This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Calgary Underground Film Festival, which is a major theme of the 2013 edition. As always, they've also drummed up a remarkable batch of films for our enjoyment.
Feature-length films include Big Ass Spider, Berberian Sound Studio, CAFé CAFé, I Declare War, The History of Future Folk, Upstream Color, Murder of Couriers, Frances Ha, Jug Face, Pieta, No One Lives, Clip [Klip], A Band Called Death, Vanishing Waves, The Rambler, The ABCs of Death, How to Make Money Selling Drugs, The Act of Killing, Picture Day, Sightseers, I Am Divine, The Lords of Salem, The Final Member, Computer Chess and The Conspiracy.
There will also be another edition of the annual Saturday Morning Cartoon Party, a 48-Hour movie making … Read More
On March 16, legendary director, producer and screenwriter Oliver Stone (Wall Street, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, JFK, a million others) will make a rare appearance at The Banff Centre. Joined by Globe & Mail columnist Ian Brown, the two will engage in a one-on-one conversation on "Satire and Controversy" before a live audience.
The event will be concluded with a question and answer period for the audience. Tickets for the event will go on sale on January 31, and will run you $35 (or $25 if you're a student).
More information on the event is available here.Read More
This week on Screen Grabs: The pre-Sundance fervor yields plenty of intriguing trailers, in which Bill Murray and Charlie Sheen go vision questing, the K2 is ascended (mostly unsuccessfully) and Jamie Foxx goes vigilante on racist plantation owners. Watch on.
Spike Jonze’s Pretty Sweet
It isn’t standard Screen Grabs fare — in that it isn’t hitting big screens anytime soon — but Spike Jonze’s Pretty Sweet, available via DVD or iTunes, brings the acclaimed director back to his skateboarding-cum-music vid roots. Shot in gorgeous hi-def in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Barcelona and more, it’s not just for skateboarding fans, either — there’s even a half-baked dance-flick plot involving two rival gangs, The Jets and The Sharks. It makes me miss … Read More
Filmmaker Andrew Dominik is somewhat of a hero in these parts for bringing Brad Pitt to Alberta in his 2007 flick The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. At the risk of being kicked out of the province, I’m going to go ahead and say that I found that movie boring. It was a joyous masterpiece, however, compared to his latest work Killing Them Softly.
Imagine the entire Netflix thriller section forcefully crammed into one movie. That’d be a whole hell of a lot better than Softly, which is far too unaffecting to be called a “thriller.”
Brad Pitt plays Jackie, a hired gun called in when three buffoons rob an underground gambling ring in New Orleans. There are elements of the story that almost make it interesting for a … Read More
This week on Screen Grabs: Reality TV that lives up to its name, small screen stars brought to the cinema, badass Brad Pitt, killer lizards from South Korea, and more!
Without sounding hyperbolic, it’s safe to say that Michael Apted’s Up series is one of the most interesting experiments in the history of film. The documentaries, beginning with 1964’s Seven Up produced by Granada Television, cast the spotlight on 14 children and have since returned to them every seven years (see: 14 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up, etc) to track the progression of their lives. 56 Up is the latest instalment, and sees several original participants return after a multiple film absence. Make sure to pack a hankie…
Killing Them Softly
Writer-director Andrew Dominik may … Read More
This week on Screen Grabs: 26 directors combine to create one horror-meets-grindhouse trailer, illusionist films get gleefully stupid, and Nicholas Hoult strengthens his well-deserved stranglehold on the tween market. In other words, it’s been a good week. The proof’s below.
The trailer for 2088’s ends with a simple slogan: “The future is coming.” Not much else is revealed, except that this trailer’s “property of the LAPD’s non-human crimes division.” Still, from the looks of it, this an intriguing trailer that skirts the line between sci-fi, thriller and horror. There’s a streak of heavily stylized, Tron-esque, it’ll-look-outdated-in-10-years futurism at play here, but since when was that a bad thing?
The ABCS of Death
It’s a … Read More
This week on Screen Grabs: Warm bodies, cold feet, interstellar viral vids and chaos theory in the third dimension. Life finds a way…
This weekend (Nov. 16-18), DIY drug-horror mudcurdler Lowlife screens in 23 cities across Canada (including a stop at Broken City in Calgary). Whet your appetite once more with this “behind the scenes” clip, and visit their site for a full list of screening locations. More importantly, read Fast Forward Weekly tomorrow for a cover story on the film.
World War Z
Thanks to 28 Days Later, monster mash-up novels and meta-zom-coms like Juan of the Dead there are few fresh angles left on the reanimated. However, that hasn’t stopped German director Marc Forster (whose wide-ranging CV includes Monster’s … Read More
This week on Screen Grabs: Soderbergh retires, the state of Arkansas conspires and Elijah Wood leaves the Shire. (Though he still hasn't acquired any semblance of a neck in the process.) Plus: A tripped-out trailer for Berberian Sound Studio, a black comedy based around an idyllic weekend getaway, the martial arts trailer of the year and the haps from Doc Soup in Toronto. Stick with it.
The Equestrian Vortex / Berberian Sound Studio:
Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio is worth it for its soundtrack alone — it was scored by outsider pop act Broadcast, who will release the capital-F film’s soundtrack via Warp records next January. But onto the film: It’s a ode to juicy, blood-soaked Italian horror, centring on a British director … Read More
This week on Screen Grabs: An operatic nursing home, the Necronomicon redux, a whole new spin on soy sauce, and a double dose of Bruce Willis. Yippee ki-yay!
One of my more embarrassing guilty pleasures is the period drama / soap opera Downton Abbey. There’s not much I could say to my dude friends to justify watching it each week, but hey, the snarky scene stealing of Maggie Smith is totally fun. The distinguished Dame takes on a similar role in Quartet as a retired opera singer, starring alongside fellow silver foxes Billy Connoly, Pauline Collins and Michael Gambon. Clearly, the directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman isn’t aimed at my demographic, but pop on the kettle and let’s get cozy.
On the other hand, one thing that’s … Read More
This week on Screen Grabs: Iron Man 3's sullen-yet-explosive trailer drops, the Central Park Five find some justice, Bill Pullman goes hunting for exotic fruit and Alison Brie stars in something that isn't just about her boobs. Act like you know.
The Fruit Hunters:
Yeah, it’s super creepy when people liken fruit to human genitalia — and it happens way, way too often — but there are groups that take such comparison seriously. Such as fruit hunters, who are the subject of, uh, Fruit Hunters. This film, which makes its international debut this week, explores the hidden culture of fruit, which explores the insane distances people go to discover new, undiscovered and rare fruit. (It is, at many times, compared to drugs, both in addiction and … Read More