MSPIFF 2015 Review: The Keeping Room

There have been hundreds of films about life after war. Dozens about life after The American Civil War. But the consequences of war from the women’s perspective seems few and far between when it comes to the flicker show. Painting a picture of post Civil War America in the south, from the point of view of the women left alone is a wonderful concept. The world depicted is a dreadful hardship and almost surreal in nature. Not all of the parts in this machine work as well within the general idea but it’s competent enough to make a person stop and think about what they saw. And if nothing else, it’s got some tense and exciting (and brutally gruesome) action/thriller moments with muskets and revolvers.

Looking at the image above you might think you’re about to stumble into yet another zombie movie. But you’d be wrong… but in a way, you’d be right. America had ripped itself apart at this moment in time and what was left in some of the country was an utter wasteland. The men in the area were all dead or captured, fled or on some sort of political mission. The women were left fending for themselves. What men are left are drifters, scoundrels and drunkards; looking to kill, loot, rape and burn anything they come across. Which of course is partly due to being exposed to the horrors of war first hand and suffering from a then undiagnosed PTSD. They don’t know how to stop killing.

“War is cruel” opens the picture. This is of course nothing new to audiences but war can be equally cruel to the innocents left behind and the Confederacy left standing (or not standing) feels just like a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Straying too far from home might get you killed. Keeping a fire lit or firing a rifle shot might attract unwanted attention from roughians. But the worst scenario is that you’re a woman. Wearing a red shirt in a “Star Trek” episode would be safer than not having a “Y” chromosome upon this landscape. Partly because you’re a vulnerable target, but also because you’re alone. It’s not uncommon for a woman to just shoot herself or throw herself into a river than try to struggle through a seemingly never ending tribulation.
Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 363 – Maybe We Should not Give Up on Megan Fox

Back to a more classic styled Cinecast for Andrew and Kurt this week, a relaxed conversation on two major celebrity deaths these past few days, the smaller theatrical releases: Magic in the Moonlight, I Origins, Coherence and film festivaling. It’s all pleasant and sweet agreement for the first half of the show but things slowly go south at the start of the 1984 Project (which sees Roy Scheider in 2010 but really just doing his character from Jaws) and the nerd-shit really hits the fan as Ready Player One enters the conversation.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 314 – Punchy, Punchy

Thanks to our buddy Anthony (@fullantho) for dropping by to be Superman’s bodyguard as Kurt and Andrew flop around with Zack Snyder’s very expensive wet noodle of a Superhero film. Since three’s a charm, we have three feature reviews in this episode before getting to The Watch List. We will not only be talking about Man of Steel, but also the quasi-indie thriller The East and the current who’s who of young stars facing the book of Revelations and more dick jokes than you can shake a stick at, in This is the End. Jerry Seinfeld makes somewhat of a return in our Watch List as a man with exotic cars and famous friends and a taste for java and pastries. Kurt talks wuxia films both past and present while focusing on the awesomeness of King Hu on the big screen. We wax positively on the careers of Tom Cruise and Mark Ruffalo as well as how to elevate a simple genre film into a classic using just great cinematography and good screenwriting. Have at it, folks.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

show content

show content

show content



[mp3player width=560 height=76 config=cinecast.xml file=] DOWNLOAD mp3 | 122 MB
if player is not working, try alternate player at bottom of this post


Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: The East

Following up the quite excellent Sundance gem, The Sound of My Voice with a bigger budget and broader scope, comes the sophomore directorial effort from Zal Batmanglij. Co-writing the film and starring in it is new Indie queen Brit Marling where she will be joined by Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Skarsgard. The East looks to be a 70s styled paranoid thriller wiht a 21st century independent bent to it. There also appears to be a fair bit of action for what is, relative to the rest of the summer blockbusters, a much smaller beast.

Sarah Moss is a former FBI agent and an operative for the private intelligence firm Hiller Brood. She infiltrates an anarchist collective called The East and convinces its members of her genuine participation. Moss begins to fall in love with its leader Benji, and she begins to question the moral underpinnings of her undercover duty.

