Sunday, February 27, 2011

I don't care about the Oscars. And yet, like any film fan, I find myself talking endlessly about the Oscars. For me it pretty much comes down to the old and often brought up point of view that it's ridiculous to award something that is subjective. No one ever agrees unanimously on what is the best film, how can it be given an award which states that it is the best of the year then? I understand why people like giving or receiving awards, but I just can't wrap my mind around the process. I remember one year the two critics in Entertainment Weekly each did an article on their top 10 and bottom 10 picks of the year. One critic had a film on their top 10 list that was on the others bottom 10. To me, that really wraps up how silly critics and awards are.

Having said that, let me now talk about the Oscars some more! There's 10 films in the best picture category, I have seen five. I was neutral on 'Social Network' and 'Inception', thought '127 Hours' was good and that 'Winter's Bone' was pretty great. I missed seeing 'The Kids Are All Right' when we had it at the Mayfair, and will see 'The Fighter' (which kida' just looks like another 'Rocky' to me) and 'The King's Speech' in March, and I think we're getting 'Black Swan' (which I've heard conflicting reports that it is the best thing ever and horrible pretentious film school snobbery) later. I'm dieing to see 'True Grit', and only missed out on it 'cause I avoid those pesky multiplexes for the most part.

That leaves 'Toy Story 3'. Of the ten options, I think 'Toy Story 3' is hands down the best film on the list. Pixar just blows my mind. Any other franchise or studio would've dropped the ball by the time they get to part three in a series. And those mad geniuses at Pixar almost inexplicably makes another story about talking toys that manages to soar above any other offerings not only of the summer but the whole damn year. Yet, I think that most folks think 'Social Network' is gonna' win. And that movie being considered the best perplexes me to no end, but I'm in the minority there.

But none of it really matters because my favorite movie of the year was 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World', and it got zero nominations, and that doesn't make me care about it any more or less.

Though I don't care about the Oscars, I will kinda be watching them. In the capacity that we'll be again showing them on the big screen at the Mayfair. Likely I will be on ballot counting patrol again. Which last year came down to the very last award given before we had a winner, it was actually fairly action packed to keep track of. Plus, James Franco is co-hosting and he's pretty awesome.

Oh, and there's a slim chance that Banksy might do something awesome (again...don't care, won't think the film is any less great, but I really want him to win).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tonight marks the end of the mini-bout of Black History Month done in true Mayfair style. To counter the horror Blaxploitation that was the genius of Blacula, last night we screened likely the most mainstream and critically praised film in Geek Night history with Do the Right Thing. Which might not seem like the most geeky of films at first thought, but any film with someone like Spike Lee in the lead role definitely holds a tinge of geek to it. Plus of course the packed cast holds none other than geek movie icon Samuel L. Jackson, amongst other talents.

But, that was last nights film. Tonight we showcase '1990: The Bronx Warriors' A knock-off grindhouse Italian picture that takes influence from (or rips off from depending on if you're looking at it negatively or positively) The Warriors, Escape from New York, and a lil' bit of Clockwork Orange. A moviegoers guilty pleasure calibre of a film, which although not quite Blaxploitation, holds a place alongside that type of movie thanks to the inclusion of actor Fred Williamson (star of Hammer, Black Caesar & Black Eye to name a Blaxploitation few).

Another chance to see a rare bad movie gem up on the big screen. One night only for Lost Marbles Geek Night - Friday February 18th at 11:30pm at the Mayfair.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I've been crewing on a new series from the creative mind of one of my frequent collaborators which premieres on the interwebs tomorrow, just in time for Valentine's Day. Be sure to tune in and check out the first episode of Sweet Tarts Takeaway and keep apprised of the production via various social network devices.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Early on yesterday, I got a text from a friend that left me confused. I replied with a question mark. She replied with a laugh, and information that it was an exact quote from a bit of an interview in regards to the Painted Lips and Lolly Licks fest at the Mayfair. Funny that is, 'cause I said nothing close to that in real life. I can deduce where the fake quote came from, and it doesn't surprise me, due to the fact that every single time I'm interviewed it ends in mis-quotes and embellished half-truths. I've had the belief for a while that many a journalist are really more paraphrasers than anything else. Anyhow, that's really more funny and annoying than anything else, not the end of the world.

The fest itself was another grand and amazing Mayfair of a night. We should have burlesque girls perform pre-show at every damn movie we show! Twas a packed house of heckling lustful film-goers, hepped up on alcohol and the anticipation of seeing some explicit short movies.

'Kinda True' was very well received. Looking forward to either getting permission to use the music that we used, or getting some other equally cool music. And y'know, a rather famous porn star who has exploits with Charlie Sheen said it was "super sexy" evidently, so that doesn't happen every day.

The film that walked away with the Mayfair gold card getting it's director a year of free movies was Polar Bear Love. A well deserved accomplishment, there were a lot of films, but I have to say I'm pretty sure that it was my favorite. Click on the films title above, and you can watch it for yourself. I'll be busy contemplating another short for 2012.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I was reminded that on top of inappropriate lewd inciting fun that will be the Painted Lips & Lolly Licks sexy film film fest tomorrow night, the show also gets an opening act from the talented Sin Sisters. They will be presenting their burlesque, go-go & variety show in front of the new collection of new short films up on the big screen at the Mayfair.

