Cinecast Episode 473 – Game Over Man

Despite some pretty sad news we receive toward the end of the show, this pre-Oscar podcast stays relatively cute and cuddly throughout – NOTE: we don’t actually talk about the Oscars. We do talk a fair bit about The Turkish documentary, Kedi, about cats wandering Istanbul that should be opening in limited release very soon. Kurt catches up with one of the latest from Netflix Studios, I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore and also a travesty of a film in Bitter Harvest. Andrew catches some stellar Malick and is happy to see Alicia Silverstone back on the big screen in Catfight. Lots to dig into here; meow.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

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Bill Paxton: 1955 – 2017

It’s with a heavy heart we must say farewell to a beloved and most prolific actor in one Bill Paxton who died Sunday as a result of complications during heart surgery. Paxton is survived by Louise Newbury, his wife of 30 years, and children James and Lydia Paxton. The 22-year-old James recently filmed a guest-starring role on Paxton’s Training Day series.

Almost ever since I can remember, Bill Paxton has been a part of my movie-watching lifestyle. As early as the first Terminator movie he’s become a recognizable figure in Hollywood. My younger days saw me in front of the Showtime/HBO channel watching Weird Science about six thousand times and as he became known to do, absolutely stole that movie as the very unlikable but hilarious older brother, Chet.

After that he could be found in a whole slew of pictures year after year. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where his breakout role really was, but I venture that a lot of people woould argue his turn as the whiny (yet somehow badass) Private in James Cameron’s Aliens. It was not uncommon for Paxton to show up in three, four, sometimes five movies in a single year …and so many memorable performances; from Near Dark to Twister to Edge of Tomorrow and all of the wonderful stuff in between.

My stomach just sank this morning when I got the news and I think we all owe a thank you for the years of pleasure we are indebted to Mr. Paxton for. God speed sir, you will be missed deeply.

32nd Annual Independent Spirit Award Winners

The Oscars are tonight! But first, everyone needs to be hungover. So they go to the Indie Spirit Awards the night before to have some real fun. And what makes it even better is there is not a “La La” in sight. With that journalistic sensationalism out of the way, here are all of the nominees and winners for the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards stand for something much deeper: championing creative independence in visual storytelling and supporting a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision—a mission that is more relevant now than ever before.

This year’s Spirit Award nominees are yet another esteemed group of diverse, outspoken and boundary-pushing performers and filmmakers, representing the very best and most vital independent movies of the past 12 months.


So without further adieu, let’s get to the Winners (in bold red)!

Sizing up the nominations:
American Honey = 6
Moonlight = 6
Manchester By the Sea = 5
Jackie = 4
American Honey
Manchester by the Sea

Andrea Arnold, American Honey
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Pablo Larraín, Jackie
Jeff Nichols, Loving
Kelly Reichardt, Certain Women

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
David Harewood, Free In Deed
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Jesse Plemons, Other People
Tim Roth, Chronic

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Sasha Lane, American Honey
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash
Ben Foster, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Shia LaBeouf, American Honey
Craig Robinson, Morris from America

Edwina Findley, Free In Deed
Paulina Garcia, Little Men
Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Riley Keough, American Honey
Molly Shannon, Other People
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Friday One Sheet: Raw

Sporting a photographically pure, that is to say, a single image with very little colour/contrast/background manipulation, allows the eye to focus on the blood (and the crisp typesetting) on display for the latest poster for Julia Ducournau’s pulse-poundingly visceral coming-of-age horror picture, Raw. The relative still nature of this Australian poster for the film belies what the film does at its best. Is that false advertising, or perhaps better setting the stage for a ‘pleasant’ (if that is the right word) surprise. The tagline, “Sister – bound by love, torn by flesh” has a kind of 1970s Italian vibe to it, and is quite at odds with the design, but salacious enough to ground Raw in the trashy space the film finds itself wandering into at key moments. This one is a keeper, and a far better design than the previous posters.

Raw is being released by Monster Pictures in Australia and New Zealand on 20 April. The film will be bowing a earlier in the USA with a theatrical release on March 10th. My recommendation: Go see it with someone who doesn’t watch horror pictures very much, and watch them squirm. Ducorneau is the real deal. Apropos of the cannibal angle, Raw would also make a swell double bill with Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch.

Prologue: Alien Covenant

Is this the first 5 minutes of the new Alien movie, or merely a web-released bit of glossy fan-service? (Or do you remember that TED Talk issued prior to Prometheus?)

