Thursday, 23 December 2010


I just re-watched Joe Dante's "Matinee" today and it further cemented my love for the film. Not only is it a great look at how fear can paralyze us (until we can come out the other side), it also shows a great passion not just for the old style showmanship of movie houses but for movies in general. And few are more passionate than Lawrence Woolsey (as played by John Goodman) - a William Castle-like producer who is testing out his latest film "MANT!" (half man, half ant) in Key West Florida. Along with his constant promotion schemes, he's always looking out for new ideas...



"Gator Gal!"

And then with an air of finality:


And was that Naomi Watts popping up in one of the films within the film ("The Shook Up Shopping Cart")?

Yep, it sure was! Just one more reason to love the movie...

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Any Colour You Like - Another Movie Montage

I love a good dose of colour in movies. Nothing against spectacular Black and White cinematography - Film Noir is one of my favourite styles of film after all - but I'm always happy to see bright and shiny colours put to good use on the screen. I went back and forth on how to try to capture that in a video - there are plenty of scenes I could have used that are filled with bright hues, but I wasn't sure how to pull it together. So I decided to focus on clips that use primarily one colour and then string them together to work through the spectrum of the rainbow. I'm not sure this came out quite how I expected it to, but I still like it...

When I put together my horror montage, the music came first as that particular Mogwai tune drove the idea. In this case, I worked the other way - I had the idea and the clips before thinking of the music. However, as soon as I thought of the song I used ("Jeans Jeans Jeans" by the terrific Montreal band Plants And Animals), I knew it could work. The band's second album La La Land also provided the music over the end credits (a track called "Tom Cruz").

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

An Odd Commonality - "Antichrist" and "Heartbeats"

After a lengthy bout with horror films throughout October (I'm still taking them on, but more sporadically at the moment), I've been bouncing around a bit (Japanese monster movies, documentaries off NetFlix instant viewing, a few old musicals, a re-watch of the Bourne trilogy, etc.), but now I'm settling into catching up on 2009/2010 releases. So in the last few days I've wrangled "This Movie Is Broken", "Please Give", "The Killer Inside Me", "The Social Network" and, the most recent two, Lars von Trier's "Antichrist" and Xavier Dolan's "Heartbeats".

I had few expectations of any commonality between these last two - von Trier's is an out and out horror film and Dolan's follow-up to his debut "I Killed My Mother" is a look at two friends who fall in love with the same guy. I knew "Antichrist" would look gorgeous (it did) and I expected as much from "Heartbeats" as well (though with far more colour), but not much else otherwise...

Then I got this:



Totally different of course - one has falling acorns, the other falling marshmallows.

"Heartbeats" was a frustrating watch. Aside from a terrible English title (the French title "Les Amours Imaginaires" - ie. Imaginary Lovers - is not only far better suited to the film, but far less trite), the film just didn't offer much new to the story of unrequited love. Neither of the two friends was an interesting character and I couldn't see why the common love interest even wanted to be friends with them. Some lovely uses of colour, but it amounts to very little - a major step backwards for Dolan. I hope he invests more in the writing and character development for his next film since he has the visuals pretty much down pat.