourself right here!
Dec. 30 - Jan. 6
Book of the Week!: What better way to kick off the new year than
by getti ng into the head of one of the great movie stars of all time.
"Conversations with Clint: Paul Nelson's Lost Interviews with Clint
Eastwood 1979 - 1983" (edited by Kevin Avery) harkens back to the days
of in-depth interviews, when actors actually had conversations with
journalists rather than just spouting sound bites. Fascinating stuff and
a must read for any film buff. Check out a trailer for the book here! Here's some more info on the book:
"Clint Eastwood has forged a remarkable career as a movie star,
director, producer and composer. These newly discovered conversations
with legendary journalist Paul Nelson return us to a point when, still
acting in other people’s films, Eastwood was honing his directorial
craft on a series of inexpensive films that he brought in under budget
and ahead of schedule. Operating largely beneath the critical radar, he
made his movies swiftly and inexpensively. Few of his critics then could
have predicted that Eastwood the actor and director would ever be taken
as seriously as he is today. But Paul Nelson did..." Get more info here!
Dec. 23 - Dec. 30
Coffee Table Book of the Week: The Hammer Vault by Marcus Hearn! Do you love Brit horror films? This is the perfect book for any fan of Hammer films and movies of the 60s and 70s. Here's some info from amazon.ca: "The "Vault" consists of material taken from the Hammer archives. Most of this is made up of various publicity material for several Hammer films beginning with "The Quatermass Xperiment" made in 1954 all the way through to 2009's "Let Me In." Most of the company's films (but not all) get one or two pages featuring photos of pressbooks, posters, stills, front-office memos, etc. Each film also gets about four or five paragraphs of text covering facts and trivia concerning the production...."
Dec. 16 - Dec. 23
Shameless Plug of the Week: Have you not subscribed to Richard's new videopodcast yet? Available exclusively on iTunes This Week On Movies is your guide to what's new and cool on the iTunes movie page.
Dec. 09 - Dec. 16
Christmas or Hanukah Gift of the Week: Diane Keaton's Then Again. Some info from amazon.ca: "In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always-thinking Dorothy Hall. To write about herself, Diane realized she had to write about her mother, too, and how their bond came to define both their lives. In a remarkable act of creation, Diane not only reveals herself to us, she also lets us meet in intimate detail her mother. Over the course of her life, Dorothy kept eighty-five journals—literally thousands of pages—in which she wrote about her marriage, her children, and, most probingly, herself. Dorothy also recorded memorable stories about Diane’s grandparents. Diane has sorted through these pages to paint an unflinching portrait of her mother—a woman restless with intellectual and creative energy, struggling to find an outlet for her talents—as well as her entire family, recounting a story that spans four generations and nearly a hundred years." Get more info here!
Dec. 2 - Dec. 9
Unkle Ken is Gone. Sad news in movie land. Ken Russell, a director who truly earned the title "visionary" passed away on Sunday November 27, 2011. The director of Women in Love, Savage Messiah, Altered States, Tommy (the movie that got me grounded for a year... a story for another time) and my favorite The Devils died in his sleep, and according to his son, had a smile on his face. I hope so. His movies taught me to love movies. To not be afraid of excess and to go big or go home. I like to think he was smiling when he went for two reasons. First because he left behind a legacy to be enjoyed for as long as people watch movies, and secondly, because he'd soon be able to have another drink with his pal Oliver Reed... wherever they both ended up. R.I.P. Unkle Ken.
Nov. 25 - Dec. 2
Lobby Cards of the Week: You don't see them much anymore but there was a time when lobby cards, those sensational 11 X 14 movie advertisements designed to whip up excitement for an upcoming movie. They usually focused on the stars, some action and a hint of titillation. Titillation certainly isn't a lost art in Hollywood, but the art of lobby cards is. Enjoy some classics from Total Film here!
Nov. 18 - Nov. 25
Most Exciting Movie News of the Week: Hallelujah! The prayers of movie fans have finally been answered! Ken Russell's masterpiece The Devils is being released on DVD. It's not perfect... the film's centerpiece scene is still missing, but it is the most complete version ever released coimmercially. Here's some more info from Movie Mail Online: "With its bold and brilliant direction by Ken Russell, magnificent performances by Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, exquisite sets by Derek Jarman, cinematography from David Watkin and sublimely dissonant score by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, The Devils stands as a profound and sincere commentary on religious hysteria, political persecution and the corrupt marriage of church and state. Finally available on DVD for the first time, The Devils is presented in the original UK ‘X’ certificate version with a host of new and exciting extra features..." Read more here!
Nov. 11 - Nov. 18
Book of the Week: The Good, The Bad, The Multiplex: What's Wrong with Modern Movies by Mark Kermode. Good stuff from a guy who really knows how to write about film in an evocative interesting way. Sometimes I think he's the only film critic who matters... then I look in the mirror! Here's some info on the book from amazon.ca: "Outspoken, opinionated, and hilariously funny, the critic who carved out a career in print, radio, and television based entirely on the belief that The Exorcist is the greatest movie ever made and that the Pirates of the Caribbean films should be buried in a very deep hole where they can never bother anyone ever again tackles the real questions that serious filmgoers need answered: What's wrong with the modern movie business? How can we make it right? If blockbusters make money no matter how bad they are, then why not make a good one for a change? How can 3-D be the future of cinema when it's been giving audiences a headache for more than 100 years? Why pay to watch films in theaters which don't have a projectionist but do have a fast-food stand? And, in a world in which Sex and the City 2 was a hit, what the hell are film critics for? This hilariously forthright, enthusiastic look at the state of film today will delight all film obsessives." Read more here!
Nov. 4 - Nov. 11
CD of the Week: Crazy Clown Time by David Lynch. Lynch has been promising an album of electronic pop for a long time, and has finally made good! Here's what he told Pitchfork: "I have a recording studio so I've been experimenting for a long time in there. Big Dean Hurley is the engineer, and he and I have been making music for about five years, but we never seem to finish anything. But I'm building a new part of my web site that'll be primarily music, so I'm working on music quite a bit these days..." Listen to the music here!
Oct. 28 - Nov. 4
Celebrity Encounter of the Week: It's not everyday that you get to interview an icon, let alone an amphibian icon. In preparation of the November 23 release of The Muppets Jason Segel and Kermit the Frog swung through Toronto on a promotional jaunt. Richard hosted a press conference with Kermit at the Windsor Arms Hotel. Watch footage of the event here. And here. And here! Here's some info on the movie from IMDB: "When 3 muppet fans learn that Tex Richman wants to drill under the muppet theater for oil Gary, Mary and Walter set out to find the muppets who have been split up for years. Kermit lives in his own mansion depressed in hollywood, Gonzo is a high class plumber at Gonzo's Royal Flush, Fozzie performs with a tribute band called The Moopets , Miss Piggy is the plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, and Animal is at a celebrity anger management rehab center in Santa Barbara."
Oct. 21 - Oct. 28
Book of the Week: Rin Tin Tin, the dog who saved Hollywood is profiled in Rin Tin Tin: The Life & The Legend by Susan Orlean! Here's some info from The New York Times Book Review:
“Fascinating . . . The sweeping story of the soulful German shepherd
who was born on the battlefields of World War I, immigrated to America,
conquered Hollywood, struggled in the transition to the talkies, helped
mobilize thousands of dog volunteers against Hitler and himself emerged
victorious as the perfect family-friendly icon of cold war gunslinging,
thanks to the new medium of television. . . . Do dogs deserve
biographies? In Rin Tin Tin Susan Orlean answers that question
resoundingly in the affirmative . . . By the end of this expertly told
tale, she may persuade even the most hardened skeptic that Rin Tin Tin
belongs on Mount Rushmore with George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt, or
at least somewhere nearby with John Wayne and Seabiscuit.” —Jennifer
Oct. 7 - Oct. 14
Book of the Week: Where There's Smoke: Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man by William B. Davis. From amazon.ca: "Chronicling his own life and times, William B. Davis, the actor who played the notorious villain Cancerman on The X-Files, discusses his loves, losses, hopes, fears, and accomplishments in this unique and engaging autobiography. An all-access look into the life of a versatile actor, this life story includes anecdotes, recollections, and gossip from roles with such greats as Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Martin Sheen, Brian Dennehy, and Donald Sutherland. From the University of Toronto and theater school in Britain to Hollywood and appearances on Smallville and Stargate SG-1, this memoir recalls one actor’s journey from the main stage to the mainstream."
Sept. 30 - Oct. 7
If I Had All the Money in the World... I'd Buy This:The Dwight M. Cleveland Movie Poster Archive. This world famous collection of posters is now for sale to a good home. Here's the info: "The Dwight M. Cleveland Movie Poster Archives contains over 11,000 film posters from all over the world, a result of 34 years of international travel and collection. With every Best Picture winner from the Academy Awards, in addition to the top 100 films of all times as rated by the American Film Institute and the Internet Movie Database, the archive would make a tremendous addition to any university, film studio, or personal collection. Cleveland, the proprietor, is currently searching for a buyer to purchase the archive." Bask in the beauty of the posters here!
Sept. 23 - Sept. 30
DVD of the Week: Citizen Kane Ultimate Collector'S Edition, 70th Anniversary [Blu-ray]. The best movie ever made finally gets the home video package ir deserves! Here's some info from amazon.ca:
"No minuscule "featurette" for the greatest movie ever made. The
backbone for this grand two-disc set is the 1995 Oscar®-nominated
documentary The Battle over Citizen Kane, a very rich two-hour film on
how this masterpiece was almost destroyed by Welles's adversary, William
Randolph Hearst. A great remastered print is complemented by two
running commentaries, the better one by critic Roger Ebert. Don't think
you want a two-hour lecture by Mr. Ebert? Just listen to his 10-minute
talk over the gallery of photographs from the movie (which you can flip
through manually with your remote or see as a slide show), and you'll
want more. Ad campaigns, storyboards, and even call sheets are included
in this must-have DVD."
Sept. 16 - Sept. 23
Book of the Week: Monsters in the Movies by John Landis. Everything you ever wanted to know about monsters but were afraid to ask. Here's some info from amazon.ca: "Be afraid, be very afraid...a century of cinema nightmare with John Landis. From B-movie bogeymen and outer space-oddities to big-budget terrors, "Monsters in the Movies" by horror film maestro John Landis celebrates the greatest monsters ever to creep, fly, slither, stalk or rampage across the Silver Screen. Feast your eyes on a petrifying parade of voracious vampires, flesh-eating zombies and slavering werewolves as Landis explores the historical origins of archetypal monsters. Filled with the author's own fascinating and entertaining insights into the world of movie-making along with contributions from some of the world's leading directors, actors and special-effects wizards, this book is stunningly illustrated with over 1,000 movie stills and posters from the unrivaled archives of the Kobal Collection to keep you entertained right until the curtain comes down. Get ready to sit on the edge of your seat."
