9/2/14

Kevin Smith Hearts Canada!



Ah, the ol' "Eh-2-Zed," where every self-respecting Canadian does their shopping. 

To be completely honest, this post waxing poetic about how much Kevin Smith loves Canada was initially just going to be every episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation that Smith appeared in. Because, as we see it, you've gotta have a huge (and loving, always loving) hard-on for Canada to appear in five episodes and one TV movie of Degrassi: TNG. (What, you've never been on Degrassi before? Hmpf. Must not love Canada that much then...heathen.)

Except, gasp, there aren't even any clips of these episodes online. What sort of travesty is this?! We demand justice! Also, some chocolate bars because demanding justice has made us hungry and lowered our blood sugar! We'll have to settle for this still instead:

"I love Canada more than you, Paige. Deal."

In case you're a little lost: Kevin Smith is not Canadian. He is from New Jersey. But he loves Canada and might as well be a Canadian and why haven't we made that happen yet? Not only has he professed and solidified his love for quality Canadian youth programming, but there's this video on YouTube of him playing hockey (the second greatest Canadian past time, with the first being eating poutine and simultaneously listening to Celine Dion) and he's got at least one annoying "that time Air Canada effed me over" story. (Um, guys, we're pretty sure by now he's more Canadian than most of us.) But it doesn't stop there! Have you seen that time he was on Epic Meal Time?!


Smith has definitely fulfilled the necessary amount of times one must say "beaver" to be considered Canadian. Stephen Harper, put down the kitten and hand that man a Canadian Passport, pronto. 

Even more exciting than beaver-talk, Tusk takes place in Bifrost, Manitoba and that's real love right there. As the inspiration for the movie initially came from England, Smith could've picked almost anywhere to set his creeptastic story of a man and his walrus but he chose Canada. Maybe you're all, "Well, Canada IS the last place I would want to die," and we see your point and raise you this, kind sir: If that were the case, why is Canadian Treasure Kevin Smith considering Tusk the first part of his "True North Trilogy," a series of films steeped in Canadian culture and myth?! Boom. Mic drop. 

The second film in the series, Yoga Hosers stars his and Johnny Depp's daughters (what! what! dying!) as two yoga-loving girls who work at the Eh-2-Zed convenience store and end up fighting for their lives against an evil force so they can get to a sweet party. That might be the craziest sentence we've ever written on this blog, but it's all true. (Just scroll back up to the header image of this blog post if you're doubting us.)

Okay, okay, we know you're getting overwhelmed with all of this Canada talk, but we'll leave you with one last little tidbit: Another project that Canadian Treasure Kevin Smith is working on right now is a TV comedy, called Prons, about a porn star who retires from the biz to his hometown of Brandford, Ontario and Smith also hopes to film it on location as well

Bless you, Kevin Smith. Bless you. 




TUSK screening times:
Saturday, Sept 6th 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sunday, Sept 7th 9:45 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Friday, Sept 12th 3:45 PM, SCOTIABANK 1

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS: Sundance Buzz!

The funniest movie of the year: brought to you by these incredibly cool dudes. 

We're not sure if we even need to get you guys more excited about the Canadian Premiere of What We Do in the Shadows but we're gonna do it anyway. If you feel your levels of excitement reaching dangerous levels, have a pudding break. You earned it.

What We Do in the Shadows premiered at Sundance this past January and it's pretty safe to say that everybody loved it. The vampire flick screened to packed houses and the Q&As that followed were almost funnier than the movie.

Drew McWeeny of HitFix described the film as having "brutally silly majesty" (Uh, can we steal that for our Twitter bio?) and went on say:
Of all the horror-comedies I've seen here this year (and it's been a pretty solid crop overall), "What We Do In The Shadows" is easily the funniest, and it's because of how completely they engage with their subject matter. This isn't just a "Scary Movie" style regurgitation of images or scenes from other movies. This is a deep excavation of archetype, and in scene after scene, they find smart, character-driven ways to build extended riffs on both the mundane annoyances of modern life and the various ways we've approached vampires over the years.
Hilarious AND with a high-five to actual vampire lore? We're just glad to hear they won't be sparkly. Phew.

Ryland Aldrich of Twitch Film adds:
...this mockumentary showcases the talent of some of New Zealand's most hilarious comedians and is sure to have you laughing until you bleed.

