'Don't Get Killed in Alaska' is in Production

Don't Get Killed in Alaska

It’s always exciting to report on upcoming Canadian productions, especially when projects offer new work by filmmakers I’ve come to enjoy. Don’t Get Killed in Alaska  is the new film by firstlovefilms, the production company that brought you Dear Scavengers, which got a pretty good review here on Cinemablographer when it played at TIFF. Don’t Get Killed in Alaska  is the first feature from firstlovefilms and it “explores a young women’s struggle to forge her own destiny in spite of what her family and the world expects of her.” The film is produced by Laura Perlmutter and Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith, co-founders of firstlovefilms, and is directed by Bill Taylor (debut). The film started filming in Picton and Toronto on Oct. 24. (The director of photography is Ben Lichty, who shot Ingrid Veninger’s i’m a good person/i’m a bad person). Don’t Get Killed in Alaska is funded by the Canada and Ontario Arts Council

Cast, plot details, and more info from firstlovefilms after the cut:

Happy Halloween!

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs
Happy Halloween!
'Twill be a dark and stormy night tonight, so enjoy it with a Halloween treat. I always enjoy horror favourites on Halloween, like Silence of the Lambs or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'd consider Antichrist, but that might not be appropriate for the trick-or-treaters.
And Jodie Foster as Clarice
If you're in the mood to get out and enjoy some classic horror, The Mayfair is screening Rocky Horror at 7:00 and 9:45 (apparently last night's double bill of The Exorcist and The Shining sold out, so get there early!). The Bytowne is showing Dawn of the Dead at 9:15 (not the Sarah Polley one, but they do have Stories We Tell). Last and certainly least, for those who want to see something truly terrifying, Tyler Perry's Alex Cross is playing in wide release.

I might finally check out Frankenweenie in hopes that all the children will be out trick or treating.


Filming Begins on CFC Features' 'Cruel & Unusual'

Director Merlin Dervisevic on set of Cruel & Unusual
Photo by Bob Akest
Go west, young film! The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) has announced that principal photography is underway for the new feature Cruel & Unusual. Cruel & Unusual is the 21st feature to be developed and financed under CFC Features and the first feature film supported by the Canadian Film Centre to be filmed in beautiful British Colombia. Cruel & Unusual marks the feature debut of director Merlin Dervisevic and it will be released by Entertainment One in 2013. This announcement has CFC Features is a-buzzing with exciting films, since Rhymes for Young Ghouls recently commenced filming, Molly Maxwell just noted its completion, and Old Stock is hitting the festival circuit. Not to mention CFC-alum Sarah Polley scoring big in theatres with Stories We Tell!

From the CFC:

A feature debut, written and directed by Vancouver filmmaker Merlin Dervisevic (Lemonade, Over Easy and Exhuming Tyler), Cruel & Unusual is a film about a man condemned to relive a crime he believes he didn’t commit. As he navigates his way amid a strange new world, his perception is tested in his search to find the truth. The film stars David Richmond-Peck (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Richard Harmon (Continuum), Michelle Harrison (Altitude), Michael Eklund (The Divide), and newcomer Bernadette Saquibal. The film will be produced by Matthew Cervi, through his production company Mad Samurai Productions (The Colony).


Family Viewing

Stories We Tell
(Canada, 108 min.)
Written and directed by Sarah Polley
Featuring: Sarah Polley, Michael Polley, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley, Harry Gulkin.
“When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you’re telling it, to yourself or to someone else.”

-Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
Do I ever have a story to tell you. This story is about filmmaker Sarah Polley, who is no stranger to the awkward messiness of love. Her feature debut, Away from Her, saw some slips in memory between lifelong partners Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona (Julie Christie) result in a necessary infidelity. Polley’s sophomore feature, Take This Waltz, then saw the conflicted Margot (Michelle Williams) make a difficult choice between the life she had and the life she wanted. Polley’s third feature, Stories We Tell, echoes her previous works by embracing the slips and tangles of love and memory. After telling the stories of Grant and Fiona and of Margot and Lou, Polley puts her own life within the frame of the viewfinder and turns the camera intimately inward as she examines more characters caught in the endless messiness of life and love. This excellent meta-documentary is arguably Polley’s most ambitious and most accomplished work yet – Stories We Tell might very well be the best Canadian film since our Oscar winner The Barbarian Invasions.

