Cinecast Episode 423 – A Confident Know-Nothing

The year isn’t quite over yet for the folks in the third row. There are some pretty amazing loose ends to tie up. Before we get into Iñárritu next week, we’ve got some David O. Russell and co. to cover as well as one of the most unlikely best films of the year, The Big Short. The Watch List has Kurt seeing some “lesser” Kubrick in 70mm, Andrew watching the biggest waste of space of 2015 and Matt Gamble having his mind blown by streaming documentaries. If only you could’ve been privy to our off-air discussions, this might have been one of the best Cinecasts in history. Wait til next week when we round off the year with all of our “best of” stuff. Until then, we appreciate you dropping by and having your ear for a couple of hours in this new year, 2016.

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: Werner Herzog’s Lo And Behold

Werner Herzog wants to talk to you about the internet, its fragility and where the species sits at this moment. His latest documentary, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World is a very talking heads and stock footage affair, but it has the legendary voice-over narration (and interviewing skill set) one has come to know and love from the German auteur. Lo And Behold will have its premiere at the upcoming edition of the Sundance Film Festival. Toronto locals can probably expect to see it at Hotdocs a few months later. Let’s hope the internet survives the wait.

Hayao Miyazaki @ 75

With Japanese auteur, manga artist, animator, and former Studio Ghibli co-chief Hayao Miyazaki celebrating his 75th birthday today, it is worth giving consideration to his influence over the past 50 years. While Ghibli is not the quite the world-wide corporate juggernaut that is Disney, nor is it the household name among children and families, the influence of Miyazaki (and Isao Takahata) on the art and creativity of the animated world is deeply entrenched. Pixar head John Lasseter (who is also the chief of all Disney animated projects) never misses an opportunity to praise Miyazakai-san as one of the key mentors and aspirations in the early days of storytelling at Pixar.

From his early work as an animator at Toei Studios where he worked on projects such as Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Future Boy Conan, Gulliver’s Travels, and significantly, the feature film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, which almost much as Tin Tin, was a key pre-cursor/analogue to Indiana Jones. From there, he worked with his friend co-worker, Takahata-san, to form Studio Ghibli and translate his sprawling manga, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds into an epic sized feature. Note at the bottom of this post, that several people have noted the similarities between scavenger-warrior-leader Nausicaa and The Force Awakens scavenger-soon-to-be-Jedi, Rey.

After the success of their first feature, Miyazaki and Takahata would go on to make parallel features in their new studio. Miyazaki the all time classic My Neighbor Totoro, perhaps the most universal movie about discovery and play ever made, while Takahata would make one of the greatest (and saddest) anti-war movies in the history of cinema, The Grave of the Fireflies. Miyazaki, for his entire career, ending with the biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, a designer Japanese planes the second World War, would come back again and again to themes of environmentalism, aviation, and the balance between self-reliance and social responsibility. These themes are often tacked in a fantasy setting, but their adult complexities made his animated features rather unique. He almost always had a girl as the protagonist which as exceptionally forwarding thinking in 1984, and was still unusual by the time he won the Animated Feature Oscar with his Alice In Wonderland / Wizard of Oz inspired masterpiece, Spirited Away. The epic adventure Princess Mononoke was the highest grossing movie in Japan until James Cameron’s Titanic.

Although the director only directed 8 animated features over the course of his time running Studio Ghibli, all of them are bonafide classics of animation. And while the future of Ghibli is uncertain after his retirement a few years ago (along with the retirement of Takahata-san a year later), he has left an impressive legacy, including the final Ghibli feature, 2014’s When Marnie Was There which often plays like a ‘grown-up’, melancholic version of My Neighbor Totoro.

Also worth checking out is the 2013 documentary on Miyazaki’s life and his working process, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.

CASTcast 2015


The Cinematic Appreciation Society of Toronto returns for more drinking and merriment and incidental discussion on the highlights of 2015 in film. Dozens of film lovers in the Toronto area (including many contributors here at RowThree) submitted their top ten lists and the results were tallied into a consensus top ten.

Our hosts for this podcast gather around a round table (literally) and work their way through the list one at a time and spend a few minutes discussing the pros (and some cons) of each title. Though there was surprisingly little RowThree representation on the recording panel, our own Corey “Goon” Pierce contributes to the on-mic revelry.

Enjoy the listen!

Dave Voigt – In the Seats | @intheseats

Corey Pierce – Soundtrack of Your Life | @coreypierceart

Hillary Butler – Live for Films | @petdochill

Ryan McNeil – The Matinee@matinee_ca

Corey Atad – @coreyatad

Norman McGlashan – Flick Hunter | @mcstay12

Jorge Castillo – Prairie Dog Magazine | @jicastillo

Heidi Morales – Hye’s Musing | @HeidyMo

James McNally – CAST organizer, Toronto Screen Shots@toscreenshots

Vilmos Zsigmond. 1930-2016

We are losing our legendary cinematographers at an alarming rate this early into the new year. Vilmos Zsigmond, master of the earth-toned palette, shooter of McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Deliverance, The Deer Hunter, Heaven’s Gate, Blow Out, The Sugarland Express, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind for which he won the Academy Award for cinematography has passed on January 1st.

The Guardian has more.



Friday One Sheet: Our Favourite Movie Posters of 2015

Each week in this column we highlight and discuss the design and details of movie posters in this column, this being the New Years Day holiday, and more about taking a day off than launching new things. Thus, going back through the last 52 weeks, in a not too objective, not overthinking it fashion, here is a list of 10 favourites.

10. Chi-Raq

9. Sicaro

8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Hey Man, Nice Shot 2015

[post brought to you courtesy of Ryan McNeil from The]

Film can do so much with one incredible scene, and often just as much with one amazing line. For my money though, film is often at its most powerful when it unleashes everything into one great shot.

It’s with that in mind that we return to an annual tradition at this site for the fifth year.

After a year dedicated to the abstract, this year the iconic imagery seemed to come back to the characters and the actors who portrayed them. Some of the best shots took us so far away a person was dwarfed by their surroundings; others brought us right up into their grill. A lot of pain and sorrow, but some profound joy dropped in for good measure.

Each photo can be identified by hovering your cursor, and clicking any of them will take you to a bigger version of the shot.

Cinecast Episode 422 – Pimp Fur

Well, the Cinecast is back. Matt Gamble contributes to another epic, three hour plus discussion on the state of cinema at the end of 2015. The real magic of cinema is often displayed most notably and vibrantly with period pieces and this week’s show runs the gamut of period pictures. The Hateful Eight is out to mixed reviews and The Cinecast continues the status quo. Carol is lavishly tongue bathed and the largely unseen (or under the radar) pick this week is the VOD trash, The Lady in a Car with Sunglasses and a Gun. Before Gamble hits the proverbial road, he leaves with his initial impressions of both Trumbo and Concussion. Andrew catches up with some home grown pleasure in “Fargo” (season 1) while Kurt and co. indulge in a double helping of stop-motion animated fox films. There might be some eco-preaching shoved in there somewhere as well. No one had the stomach for the Point Break remake. You’ll have to go to a different podcast for that.

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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