What?! We love laughing until we bleed! Everybody, we'll just call in sick to work the next day, alright? Good plan, good plan. And, check out this intimate fireside chat where the filmmakers and cast muse about who actually are the vampires (we're looking at you, Hollywood) and explain how one edits a film.





We're hoping you can handle a litttllleeee bit more excitement because to end off this delicious, tasty post, we've put together some of our favourite tweets from during Sundance. Below that you'll find all the screening information so that you can join us and hopefully laugh yourself right to the hospital for internal bleeding. If you're on the ol' Twitter, follow the film's account for even more tasty updates: @DeliciousNecks






What We Do in the Shadows is screening at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Midnight Madness Programme. Check out more Midnight Madness films on the official Festival website!

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS screening times:

Friday, Sept 12th 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Saturday, Sept 15th 9:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 12
Sunday, Sept 14th 3:45 PM, SCOTIABANK 3

IT FOLLOWS: Sex + Ghosts + Hauntings

Don't worry; if you have Colon Ghost we'll figure it out together!
 It Follows, screening at the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness programme, is about that awkward moment when you realize your date gave you a sexually transmitted ghost haunting. In The Shining, Jack Torrance made out with that rotted thing in the bathroom only to find out it was actually en evil spirit, and there was that scene in Ghostbusters where the ghost gives Stantz a blowjob, but I'm not sure that there's ever been anything quite like It Follows.
Wait! Come back! I don't know how to love!
That doesn't mean It Follows doesn't draw on a rich legacy of spectrophilia, which, according to Wikipedia is in part, "the phenomenon of sexual encounters between ghosts and humans." You doubt that's a thing? Well, the Travel Channel says otherwise in their discussion of Gilgamesh and the legends of the incubus and succubus (and we always trust the Travel Channel about these sorts of things). Yeah, you know, the incubus and the succubus! Also known as "that movie in Esperanto with William Shatner" and "that TV show with Anna Silk on Showcase."

Lost Girl: Gimme that chi, baby.
According to Haunted America Tours, one is especially vulnerable to sexual hauntings after one has seen a supernatural event. The site advises that there are dangers such as:

- The fear that a ghost my try to possess you at the moment of climax
- Anxiety about a ghost entering your womb or (if you are a man) anus
- Fear of getting pregnant and having the ghost possess your unborn baby
- In men, the fear that they may have brought home a ghost that might haunt their anus, or infect their partner
- Colon ghost
- The feeling that the ghost has followed you home and is watching you!

Listverse has also handily provided a rundown of the "Top Ten Sex Demons" that may pose a problem in our love lives. There's the Popobawa, a "large, bat-like creature with one eye and a very large penis" as well as the Alp, which is similar to an incubus or succubus, but more elf-like.
The one-eyed, horny flying sex demon.
Such helpful information can be found on the Interent! Thank you, Haunted America Tours and Listverse; if only Jay from It Follows had read these articles beforehand. Don't make that same mistake. Keep these guidelines in mind before you watch the movie.

IT FOLLOWS screening times:
Sun., Sept. 7th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Tue., Sept. 9th, 4:00 PM, SCOTIABANK 9

9/1/14

ELECTRIC BOOGALOO Poster and Top 5 So-Bad-They're-Good Cannon Films

Like the poster for Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films says: 52 Movies A Year Just Wasn't Enough. Cannon was clearly going with quantity over quality. When you're putting that much celluloid out there you're bound to make some that are so bad they're good. With that in mind here's my list of the 5 of best so bad they're good Cannon films.
That's right people, Lou Ferrigno didn't just play The Incredible Hulk!
#5 Hercules: I hate picking on Lou Ferrigno because he seems like such a likable guy. All I'll say is that it's a good thing that The Incredible Hulk TV show never needed Ferrigno to flex his acting muscles... Just watch a few minutes of Hercules and you'll see why.

The Siege, The Ordeal, and The Rescue also refer to the audience's feelings at the beginning, middle, and end of the film.
#4 The Delta Force: Before becoming the subject a an internet meme Chuck Norris was one of Cannon's go to guys, starring in a series of Missing in Action films, Invasion USA, and the Delta Force trilogy (just to name a few). The original Delta Force lands on this list thanks to its comically over the top patriotism, distinctly 80's synth heavy score, and some jaw droppingly bad casting. I love Robert Forster, but just giving him a tan and a bad Freddie Mercury mustache doesn't make him a credible Arab terrorist.
Just think of it as a prequel to JCVD
#3 Bloodsport:

1) Choreograph some killer fights utilizing martial arts from all over the world.
2) Have Jean-Claude Van Damme do a split.
3) Tie it together with a shoestring plot about an underground MMA competition or something. Voila, you've got a movie!