Sept. 2 - Sept. 9
Podcast of the Week! The Seán Pod, hosted by Comedian Seán
Cullen, is a feast of rambling silliness punctuated by some of Seán's
favourite musical tracks. Those who loved CBC's Simply Seán will revel
in this podcast. Listen in to Sean and Richard ("The man with the most
beautiful hair in the world!") live from the stage at the Rivoli in
Toronto chat about many things including Richard's upcoming book,
Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils and the Toronto
International Film Festival! Listen to it here!
August 26 - Sept. 2
Theme Song of the Week: OK Go, purveyors of the most inventive music videos of the last couple years, have covered The Muppet Show Theme for the upcoming movie. The film, starring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones doesn't come out until November, but you can preview and purchase soundtrack, Muppets: The Green Album, here or watch the wild OK Go video here!
August 19 - August 26
Book of the Week: New York Times theatre critic Jason Zinoman took time away from the Broadway beat to assemble "Shock Value," a look at the fathers of New Horror, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter and more. Richly detailed and opinionated--he claims new horror directors were actually rebelling against Hitchcock as much as paying homage to him--"Shock Value" is as entertaining as it is informative. Here's what Guillermo del Toro had to say about the book: ""Vivid and fascinating, Shock Value chronicles a period that feels both close and, sadly, remote. It is the fresco of a brave, uncompromising era in genre filmmaking. Mavericks, madmen, mutants and monsters populate this entirely relevant book."
August 12 - August 19
Wasn't There, Didn't Do That: If you've ever wished that you could have experienced New York's Lower East Side art scene in the 70s, or been in Paris in the 1920s, a new art project is giving you the chance to see what it might have been like. Here's some info on the You Weren't There project from indiegogo.com: "YOU WEREN’T THERE is a curated cabaret of film, music, literature, and performance that celebrates transitory moments of cultural brilliance. The event is neither a concert, nor a reading, nor a film festival but a multimedia séance that conjures up another time and another place. We are based in Los Angeles... Everyone dreams of living in another era: to dance with Edie Sedgwick as the Velvet Underground jams at Warhol’s Factory; to swing a sledgehammer against the crumbling façade of the Berlin Wall; to discuss existentialism with Camus over espresso at Les Deux Magots. Through art, entertainment, guerrilla theatrics, and a scholarly attention to detail, we re-imagine that moment."
August 5 - August 12
Movie I'd Like to See This Week: If you don't know who William Castle is, you should. He was one of the
great showmen of Hollywood, the man who made movies with names like
Homicidal, presented them them with gimmicks like Emergo and took out
life insurance policies on his audience members in case they died of
fright during his movie. They don't make 'em like Castle anymore, and a new documentary, Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story--currently doing the festival circuit--provides the inside scoop oin one of the most colorful producer / directors Hollywood ever produced. Here's some info from IMDB: "Chronicles the last great American showman, filmmaker William Castle, a master of ballyhoo who became a brand name in movie horror with his outrageous audience participation gimmicks."
July 29 - August 5
Tabloid of the Week: Think News of the Screws and the British had a corner on the tabloid press? Think again. Pulp International has rounded up the greatest tabloid covers and articles ever--past and present. With headlines like "I saw the Voodoo virgins" it's endlessly fascinating and fun reading. Here's a sample: "The topless star in question is Iranian-born burlesque dancer Yvonne d’Angers, aka Yvonne Boreta, and the reason she was being deported was for obscenity. D’Angers, who was also known by the nickname the Persian Lamb, had already been involved in a 1965 obscenity trial over the employment of topless waitresses by various San Francisco nightclubs and had gotten herself on the radar of political bluenoses scandalized by her act at the Off Broadway Club. When the deportation order came, d’Angers waged a very public battle against it and finally, in 1967, chained herself to the Golden Gate Bridge in protest. The press turned out in droves for the bizarre spectacle, and all the publicity made her nationally famous. At that point she was able to make the leap into motion pictures, appearing in 1968’s Sappho Darling, 1970’s Move with Elliot Gould, and the 1971 Russ Meyer flick The Seven Minutes."
July 22 - July 29
Superhero Movie of the Week: I know Captain America: The First Avenger opened this week, but I have my eye on another, more local masked crime fighter. It was announced this week that a movie based on Canada's greatest superhero, Captain Canuck, would be developed by Mind's Eye Entertainment. Here's some info from the press release: "The first issue of CAPTAIN CANUCK hit newsstands in May 1975. Thirty-six years later, the superhero franchise has garnered fans around the world. To date, more than 2 million copies have been sold and 26 different editions have been printed. IDW Publishing recently published two hard cover collections of the original issues that have since sold out."
July 15 - July 22
Movie Posters of the Week: Check out the website "Wrong Side of the Art! Horror, sci fi, exploitation, cult, trash, B-movie poster" to see an amazing collection of movie posters from around the world. There's a wide range of posters: biker, carsploitation,chanbara, lucha libre, bruceploitation, porn arody,nunsploitation, cyberpunk and every other genre you can think of. It's a spectacular collection presented on a simple and very user friendly site. Here's some info from the site: "Sorry – no popular and mainstream films here. Low-budget and cult stuff only. No Star Wars, no Kubrick, no Spielberg. Yes – Star Crash, yes Ed Cahn, yes Enzo G. Yes – Terminator 1, no – Terminator 2. No hardcore stills for vintage porn movies. Yes – occasional nudity."
July 8 - July 15
Movie Most Likely To Make Me Want to Go Back In Time: Blank City, a look back at New York City's late 70s punk rock and DIY filmmaking scenes. Here's some info from the Edinburgh International Film Festival: "Today, Manhattan is a byword for overpriced property, overexposed landmarks and overdressed fashionistas. In the late 70s, however, it was rat-infested, crime-crippled, cheap and nasty - somewhere for America to dump its immigrants, poor people and artists. Music, art, fashion and filmmaking burgeoned, fueled by drugs, dares, fads, feuds, and a fair helping of madness."
July 1 - July 8
Kubrick Tribute of the Week: No pictures, just remixed soundtracks! However Vast the Darkness, We Must Supply Our Own Light by 57 Splits is a collection of music and sounds from Kubrick's films artfully enhanced with new music and samples. Here's some info from the website! "However Vast the Darkness, We Must Supply Our Own Light is a concept album celebrating the work of film director, Stanley Kubrick. It was created entirely from cut and pasted samples from preexisting music and audio files. You can have this album for free. If you really like it, any amount of payment is welcome. But seriously, take it for free if you are broke."
June 24 - July 1
Best Artifact of the Week: Steve McQueen didn't just play a race car driver on the screen, in real life he was an avid fan of anything with two or four wheels. At left is is motorcycle licence, the coolest movie artifact of the week courtesy of the SUNfiltered blog and here is look at some custom designed bikes based on McQueen originals!
June 17 - June 24
Place to Be of the Week: David Lynch has designed the interior of a new Paris nightclub called Silencio (the name will sound familiar to fans of Mulholland Dr.) at 142, rue Montmartre, 75002. Here's some info from The Indepenedent: “The private members’ club is at 142 Rue Montmartre, not far from the Paris Stock Exchange. The upper floors of the building previously housed left-leaning newspaper L’Aurore, whose most famous front page featured Émile Zola’s rabble-rousing letter “J’accuse…” in 1898. The building is also currently home to Social Club – the city’s hottest nightspot, which has hosted DJ sets by the new wave of French disco and techno acts like Cassius, Justice and SebastiAn.” More photos here!
June 10 - June 17
Book of the Week: Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms by Shade Rupe. How could I resist a book Beyong Hollywood called "a true Necronomicon, a Black Bible of transgression and transcendence, of the Other and the Beyond"? Impossible to ignore and then impossible to put down once you start reading Dark Stars Rising is a compulsory read for anyone interested in the dark edges of culture. Here's some more info: “Images almost literally burst from the paper in a subliminal, psychedelic manner, spilling from the edges of the pages into your surroundings and into your brain – altering them so that after reading this book you can’t be the same person as before.” – Temple of Ghoul
June 3 - June 10
Book of the Week: Here's a book no less an authority than Clive Barker called Nightmare Movies by Kim Newman "thrice welcome. As a guide to the current movements in horror cinema, it is indispensable. As a work of analysis, it is insightful and incisive. And as a book of celebration, written by a man who takes a healthy pleasure in his subject, it is a joy." This new edition of the twenty year old classic is a must have for fans opf things that go bump in the night. Here's some more info from amazon.ca: "Newman negotiates his way through a vast back-catalogue of horror, charting the on-screen progress of our collective fears and bogeymen from the low budget slasher movies of the 60s, through to the slick releases of the 2000s, in a critical appraisal that doubles up as a genealogical study of contemporary horror and its forebears. Newman invokes the figures that fuel the ongoing demand for horror - the serial killer; the vampire; the werewolf; the zombie - and draws on his remarkable knowledge of the genre to give us a comprehensive overview of the modern myths that have shaped the imagination of multiple generations of cinema-goers."
May 27 - June 3
Book of the Week: Infamous Players: A tale of Movies, The Mob (and Sex) by Variety's Peter Bart. A lot has been written about the veracity of this book, but hey, memories fade over time and any book that mixes great stories with Hoillywood in the 1960s and 70s is OK by me. Here's some info on the book from amazon.ca: "For over five decades, first on the inside as a studio executive, and later as the longtime editor-in-chief of Variety, Peter Bart has viewed Hollywood from an incomparable vantage point. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn from Infamous Players are essential for anyone who loves movies."
May 20 - May 27
Pre-Order This Now!: It doesn't come out until next month but Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art looks like the coolest movie poster book of the season. Here's some info from amazon.ca: "The annual Crazy 4 Cult art show in LA has quickly become a phenomenon, with thousands of visitors, a million hits on its website on opening day, and high profile buyers including Kevin Smith and Edgar Wright.
May 13 - May 20
Movie Posters of the Week: From Western Amerykanski: Polish Poster Art & The Western comes a collection of twenty-one beautifully reproduced Polish movie posters for Amnewrican westerns. At left is the Polish poster for When the Legends Die, a 1972 movie starring Richard Widmark. Have a look at more posters here. Here is some more info on the book from amazon.ca: "This arcane work, published concurrently with a show at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, is a history of Polish-made film posters that advertised American Westerns during the Communist era. The Western genre and its iconography have resonated powerfully for moviegoers living under repressive governments, and since the silent era Polish audiences have flocked to American Westerns. The fact that the genre itself evolved into less heroic and idealized iterations during the Cold War sometimes played into the hands of the East's ideological goals. For Polish artists the Western film poster offered a chance to pursue aesthetic goals otherwise unattainable within the official canonic style."
May 06 - May 13
Shameless Plug of the Week: Episode two of Richard's new show In Short airs May 11, 2011 at 10 pm on Bravo! Read all about it here: In Short Wednesday May 11 on Bravo! at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT!
