Trailer: Jackie

Let the Oscar-bait commence! Actually, that is probably not fair to apply that in a derogatory way to Pablo Larraín’s bio-pic of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the near-mythic ‘Camelot’ period of the United States of America (a term Onassis herself coined). The Chilean director’s previous Tony Manero and The Club are far from the usual trophy middle-brow. Indeed, in the trailer below, there is a Malick-esque kind of cinematography going on, and a far more challenging approach to the subject matter than one might expect. I now regret not using my TIFF ticket to see this. Either way, the film is getting a release this December.

A searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, and placing us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.

Cinecast Episode 379 – Collaborated, Coagulated, Copulated

This is one of those episodes with no new reviews (blame January, folks!) Instead Andrew & Kurt get into a lengthy discussion about re-watching films. From the starting point of “Inherent Twice” they each drop 5 titles up for discussion on how opinion/evaluation/appreciation of the film changes with multiple viewings. Then it is on to the watch list. Salty tongued Office-slash-Spy comedy, bad bad bad Nicole Kidman version of Groundhog Day, 1970s car chase drama, gender-bending time travel, and Jazz, baby, Jazz. A side tangent on whether or not to ‘read the book first’ or ‘watch the movie’ first in light of Ridley Scott’s forthcoming The Martian rounds out the show.

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 253 – It’s not Trash. It’s Garbage.

Many of you know him as “Goon”, but illustrator/web designer/movie nerd, Corey Pierce of the Critical Mass Cast has parachuted into the Cinecast floating ever so gently down on the buoyancy of his love for Mirror Mirror and making the show one of epic length, even by Cinecast standards; we do not quite break the Cinecast record but we do come dangerously close. After a signature tangent on whether or not it is appropriate to applaud or boo after (or during) a film and comparing The Raid to both porn and “The Family Guy,” we tackle the glossy and relentless Indonesian action film in the context of how a movie can set its own terms, and either fail, succeed on those terms, or transcend them. Where does The Raid fall? You’ll have to listen.

We then move on to listener submitted home work and the glory (or lack thereof) of trash cinema. Going through the various assigned work reveals both enlightening and pandering to the ‘teachers,’ which underscores that our listeners do indeed take these homework assignments seriously. Bravo to you folks. The Watchlist rounds out the show and features a lengthy discussion of the Bully documentary, Eddie Murphy and racial/sexual epithets, JFK Conspiracy Books, American Presidents – right back to the founding fathers – fosters a wacky and over-simplified discussion of politics (Is there any other kind??!!) on both sides of the Canada/USA divide, studio Ghibli, giant gorillas and one-armed drummers. Yeah, the thing is over four hours. Enjoy…or endure! (Bend like a sapling in the wind, lest one break!)

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 241 – Gusto

While we patiently wait for Carnage to open in Minneapolis and for A Dangerous Method to open in Toronto, Kurt and Andrew decide to outline the 40 odd films-of-interest that are on the radar for 2012; there appears to be lots of interesting science fiction coming this year and a large pile of auteur-type films on the way. Moving onto the Watch List, discussion skips along from a rewatch of an under-appreciated genre flick from 2010 to a lengthy bit on Oliver Stone’s (and Stephen King’s) JFK. Added to the mix is John La Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From The Cold, Kurt’s family sings along to The Sound of Music, some early John Carpenter, Ron Howard and lots of love for Peter Sarsgaard, and a small bit on BBC’s current “Sherlock” TV series. Enjoy.

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:

Full show notes are under the seats…
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Bodies of Work: From JFK to X-Men (Toronto Event)

Hurray! The fine folks at the Revue Cinema have given me a reason to leave the house next week.


Next Wednesday kicks off a three-night series showcasing the work of Toronto-based special effects artist Gordon Smith. His work in JFK, X-Men and Jacob’s Ladder will be on the screen and on display as the cinematic experience is fleshed out with choice props and Q&A’s with the man behind the visuals. I am especially interested in the JFK evening which includes a life-size effigy of the deceased president on display. I have, as of late, become something of a JFK nut, not quite to the point of holidaying in Dallas but enough to know the name of Oswald’s landlady (and own the quite terrible Martin Sheen miniseries). I look forward to revisiting Oliver Stone’s film theatrically.

Here is the press release for the event:


A Special Effects Show and Tell at The Revue

TORONTO — Gordon Smith has always been unnerved by the sight of blood. He calls it a serious phobia. That’s what makes his journey from stage actor to master of prosthetic makeup and special effects for the movie industry all the more remarkable.

Smith and his Toronto-based company, FXSmith, helped recreate the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Oliver Stone’s JFK. He’s responsible for vampire gore in Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, the nightmarish hallucinations in Adrian Lyne’s Jacob’s Ladder, the visual realities of war and death in Stone’s Platoon and Salvador and mutant designs in the first and second X-Men.

In the course of his career, Smith has revolutionized his industry, a remarkable accomplishment for a Canadian who never moved to L.A. His silicone prosthetic technology is now the special effects makeup standard for filmmakers around the world.

The Revue Cinema is proud to present Bodies of Work, three evenings with Gordon Smith, in what can only be described as the ultimate show and tell.

He will introduce three films for which he designed and executed the special makeup, bring appropriate props for the audience to see up close, explain how he built them, entertain with behind-the-scenes anecdotes and be on hand for post-screening questions from the audience.

1. JFK, Wednesday, March 16, 7 p.m.

The life-sized effigy of Kennedy, which Smith refers to as Jack in the Box, has resided at Smith’s studio since the filming of JFK. He will bring it to the cinema for viewing. To build the body, Smith conducted his own forensic study, compiling information from all available sources, even some not made public. He could only conclude that the findings of the Warren Commission had little to do with the truth.

2. X-Men, Wednesday, March 30, 7 p.m.

A presentation mannequin of the blue character Mystique will attend the screening. Her last appearance was at MOMA in New York as the centerpiece for the “Superheroes in Fashion” show. X-Men was one of the easier films to pull off, Smith says: “If the character is blue with a tail, no one’s going to compare him to all the other blue people with tails.”

3. Jacob’s Ladder, Wednesday, April 13, 7 p.m.

Working with the film’s British team, which fully appreciated his work, was an exceptional but stressful experience, so much so that Smith broke out in hives. “Unfortunately, we were filming in New York. I thought it was bed bugs,” he recounts.

Smith’s 30 years in the film industry leave him a wealth of stories to tell: hair-raising experiences, like the heart that inexplicably began to inflate in Threshold (1981), starring Donald Sutherland as a cardiologist; Hollywood politics and a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse at Academy Award nominations; industry trends; and powerful personalities like Oliver Stone.

Smith considers his greatest accomplishment to be the prosthetic technology he developed, thereby raising the bar for an entire industry. In Toronto, he was able to assemble an exceptional team, including sculptor Evan Penny, whose arrestingly realistic work has gained international recognition.

Tickets for the event are $10 for Revue members and seniors; $12 for non-members. The doors open at 6 p.m.