What hero doesn't look 100% better with a mullet?
#2 Masters of the Universe: Dolph Lundgren as a mullett sporting He-man battling Skeletor on Earth (not Eternia) with a pre-Friends Courtney Cox along for the ride. What's not to love?
That nuclear warhead shouldn't damage too much when it comes crashing back to Earth
#1 Superman 4: The Quest for Peace:  Making a half way decent Superman movie is hard enough, but doing it with a budget that seems to be entirely made up entirely of change found in people's couch cushions? Forget it. Test audiences found it so bad that the producers cut over 45 minutes from the final film. Between the visible wires used to make Christopher Reeve "fly" and the deadpan delivery of comically bad dialogue you can't help but laugh at this cinematic monstrosity.

So, you want the back story behind some of these films? Then come check out Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films at Midnight Madness!

 ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS Screening times.
Mon., Sept. 8th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Wed., Sept. 10th, 9:00 AM, BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Sun., Sept. 14th, 12:45 PM, SCOTIABANK 11

INTERVIEW: BIG GAME Director Jalmari Helander Talks About Big Adventure and "President" Samuel L. Jackson


Big Game is director Jalmari Helander's second film. His first feature film Rare Exports received world wide attention--and for good reason. It was a very original horror film set around classic Finnish Santa Claus mythology. When Mr. Helander was asked in an interview if he was pretty set on ruining Christmas for a generation of children, this was his response, "Actually, I’m not because…people from America have ruined Christmas for the Finnish people. I’m just taking it back…we also have this old Santa Claus legend and it’s much more interesting than the American one."

This quote is just a small insight into the mind of new storyteller who is very avant-garde,  authentic and not afraid to take risks. Here is my interview with Mr. Helander.--Robert A. Mitchell.