If the promise of new erotic cinema offerings from a batch of diverse film-making talent wasn't enough to get you to attend instead of going to see the new Justin Bieber movie, this information has to win you over!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The line-up for this years Painted Lips & Lolly Licks is up on the interwebs. There are eighteen shorts from across the globe, with six of those coming from Ottawa filmmakers. Our short for the event is finally done, went through one final revamp when the editor made another pass over on the sound (and there may have been a typo in the credits too). Now it's finished again and passed off last night, which means that it was submitted only a full four days or so after the actual deadline.

I'm quite pleased with the final product. Since I've done so much horror and a bit of sci-fi type genre stuff, for my first Painted Lips short I didn't want to mix genres. I wanted to make a plain ole' sexy story offering. And I think that me and my small band of film-making compatriots have managed to make something pretty good. Only a couple of people have seen the finished product, but so far the reaction has been all positive and included a "fucking awesome!" (sorry for the crude language, but that's a direct quote).

Sunday, February 06, 2011

This-afternoon I'll venture out to my friend / editor / cinematographer's place to finalize the cut for my latest directorial effort and first short for the Painted Lips & Lolly Licks sexy film fest at the Mayfair. Last year I was a mix of too sissy to participate and didn't have a really decent idea. Since all my other stuff has been horror or sci-fi themed in recent years, I didn't want to mix up genres, I didn't want it to be about vampires or in a zombie world or anything like that.

As luck would have it, late last year while sitting on a bus reading a Japanese comic book and minding my own business a quick little interaction happened that made not only a great lil' story that I'll get to tell for the rest of my life, but inspired some film-making. That real life story adapted into a sexy short film idea, and as luck would have it one of my partners at the Mayfair holds the aforementioned sexy short film festival every year. So there you have it.

Now, what happened in real life and what happens in the short has gone through some rather drastic re-writes (well, I didn't actually write anything down for this one since it was a relatively easy chain of events with little in the way of dialog). It's about as close to a true story as 'Social Network' is I think. Hence my initial idea of calling it 'Based On A True Story' has switched titles to become 'Kinda True'. Due to the last minuteness of this whole thing and my rather insane schedule, I've dropped the ball on tracking down a piece of music needed for a rather integral scene. My editor made use of a song that we don't have permission to use, just to have something to pace the editing to. I'm insanely in love with the music that we can't use. And since the screening is in less than a week and the short isn't finished yet and the deadline was two days ago, I'm going to make use of the song for the screening. I'm relatively sure that it won't end with me serving out a jail term. After that, we'll replace the score with something equally cool but less law breaking.

So, for one night only (on Friday February 11th at 9:30pm), come on out and watch me break the laws of copyright infringement at the Mayfair Theatre. Please attend, just don't tell anyone what I just told you.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

For a while now, I've had it in my head to see if we might program some Black History Month themed films at the Mayfair. There's a worry sometimes for that kind of thing that it might come across as poking fun at or being disrespectful of the significant event. More so in a case when one is involved with helping to run a theatre that at any given time is showing cannibal movies, exploitation fare or 'The Human Centipede'.

Of course, the first thing that came to my mind was to see what the likelihood was of showing some Blaxploitation Cinema. The thought of which corresponds with the previous statement of not wanting to make light of Black History Month. Though I don't think it would be too horribly offensive of a genre to screen, especially considering the number of interviews I've seen with actors and filmmakers of the genre discussing how proud they were of those films.

I thought it would be a good idea and film historical appropriate plan to counter with some more serious fare, and possibly something music related. Alas, like so often gets in the way of this kind of thing, many of the films weren't available to be screened. Not only other Blaxploitation fare, but the likes of 'When We Were Kings', 'Dave Chappelle's Block Party' or 'The Harder They Come' are all on the shelf for now.

Shockingly, one movie that was available was 'Blacula'. I always find it weird that we're not able to screen something mainstream like 'Gremlins'...but more obscure weird offerings are up for grabs no problem. 'Blacula' is so unbelievably cool, that a person or two that I told about this film of late actually didn't believe me. They thought I was making a movie up, that the title was about as unbelievable as 'Dr. Acula' (that title is stolen from 'Scrubs').

Brave the harsh weather to see a rare glimpse of 70's Blaxploitation vampire horror at the Mayfair for a late late Lost Marbles Geek Night, Friday February 4th at 11:30PM.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Monday nights screening of the impressive documentary 'Kings of Pastry' was excellent times all around. We got a great turnout, especially for a cold Monday night thanks to the power of the fan-base of Auntie Loo's. Even more-so impressive considering that the film recently played at a certain other Ottawa repertory theatre, and when that happens more-often than not we don't get the opportunity to screen the film as well. So when a great crowd comes out for a movie that played elsewhere recently, it of course makes us look like a viable option to film distributors (as also happened with 'Exit Through The Giftshop').

On top of the good film watched by a welcome and enjoying themselves audience, we also had not only cupcakes for sale from out friends at Auntie Loo's, we had free stuff from our friends at Auntie Loo's! You may have thought that you had a decent cupcake or two in your time, but if you haven't had one of these your life might be unknowingly sad and incomplete.

So make yourself a happier person and don't miss cupcakes and the encore Mayfair screening of 'Kings of Pastry' as presented by Autie Loo's Treats on Wednesday February 2nd at 7pm at the Mayfair Theatre.