Disco, Disco Duck!

Roller Town
(Canada, 76 min.)
Dir. Andrew Bush, Writ. Andrew Bush, Mark Little, Scott Vrooman
Starring: Mark Little, Kayla Lorette, Adam Bayne, Jordan Talbot, George William Basil, and various other Picnicface peeps.
“Disco didn’t die. It was murdered.” Roller Town is pure B-movie buffoonery. Thanks to the hilarious antics of the Halifax-based comedy troupe Picnicface, made famous by their online sensation Powerthirst, Roller Town is a laugh-out-loud farce about the glory days of disco. Thanks to its charmingly comedic camp, Roller Town is the Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter of cheap Canadian roller disco movies.

'Quartet' Trailer

The trailer has arrived for Dustin Hoffman's Quartet, starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, and Pauline Collins. Fans of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will surely want to see this film, but I must say... Quartet is better. I saw Quartet when it premiered at TIFF and loved it. (review here) It's one of the year's best films!


An Atlas of Funny Faces

Cloud Atlas
(Germany/USA/Hong Hong/Singapore, 172 min.)
Written and directed by Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Susan Sarandon, James D’Arcy, Keith David, Hugo Weaving.
“Oh, look! It’s Tom Hanks!”
“Oh, look! It’s Tom Hanks, again!”
“Oh, look! It’s Tom Hanks with red hair!”
“Oh, look! It’s Tom Hanks with a fake nose!”
“Oh, look! It’s Tom Hanks with a different fake nose!”
“Oh, look! It’s Tom Hanks with a fake nose with Halle Berry with a fake nose!”
“Oh, wow! Is that Halle Berry?!”
“Oh, wow! Is that Halle Berry as a blonde woman?”
“Oh, my! Is that Ben Whishaw as a blonde woman?”
“Oh, dear! Is that Hugo Weaving in yellow face?”
“Oh, dear! Is that Jim Sturgess in yellow face?”
“Oh, snap! So many characters are played by Jim Broadbent!”
“Oh, no! Where is Susan Sarandon? I can’t find Susan Sarandon!”
“Oh, look! It’s Tom Hanks!”


Oscar Predictions: Round 2

Academy Award winner Ben Affleck directs Argo

Oscar predictions: round two. Let’s see what has happened since round one: Argo opened (it drew raves), Lincoln had a special sneak peek (it drew raves), Skyfall premiered (it drew raves), and the new trailer debuted for the insanely good-looking Kathryn Bigelow movie Zero Dark Thirty (it drew raves). Put another way, one movie continued its good run after the festival circuit, one movie showed that it’s as good on film as it is on paper, and one movie turned out significantly better than the last installment of its franchise. All three have found some detractors, but they seem to have found a solid fan base. Argo seems like the only real safe bet at this point. Most of the naysayers are Canadian (i.e.: not Oscar voters) and the film is performing well at the box office and is generally being received as a well-made crowd-pleaser. Argo is good, old-fashioned Hollywood and we know that Oscar loves that.


Filming Begins for Tribeca All Access Program Winner 'Rhymes for Young Ghouls'

Jeff Barnaby (writ/dir); John Christou & Aisling Chin-Yee (prod.).
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Institute.
Filming has begun for what sounds like a promising Canadian production.  Prospector Films and The Canadian Film Centre announced today that the principal photography is underway for Rhymes for Young Ghouls. The film marks the feature film debut of writer/director Jeff Barnaby. Rhymes for Young Ghouls was the only Canadian project selected to participate in the 2012 Tribeca All Access program, and the film’s script won the Tribeca 2012 Creative Promise Award for Narrative.

From the CFC:
 Prospector Films and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) are pleased to announce that principal photography commenced this week on the feature drama Rhymes for Young Ghouls. Filming will run from October 21 to November 22, 2012 in Montreal. Release is slated for Fall 2013.

