Cinecast Episode 247 – That’s Just The Kind of Pretentious Twaddle I like!

Here we are a week before Oscars and there is so little to talk about on that front other than that there is so little to talk about. Gamble gives a run-down on the Best Animated Shorts which are always worth a look. Kurt gives a sparkling review of the latest Studio Ghibli animated feature; a Japanese spin on the classic British children’s novel The Borrowers. Re-titled The Secret World of Arrietty, the film is surprisingly adult in tone and theme and worth looking at on the big screen. We spend a tangent-driven span of time grading the homework assignments (criminal clowns) before diving into The Watch List: Wil Wheaton, Elliot Gould, Alain Delon, Brian DePalma, Michelangelo Antonioni, Billy Bob Thorton and Anna Faris! Andrew goes to town on smashing Tiny Furniture. Matt goes to town on pummeling the seven-year-delayed Margaret (and in the pejorative sense thinks Kurt and Rot will love it).

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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Full show notes are under the seats…

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– Kurt’s Kids Talk Fantastic Mr. Fox
– Oscar showings at Matt’s theater
– Donation thank yous!

The Secret World of Arietty

Paul Field: The Stickup, New Police Story, Top Dog
Nat Almirall: Sleuth (1972)
Miran Terzic: Point Break
Sean Kelly: Quick Change
Ryan McNeil: Quick Change
Mike Rot: Short Cuts
Jericho Slim: Dead Presidents, Point Break, Drive
Rick Vance: AKIRA
Courtney Small: The Last Circus (aka Balada triste de trompeta)
Lennart Andersson: The Last Circus
Len (aka Keith Talent): Killing Zoe
Andrew James: Logorama
Kurt Halfyard: Holdup


The Curse
The Curse II
Oscar-nominated animated short
– Defender series at Trylon cinema

The Long Goodbye
California Split
Smiley Face

Tiny Furniture
– “Walking Dead” Season 2
Mission to Mars
Le Cercle Rouge
Intolerable Cruelty
– “Spaced”

send us an example of a dark and/or depressing animated film

Jandy’s DVD Triage

Kurt’s kids on Fantastic Mr. Fox:

NFB app (Apple)
NFB app (Android)

Chico & Rita

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email us: (general)

Andrew: Twitter, G+, Letterboxd
Kurt: Twitter, G+, Letterboxd
Matt: Twitter, LetterBoxd
RowThree: Twitter, G+, Letterboxd


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Nat Almirall

My goal now is to keep coming up with really good movies you guys haven’t seen. By the way, here’s some proof: — and I’m having a lot of fun with this week’s assignment.

Jandy Hardesty

Based on this (without listening yet) I’m deducing that neither Kurt nor Andrew had seen Sleuth? Get on that, guys! That movie is awesome.

Kurt Halfyard

I’m all for that! I always need a kick in the pants to go back and find movies I’ve missed out on or have fallen between the cracks. Plus, Anthony Shaeffer is awesome (he wrote Hitchcock’s FRENZY and Hardy’s original THE WICKER MAN).

Oddly enough the film’s trailer reminds me of another overlooked Michael Caine play-to-film gem, Sidney Lumet’s DEATHTRAP.

Nat Almirall

Kudos for Deathtrap — and I agree. Shaffer also had a twin brother, Peter, who wrote Amadeus and Equus.

I just sent in my selection for the homework, and I’m confident that it’ll traumatize you all.

Jim Laczkowski

Deathtrap is damn-near perfect. I especially love seeing Reeves in that role, but the twists keep coming, and they don’t feel contrived in the slightest.


Need to bump Deathtrap up my watchlist, I already own it. Went through a Lumet love-in last year

Sean Patrick Kelly

I saw The Borrowers (which was released in 1997). It was a decent family film.

John Goodman was the villain and Jim Broadbent was the Borrowers patriarch.

Rick Vance

I will completely agree with you guys about the bluntness of the film version of AKIRA. I think that is partially because the movie is about teenagers and partially because the movie is a much abridged story.

I love the movie for nostalgia and craft and this video perfectly shows why Kurt you will love this

A large chunk of my love for the film is also bleed through from the comic which if I am being honest I am a much larger fan of the comic medium than I am of film, and Akira is 2000 pages of the best drawn graphic fiction ever produced. It deserves all the connotations of epic that the movies glances at in passing because it has time to breathe.

In many ways it is equivalent to Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind. That is a movie that was animated on 2 of 7 parts of a complete story (also written and drawn beautifully by Miyazaki) and likewise is a small piece of a much larger more character defined, plot defined tale. That is a series that took him 12 years to create inbetween making movies and it outstrips any of the films by large margin. It deals a lot more in Kingdoms and the desire for power and actual large scale conflicts. It is incredible.


I caught Wild Life earlier this year at James McNally’s (Toronto Screen Shot, CAST Awards) inaugural Shorts That Are Not Pants series. Gamble pretty much nailed the film perfectly. It gets increasingly dark for the main character even though his letters home get increasing more joyful. Loved it.

