Ladies And Gentleman .. How ‘The Lego Movie’ Should Have Ended

Pretty much….

“Must have been Kryptonite gum..” hehe


Original Article

IMAX Poster And Japanese Trailer For ‘Godzilla’ Will Absolutely Get You On Board

The Godzilla bandwagon is in full effect and I for one am ALL the damn way on board. The recent trailers and clips have done an excellent job of creating the hype for a movie that had the potential of sucking really hard.In fact, it is the film to beat this year in my opinion. And with an impressive slate of films that makes up 2014, that is saying something.

Next up we have a Japanese trailer that was recently released as well as an IMAX poster for the movie. I am going to say it now, Godzilla needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible.

Check them out below and I dare you not to be hyped after seeing this trailer.

Here is the trailer

And how dope is this poster?



About The Film

In Summer 2014, the world’s most revered monster is reborn as Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures unleash the epic action adventure “Godzilla.” From visionary new director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) comes a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.

Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla,” which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

Original Article

13 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Bother With #TIFF13

Oh you didn’t think I was going to totally sit this one out did you?

Sure Xavierpop is not providing the most in-depth coverage of the Toronto Film Festival this year. It was a business decision based on a bunch of things. A lot of it has to do with the fact that as Editor-In-Chief of this magazine, I feel that TIFF has lost a lot of its relevance and is going through a huge identity crisis making covering it a pretty fruitless task.

As an attendee, it’s even tougher. I don’t know how you all do it. I have the utmost respect for the diehards who keep coming out year after year. That hustle is one of the last great things about the festival. And I hope you never stop as I live vicariously through you now.

The thing is this. This is the time of the year when I have a whole bunch of people ask me : “What should I see?”. Usually I have a few suggestions because I am grateful that people feel I am an expert in this subject matter and want to provide the best choices.

This year I got nothing.

The festival is not worth going to anymore and here is a nice list of reasons why:

So even after all that, if you still end up checking out the festival, hit me up on Twitter and let me know how it goes.

Original Article

Trailer & Poster For ‘Stuck In Love’ Starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins & Logan Lerman

While June 14th is the day that every film nerd has been waiting for eagerly for years, another little film opens that weekend that is worth checking out.

With a vibe that reminds a lot of one of my all time favourite films, Crazy, Stupid, Lovethe ever so charming Stuck In Love has a very stacked cast and what seems to be a very intriguing and original story.

We have a trailer and poster for the film to give you a sense of what I mean. It played at TIFF last year to quietly positive reviews and I have to say that with all the craziness of the big movies that we are going to watch, a nice little small film like this just might be the perfect summer movie.

After all, the theatres will be sold out for damn sure.

Stuck In Love opens June 14th and stars Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Logan Lerman, and Kristen Bell.

About The Film Three years past his divorce, veteran novelist Bill Borgens can’t stop obsessing over, let alone spying on, his ex-wife Erica, who ignominiously left him for another man. Even as his neighbor-with-benefits, Tricia tries to push him back into the dating pool, he remains blind to anyone else’s charms. Meanwhile, his fiercely independent collegiate daughter Samantha is publishing her first novel while recoiling at the very thought of first love with a diehard romantic; and his teen son Rusty is trying to find his voice, both as a fantasy writer and as the unexpected boyfriend of a dream girl with unsettlingly real problems. As each of these situations mounts into a tangled trio of romantic holiday crises, it brings the Borgens to surprising revelations about how endings become beginnings.

Here is the trailer:


And here is the poster:

STUCK-IN-LOVE-Poster (1)

Original Article

Xavierpop Does The Oscars - Check Out Google’s Year In Film Video

One of the nice little things that Google does with its data is come up with these cool videos that overview topics or periods of time. In conjunction with the Oscars, the tech giant just released a video overviewing the year that was the movies in 2012.

It just played during the Oscar telecast and is actually pretty damn cool.

Check it out below:

Original Article

#TIFF12 Announces Its Masters Programme Honouring The Living Legacy Of The Best Filmmakers

“These Masters films represent cinema’s living legacy,” says Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “We are proud to present new work from directors as renowned as Manoel de Oliveira, Michael Haneke, Bernardo Bertolucci and Abbas Kiarostami. All 14 filmmakers command the respect of audiences, critics and above all their filmmaking peers.”

And with that quote we get to the final announcement from the the 37th Toronto International Film Festival  as they unveil the block of films from the Masters programme;  a cinematic feast of 14 films by modern masters of celluloid, including the world premieres of new films by Goran Paskaljevic and Bernard Émond.

