Thursday, June 30, 2011

I said I'd try and do more than just write about roller derby and Mayfair related stuff here, but then kewl stuff keeps happening with roller derby and the Mayfair. So please put up with me while I once again make mention of something else incredible and Mayfair related. The latest bit of awesome, is a Mayfair poster being published in the legendary cinematic horror magazine, Fangoria. Within an article about the legacy of Planet of the Apes, there appears a poster from our recent Go Apes! fest. First BBC Radio, then Fangoria Magazine, then I'm pretty sure that it's straight to world domination.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

OverKill! from Jeremy Kennedy on Vimeo.

Friday night marked the premiere of the latest one-night-mini-fest at the Mayfair. Fake Trailers Reel Fest was a very entertaining night indeed, the audience in attendance (quite a good turn-out) were very receptive and all seemed to have a good time. It always does my heart good when folks come out to see the local indie filmmaking offerings which we manage to show occasionally on the big screen at the Mayfair.

My cinematographer, editor, and all around cinematic partner in crime for this short project just sent me a e-mail asking if he could post the proect online. The answer was of course yes. Especially since it's not using a bunch of copyrighted music like happened with my last short project. I've had real problems keeping on top of doing stuff like that with my work, nice to see that someone is doing it for me in this case. So if you didn't get a chance to see it at the Mayfair, I hope you enjoy watching it via web means here. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a couple minutes of fake trailer exploitative awesomeness (if I do say so myself).

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's that? You hate awesome things? Hmmm...yes, likely for the best that you stay away from the double bill RVRG derby night on Saturday June the 25th.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

First of all...I've never seen previews spelled like that before. Weird. More importantly, Friday night marks the premiere of the Mayfair Theatres latest one-night mini-film festival screening extravaganza. On the heels of the romance and sex of Painted Lips & Lolly Licks and the horror that is Killer63, we now present to you Fake Trailers Reel Festival.

The evening will include an hour of new (or almost new) fake trailers from local Ottawa filmmakers, along with works from folks from Toronto, Montreal, the States and believe it or not we've even got an offering from the far off land of Australia. Our phony trailer-ness program include super-hero, mystery, horror, exploitation, puppets, derby girls, nurses, political commentary and spoof, amongst other topics and genres. Our original fake material will be accompanied by a collection of rare real classic movie trailers (along with a few surprises) from cinemas Drive-In and Grindhouse past.

Catch another great night of bizarre entertainment at everyone's favorite repertory theatre, Friday June 24th at 9:30pm at the Mayfair.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dunny's fall under the category of what some call useless dust collectors. I've heard directly from people who just don't get it. There are some who look at stuff like this and shake their head in confusion and wonder why an otherwise rationale human being would waste their money on this junk.

There are others who have an opposite point of view and instead call these lil' bunny lookin' things amazing pieces of artistry in the medium that is vinyl toy. I heard one rather poetic rationalizing of the mind of a collector in a documentary I once saw on the subject. I believe the interviewee was a toy designer, and my paraphrasing of what was said is that this world we live in is not perfect. The world outside our door is filled with things we don't like, packed with stuff we don't want to see or think about or have run across our consciousness. So, when we stumble on something that we think is awesome (even something as illogical as limited edition artistically decorated toy bunnies sold in blind-boxes so you don't even know which one you're getting) we want to surround ourselves with it. We make our own perfectly decorated little worlds in our living rooms and bedrooms. And my geeky ideal perfect world currently has fourteen Dunny's in will soon have more.

Though when I go to Lost Marbles to buy some at the release party tomorrow, I can do without that snail-y looking one pictured above. Reminds me too much of some terrifyingly creepy manga I recently read titled 'Uzumaki'. Other than that, if I had the money to spare, I would try my best to get 'em all. And they would collect dust on my shelves while looking neat.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A friend of mine once told me that she didn't watch hockey, not because she was opposed to it, but upon getting invested in watching a team it just became too stressful. It was time consuming and more often than not, ended in heartbreak 'cause a team doesn't bring home a championship every single year. I thought of that today as I watched my Rideau Valley Roller Girls take a defeat against the Forest City Derby Girls (of London, Ontario), in a well deserved victory for them.

It was a fun weekend to be sure, but during that last bout as I did my best to pay attention to my duties at helping out with score-keeping (or score-catching to be specific in the job titles monicker), I was definitely not happy in watching my girls have further unlikely a chance at winning the day as the point spread got further apart. There was stress and anger and frustration and quite a bit of harsh feelings put towards the referees accompanied by under my breath swearing.