Trailer: The Company You Keep

Outside the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford is kind of a cottage industry for earnest political tinged thrillers. The Company You Keep is indeed one of these, focusing on the trials and tribulations (and family) of two Weather Underground members. It came and went without a peep at the 2012 edition of TIFF.





Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Shia LaBeouf, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, and Stanley Tucci.

Furthermore, it’s penned by Lem Dobbs (The Limey) and scored by Cliff Martinez (Solaris, Drive)

Trailer: Arbitrage

Today is the day for trailers from recent Sundance entries featuring Susan Sarandon. Arbitrage is a crime thriller that mixes infidelity, family loyalty and corporate shenanigans with good old fashioned 1970s style storytelling. Richard Gere stars as a financial power broker who betrays the trust of his family (Brit Marling, Susan Sarandon) for the purposes of not corrupting the sale of a major corporate asset when he and his mistress suffer a major car accident. Whew! Cover-up Time! Tim Roth, who is sorely missed from film endeavors due to the actor favouring steady TV work for the past five years, looks top-notch as a cop on the scent of a big case. The production looks handsome, albeit a tad over-dramatic (more Wall Street than Michael Clayton) and it certainly has my attention come September when Arbitrage is getting a simultaneous theatre and VOD release.

Trailer: The Sound of My Voice

“I just feel like we are in over our heads.” “Yea, That’s investigative journalism.”

Undercover reporters, cults, and possible time travelers abound in this indie drama/thriller. The Sound of My Voice not only turned some heads at 2011’s SXSW & 2012s Sundance, it stars indie science-fiction favourite Brit Marling (Another Earth) as the enigmatic and charismatic cult leader. There is definitely a claustrophobic vibe to the tone and cinematography here. The trailer is below.


Friday One Sheet: Secret Hand Shake

The ‘folded and creased’ one-sheet look may have been played out a few years ago, but what I really like about this particular teaser poster is the simplicity of its design, otherwise. A secret handshake could mean a coming of age film along the lines of Wes Anderson or Stand By me, or it could movie about a deaf person, perhaps. The key thing is that simply by looking at the poster, I’m thinking about it. In this case Brit Marling (Another Earth) stars in and co-writes what appears to be a Sundance film in the same territory as Martha Marcy May Marlene. Cults, secret hand-shakes. The Sound of My Voice Intrigued? Yep.

A journalist and his girlfriend get pulled in while they investigate a cult whose leader claims to be from the future.


Also, Watch The first 12 minutes


Fantasia Review: Another Earth

Another Earth


What I really love about the ideas and concepts in Quantum Mechanics theory is that nothing makes any sort of intuitive sense yet at the moment, within the scientific consensus as our ‘reality.’ The math, an Alice in Wonderland-like rabbit hole – there is a book called Alice in Quantumland that acts as both a whimsical and accurate primer on the subject – just seems to hold things together although we would have to trust the few folks that understand it like we would, say, priests. Another Earth takes the premise of multiple, yet slightly varied states of existence, and creates an interesting situation to hang a character drama on. A second earth, identical to our own plunks itself pretty much into orbit one day. Dubbed Earth 2, humanity are collectively rapt with what exactly this means; in particular when a SETI professor contacts ‘herself’ on the other planet who is also making an attempt to contact. Who is Earth 1 and who is Earth 2? Rather than play this out on a large and global scale which was neither the intent or within any sort of budget allowance, the film plays out the scenario with the emotional happiness of two people. Both of whom suffer as the direct (and random) consequence of the arrival of Earth 2.

Rhoda is a promising M.I.T. undergraduate who, on night of drunken partying, the same night the new planet appears, destroys several innocent lives in a car accident. Four years of prison time and a promising academic career ruined, her emotional scars are still raw after her release from prison. The eponymous blue orb in the sky looms so large over ours that we cannot help see it at all times. The big ‘what if it didn’t’ that you go over and over in your head when something bad happens happens to you.

Would you like to know more…?