There are some great ones here that should definitely be watched. Having caught Amour at its Advanced Press Screening, that is one that should be on the top of your list.

Check out the lineup below and head stay tuned for Xavierpop’s ongoing and unmatched coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Amour Michael Haneke, Austria/France/Germany North American Premiere

Screen legends Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are ineffably moving as an elderly couple facing their own mortality in the Palme d’Or-winning new work by modern master Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon).

Beyond the Hills (Dupa Dealuri) Cristian Mungiu, Romania/France North American Premiere

Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) returns with this magisterial drama about a young Romanian woman who sets out to retrieve her childhood friend from “captivity” in a remote Romanian monastery, and soon comes into violent conflict with the archaic strictures of this traditional community.

Everyday Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom World Premiere

Everyday tells the story of four children separated from their father, and a wife separated from her husband. The father, Ian (John Simm), is in prison. The mother, Karen, (Shirley Henderson) has to bring up a family of four children by herself. Filmed over a period of five years, Everyday uses the repetitions and rhythms of everyday life to explore how a family can survive a prolonged period apart.

Gebo and the Shadow (Gebo et l’ombre) Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/France North American Premiere

Cinematic legends Jeanne Moreau, Claudia Cardinale and Michael Lonsdale star in the new film from legendary Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira.

In Another Country (Da-Reun Na-ra-e-suh) Hong Sang-soo, South Korea North American Premiere

South Korean master Hong Sang-soo teams with French superstar Isabelle Huppert for this inventive and wonderfully witty three-part film, in which three different but strikingly similar women — all named Anne, and all played by Huppert — meet and interact with the same group of people in a seaside Korean town, with each encounter producing a set of intriguing new outcomes and new possibilities.

Like Someone in Love Abbas Kiarostami, Japan/France North American Premiere

An old man and a young woman meet in Tokyo. She knows nothing about him; he thinks he knows her. He welcomes her into his home, she offers him her body. But the web that is woven between them in the space of 24 hours bears no relation to the circumstances of their encounter.

Me and You Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy North American Premiere

In Italian master Bernardo Bertolucci’s first feature in 10 years, Lorenzo is a quirky 14-year-old loner who plans to fulfill his teenage dream of happiness by hiding out in his apartment building’s abandoned cellar. To escape his overwrought parents, Lorenzo will tell them that he is going away on a ski trip with school friends. For an entire week, he will finally be able to avoid all conflicts and

pressures to be a “normal” teenager. But an unexpected visit from his worldly older half-sister Olivia changes everything. Their emotional time together will inspire Lorenzo to come to terms with the challenge of casting aside his disguise of troubled youth and prepare to soon be thrown into the chaotic game of adult life.

Night Across the Street (La Noche de Enfrente) Raúl Ruiz, France/Chile North American Premiere

Three intersecting ages of a man who can see approach of death. Three rival souls. The final testament of Raúl Ruiz.

Pieta Kim Ki-duk, South Korea North American Premiere

In the new film by controversial Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, a brutal man employed by a loan shark is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle when a mysterious woman appears claiming to be his long-lost mother. But, as his attachment to her grows, he begins to discover the gruesome and tragic secret that made her seek him out.

Something in the Air (Après mai) Olivier Assayas, France North American Premiere

At the beginning of the seventies, Gilles, a high school student in Paris, is swept up in the political fever of the time. Yet his real dream is to paint and make films, something that his friends and even his girlfriend cannot understand. For them, politics is everything, the political struggle all-consuming. But Gilles gradually becomes more comfortable with his life choices, and learns to feel at ease in this new society.

Student Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan North American Premiere

Master director Darezhan Omirbayev transposes Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment to modern-day Kazakhstan, in this tale of a university student who takes the ruthless social Darwinist principles of his post-communist, pirate-capitalist society to their murderously literal extreme.

When Day Breaks Goran Paskaljevic, Serbia/Croatia/France World Premiere

Misha Brankov is a retired music professor. One morning he receives a letter requesting him to contact the Jewish Museum in Belgrade. At the museum, he learns that during some excavations on the sewers at the city’s Old Fairgrounds, an iron box was found, in this same place where during the Second World War an infamous concentration camp was set up for Serbian Jews and Gypsies. The contents of the box will change the Professor’s life.

Previously announced Masters films include: Bernard Émond’s Tout Ce Que Tu Possèdes (All That You Possess) and Peter Mettler’s The End of Time.