I have seen Big Game described as Home Alone meets Rambo? What drew you to the action adventure genre? What inspired you to fuse that genre with sensibilities from films such as Home Alone?
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A BIG FAN OF ACTION AND ADVENTURE. I FEEL THAT I SHOULD INVITE THE AUDIENCE TO SEE SOMETHING THEY CAN'T SEE IN THE EVERYDAY WORLD. SOMETHING THAT THEY COULD EXPERIENCE AN ADVENTURE. THAT'S WHAT I THINK MOVIES ARE FOR. AND FROM THE VERY BEGINNING I FELT, THAT IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO DO ACTION FILM WITH SOME HEART IN IT. 
Onni Tommila acted in your first feature Rare Exports. Did you write this film with him in mind to play Oskari the boy who helps outwit the terrorists with the President of the United States? How has he matured as an actor? 
WHEN PETRI AND I DECIDED TO GO WITH A YOUNG BOY IN A SCRIPT IT WAS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT BOY WOULD BE ONNI. I ALWAYS LIKE TO THINK THAT I AM REWRITING MY OWN CHILDHOOD IN A WAY. I HAD FEW CONCERNS OF COURSE WITH ONNI AND THE BIGGEST ONE WAS COULD HE ACT SO WELL WITH FOREIGN LANGUAGE. WE DID FEW TESTS AND WE WERE HAPPY TO SEE THAT HE ACTUALLY CAN ACT IN ENGLISH VERY WELL! THERE'S BEEN QUITE A LOT CHANGES OF HOW ONNI ACTS COMPARED TO RARE EXPORTS. IN RARE HE DID NOT HAVE SO BIG RANGE OF FEELINGS HE COULD DO. HE WAS SO YOUNG! BUT NOW, I COULD ASK HIM ALMOST ANYTHING!!! I LOVE THAT LITTLE MAN!
Speaking of the President I for one cannot wait to see Samuel L. Jackson in this role. What did Mr. Jackson tell you when he first read the script?
I ACTUALLY DID NOT SPEAK WITH HIM ABOUT THAT. I HEARD HE REALLY LIKED THE SCRIPT AND I WAS VERY HAPPY ABOUT THAT. FIRST QUESTION HE HAD FOR ME WAS HOW I SEE THE PRESIDENT. IN WHAT STAGE HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAREER HE IS OR WHAT IS HIS POLITICAL STAND. I HAD TO EXPLAIN THAT I REALLY DON'T KNOW. THIS FILM IS NOT ABOUT PRESIDENT OR HIS POLITICAL VIEWS. IT'S ABOUT A MAN WHO IS THE MOST POWERFUL MAN ON THIS PLANET BECAUSE HE IS THE PRESIDENT. THEN YOU TAKE THAT AWAY AND HE'S JUST A MAN WITH A SUIT AND TIE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE AND HE HAS TO SURVIVE THAT SITUATION WITH THE HELP OF 13 YEAR OLD BOY.
Some of the stills I have seen from the movie showcase a beautiful and rugged landscape. Can you tell me where you shot the picture and what kind of conditions you, your cast and crew endured while filming? 
WE SHOT THE FILM IN GERMANY. THE STUDIO WAS IN MUNICH BUT ALMOST ALL THE LOCATIONS WERE IN THE ALPS IN THE VERY SOUTH PART OF GERMANY. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED (or did it begin after seeing Cliffhanger?) BIG MOUNTAINS, CLIFFS AND LARGE LANDSCAPES. BUT WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING LIKE THAT YOU HAVE THE ACCEPT THE TERMS. THOSE PLACES ARE HARD TO GET, IT'S A BIG SHOW JUST TO GET EVERYONE TO THE LOCATION EVERY MORNING AND THE WEATHER CAN CHANGE IN A MINUTE. WHEN IT'S CLOUDY YOU ACTUALLY CAN'T SEE OR FILM ANYTHING. IT WAS OUR THIRD SHOOTING DAY WHEN I GOT OUTSIDE IN THE MORNING AND SAW THE MOUNTAINS FROM MY BALCONY. I WAS TERRIFIED AND CHOCKED: THE MOUNTAINS WERE COVERED WITH SNOW!!! IT WAS NOT AN EASY MORNING BUT IN THE END WE SOLVED THE PROBLEM. AND LUCKILY THE WEATHER CAN CHANGE FROM BAD WEATHER TO GOOD AS QUICKLY IT DOES ANOTHER WAY AROUND.
What did you learn from making Rare Exports and how did you apply that knowledge and grow as a storyteller in your second feature film?
WELL, I ACTUALLY MADE MYSELF SOME NOTES AFTER RARE EXPORTS. FOR EXAMPLE THAT IF SOMETHING DOES BOTHER YOU IN A SCRIPT IT MOST DEFINITELY WILL BOTHER YOU WHEN YOU ARE SHOOTING. AND IT WILL BOTHER YOU IN THE EDIT AND IN THE PREMIERE. THE PROBLEMS ALMOST EVER WON'T BE SOLVED ON A SET. PROBLEMS SHOULD BE SOLVED WHEN WRITING A SCRIPT. AND NOW AFTER BIG GAME I HAVE ALSO LEARNED A LOT OF NEW STUFF. CAN'T WAIT TO BE FILMING THE THIRD ONE!!!
What waits audiences who sign on for the adventure that waits in Big Game?
LIKE I SAID BEFORE I AM TRYING TO SHOW AMAZING THINGS TO THE AUDIENCE. TO TAKE THEM INTO AN ADVENTURE. MY GOAL IS TO HAVE LOTS OF PEOPLE WALKING OUT OF THE CINEMA WITH A BIG SMILE ON THEIR FACES.

BIG GAME screening times:
Fri., Sept. 5th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Sat., Sept. 6th, 9:00 PM, SCOTIABANK 12
Sat., Sept. 13th, 2:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 12

8/31/14

Navigating TIFF Part 6: Off Sale? Don't Panic!

I’m sure a lot of you have started to notice screenings are showing up as “OFF SALE” at the online box office (accessible here), “RUSH ONLY” on the boards at the Festival Box Office at 225 King Street West, or generally unavailable by phone at (416) 599-TIFF or 1-888-599-8433.

Don’t panic, there are still ways for you to get tickets. Here are a some options:

1) Don’t give up! Keep checking the various box offices listed above. Many of the seats for films listed as off sale were ticketed during the advance order process last week. Any of those ticketholders could change their mind between now and the screening and exchange their ticket for a voucher. If tickets are available, they'll show up at 7:00 AM when the systems update. FYI The systems only update once a day so there is no point in checking more than once a day.

2) If it is the day of the screening and you still can’t get a ticket at any of the box offices, your last resort is the rush line. Rush seats become available when people decide not to exchange tickets like I described above and simply just don’t show up. 