Apr. 29 - May 6
This Week's Truth in Advertising... Not! I love movie poster art whether or not I love the movie or even if the art makes sense. This week I came across a collection of classic posters revamped for foreign markets. Didn't know One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest featured zombies and the "Here's Johnny" scene from The Shining. Must have gone to the bathroom during those scenes... Here's more info from cracked.com! "Go to Eastern Europe, or Japan, and you'll find posters that have
absolutely nothing to do with the film, and everything to do with
melting a hole in your brain..."
Apr. 22 - Apr. 29
Ad of the Week!: The best ads work like like mini movies. Behold the stylish and sonic work of "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky and composer Clint Mansell. The duo--along with actor Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) and writers Ari Handel (The Fountain) and Mark Heyman (Black Swan, The Wrestler)--teamed up to create a new ad for the Yves Saint Laurent men’s fragrance La Nuit de L’Homme. Read more and see more here at trendland!
Apr. 15 - Apr. 22
Book of the Week: I know this has been out for a while and it has nothing to do with movies--alright, OK, Patti does go see Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones doc at the Ziegfeld near the end of the book, does that count?--but I have just scooped Just Kids by Patti Smith out of the slush pile and was really taken with it. It's a beautiful story about her life with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe beautifully written. Smith has a way with evocative prose and an eye for detail. More than that she captures the ephemeral feeling of what it is to be young, in love with a whole future stretching out in front of you. Read this book now. Here's info from the publisher:"In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work—from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry."
Apr. 8 - Apr. 1
Book of the Week: Zombies!: An Illustrated History of the Undead by Jovanka Vuckovic, Foreward by George Romero. Who doesn't love zombies? And nobody knows them better than former Rue Morgue editor Jovanka Vuckovic... except George A. Romero who writes the foreward! Here's some more info from amazon.ca: "When writer/director George A. Romero released his seminal cult classic movie, Night of the Living Dead, in 1968 he had little idea of the vast cultural impact it would have. Over the past 40 years zombie culture has steadily grown in popularity--until the legions of the undead have infected every aspect of pop cutlure from movies and novels to comic books, television, music, toys, and even fashion. What are they? Where did they come from? What do they want? Zombies!: An Illustrated History of the Undead celebrates the living’s enduring fascination with the ever popular undead. From its earliest cultural origins in African folklore and the Voodoo religion that emerged in Haiti through its colorful pedigree in cinema, right up to the contemporary mass zombie walks, their prevalence in New York Times bestselling fiction lists, and even the video game market. Zombies! examines and celebrates with fully illustrated text the many manners in which the undead have been portrayed since their inception."
Apr. 1 - Apr. 8
Website of the Week:The Movie Title Stills Collection.An incredible collection of screenshots from movie title sequences dating from the 1920s to present day.Created by web designer Christian Annyas the site is a treasure trove of some of the most beautiful artwork the movies have ever created. Here's what she says: "I've seen a lot of movies over the years. To prove I've sat through at least the first ten minutes of them I started making screenshots of the titles. Then my computer crashed and I almost lost them all. To save them for future generations I created this little website." Be sure to check out the Saul Bass tribute page!
Mar. 25 - Apr. 1
Book of the Week: Step Right Up!...I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Off America by William Castle. If you don't know who William Castle is, you should. He was one of the great showmen of Hollywood, the man who made movies with names like Homicidal, presented them them with gimmicks like Emergo and took out life insurance policies on his audience members in case they died of fright during his movie. They don't make 'em like Castle anymore, and while the book is likely 85% hooey, it's still a lot of fun. More info from amazon.ca: "From the heyday of the '50s B-movies through the disaster genre of the '70s, William Castle was an extraordinary movie mogul who produced such classic thrillers as Straight Jacket, Homicidal and Rosemary's Baby. Here are the outrageous memoirs of an American original whose life was every bit as outlandish as his movies."
Mar. 18 - Mar. 25
Book of the Week: An Improvised Life A Memoir by Alan Arkin. Anyone who is an actor or who has ever thought of becoming an actor should read this candid, fascinating book. Here's some info from amazon.ca: "Alan Arkin knew he was going to be an actor from the age of five: "Every film I saw, every play, every piece of music fed an unquenchable need to turn myself into something other than what I was."An Improvised Life is the Oscar winner's wise and unpretentious recollection of the process--artistic and personal--of becoming an actor, and a revealing look into the creative mind of one of the best practitioners on stage or screen. In a manner that is direct, down-to-earth, accessible, and articulate, Arkin reveals insights not only about himself (and his audience and students), but also truths for the rest of us about work, relationships, and sense of self."
Mar. 11 - Mar. 18
DVD of the Week Sharktopus. What's not to love? Put Roger Corman, Eric Roberts and Héctor Jiménez together and what do you get? Well... Shartopus, that's what. Now you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home! Here's some info: "An eight-tentacled nightmare hybrid of shark and octopus, “S-11” was created by genetic scientist Nathan Sands (Eric Roberts) as the U.S. Navy’s next super-weapon. But when its control implants are damaged during a training experiment off the Mexican coast, the beast escapes to Puerto Vallarta to sample the local fare — bikini babes, jet-skiers, and spring-breakers. With the ocean terror now out of control and seemingly invincible, a ragtag group – comprised of a hotshot mercenary, an investigative reporter, and Sand’s biomechanical engineer daughter – have come together to stop the unholy beast from turning a seaside tourist resort into the ultimate human buffet."
Mar. 4 - Mar. 11
Documentary of the Week: If you love movies you have to check out Machete Maidens Unleashed, a wild look at Filipino genre filmmaking. In Toronto it's playing at The Bloor Cinema, elsewhere, check your local listings! Here's some info from The Hollywood Reporter:
“Mark Hartley again turns trash into treasure with his new documentary,
a rowdy celebration of the exploitation-movie industry in the
Philippines during the 1970s and 80s. There's blood and gore and bare
breasts galore as Hartley lets loose a lurid cavalcade of clips from the
schlocky fringes of American moviemaking, interspersed with funny
behind-the-scenes anecdotes. (John Landis is particularly droll.) Such
gung-ho filmmakers as Roger Corman, Landis, Brian Trenchard-Smith and
Joe Dante began churning out fodder for the U.S. grindhouse circuit,
mostly horror, action and blaxploitation flicks. The images that
sprouted from this obscure corner of junk culture are simply
jaw-dropping, none more so than the sight of a 3-foot-tall Filipino
named Weng Weng jump-kicking enemy kneecaps in the James Bond spoof "For
Y'ur Height Only.””—Megan Lehman, Hollywood Reporter.
Feb. 25 - Mar. 4
Favorite Non-Soundtrack of the Week: A couple of years ago Duncan Jones directed a movie called Moon starring Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell, a Lunar Industries employee living
and working on a space station on a three year contract. “Three years is
a long haul,” he says, wearing a t-shirt that reads It’s Almost
Quittin’ Time. “It’s way, way, way too long. I’m ready to go home.” His
job is to tend to machines that are “harvesting solar energy from the
dark side of the moon” and providing almost 70% of earth with power. His
only companion is a robot / cup holder named Gerty (voiced by the
appropriately named Kevin Spacey) although he can receive taped messages
from his wife Tess (Dominique McElligott). The loneliness of the job is
broken, however, when he discovers that he may not be truly alone. I loved the movie and, apparently so did Max Tannone who has created a EP of music inspired by the movie. Read about it here. Hear it here!
Feb. 18 - Feb. 25
On-Line Legendary Interview of the Week: This is exciting. Every Hitchcock fans owns a copy of "Hitchcock" by Francois Truffaut. If you don't, order one here! Now you can hear the full interview courtesy of the folks at filmdetail.com. These revealing interviews were done at the master's Hollywood office in 1962 and published for the first time in 1967. Now you can hear, in Hitchcock's distinctive voice such bon mots as "If I were to make another picture in Australia today, I'd have a policeman hop into the pocket of a kangaroo and yell 'Follow that car!'" Listen to all twenty five interview segments here!
Feb. 11 - Feb. 18
Favorite Website of the Week: I'm no fan of Micheal Bay. He never met a building, plane, wharf or planet he didn't want to blow up and while his movies often look good, to me, they are the optical equivalent to white noise. I've been dismissive of him for years. I once wrote in a Bay review:"Visually Michael Bay’s films are spectacular feasts for the eyes. The former commercial director has a knack for making everything look shiny but having great taste doesn’t make a great film director any more than great taste makes a Snicker’s bar a gourmet meal." But having said all that the Michael Bayifier is pretty good fun.
Feb. 4 - Feb. 11
Movie About A Guy Who Should Be in Rehab Of the Week: Zonad From Space. What can I say? It made me laugh. A lot. Here's some info: "A story about an escaped convict who fools a whole Irish village into thinking he's a visitor from outer space. Zonad, a strange visitor comes to the town of Ballymoran, is taken in by the Cassidy family and accepted by the locals as an extraterrestrial. His comfortable existence is spoiled when Bonad arrives to replace him." Watch the trailer here!
Jan. 28 - Feb. 4
Movie Posters of the Week:Artist Sean Harrter creates "Alternate Universe" movie posters, reimagining classic (and not so classic) movies with new casts and poster art. the results are beautiful, hiliarious, occassionally more entertaining than the movies they are spoofing and, of course for sale for a mere $16 (click here for info!).
Jan. 21 - Jan. 28
Question of the Week: Way of the future of advertisement for iPhones? Old Boy’s Park Chan-wook (who won the Grand Prix at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2004 for the wild revenge flick) has made a 30 minute film using 8 iPhone4s. “These days, if you can afford to feed yourself, you can afford to make a film,” says the director. Watch the film's trailer here and decide for yourself. Is it art or a cell phone commercial?
Jan. 14 - Jan. 21
Correspondence of the Week: OK, it's not from this week, but it's pretty cool. From the website Letters of Note comes a reprint of a letter sent by Marlon Brando to Charlie Sheen. There's no mention of Las Vegas or hookers but there is a mention of sled dog urine. Here's a taste (not of sled dog urine but the letter itself): "I'm feeling like a very large turd on a very thin stick. I'm holed up in bed and taking everything from sled dog urine to powderde (sic) East Indian vulva — maybe won't work tomorrow if I feel the same...." Read the whole thing here! !
Jan. 7 - Jan. 14
Tastiest Beverage of the Week: I know, I know, everyone's New
Year resolution was to quit drinking in January but should you be
inclined to enjoy a tipple or two why not drink in style with Ron de
Jeremy rum, an exceptionally smooth 7-year old rum from Panama. Here's some info from the Huffington Post:
"It is created by another legend, a 72-year old Cuban Master Blender
Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez. Ron de Jeremy tastes perfect naked
with nothing added and works equally great as a mixer. It is the adult
rum." "The only thing missing," says Toronto Life, "is a play on 'coming soon.' For more info on the porn king's rum click here!