The Festival’s Official Film Schedule was released today, and is available at the Festival Box Office or by visiting Copies will also be distributed in The Grid on Thursday, August 23. Thursday’s issue of the Toronto Star will contain a 24-page section on the Festival, which includes the full film schedule.

Single tickets go on sale September 2. Purchase Festival tickets online at, by phone Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to

7 p.m. ET at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, and in person at the Festival Box Office located at 225 King St West. The 37th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 6 to 16, 2012.

About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit

Xavierpop Previews #TIFF12 – MovieJay Takes The Wonderful Vanguard Programme

You don’t go to a film in the Vanguard programme hoping that it’s going to be nice or charming, sweet or even entertaining. These films tend to be edgier, sexier, darker. When you walk out of a film in Vanguard, you want to talk about it and hash it over afterwards.

Some of these selections never find an easy path towards distribution. In recent years, movies in this programme that have found a way out of Toronto include Gareth Edwards' indie-sci-fi-romantic-horror-scare-story Monsters, the penetrating Japanese revenge thriller Confessions, the chilling Australian serial killer drama The Snowtown Murders, and Joachim Trier's addiction drama Oslo, August 31st.

Here’s a look at the 15 films showing in the Vanguard programme this year:

90 Minutes
Eva Sorhaug brings her second feature to TIFF, and I think its Norwegian title 90 Minutter sounds way cooler than the boring English translation. Her first feature, Cold Lunch, went unseen by me, but I look forward to this domestic drama starring Aksel Hennie (Max Manus, Headhunters) who sort of looks like the lovechild of Steve Buscemi and Jason Statham, if you can imagine that.

Beijing Flickers
Zhang Yuan came to TIFF in 1993 with his first feature, Beijing Bastards—unseen by me—a relationship drama about a rock musician and the pregnant girlfriend he let get away. The last time he was in Toronto was in 1997 with East Palace West Palace—saw it!—a fascinating study of homosexuality and how severely it is punished in China. Placed under house arrest because of his earlier, edgier films that confront his rigid society, Yuan deserves more attention in the west despite his more recent ventures into the mainstream with movies like the childhood drama Little Red Flowers. Hopefully his new one will be a huge success at TIFF, a drama following what the programme calls “the little people” in the underground of Beijing’s booming economy.

Berberian Sound Studio
Peter Strickland's first feature, the Romanian-Hungarian co-production titled Katalin Varga appeared to hit every major film festival in a two-year run from 2009 to late 2010, except for TIFF. Drats, from what I gather from the IMDB about the little revenge drama that never got a North American release is that it looks promising. His sophomore effort’s been picked up, however, and it stars Toby Jones—he played Capote in that movie best remembered as “the other Capote movie”—as a mild-mannered sound engineer from the UK who is brought to Italy in the mid 70’s to mix what Quiet Earth's Simon Read calls “a gruesome horror film in the mold of Dario Argento's Suspiria”. The film premiered to wicked and wild buzz at the Edinburgh Film Festival and makes its North American premiere at TIFF. The premise as well as its trailer has me hyped for this one. This goes straight to the “can’t wait” list.

Swedish helmer Jesper Ganslandt's third trip to Toronto is a family drama following three estranged adult sisters after his coming-of-ager Falkenberg Farewell (2006) and the thriller The Ape (2009). He’s looking to finally break out in the North American market and graduate from the festival circuit with this Bergmanesque outing.

Here Comes the Devil
Spanish writer-director Adrian Garcia Bogliano has flown under the radar, becoming a midnight favorite on the horror fest circuit with previous titles such as Cold Sweat and The Accursed. His new Mexican-U.S. co-production sees him coming to Toronto for the first time with his thriller about two children that go missing in a set of caves around Tijuana, and the disquieting energy about them after they reappear.

I Declare War
The lone Canadian feature in this programme has a neat little trailer in a story of neighborhood boys and the little war games they play with each other. Toronto writer-director Jason Lapeyre is set to make a splash this year with this, his first feature to appear at TIFF, while he simultaneously tours two other features as well—a thriller titled Cold Blooded, which just took the audience prize at Fantasia; the other a doc filmed at Toronto General Hospital last year. There’s a good chance that by the end of TIFF he will have been one of its major discoveries; a new Canadian talent arriving on the scene with three aces up his sleeve already.

iLL Manors
Ben Drew—a.k.a. UK rap & hip-hop artist Plan B—makes his feature writing-directing debut with this hyperlink crime-drama set in the violent Forrest Gate hood of East London, where he grew up. The pic weaves together six different storylines, which is incidentally the same number of threads in that other hyperlink movie at the fest in Cloud Atlas. Small world. Opening over the summer to warm reviews in the UK, the pic’s soundtrack—also by Drew—has already hit #1 on the charts there. This follows a successful stint as an actor for him, appearing as one of the thugs in the Michael Caine Gran Torino-esque pic Harry Brown from three years ago. Lookin’ good.

