There's nothing more useless than unsolicited advice. I was going to preface that with When you're young, but it's really applicable to all ages. Unsolicited advice simply comes at a much greater frequency when you're young. As I age (like a slowly ripening then rotting apple; that is the metaphor I've chosen to age by), I understand this … Continue reading The Commencement of Commencement Advice Commences
This post started as a note in my journal: one of those things that starts crawling out from your head while you're in the shower, like a worm on the sidewalk in the rain. I meant to write it before the Oscars, because that makes it seem topical rather than tangential. But alas. Every year, Husband … Continue reading Why do I binge watch seven seasons of a tv show, but can’t force myself to watch a two-hour movie?
When The Grand Budapest Hotel opened last weekend, Husband and I missed it. It was only playing in one theatre and it sold out. (Get your shit together, Vancouver.) One week on, even with a wider release, we barely squeezed into the theatre. Casting glances around to our fellow movie-goers, I realized that the stereotype … Continue reading Random Train of Thought Departing from The Grand Budapest Hotel
Perhaps it is rather ironic that the AMC website uses cocktail recipes to market Mad Men, because, when viewed correctly, Mad Men is about the devastating effects of a life lived for alcohol. But it’s subtle, as addiction often is at first. I never noticed it as much on the first viewing. The sheer normalisation … Continue reading Mad Men is the Story of an Addict
As I remember fondly from working at a bookstore, every time a movie adaptation of a book comes out (especially one starring a quote - heartthrob - endquote) it creates a certain rush of readers: people who only pick up books with movie posters for a cover. No judgment. Really. Whatever gets you reading. I … Continue reading A Not-So-Polite Rant About The Great Gatsby
I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I like to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I … Continue reading Some Dreamers of the Manhattan Dream
As other projects eroded away under the weight of my own disinterest, I've decided to cut my losses and not let a withered vine waste internet space. I've amalgamated Celluloid Heroes posts into this blog. And after a bit of bushwacking, I found my old Livejournal account from 2005. I've also brought some of those posts over. … Continue reading Forgotten Projects
This is the California where it is possible to live and die without ever eating an artichoke, without ever meeting a Catholic or a Jew. This is the California where it is easy to Dial-A-Devotion, but hard to buy a book. This is the country in which a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis … Continue reading Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream
It's been how many years now since Arrested Development went off the air? Oh jeez, I've lost count. I do know it started about eight or nine years ago, and that's when I started watching. I've also lost track of how many people I've introduced it to, of course then needing to watch it along with them. This … Continue reading Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?
After all that... *ahem* waiting, my short film, Waiting, is finally up on the interwebs. https://youtu.be/wb6EXkUZX_c This was a short I did for Langara Film Arts program in April 2010. It screened at a few film festivals around the world, as well as in the (surely annoyed) faces of last year's Langara students as a … Continue reading Waiting (2010)
For such a critically acclaimed show, Downton Abbey is pretty crap. What are the problems with it? Those frequently cited include: contrived, formulaic, elitist, and cloying. But others? I think the fact that it is so highly rated is what makes this almost unbearable. Were this show just considered so-so, I'd be fine with it. … Continue reading Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?
A couple of months ago now, Taryn Hubbard, some friends, and I went out to visit Aaron Moran at in Harrison Hot Springs, where he's the Artist in Residence at the Ranger Station Art Gallery. We had a great night despite the raging storms and Cholo Ancheta directed this mini-doc about Aaron. (Fun Fact: I … Continue reading 2 Questions with Aaron Moran
(Originally published at Press Plus 1) (SPOILER-FREE, BUT YOU WILL PROBABLY HATE ME ANYWAY) I've lamented before, often at great length, about the inherent difficulties that lie in attempting to review something so beloved as Harry Potter. That difficulty is only compounded when taking into account the fact that this is indeed the last film … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two
Please, help me settle an argument with a few friends who just watched Beetlejuice for the first time. They did not like it. I love it. They found it in my collection amongst other such classics as Encino Man, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and this little gem, Sands of Oblivion. I've yet to add … Continue reading How Awesome is Beetlejuice?
Originally published at Press Plus 1 WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS It’s difficult to offer a review of a Harry Potter movie without first providing a preface stating one’s biases. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If you aren't, why are you going to bother seeing (the first part of) the last instalment now? Why are … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One
Since officially relegating My Funny Valentine to the 'done' drawer of my mental filing cabinet, I've got my metaphorical "shit" together and am ready to start writing again. For the past eight months, I've done naught but scroll miscellaneous scribbles in the margins of notebooks; ideas that have stayed just that... miserably pencilled in my … Continue reading *Issues Insane Demands*
Come one, come all to Unlock the Vault, the night we unleash our final project films upon the world! 7 pm on August 20 at Langara College (100 W 49th, Vancouver) My little labour of love, My Funny Valentine (ecrit par Robyn Thomas, realise par moi) will be closing the night, following: Sparrow, written by … Continue reading Langara College Film Arts Unlock the Vault
It's nice. It really helps me balance my day. It's a distraction from whatever tedium you're trying to work through. You can tell yourself: "I'm going to plug in Braveheart and work/study/clean throughout the whole thing." Bam. Two VHS cassette tapes later and you've spent a good three hours getting shit done. So what characterizes a good background film?
