Mondays Suck Less – TIFF edtion


A few tidbits left over from this year’s edition of the TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. (Look for our Mega-Wrap post of the fest next week.)

12 Years A Slave won the People’s Choice Award, here is the press Conference:

And of the many Public Screening Q&As:

Here is TIFF’s Tribute to Roger Ebert:

Canadian Filmmaker John Grayson Starts Hunger Strike due to being detained without reason in Egyptian prison. (For over a Month and counting…)

Alex Billington (FirstShowing.Net) continues his Tempest in a Teapot complaint of Cell Phone use in Industry Screenings — Where it is Permitted (And the Todd Brown’s HuffPo rebuttal)

Mamo!’s Matt Brown asks if disliking a filmmaker should affect viewing their film over at Twitchfilm

Master Documentary Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman on this ‘novel’ approach to documentary craft.

Mamo #306: The Death of the Film Critic, Part Deux

Critics reacted to M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith’s After Earth and fans reacted right back, in the only way they know how: erratically. With more layoffs at “real” publications, and Twitter telling us what we already think anyway, is proper film criticism dead?

To download this episode, use this URL:

Cinecast Episode 303 – Prolificity

With Andrew’s new night school/work schedule things are a bit weird in the Cinecast scheduling department, but we still manage to get to a lot of new ground (and some old Australian ground) in this 3+ hour episode of The Cinecast. Two definitely “off the beaten path” films from a Hollywood standpoint to talk about. Yet both as different from each other as they could possibly be. We introduce a new segment to The Cinecast this week with our weekly “Game of Thrones” recap in which we realize that although this week’s episode covered more ground in 55 minutes than most television covers in half a season, it still left about a third of the character threads off the screen this week. A healthy Watch List harkens back to Australian (not really) blockbusters, Harmony Korine’s previous works and a couple of straight to DVD pictures that might (might) surprise you.

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

Mamo #252: On Ebertfest, Part Three

We wrap up our Ebertfest 2012 coverage from the Valois Cafeteria in Chicago IL, with an in-depth chat about A Separation, Take Shelter, Higher Ground, and the meaning of faith in the universe. Special bonus: surreptitious Q&A audio clips!

To download this episode, use this URL:

Mamo #251: On Ebertfest, Part Two

Live from the Aroma Cafe in Champaign, IL, we continue to recap Ebertfest as it happens. Today we discuss the beautiful film Terri, a terrific program of shorts accompanied by the Alloy orchestra, and our thoughts on a panel about VOD vs. the future of theatrical moviegoing.

To download this episode, use this URL:

Mamo #250: On Ebertfest

Mamo comes to you from Champaign, Illinois, the home of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival – Ebertfest! We sit down on a park bench to discuss the festival and three of its films: Joe vs. the Volcano, Big Fan, and Kinyarwanda. Plus a big shout-out to the Jane Addams Book Shop.

To download this episode, use this URL:

Read exerpts from Roger Ebert’s Memoir: Life Itself


Any time Roger Ebert puts up his own person reveries on the past, it is the best reading over at his Sun-Times Journal. Even tough I more or less agree with his politics, I find his personal processing and musing of his past to be 1000x more compelling. Today he put up the opening pages of his Memoir there, and it is well worth your time.

When I returned to 410 East Washington with my wife, Chaz, in 1990, I saw that the hallway was only a few yards long. I got the feeling I sometimes have when reality realigns itself. It’s a tingling sensation moving like a wave through my body. I know the feeling precisely. I doubt I’ve experienced it ten times in my life. I felt it at Smith Drugs when I was seven or eight and opened a nudist magazine and discovered that all women had breasts. I felt it when my father told me he had cancer. I felt it when I proposed marriage. Yes, and I felt it in the old Palais des Festivals at Cannes, when the Ride of the Valkyries played during the helicopter attack in Apocalypse Now.

I was an only child. I heard that over and over again. “Roger is an only boy.” My best friends, Hal and Gary, were only children, too. We were born at the beginning of World War II, four or five years earlier than the baby boomers, which would be an advantage all of our lives. The war was the great mystery of those years. I knew we were at war against Germany and Japan. I knew Uncle Bill had gone away to fight. I was told, your father is too old so they won’t take him. He put bicycle clips on his work pants and cycled to work every morning. There was rationing. If Harry Rusk the grocer had a chicken, we had chicken on Sunday. Many nights we had oatmeal. There was no butter. Oleo came in a plastic bag, and you squeezed the orange dye and kneaded it to make it look like butter. “It’s against the law to sell it already looking like butter,” my parents explained. Daddy and Uncle Johnny ordered cartons of cigarettes through the mail from Kentucky. Everybody smoked. My mother, my father, my uncles and aunts, the neighbors, everybody. When we gathered at my grandmother’s for a big dinner, that meant nine or ten people sitting around the table smoking. They did it over and over, hour after hour, as if it were an assignment.

Read the rest here.

Siskel & Ebert Full Archives Now Available

If you’re interested in some nostalgia, Siskel and Ebert’s very, very early episodes of “At the Movies” (then titled “Opening Soon”) are now available for viewing online. The post 1985 archive was put online quite a while back for searching and viewing but anything pre-1985 was thought to be lost. Now thanks to the Library of Congress you can catch a lot of of those early reviews with Gene Siskel sporting an almost Shalit like mustache.