Director Soi Cheang brings his kinetic Hong Kong car chase actioner to Toronto, his second trip here after 2009’s assassin thriller Accident. Johnnie To is back as producer once more, and the movie should find itself with a specialized run outside of the festival circuit in North America over the coming year. Nice early reviews so far for the pic upon it’s Asian release this summer.

I like the premise of this thriller, which weaves together two stories: set in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, a group of children who are insensitive to pain find themselves in an asylum attempting to be rehabilitated through torture. Meanwhile, in the present, a brilliant neurosurgeon who needs a bone marrow transplant ventures out to find his biological parents and, wouldn’t you know it, stumbles upon the dark story of the past. Painless represents the first feature by writer-director Juan Carlos Medina, who co-scripts here with Luiso Berdejo of [Rec] fame.

Peaches Does Herself
Canadian electro-post-punk-new-wavey musician and performance artist Peaches—bestie and former roommate of Feist; collaborator on Christina Aguilera's Bionic LP—directs her first feature, described by TIFF as a “wild, transsexual rock opera”, featuring songs from her catalogue like “Fuck the Pain Away" and "Lovertits". Peaches will also be premiering a new installation as well as offering us a performance. This will be one of the more unique experiences we’ve ever seen at TIFF. Straight to the "can’t wait" list.

Spanish-born writer-director Luis Prieto comes to TIFF for the first time with the English-language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's (Drive) cult fave, with Refn aboard as executive producer. Richard Coyle (Tus in Prince of Persia) stars as a drug dealer whose life goes to hell over the course of one miserable week. Prieto is not a stranger to Toronto, having won the World Short Film Festival prize for best live-action short in 2002 with Bamboleho. Pusher premiered earlier this summer at the Edinburgh Film Festival to very warm reviews.

Room 237
I learn from the reviews of this Sundance hit that the full title as it appears onscreen is Room 237: Being an Inquiry Into The Shining in 9 Parts. And that’s what you need to know about Rodney Ascher's feature doc debut, as 5 subjects in the field of music, playwriting, cinema, journalism and conspiracy theorizing break down the obsessive nature of fans to art in the abundant amount of information that may or may not exist in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 thriller, relating to numerology, the Holocaust, and the Moon landing. Yup, you know it, this one's going straight to the “can't wait”.

Ben Wheatley returns to TIFF after the authentic, blood-soaked Midnight Madness flick Kill List that premiered last year. Opening to strong reviews in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes and with a very funny clip of this online, Sightseers follows a late thirtysomething couple on a dream RV holiday in this dark comedy that takes more than one turn into sudden violence.

Based on a creature called a “huldra” that belongs to Norwegian folklore, a strange and naked woman with a cow tail is found by two forensic clean-up men deep in a forest. Premiering at SXSW in Austin last March to very warm reviews, Aleksander Nordaas makes his first trip to Toronto with this most intriguing of premises, not to mention those amazing early images and a tagline that reads: “In a cellar, dark and deep, I lay my dearest down to sleep; A secret they would like to keep.”

The We and the I
And last but not least, Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) comes back to TIFF for the first time since his Dave Chapelle’s Block Party premiered as a Special Presentation in 2006. This mostly interior drama is set almost entirely on a bus featuring a group of teens on their last day of school before summer break. Sort of has an inner-cityBreakfast Club-on-public-transit kind of feel from the trailer.

The 37th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 6-16. Ticket packages are on sale now. Keep it tuned to Xavierpop for the sweet ‘n lowdown on all the films showing this year.

- MovieJay

"Seven Psychopaths" Trailer Starring Colin Farrell And Sam Rockwell

With #TIFF12 coming quickly upon us and all of the films fully announced, I imagine we will start seeing trailers for most of the mainstream films announced. This time around we have the highly anticipated Seven Psychopaths starring Colin Farrell who reunites with his In Bruges director/writer Martin  McDonough. The movie also stars Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson.

Make sure to check out Seven Psychopaths as part of TIFF's Midnight Madness programme.