The Bourne Effect The spy for the 21st century was not James Bond, but Jason Bourne. The grittiness, global perspective, and moral quandaries of the Bourne triology (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum) instantly rendered James Bond moot. In following with the general post-9/11 trends, the Bourne films did not present … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters
The Biopic as Classic Narrative The biopic has always been a Hollywood staple, and has traditionally been treated as a sweeping epic: one whole life’s story. Over the years, what was once a glorification, or even blatant excuse for hero-worship, produced warts-and-all critiques. As the last decade began, we were still watching our most beloved … Continue reading The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them
Art has always lit the way for the great march forward. Hollywood, purveyor of popular art and entertainment, has always had to tread a careful line between progressive art and conservative entertainment. You need to push enough boundaries to stay relevant but be familiar enough not to alienate your audience. It is not surprising then, … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Death of the Epic The arrival of The Lord of the Rings arguably killed the epic. Virtually every traditional fantasy film – pumped out at a consistent rate in an attempt to duplicate The Lord of the Rings success – since has flopped. Think merely of other (mostly children’s) book adaptations, such as Eragon, Beowulf … Continue reading The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction
The War Conflict Film The war film as a Romantic narrative is virtually over. While this slow decline began with Vietnam, it only really grew apparent with the Iraq war. The war that was always seen as most Romantic, the most justified in our self-righteousness, was World War II. The Nazis are still the go-to … Continue reading The Decade in Film: The War Conflict Film
Throughout the great interwebs are a million articles on the best films and best television shows of the decade. As arbitrary and meaningless as it is to divide human history into ten year periods, each decade’s zeitgeist doesn’t magically change over night as December 31st becomes January 1st. Attitudes and values evolve over time, and … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Introduction
It's been 2010 for a week now and I'm still writing "09" on everything. I don't know if I will ever be able to accept that fact that it is a new millenium and has been for ten years now. "2010" doesn't sound like the name of a year, it sounds like a science fiction … Continue reading The First Week of a New Year is a Total Blur
There's been a lot of these lists floating around lately, obviously due to the impending end of the so-called Noughties. (Personally, I much more interested to see if that name sticks.) For something so recent, everyone's list is bound to be different. We don't have the benefit of time depth to lend an objective weight … Continue reading My Top Ten Films of the Decade
Pop music and films are like peanut butter and chocolate - well, maybe not quite. That implies some sort of undeniable cosmic, fated force drawing the two together like soulmates. Pop music and films are more like peanut butter and banana - still pretty damn good. There's something about the perfect pop song synchronized … Continue reading Overused Songs in Film and Television
"Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day" sounds like just that, a straight-to-video crapfest that you would imagine starred Steven Segal and was filmed in somewhere like Calgary. If this press release came out on April 1, I would have totally thought it was a joke.
IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, does a list (a "Hit List") every day of several different articles appearing around the Interwebs. I usually submit my different articles (the more interesting ones) that I write at Celluloid Heroes, mostly because the odd person reads through the thread of suggested links. However, today (which I, as a … Continue reading Out of 25,000 readers, only 71 will leave comments, and 2/3 of them will be jerks.
Ah, The Lord of the Rings. The epic to end all epics. Cinema experienced a resurgence in the epic genre during the nineties and early noughties, which really culminated in LOTR. Can you think of anything more epic or more recent? Nothing can top it.
Ever since Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost, there's always been a certain je ne sais quoi about a well-wrought antihero. Whether cheeky rogue or bloodthirsty tyrant, an antihero is a welcome deviation from the white-hatted norm. At once both appalling and subversive, a good bad guy / bad good guy always proves a more interesting character than the morally unambiguous square-jawed hero. Here we count down the top ten!
I watched The Triplets of Belleville for the first time a week or so ago, and, as expected, I was blown away. "That makes the top ten," I instantly thought, which led me to consider what my top ten animated films actually would be. This list is skewed towards animated films as best enjoyed by the grown-up audience, that me, a twenty-something, can enjoy without needed to pry out that Freudian inner child. With that said, maybe I am rather childlike to begin with, as I love a good poop joke.
