Black Friday Blu-ray and DVD Deals Have Started

I saw Santa in the mall last night. Target has their plastic Christmas trees and icicle lights taking up about half of the store (next to the discounted leftover Halloween candy). The restaurant bathroom has “Joy to the World” pumping through its shitty speakers. Yes, Christmas is already here… two weeks before Thanksgiving. So I guess we might as well start thinking about the ones we love and what they’d like for Christmas. To heck with that! It’s time to shop for myself and Wal-Mart seems to already have my attention with five and ten dollar Blu-ray titles.

Looking at the ad (may vary by location), I can see Paranormal Activity, Get Him to the Greek, Boondock Saints and Fight Club all for just ten bucks each. If you’re a real Scrooge, some Blu-ray titles are just five bucks: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Superbad and Gran Torino. And these are just a few of the 60+ titles on special. Not to mention specials on players and hello(!): ten dollar copies of Infamous and Uncharted 2 for PS3. I’ll be there man.


The Lightbox gets another Dose of Bruce McDonald’s TRIGGER.

The film that opened LightBox, the multiplex/gallery/condo-tower/festival-headquarters in the middle of this years edition of TIFF, was Bruce McDonald’s Trigger (Rot’s Review) which went a long way toward adding a scrappy spirit, and a bit of the old T-dot love, to all the pomp and circumstance of a project that was hyped for years around Toronto. The best eulogy-film since Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion, Trigger is a film about community (using many of the McDonald-regulars) and relationships and the spirit of keep on keepin’ on. Tracy Wright’s star has never shone brighter than her all night bickering, conversation and reflection with her friend and rival Molly Parker. Equal parts Before Sunset, My Dinner With Andre and good old fashioned Rock n’ Roll, Trigger is getting a full run at Lightbox starting September 30th, and the first few screenings, McDonald will be on hand to intro the film and Q&A with the audience. If you are in Toronto, check out McDonald’s entertaining look at death and friendship to come along in a while.

For a local cinema-goer, the new TIFF LIGHTBOX, is a weird mix of ultra-corporate polish, über-arthouse-fare and down-and-dirty cinema (such as Colin Geddes’ upcoming Grindbox presentation). It is an odd mix, that sort of is the spirit of the TIFF-group in general. They have their five screens running year round, giving full releases to films that do not often get that treatment (case in point with Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), and often they get the directors (especially when they are local) to come and intro the films, a la the local festival environment.

Full show times September 30th – Oct 6th

Thursday 12:30, 2:45, 5:15 (with intro and Q&A by Bruce McDonald), 7:30, 10:00
Friday 12:30, 2:45, 5:15, 7:30, 10:00, 11:45
Saturday 12:30, 2:45, 5:15 (with intro and Q&A by Bruce McDonald), 7:30 (with intro by Bruce McDonald)
Sunday 1:00, 3:30, 7:30, 9:30
Monday 7:30, 10:00
Tuesday 12:30, 2:45, 5:15, 7:30, 10:00
Wednesday 12:30, 2:45, 5:15, 7:30, 10:00

The 60 second teaser trailer is tucked under the seat.

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What’s Up Lovely to Screen Next Friday in L.A.

As you might know, a few of us have been big fans of 2009’s New York Lately and we (I) have been highly anticipating screenwriter/director Gary King’s next effort, What’s Up Lovely. Well it looks like the wait is almost over for a few lucky folks out in Los Angeles next weekend.

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking out this newest venture from Mr. King (before me… grrr). The event is being held at the Downtown Independent at 8pm on Friday, May 14th. Make your way over there and catch Gary and star Jenn Dees as well as some other cast and crew. It’s only ten bucks and I guess there’s a big rooftop party afterwards. All the info on the event and the film itself can pretty much all be found right over here.

In the dead of night, a recently unemployed insomniac wanders the streets of New York discovering a city beyond her wildest imagination.
Luci loses her job and times are tougher than ever. Unable to sleep, she begins an after-hours journey embarking on a series of strange encounters as she wanders the dark metropolis. During one unforgettable night, Luci comes face to face with her innermost fears and desires as she tries to find her way back home.
Based on a concept by Jenn Dees and Gary King, WHAT’S UP LOVELY is a drama about the struggle to survive the city while battling the enemy within ourselves.
If you’e interested, and you should be,

I’ve been told the film sticks with several of King’s major influences (including Soderbergh, Wong Kar-Wai, Almodóvar) but is a little bit more Lynchian this time around. Whatever that means I can guarantee it piques our interests big time around here. Possibly gonna be some RowThree staff at the shin dig, so seek us out and buy us lots of cocktails.

You can check out the trailer underneath the seats…
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Filmwatching LA: May


I decided to arrange things a little differently this time around; giving more of a paragraph overview of the available repertory screenings in LA this month instead of the full schedules. Links to the full schedules for each cinema can be found at the bottom of each section. I’ve also included some trailers this time; went a little crazy for the crime/noirish side of things, but I can’t help it if that’s what the theatres play, now can I? But also, yes, I plead guilty to loving noirish crime films.

Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theatre

This month Cinefamily is running a set of series loosely themed around kids movies. Some of them actually are kid-friendly films, but knowing Cinefamily, most of them are…not. But they’re all pretty off-beat and wacky. Thursday nights are Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups, with dark fantasy films from Neil Jordan (The Company of Wolves), Louis Malle (Black Moon), John Waters (Desperate Living), David Lynch (Wild at Heart), Roman Polanski (What?), and others. One of the films, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, is a holdover from the Czech film series they did a couple of months ago; I saw it then, and if you like whacked out, nonsense-making, but somehow very beautiful and mesmerizing vampire films, it’s definitely worth a look. I might actually go see it again. And Wild at Heart is, I think, the only David Lynch film (aside from Fire Walk With Me) that I haven’t seen, so I’ll try to make it to that.

Friday nights, Lance Robertson and Kevin Lee of Yo Gabba Gabba are hosting a series of Fun and Funky Kid’s Films, some full films like The Wiz and Pufnstuf, and some compilations of clips and short films, including one of European Stop-Motion Animation that you know I’m dying to see. And for those who really like their kids movies messed up, this month’s late Saturday Holyfuckingshit! series is focused on Fucked-Up Kids Movies.

The silent film series is centered on mothers rather than kids, what with May having Mothers Day and all. The silent versions of Humoresque and Stella Dallas are on tap, plus Clara Bow vehicle Dancing Mothers. Also in honor of Mothers Day, though not at all silent, is a Psycho triple feature on Mothers Day itself. You gotta love a cinema that thinks about Psycho as a great Mothers Day movie – and then offers free tickets to any male cinemagoers who come dressed up as their mothers. That’s Cinefamily for you, right there.

Speaking of special events, there are two Comedy Death Ray screenings upcoming: Jon Hamm presenting Tootsie and Doug Benson presenting (and providing live commentary for) Friday the 13th Part 3. And of course, Jerry Beck’s Animation Tuesdays continue the first Tuesday of the month – this month’s theme is Toons in Drag, copresented by Outfest.

Full schedule at

Would you like to know more…?

Filmwatching LA: March 2010


This is the second in a hopefully consistent series highlight what’s available off the beaten track for film lovers in LA. We had a really good February, and looks like it’s going to be at least as good a March. So if you’re in LA, skip the AMC and the Arclight a time or two this month and see some of the great stuff the repertory and indie theatres are working hard to bring us.

Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theatre

The way I’m formatting these updates, you may think I have a soft spot for Cinefamily. You’re right. There may be a lot of repertory opportunities in town, but Cinefamily is the most eclectic of the bunch, serving equally foreign film lovers who want to get beyond the standard film buff stuff and cult-film lovers always on the quest for more and more bizarre fare. They’re also the only place to consistently do series around really interesting and wide-ranging themes, much like we’ve tried to do in our marathons around here, pulling all sorts of films together around the Doomsday, Dirty Thirties, and other themes. It would’ve been nice if they’d timed this month’s Post-Apocalypse Now series of apocalyptic double-features to match our Doomsday marathon a little better, but hey. They didn’t consult me.


Jerry Beck’s Animation Festival: Scope-a-Toons – March 2nd
This month Jerry Beck highlights cartoons of the ’50s in various widescreen formats – many of them haven’t been screened in their original aspect ratios for ages, so this will be, as always, a special program. This is tomorrow, so cancel whatever plans you’ve got now and get ready.

See more after the jump.

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Film Watching LA – February 2010

We’re blessed here in the Third Row with contributors in several film centers around the world – Toronto, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and others all have thriving film cultures. It’s always fascinating to me to hear what film-going opportunities other cities have on offer – seriously, I used to pick up the New Yorker just to check out what was playing at the Bam Rose Cinema and Film Forum. When I moved out to LA a year and a half ago, I expected to have easy access to all the new releases, both major and arthouse, but I’m not sure I expected to find as diverse a repertory culture as I did. For any readers in Los Angeles wondering where to get beyond the next-big-thing Hollywood mindset and find some hidden gems, here are some good places to start.


Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theatre

My personal favorite place to see repertory screenings is Cinefamily, operating out of the old Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax in Hollywood. It ain’t just silent films any more, though they do devote Wednesday nights to the extensive silent film collection they inherited from the previous owners. Programmer Hadrian Belove introduces nearly every film with brief anecdotes about it, silent films are accompanied with live piano and sometimes a live band, weekend shows often include free beer on the back patio in between shows, and though the cinema is hardly the height of technology or comfort, the audiences are among the best in town. My favorite thing about the Cinefamily? You can buy a membership for $25 a month and go to ALL their regular series (as many as 25 films a month) without paying anything extra, as well as get a $4 discount on all special event screenings. Fantastic deal for film discovery.

After the jump, schedules for Cinefamily, the American Cinematheque, the New Beverly Cinema, LACMA, the Nuart Cinema, and more.

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SPARK FX 2010 Announces Titles!