About the Film
Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) wrote and directed Seven Psychopaths which reunites him with actor Colin Farrell who plays a screenwriter struggling for inspiration for his script, which just so happens to be called Seven Psychopaths, who gets drawn into the dog kidnapping schemes of his oddball friends (played by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken). But things take a turn for the worse when a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) mutt goes missing. Films opens in theatres this fall on October 12th.

R.I.P Rajesh Khanna - Our Resident Bollywood Expert Says Good-Bye To An Icon

When a legendary actor passes away, the industry in which he or she worked can feel the loss. Mr. Rajesh Khanna became an iconic figure in the Indian film industry, specifically Bollywood cinema and his passing comes with much sorrow.

I wasn’t born during Rajesh Khanna’s reign at the top, but when I did start watching Bollywood films, I did spend much time learning about past actors and films. I remember sitting around with my entire family during Thanksgiving or Christmas and perusing through vinyl album and song collections that held many of Rajesh Khanna’s iconic song sequences. To put it straight, he was a flirtatious figure that brought a sense of playfulness, cinematic arousal as I like to call it and teasing to the screen. Girls fell in love with him for his boyish looks and charm and a country fell in love with an actor whose legacy will always live on.

Khanna’s career was full of box office hits and songs that made the hearts of many women beat faster and faster. His 1969 hit Aradhana starring opposite Sharmila Tagore made his presence felt in the industry and Bollywood was in for a roller coaster ride full of box office success, hit songs and sexual chemistry opposite Mumtaz - the two are a one of the most celebrated onscreen pairs in Bollywood film history, even today. Khanna’s career flourished during the 70’s and he was known as the King of Bollywood during that phase - he starred in 15 consecutive hits between the years 1969-1972 solidifying him as a bankable actor.

Khanna died at the age of 69 . There has been no official statement announcing the cause of this death, but many medical officiants have hinted toward cancer being the leading cause. Recent pictures of the star had him looking frail and weak - but the boy with slick hair and good looks still lingers in the hearts of movie goers today.

I leave you with two songs that are still somewhat indicative of my childhood days - when my parents used to listen to the songs of their youth.

Jai Jai Shiv Shankar

Kora Kagaz Tha Ye Man Mera

Xavierpop Does @Shinsedai_Fest – Louis Reviews ‘Good For Nothing’ やくたたず

Good for Nothing was written, produced, directed by Sho Miyake, who also did the cinematography. This coming of age film is a small black and white wonder relatively unknown outside of Japan.

The movie follows three boys just out of high school as they enter into their first job and focuses on them trying to find the balance between juvenile delinquency and adult respectability. Working for a home security company, most of the film takes place in the small moments and hours between jobs. Along with their youngish boss, they spend as much time playing and horsing around as they do actually working. Over the course of a winter we find the boys both acting quite mature only to see them digress in the face of the opportunity to go the other way.

Shot in stunning and stark black and white, the film does an amazing job of capturing the manic energy of the boys while they wander through their days. Miyake allows enough room for the actors to wander in and out of frame and focus, resulting in a fantastic job of mimicking the inability of youth to sit still. It is every bit the “film without a frame” the first time director was attempting to make. Rather than try to force the movement within a tight frame, the camera is pulled back in such a way as to give room for the characters to live and breathe, to move and interact.

So much of interactions between the characters, not just the boys, have a marked realism that seems so natural and yet is so difficult to either write or direct. While a character study of the boys, we do get other characters who appear at least partially developed. The reliance on heavy dialogue to explain actions and motivations is pleasantly absent from this film, as it has little to no need of it. There is a flow and ebb to the film’s unmethodical storyline, yet this drama seems to want to get where it goes in its own time. Much like the boys, it’s not really in any hurry to get there, though underneath it all they know they must.

We leave the boys much as we found them, still straddling the small gap between youth and adulthood. The unconventional way this tale is told could only have this as an outcome. They may be, slightly, older, but somewhat wiser, if not ready to act on it yet. It’s not a film about a destination, or the outcome of the boys, but rather the joy of spending that time and space with them.

Good for Nothing marks the first film of Sho Miyake, and it looks like this is a talent with more good things to come.

Xavierpop Does @Shinsedai_Fest - Louis Reviews Enter the Cosmos

Enter the Cosmos: Takashi Makino Special brings together three films from the experimental filmmaker. Utilizing abstract visual imagery along with abstract experimental music gives rise to an experience that is very different than one will find from a standard film. Gone are all the usual references, such as plot, narrative, actors or defined meaning. Rather, what each viewer takes away from the film depends entirely from personal thoughts and imagination. The director’s intent, if any, is only suggested by the title, but from there the viewer goes upon his or her own journey. The sound-scapes coupled with the visual dissonance create a personal experience of transcendent measures. The music was done by Machinefabriek, Jim O’Rourke, as well as Takashi Makino himself while the visuals are all done by Makino.

