Last Night

Year of the Carnivore

April 29 marked Canada’s first National Canadian Film Day, which has sent me into a sea of Mountie-centric distraction – not for the flocks of Canadians who headed south (more than you’d ever believe), but for the rich cinematic history nestled north, and one of the big reasons I ultimately settled in the land of Scott Pilgrim. There’s something really special about Canadian talent, which has given us the humour* of SCTV and Kids in the Hall, the crazy, shivering brilliance of David Cronenberg, the classics of Norman Jewison, the quiet impact of Atom Egoyan, or the massive, modern talent of Sarah Polley – the names that toe the border between nations, creatives that are only part of a greater whole. I’m often found griping at my friends up here in Toronto who haven’t indulged in the insanity that is Guy Maddin, the humour of Don McKellar, the range of Bruce McDonald, or Jean Marc Vallee’s cinematic life before Matthew McConaughey and The Dallas Buyer’s Club. Working without the massive Hollywood dollars, it’s not always polished as American output. Canadian action hits might contain French (Bon Cop, Bad Cop), or delve into the beautiful ice battles in hockey (Goon). They might actually show Toronto for the city it is, and not the unnamed backdrop of Orphan Black, or numerous American cities like Manhattan (American Psycho) and Chicago (Chicago). They’re idiosyncratic, fun, dark, troubling, often funny, and quite frankly, a must for anyone who loves film. Let the following be a test […]

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Aural Fixation - Large

I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite composers perform selections of his work live a few weeks back, and to say it was a magical evening would be an understatement. But before I went completely over the moon (pun!) from the experience, I was given the opportunity to speak with the man himself about the evening, what led him decide to bring his scores to the stage and his process as one of the industry’s most successful and innovative composers. Keep reading for my interview with composer Clint Mansell (Moon, Black Swan, Requiem For a Dream) and keep your eyes (and ears) peeled as it sounds like these live performances may just be the start of a whole new way of experience film scores.

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Aural Fixation - Large

Los Angeles’ Largo at the Cornet is a small venue where even the last row in the house is a good seat. There is no preferential treatment here, no seats sectioned off for “special” guests. In previous trips, I did the non-spoken eye move indicating that the two seats in my row were open to a tall man in a baseball cap (who I later realized was Rainn Wilson) proving that everyone here is equal, we have all gathered for the same reason and that unspoken knowledge makes the link between each person in the room (at least for those few hours) palpable. The man of the hour this particular night even pointed out that while he had put him on the guest list, he was not sure Moon director Duncan Jones had actually made it out only to have Jones confirm his presence by shouting, “I’m right here, mate!” from only a few seats down from me. This layout gives the sense of an intimate and unique experience that makes you feel like the artist is performing from the couch in your living room. There are no backstage passes here or over inflated egos, just a group of people who have come together for a common interest, and on this night it was the music of Clint Mansell.

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Oh, infidelity. Apparently it’s tough to stay faithful when Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet come knocking at your bedroom door. At least if you’re Keira Knightley or Sam Worthington. Last Night is the directorial debut of The Jacket writer Massy Tadjedin, and if this trailer is any indication it looks like 1) it’s fraught with internal strife and smart hand-wringing, and 2) Sam Worthington is getting a chance to act finally. This is the perfect teaser. Everything about it looks sharp, and it leaves the question of whether they will or won’t cheat on each other dangled like a chocolate-dipped carrot maddeningly out of reach. Check it out for yourself:

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