As I have pointed out before to friends when they're feeling down about not succeeding at something, there is no shame in failure. There is shame in not trying, but no shame in failing. Wayne Gretzky played hockey for twenty or so years in the NHL. In those years he won four Stanley Cups. The greatest player of the game of hockey ever to skate on this earth only won four championships out of two decades of play!? Does that make Wayne Gretzky a failure? No more so than Martin Scorsese being a failure for taking so long to win an Oscar. Or Luke Skywalker being a failure for not saving his dad's life.

So, I must admit that I was slightly down today after the loss. I am proud of their silver medal though, and looking forward to them playing again next weekend. In a rematch of today's game no less!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day one of the Blood Spill on the Hill tournament went down today (though the blood was spilling in Navan...nowhere actually neat the Hill). I helped score-keep on roughly 75 - 80 games (that might be a slight exaggeration, but it all becomes a bit of a blur after the tenth straight hour of derby viewing). My Rideau Valley Roller Girls (playing under their newly branded, raccoon mascot logo showcasing team The Vermin) soundly thumped the team from Moncton 325 - 19. A good time was had by all, and although the Moncton team lost, they should be happy in the fact that they are hands down the coolest and most awesome thing there is about the city of Moncton.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't tell anyone, but I find it completely impossible to hit deadlines for my own projects. If I make a deadline of June 3rd for a fest that takes place three weeks later, I can almost guarantee you that not a frame will be shot until sometime after that deadline passes.

Above is a picture from the latest deadline failing project of my friend and frequent collaborator on indie movie stuff here in Ottawa, Ray Besharah. He was nice enough to interrupt his rehearsal for a play that he's in the midst of prepping for to come to my place and shoot a quick scene for a fake trailer for the upcoming Mayfair Theatre event, Fake Trailers Reel Festival. It was a funny quick chain of events in terms of behind the scenes madness. I wrote up the one page scene of dialog around 8pm, he and my camera guy came over around 9:30, we were finished soon after. Then we ran over to the Mayfair to shoot some random cut-away shots of a couple burlesque girls. I love the from the hip guerrilla indie chaos involved in making weird little projects like trailers. Especially that you don't need a linear script or for stuff to make sense really. You just need something entertaining and attention grabbing that will fill two or three minutes of time and be awesome.

Our fake trailer can be seen premiering on Friday June 24th at the Mayfair along with a bunch of other original fake endeavors from near and far (local guys, American, even one from Australia) and a batch of rare classic 35mm trailers. Another weird movie night that could only happen in a city like Ottawa at a place like the Mayfair

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This weekend, my Rideau Valley Roller Girl friends host the Canadian Women's Roller Derby Association east championship tournament. A batch of teams from across Ontario and from as far off as the mysterious land of New Brunswick will touch down on the unsuspecting city of Navan for a mighty batch of gladiatorial roller-skate styled sports combat. Partaking in a regular old run of the mill two teams playing off against each other derby bout is something pretty action packed. Having no less than eight full roster teams hit your city for an event, well...that's something else entirely. Attend the tournament for all the derby excitement, and stick around to see if Navan is still left intact by the time things wrap up by Sunday night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The ultimate experience in grueling terror returns!

Stephen King declared that The Evil Dead was "the most ferociously original movie of 1982" (the movie is actually from '81, but I think most people saw it the following year). Considering that around that time horror films the likes of Basket Case, The Thing, Poltergeist and King's own Creepshow were released, he must have been quite a bit impressed. Amongst praise from other sources the likes of Fangoria Magazine, The Evil Dead became an indie horror phenomenon. And although it didn't quite make Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell household names, it did get their foot into Hollywood's door.

The Evil Dead is amazing in it's no-budget accomplishment. Although I like Evil Dead 2 better, and Army of Darkness the best, seeing the first chapter of the not quite fitting together trilogy big screen style is a real (and rare) cinematic scary good time. And of course, Ash isn't quite Ash yet either. He's not the selfish jerk of an anti-hero, he has no chainsaw arm and doesn't spout endless catchy quips and exude sexual innuendo. What the film has though is Bruce Campbell's big screen debut, hence is one of the most important films in all of history. For where would we be without Bruce Campbell?

Lost Marbles Geek Night presents The Evil Dead - Friday June 17th at 11pm, with an encore presentation on Sunday June 19th at 8pm (for those horror geeks who have earlier bedtimes).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I don't think that there is anyone who would be terribly shocked that the director of such cinematic classics as Blackenstein and The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington did not achieve film-making perfection with his late seventies effort, Skatetown U.S.A.