Remember, the festival's goal is to make sure that every seat in a theater is sold. The earlier you get in line the better. If the film is *HUGE* you want to get there at least 3 hours before the film starts. For midnight screenings the line will be crazy long, but it probably has a lot of people rushing a 9:00pm or 9:30pm screening. Once those people leave, you should be close to the front of the line. Make sure you are in the rush line (not the ticket holders line) and confirm which line you are in with a volunteer. The Ryerson seats over 1200 people so the odds are good if you are at the front of the line you've got a shot at a seat but there is no guarantee that seats will be available.

 

3) Catch a repeat screening. The atmosphere is more relaxed than the midnight screenings and there is always a chance that some of the talent is still in town to do a Q&A.

4) Watch social media. Keep your eyes on the Midnight Madness Facebook page and Twitter. If there are contests for tickets to sold out screenings, they're likely to be posted there.

5) Hang out in the autograph line. If you get to the rush line late and it is ridiculously long you might want to hang out behind the red carpet and hope the talent will offer you a ticket. It's rare but I've seen it happen. The autograph line is behind a barricade opposite from the entrance to the Ryerson.

[REC] 4 APOCALYPSE Poster and Trailer

Though it's only been 2 years since [REC] 3 Genesis, it wasn't a direct sequel to the story of plucky reporter Angela Vidal. [REC] 4 Apocalypse picks up the story after the end of 2009's [REC] 2. The poster above shows the promise of some intensely violent zombie carnage while the trailer below delivers on the claustrophobic intensity for which the series is best know.



Come witness the Apocalypse with at Midnight Madness!

[REC]4 APOCALYPSE screening times:
Tue., Sept. 9th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Wed., Sept. 10th, 10:00 PM, SCOTIABANK 8

8/30/14

INTERVIEW: Mark Hartley Talks ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

Mark Hartley makes his second appearance in Midnight Madness with Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. Hot of a triumphant World Premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival, Hartley was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.


Midnight Madness: Every Cannon Film probably could have a feature length doc made about it. How difficult was it to tell the whole Cannon story in just one film?

Mark Hartley: There are soooooooo many Cannon Films (for starters just try counting the America Ninja sequels!) but obviously we had to be a little bit selective. If you want to see an in-depth discussion of HOT CHILI or DETECTIVE SCHOOL DROPOUTS, you will be sadly disappointed – but I think we’ve covered most of the fan favorites as well as a few jaw-dropping curios.



MM: This is your 2nd Midnight Madness entry and 3rd TIFF Film. Are you really going to stop making docs? Do you think you have any more docs in you?

MH: I keep telling people that this is my final doc – and no one believes me, but it is the truth. I’m an accidental, wildly undisciplined documentary filmmaker – and it’s now time to leave this caper to the professionals. I had the opportunity to finally make a narrative feature in 2013 with PATRICK – and I had such a wonderful and thrilling experience during that production that I really want to invest all my energies into narrative filmmaking. The incredible thing about having made these three genre docs is that I often meet movie lovers that tell me that these films have encouraged them to explore their own National cinema. Job done.

MM: While many of the Cannon films are so bad they're good, there are many that are borderline unwatchable. How often during pre-production did you find yourself saying: I can't watch another minute of these films!

MH: It wasn’t the quality that was daunting--it was the quantity! I’m not sure how healthy a steady diet of Golan & Globus productions was on my sanity--but they made them, so I felt I should watch them. To be honest, I did draw the line at the Lou Ferrigno star-vehicle, Sinbad of the Seven Seas – and the last six Lemon Popsicle sequels.

MM: Was it difficult getting people to talk about parts of their career that they'd rather forget?

MH: I’ve been lucky with my docs that they’ve covered subjects that haven’t been overly explored--and so telling these stories is a novelty (and sometimes therapy) for many of the interviewees. I’m not sure how many dinner party conversations have started with, “So tell me about working on Bolero…”

Certainly with Not Quite Hollywood and Electric Boogaloo, the subject matter covered was a training ground for many. Generally, people are fond and nostalgic about their introduction to the business--no matter how badly treated they were… and if they’re still scarred, well, it makes for even better drama. 


MM: Having spent so much time exploring the seedy underbelly of cinema, are you ready to run screaming from the business and never look back?

