Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased as punch to share with you the 10 movies from 2013 that pushed me to the limits of emotional investment while sitting and / or laying in my bed! It’s been a damn great year in film. It was tough to pick just 10, but here we go!
10. STORIES WE TELL: Sarah Polley’s documentary about her mother and the people who loved her starts off as a personal memoir then slowly becomes an exploration of the subjectivity and bias of memory. Great movie to watch with your family if you’re comfortable with uncomfortable silences with your family.
9. BEHIND THE CANDELABRA: If this is actually Stephen Soderbergh’s last film then it’s a damn shame. Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are absolutely phenomenal in this love story gone freak-show, and let’s not forget there’s Scott Bakula with a moustache.
8. Tie: SPRING BREAKERS and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: Understandably nauseating for some but these two films were a large Tim Horton’s double-double of filth and debauchery for myself. Not something I would want every day, but when the time is right, when I need that extra kick, these two films will get me through to the end of the day with a helping of reckless abandon. Spring breakkkkkkkkkkkkk.
7. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Tom Hanks went full Hanks on this one.
6. BEFORE MIDNIGHT: The third film in Richard Linklater’s incredible BEFORE series, BEFORE MIDNIGHT catches up with Jessy and Celine 18 years (EIGHTEEN DAMN YEARS) after the first film and continues to explore themes of life, true love, and the importance of walking.
5. SHORT TERM 12: This film is such a damn home run on almost every level. It could have so easily slid into unbearable, noisy melodrama, but it always stays connected. Troubled teens? Bummer of a topic, sure, but Brie Larson and company guide it home with a gentle authenticity that invites you in (and then makes you weep).
4. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS: The Coen Brothers’ film about a musician who just can’t catch a break and is considering leaving his music behind him felt like an unwritten classic American novel. A perfect depiction of the fog an artist can find themselves in when a crisis of confidence arises. Oscar Isaac, you laid down one of the finest performances of the year, mixing drama, comedy and music, you my boy.
3. A FIELD IN ENGLAND: I don’t think I’ve ever had a film invite me into it’s madness in such a way as this. Absolutely poetic and insane. I’ll let Martin Scorsese tell you what he thinks of the film “Audacious and wildly brilliant – a stunning cinematic experience.” Marty’s on board, so why aren’t you?!
2. HER: If you can agree to meet HER on it’s not-really-that-far-fetched premise, then you’ll be in for one helluva fascinating exploration of modern love. I feel for anyone who decided to laugh this one off, because it has so much heart and soul. Joaquin Phoenix, give me your powers (and your agent and manager’s contact information too, plz).
1: THE ACT OF KILLING: Between 1965 and 66 in Indonesia, there was a government takeover where death squads brutally murdered between 500,000 and 2 million Chinese and anyone suspected of being Communist. The people who committed these acts are still in power and have never been held accountable for their actions.
THE ACT OF KILLING catches up with a group of these men, in their 50s and 60s, celebrated as war-heroes, and the documentary filmmakers encourage them to re-enact the murders and re-create them on film, and they agree to do so, hoping that the Indonesian public can see how heroic they were.
This film took me everywhere, I was mortified, shedding tears, and literally slapping my knee laughing a minute later. It’s a tough watch, and puts you through the ringer, but it’s finale is perhaps the most compelling thing I’ve ever seen put to film.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Enough Said, Sightseers, This Is The End, Frozen, Thor 2, and other stuff.
Movies are fun, right guys?
Above, myself and Vanessa Walton-Bone, star of my short film ROOM SERVICE, glam it up at the Atlantic Film Festival’s closing gala held this past Thursday.
Why did it take me almost an entire week to trudge back to the computer and write a post thanking the AFF? Because I don’t know if I’ve ever been quite so exhausted in all of my life. Thank you AFF for testing the limits of human endurance.
Also: thank you AFF for featuring my directorial debut, ROOM SERVICE, n’ stuff. That was awfully nice of you.
Those of you who know me know just how much it meant for me to have this film play here in Halifax. For those of you who don’t know me, please know that Halifax is as much a part of me as anything could possibly be, and it means everything to me to share this film with my peers here in Halifax.
Thanks for the experience, AFF. Looking forward to many more.
In other ROOM SERVICE news, the film will be playing in my home-home-town of Lunenburg County next Wednesday and Thursday the 3rd and 4th of October at Empire Theatres Bridgewater as part of the Lunenburg County Film Series.
**I will be in attendance on Thursday evening, introducing the films and eating popcorn.**
I couldn’t have wished for a better 2012 release to be paired with as we’ll be playing before the ever-so-whimsical feature film BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which I am madly in love with ever since seeing it last month.