High School High

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
(USA, 103 min.)
Written and directed by Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Mae Whitman, Nina Dobrev, Melanie Lynskey.
“Right now we are alive and in this moment I swear we are infinite,” says Charlie (Logan Lerman) in the final sequence of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Charlie’s moment of bliss is inspired by a particular song that he and his friends hear on the radio while taking a freeing joyride along the highway. The mystery of the song provides a tread about the shared experiences that define us throughout our lives. (It also serves as a fine moment to situate the period for the film, as Perks shows how difficult life was for kids before Shazam.) Perks, based on the beloved best-seller, sees author Stephen Chbosky bring his own work to the screen. I haven’t read the novel, but the words with which Charlie closes the film are sure to have fans and fellow moviegoers in a state of bliss.


To Lead or Not to Lead

"What would you have done?" Kate Winslet in The Reader.

To lead or not to lead, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to go lead or supporting is the fuss of many a campaign ev’ry Oscar season. Each award period usually sees at least one case of a contender gaining extra traction (or even a win) by smartly slipping his or her name through the loopholes of Oscar glory. It’s hard not to see the farce in the whole affair when one looks at years such as 2001 when Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Connelly probably had more screentime in A Beautiful Mind than Best Actress winner Halle Berry did in Monster’s Ball. That’s hardly here nor there, since both actresses gave a performance worthy of the award, but it’s always good to note how easily category confusion can shake things up. Case in point: Academy voters can smell a fraud and vote correctly, as they did for 2008 when Best Supporting Actress front-runner Kate Winslet swept the early awards in that category, but ended up winning the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Reader. (Keep in mind that’s it’s generally the studios that do such risky business.)


Girl Soldiers

The World Before Her
 (Canada, 90 min.)
Written and directed by Nisha Pahuja

Miss India 2009 Pooja Chopra Poses During a Photoshoot
What must a girl do for Mother India? The options are limited for women in such a patriarchal country, but The World Before Her presents India as a nation at a crossroads. By focussing on two young women, one a rising beauty queen and the other an emerging fundamentalist, The World Before Her captures both the new and the old India. Writer/director Nisha Pahuja takes a brave, even-handed approach and boldly lets viewers see for themselves the liminal place that women’s rights hold in some corners of this rapidly changing world.

'A Dangerous Method' Sweeps DGC Awards

Sarah Gadon and Michael Fassbender in A Dangerous Method
Courtesy eOne Films.
 The 11th annual Director's Guild of Canada awards were handed out in Toronto last night and Hogtown homeboy David Cronenberg swept the feature film awards. The awards, hosted by Seán Cullen, were live streamed online for the first time ever. Viewers of the 2012 DGC awards saw A Dangerous Method win all five awards for which the film was eligible, including Best Feature and Best Director. Maybe Brandon will clean up next year?

The winners: 

-Presented by Platinum Sponsor, Technicolor

A Dangerous Method - David Cronenberg, Director; Walter Gasparovic, 1st Assistant Director; Patrick Arias, 2nd Assistant Director; Ron Sanders, Picture Editor; Sandy M. Pereira, Assistant Editor; Michael O'Farrell, Supervising Sound Editor; Robert Bertola, Sound Effects Editor; Alastair Gray, Dialogue Editor/ADR Editor; Tony Currie, Dialogue Editor/ADR Editor; Gren-Erich Zwicker, Assistant Sound Editor; Lori Waters, Post Production Supervisor; Michael Madden, Set Designer; James McAteer, Production Designer; and Nan Brown, Production Accountant.


Blu-ray Review: 'Pina' Special Edition

Ensemble Vollomond. Photo by Laurent Philippe.