MH: Not at all. I’m ready to launch myself from a cannon, slam into the evil heart of this business and hopefully start filling up my IMDb page.

MM: After Not Quite Hollywood, you decided that Patrick was ripe for a remake. Any particular Cannon film you'd like to reboot?

MH: More important is the fact that there are certain Cannon films that should be left untouched by the reboot machine. Can you imagine anyone topping the scope, scale and lunacy of Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce? If there’s one film that we should get on our knees and thank Golan & Globus for, it’s that visionary masterwork. Another jewel in the Cannon crown is Boaz Davidson’s The Last American Virgin--which I do believe Millennium are planning to remake. I’ll have to ask our co-producer, Brett Ratner, if he was inspired by Cannon’s Hercules. I have my doubts.

ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS screening times:
Mon., Sept. 8th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Wed., Sept. 10th, 9:00 AM, BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Sun., Sept. 14th, 12:45 PM, SCOTIABANK 11

CUB First Look! Poster & Trailer


Cub looks like one of those films you will be telling your friends that you saw at the world premiere at Midnight Madness. That is one of the most exciting aspects of midnight madness the discovery of new cinematic voices. Jonas Govaerts is holding true to old school practical effects and his love for the genre is clearly evident. You can check out my interview with him here! The poster by Justin Erickson is stunning. You don't want to miss this one--Scouts honor! Here is the trailer:


CUB screening times:
Wed., Sept. 10th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Thu., Sept. 11th, 8:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 8
Sat., Sept. 13th, 12:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 13

The Team behind THE EDITOR are still COOL GUYS




ASTRON-6 is a proud homegrown Canadian filmmaking force like no other! This year we welcome the co-directing team of Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks, who this time lead the charge with their new film and Midnight Madness selection The Editor.

With movies like Manborg, Father's Day, and a plethora of unforgettable bizarre ultra-violent and ultra twisted shorts on their resume, I'm always excited to hear there's a new release on the horizon from Astron-6.

However, the film that first captured my heart was Cool Guys.  Cool Guys (2008) is a 28 minute 80s style screwball comedy, that drastically deviates from its expected path.

 I thought I'd catch up with Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Steve Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie, and Conor Sweeney online, to hear their thoughts of this early, yet resolutely twisted signature film.

The Anti-After School Special
Midnight Madness Blog: Gentlemen of Astron-6,  what are some of your memories of making Cool Guys?
Matthew Kennedy: My first thought is one we've all had. At one time, we thought Cool Guys was the hardest movie we had ever made. It was supposed to be a fun short that we shot over a weekend at the beach but slowly everything went wrong. Locations pulled out on us over and over again. The heat was unreal that summer, we shot all through the night in an awful motel room blowing fuses and eventually the air conditioner. We ended up not getting a bunch of beach footage and had to shoot on a vacant beach in September to finish the movie. it was cold. It almost destroyed Astron-6.  But every film since that one has been one hundred times harder and it only gets harder.  AND HARDER.
Steven Kostanski: It had a few high points, that snack shack on the beach was probably the easiest time we ever had being on location. The owner was super chill and let us do whatever. That was the one fun day. But it was all downhill after that.
Jeremy Gillespie: The first cut of the movie was twice as long, totally unfunny, and was deemed "the worst thing we've ever done." Somehow Matt saved it in editing.
MMB: I'm glad you guys saw it through; it's really funny, great acting, and once you're lulled into the perceived safety of 80's style screwball comedy, it goes off the rails into hilariously twisted insanity and never stops surprising. I think it's a rare achievement.
Adam Brooks: I think it was a tiny bit ahead of its time to get as dangerous as it does, but now that's kind of the norm.
Conor Sweeney: I don't talk to these guys anymore.
Adam Brooks: Who invited that guy?
MMB: Awesome thanks for your time fellas! I'll always cherish your friendships in Cool Guys!
Adam Brooks: You may not have seen the last of the cool guys...
MMB: (I do a grinning emoticon)
Conor Sweeney: (does sunglasses guy emoticon)
MMB: Yeah, was gonna say, wrong emoticon...
Conor Sweeney: The movie is based on that emoticon

If haven't caught the film yet, you can watch Cool Guys here. Be sure to catch Astron 6's NEW giallo-comedy The Editor at Midnight Madness!

THE EDITOR screening times:

Thu., Sept. 11th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Fri., Sept. 12th, 9:15 AM, SCOTIABANK 3
Sat., Sept. 13th, 6:15 PM, SCOTIABANK 4

8/29/14

Festival Trailer Mash-Up 2014!