Dec. 31 - Jan. 7
According to movieweb.com, 648 movies were released in 2010. Richard couldn't get to see them all--laid out end-to-end that would take at least 972 hours or almost 41 days--but he did see most of them, and, has made his year end list of best and worst. In some ways 2010 was incredibly painful--we're thinking of you Brendan Fraser and your funny buisness is "Furry Vengeance"--while in other ways it was about as perfect as it gets--thanks Natalie Portman. Wading through the hundreds of titles to boil it down to a managable number, Richard has chosen the cream of the crop and the bottom of the barrel! Enjoy and have a Happy New Year.
Dec. 24 - Dec. 31
Christmas Treat of the Week: Boba Fett and Clone Trooper Star Wars Paper Snowflakes! There’s very few details on the website where I found these, but the designs are very cool. Here’s the info: "My wife is a genius. She made these little beauties while making paper snowflakes with the kids. She saw our son Ethan making one that somewhat looked like a Storm Trooper. She then ran with the idea and made these masterpieces. The top one is Boba Fett and a Clone Trooper. The bottom is obviously Darth Vader. Notice the nice touch with the Galactic Empire logo in the middle." Here are the instructions!
Dec. 17 - Dec. 24
Can't Wait to See This: Coming to Bravo on Saturday, January 1 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. is Hollywood Treasure, a show about "the intricate world of collecting showbiz and pop culture memorabilia." Here's some info from the press release: "Over
the course of each 30-minute episode, stories of Joe Maddalena ’s
amazing discoveries unfold as he tracks leads that send him to a variety
of unlikely places – from dusty basements and attics to encounters with
world-renowned celebrities to peruse through their personal keepsakes.
In this behind-the-scenes look at the path to the auction table, viewers
travel the globe with Joe and his crew to witness the lengths one man
will go to get a piece of Hollywood history."
Dec. 10 - Dec. 17
Favorite Painting of the Week: He's not just a pretty face, he can also paint pretty faces. Johnny Depp says of his paintings, "What I love to do is paint people's faces, y'know, their eyes. Because you want to find that emotion, see what's going on behind their eyes." Read and see more at the filmexperience blog!
Dec. 3 - Dec. 10
Book of the Week: He’s likely going to get nominated for an Oscar for his work in 127 Hours. If not, he’ll still be on the Oscar stage as host of the 83rd annual event. Either way he’ll be at the Academy Awards. He’s good looking and he’s able to write a line as cool as “I rode fast and the air on my face was like riding through cold ghosts.” He’s James Franco, and if he wasn’t so talented I’d find him annoying. His book, Palo Alto: Stories, is a collection of short stories about troubled teens. Here’s some info from amazon.ca: “Palo Alto is the debut of a surprising and powerful new literary voice. Written with an immediate sense of place--claustrophobic and ominous--James Franco's collection traces the lives of an extended group of teenagers as they experiment with vices of all kinds, struggle with their families and one another, and succumb to self-destructive, often heartless nihilism.” Read more here.
Nov. 26 - Dec. 3
Favorite Story of the Week: Tim Burton's Cadavre Exquis, an interactive story started by Burton on Twitter with the line “Stainboy, using his obvious expertise, was called in to investigate mysterious glowing goo on the gallery floor #BurtonStory.” The story is continued by contributors who tweet in the story line by line. Any person can add to the story by referencing the last visible sentence. This adventure in storytelling runs for two weeks, beginning November 22 and ending on December 6. To see the story go to http://burtonstory.com. See also: Tim Burton exhibition and retrospective opens on November 26, 2010 and runs until April 17, 2011 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Exhibition. Tickets on sale now.
Nov. 19 - Nov. 26
Favorite DVD of the Week: Billed as “the world's first street art disaster movie” Exit Through the Gift Shop effectively
documents how hype and a bit of nerve can be as important in the
creation of an artistic movement as the art itself. Graffiti artist Banksy, through
carefully placed talking head segments (although his face is obscured by
a black mask and hoodie) inserts some tantalizing insights into his
world. “The reaction to the art is the most important thing,” he says of
his street art, which, by its temporary nature is meant to provoke a
response above all else. “I used to encourage everyone to make art,” he
says later. “I don’t really do that so much anymore.” Is that a comment
on the sudden rush of artists claiming street art as their own, or on Thierry Guetta, a French videographer turned world famous artist or is it a joke, the punch line to Banksy’s 90 minute gag? You decide. One of the best movies of this or any year.
Nov. 12 - Nov. 19
DVD of the Week: They say nobody sets out to make a bad film but occasionally someone sets out to make a film about a bad film. Best Worst Movie is a documentary about the making of the Troll 2, a movie so awful it must be seen to be believed. Directed by Troll 2’s child star Michael Paul Stephenson it’s a wild ride that starts with the worst movie and its stars and walks us through how it became a cult classic. The New York Times called it "A touching and at times uncomfortable portrait of people making peace with an unwanted past," and the movie's website says, "Best Worst Movie is an affectionate and intoxicatingly fun tribute to the single greatest bad movie ever made and the people responsible for unleashing it on the world. The result is a hilarious and tender offbeat journey that pays homage to lovers of bad movies and the people who make them, while investigating a deeper story about the strange nature of celebrity, the catharsis of redemption and the humanity that exists in making even the worst movie ever made." Buy it here!
Nov. 5 - Nov. 12
Favorite Old School Pleasure of the Week: When I was a kid I used to love listening to old radio shows on Sunday nights on CHUM FM. After dark they had something called Theatre of the Mind, playing show like The Shadow until late at night. Great stuff. Now, thanks to our digital world radio drama is back, on-line. Check out Tales from Beyond the Pale, a new site that features a new radio drama every week. Featuring actors like Ron Perlman and Vincent D’Onofrio it's a new take on an old art form. Best of all? They're only $1.99 a download. Here's some info from USA Weekend: "Radio shows and horror have always had a ghoulishly good relationship. Alfred Hitchcock’s directorial efforts haunted the ears of listeners in the 1940s and ‘50s, Boris Karloff was a creeptastic staple on old-school shows, and who could ever forget Orson Welles’ infamous War of the Worlds broadcast on the night before Halloween 1938?..." Read the whole thing here.
Oct. 29 - Nov. 5
Most Anticipated Book of the Week: The Elephant to Hollywood by Michael Caine. The book isn't out yet but you can get a chance to hear excerpts from it in the master's voice here from Vanity Fair.com. Here are the details from amazon.ca: "It's been a long journey for Maurice Micklewhite - born with rickets in London's poverty-stricken Elephant & Castle - to the bright lights of Hollywood. Funny, warm, honest, Caine brings us his insider's view of Hollywood (where there's neither holly nor woods). He recalls the films, the legendary stars, the off-screen moments with a gift for story-telling only equaled by David Niven. Hollywood has been his home and his playground. But England is where his heart lies. And where he blames the French for the abundance of snails in his garden.A plaque now celebrates him at the Elephant in London. His hand print is one of only 200 since 1927 to decorate the hallowed pavement outside that mecca of Hollywood stars, Grauman's Chinese Theatre. A very British star, The Elephant to Hollywood is the remarkable full circle of Michael Caine's life."
Oct. 22 - Oct. 29
Book of the Week: If you can';t place the line "Only my friends can call me a little wop!" then maybe Sinatra: Hollywood His Way (by Timothy Knight) isn't for you. If, however, you know that Old Blue Eyes was voted one of the Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time by Entertainment Weekly, and want to learn more, than this book is for you. From amazon.ca: "Sinatra was much more than a music icon. He was also one of the most popular movie stars of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s—an Academy-Award winning actor with some sixty film credits to his name. Sinatra: Hollywood His Way is a complete, film by film exploration of this true Hollywood legend. His screen history is vividly brought to life through illuminating reviews, behind-the-scenes stories, and hundreds of rare color and black-and-white photographs, making this the ultimate guide to the films of Frank Sinatra and an essential in the library of any fan.
Oct. 15 - Oct. 22
Book of the Week: Her 35 Oscar nominations and 8 awards make her both the most honored costume designer and woman in Academy Award history to date but how much do you really know about Edith Head? Everybody remembers the severe hairstyle, dark glasses and everybody knows that the character Edna Mode in Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles was modeled on her but to get the whole picture check out Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer, a door stopper of a book devoted to her life and work. Here's some info from amazon.ca: "All About Eve. Funny Face. Sunset Blvd. Rear Window. Sabrina. A Place in the Sun. The Ten Commandments. Scores of iconic films of the last century had one thing in common: costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981). Never before has the account of Hollywood’s most influential designer been so thoroughly revealed—because never before have the Edith Head Archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences been tapped. This unprecedented access allows this book to be a one-of-a-kind survey, bringing together a spectacular collection of rare and never-before-seen sketches, costume test shots, behind-the- scenes photos, and ephemera."
Oct. 8 - Oct. 15
John Lennon Film Festival: The movie Nowhere Boy, a look at John Lennon’s relationships with his estranged mother and his Aunt Mimi, opens next weekend, but there is no shortage of John Lennon on film to have a look at as you celebrate what would have been his 70th birthday on October 9... Read more here!
Oct. 1 - Oct. 8
Magazine of the Week: Rue Morgue is always wicked, but this month they have outdone themselves with a full-on look at one of the greatest movies ever made--Psycho. In a feature titked We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes the Rue Morgue writers and special guests Wes Craven, assistant director Hilton Green, and authors Stephen Rebello and David Thomson have a look at Norman and his strange relationship with his mother. Plus they have a look at Bernard Herrmann’s score, a new documentary on the film, sequel spotlights, and more! AND If that wasn't enough Morguers also chat with William Peter Blatty on the legacy of The Exorcist (coming soon on Blu Ray!). The Rue Morgue #105 Special Edition 13th Anniversary Halloween Issue is also available in digital format here.
Sept. 24 - Oct. 1
Coolest Zombie Limb of the Week: From freakingaweso.me comes a cool poster of a zombie forearm made up of the names of 978 zombie movies, books and games. It's perfect for the George A. Romero fanatic on your Christmas list. From the website: 978 zombie movies, books and games. 1 ridiculously detailed poster. Freaking Aweso.me is proud to present its first poster: Zombies. Filled with 978 zombie movies, books, and video games, this insanely detailed visual ode to the undead will blow your mind (or eat your brains!). It'll blow your mind and eat your braaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiins!
Sept. 17 - Sept. 24
Interviews of the Week: Richard's YouTube Conversation all-access
TIFF interviews! Long form sit downs with some of the most interesting
people at the festival! Watch them here: Good Neighbours star Jay Baruchel / Indian superstar Aamir Khan /
Sept. 10 - Sept. 17
TIFF: Check back here for links, reviews, interviews and MORE
from TIFF! This year listen for my coverage on NewsTalk 1010, watch it
on Canada AM and tune into my special You Tube In Conversation series
and read me daily in Metro! Click here to see Richard chatting with the Cadillac TIFF Insider! Click here to read Richard's Midnight Madness picks! Bunraku! Fubar II! The Ward and more!