The films themselves are a series of perpetual dots and grains with common portions of everyday objects or places, but intermixed and altered as to be something radically different. The common being scattered and disintegrated across the screen, coupled with the intermixing of sight and sound so altered from origin. All this makes for a unique and strange experience for every viewing. In attempting a synergy with two abstract mediums Makino strives to create his essence of cinema, an ideal synthesis of light and sound.

Having attended Nihon University and apprenticed under the Quay Brothers in 2001, Makino has gone on to produce many 16mm and digital experiments. Having won various awards he also coordinates [ + ], a film society that screens experimental films from around the globe. This program follows Makino’s career, beginning with Intimate Stars (2004) that shows a vision seen in his later works. Elements of Nothing (2007) and Into Your Star (2011), show a further evolution into the abstract by utilizing dots and grains, screen space, repetition and optical resonance.

While an interesting and important aspect of films and filmmaking, it will not be to everyone’s tastes. Most experimental filmmaking is perplexing to general audiences who seem to struggle with a longer piece, (or a shorter one for that matter), unless it is a part of a longer narrative or as special effects to emphasize a plot point.

The experimental filmmaking community, while mostly ignored by the larger viewing audience, is watched by other filmmakers. The influence they have over visual styles and artistic changes is subtle and ongoing.

Louis Absolutely Loved The Experience That Was @Fangoria presents Fright Nights at the Projection Booth

A grindhouse is an American term for a rundown theater that mainly shows exploitation films. Fangoria presents Fright Nights at the Projection Booth is just such an event. Showing two films from Black Fawn Films, a Canadian production company that does small budget horror films, the event provided far more than was advertised.

The Projection Booth was opened to help support Canada’s vibrant filmmakers and create an intimate and unique theatre going experience. Formerly known as the Gerrard Cinema, the venue fell on hard times and sometime in 2011 the Principals Jonathan Hlibka and Nadia Sandhu along with Grinder Coffee’s Euan Mowat relaunched the theater as it is today. This viewing was but one of a long list of outside and independent events the venue holds.

Being a grindhouse event, the location was perfect. The theater has everything in (mostly) working order.  The age of the building becomes apparent upon entering and the theater itself is a holdover from a bygone era, from the cracks in the stucco ceiling right down to the seemingly original, but refinished, seats. Surprisingly comfy too.

This event is as much about the venue and the audience as it was about the movies. Black Fawn Films seems to use its personnel interchangeably, so an actor on one project might write the next, or the director for one stars in the next. A group of professionals that not only work well together, but enjoy the work they do and are all also friends. Many of the people involved were also at the venue, sitting among fans with family and friends as the films rolled. A close, intimate feeling was evident from early in the evening, as people chatted, mixed and generally treated it as one would a film viewing among friends. A far cry different from the cold detachment one finds at the chain theaters.

Keeping with the grindhouse feel of the evening, there are the tacky coming attractions and feature films made sometime in the 60’s. And then the first film starts, well, after a couple of minutes of red screen and music waiting for the projection booth to start it. And then If a Tree Falls starts.

If a Tree Falls is an homage to the same exploitation films that made the original grindhouse films possible. The quality of the film is keeping in tradition of grindhouse films. Bad lighting, sound, focus and color, coupled with random effects give the film an authentic feel.

The movie is simple enough. A group of four friends are going on a cross country trip to camp. Along the way they decide to stop overnight in a mostly uninhabited area, away from proper campgrounds. In the middle of the night, someone begins to attack the group. By morning, it is evident what the intentions of the attackers are and the real horror begins for the campers.

The film has an interesting message about the randomness of violence intertwining with the cold detachment of violence. Violence is personified by these killers, who go about their business without word or emotion. Violence is used as a tool for destruction and a corrupting influence. In the end, even those who survive it become something different because of it. This film is neither for the faint of heart or those looking for silly horror. There is no happy ending here. This is dark and vicious, and goes much further psychologically than some of its better known, big budget brothers.