Midnight Maniacs, steady yourselves because we have five hours of pure, concentrated TIFF film trailers concentrated into a pure and beautiful three minutes and five seconds by the amazing videographer, Aaron Van Domelen.

Ready?

Let's go...

The Continuing Madness of Sion Sono


Remember when Sion Sono scrambled your brain at Midnight Madness 2013? Here's a little clip to take you back:

Yep, it's the gonzo toothpaste song from Sono's Why Don't You Play In Hell?, winner of the 2013 Midnight Madness People's Choice Award. Here is a Japanese trailer for the film that ends with a montage of spots where the toothpaste song recurs in the film:



Don't miss Sono's triumphant return to Midnight Madness with this year's opening night film Tokyo Tribe.



TOKYO TRIBE screening times:
Thu. Sept. 4th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Fri. Sept. 5th, 10:00 PM, SCOTIABANK 8
Sun. Sept. 14th, 3:30 PM, LIGHTBOX 3

ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: The Buzz From Melbourne


Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is director Mark Hartley's latest documentary. Hartley's  Not Quite Hollywood also screened at midnight madness in 2008 and was extremely well received. For those unfamiliar with the Cannon films produced by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus think of the Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson Jean Claude Van Damme movies from the eighties and nineties and that is only a fraction of the output of films made by Cannon Films. Here are some reviews from the premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

"The film works as a fascinating look behind the scenes of a genuine outsider company. it feels about a half an hour shorter than it's 107 minutes, thanks to how much damn fun it is to experience these cult 'classics' in a fast paced, greatest hits format." - SilverScreenSnobs.com

"Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Film doesn't pull its punches." And "Hartley's film is consistently entertaining..." - The Hollywood Reporter

"Mark Hartley's follow-up to Not Quite Hollywood is an amusingly enjoyable excavation of Cannon Films, the definitive 1980s B-movie production house run by Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yorham Globus. "Outlaws...hustlers...junk peddlers," - The Sydney Morning Herald.



"The best parts of this film are the archival footage of Menahem Golan in action on set, doing business in his office and doing publicity for his copious films. This is one charismatic, fascinating dude[.]" And, "In what could easily devolve into simply bashing these films for the low-budget schlock they generally were, Hartley treats the topic with reverence and he hits the tone of the documentary just right." sorryimlate.com

"Like Hartley's previous documentaries, Electric Boogaloo is an energetic confection, buoyed by zippy editing and more than occasional use of animation." - melbournecentral.com.au

"'Cannon films were the epitome of the '80's in terms of stars and films,' Hartley reflects. 'It's also a great story - it's about a couple of outsiders taking on the might of the studios. There's a real David and Goliath element to this.'" - Beat Magazine


"Hartley's films play like a wildly enthusiastic thesis submissions from the ultimate student of exploration cinema." -  screen-space.squarespace.com

"[I]t was bloody marvelous to see so many of these past stars, directors and writers up on the screen again. I was also reminded of movies I had forgotten about and will now seek and find." - fakeshemp.net

ELECTRIC BOOGALOO screening times:
Mon., Sept. 8th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Wed., Sept. 10th, 9:00 AM, BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Sun., Sept. 14th, 12:45 PM, SCOTIABANK 11







TUSK: Origin Story


Admit it, wouldn't we all look better with walrus tusks protruding out of our faces? 

All great movies have an origin—that little seed of an idea that ends up sprouting and growing into the majestic beast of a movie its meant to be. Damn, that was poetic. Maybe too poetic considering we're going to discuss the origins of Tusk, a movie where Michael Parks turns Justin Long into a walrus in... Canada (DUN, DUN, DUN). But, whatever, we do what we want here on the Midnight Madness blog.

Unless you've been trapped under a rock as of late, you know that Tusk is written and directed by none other than Kevin Smith. And if you're a Kevin Smith fan, like you should be if you know what's good for you, you listen to his podcasts and know that the inspiration for this very film was discussed in episode #259 of his and longtime collaborator Scott Mosier's podcast, SModcast. It was called "The Walrus and the Carpenter" and it was amazing. June 25, 2013 started out just like any other day, but little did anyone (especially Justin Long) know the seeds for maybe the craziest movie ever were being planted.

The full podcast can be found here, but we've embedded an edited version that only discusses the concept of the movie. Have a listen!




