Browsing: Special Edition

Special Edition starring-philip-seymour-hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the great actors of our time. Versatile, poised, and a Orson Wellesian figure of gravitas. On February 2, 2014, “The Master” co-star was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46. His passing is surely sudden and deeply tragic, but he’s left an impressive legacy for his contemporaries to aspire to. Stay groovy, Scotty J., stay groovy.

This video honours the numerous performers, both big and small (but nonetheless terrific), by Hoffman and aims to cut to the modulated levels of personality and weight that he brought to each and every movie role (Hoffman was also a known thespian).

Special Edition

Tokyo born Hirokazu Koreeda is an award winning director whose work is ultimately distinctive within the Japanese film industry. Originally he set out to be a novelist but after working as an AD his ideals on how to tell stories opened up to a whole new scope of possibilities. Mostly focusing on Japan and staying within his home film industry, the director has received global acclaim and become a bit of a festival favourite in Europe, Asia and Canada.

His narratives are based around the everyday situations his characters find themselves in and always give a wealth of thought towards how people would naturally react to certain circumstances. The undisputable pleasure of his films lies in the way his characters are brought to life. Not so much just the characters on the page of a script, but he seems to have a way of opening up even candid performances. There’s always a lot more to his characters than they initially appear to be set up with.

Special Edition McQueen-NYFCC

Last monday, the New York Film Critics Circle came to the conclusion to expel City Arts editor and film critic Armond White (and suspended New York Post’s Lou Lumenick for unwarrantedly disclosing 2013’s NYFCC award winner vote tallies) due to allegedly calling Steve McQueen, the director of 12 Years A Slave (a film White declared “torture porn”), “an embarrassing doorman and garbage man” capped off with “fuck you. Kiss my ass.”

White formally went on the Slashfilmcast and squashed the above claim, initially reported by Variety, calling it a “smear campaign.” White is adamant about his innocence (and who wouldn’t be?) but when asked by host David Chen if jeering is “acceptable behaviour”, White answers affirmatively prefacing that with the note that it’s also “typical behaviour”.

Special Edition a-history-of-violence-2005-36-g

I have been saturated and infused with all things Cronenberg for the past few months while venturing to the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The exhibit: Evolution had many of its guests travel through the mind and sets of the legendary filmmaker. From the Cronenberg’s early sojourns into body invasion to his explorations into the individual breaking free from societal and bodily constraints, viewers were treated to the tactile workings in his films and complexities in making them.

My favorite part of the whole thing, of course, was the chance to pose for picture with a Mugwump in the Interzone bar from Naked Lunch.

Through the many interviews presented and the curated films, I had a sense that although Canadians, especially Torontonians, hold Cronenberg as a treasure, he’s also an auteur of the human body as a stage for cinema’s greatest questions: Who are we and what are doing here?

Special Edition

You’ll find few through lines in the below list of great films released in 2013. They touch on historical drama and science fiction, coming of age and getting old, American greed and Indonesian genocide. 2013 gave us an eclectic collection of films worth discussing. I saw about 40 of them. These are the 11 that occupied the most space in my brain.

Special Edition ten0

It takes no particular expertise in the human mind to recognise that any list inevitably says more about the lister than the listed; I can no more summate 2013 in cinema in only ten films than I can teach carpentry to an anteater. What I can do, though, is explore my 2013 in movies, a subjective view of fifty-two weeks of releases that betray the state of my mind above the state of cinema. And what a state it’s in, after having had to whittle down dozens of adored movies that might at any point in the year have seemed destined for the top spot. I reached this list, for a change, by simply scrolling through a 36 film shortlist—plucked from 253 eligible releases—and snatching those that stood out still as particularly elating experiences. Of course there were exactly ten. Whatever they might have to say about the state of cinema—that it stands strong the world over; that imagination is the only limit to expression; that silence can sometimes say so much more than words—they certainly betray a personal prejudice toward the existential, infused with faint, fleeting glimmers of hope. These are movies stood in stark defiance of life’s dizzying meaninglessness, acknowledging the futility of all and yet finding in it an essentiality. They’re not unlike this list, in that sense.

Special Edition

For every category each Next Projection participant was given 30 votes to spread amongst 1 to 3 selections. They were given the option of allocating 1 film 30 points or 3 film 10 points each; the breakdown and how the points were divided were entirely based on the participant. If the participant didn’t include any voting breakdown and only one film per category was provided, each selection was given 30 votes. If a participant did not feel they had seen enough to vote in any of the categories, they were allowed to skip the category entirely. With regards to the Top Ten Films of 2013 category, each participant was given 100 votes to spread amongst 1o films. As previously mentioned, how these points were divided up were based entirely on the participate. If a list of 10 films was provided but no voting breakdown indicated, each film received 10 votes each.

Special Edition following preview

Trailers are a tricky thing. They can get you excited for a movie, but they have a tendency to spoil too much of the film. That being said, I do have a soft spot for trailers. I still remember seeing the first teaser for The Phantom Menace and being swept off my feet. Trailers have a certain magic to them. There’s a reason we get to movies in time to make the previews. They get us excited for a movie or make us cringe that such a movie even exists, and in their own right they are their own short film. Here are the ten best trailers of the past year. Here’s to another year of awesome trailers!

Special Edition The-Hobbit-Peter-Jackson-on-set

Peter Jackson filmed his way into a position where he cannot afford to faithfully adapt The Hobbit. Tolkien’s original is a children’s book, full of adventure and wide-eyed wonder. There are hints of the poetic and melancholy sensibility that would later find more developed expression in The Lord of the Rings, but it is essentially a simple tale, about a hobbit, named Bilbo Baggins, who is dragged from his hometown and made to confront the world beyond, next to a group of dwarves looking to reclaim their stolen treasure. After the success of The Hobbit, Tolkien was asked by his publisher to offer a sequel. His initial idea was to prolong the spirit of the first part, but as we now know, the result was epic fantasy, far grander and elegiac in scope than The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings has overshadowed its predecessor, and when Peter Jackson set out to adapt Tolkien’s universe, he skipped The Hobbit altogether. Now he has gone back to it, after making The Lord of the Rings, and his audience expects more of the same.

Special Edition the-wolf-of-wall-street-martin-scorsese

It was about ten years ago on a sweltering Texan summer day when I first popped some movie called Goodfellas into my DVD player. This monumental event occurred during the very early stages of my descent into an unbridled (psychotic, some might even say) passion for film. Having recently watched Coppola’s Godfather trilogy for the first time, I was beginning to develop a particular affinity for gangster pictures. Someone had recommended that I watch the film, citing it as not only an unparalleled crime drama but also one of the best movies ever made. Naturally, I was intrigued.

I ventured down to our local public library to find a copy of the film. As was usually the case, I spent as much time as possible pouring over every title on the shelf. I would always take five movies home with me, the maximum amount allowed on one library card. I remember taking home five movies that day, but I can only recall one of the titles.

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