The lights come up and the intermission reel starts. Playing a ten minute countdown onscreen that someone acquired from a drive in, it featured all of the lobby taunts and songs those of us who actually went to drive-in’s remember and added atmosphere for those who don’t. As the reel ends and the MC for the night begins to speak, he realizes most of the audience is still outside and runs to get them.  Everyone seated, after another brief wait on the projection booth, this time in dark with no sound, the movie begins.

Kill is interesting in that it is being shown at all. Made 8 years ago and never properly edited, it was initially put aside for other projects and then eventually forgotten. Recently unearthed, the production company finally finished it. Just prior to the screening, the director spoke briefly about how bad the film was. And while what he said about the film was accurate, there were also some interesting and highly entertaining moments to the film.

A group of six people wake up in a house, not knowing how they got there or each other. A voice speaks to them through speakers throughout the house. It becomes apparent that the purpose for being in this place is to kill one another. Through a series of bizarre and illogical personal choices, then encouraged to act by equally bizarre tiki men in oversized masks, the group begins to actually break apart and kill one another. One does not simply say, when they find themselves in a house where someone wants them dead, that people should go into rooms alone, and “yell if they need anything!”. To tell any more would take away from the charm and beauty of the film’s grindhouse aspirations.

The major difference between the first film and this was this film was done straightforward. It shows a very amateurish approach to film and filmmaking, and the company was right to have left it hidden for 8 years. As a part of a double grindhouse bill, specifically this venue and audience, it was perfect. And it’s in this context it should be viewed.

The lights come up and many of the people involved take the stage for a short Q&A, though it becomes more of a conversation among friends than one might typically encounter. Slowly people begin to shuffle out of the theater and into the night. All in all it was a fun night for grindhouse horror fans and fans of Black Fawn Films and most of the proceeds of the night going to a Henry Rollins sponsored charity A Drop in the Bucket.

Doug Reviews Pixar’s “Brave”

Pixar Animation Studio is known for its impeccable body of work; in the short time that the studio has been around, they’ve created some of the most iconic and loveable characters of this generation.  In a time where Hollywood is struggling to tell poignant stories, Pixar makes this task seem effortless. And what’s perhaps most worthy of praise is they don’t simply rest on the success of their franchises – they continue to take risk after risk, while consistently making great films.

For their latest, instead of talking animals and autonomous objects, Pixar has chosen to tell a distinctly human story set in a fictional 13th century Scotland negotiating interesting themes as it explores themes of gender roles, parental expectations and fate.  In classic Pixar form, this is a story that appeals to audiences, young and old with a narrative told simply but with great effect.

The trailers for the film set up the basic premise of the film, but don’t give away much more, as this film is abundant with surprises. Princess Merida is a tomboyish and rebellious young woman (with a head full of tangled red hair) who has been in training to be queen, begrudgingly, for her whole life by her mother. As part of her ascent to the throne, the next step is that she’s to pick a suitor as per a very long tradition. Of course, she is resolutely opposed.

Merida runs away from home and meets a witch that is able to change her fate by “changing her mother” as Merida wishes. Well, perhaps Merida should have been more careful with her choice of words, as the spell gives her want she wants, maybe a little to literally. As the film progresses, we see Merida deal with the consequences of her actions and learn the lessons she needs to right the wrong her stubbornness has created.

Instead of going for the lighthearted feel of Pixar’s other films, this film presents a surprisingly rich drama, but with plenty of comic relief to buoy the tone. The story of a relationship between mother and daughter is refreshing to see on screen, as films have typically focused on father and son relationships in the past. It’s interesting to see Pixar extend itself this way and be successful at it.

But in focusing on this distinctly feminine narrative, it seems that Pixar has whittled down the male characters to caricatures. In the short time that the men in this movie are presented, they are highly competitive or childishly at war with each other. Oafish and hungry to prove their manliness, this side of the gender roles themes is somewhat two-dimensional, but it also has its funny moments.

What’s also worthy of mention is that this film is quite a bit darker than your average animation film. Kids that are easily scared or subject to nightmares should probably wait to see this on DVD as the big screen may overwhelm them.

Brave is an ambitious film that is successful in its aims. The risks taken have paid off once again and this film is undoubtedly worthy of Pixar’s budding legacy of great films, which is saying a lot.

Xavierpop Does #WSFF12 - Douglas Godhino Reviews The ‘Superfans’ Programme

The collection of 6 shorts in Superfans explores fandom and the blurry line between fantasy and reality. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art, and what role does our imagination play?