Nevertheless, if you want a look at the crew of the Covenant, a colony ship with its human inhabitants (and another version of Michael Fassbender’s android, David) bound for a humanities first reachable Class-M planet on the far side of the galaxy, Fox has put a solid introduction online. With some quite serendipitous timing, in light of the recent NASA discovery of host of possible Class-M’s only 40 light years away.

I hold out hope that Alien: Covenant will continue the weird ‘quest for god’ angle in Prometheus, rather than simply rehashing Scott’s 1979 film. But I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t point out that I find it a little weird that cowboy hat sporting Danny McBride and ghoulish kill-joy James Franco are humanities idea of future world builders. Katherine Waterston, Amy Seimetz and Billy Crudup among others make up the principle cast in this chapter, and the IMDb indicates that Noomi Rapace will return.

But for now: props to David’s 22nd century improvement on the Heimlich Maneuver.

Blu-Ray Review: Bunny Lake is Missing

Director: Otto Preminger
Screenplay: John Mortimer, Penelope Mortimer, Ira Levin (uncredited)
Based on a Novel by: Marryam Modell
Starring: Keir Dullea, Carol Lynley, Laurence Olivier, Noël Coward, Martita Hunt
Country: UK
Running Time: 107 min
Year: 1965
BBFC Certificate: 12

As a lover of classic cinema, I’m ashamed and a little surprised to say that this is the first Otto Preminger film I’ve ever seen. He has several classic titles to his name. Anatomy of a Murder, Laura and The Man With a Golden Arm are the three most famous, but all have somehow passed me by (although I own two of them on DVD, so I’ll hopefully get to them at some point). Bunny Lake is Missing wasn’t quite as successful or universally acclaimed as those, but it’s a bit of a cult favourite with some and as such I’ve heard its name bandied around here and there, so it didn’t take much to talk me into reviewing it.

The title neatly explains the setup, although there’s a little more to the story than that. Ann Lake (Carol Lynley) has just moved to England from America and we see her head to collect her daughter Bunny from her first day of nursery school, but she’s not there. As Ann desperately tries to find her, enlisting the help of her protective brother Steven (Keir Dullea) and police Superintendent Newhouse (Laurence Olivier), we begin to doubt whether the child ever existed in the first place. With Ann and her daughter only arriving in the country a day or two previously, along with the nursery being a chaotic madhouse with a worn out newly appointed headteacher struggling to keep on top of things, there’s little evidence that Bunny isn’t just a figment of Ann’s imagination.

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Cinecast Episode 472 – We’ll Wait

This week’s main feature has much ado and The Mary Sue is going to be none too happy about it. A Cure for Wellness is a bit divisive for your co-hosts this week though we do manage to find some middle ground on some issues. Another Scientology doc – don’t roll your eyes just yet – will be hitting theaters in a limited run over the next few weeks and Andrew and Kurt hash out the interesting film making process in My Scientology Movie more than the subject matter itself. While Kurt played catch-up with last weeks discussion on John Wick: Chapter 2, Andrew visited The Great Wall in his new favorite theater in Minneapolis.

On The Watchlist, Kurt points out that Xavier Dolan is somewhat of a kindred spirit to Pedro Almodovar while Andrew sings the praises of Julieta. And everything comes together in the annual praise of Stanley Kubrick’s anti-war comedy-horror-recruitment-tool Full Metal Jacket.

Sit back and enjoy (Sniff your fingers if you must) it’s going to be a full one.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

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Trailer: Terrence Malick’s Song To Song

After the magnificent Knight of Cups and the egregious Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey in 2016, Terrence Malick is back (so soon) with a rock and roll sour romance (Mike Nichol’s Closer with guitars and keyboards?) featuring some of the best A-list actors working today: Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman. Not featured in the trailer are the host of other actors, Cate Blanchette, Clifton Collins Jr., Christian Bale, Benicio Del Toro, Holly Hunter, Angela Bettis, Val Kilmer, and Halley Bennett. Nor do you see the various musicians: Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Johnny Lydon or Arcade Fire.

Shot with his signature style (lots of voice over, wide angle lenses, and pretty much zero emphasis on narrative) with his usual cinematographer, Emmanual Lubezki, if you wanted to know what an indie-rock tale would look like from the elegiac master of cinema, well, the trailer is tucked below.

Song to Song opens on March 17th.