Sept. 3 - Sept. 10
TIFF: It's unavoidable, the Toronto International Film Festival
starts on Thursday and for the next ten days my time will not be my own.
Check back here for links, reviews, interviews and MORE from TIFF! This
year listen for my coverage on NewsTalk 1010, watch it on Canada AM
and tune into my special You Tube In Conversation series and read me
daily in Metro! Click here to see Richard chatting with the Cadillac TIFF Insider! Click here to read Richard's Midnight Madness picks! Bunraku! Fubar II! The Ward and more!
August 27 - Sept. 3
Strangest Obsession of the Week: Quicksand scenes in movies. Even though Carlton Cuse, one of the producers of Lost says "the best years of quicksand are in the past," there is an admittedly small, but rabid fan base out there for movies where giant puddles of oatmealy water slowly swallow people, places and things. Read this slate.com column all about it here! Read more about it here!
August 20 - August 27
Can’t Wait to See: Andre Ovredal's upcoming Troll Hunter. Not saure when it is going to be released but any (mock) documentary that sets out to prove that “the Norwegian government has been hiding the fact that they have a secret population of trolls - real, actual trolls - living on game preserves in the far north of the country, kept safe and secure and out of the public eye to prevent mass panic should people realize that these fairy tale creatures are real” sounds good to me. Read more here at twitchfilm.net and watch the trailer here.
August 13 - August 20
Favorite Website of the Week: Twisted Edge. William Shatner usually annoys me quite a bit but I have to admit his collection of The Best Bad Movie Lines Ever is pretty funny. His take on Shark Attack III – Megaladon? “This movie is so bad, I'm still shocked I wasn't in it.” What’s his favorite bad line he ever had to say? “What does God want with a starship?” from Star Trek IV: The Final Frontier.
August 6 - August 13
Favorite Website of the Week: woodyallen.com. There's nothing much on it and it is essentially just a marketing tool for the release of the audio book of his classic book of essays Without Feathers, (which if you haven't read, shame on you!). But simple though it may be it's worth a click to hear Woody reading lines like "As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree" -- probably because it's so hard to fugure out how to get the bark on." Listen to excerpts there or buy the whole thing here.
July 30 - August 6
What’s the Worst Thing That Ever Happened to You At a Movie Theatre? For me it was watching “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,” but for others it’s actually life threatening instead of just soul destroying. How about the guy who was shot for talking too loudly during a screening of Benjamin Button? Or the horrific “Shutter Island” meat thermometer incident? Read ranker.com’s list of The Top 10 Most Violent Movie Theatre Attacks here!
July 23 - July 30
Fun with Lego: The website Amusing Planet always features cool stuff, but their 26 movie posters recreated in Lego is really rather amazing. Enuff said, see it for yourself.
July 16 - July 23
Question of the Week: Why isn't this movie available on DVD?The Devils, Ken Russell's horror masterwork has been available on and off on video and DVD but the remastered print that has played at various film festivals in the last couple of years hasn't yet been made public except for a brief (like two or three day) stint on itunes. Any movie Leonard Maltin thinks is "not for the squeamish" is all right by me. For more on Ken Russell click here. Also! stay tuned for more details on Richard's upcoming Q&A with Ken Russell!
July 9 - July 16
American Movies, State by State: I'm a bit late on this (Happy Belated Independence Day USA!) but this is worth having a look at. It's a map of the States with an interesting choice of a movie to represent the state. Cool stuff courtesy of hollywood.com. Here's the info from the website: "In honor of Independence Day, we’ve gone a little patriotic -- you know, cinematically speaking. It wasn’t always easy (thanks, Utah!) and we didn’t always agree (thanks, New York!), but after much debate, we’ve picked each state’s best movie of all time. Wanna see what we chose as the greatest movie ever set in, say, Georgia (hint: It’s not The Last Song)? Just click on the state. Not everyone will agree, but that’s OK -- after all, what’s more American than arguing over national affairs?"
July 2 - July 9
Favorite iPad App of the Week: The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has its own iPad app, available free of charge at the iTunes Store or at the NFB’s download page at NFB.ca. Here’s some info from the press release: “One of the first Canadian film apps for the iPad, the NFB app allows users to enjoy over 1,000 NFB documentaries, animated shorts and trailers, streamed over Wi-Fi and 3G wireless networks. It includes a selection of films in 3-D and stunning high definition. Users will also be able to download and store a film for up to 48 hours, for off-line viewing. The app has the same features as the NFB’s iPhone app (which has been downloaded more than 235,000 times, with 821,000 film views) but has been optimized to take advantage of the inherent qualities of the iPad.”
June 25 - July 2
Book of the Week: Blade Runners Deer Hunters And Blowing The Bloody Doors Off by Michael Deeley. From amazon.ca: “One man links "The Deer Hunter", "Blade Runner", "The Italian Job", "Don't Look Now", "The Wicker Man" and "The Man Who Fell To Earth". Producer Michael Deeley, an urbane Englishman in Hollywood, had to fight wars to get these movies made, from defending the legendary sex scene of "Don't Look Now" from a disapproving Warren Beatty to seizing control of Convoy from a cocaine-ridden Sam Peckinpah. This is a no-holds-barred look at the true stories behind some of the greatest cult movies ever made.”
June 18 - June 25
Book of the Week: "Role Models" by John Waters. It’s supposed to be a compendium of pieces about the people who have influenced the filmmaker, but instead is actually a fascinating self portrait of an original thinker and free spirit. Here’s what amazon.ca says: “Here, from the incomparable John Waters, is a paean to the power of subversive inspiration that will delight, amuse, enrich—and happily horrify readers everywhere. Role Models is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities—some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road. From Esther Martin, owner of the scariest bar in Baltimore, to the playwright Tennessee Williams; from the atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair to the insane martyr Saint Catherine of Siena; from the English novelist Denton Welch to the timelessly appealing singer Johnny Mathis—these are the extreme figures who helped the author form his own brand of neurotic happiness. Role Models is a personal invitation into one of the most unique, perverse, and hilarious artistic minds of our time.”
Corporate Mascot of the Week: The giant Luxo Jr at Pixar Studios in Emerville, California! Luxo Jr. was the first film produced in 1986 by Pixar Animation Studios. Since then the small hopping desk lamp has become the company's mascot and has appeared in almost every Pixar production to date. The photo was taken from the foyer of the Pixar building looking on to their grounds.
June 11 - June 18
Cool Art of the Week: Classic horror fans check out Pennsylvania based artist Ray Santoleri's website. He makes extremely cool (and affordable!) sculptures of classic movie icons. The Karloff busts caught my eye, but fans of The Three Stooges and other movie and TV stars will also find much to like here. Pictured here is the third in the Karloff series. Here's some info on the bust from Santoleri's website: "The third in a series of five, 1/4 scale busts of Boris Karloff from the 1930s. Boris Karloff as himself, this solid resin bust stands 6" with the base. All 5 busts will be mounted on the same base. These are licensed thru Karloff Enterprises and sold only by me. Painted busts are signed and numbered by me and limited to 25." Buy them here!
June 4 - June 11
1960's Movie of the Week:The Tenth Victim, as chosen by Splice director Vincenzo Natali. "Marcello Mastroianni, Ursula Andress," he says. "An Italian film made in the 60s but way ahead of its time. I don’t think you’ve heard of it because I don’t think people understood what they were looking at when they aw this movie. How could they? It’s about a most dangerous kind of game, televised for the entire world, in which people kill each other. Marcello has to kill Ursula Andress and vice versa and it is a satirical comedy, absolutely brilliantly made. It’s filled with cool futuristic Italian architecture, design and furniture and so on… It’s really funny. I cannot recommend it enough but very obscure. Not many people know about it." To hear Natali's whole list of great sci fi movies listen in to Richard Crouse At the Movies on NewsTalk 1010 Saturday June 5 at noon and read about them in the Metro Weekender!
May 28 - June 4
CD of the Week: I’ve been listening to the remixed and refabulized Exile on Main Street nonstop since picking it up last week. I didn’t think it would be possible to take a classic album and make it even… well, more classicer (I know that’s not a word, but you get what I mean). It’s still gloriously muddy and the vocals are buried a little too deep into the mix, but Sweet Virginia, Shale Your Hips and all my other faves have never sounded better and the extra tracks, particularly Plundered My Soul and Title 5 made my Stones lovin’ heart beat a little faster every time I hear them. Can’t wait for the documentary Rolling Stones in Exile to drop at the end of June… it contains bits and pieces from Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues documentary that I’ve been waiting to see on something other than the ratty old VHS booitleg I have on my shelf.
May 21 - May 28
More Marion!: Lady Blue Shanghai, a new Dior short, this one directed by David Lynch and once again starring Marion Cotillard (in her third short for the company) is now on line. "They called me up and said, ‘Would you like to make a short film for the internet? You can do anything you want, you just need to show the handbag, the Pearl Tower and some old Shanghai,’” said Lynch. Read more about it here. Watch it here!
May 14 - May 21
Favorite Website of the Week: Biz Cards. Ever wondered what Indiana Jones's business card looked like? Now you can find out. From the Marcus Tee's site:
"I picked up a few of these at a Science Fiction Convention many years
ago. I have since made some of my own and it's grown into quite a
hobby. I decided I'd share them with others. And now you can too! You
can add your own TV, Movie, Science Fiction or Fantasy Business Cards here.
Design it in a graphics program and email the image of your creation to
me and I will post it here. No scanner ? No problem. Just send your card design on paper to me.
May 14 - May 21
Favorite Movie of the Week: The Trotsky. Most seventeen year olds are concerned with school, sports and finding a date for the prom. Not Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel). Convinced he is the reincarnation of revolutionary Leon Trotsky he tries to unionize the students of Montreal West High School. This Canadian commie comedy is chock full of funny lines and nice performances—Baruchel really impresses as the budding Bolshevik—and actor turned director Jacob Tierney shows a firm hand behind the camera.
May 7 - May 14
Coolest Festival of the Week: Hot Docs! North America's largest documentary festival runs for 11 days, April 29 to May 9, presenting over 170 films from more than 40 countries and welcoming hundreds of international filmmakers and industry delegates to Toronto. View our Online Schedule to buy tickets and find films. Tickets and passes may also be purchased in person at the Hot Docs documentary Box Office, or by phone at 416-637-5150. My picks? The Story of Furious Pete - Yes, it's occasionally gross (competative eating contests are not for prudes) but it's also inspiring.Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage - Rush was one of the first concerts I ever saw and while I haven't listened to them much recently I enjoyed this in depth look at their career. Also look for: Leave Them Laughing, A Drummer's Dream and The Socalled Movie.