No Relation (7 min)

Philip K. Dick is best-known for his science fiction novels Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (adapted for the big screen in 1982’s Blade Runner) and A Scanner Darkly, among many others. In his mind-bending stories, the essence of existence and illusion often come into question; this short biographical documentary follows suit by using footage of the author, of people that he knew, and of people that knew about him to illuminate these themes. What’s great about this short is that the elusive quality of the subject is enhanced by the elusive film-making style. The theme from The Third Man for the soundtrack is just one of the brilliant choices by its Canadian director, Kieran Dick.

Gun for George (17 min)

Terry Finch is an author of pulp novels in a time when pulp novels have fallen out of popularity. No one seems to find the stories about retribution in the face of street crime compelling or realistic. But Finch is a lot like the character in his books and he’ll do anything to promote them – mainly by harassing librarians and book publishers. This very funny short bounces between the sad life of this struggling pulp author and a pulp action star known as “The Reprisalizer” – the understated humor coming from the fact that these two contrasting personalities are actually the same person: heroic at times, but usually delusional and kind of pathetic.

Semi-Auto Colours (6 min)

This short is a collage of hip-hop music, homemade recordings, and short clips cut in quick succession with overlapping elements. The film doesn’t seem to have a coherent narrative but is very experimental with many risky choices by its director, Isiah Medina, in a film about a gang of disenfranchised youth in Winnipeg’s West End.

The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke (12 min)

An interesting adaptation of the 1962 short film La Jetée with a cartoon-ish style, this movie definitely doesn’t take itself seriously. If you’ve ever seen 12 Monkeys, it’s based on the same story but with a few stylistic choices to completely change the tone of this movie. The art direction uses murals with illustrated visuals for sets and shows some inventiveness. This first-person narrated story deals with time travel and fate but does so with such lo-fi special effects and hilarious acting that you can’t help but smirk. It’s a little strange but definitely fun.

Dad, Lenin and Freddy (20 min)

This is the story of a young girl who is particularly impressionable. It’s shot in the style of a documentary and narrated by the main character, however, touches of realism help the audience understand the little girl’s point of view. After her father has left for Russia and she has watched Nightmare on Elm Street a few too many times, the girl’s imagination starts to affect her reality. Impressionable and imaginative, she becomes paranoid and starts spying on her dad – building a narrative in her head. The demons of Lenin and Freddy Krueger have such an impact on the girl’s mind, along with what she suspects her dad is up to, that they all culminate to a climax that only a child’s mind can create. Wholly imaginative and stylish – this short is a great representation of how a child’s imagination works and makes us question our realities, too.

Videoboy (33 min)

This short plays with the idea of how children create narratives about the unknown and the power of suggestion. In this case, two young boys befriend the new kid that happens to have an extensive film collection – particularly horror films. The two friends make up irrational stories about the child that they’ve befriended – fearing and thinking the worst of him. Over time, as the children spend more time with their new friend, they both adopt different attitudes about him. This is a great little parable about imagination and human nature and is told in a very compelling way – the muted color palette and sparse lighting only work to make the film more effective. In the end, the boys choose whether to accept their new friend or to avoid him and although the new friend might be a little strange and may seem scary, it’s clear which child is more righteous in his choice.

- Douglas Godhino

Check out our coverage of the WorldWide Short Film Festival:

- Xavierpop Takes on The “Creative Control” Programme
- MovieJay Reviews the “War, What Is It Good For?” Programme
- MovieJay Reviews ‘The Family Compact” Programme
- Next Up A Look At the ‘Iron Ladies’ Programme
- Xavierpop Covers ‘The Love Hurts’ Official Selection
- A Break-Down The ‘Who’s Your Dada?’ Programme
- MovieJay Reviews The Opening Night Gala: Winners From Around the World
- The @xvrpop Ultimate Worldwide Short Film Fest Preview
- The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival’s Screenplay $50,000 Giveaway is Back!

What if Pixar had designed other famous movie cars?

The artists at Pixar have obviously redefined a genre and injected a new dimension to animated films. Starting from Toy Story all the way to the upcoming Brave, the Pixar touch has always been laced with a little bit of magic.  Recently, as I was surfing across the interweb, I came across these really great fan-made renditions of what other famous movie cars would look like if they had been in the movie Cars.

While these pictures below are not official Pixar images, they are pretty damn good. If this artist hasn’t been hired on by the studio yet, I would imagine he would be pretty damn soon.

Check out some very cool renditions of Tim Burton's batmobile, the Back to the Future Delorean, Herbie the Love Bug and many more. They are a ton of fun and another reason why the fans should always be followed.