Tickets are $8 and the screenings start at 7:00pm.
Here’s the Facebook Event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/447264695324035/
Until next time, wash up, ye’ stinkers!
Update – 10/3/12: I wanted to add a photo of the crew who helped make ROOM SERVICE. Left to right, my Cinematographer, Liam Higgins, my Producer, Andrew Hicks, meee, and my Assistant Director Ian Burns. And yes, I chose them all based solely on their gentlemenly good looks.
Just when you thought I was done yelling at you about our modestly budgeted, expectation-exceeding feature film, THE CORRIDOR, here I am…
To be honest, I thought that last month’s Video On Demand release would be the last of it, but I am oh so happy to be proven wrong. After a very successful run on VOD, our Canadian distributor D Films has decided that THE CORRIDOR is deserving of a limited theatrical run in Toronto.
Starting next Friday, May 18th at Projection Booth East (1035 Gerrard St. East), THE CORRIDOR will be running nightly at 9:00PM until at least the following Thursday, the 24th.
Given the choice between the cinema and a laptop, THE CORRIDOR is a film that really thrives on the cinematic and claustrophobic experience that a movie theatre can provide. So if you’re in Toronto, I highly suggest that you take this potentially-final opportunity to see this film on the big screen.
But whatever you do, don’t stop reading because the good folks over at Scene Creek have 5, count ’em, 5 double passes for the opening night screening, and you could win one of them! Head over to their website and tell them WHY YOU WANT TO SEE THE CORRIDOR for your chance to win! Contest deadline is May 15th at 11:59pm. http://scenecreek.com/news/toronto-the-corridor-premiere/
See you at the movies!
Update – 5/15/2012: Fangoria also now has tickets up for grabs for Friday’s premiere! http://www.fangoria.com/index.php/home/all-news/7079-toronto-win-tickets-to-see-qthe-corridorq-this-friday
On Sunday, April 29th, I’ll be hopping up on the stage of Trane Studio for the upcoming edition of The Toronto Monologue Slam (www.TOSlam.com) where a selection of Torontonian thespians take to the stage to perform a monologue and be judged by a panel of industry professionals. At the end of the night, a champion is crowned.
If there’s anything I love, it’s being judged.
I will be performing a piece from a work in progress by Kristin Slaney.
If you’re anything like me, then this sounds like one hell of a fun time, so on Sunday, April 29th, skip evening mass and come on out to Trane Studio at 964 Bathurst Street at 8:00pm and take in some staged soul bearing.
That’s it, that’s all. Three weeks later and THE NUN’S VACATION is done. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to walk away from it, I’m absolutely spent, but it’s definitely bittersweet.
My life as an actor has been spent bitching about either (A) not having work, or (B) being exhausted from work. Quickly, someone tell me to shut up!
I would like to thank all of the wonderful folks who helped bring this grassroots production to life. Firstly, the play’s producers and my co-stars Sandy Duarte and Stephen Chambers – I did not envy your workload, but you absolutely pulled it off. Our militant director Jack Grinhaus. Our stage manager Tanya Rintoul, who taught me the importance of Zip Zap Zop. Alyksandra Rowynne, who showed a profound passion for hemming pants. Johnny Nghiem, who knows how to build stuff, which I cannot. Dan Huziak, who took photos of us (see above). And the writer, Tom Walmsley, who, without his witty, dirty words, none of this could have been possible.
Thank you all.
Pardon me while I now complain loudly about not having any work.
I’m pleased to announce that next Saturday, April 14th, I’ll be moderating a panel discussion on the importance of social media in this (and any) industry, at this year’s ReelWorld Film Festival. See details below:
LET’S GO VIRAL: From the Computer Screen to the Movie Seats
12:30 pm – 1:30 am
If you’re not tweeting about your current project, or posting updates on Facebook, then you’re not making social media work for you. Learn how to network with your followers, what kind of content you should be posting and when is it time to call in the experts.
Glen Matthews — Writer, Director, Actor
- Lyon Lee –founder of FanCrank, a Facebook management service
- O’neil McLean — CEO Kaimera Media Inc
- James Fowler (Social Media Director of Akimo)
- Joanna Jang — Director of HOSTAGE
- Marawan el Asfahani — Oxygen Design Agency
Should be fun! Be sure to check out the rest of the ReelWorld Film Festival‘s programming, there’s some really exciting things going on!
Update – April 17, 2012: Here’s a photo from Saturday’s panel discussion…