Fantasia Review: Black Pond


DIn the running with Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong as the funniest entry in the Fantasia and possibly of this year so far, I am going to give Black Pond the edge because of its Errol Morris “Life is pretty damn strange, would you fancy a cup of tea and a chat about it?” penchant for absurdity in the mundane. While the events depicted in this almost-a-crime documentary are not ‘real’ as say Tabloid or Gates of Heaven, films are lies that tell the truth either way and funny is and funny does. Black Pond just wants you to have a banana, but not a midnight, bananas are for energy to go out and do something, not to satisfy a mere late night craving.

Let me start at the ending. (The film itself does so.)

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Cinecast Episode 184 – Death Lottery

The 4 hour barrier is broken as The Documentary Blog’s Jay Cheel joins Kurt and Andrew on the longest Cinecast ever – you know it is even longer than the previous epic length TIFF show. What do we talk about? For starters, Kurt & Jay examine the Let The Right One In remake, Let Me In (*SPOILERS*), in painstaking detail, and how not to process American remakes of foreign language films. Next we move along for a solid hour on Never Let Me Go (*SPOILERS*) which keeps going on the vibe of comparing source material to eventual film adaptation and why you probably should not do that. More Carey Mulligan talk as Andrew skims and sums up Wall Street 2 with out spoilers. Then, a spoiler-free discussion on Catfish follows, although only Jay caught it, so it is more of a discussion on fake/faux-Documentaries, and ‘narrative-ethics’ which leads to more more talk on I’m Still Here, with a little Last Exorcism and The Blair Witch Project to round things out. Next we move along to the avant garde and barely-narrative Cannes Palme D’Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and a lot of other films we watched: An overview of the “Middletown” documentary series, a bit of Daybreakers-Redux, a bit of Season 6 of “LOST” (you guessed it, with *SPOILERS*), and more avant garde cinema with Last Year At Marienbad. We also debate the finer points of Steve Buscemi and the cast and crew of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Finally (finally!) at around the 4 hour mark, our DVD picks round out a show that carried us well into the wee hours of the night recording. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed chatting. It may be long, but it is a solid and whip-smart show this time around, although we are biased on that front.

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:

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

Full show notes are under the seats…
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I’m Still Here (Are you Still Interested?)

Many of you will recall the shenanigans of Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck (well mostly Phoenix while Affleck captured it on camera) in the public sphere. Most people called it as some sort of Borat-like stunt-project, and most people were right. Now that we are at the point where things are comfortably in post-production, witness the one-sheet above, is there still an interest in this project or merely exhaustion to this sort of filmmaking. Or are you waiting for a trailer or sample of finished film to make a judgment call. It remains unlikely that this film, I’m Still Here, (despite a lot of blog coverage) will see anything beyond a festival followed by DVD release. But Magnolia (Who picked up the film earlier this year) has often been kind to out-of-the-box releasing, so I could be wrong.

Phoenix Mockumentary Ready for Purchase


Remember last fall (or was it last spring? Seems like ages ago anyway) when Joaquin Phoenix sort of went all Andy Kaufman style, coo-coo and claimed he was starting a new career as a rapper and forsaking acting altogether? Casey Affleck was there to film those seemingly tragic few months claiming that he was making a documentary about Phoenix’ new rap venture. The internet was a buzz with bafflement and bewilderment. Some claimed the whole thing was a farce (which now appears to be correct) while others were convinced this was the real deal and Phoenix had indeed gone off the deep end.

Well apparently Affleck’s documentary is finished and I can’t see what will possibly be in it of much interest. The media was all over Phoenix during this time as he appeared on David Letterman and was recorded everywhere saying stupid things, falling off of stages or trying (I stress the word “trying”) to be “cool as ice.”

Deadline New York is claiming that the William Morris Endeavor screened the film last week to potential buyers (including Harvey Weinstein) who are all “sworn to serecy”… yeah right. So we’ll probably be back in a week or two with a little more information about what exactly is really in the film to make it worth checking out – beyond the hours of footage already available on YouTube.

Vinnie & Mario Trailer


Just how busy is Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn? After two films landing (in North America at least) in 2009, Bronson and Valhalla Rising, he has another premiering on December 26th in Denmark?

Considering (I believe) that it is the ‘Grindhouse Guy’ on trailer voice-over duty, and the serious/silly mix in the visuals, I’m not even 100% sure it is real. Todd over at Twitch thinks so, however. Either way, I’d watch this. The use of the usual mobster cliches seem a little bit different, when one of them is wielding an axe. And Refn consistently delivers interesting movies.

Short teaser trailer for Vinnie & Mario is tucked under the seat.

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DVD Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser

Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser One Sheet

Directors: Tim Doiron, April Mullen
Screenplay: Tim Doiron
Producer: April Mullen
Starring: Tim Doiron, April Mullen, Ryan Tilley
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 85 min.

Rock, Paper Scissors: The Way of the Tosser is likely to take a few viewers by surprise. It’s clear from the get go that this is a mockumentary but as the film unfolds, some aspects feel so authentic that one starts to second guess the mockumentary angle and consider that perhaps these are simply some strange and funny individuals. That second guessing is what makes this little film so successful and reminiscent of other great films of the genre.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser Movie StillWritten by Tim Doiron and directed by the comedy duo of Doiron and April Mullen (who also star as the film’s leads), it’s the story of Gary Brewer and Holly Brewer (no relation) and their friend Trevor as they help Gary prepare for the 2006 Rock, Paper, Scissors World Championships. They’re a strange trio whose entire life centers on Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) and the film follows them as Gary trains for the championship and features Gary and Holly speaking on everything from technique to Gary’s training routine to his weakness. The story and characters are so outlandish and over the top that one starts to wonder whether these people are fake or simply so wacky they have to be real.

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“The Flying Scissors”

Just got word that this feature-length comedy about competitive Rock Paper Scissors will be hitting select theaters on November 6th. By the looks of the trailer (below), this sort of has the feel of a British version of a Christopher Guest mockumentary; specifically Best in Show. The acting looks competent and the script sounds smartly funny. We’re definitely looking forward to getting our hands on this hidden potential gem.


Between now and November 6th however, the movie will be going on a tour of 56 colleges across the country. The producers are trying to hit almost every state so if you’re in or near any of those areas (coming soon), mark your calendar and make an event out it. If this trailer is any indication, it’s going to be a fun time at the theater.

In the meantime…