Monday, October 26, 2009

THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO - For proper synopsis refer to graffiti on washroom stall wall....

Directed by
Rob Zombie
Written by
Tom Papa and Rob Zombie
 Staring (Voices): Tom Papa
                              Sheri Moon Zombie
                              Paul Giamatti
                              Rosario Dawson
                              Brian Posehn

I once watched an interview with Rob Zombie where he was describing at length a stage set up he had assembled for a series of summer dates that he was playing with his solo band. Like an excited child he spoke swiftly, and with active hand gestures, of mining the trashiness and inherent idiocy of a summertime metal festival and it's crowd for inspiration, dressing everything in an Evel Knievel “Pro-satanic America vibe”, and likening it all to a monster truck rally. In mid sentence his hands just dropped away and scowl seized his face as he mumbled “Everyone's going to be so drunk they're not even going to notice anyway...”. Since that interview I can't say that I've ever seen Mr. Zombie speak so honestly about his awareness of the divide in his fan group, and of how some of the satirical, ironic and dare I say cerebral elements of his work aren't grasped by his fans. Self awareness is an endearing quality in a trash-based artist, especially one who knows how to balance appreciation and ridicule, but with enough cynicism in the mix, this can quickly boil down to “these idiots will buy ANYTHING I slap together”.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

Directed by Spike Jonze
Written by Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers, based on the book by Maurice Sendak

Max Records
Catherine Keener
James Gandolfini
Paul Dano
Catherine O'Hara
Forest Whitaker
Chris Cooper

Where the Wild Things Are follows the story of an angry young boy named Max (Records). Frustrated and unable to deal with the difficulties his family is facing, Max lashes out against his mother and runs away into the night. After finding a boat tethered to the shore at the edge of some nearby woods, Max drifts out to sea and eventually finds the coast of the small island on which the film's Wild Things reside. By dealing with the actions of Carol (Gandolfini) and attempting to keep the group together, Max gains greater perspective on the effects of his own behaviour and begins to mature in the process.

More of a meditation on growing up than it is a children's movie, Where the Wild Things Are comes at a time when the first generation of children to grow up reading Maurice Sendak's book have (hopefully) begun to mature into adults themselves. Jonze's movie is aimed more at this group than anyone, using the framework provided by the book to tell a story about how the way we deal with others affects us and the feeling of loss that accompanies outgrowing parts of our childhood.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reel to Reel Interview with Bill Plympton (Idiots & Angels)

The twisted world view of independent animation overlord Bill Plympton has been leaving audiences in awe for decades now. Championed by animation aficionados for his distinct visual style and his surreal narratives equally, one would be hard pressed to find a more prolific and identifiable contemporary animator. Despite being a two time Academy Award nominee (for “Your face” in 1987 and “Guard Dog” in 2005) and the visionary of choice for big shots like Kanye “I'maletyoufinish” West, Plympton remains a fiercely independent entity in order to bring his audience the genuine, unhinged article.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we here at Reel to Reel are proud to report that our first interview took place this week with none other than MR.BILL PLYMPTON.

Listen to the interview here and get it all from man himself as he discusses drawing under the influence of Tom Waits, being courted by Disney, his latest collaboration with Kanye West, and most importantly, the creative process behind the stellar “Idiots and Angels” which opens at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon on Friday October 23rd.. Enjoy!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

INK - The wet dream that leaves a stain.....

Directed, Produced, Written and Edited by Jamin Winans

Chris Kelly
Quinn Hunchar
Jessica Duffy
Jeremy Make
Jennifer Batter

Usually, a low budget feature length's worst enemy is an overabundance of big ideas. Trying to exact an elaborate Sistine Chapel of a piece with pencil crayons is a rough gig. That's not to say that reconciliation between huge visual ambition and humble means cannot be realized in the world of independent cinema, but unfortunately a flattering result is rarely attained. Compromise usually arises to meet these restraints in the form of great visions being dumbed down, or in equally tragic cases these ideas are brought to life using substandard practice. At times like these, bad filmmakers drown their work in dreadfully cheap looking CG and settle for a tarnished vision, but the good filmmakers, an increasingly rare bird, get inventive. INK is nothing if not inventive visually speaking, and director Jamin Winans has done one hell of a job of bringing a very vast and surreal landscape to fruition.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ZOMBIELAND - We're what's for dinner....

Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Produced by Gavin Polone
Written by Paul Wernick
Rhett Reese

Starring: Woody Harrelson
Jesse Eisenberg
Emma Stone
Abigail Breslin

As I sit down and reflect on Zombieland I find my mind racing in to some very unlikely territory. Kevin Spacey, believe it or not, in 1995. I'm thinking about “Seven” and “The Usual Suspects”. Two films who's grip on their audience was based on trajectory, of careening towards startling and iconic sequences that are synonymous with any post viewing dialog anyone would have. These two movies have what I like to refer to as “Brick wall” scenes that are intended to see an audience in a collective slack jawed “whoaa”.These moments are hinted at in every review, on the tip of every critic's tongue, and used by your worst kept company to ruin the picture for you less than a week following its release.

You almost forgot that I'm talking about a film concerning one mans hunt through zombie ravaged USA for a Twinkie, didn't you?