Cinecast Episode 202 – Obviously You’re Not a Golfer

 

It is a cornucopia, a smörgåsbord, a veritable potpourri of cinema, as the Cinecast regulars get together with nothing on the agenda other than to talk about what they have watched, in the cinema, on the DVD and streamed from the internet or (in an exciting technology development, from the Computer Hard Drive.) Andrew continues to dig into the Foreign Language Nominees with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful. Kurt comes at Oscar a different way with the new documentary on the man with the midas touch when it comes to little gold men, Harvey Weinstein. And Gamble talks best animated film of 2011 with a preview of the flat out awesome Gore Verbinski/Nickelodeon/Industrial-Light-And-Magic Johnny Depp western, Rango. From there, we go from the occult, to Penelope Cruz DTV failures, to two vastly different takes time travel from the 1980s to Chinese shopping malls. Then it is onto Romans wandering about Scotland, Aussie crime dynasties and suburban teenage prostitution rings! It is all a part of your complete breakfast.

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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TIFF Review: Easy A

 

 

Funny, but not unusual at a film festival, to see a documentary about the crumbling, actually, quite crumbled, American school system (Waiting For Superman) back to back with a Hollywood neo-John Hughes picture. If nothing else it underscores that the high schools portrayed in the multiplexes are gigantic and facile ‘drama engines.’ Not news to you, but it is something that Easy A has a lot of fun being and exploiting at the earnest distance of Juno and the romantic fantasy of Say Anything. or perhaps (because the film keeps coming back to it again and again) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. So I have established that this is a very meta high-school movie that that knows its Juno from its Ghost World from its “Veronica Mars” from its (judging by an elaborate schoolyard tracking shot, amongst other things) Donnie Darko. It is a high school movie written by and for people in their thirties and forties and it is flattering enough to have most of the adult supporting players, an all-star list including Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci and Thomas Hayden Church, pander (and comment on their pandering) to that audience. And yet the whole glossy affair is still pretty darned endearing.
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DVD Review: Don’t You Forget About Me

DYFAMDVD

Director: Matt Austin
Producers: Michael Facciolo, Kari Hollend
Starring: Kevin Smith, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, Kelly LeBrock, Jason Reitman
MPAA Rating: NA
Running time: 77 min.

When John Hughes passed away earlier this year, an entire generation mourned the death of a friend. Hughes had been a voice of a generation, a man whose films spoke about teen life without embellishment or speaking down to kids; it was as though someone finally understood what it was like to be a teen. His films may date back to the 80s but the themes and stories he explored are as relevant to day as they were in 1985 and so Hughes has continued to champion teen films though he hadn’t made a new one in decades.

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Don’t You Forget About John Hughes

Don'tYouForgetAboutMeShortly after the premature death of teen philosopher John Hughes, we caught wind of Don’t You Forget About Me. The little Canadian documentary about a group of filmmakers, all fans of Hughes’ work, who went in search of the reclusive director.,was complete and biding its time for some sort of small distribution when the death of Hughes brought Alliance knocking. The film never played theatrically but the distributor is giving the documentary a DVD release.

In preparation for the release, it’s scheduled to hit store shelves (at the moment, in Canada only) on November 3rd, the film has a dapper new trailer. Not too different from the original but it features a slew of individuals including Alan Ruck, Kevin Smith and Kelly LeBrock (Kelly freakin’ LeBrock!) This is one I’m very interested in seeing; expect a review in this space in the coming week!

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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Chicago in 8 Hours? Ferris Can

Q: In light of John Hughes death (one of my favorites of all time) I ask you this obvious question about “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”: How is it possible to fit so much into roughly an eight hour span?
— Mike, Columbia, Mo.