“It all began with Café Müller,” says director Wim Wenders in the “Making of” documentary that accompanies his film Pina. Pina, an Oscar-nominee for Best Documentary Feature, is Wenders’ tribute to the life and work of renowned choreographer Pina Bausch. Wenders notes that the staging of Café Müller provided much of the inspiration for making a dance film with his long-time friend, Pina. Müller, as the film conveys, reveals how Pina’s work enjoyed an in-betweenness of dance and theatre, as well as art and life. The props of Café Mueller—a large assortment of chairs—are strewn around the stage to create a complex maze that the dancers navigate in order to make the surreal, chaotic experience of piece. However, it was during the preparations for the film that Wenders also felt a cross between art and life, for Pina Bausch died suddenly in 2009 and Wenders thought it too difficult to continue the film without her.  


Get Animated! with the NFB

Edmond Was a Donkey. Photo taken from the production, courtesy of the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) wants animation fans of all generations to celebrate the art form. The NFB is launching the sixth edition of Get Animated!, bringing many of the country’s finest and funniest animated films to communities across Canada in celebration of International Animation Day (October 28). Among these films are favourites such as Edmond Was a Donkey (reviewed here) and Kali the Little Vampire (my pick for Best Animated Short at both the Worldwide Short Film Festival and the Ottawa International Animation Festival). Get Animated! features workshops and industry events in addition to screenings. The event takes place across Canada from October 26 to November 10 (see below for cities and dates) and it’s FREE, which makes Get Animated! an ideal activity for families and fans alike.

But It Did Happen

(USA, 90 min.)
Written and directed by Craig Zobel
Starring: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger.
Sue: “It’s unbelievable!”
Joyce: “It’s disgusting!”
Vi: “But it happened!”
-Storytelling (Todd Solondz, 2001)

How can so many people be so stupid? Compliance tells a squeamishly riveting tale about employees at a fast food restaurant that were duped by a prank caller and led to engage in all sorts of strange sordid behaviour. Compliance strains credibility just as thinly as McDonald’s stretches its ground beef, for there comes a point in the film that one simply cannot accept that a group of people could be so crazy. The pickle of it all, however, is that this tale of fast food foolishness comes sandwiched between two necessary buns of factual disclaimers. “Inspired by true events,” reads the top bun while the bottom of the half reports approximately 70 similar cases across America. Compliance is unbelievable and disgusting, but it happened.


Gere's Stock Soars

(USA, 107 min.)
Written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki
Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Nate Parker, Tim Roth, Brit Marling.
Arbitrage: ‘a: bə.tra:ʒ
n: the simultaneous buying and selling of the same negotiable financial instruments or commodities in different markets in order to make an immediate profit without risk.

“World events all revolve around 5 things: M-O-N-E-Y,” says Robert Miller (Richard Gere) in the opening scene of Arbitrage. Miller is a slick, if slimy, multimillionaire of the new millennium. Miller knows that money equals authority and those with the power can manipulate the instability of the world so that they stay on top. By taking advantage of the flux of the markets, wealthy people such as Miller can widen the gap with little risk of falling in.


The Enlightened Screen: Gary Burns

Directors Jim Brown and Gary Burns shooting The Future is Now!
Courtesy of The National Film Board of Canada.

The Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa has put together a new screening series that aims to engage moviegoers with Canada’s leading independent filmmakers. The series, titled The Enlightened Screen, allows Bytowners to explore the best that Canadian cinema has to offer through interactive screening sessions. Select films in the series will include guest artists and Q&A periods after the film.

The Enlightened Screen begins with one of Canada’s most unique and celebrated independent filmmakers, Gary Burns. Burns gained notice in the late 1990s when Canadians took note of his thoughtfully amusing take on contemporary (re: suburban) alienation. The Enlightened Screen brings six of Burns’ films to Ottawa with a mix of drama and documentary. (His latest film, The Future is Now!, is a true explosion of the two forms.) Burns is a fitting choice to open the series, for as the CFI notes, his films are “cinematically stylish searches, at once comedic and serious, for signs of intelligent life in the Canadian universe.”