Though, as with many a movie of this kind, the levels of awfulness it achieves does not detract from the level of enjoyment that an audience can take away from it. So bad it's good classifies a roller skating disco epic starring a Happy Days era Scott Baio and featuring the acting debut of Patrick Swayze, years before he partook in any form of Dirty Dancing.

If getting a chance to see the rock & roller disco movie of the year wasn't incentive enough to hit the Mayfair on Wednesday night instead of watching the final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the show is also presented by the Rideau Valley Roller Girls. And they will be on-hand to partake in the experience of roller-skating movie action, and sell you tickets to the next RVRG bout. Which you will want to buy, because attending a roller derby bout in person is high on the list of the most of enjoyable ways that you can spend a night.

Skatetown U.S.A. - Wednesday June 15th at 9:15pm - for one night only at the Mayfair Theatre. A much more fun night than jumping on a band-wagon and cheering for a hockey team that you hated or were at least disinterested in the rest of the year. Promise.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A few days ago DC Comics made the spoiler laced announcement that they will be re-booting their Universe again this September on the heels of their current Flashpoint event. The first time that they did this was the universe merging and retooling that was Crisis on Infinite Earths. Crisis was a story with a purpose, it took 45 years of jumbled continuity, multiple worlds and various versions and styles of iconic characters and smashed them all together into one singular planet and timeline. From then on in there were two kinds of DC super-hero stories, pre-Crisis and post-Crisis. There have been a few more instances of partial historical creative messing with DC history with story-lines the likes of Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis. None of these follow-ups completely big banged things back to a whole new square one though.

My initial queasiness over this new universe announcement is the feeling that it isn't done for any kind of creative reasoning, but as an idea from the on high corporate bosses at Warner Bros that they want these characters simplified for the movie going masses. I am not so naive to not understand that comic books as any other creative endeavor of this type need to still pay its creators and be profitable. I continually don't understand why comic book companies think that it's a good idea to appeal to the movie going public who aren't buying comic books vs appeasing the true comic book reader. Marvel deleted Peter and Mary Jane's wedded bliss due to it being different from what happens in Spidey movies. They're making sure that Steve Rogers is back in the Captain America costume for when the movie comes out July 22nd. And they're notorious for in recent years confusingly putting titles back to number 1, then changing their mind to put the title back to it's original run, then maybe just randomly releasing a Wolverine # 1000. Very confusing stuff. I thought DC was better than that.

DC will not only reboot. They will also restart 52 titles (52 is an important number in DC lore of late). Meaning that insanely long runs on books like Detective and Action will interrupt for the first time since the late 1930's. I do not like this. It seems even more out of place considering that there's been giant mythologies built up not only in the past twenty-five year, but very much in the last few years that will all be derailed. Grant Morrison (my favorite writer in any medium) has done some phenomenal things with the Batman books in the past few years. The biggest things maybe being the original Robin graduating up to donning the Batman cape and cowl, and Bruce Wayne's crazy son becoming a snarky boy wonder with delusions of grandeur. I also grew up in a world where my Green Lantern was a jerk named Guy Gardner, not Hal Jordan, and my Flash was Kid Flash graduate Wally West, not Barry Allen.

I'm not sure I want to read a shared universe where those characters don't exist. Do we really need to read about Superman meeting Lois again, or Batman meeting a circus performer kid sidekick, or all the rest of the bazillion histories of these characters? Seems kind of boring to me. Comics of late, much like movies and TV, seem very guilty of looking back instead of ahead. Especially Geoff Johns, one of DC's big creative inputs, seems to really not like the new. In his reign, he's brought back Hal Jordan Green Lantern and Barry Allen Flash. Which were two of the great DC death plot-lines and amazing pieces of comic book writings. He zapped things back to the norm that the masses would remember (or at least his generation of the masses, since both characters were in themselves re-toolings of older DC characters), negating the work of other creators. The past is important, icons are important, mythology is important...but how about let's evolve to some new stuff here?

Though, that fear change rant aside, this is not only a comic story, it's DC comics story. And I'm not convinced that this isn't really an erasing of 25 years of continuity, but just a JJ Abrams Star Trek style alternate universe. Plus, this does open up one very important possibility for me. This could mean that one of my favorite characters could now be magically back to life. If Blue Beetle is back, that just might be the bribe that I need to look the other way on all of this.