April 23 - April 30
DVD pick of the Week: At Home By Myself… With You. Buy it here! Here's a cool story about the production company and some info on the film!: "Pocket Change Films (PCF) is a Canadian production company based in Toronto. Begun by screenwriter Ramona Barckert, director/screenwriter Kris Booth and actor/producer Andrea McCulloch, PCF produced their first feature film At Home By Myself… With You in November of 2008. The production budget for the film was raised by collecting other people’s pocket change; pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters. Those who gave larger contributions of $100 or more were granted a ‘Funded By’ Credit on the finished film. At Home By Myself… With You stars Genie-award winner Kristin Booth and had its world premiere at The Vancouver International Film Festival in October 2009."
April 16 - April 23
Book of the Week: Secret Lives Of Great Filmmakers: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the World’s Greatest Directors by Robert Schnakenberg. From amazon.ca: "On the heels of Secret Lives of Great Authors, Great Artists, and Great Composers comes Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers, an uncensored look at screen legends ranging from D. W. Griffith and Frank Capra to Martin Scorsese and the Coen Brothers. Readers will discover that Charlie Chaplin's corpse was stolen and held for a 400,000 ransom. Akira Kurosawa dreamed of making the ultimate Godzilla film. Alfred Hitchcock 'lost' his belly button during abdominal surgery and often shocked his leading ladies by flashing his curiously smooth tummy. David Lynch won't allow cooking in his home; the odor of heated food disturbs him. With outrageous anecdotes ranging from the weird to the bizarre, Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers is a hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the making of movies."
April 9 - April 16
Coolest Movie Gear of the Week: Winter is over, but Nightmare on Elm Street fans may want to invest in a new pair of gloves... they are the ultimate horror collectible, Nightmare Gloves. From their website: "The simulated muscle and bone, polished stainless steel blades carrying a more 'demonic' talon shape make the New Nightmare glove stand apart from the gloves used in previous films. In this frightening version, theweapon comes to life as part of ther anatomy..."
April 2 - April 9
DVD of the Week: The T.A.M.I. Show: From IMDB: “Filmed just eight months after The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The T.A.M.I. Show introduced rock n soul youth culture to America in the first concert movie of the rock era. One of the rarest and most sought-after performance films from its time, the 1964 concert event featured future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Supremes and many other American and British Invasion hitmakers in their prime. This legendary film has never been available on DVD and has not been seen in its entirety since it originally appeared in theaters in 1964. Mastered from a new High Definition transfer and uncut, this complete version features the Beach Boys performances that were removed following the films initial theatrical run. This is what music fans have been waiting for: the ultimate collectors edition of this long-unavailable landmark film.”
Mar. 26 - April 2
Favorite Promo of the Week: The Kick Ass posters in the Toronto subways! Here’s some info on the film: “Based on a wild indie comic of the same name by Mark Millar “Kick-Ass” tells a couple of intertwining stories. First up is Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a fanboy who creates a superhero alter ego called Kick-Ass as a way to boost his self esteem. In life he says his only superpower is being invisible to girls, but when he dons the suit he becomes… only marginally more super. His exploits, however, grab the attention of Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloë Moretz), a slightly psychotic father and daughter team of masked (and in Hit Girl’s case, wigged) avengers who admire Ass’s style and moxy. For the caped crusaders in “Kiss-Ass” all roads lead to drug lord Frank D'Amico (a suitably evil Mark Strong) a ruthless tough guy who is unafraid to go all medieval—his men even use a giant microwave as a torture device—on his enemies.”
Mar. 19 - Mar. 26
Favorite Website the Week: ChainsawChick.com. With the release of The Runaways this week I thought it would be fun to look into the whereabouts of the main players in the band. Guitarist Lita Ford still plays and also recently contributed her likeness and voice to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game, Brütal Legend. Drummer Sandy West died of lung cancer in October 2006. Everybody knows what Joan Jett is up to, but what of Cherie Currie, the singer of Cherry Bomb? Well, check out ChainsawChick.com to see her chainsaw art work. “I work in all kinds of wood,” she says, “Pine, Alder, Elm, Palm, Redwood and Ash. Some wood is kinder than others when it comes to carving, but if your chain is sharp, you can tackle just about anything.” For an update on producer Kim Fowley new project Pink Cement (“[It] will make you jump for joy and your life will be more enjoyable for the shared viewer experience that is PINK CEMENT,” he says.) click here
Mar. 12 - Mar. 19
Favorite Book the Week: The Girl In Alfred Hitchock's Shower by Robert Graysmith. From amazon.com: The New York Times bestselling author who investigated the Zodiac case now uncovers a real-life mystery of murder, body doubles, and obsession. Marli Renfro was a model who played a part in one of the most iconic scenes in American movies- as Janet Leigh's nude body double in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho-only to fade into obscurity, a footnote in Hollywood history. It wasn't until 1988 that Marli Renfro made news again-raped and murdered by a serial killer with a fetish for the classic Hitchcock shocker. But as Graysmith investigated Marli's story, a nagging doubt entered his mind. What if Marli was still alive? What if another woman had been murdered in her place? And if Marli was still alive, would he ever find her? The line between art and reality is blurred in this astonishing coda to one of the most memorable screen murders of all time, and to a real- life crime that one man was determined to solve.
Mar. 5 - Mar. 12
Favorite Person of the Week: Sarah Polley may not be thrilled that the google search “sarah polley” + “margarine” brings up hundreds of hits, but I admire the way she has stuck to her guns and taken her name off a short she directed that will be aired during the Oscars. “In December 2009,” she says, “I made a film to be aired during the Academy Awards that I believed was to promote the Heart and Stroke Foundation. When I agreed to make this film (The Heart), I was thrilled, as I was proud to be associated with the work of this incredible organization; however, I have since learned that my film is also being used to promote a product. Regretfully, I am forced to remove my name from the film and disassociate myself from it. I have never actively promoted any corporate brand, and cannot do so now.”
Feb. 26 - Mar. 5
Favorite Oscar Storage Stories: What do you do with your Oscar after you’ve won? If you are Russell Crowe (Best Actor, 2001, 'Gladiator') you keep it on your ranch in Australia to inspire the hens to lay larger eggs. If you’re Jamie Foxx (Best Actor, 2004, 'Ray') you give it to your manager because “people [were] stealing it and leaving me with an Oscar Mayer instead.” And if you’re Jimmy Stewart (Best Actor 1941, 'The Philadelphia Story') you give it to your father who will use it as a window display in family's hardware store for 25 years. For more Oscar storage stories click here.
Feb. 19 - Feb. 26
If I Was Going to Be in London Anytime Soon I'd Be At This: SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS presented by The Compton Cassey Gallery 17th - 20th February 2010. He may be best known for his iconic film career, but this enigmatic artist is also a talented composer and visual artist. Sir Anthony Hopkins, who considers himself a shy artist, paints every day in his Malibu studio. He produces a variety of works, which include acrylic and ink paintings, all of which have been described as surrealistic in nature as well as evocative and magnetic. He began painting in 2002 at the encouragement of his wife, Stella, after she found a collection of old scripts with his drawings on them. He has since exhibited throughout America. In this first exhibition in London will be ink drawings and acrylic paintings. The exhibition is intended to continue at other venues, the first being at The Dome in Edinburgh, immediately after London and then Wales. Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday: 11am - 6pm Saturday: 11am - 4pm, All enquiries to: Compton Cassey Gallery, Nr Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 4DE. Telephone: 01242 890 224.
Feb. 12 - Feb. 19
Movie Swag of the Week: District 9's Arc Generator and Gas Projector replica! Crafted by the same artists and designers who made the original props for the film, Weta's just launched the pre-orders for them. Here's some more info from ugo.com: The Gas Projector and the Arc Generator -- which is, coincidentally, our Weapon of the Day -- are made of glass fiber, and they come with a wall mounting bracket for display. They'll cost 710.22 in New Zealand dollars (which translates to $492 USD) each. Only 200 of each are available worldwide, and you can pre-order them at Weta's website.
Feb. 05 - Feb. 12
Website of the Week: Check out the Desk Space blog from
Evie Christie. It's a look at the work spaces of writers and poets.
It's my favorite this week because this week's blog is all about where
I write! Check it out here.
Jan. 29 - Feb. 5
Sundance Movie I'm Excited About (But Haven't Seen Yet): Splice. Its director Vincenzo Natali says "it’s not your daddy’s creature movie” and even star Sarah Polley calls it "morally indefensible." I can't wait. Here's what IMDB describes it: "Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical
boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing
together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named "Dren",
the creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a
beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with
both of her creators - only to have that bond turn deadly." According to The Toronto Star's Peter Howell, here's how one audience member described it: “Dude, that was the most f---ed up thing I’ve ever seen!” I've seen some f---ked up stuff so I'm curious.
Jan. 22 - Jan. 29
Favorite Song of the Week: Eyes of Mars by Marion Cotillard and Franz Ferdinand. The song, written and recorded to promote a perfume for the French label Dior, is insanely catchy and can be streamed here. Entertainment Weekly said: “…she works out the sort of breathy, ‘zut alors! I am far too sexy for pitch control’ coo that revered Gallic pop lizard Serge Gainsbourg coaxed from his own movie star muses in the ’60s and ’70s.”
Jan. 15 - Jan. 22
Favorite Hobby of the Week: A website called Everythying Is Terrible is trying to amass the world's largest collection of second hand Jerry Maguire VHS tapes. We all have to have a dream!Our goal is to have the largest private collection of Jerry Maguire VHS tapes in the history of mankind and we need your help,” read a recent post on the site. “Don’t let another orphaned Jerry sit forgotten in a cold, dark bargain bin.” Help them out by sending unwanted copies to the following address:
Jan. 8 - Jan. 15
2010 Movie Diet: The first resolution I break every January is my promise to eat better in the New Year. So far I’ve stuck to my guns but as every day passes temptation mounts. How can I resist bacon flavored popcorn? Or Star Trek waffles? My twin loves of pop culture and bacon will be the death of me…
Dec. 25 - Jan. 8
It's almost the New Year but before we and quaff too much champagne let's have one last look back at the year that was.
Dec. 18 - Dec. 25
My Favorite Phone Call of the Week: Apparently I have to get a haircut nor it's off to Bellevue for me! Hear the whole, uncut hair do rant here.
Dec. 11 - Dec. 18
Christmas Gift of the Week: From www. brandonbird.com comes the perfect gift for the Wild At Heart fan in your life. Here’s the info from the website: Introducing the Nicolas Cage Adventure Set! The magic and wonder of one of the most dynamic figures of the 21st century comes home in this incredible playset (one might even call it a Colorforms set, if "Colorforms" was not a registered trademark of the University Games Corporation). Reusable vinyl stickers cling like magic to glossy backdrops! Mix and match accessories! Peel and re-peel to create new scenes! The fate of Nicolas Cage is in your hands! Each set includes a double-sided 8.5 x 11 inch play background (depicting "tropical island" and "haunted castle" environments) and one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of nine vinyl cling stickers: 3 full-body Nicolas Cages, battle axe, skateboard, ice cream cone, scary ghost, parrot, and space helmet. Learn more here!
