Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

Read More »

bruce-mcdonald-lucky-ho

Bruce McDonald isn’t really a household name, especially outside Canada. Let’s try to change that. McDonald is a versatile, ambitious filmmaker with a rock and roll spirit who has been experimenting in features and TV for more than twenty years. In 1991 or ’92 I saw his film Highway 61, an oddball road trip music comedy written by and starring Don McKellar, and it launched me into fandom for McDonald.

Since then I’ve been impressed by films like Hard Core Logo, The Tracy Fragments and Pontypool. And I’m eternally on the hook for McDonald’s long in development adaptation of Chester Brown’s comic book Yummy Fur, which could be one of the most beautiful, wrong stories to hit the screen.

We knew that he would be shooting a ‘women in prison’ flick called Lucky Ho later this summer. (Is the title a reference to the Shaw Brothers flick Dirty Ho?) Now there is an extensive synopsis for the film and a set of posters that make McDonald’s grindhouse aspirations clear. Read More »

mcdonald_mckellar

Crowd-sourced music documentaries are hardly new. Many a rock doc over the years has included fan-shot footage, and the Beastie Boys made their own explicitly fan-shot film, Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!, released back in 2006. Now Canadian filmmakers Bruce McDonald and Don McKellar, who collaborated in the past on the very fun Highway 61 and occasionally sublime television show Twitch City, are looking for the help of regular folks to assemble a movie featuring acclaimed Toronto indie band Broken Social Scene. The film, called This Movie is Broken, will have a dramatic story written by McKellar that centers around a couple who attend a Broken Social Scene show, but it will be set in summertime Toronto, as partially shot by fans. Read More »

Bruce McDonald Wants You to Fund His Film

I’ve just been tempted by something very exciting over at Twitch.

For a thousand dollars, one can become be an Executive Producer on Bruce McDonald‘s upcoming musical romance, A Love Supreme. Inspired by Chris Marker’s La Jetee, this won’t be “filmed” in the traditional sense, but instead be constructed from a series of around 20,000 still photographs. The film will be set in Toronto’s Little Italy and is pitched as being “about how a boy meets a girl through Jazz”. It is based upon a novel by Kent Nussey that has been compared to Camus, Beckett and Sartre. The necessary funds to complete filming seem to amount to no more than $20,000 dollars – Canadian, I assume?

Not rushing to get your checkbook? Then let me try and twist your arm with some video clips of Ellen Page and zombie invasions, as well as a short test piece of the film itself…

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