On Halloween, I managed to avoid the usual cliche of a dreary, drunken party and handed out candy with my family, and took my little cousin, Noah, out for his first trick-or-treat. Cute, mildly entertaining, not wild. Then, however, Roommate Shannon and I went out to a Midnight Movie: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I … Continue reading It’s so dreamy… oh fantasy free me…
If you're going through the pain and torture of creating a film, it's not that much more difficult to dedicate a little extra effort to the credits. Simply inserting whatever font in Final Cut works is really just half-assing it. Let's be honest. So, yes, I can be a bit of a typography geek, but there really are some basic typographical rules that one should adhere to. Typography is an art, but one of those subtle arts that has been dragged kicking and screaming into the contemporary, post-modern era where it has a chance to sink or swim. While even an eight-year-old could pick Arial out of a line-up, there's enough evidence to suggest that apparently there really is a knack to using typography effectively. Take note. Learn it, love it. And never use Comic Sans. Ever.
You know those moments in films - where random guts and/or water hit the camera lens - they are there to shock you. They shake you out of your seat! They add to the realism of the film! They highlight the tragedy and/or humanity of a life lost by an explosive device and/or hand-made prison shank! They bring the experience of exploding death right into your living room! They can break the fourth wall.
My excitement to see this movie borders on cliche: like a kid watching the clock tick down the last seconds until summer vacation, or trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, or approaching the gates of Disneyland. All readily accurate cliches. Due to a weekend of various birthday celebrations, I won't get to see it … Continue reading Let the Wild Rumpus Begin
Filmtoberfest was this past Saturday, so that explains my: a) lack of blog posts, b) lack of sleep, c) lack of a balanced diet, d) lack of a social life, e) any other number of reason why I've been general weird(er). The night went off with minimal hitches, and they were all technical, so - … Continue reading On to the next project that will encompass my entire waking life for the next several weeks.
my latest cinematic exploits In my never-ending quest to work for free, I caught two press screenings for Press+1: Whiteout and The Informant! One was fantastic and the other was terrible. I'll leave you to guess which is which. It's been nice. Seeing films. I haven't seen anything else since, rented, theatrical or library-loan or … Continue reading The Good, the Bad, and Daniel Day-Lewis
So I've been hectically planning for Filmtoberfest, which lands in approximately three weeks. I'm on schedule, but I can't help but be stressed to the hilt. Even as I write this, with full intention not to recapitulate the minutia of details about what exactly I need to do, I can't help but feel as though … Continue reading Too busy to overthink trivial things so I thus must underthink the extremely important.
(Shameless plug alert) We, the lil' indie folks at QLP, are getting ready for Vancouver's inaugural Filmtoberfest and we need your films! Yes, your short films. Or films about shorts. Either is good. However, anything over fifteen minutes is probably too long. So are capris. Anyway, Quarter-Life Productions, in association with 591 Productions, are currently … Continue reading Filmtoberfest – seeking your (preferably non-porn) short films
It's Rodeo Week at work (can I get a tepid "woo hoo"?), so I get to wear jeans all week. I actually dug out a pair of blue jeans that I haven't worn in maybe a year. On Tuesday, I stuck my hand in the pocket and found an old fortune cookie fortune. The baked … Continue reading Wildly appropriate cookie fortunes are better than chocolate (which makes them twice as good as sex).
this epic week, part two By Wednesday, I had already watched my favourite movie of the week twice. No, it's not 8 1/2, but rather A Night at the Opera, the 1935 Marx brothers classic. Groucho has some of the best one-liners I've ever heard in my life. I'd marry him if it weren't for … Continue reading Sure I’m a Marxist, of the Groucho School
Okay, so I joined, read a few other people's profiles, and yes, I am a complete dork. I must simplify. Right now, it looks like I am that 'weird' one, you know, there was one in every lecture hall. The one who wears clothes six years out of date (exactly six years), glasses, and takes … Continue reading Would you see a movie with this person: amendment.
I just joined a Meetups group for movie buffs in my area. This was how I filled out my New Member survey: Have you ever seen a movie that's changed your life in some way? Every movie I see changes me somehow, some just more than others! I think the most profound/most recent was The … Continue reading Would you see a movie with this person?
my weekend in an adequately-sized organic vessel After an intriguing afternoon of gallavanting all over Vancouver, including a far too long walk down East Hastings (FYI, Spartacus Books has moved even further east down Hastings), Taryn and I found a vendor for Hacksaw! *cue rejoicing peasants* You can now get Hacksaw Literary Arts Magazine at … Continue reading From Magazine Vendors to Muddy Boots
So last night's episode of Lost was pretty good. It prominently featured Desmond, so that's an automatic win. What I didn't like was the scene where a couple of red shirts get blown up and random guts and/or water hit the camera lens. UUUUGGGH. I actually said outloud, despite the fact that I was alone: … Continue reading “I hate metaferences that break the verisimilitude of a film” or, “What I didn’t like about last night’s episode of Lost.”
Come one, come all! All of us at Quarter-Life Productions are hosting a party to celebrate our venture into pre-production for our short film, tentatively titled, "Things I Hate"! This launch party will provide an opportunity for everyone to come by and see what we're all about! If you're interested in auditioning for an acting … Continue reading Quarter-Life Productions Launch Party