As for Tiny Furniture, I am about halfway through the film and rather enjoy it so far. However, I do see Andrew’s point about the several of the conversations coming across as being false. The characters try too hard to be “indie cool”, the friend she lets sleepover is a perfect example of this. Regardless, I hope to finish the film at some point this weekend.


great now I got to watch Tiny Furniture, the list never ends.

Jim Laczkowski

I don’t think the interactions feel false at all in Tiny Furniture. Maybe Andrew needs to hang around more neurotic, wishy-washy and (sometimes) selfish people 🙂

But I understand that it’s not always easy to sit through a movie where these are the predominant characteristics of the people we are supposed to sympathize with. Sometimes I love it (Greenberg) and sometimes I don’t (Margot at the Wedding). To me Tiny Furniture does feel like a Noam Baumbach movie crossed with Miranda July, but with more of a melancholy tone than a quirky one. You’ve got to have a lot of tolerance and empathy for characters who have no sense of identity, and seem to just wander aimlessly through life. And I KNOW people like that.


Bullhead was great; the main guy was particularly awesome. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

I actually really liked Margaret, kind of in spite of itself. The film is a mess, with characters and story lines that are barely touched (the Damon story seems like it is actually missing about 15 minutes of screen time) but I latched on to Paquin and liked going through the film with her.

The movie really needed to be an hour longer and hopefully at some point I’ll get to watch a Director’s Cut. Oh and that death by bus was awesome; definitely over the top, but in a good way, and made better because it was Allison Janney who was split asunder. Massively flawed film, but it worked for me for whatever reason.


I wonder if Gamble would like or dislike Movern Callar?

Sean Patrick Kelly

I saw both the Animated and Live Action shorts.

Matt was wrong in the number of short nominations (there are 5, with the Pixar one being the fifth). I liked the Flying Books one the best, even though it is very sentimental.

There were actually some gems in the Live Action shorts. I highly recommend checking out either Pentecost or Time Freak, which are both awesome (and are also both the shortest nominated shorts).

Raju has the best chance of actually winning (since it’s a serious drama).

The Shore has the advantage of it staring Ciarán Hinds.

Tuba Atlantic was just plain weird (yet enjoyable).

Sean Patrick Kelly

Another Comment: I saw SMILEY FACE’s premiere screening at TIFF07 and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the film (it ended up being my second favourite film at the festival that year – Nothing is Private/Towelhead was first)

Kurt Halfyard

Oh, how I wish I’d caught SMILEY FACE at TIFF07 instead of NOTHING IS PRIVATE! 🙂


Have just watched Arietty, by the way. Classic Ghibli, but positioned more towards the gentler end of their output (Totoro, Ponyo), than the more fantastical side, but charming to the last. I watched it on Blu-ray, and was knocked out by the rich level of detail and colour: it is, at times, ridiculously pretty. Anyone interested in animation needs to check this shit out.

Also, I’m with Kurt, re: the Japanese dub vs the ‘Western’ dub. I don’t like subtitles scribbled over sumptuous animation, so West is best, imo. Plus the voice work is usually excellent – whereas the female leads in the Japanese versions tend to be a little to shrill for my tastes.

Robert Reineke

As a digression, I’m surprised that Matt didn’t note that The Curse is a loose adaptation of Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space”.

If I knew you were going to throw in clown makeup as eligible, I’d have thrown in Batman Returns for the homework assignment.


Matt, you didn’t sell me on Margaret, but who knows, maybe it is a masterpiece.

Andrew, I am halfway through Tiny Furniture, and enjoying it. The film you described is not the film I am seeing. What it reminds me of, certainly story-wise, is one of Jandy’s favorite films a couple years ago, A New Year. That and it is hits the mumblecore sweet spot I enjoy. I don’t find the main character an annoying bitch at all, she actually seems pretty convincingly aimless, and brought up in one of those pseudo-intellectual hyper-ironic environments, which, yeah, is like the characters Baumbach obsesses about.

Keep the counter-recommendations coming… you hate, I love it.


Kurt inspired me to watch Smiley Face a couple months back, and I am right there with him. Love it.

Kurt Halfyard

For the Garfield Scene and the Unionizing Speech scenes alone, Smiley Face is worth a look. Everything else is sweet sweet gravy.

Jay C.

Once again I was surprised that what I thought was the most obvious answer didn’t show up in the homework: young Michael Meyers’ killing his sister while wearing a clown mask in the opening of Halloween (both original and remake (and I guess you could count Halloween 4 as well).

I guess I should actually write in rather than adding to the conversation via the comments a week later.

Kurt Halfyard

Hell, I’d give points for Mike Myers wearing a William Shatner mask, The Bill qualifies as a clown on most days.


Here’s some late clown homework

Shakes the Clown: Tom (aka Spongebob Squarepants) Kenny dressed in clown garb, beating his agent to death.


Alright I held up my end of the deal Andrew, watched Mission to Mars, now watch Red Planet.