Dec. 4 - Dec. 11
Fund Raiser of the Week: Never mind messing around with government grants or running up your Amex Card to get a film made, the folks behind Color Me Obsessed have a different idea. They want your money! Depending on how much you donate you can either get an advance DVD of ther soon-to-be finished film or an executive producers credit. Here’s the scoop: “Color Me Obsessed is a crazed and crazy look at the only band that ever mattered, The Replacements. From director Gorman Bechard comes the potentially true story of the most influential, always drunk, self-destructive, and yet frighteningly brilliant rock band of all time as told through the eyes of their fans, followers, and fellow musicians. Love, hate, obsession, tears, vomit...it might not be the prettiest story ever told, but it certainly rocks. Click here for the details!
Nov. 27 - Dec. 4
Review of the Week: I don’t usually showcase other reviewers on my Pick of the Week spot, but this was too good to pass up: The M/C Review: Is it possible to hate a film more than 'Old Dogs'? By Drew McWeeny. You gotta love a review that starts with: “If "Old Dogs" were a person, I would stab it in the face.” Love it, that is, unless you’re Robin Williams or John Travolta. McWeeny continues: “To give you an idea how wretched the film is, if you take the worst Robin Williams film, multiply it by the worst John Travolta film, and then multiply that by ‘Wild Hogs,’ the last film from director Walt Becker, you would still end up with something better than this… If you truly hate your family and you're all trapped together this weekend, and you reeeeeally want to punish them and show them just how little you value their joy, then by all means, pile into the car and rush out to find a theater playing ‘Old Dogs.’” Read the whole thing here.
My New Favorite Tie:I love my Fantastic Mr. Fox tie. I
love that it is furry and fun. It's also a tie-in to the movie (I also
love a bad pun!) but I can't tell you why or how without giving away a
plot point, so go see the movie yourslef if you're interested. It's
great... Here's part of my review: "Wes Anderson’s mix of deliberately
old-school stop motion animation—you
can see the fur moving where the animators have touched the puppet
characters—gentle humor and action is unlike any other movie this year.
In its pacing and style it is decidedly old fashioned, a throw back to
the colorful Rankin and Bass animated Christmas specials, but without
the schmaltz. I doubt you’d find an existential line like, “Now he’s
just another dead rat in a dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant” in any
other vintage stop motion film for kids and it is that edge that sets
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” apart from the pap, like the recent “Astro Boy,”
that passes for kid flicks..." to read the rest click here. (My thanks to Kris Able for the photo!)
Nov. 20 - Nov. 27
Book: The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder by David Thomson.
This is a fascinating look at the classic film from one of the best
film writers out there. Thomson covers everything from how Hitchcock
managed to show a flushing toilet on screen (a cinematic first) to the
film's legacy in an economical 192 pages. Here's some info from amazon.ca: "It was made like a television movie, and completed in less than three
months. It killed off its star in forty minutes. There was no happy
ending. And it offered the most violent scene to date in American film,
punctuated by shrieking strings that seared the national consciousness.
Nothing like Psycho had existed before; the movie industry—even America itself—would never be the same. In The Moment of Psycho,
film critic David Thomson situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock’s career,
recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film
screens worldwide. Thomson shows that Psycho was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of our desires. Sex, violence, and horror took on new life. Psycho, all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a film—and, as Thomson brilliantly demonstrates, still does."
Nov. 13 - Nov. 20
Book: A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Seances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters by Angela Narth and Peter H Aykroyd. Forward by Dan Aykroyd. Here’s the blurb from amazon.ca: “Peter Aykroyd spent his childhood watching his family’s parlor séances through the crack of a basement door. Here, for the first time, Aykroyd tells the strange and delightful story that inspired his son, Dan, to make the mega-hit, Ghostbusters . Part history, part family legend, A History of Ghosts starts in 1848 in upstate New York, where the spiritualist craze first began. Aykroyd introduces the reader to notable mediums while telling the story of the development of spiritualism, interweaving a personal history marked by a fascination with ghosts and spirits with the larger narrative about the role the paranormal has played in our culture. Such legendary figures as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini appear and vanish. Everyone loves a good ghost story. Successful TV shows such as Medium and Ghost Hunters are proof that our national obsession with ghosts is here to stay. Millions of Americans believe in the paranormal—and even skeptics have heard a bump in the night and suspected it might be something supernatural.”
Nov. 6 - Nov. 13
Cool Eyewear of the Week… Besides My Own Of Course: Here’s what Vogue said about the new line of Albert Maysles face furniture: "Albert Maysles, whom Jean-Luc Godard has called “the best American cameraman,” is the sort of person you just love to love, not only because he’s given us such celebrated documentaries as Grey Gardens and Salesman but also because he has no shortage of style. The filmmaker’s signature look? A lit-from-within smile and trademark spectacles dating to the sixties, the latter of which are now offered at Barneys New York in collaboration with the eyewear label Barton Perreira. Designed in classic readers and sunglasses, the frames are flawlessly replicated: a moderated cat-eye topped with silver insets that glint like confetti—a perfect pairing with the sportswear spotted on recent runways (think Céline, Jil Sander, and Stella McCartney). “We saw everyone wearing glasses that looked like his. Instead of looking for the best glasses inspired by Albert Maysles, we thought, ‘Why not have the real authentic glasses?’ He is such an iconic, respected, and beloved figure,” says Judy Collinson, Barneys EVP of womenswear. And what does the 82-year-old (who credits Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim, and Yoko Ono as style influencers) think of this happenstance trendsetting? “It’s all with the eyes; the eyes have it. My mother always used to say, ‘There is good in everybody,’ and I look for that.” It’s this intuitive and graceful vision we admire so; may we all view the world in his frame. Exclusive to Barton Perreira for Barneys New York, Al Maysles Eyewear. Readers, $365; sunglasses, $350; $25 of each sale goes to the Maysles Institute; barneys.com."
October 31 - November 6
DVD of the Week: The William Castle Collection. Castle was behind many movies, some good, like Rosemary’s Baby, some not so good, like 13 Frightened Girls, but no matter what the movies are always fun. This box set collects his several of his “spooktacular” offerings, including the classic Vincent Price vehicles, The Tingler and House On Haunted Hill. As the story goes, Alfred Hitchcock was so taken with the amount of money Castle’s House On Haunted Hill had made in 1959, he made and released his own low-budget horror film, Psycho, the following year.
October 24 - October 31
Interview of the Week: Just in time for Halloween Cinematical has posted this rare one hour interview with Alfred Hitchcock conducted by the late, great Tom Synder. When asked what are you afraid of? He says: “Policemen. I never drive a car on the theory that if you don’t drive a car you can’t get a ticket.” He also talks about Cockney rhyming slang and much more. It’s great stuff. Here’s the lowdown from Cinematical’s Elisabeth Rappe:
Other Really Cool Thing of the Week: This press release came in from Alliance
Films: “Alliance Films is proud to confirm the "Solar System Premier"
of the animated comedy, Planet 51 which will be released in theatres
across Canada, Earth on November 20th. The film is currently orbiting
the planet on the International Space Station! The film was launched
into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on August 28, 2009, and
was transferred to the space station by the astronauts a few days
later. The film is now cruising high above Earth at 17,500 miles per
hour and orbiting the planet every 90 minutes, which is the exact
running time of the movie, so it will make a full Earth orbit as the
movie premieres on the ground. In a photo accompanying the
announcement, a disc of the film can be seen floating weightlessly in
space, observing Earth as it floats by a Space Station window. The
photo mimics a shot from the film, in which Lem, an alien from Planet
51, observes his home planet from the window of a spaceship for the
October 16 - October 23
Congratulations to...: My friends at Anchor Bay... Last
week, at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel –site of the first
Academy Awards® ceremony -- Anchor Bay Entertainment took home the
lion’s share of awards at the first-ever Grim Reaper Awards, honoring
the year’s best achievements in horror home entertainment. Anchor Bay
took home four “Grimmys” with the classic Hellraiser winning for Best
Remastering, the Hellraiser Box Set for Best Packaging, Laid To Rest
for Best Slasher Film and the “Grimmy’s” top honor – Best in Show for
the Hellraiser Box Set.
October 9 - October 16
Book: Bad Boy Drive: The Wild Lives and Fast Times of Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper, Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson
by Robert Sellers. Written by the same guy who did Hellraisers, a look
at the life and wild times Oliver Reed and Richard Harris, this one is
a tour through the high and low lights of Hollywood as seen through the
eyes of these four leading men. Is it all true? I don’t know, but it is
entertaining. “The best time to get married is noon,” says Warren
Beatty, “that way, if things don’t work out, you haven’t blown the
whole day.” Check it out here.
October 2 - October 9
Movie Map!: Check out this map from vodkaster blog.
Their contributor David posted a subway map using the 250 best movies,
as voted by IMDb.com users on June19, 2009, as the stops. “Hope you’ll
have fun traveling around this cinematographic subway plan,” he says,
adding, “How would you go from Alien to North by Northwest without crossing The Godfather: Part II?” Check it out here.
Sept. 25 - Oct. 2
Book of the Week: In Spite of Myself: A Memoir by Christopher
Plummer. Read this after I interviewed him at the most recent Toronto
International Film Festival. Wish I would have picked it up beforehand.
I would have asked him why he called Elia Kazan a chameleon who “might
change into you, wear your skin, steal your soul” or how exactly that
it is possible to have sex at a party with your leading lady while
conversing with her husband. Also I’d ask him to explain this passage:
“At an embarrassingly early age, I began to hit the sauce. Booze was a
national sport up north. It was essential! — (a) to keep you warm, (b)
to keep you from going mad, (c) to keep your madness going.” It’s a
great and surprising read from an actor who seems to have been around
forever, but is still doing interesting work. (To hear a snippet of my
conversation with Christopher Plummer click here.)
Sept. 18 - Sept. 25
Champagne for Charity!: Here's the press release from the Canadian Film Centre: Oscar-nominee
and Canadian Film Centre graduate, Sarah Polley, fittingly applies the
final signature to the extremely rare Moët & Chandon 12 Litre
Balthazar bottle, which will be auctioned in benefit of the CFC. The
bottle has become a one-of-a-kind piece of art, signed by cinema greats
that include Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, Sir Michael Caine, Tilda
Swinton, Emily Mortimer and Kristin Scott Thomas during TIFF. The
starting bid at the CFC gala for the 12 Litre will be set at $5,000
CDN. An additional 6 Litre bottle signed by Megan Fox and a 9 Litre
bottle signed by Robin Wright Penn, Keanu Reeves and Rebecca Miller
of ' The Private Lives of Pippa ' will also go up for auction. (Photo courtesy of the Central Image Agency)
Sept. 11 - Sept. 18
Richard's TIFF Picks!
