Forbidden Planet and making the sound of the future

I helped out the Calgary Cinematheque Society’s soundtrack series today with a 10-minute speech on the soundtrack to Forbidden Planet. It actually barely scratches the surface on what’s interesting about the first fully electronic score ever composed, but if you’re curious what you missed, here it is. (Forgive the formatting; it wasn’t really meant to … Continue reading

What to watch at CUFF 2013

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 … Continue reading

The Globe’s gone indie: Where to go from here

Image taken from the Calgary Herald article

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 … Continue reading

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?

The past isn’t dead, it’s buried alive

**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 … Continue reading

Seven Psychopaths: Of puppy dogs and exploding heads

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.

The Impossible trailer: A tragedy of the white and privileged

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 … Continue reading

Some thoughts on The Master

(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); … Continue reading

Review: Looper

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.

What to see on CIFF’s last weekend

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. … Continue reading