So many readers asked me this that I almost felt obligated to figure it out until I remembered something: Realistically, Ferris and Cameron didn’t pick up Sloane until somewhere between 9:30 and 10:15. They lived at least 25-30 minutes from downtown Chicago and returned home at about 6. We know this because Sloane looked at her watch right near the end. So that means in the span of slightly less than eight hours …

They drove to Chicago; dropped off the car; visited the top of the Sears Tower as well the Stock Market; went to the Museum of Art long enough for Cameron to have a life epiphany; cabbed it over to the French restaurant; ate lunch at Abe Froman’s table; headed over to Wrigley Field; attended an afternoon Cubs game long enough for the pizza guy to tell Ed Rooney that it was the third inning (and for Ferris to catch a foul ball); headed back to downtown Chicago; took part in a parade in which Ferris sang “Danke Schoen” on a giant float without having rehearsed it; picked up the car; drove home; hung out at Cameron’s pool; spent at least 20-25 minutes trying to take the miles off Cameron’s car and watched Cameron subsequently destroy his father’s car and then tell them he’d take the heat for it (which always bothered me because no father would forgive something that creepy, and besides, unless his father was molesting him, how bad could he have been that you’d destroy a beautiful piece of machinery like that?); left Cameron’s house so Ferris could walk Sloane home; then Ferris sprinted back to his house to make it in time for dinner.

Seems improbable, right? No way all of that stuff happens in less than 10 hours unless they basically made a two-inning cameo at the Cubs game and left. (Conceivable, by the way. How can you top catching a foul ball? And if Sloane hated baseball and pushed for them to leave after 2-3 innings, wouldn’t the logical next stop for them — if a girl who hated sports was running the show — be that art museum?) But there’s no way to know, which leads me to the following idea: Shouldn’t three Chicago kids re-enact Ferris’ entire day and see if they could pull it off in less than eight hours? Bring a couple of Flip cameras, tape everything, see if you can do it and stick the results on YouTube. John Hughes would be proud.

Thanks Bill.

Bookmarks for August 18th through August 20th

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What we’ve been reading – August 18th through August 20th:

Cinecast Episode 134: The Asymptote of Mainstream

Episode 134:
So much for the Gabba Gamble being around to rescue the show. With Andrew recuperating from Lollapalooza it’s up to Kurt and Marina to keep the show on the road. Starting with Chan-Wook Park’s uncategorizable Thirst along to Near Dark, Innocent Blood and vampires in general, eventually landing in romantic comedy territory with a revisit to (500) Days of Summer and a quick tour 1980s John Hughes. There are some DVD picks in there as well. And, of course, it would not be a Cinecast without a few tangents. The sound quality is a bit tinny, so apologies and some *Fist Shaking at Skype.*

Enjoy.

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After the Credits Episode 68 – Remembering John Hughes

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Dale (Digital Doodles), Colleen and Marina look back and remember the films and career of John Hughes.

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Bookmarks for August 7th

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What we’ve been reading – August 7th:

Don’t You Forget About Me; A Documentary on John Hughes

It’s amazing how these things work. Less than 24 hours from the sad news that John Hughes’ yearbook had been closed comes the discovery of a documentary about the elusive man.

In 2008, four filmmakers from Toronto set out to find answers to some of the big questions which always seem to revolve around Hughes’ films namely: how is it that regardless of when you grew up, movies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club still resonate? The group managed to make their way to Chicago and beyond but they never achieved the ultimate goal: speaking to Hughes directly. Along the way, they did have the chance to talk to many a familiar face including Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Justin Henry, Gedde Watanabe, John Kapelos, Annie Potts, Kelly Lebrock, Andrew McCarthy, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, Kevin Smith, Jason Retiman and Roger Ebert among many others. The resulting documentary titled Don’t You Forget About Me, appears to be finished though there’s currently no information on a release. Judging from this trailer and the fact that Hughes’ is again “hot” news, it would not surprise me if in a few weeks time we hear that the documentary has received some sort of distribution deal or at the very least, some festival play.

The film’s official website is currently pretty bare but the production blog is full of great material including some snippets from various interviews; well worth a look!


R.I.P. Mr. Hughes

It’s a sad day. Especially sad for anyone that grew up in the 80s, and even for those of us who didn’t but have great love for the staple teen films of the era. You see, reports are coming in that John Hughes, master of the teen romantic comedy, has died of a heart attack.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles – all classics of the era before mine but which still manage to ring true. These are the films that I turned to in highschool and though the fashions and music were different, the messages still rang true.

On this day when a little part of my youth has died, I choose to remember Mr. Hughes for the laughs he brought and continues to bring. Rather than mourn the death of a very funny man, we should celebrate the great and memorable movies he has left behind.

Hope you’re Twisting and Shouting…where ever you might be.