Spark FX 2010 Banner

If I had a camera mounted on my computer monitor and had it streaming a few seconds ago, you would have seen a very happy girl grinning from ear to ear with excitement. What could possibly be so awesome? Spark FX that’s what!

ACM Siggraph is back with another year of awesome movies celebrating special effects and wow, what a line-up. As per last year’s run (where I managed to see Tron and Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the big screen), this year’s line-up is even more outstanding – hard to believe but true! So what’s on offer? Here’s a taste: E.T., the original classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, The Wizard of Oz and to top it all off, the awesomeness of Jaws (I can already hear the music!).

Along with the films, there’s also a great line-up of speakers and presentations from industry professionals, including one on creating the aliens for District 9.

If you’re in Vancouver (or area) and want in, check out the official website for details on screenings and to buy tickets. These sell quick so get them while you can!

Sighting: “Ink” at the Mounds

If you’re in the Minneapolis area over the next few days, do yourself a favor and head over to The Mounds theater for a terrific, sci-fi, fantasy adventure story entitled Ink. Matt Gamble and I were lucky enough to catch this little indie gem last fall at the Flyway film fest and it was one of our favorites.

See the trailer underneath the seats. And if you haven’t done so already, check out our audio interview with director and star Jamin Winans and Chris Kelly.

Tues & Wed, Dec. 29 & 30
7:00 PM | Pay What You Can
($5 Suggested Donation)


RowThree review
IMDb profile
Official Site

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Cronenberg talks Videodrome in Toronto

cronenberg_VideodromeA full house at the Ontario Cinematheque got to see a scratchy but vibrant print of David Cronenberg‘s 1983 body/mind/technology mind-fuck Videodrome. Two things I learned before during my first celluloid viewing of the film: First is the amusing and interesting connection to local Toronto TV station, CityTV which sounds a lot like the fictional CivicTV in the film (and one of the execs is named Moses); how I missed this connection in the past is quite baffling, considering CityTV was such an upstart and ‘dangerous’ in their programming with uncensored swearing and soft core pornography (The ‘Baby Blue’ Movies) on the occasional late night programming slot. Second is that the film has not so much as ‘aged well’ as ‘aged strangely.’ An unconventional (and considering the amount of critical ink spilled in the past 25 years, prophetic and affecting) film by having Toronto play itself (Note despite prominent TTC buses and subways, 1980s Scanners has the title card “Los Angeles”), it remains an interesting visual artifact of the city in the early 1980s. Yet the strange editing rhythm (intentional, or simply a lucky artifact of a still finding-his-way filmmaker, his real coming out party was to come three years later with The Fly) is vague and confusing in the second half. Sure, Max Renn (James Woods) is in full brain tumour slash video hallucination mode at this point, but the film still throws in some non-sequitur locations like a rusty grounded lakeboat for no apparent reason. Yet the very non-connected nature of scene to scene storytelling gives a dangerous edge the the narrative that plays in the films favour.

The director himself was on hand to intro the film, and I happened to have my voice-recorder there to get an audio feed of the two local entertainment rag critics, Eye Weekly’s Adam Nayman and Now’s Norman Wilner talk a bit about their own personal experience with the film and its context towards the city of Toronto (the film was the last of the Ontario Cinematheque’s Toronto on Film series) before bringing Cronenberg onto the stage to talk about the production, the actors, the city and how he feels about his own cult masterpiece today.

Video is tucked under the seat. (watch or listen at your own risk, Long Live the New Flesh!)
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Objectified Screenings Announced

Objectified Logo

It’s starting. And if the response to Helvetica was any indication and you want to see Gary Hustwit’s new film Objectified (which we’ve talked about before), you may want to jump on this opportunity.

On Monday, February 2nd, tickets go on sale for two special screenings of the film which will also include a Q & A with director Hustwit (who, take it from me, is a great speaker) and a number of designers featured in the film.

Currently there are two screening dates confirmed:

April 21st, San Francisco at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 7pm & 10pm (buy tickets)
April 28th, Chicago at the Music Box Theatre, 7:30pm (buy tickets)

Additional screenings, including New York City and London in early April, will be announced over the next few weeks so be sure to stay tuned to the website for details.

Free Screenings for Slumdog Millionaire

Slowly becoming a new favorite in the third row, Slumdog Millionaire (Andrew’s review, John’s review) is on track to really take the public by storm come late November when it gets its wide release. A fan favorite at Toronto Int’l Film Festival and ended with huge applause even at my tiny screening in Minneapolis.

Though I personally like to stray from clips and watch a movie fresh, if you are so inclined, here are a few clips to check out from the movie:
Are you nervous? (moviefone)
I’m staying (MSN)
I will never forgive you. (Fandango)

Turns out you don’t have to live in New York or L.A. to catch a screening early. AND FREE! Look beneath the seats to find dates and location times; starting next Monday. Maybe one near you soon! If you see a screening you’d like to attend, be sure to head over to FOX SEARCHLIGHT and RSVP!
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