If you don't have time to listen (jabrone!), we've compiled a list of the most important points of the podcast: 

1. It's all based on a deliciously creepy tenant advert placed on a British classifieds ads website.
2. There is some confusion about whether the month or day goes first when discussing dates across the pond. 
3. The writer of the advert was looking for someone to live with him for free. Live with him and also dress in a walrus costume. (Seems legit.)
4. This is because the writer of the advert had a best friend who was a walrus named Gregory.
5. This is because walruses provide the most fulfilling of friendships. (Pretty sure there's a Discovery Channel special about it.) 
6. Whilst in the walrus costume, one must BE a walrus. BE THE WALRUS.
7. The tenant would be responsible for finding appropriate walrus sounds via the internet (because walruses don't speak English, duh).


Those better be walrus sounds you're making!

8. This is obviously absolutely terrifying. This advert writer is probably a serial killer. 
9. But, hey, there's a spacious double room to live in. Just don't go near the workshop! 
10. Of course, this is an irresistible idea for a movie, so Kevin and Scott set about describing the plot of their future film. 
11. It will be a cuddlier version of Human Centipede
12. There will be a walrus enclave and it will be glorious. Probably with seagull sounds.
13. There will be a lot of creepy POV shots. Maybe something like Robocop. 
14. Wait, now it's more tolerable but more fucked up version of Human Centipede
15. James Franco would probably be in it. He's all over that kind of shit. Walrus shit, you know.

And now having caught up with all of that, check out the trailer and see what of their first, jokey ideas actually made it to the final cut. We're pretty sure that's a glorious walrus enclave... 




TUSK screening times:
Saturday, Sept 6th 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sunday, Sept 7th 9:45 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Friday, Sept 12th 3:45 PM SCOTIABANK 1

8/28/14

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS: Vampire Profiles: Carmilla

Oh, you've got a little schmutz on your lip. Let me get that for you.

Today's the 200th anniversary of the birth of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu and with What We Do In The Shadows part of the Madness this year, it's a serendipitous occasion to look at his creation, one of the first, and best, sexy vampires and the industry standard in Lesbian vampires.

"Carmilla" first appeared in a magazine, The Dark Blue, as an illustrated serial recorded by Le Fanu's hero, Dr. Hesselius. It was collected into a novella in 1872. You can read the book in your preferred form at Project Gutenberg.

Carmilla befriends Laura, a lonely young woman living in a castle with her retired father in Styria. As a young girl, Laura dreamed she was bitten on the chest by a beautiful woman. When Carmilla appears on her castle doorstep or on the other side of the portcullis or whatever Laura's schloss has, the young women recognize each other from this dream. And Carmilla bears an uncanny resemblance to an ancestral portrait of Countess Mircalla Karnstein. But, of course, that portrait was painted in 1689 and this resemblance is purely coincidental. How silly to think it is anything more.

The Man does not approve.
Carmilla is as smitten with Laura as she is with anagrams. And instead of dining and dashing, as she had with other, more recent victims, she woos Laura.
She used to place her pretty arms about my neck, draw me to her, and laying her cheek to mine, murmur with her lips near my ear, "Dearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness; if your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die--die, sweetly die--into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit."
But as always, it just doesn't work out between the living and the dead. And in 1872, The Man just can't handle the love between a living lady and a langorous dead one who sleeps in a coffin filled with blood.

There are a whole slew adaptations of the story. Ingrid Pitt portrays Carmilla in Hammer Studio's The Vampire Lovers (1970).



Carl Theodor Dreyer based his 1932 film Vampyr on the story--though with no intra-lady feelings.



Roger Vadim's Blood And Roses (1960) is a stylish adaptation.



 And Carmilla appears in stories as diverse as Vampire Hunter D, Doctor Who and Kim Newman's novel, Anno Dracula. Incidentally, The Guardian published a piece Newman wrote about Sheridan Le Fanu and Le Fanu's influence on horror today and it is totally worth reading.


WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS screening times:
Fri. Sept. 12th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Sat. Sept. 13th, 9:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 12
Sun. Sept. 14th, 3:45 PM, SCOTIABANK  3

And while the women of The Duke of Burgundy are not vampires, they are Lesbians in love and it is a gorgeous film.

THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY screening times:
Saturday, Sept 6th 10:00 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 1
Monday, Sept 8th 3:15 PM SCOTIABANK 12