With his new movie Borealis opening the Brooklyn Film Festival this Friday (and newly available for rental and purchase on iTunes Canada), actor-screenwriter-producer Jonas Chernick takes a moment to savor the joys of Swingers, the movie that made Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn indie idols and launched Doug Liman's mostly magnificent directorial career. Your genial host Norm Wilner thinks this choice is so money.
Actor-producer Carolina Bartczak, whom you're about to see opposite Michael Fassbender in X-Men Apocalypse, brings Pedro Almodovar's Volver into the basement to feast upon its swooning visuals, its complex script and Penelope Cruz' unforgettable performance. Your genial host Norm Wilner has been there.
You've seen her on stage, you've heard her on The Dork Forest and The Jackie and Laurie Show and you'll catch her on Netflix in Lady Dynamite this Friday, May 20th; now, Jackie Kashian sits down to celebrate Holiday Inn, Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby's run through the calendar to the songs of Irving Berlin. Your genial host Norm Wilner has to be the one to bring up the blackface sequence.
As her new film The People Garden opens for a limited run at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, actor and filmmaker Nadia Litz sinks deep into the world of Klute, Alan J. Pakula's singular New York thriller starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland as two very different people united by an inexplicable disappearance. Your genial host Norm Wilner can't get over the footage of New York in the early 70s.
His new movie Natasha opens the Toronto JewishFilm Festival on Thursday and goes into theatrical release inToronto and Vancouver on Friday, so this seemed like the perfecttime to get author and filmmaker DavidBezmozgis into the basement to talk about the cinematicjoyride that is Leos Carax' Holy Motors. Fun fact:Your genial host Norm Wilner did this entire episode ina leotard covered with dots.
With his new documentary How to Build a Time Machine about to make its world premiere at Hot Docs on May 2nd, filmmaker Jay Cheel distracts himself by talking about Richard Lester's Superman III, which broke from the cosmic seriousness of its predecessors to let Christopher Reeve's Man of Steel have a little fun. Your genial host Norm Wilner really needed this after Batman V Superman: Death of Joy.
In a special Friday bonus episode, actor and photographer Kristine Cofsky -- whose new film No Men Beyond This Point opens in Toronto tomorrow, and drops on iTunes next week -- brings big love for Jonathan Demme's 2008 drama Rachel Getting Married. Your genial host Norm Wilner always cries at fake weddings.
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, star of John Carney's new period musical Sing Street, crafts a love song to The Revenant, Alejandro G. Inarritu's Oscar-winning tale of a fur trapper on an epic quest for vengeance against them what done him wrong. Your genial host Norm Wilner chokes it down like bison liver.
Filmmaker siblings Chris and Ben Blaine, creators of the remarkable new film Nina Forever, dive deep into Danny Boyle's 1996 breakout Trainspotting in an extra-long, extra-great episode recorded on location in London, England. Your genial host Norm Wilner is delighted that you can hear birds chirping through the studio window.
With his new film Borealis opening in Toronto on Friday, and rolling out across Canada in the weeks to come, director Sean Garrity brings us our first David Cronenberg joint, and it's a good one: Naked Lunch, the surrealistic 1991 William S. Burroughs adaptation that launched the second act of Cronenberg's career -- and showed us Peter Weller had a damn fine deadpan. Your genial host Norm Wilner went easy on the bug powder for this episode.
With the 2016 baseball season starting up, screenwriter Matt Hansen (Zoom) brings Phil Alden Robinson's Field of Dreams into the basement for a conversation about magic realism, mysterious voices and emotional honesty. Your genial host Norm Wilner might have teared up a little.
Journalist and filmmaker Aaron Hillis -- who also runs Video Free Brooklyn, one of New York's last surviving video stores -- sits down to discuss the singular genius of Elaine May's underrated 1987 comedy Ishtar, starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as hack singer-songwriters who become embroiled in an elaborate Middle Eastern spy caper. Be warned that your genial host Norm Wilner sings a few bars of "Dangerous Business".