Sept. 4 - Sept. 11
Good News of the Week: Dolphin activist Ric O'Barry has
worked tirelessly to stop the dolphin slaughter in Tajii, Japan. It now
seems like his efforts (and the momentum started by the film The Cove)
has had an effect. In a letter dated September 1, 2009 O'Barry wrote:
"Today is September 1st, the first day of the dolphin slaughter season
in Japan. But when I arrived today by bus from Kansai Airport with
media representatives from all over the world, the notorious Cove from
the movie was empty. There were no dolphin killers in sight..." Read the rest of the letter here.
From the 'Everybody Loves a Cocktail" File: Every year Skyy
Vodka creates drinks to honor the Canadians at the Toronto
International Film Festival. This year the three cocktails pay tribute
to Ellen Page, Lisa Ray and Sandra Oh. For the recipes click here.
August 28 - September 4
The Reason I read Hollywood Elesewhere:
Jeffrey Wells is one of the most unique voices currently writing about
movies on the net. He's contrarian, difficult and sometimes a bit loopy
but never less than wildly enjoable. Check out this recent blog post: "I've always felt on some level that my reactions to films are partly &
obviously my very own and partly a channelling of some...I don't know what to
call it but let's call it a kind of Movie God wisdom. I am a person with a
particular background and likes/dislikes, but I am also, I feel, a kind of
conduit of something bigger. You can't really write, I feel, if you don't open
yourself up to that "something greater and grander" out there (or "up there" or
"in there"). You have to let that force tell you what's right & true. It's
partly what you know and partly what is. So in a certain sense
I am an instrument of some sort of energy that's not entirely fed by what kind
of breakfast I've had in the morning. Go ahead & laugh, but that's how it
kinda feels. Glenn Gould said something like this once. He's playing the piano,
of course, but it's not just him. Something is also speaking or playing
through him. And that force knows (and has courteously let me
know) the true cosmic & celestial worth of Inglourious Basterds."
My Favorite Shameless Plug of the Week (for myself): Saturday Richard hosts two Q&As at the Fan Expo! At 1 pm he’ll host a Q&A for the hilarious new horror spoof Stan Helsing with stars Leslie Nielson, Diora Baird, Desi Lydic, Director Bo Zenga, and composer Ryan Shore at Festival of Fear and at 3 pm he’s with Dave Thomas in room 717. For more details click here!
August 21 - 28
My Favorite Pre-Movie Message of the Week: This is from an article called Shut up, already
by Jim Emerson: "The magnificent Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, TX,
has the right approach. Exhibitors: take it from here. Hire bouncers.
Big ones. (Photos by Mark G. Power, who is working on a movie called
"Sacred Cinema," about great places to watch movies all over the world.
It sounds fantastic.)" Also, for some claification on the finer points on theater etiquette here is an Examiner article on how to behave in a movie theatre by Mark Jones.
August 14 - 21
Three Days of Music and Peace: Forty years ago this weekend... The Woodstock Festival! From Wikipedia:
"The Woodstock Music & Art Fair (informally, Woodstock or The
Woodstock Festival) was a music festival, billed as "An Aquarian
Exposition", held at Max Yasgur's 600 acre (2.4 km²; 240 ha, 0.94 mi²)
dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York from August 15 to
August 18, 1969. Bethel, in Sullivan County, is 43 miles (69 km)
southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York, in adjoining Ulster
County. Thirty-two acts performed during the sometimes rainy weekend in
front of nearly half a million concertgoers. It is widely regarded as
one of the greatest moments in popular music history and was listed on
Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll."
Watch Richard's Canada AM interview with Santana singer Greg Rolie (pictured) here.
August 7 - August 14
Best News of the Week: Disney has fired Ben Lyons and Ben
Mankiewicz the terrible hosts of At the Movies. I'll never gloat when
someone loses a job (and they are both still employed elsewhere), but
these guys were bad for film criticism. According to the Chicago Tribune,
“Gone are Ben Lyons of E! Entertainment Television and Ben Mankiewicz
of Turner Classic Movies, the cable hosts Disney chose last summer to
front what it called "the next generation of the series," in favor of a
return to dueling newspaper film critics, Michael Phillips of the
Chicago Tribune and A.O. Scott of the New York Times.” The show will
probably never regain what it had with hosts Roger Ebert and Gene
Siskel, but at least cutting the two Bens loose will allow a return for
some real film criticism on the show. On a related note, here is an
excellent essay by Roger Ebert on the state of film criticism on television.
July 31 - August 7
Quote of the Week: “I respect criticism but I know more about film than most of the people writing about me. Not only that, I’m a better writer than most of the people writing about me. And I can write film criticism better than most of the people writing about me.” – Quentin Tarantino, GQ, August 2009
July 24 - July 31
Michael Jackson Tribute of the Week: There have been thousands, if not millions of Michael Jackson tributes in the weeks since he died, but Eternal Moonwalk
has to be the most hypnotically dance trance inducing. It’s unique and
completely international just like the star it honors. On the other end
of the tribute scale is this site, featuring 16 Bad Michael Jackson Tattoos. My favorite is number 7.
July 17 - July 24
Wine of the Week: 2006 Newman's Own Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s
$17.95 better than Thunderbird and all the profits and royalties after
taxes are donated to charity. Over twenty-five years ago, Newman
started selling salad dressing in old wine bottles. "We have come full
circle," Newman said in 2008. "We are back to wine bottles but this
time we are filling them with a wine that will complement my salad
dressing and pasta sauce."
And now, a drink for after 5 pm: I wish Dan Aykroyd would spend more time on the script for Ghostbusters 3
and less on extracurricular activities, but I do like a shot of vodka
and this is the coolest bottle to come around since Black Death Vodka. Here's the write up from hitimewine.net:
"This "Pure Spirit", vodka triple filtered through polished crystals
known as Herkimer diamonds, free of additives, is exquisite any time of
the year but perhaps ideal for October... Brought to us by Dan Aykroyd,
known for his fascination with the invisible world, Crystal Head Vodka
ties in with the story of the 13 Crystal Heads that have been unearthed
at various times on our planet... from the Yucatan to Tibet. The Heads
are believed to emit positive energy, good will and prosperity. Crystal
Head Vodka is perfect as a lone shot, chilled or served in signature
cocktails..." and here's Aykroyd's carzy instructional video!
July 10 - July 17
Flash Drive of the Week!: From the press release of Know Your Mushrooms:
In celebration of the highly-anticipated release of Ron Mann’s latest
film Know Your Mushrooms, comes a Limited Special Edition Collector’s
Box. For the first time in North America, a feature film is being
released on a 4-gigabyte re-usable Mimobot(R) USB flash drive! Ron Mann
has always been on the cutting edge of film distribution. He worked
with the Voyager Company, which pioneered CD-ROM production in the
1980s and early 1990s, and published The Criterion Collection, a
pioneering home video collection of classic and important contemporary
films. As digital technology began to revolutionize the film
distribution model, Mann’s seminal documentary Poetry in Motion was one
of the first films to be digitized with Quicktime. “We fight piracy
every day,” says Mann. “So we figured, why not cut out the middle-man
(DVDs) and give the media-pirates exactly what they want? A movie as a
digital download. DVD and Blu-Ray are simply optical disc storage. So
why not use a Mimobot(R) flash drive? It’s more compact and you can
re-use the stick after you transfer the film to a hard drive device.”In
a revolutionary move, Mann and his independent distribution company
Filmswelike are releasing Know Your Mushrooms on commercial DVD as well
as a Special Edition Collector’s Box.
Trailer of the Week: Diablo Cody gets on my nerves a bit, but she can write a good line. Check out this red band trailer for Jennifer’s Body.
Here's some info: "The film follows Jennifer (Megan Fox), a mean-girl
cheerleader possessed by a demon who begins feeding off the boys in a
Minnesota farming town. It is then up to her "plain Jane" best friend
Needy (Amanda Seyfried) to kill Jennifer, escape from a correctional
facility and go after lead singer Nikolai (Adam Brody) and his
Satan-worshiping rock band responsible for the transformation."
July 3 – July 10
Most Fun I Had This Week: Checking out Toxic Avenger: the Musical at The New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, NYC). Here's some Wikipedia info:
Melvin Ferd the Third lives in Tromaville, Exit 13B on the New Jersey
Turnpike. He likes Sarah, the blind librarian, and learns from her
about the "Good Earth Company" that pollutes the town in collusion with
its mayor who also happens to be linked to the company. His attempt to
clean up gets foiled by the mayor's minions who dump him into a vat of
radioacive waste; he reemerges as "the Toxic Avenger" who with
supernatural strength starts to attack the polluters and rips them
apart. Meanwhile, Sarah who is unable to discern his gowlish appearance
takes a liking to "Toxie". Events come to a head when the mayor tries
to kill him by throwing bleach at him. The scheme misfires, Sarah and
Toxie get married, and on year later, Toxie becomes governor of a
cleaned-up State of New Jersey. The New York premiere opened at New
World Stages, 340 West 50th Street in Manhattan, 1/2 block from Wicked
(another green show)on April 6, 2009. The New York Times called the
production "Exuberantly Silly", "Hilariously Funny" - NY POST, "Four
Stars! A rock and roll romp!" - Time Out Magazine. My favorite review headline: "Toxic Avenger: The Musical Is A Spine-Ripping Good Time..." See the show and you'll know why that's funny.
Video: Liquid Generation’s 100 Movie
Lines in 200 Seconds. Despite some obvious misses—where “Attica!
Attica!” and “May the force be with you”—this is still a pretty cool
trip down movie memory lane.
At the Gallery: A new show of paintings in Palm Springs features
likenesses of b-movie babe Tura Satana and other Russ Meyer faves.
Called Pussycats, Dolls & Vixens: A Tribute to Russ Meyer you can
check it out at the M Modern Gallery (2500 North Palm Canyon Drive in Pal Springs). Here's what Tura said: "Here is the link
for the art show that took place last night in Palm Springs. I am truly
awed by the paintings and the art work that all of these wonderful
artists have rendered of not only myself but of all the Russ Meyer
ladies. Thank you so much for the honor of being either your model or
your inspiration." (picture at left: "Faster Pussy" - by Dale Sizer - 24" x 18" - Acrylic on Metal Flake Vinyl - $ 1,650)
Best Mini Site(s) of the Week: Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures both have new and fun mini-sites for to shill for their big May releases. On Trek Yourself you can transform an old j-peg of yourself from last year's office party into a talking 3D Vulcan, Romulan, Captain or Red Shirt Officer avatar. It's the same idea over on Terminate Yourself, but here you can add battle scars to revealing your hidden T-800 endoskeleton.
Favorite Photo of the Week: This picture speaks a thousand woprds. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...
Richard's Picks (long weekend edition)