Like Father, Like Son

(Canada/USA, 108 min.)
Written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg
Starring: Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Malcolm McDowell, Joe Pingue, Nicholas Campbell
Celebrities have everything. The lifestyles of the rich and famous are as exciting and intoxicating as a tall glass of champagne. In reality, though, our cultural infatuation with the big names of the world is about as healthy as a glass of Baby Duck. Celebrity culture is dumbing society down. Concerns of body image have led to face-lifts and boob-jobs, but now the allure of instant fame—made accessible by the constant wave of flashbulbs and familiar faces on little screens—is taking brain drain to a completely new level. The disease of celebrity has spread from the body to the mind and there doesn’t seem to be a cure in sight.


Ambitious, Anyways

Laurence Anyways
(Canada/France, 168 min.)
Written and directed by Xavier Dolan
Starring: Melvil Poupaud, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye, Monia Chokri
Laurence Anyways is a film with an identity crisis. This third feature by Quebecois wunderkind Xavier Dolan is, in short, a 168-minute sex change movie. Gender identity disorder, however, is not the predominant predicament on display in the film. The outstanding visual flair and almost literary depth of the film make Laurence Anyways seem like the work of a seasoned European auteur. However, the film has such manic joie de vivre in visual flair that it almost seems like a confused party struggling to play a role to which it was not comfortably assigned. Instead of being a thought-provoking piece of cinema, then, Laurence Anyways plays like a three-hour fashion commercial from the Nineties.


Canadian Con-tent

(USA, 120 min.)
Dir. Ben Affleck, Writ. Chris Terrio
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall
Leave it to an American to tell a story of Canadians pride. The so-called “Canadian Caper” of 1980 saw six Americans take refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran when the American embassy went under siege during the Iranian revolution in 1979. The six escapees were then sprung from Iran in a joint effort by the Canadian and American governments. The story was brought to the screen only once before as the 1981 made-for-TV-movie Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper, an appropriately Canadian/American co-production starring Gordon Pinsent as Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador who took the Americans under his wing and got the ball rolling on their extraction. “The Canadian Caper” gets a new spin as a Hollywood production, which seems fitting as the cover story for the escape involved a film crew shooting in Iran. Argo, similarly, is a most American film about an American story, so it’s simply unfair to chide director Ben Affleck for his rendition of this piece of history that makes both nations proud.


'We Are Wisconsin' Comes to Ottawa

All politically-minded Canadians should go out and support the powerful documentary We Are Wisconsin when it begins its Canadian tour this month. We Are Wisconsin, directed by Amie Williams, follows six individuals as they unite in a collective struggle against Governor Scott Walker and his controversial ‘Budget Repair Bill’. The film premiered at Hot Docs in Toronto back in May, where it was greeted with an enthusiastic standing ovation. It also got a five-star review from this very site.


Bollywood/Vollywood: A Cross-cultural Hit!

English Vinglish
(India, 129 min.)
Written and directed by Gauri Shinde
Starring: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand, Corey Hibbs, Ruth Aguilar, Amitabh Bachchan.
Happy vappy, funny vunny
Lover vover, mother vother
Romance vomance, marriage varriage
Passion vassion, duty vuty.
English Vinglish! English Vinglish!
English Vinglish! English Vinglish!

Local vocal, global vlobal
Culture vulture, tourist vourist
Hindi vindi, Spanish vanish
Tamil vamil, lang’age vang’age,
English Vinglish! English Vinglish!
English Vinglish! English Vinglish! 


The Most Lamentable Decline of Liam Neeson

Taken 2
(France, 93 min.)
Dir. Olivier Megaton, Writ. Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Serbedzija
Liam Neeson, your dignity is about to be taken. The once-great actor stumbles into the bargain bin yet again with Taken 2, a moronic cash grab that follows up the surprise 2008 hit Taken. Although Neeson never really fit the role of the action hero, he performed admirably in the Luc Besson film, but he then slipped into a period of decline with films such as Unknown, The A-Team, and Clash of the Titans, just to name a few duds. It seemed as if Neeson was picking himself up again with his turn in the surprisingly good thriller The Grey, but then he co-starred with Rihanna in the board game adaptation Battleship and then opted for another big paycheck by cashing in with Taken 2. One hopes that Steven Spielberg considers making Schindler’s List 2 so that Neeson may return to top form.


