Cinecast Episode 416 – List List

Last week we talked about all of the films coming in the next week that we’d have a tough time reviewing them all. As a consequence, we review none of them. Instead, we just glide from this to that, as Moses Znaimer would say, it is flow, not show. We look at our Top 5 Danny Boyle films, and as we are wont to do, talk at length about Sunshine. A medley of Mamet, Soderbergh, Bullock, Sorkin, Halloween horror and various other bon bons are extracted from the candy box. We call these: “shoot the shit” shows and we hope you find something worthwhile in the grab-bag. Note that the show is almost 100% spoiler free this week!

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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Cinecast Episode 395 – Have an Exit Strategy

The multiplex continues to bore Kurt and Andrew, who have no interest in costumed heroes or a uniformed Reese Witherspoon. So it is off to Argentina for the Oscar nominated anthology film, Wild Tales. Game of Thrones hits the half-way mark and Kurt may have finally convinced Andrew of a) just how tedious things in Meereen have gotten, b) how much Stannis Baratheon has come into his own this season, and c) the power of a good long shot.

The watch-list creates a divide in taste on music and documentary form with Brett Morgan’s Montage of Heck. The strengths and weakness of Wes Craven’s The New Nightmare are discussed, along with a tangent on lost concept over-spill resulting from sold out movies. Don’t Look Now, but there is more Nic Roeg discussion on the Cinecast. As is the case of Kevin Costner, Shawn Levy and the race to the middle(brow). Finally, Alex Gibney’s Scientology doc, Going Clear is compared and contrasted with PTA’s The Master, for dos and don’ts in filmmaking.

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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Hot Docs! Beauty Day! Neal Cassady! Elmo! Full Line-up Announced

“Every year I say I will get to more than 4-5 screenings at Hotdocs, but this year I mean it! One of the largest documentary film festivals in the world, Toronto’s HOT DOCS just announced its full line-up which includes premieres galore (I won’t bore you with the stats) both locally and internationally.

Some Highlights include the follow-up film from Man On Wire‘s Jim Marsh, Project Nim. A biography of the chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Jay Cheel’s Beauty Day, a look at the life and blue-collar art from pre-Jack Ass stunt-tomfoolery pioneer Ralph Zavadil (aka Cap’n Video). Magic Trip, Alex Gibney (Client 9, Taxi to the Darkside) and Allison Ellwood’s look at Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road muse, and his ramshackle bus was which was tricked out with cameras to capture free-form impressions of America and the seemingly limitless drug-induced antics of its passengers. Sundance Special Jury Prize winner, Being Elmo, is story of how a shy nine-year-old Kevin Clash pursued his dream of becoming a puppeteer on Sesame Street. Raised in a low-income community, Clash’s talents were evident in his homemade prototypes and the puppet shows he staged for his mother’s daycare kids. In Bobby Fisher Against The World, the rock star of the chess world is a look at how this American Cold War hero became a vilified, paranoid recluse. Buck, A real-life horse whisperer overcomes his dark childhood and emerges as kind of an equine-rooted philosopher, proving his own maxim: horses make better people. Conan O’Brian’s post-Late Show stand-up tour is documented in Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. Love him or hate him, Morgan Spurlock takes a look at advertising and branding in the movies with the festival opener, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. UFC-themed doc Fightville charts two young fighters with potential and a dream in MMA. And a stylish look at poverty (oxymoron?) with Vodka Factory where the fntasies of big-city stardom cushion a single mother labouring on an assembly line from the brutal banalities of life in Russia’s backwoods.

A massive catalogue/schedule to browse through, before the festival starts on April 28th and runs to May 8th, expect more coverage in the weeks to follow.

Freakonomics Opening Scene Suggests Ignoring Your Real-Estate Agent…But see the movie ASAP.

 

I am normally not a fan of ‘clips’ to advertise a movie over, for instance, a well cut trailer. The fact that a clip out of context of the narrative is usually quite boring. But sometimes the a clip comes along that plays better for capturing the tone and essence and overall reason to entice someone to see the film. The opening three minutes of Freakonomics, the movie based on the populist economic theory applied to real-world problems Malcolm-Gladwell-esque book, is exactly one of those times. The opening scene plays like a full endorsement on why you should bother with an evening out to catch this. The nice animation and ‘type-set titles’ are merely a bonus.

Taking Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s popular non-fiction page-turner of the same name and handing it over to some high profile names in the documentary world – the directors of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (Alex Gibney), Jesus Camp (Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing), Super Size Me (Morgan Spurlock), Why We Fight (Eugene Jarecki), and (a personal favorite) The King of Kong (Seth Gordon) – and connecting the dots with talking heads segments of authors themselves riffing on how simply following incentives (like any good economist) can challenge a lot of the assumptions we hold as sacrosanct.

The clip is tucked under the seat.

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Trailer: Freakonomics

The compilation film has been a staple in the multiplex (usually horror anthologies) and on festival circuit for years, recently a number of them have been organized around cities (Paris, New York, Tokyo, Toronto). It is not often that one sees an anthology documentary, but Freakonomics is that documentary. Taking Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s popular non-fiction page-turner of the same name and handing it over to some high profile names in the documentary world – the directors of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (Alex Gibney), Jesus Camp (Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing), Super Size Me (Morgan Spurlock), Why We Fight (Eugene Jarecki), and (a personal favorite) The King of Kong (Seth Gordon) – and connecting the dots with talking heads segments of authors themselves riffing on how simply following incentives (like any good economist) can challenge a lot of the assumptions we hold as sacrosanct.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?