SEMcast is a year old! Holy crap, right? And to help us celebrate the occasion, filmmaker Jeremy LaLonde -- whose new comedy How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town opens the Canadian Film Festival in Toronto March 30th -- comes to the basement with a stone classic: Woody Allen's Annie Hall, the 1977 comedy that captured a culture and defined a genre. Your genial host Norm Wilner has Marshall McLuhan waiting in the wings.
With his new Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue opening in Toronto this Friday and rolling out in the US later this month, writer-director Robert Budreau picks a hell of a bruiser: Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro's 1980 study of self-destructive boxer Jake La Motta. Your genial host Norm Wilner keeps the ice bucket handy.
With his short film This Is Not What You Had Planned just added to the National Screen Institute's Online Short Film Festival, writer-director Christopher Warre Smets tackles Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight -- the movie that saved George Clooney's career, made people take Jennifer Lopez seriously and set a bar for cinematic Elmore Leonard adaptations that stands to this day. Your genial host Norm Wilner can't believe neither of us could remember the film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.
Before he takes his documentary Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah to the Academy Awards later this week, journalist and filmmaker Adam Benzine steals a moment to celebrate Shane Carruth's singular 2004 time-travel drama Primer. Your genial host Norm Wilner does his best not to meddle with the integrity of the conversational timeline.
With her new movie End of Days, Inc. opening in Toronto on Friday, director Jennifer Liao brings Edgar Wright's 2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World into the basement to celebrate its giddy spirit, its goofy romantic heart and its authentic Toronto locations. Your genial host Norm Wilner has garlic bread at the ready.
Fresh from the set of 11/22/63, actor and filmmaker Sarah Gadon brings some serious theory -- and no small amount of personal perspective -- to Agnès Varda's breakthrough 1962 drama Cléo from 5 to 7. Your genial host Norm Wilner is totally on board.
Actor, writer and director Ben Lewis (Zero Recognition) tackles the farce structure and thorny gender politics of Sydney Pollack's 1982 Tootsie, the comedy that put Dustin Hoffman in a dress to make him a better man. Your genial host Norm Wilner refrains from Michael Dorsey impressions.
Actor Christine Horne tackles George Cukor's 1954 showbiz melodrama A Star Is Born -- you know, the one where Judy Garland and James Mason play a co-dependent Hollywood couple -- and examines her own hero worship of Garland along with her love of the movie. Your genial host Norm Wilner is on hand with a few helpful facts.
Actor and filmmaker Maxwell McCabe-Lokos -- who co-stars in the Sundance Midnight premiere Antibirth -- descends into the horror and debauchery of Pier Paolo Pasolini's infamous 1975 allegory Saló, or The 120 Days of Sodom. Your genial host Norm Wilner would like to point out that this episode takes the Explicit tag particularly seriously.
Warren P. Sonoda, whose new movie The Masked Saint is in US theaters now and coming to Canada on January 22nd, outs himself as a faithful Blue Blaze Irregular with his love of W.D. Richter's The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension -- a movie that defined "gonzo sci-fi adventure" for a generation. Your genial host Norm Wilner just wants to know what's in the big pink box.
With his short film O Negative screening January 15th at the Lightbox as part of Canada's Top Ten, actor/director Steven McCarthy dissects Jonathan Glazer's chilling Under the Skin -- an experimental study in alienation that's unrelenting as it is stylish. Your genial host Norm Wilner apologizes for Dexter snoring throughout the entire damn recording.
It's the last episode of 2015, and Ennis Esmer finds a sliver of time between episodes of Blindspot and Red Oaks to salute Three Amigos, John Landis' affectionate 1986 tribute to silent movies, the premise of Seven Samurai and the chemistry of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. Your genial host Norm Wilner just tries not to shoot the Invisible Swordsman.
Our first Christmas episode brings Kristian Bruun -- who co-stars in the Murdoch Mysteries holiday special airing on CBC December 21st -- back into the basement to discuss his favorite holiday movies and explore his own relationship with the season. Your genial host Norm Wilner supplies the fruitcake.