Seven Psychopaths
(UK, 109 min.)
Written and directed by Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko.
They say that the dog is man's best friend. Many a man will do crazy things for his prized pooch. He'll talk in baby voices, walk in the rain, or even shop for pink little bows. What happens, though, when the man who does such silly things also happens to be crazy? Like, really crazy? Seven Psychopaths takes one adorable pup and puts it the midst of an all-out bloodbath between a roster of crazy nuts. Seven psychopaths, actually, as the title suggests.


Oscar Predictions: Round 1

Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables

Festival season is entering its final stretch and Oscar season is quickly around the corner. Word is that the little gold man didn’t see his shadow, so campaigning shall begin earlier this year. (Nominations will be announced on January 10, i.e. the day after final ballots are due for the Golden Globes, which means that this year could be uglier than ever.) It’s never too early to try to predict the winners. It’s almost more fun to do so before some of the biggies have opened, since one’s opinion of a film can often cloud judgement. (I tend to fall victim to that, as you’ll see below.) I’ll be offering predictions and chiming in on the race occasionally, but for the most comprehensive coverage of the season, please visit some of the trust sites indicated on the sidebar.


An Inescapable Past

(Canada, 90 min.)
Written and directed by Ruba Nadda
Starring: Alexander Siddig, Marisa Tomei, Joshua Jackson, Oded Fehr.
Ruba Nadda became quite popular here in Canada in 2009 with the release of Cairo Time, which played well with critics and audiences following its premiere at TIFF where it was named the best Canadian film of the festival. Nadda had been established before with films such as 2005’s Sabah to her credit, but the slow, sensual, and refreshingly mature Cairo Time was a notably distinguished romance. Nadda’s return to the Middle East in Inescapable, then, is something of a disappointment. A thriller, this new foray into genre might not have been the best follow-up to a poignant and well-rounded love story. There is nothing especially bad about Inescapable, but it never quite delivers on the strength of its potential.

CFC Features Announces New Project in Development, 'Boost'

Exciting news from the Canadian Film Centre comes word of a new feature project in development, Boost, directed by Darren Curtis, who co-wrote and co-directed the Can Con cult favourite Who is KK Downey?

CFC Features is pleased to announce the selection of a terrific new project for development currently entitled Boost. The project comes to CFC Features from writer/director Darren Curtis, and producers John Hazlett, Antonello Cozzolino and Paul-E Audet.

Boost is a gritty and thrilling look at 72 hours in the lives of Ankur and Sagar, two teenagers from Montreal's tough Little India neighbourhood, when a car they are stealing for the mob is involved in a fatal accident and their friendship is put to the ultimate test.


Super 8 Gets Sinister

(USA, 110 min.)
Dir. Scott Derrickson, Writ. Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Clare Foley, Michael Hall D’Addario , James Ransone, Vincent D’Onofrio, Fred Dalton Thompson.
Sinister marks the second entry in the Hid Your Kids! Hide Your Wife! programme for the 2012 Ethan Hawke Film Festival. Hawke first played a tormented novelist in The Woman in the Fifth, which saw him terrorized by the turtlenecked diva played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Hawke now plays a tormented writer in Sinister, which sees him terrorized by the Boogieman and some ugly kids in bad make-up. The man has been typecast, but not for the worse since he’s in top form here.


The Cult of Cinephilia

The Master
(USA, 137 min.)
Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern.

“Sometimes I look at people and I see nothing worth liking.”
-Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), There Will Be Blood

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is a brilliantly unlikable film. Its protagonist, Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), is an angry, screwed-up, sex-crazed alcoholic. His saviour, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), is a pompous, self-serving charlatan. The film itself is equally repugnant: it is slow, tedious, almost two-and-a-half hours long and yet, any description of the film requires a proverbial “however.” In spite of being a taxing, utterly beautiful mess, The Master is, however, a riveting and fascinating film. It’s much like the three-ring-circus going on in the states right now: one might hate the Republicans and all of their crazy shenanigans, but one cannot help but watch with amazement.