So the Calgary Underground Film Festival starts today, and in my relatively biased opinion (I’m on the board, but I’m not the guy who picks the movies), it’s definitely one of the best things you can spend your time on this week. The programming team has yet again put together an incredibly solid line-up, and … Read more
This is sort-of an addendum to the film piece I wrote in Fast Forward the other week. When I wrote that, the state of the Globe was very much up in the air–in fact, I had it on good word that they were about to announce their closure–but fortunately they’ve worked out a way to … Read more
Noble goals and death tolls: Honest Abe takes a page out of the Shock Doctrine in Spielberg’s Lincoln
It’s hard to think of a more positive end than the abolition of slavery, and it’s easy to buy into the argument that the practice would have continued for decades at the very least if Lincoln hadn’t been, well, flexible when it came to the democratic process. But delaying the end of the war by even a few days when it was killing, on average, 3,000 Americans every week is essentially allowing a 9/11-level death toll for the sake of politics. Is that justifiable?
**Updated, see end of post I try not to post too often on copyright issues, even though it’s something I read about pretty much constantly, but if you want to know why I’m genuinely worried about where ownership culture is taking us, here’s pretty much the best (read: worst) example I’ve seen in a long … Read more
Seven Psychopaths is a very clever movie. Some are going to say it’s too clever — that’ll happen any time you explicitly comment on the medium you’re working in, really. And Seven Psychopaths does comment on its medium. A lot.
Don’t worry, this isn’t the start of “cultural sensitivity watch” on The Consumption. But just take a look at the trailer for The Impossible (which is playing in front of The Master) and tell me it doesn’t make you at least a little uncomfortable. Of all the stories that can be told about the tsunami that hit the … Read more
(Spoiler warning, inasmuch as the movie can be spoiled) Some filmmakers, you automatically give the benefit of the doubt. Before The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson already had somewhere between three and five masterpieces under his belt (Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood are hard to argue against, and I’ve heard cases made for Punch Drunk Love and Hard Eight); … Read more
Beyond being a compelling sci-fi action flick (and an original one, too, which is frustratingly rare), Looper uses the genre to examine real anxieties. And not in the “let’s raise this issue so people think we’re deep, then drop it” way that the new Total Recall did, but with the same understanding of technology as an extension of humanity that writers like Philip K. Dick used to elevate the genre in the first place.
Again, the disclaimer: I work for CIFF, so this isn’t exactly objective reporting. But The Consumption is my own opinions, not those of the fest. There’s still four days left of this year’s Calgary International Film Festival, so this seems as good a time as any to run down some more of my festival favourites. … Read more
For the 10 days leading up to CIFF’s opening gala, I’ll be posting a quick write-up per day on some of my favourite movies at the fest. I’m not exactly unbiased — CIFF does give me a paycheque, after all — but these posts are my own opinions and not those of the festival. And … Read more