I’ve embedded the very first episode from 1975(!) under the seats since the damn thing auto-plays (with a review for something called One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and you can see a lot more of these early episodes (full episodes too, no just individual reviews!) with the search function over at Siskel & Good times. Now I’m off to go see what their initial impression of Return of the Jedi and Blue Thunder was.

Would you like to know more…?

Bookmarks for May 17-19

  • Stephen Frears and ‘Tamara Drewe’ eschews English fixation on class system
    Stephen Frears banters and spars with the Cannes International Media: “Well, I’ll defend ambiguity til I die … and if I said I were in favor of telling the truth, I’d be lying.” And so the bantering went back and forth.
  • Ridley Me This: Why Isn’t Sir Scott as Great as You Tell Me He Is?
    “I saw Ridley Scott’s tired Robin Hood this past weekend and I was underwhelmed. It’s not a bad movie. Scott rarely makes bad films, just frequently uninspired ones.”
  • Top 10 Underrated Sci-Fi Stories Before 1864
    “The science fiction genre developed over the latter half of the 19th century with the works of Jules Verne and, subsequently, H.G. Wells. For the sake of a clear cut off date for this list, however, we shall say the cut off date for novels not to be influenced by these fathers of the genre is 1864, the year in which Verne published “A Journey to the Center of the Earth.” These are the classic science fiction novels that preceded the fathers of the genre that are commonly overlooked by modern audiences.”
  • The Secrets of Marienbad
    “Everyone is of course familiar with Alain Resnais’s cult film, written by Alain Robbe-Grillet and made just fifty years ago, L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad). It happened that a young actress named Françoise Spira was on the set during the shooting of the film. She didn’t play the lead role … She didn’t even have one of these real supporting roles that leave you with the memory of a few unforgettable scenes. But in any case, she was there from the beginning of the shoot to the end, with her Super 8 without sound, and she filmed the film, capturing its most magical instants — Resnais’s youthful laughter, Seyrig’s delightful caprices, the somber and childlike charm of Albertazzi. In short, off in her little corner and without shouting from the rooftops, she produced the “making of” of the most formal, glacial and, actually, unerring, unwavering film in the history of contemporary cinema. But Françoise Spira committed suicide. Her ‘making of’ was lost with her.”
  • A Roger Ebert Tribute
    “I guess the biggest criticism I have of Roger is that his reviews are often too easy on films, except for my films of course–he could never be too easy on them–but, the guy loves films so much that it’s almost contagious. He’s open, he’s smart, he’s thoughtful, he’s always very clear, and he’s got a really good heart and–like I said–he’s really funny, which is hard to do as a writer. He manages to make you think critically without making it seem like homework. God knows the world needs more people thinking critically these days about a lot of things. ”
  • Malick, Coppola could lead strong crop at Venice (or Toronto) for 2010
    Here is hoping for Tree of Life for Tiff, but ather potentials on the fall festival circuit include Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Anton Corbijn’s The American, Julian Schnabel’s Miral, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest. Screendaily mentions many, many more.


You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:

Bookmarks for April 16-20th

  • Dennis Cozzalio on the Memorable Lee Van Cleef
    “And because of the angularly unique sculpting of his features— an arrow-shaped head complemented by hawk-like nose, a smile that could seem warm and sinister almost simultaneously, and yes, those eyes—Van Cleef seemed destined, from the beginning of his movie career—a small part in Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon– to be typecast, albeit memorably, as a bad guy.”
  • Ray Harryhausen and the State of the Animation
    Horatia Harrod meets Ray Harryhausen at his London home and finds the post-war animation legend none too pleased with the state of modern film-making.
  • Actor Idris Elba, Generating His Own Buzz
    ““In this day and age, actors can’t afford to be pompous,” the 37-year-old Mr. Elba said, discussing a career that first caught fire with “The Wire” and peaked with last year’s popular but critically reviled potboiler “Obsessed.” “You can’t afford to turn your nose up at things. Audiences want to see you a bit more dynamic. We know you can act, Daniel Day-Lewis. That’s fantastic. Show us a bit more. We want to be entertained.””
  • “Video games can never be art” – Roger Ebert
    “…nevertheless, I remain convinced that in principle, video games cannot be art. Perhaps it is foolish of me to say “never,” because never, as Rick Wakeman informs us, is a long, long time. Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.”
  • Better-Late-Than-Never: Another analysis of Starship Troopers
    “The business of satire is a risky one. When the concept is applied in literature, theatre, film or any other medium there is always a risk that it will be misunderstood. Satire is an ironic and sometimes sarcastic means of making an indirect social or political point, often leaving the author open to attack from those who were simply unable to distinguish their tone. Occasionally the reader/viewer will miss the point entirely or they’ll be convinced that the author believes in what they are satirising. Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 film Starship Troopers was not immune from the dangers of the audience misreading the films satirical content.”
  • Matt Brown on Kick-Ass
    “This is also why Kick-Ass is properly fantasy, and damned successful fantasy at that: because in the end of it all, Dave designs, and realizes, a complete revolution of the self. It’s a revolution which could never occur in the real world in the death-and-spraypaint comic book terms expressed here, but it’s a revolution which needs to happen for kids in the real world in some terms expressable somewhere. And baby, revolution’s afoot.”


You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this: