CASTcast 2013

The Cinematic Appreciation Society of Toronto returns for more drinking and merriment and incidental discussion of the winners of our annual poll of the year’s best films.

Hosted by Matt Price of Mamo!, this panel roundtable features commentary and discussion from the following contributors:

Kurt Halfyard – Row Three, Twitchfilm@triflic
Ryan McNeil – The Matinee@matinee_ca
Matt Brown –, Twitchfilm, Mamo!@tederick
Ariel Fisher – Row Three, Rue Morgue – @Afis8
Bob Turnbull – Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind, Row Three@TheLogicalMind
James McNally – CAST organizer, Toronto Screen Shots@toscreenshots

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Mamo #334: Twenty Fourteen

After a three-week food-and-blackout-fueled hiatus, Mamo returns! It’s the first week of 2014 which means, naturally, it’s time to close up shop on 2013 with our picks for the best films of the year. We also get in deep on the relative merits of Twelve Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street, wax philosophical on whether films can ever truly be “numbered,” and give some thought to Her and the state of science fiction.

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Row Three Favorite Films (2013)

For what is probably the first time in RowThree history we were actually able to get our acts together and dish out the annual “best of” list in a timely manner (i.e. before February). Everyone on the team contributed their version of what stood out most in 2013 through the eye of cinema. Mostly in the form of a Top Ten list, but there are some other goodies and observations in here as well. Scroll your mouse wheel down or click any of the names below to jump right to a specific list and/or permalink. Then start thinking about what you want to include in your list for 2014.

Marina Antunes
David Brook
Matthew Brown
Ariel Fisher
Kurt Halfyard
Andrew James
Ryan McNeil
Matt Price
Bob Turnbull


By all means, drop some of your favorites in the comments section below.
Welcome to 2013!

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My Movie Moments of 2013


Though I didn’t keep very good track throughout the past 12 months, I think I’ve cobbled together some of my favourite moments from 2013’s films as well as some older movies I saw for the first time. So here’s a random walk through them…


2013 films:

  • Best spine-tingling, goose-bump raising moment of the year: Merry Clayton’s rendition of “Southern Man” in Twenty Feet From Stardom. You can almost feel the spittle as she tears into the song while her backup band shreds it.
  • The joy of playing music when you’re young in We Are The Best! and Metalhead.
  • Mark Ruffalo’s music producer imagining the instruments and arrangement backing up a solo acoustic performance in Can A Song Save Your Life?.
  • “Who starts a song like that?” – Christian Bale’s American Hustle hustler talking about “Jeep’s Blues” by Duke Ellington.
  • “Five Hundred Miles” performed in Inside Llewyn Davis.
  • The red waterfalls in Byzantium and Neighboring Sounds – one a recurring motif reflecting the “birth” of a vampire and the other a shocking sudden foreshadowing.
  • The effective use of colour in Stoker.
  • The bright colours in Only God Forgives and Trance.
  • All those gorgeous sunsets in Spring Breakers.
  • The opening shot of billows of dirty water cascading down like an avalanche in Watermark.

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Hey Man, Nice Shot (2013)


Today, we begin wrapping up 2013 by returning to an annual tradition originally posted over at The Matinee. It occurred to me some time ago that when you think back on a film, sometimes you think about one solitary image. When you bring those images together, it turns into a neat little tapestry of the year on the whole.

The idea started back in 2010, and continued through 2011 and 2012.

Decide amongst yourselves what it means that I have been choosing more and more images as the years have gone on.

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Trailer: Linklater’s Before Midnight

Richard Linklater continues the romantic adventures and travails of Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke with Before Midnight. The third entry in the series find them a bonafide couple, with two little girls in Greece. And all the stresses of age, parenting, regrets, etc. challenge the notion of perpetual romance. I love the idea of these ‘delayed’ sequels (see also the middle chapter, After Sunset) which allow us to see the progress of these two characters as they (and we) make our way through life. They’ve also had a nice mix of the practical, the romantic and a sense of humour about things; what more do you need from life? To find out where the couple stands in their parenting years, and for that matter, who is the “mayor of Crazytown” you’ll have to watch the trailer below.