Cinecast Episode 348 – Immediately to Eleven

 
So Game of Thrones is finally back on the air with a brand new season. Does it live up to the wait we had to endure or was it a bit of a let down? Matt and Kurt also deliver a back and forth on the two wide to semi-wide theatrical releases this week in Captain America: Winter Soldier as well as Jodorowsky’s Dune. We dive into a very Red Dawn in which fantasy and reality’s lines are blurred which Kurt takes quite an issue with. The Minneapolis Film Festival is in full swing and Google and Bollywood make their appearances known. Danny Boyle is in the mix along and apparently the 90s b-squad is going for a comeback in Jerome Sable’s Stage Fright. Seriously, Minnie Driver is still around?

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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MSPIFF 2014 Review: Gangs of Wasseypur (parts 1 & 2)

 


 

Director: Anurag Kashyap
Writers: Akhilesh Jaiswal, Anurag Kashyap, Sachin K. Ladia, Zeishan Quadri
Producers: Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga, Sunil Bohra
Starring: Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tigmanshu Dhulia,
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 320 min.
Country of Origin: India

 

Pulling back, deliberately and slowly, from a soap-opera on the TV which is all song and dance and character introductions, the 315 minute long Gangs of Wasseypur kicks off with a single shot Johnnie To style unbroken assault on the stronghold of Faizal Khan with automatic weapons, grenades and narrow alleyways. It’s the bright herald of a major film career just leaping onto the international stage. Let us get this out of the way first: Anurag Kashyap’s generation spanning story set in the coal capital of India and spanning almost 70 years comfortably, nay confidently, belongs alongside the great crime sagas of the cinema: The Godfather Trilogy, City of God, Bertolucci’s 1900, Heimat and Election. The perfect nexus of history, craft, thematic heft, and balls-to-the-wall entertainment, it why cinema was invented in the first place. It is HBOs “Deadwood” rogues gallery of character actors as much as it is the legacy scheming driven plot mechanics as “I, Claudius.” Rare is the opportunity of novel-style story telling and mighty cinematic craft to come together in such a marvellous package. It’s a gift to film lovers. Shown into two parts, each one well past the 2.5 hour mark, but conceived as a single film it, in the director’s words, shows “frogs in a well,” 200,000 people spread across three streets. The rough and impoverished criminals are unwilling to leave or even look beyond the small neighbourhood and spray as much blood as possible for ownership of its organized crime opportunities which are equally transient.

Wasseypur may change hands geographically (India to Bengal), ethnically, even religious borders are mobile, but the Khans and the Singh’s have been at each others throats since the dawn of the coal era where two patriarch’s fought over the rights to hijack coal trains. When Ramadhir Singh kills Shiva Khan in this conflict, the Kahn’s young child Sadar shaves his head and vows to destroy Singh, not by murder, but my unravelling his empire piece by piece. As Singh enters politics to cement his empire, Sadar collects a growing number of wives, fathers several sons and kills a lot of folks with a machete. The law stays out of Wasseypur for fear of escalating slaughter, and a fair bit of carrot-stick mechanics from Singh. Part one of the diptych has an almost documentary feel, it even weaves a hefty of documentary footage to establish the context of the era spanning the 1940s up until the 1980s. Popular music from the cinema and TV act as a greek chorus to the proceedings, but begin to establish a theme that will pay off in the second part. Namely that the second generation of gangsters are so influenced by what is thrown up on screen, it leads an elder Singh to offer, “Everyone has his own movie playing inside his head, it it were not for the damn movie’s there would be no fools in this country.” This as the film slowly moves out of history lesson mode and into Scorsese mode. One advisor Nasir (think Robert Duvall or Derek Jacobi) narrates the film Goodfellas style as the crime moves from the coal industry to owning the fisheries, to unabashed extortion, to eventually the burgeoning Iron business. If it is hard to keep track of the characters in the first 90 minutes of the film, they’ve all been immortalized after that point with impeccable attention in narrative craft establishing relationships and motivations and territory.

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Cinecast Episode 287 – Respect the Cock (2012 in Review)

 
Of course one of our longer episodes of the year. This is the year that was 2012. Top Tens. Trends. Stars. Fuck yous. Themes. Box office. Mesmerized. Cinematography. So much to hash over. With surprisingly very little fighting this week, it seems it was a fairly good year in motion pictures. We hash it all out – and there is a lot to hash over. Including penis. Enjoy.

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 273 – It’s TIFF 2012!

Thanks once again to Ryan McNeil of The Matinee for dropping back in for our huge TIFF recap (and almost spoiler-free!). Andrew sits in quiet solitude on the sofa, acting mainly as an audience member (admittedly, mostly fiddling with Pinterest and playing Tiger Woods Golf) with much amusement as Ryan and Kurt recap a large chunk of their TIFF experience. Sadly, due to the late hour of recording, there was no time left for The Watch List. We are happy, hoever to kick of the Fall Semester of homework assignments. The discussion gets pretty spirited where there is agreement and disagreement on many of the films screening at this years festival. Drop in again next week for a return to our usual programming: a lengthy discussion on PT Anderson’s The Master and responses to this first volley of homework assignments.

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


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Mamo’s #TIFF12 Coverage, Part Four: Here We Are

Special guest star Kurt Halfyard joins us on Day 9 of the Toronto International Film Festival 2012 for more reactions and response! We talk To The Wonder, Gangs of Wasseypur, Jump, Leviathan, Penance, The Thieves, Here Comes The Devil, The Bay, A Hijacking, Great Expectations, The Iceman, and more! Plus, the long-awaited rumble on the Canteen patio about whether or not horror is a viable genre: buckle up and grab your sister’s hand…

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo271.mp3