Tag Archives: comedy

Trailer: ‘How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town’

Poster courtesy of Jeremy LaLonde

Watch the trailer for writer-director Jeremy LaLonde’s (“Sex After Kids,” “The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard”) new comedy “How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town.”

The film is screening at festivals across Canada from September through December!

It stars Jewel Staite, Ennis Esmer, Lauren Lee Smith, Katharine Isabelle, Mark O’Brien, Jonas Chernick, Tommie-Amber Pirie, Kristian Bruun, Gugun Deep Singh, Natalie Brown, Lauren Holly and James McGowan.

The world premiere of “How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town” takes place on September 19 at 4 p.m. at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax.

 

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Missed the world premiere? You can catch the film at upcoming festivals:

September 25, 2:30 p.m. at the Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival,

September 30, 7 p.m. and October 2, 4:45 p.m. at the Calgary International Film Festival and

October 3, 7 p.m. at the Edmonton International Film Festival.

The movie will also screen at the Whistler Film Festival (December 2 – 6); watch for the dates and times on the festival site.

 

‘Superheroes’: Matthew Lochner on his ‘Reelside’ episode, Stephen Amell, David Hayter and Lloyd Kaufman

“Superheroes” director Matthew Lochner talks about his wild journey making episode six of the “Reelside” series  — David Hayter (“X-Men,” “Watchmen”) braves a Toronto snowstorm, Stephen Amell’s “‘Arrow’ shrine,” and Troma’s “zany” Lloyd Kaufman.

The six-episode “Reelside” documentary series premieres in Western Canada beginning Thursday, September 3 at 9 PM MT/PT on Movie Central and is available on TMN GO and On Demand.

For more information, check out CanScreen’s trailer post and the “Reelside” website.

Producer: Brandon Ludwig

Producer/Video Editor: Sheldon Ludwig
Journalist: Dave Roberts


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Review: ‘Guidance’

Emily Piggford and Pat Mills in “Guidance”Courtesy of Search Engine Films

Most leap to the never-ending strand of “Bad Santa” copycats starring Billy Bob Thornton when they think of movies featuring a surly adult abusing his power and stature. However, for me, the strongest comparison with writer-director-star Pat Mills’ “Guidance” is Jason Reitman’s “Young Adult” – another movie in which a self-centred burnout living in the past proceeds to steamroll those who dare to criticize.

That said, “Guidance” improves and delights in places where “Young Adult” angered me. Reitman’s dark comedy didn’t work for me because too many bystanders enabled bratty princess Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) for no good reason. The people who enable “Guidance’s” main character David Gold (Mills) are inspired by his frank carelessness, and thus are persuaded through to give their head a shake.

Pat Mills as "David Gold in "Guidance" Courtesy of Search Engine Films

Pat Mills in “Guidance”     Courtesy of Search Engine Films

In reality, Gold (under the pseudonym “Roland Brown”) is “winging it” – as he does with most things in his life. He can’t hold a job, simmers on his former success as a onetime child actor, fibs his way around an irritated landlord, and cheats his way into a job for which he has zero experience. He’s also apathetic towards his family (showing no pain when he dramatically scribbles out faces on family portraits) and has developed an alcohol addiction that serves as his best friend.

A character like David Gold is a difficult creature to tame. But Pat Mills does so flawlessly, while also serving as the film’s director and screenwriter. He does a helluva great job showing how well he can spin multiple plates on a film production.

Mills knows how to set up awkward conversations and run-ins, but he also knows that irresponsible people eventually have to take ownership of their missteps. When “Roland Brown” is caught in a lie, he doesn’t continue to spin his web. He denies, and is almost too lazy to bend the truth even further. The filmmaker has crafted David exceptionally well and provides enough conviction behind why he manipulates and how easily he can fool himself. One example: David records affirmation phrases during his fleeting day gigs, and these gradually help him gain confidence in all the wrong ways.

Around Mills’ stellar performance is a collection of funny, supporting characters. The students all hold their own, and their affection for David as their new off-kilter guidance councellor is very amusing. Meanwhile, the eccentric teachers don’t know whether to be impressed over his progress or scared that students actually like him.

”Guidance” is hilarious and earnestly clever. The third act has the appearance of a tangent-laced dream, as a new-found interest and concern between Gold and a troubled student spirals out of control. But Mills – always persistent in balancing tragedy with comedy – recognizes the repercussions, and isn’t afraid to allow the film’s maturing characters to face them head-on, leading “Guidance” towards a satisfying bittersweet conclusion.

Review: ‘Two 4 One’

Gabrielle Rose and Gavin Crawford in “Two 4 One” Courtesy of Strut Entertainment

Maureen Bradley’s “Two 4 One” is centred around a transgender male who is in the final stages of transitioning. After a recent story in the news and on television that followed a high-profile gender reassignment, one might be tempted to describe Bradley’s feature film debut as “timely.” I would, but for the filmmaker’s sophisticated approach towards her characters. Bradley refuses to use a current, much talked-about topic as a gimmick to elicit knee-jerk responses.

“Two 4 One” is highly original with a cast full of great performers. At the core is actor Gavin Crawford, taking a break from semi-blue comedy to play the role of Adam – formally known as “Melanie.” The support Adam receives is positive, but his world feels interrupted when Miriam – a past flame – enters the picture.

Miriam (Naomi Snieckus) is a bit of a wild card, and she knows this. Her choice to become a mother has Adam raising an eyebrow. However, she’s dedicated and, after much reluctance, Adam agrees to assist with her artificial insemination. But the simple procedure takes a turn when proper precautions are tossed away during the heat of the moment, leaving Adam to be unexpectedly expecting.

“Two 4 One” has a plot with indirect people dodging the obvious answer to all of their problems: if everyone had honest conversations with each other, there would be hardly any complications. But then “Two 4 One” would also be a ten-minute short.

Bradley’s film gets away with these contrivances mostly because of the dedication of the cast and the sweetness of the story. But “Two 4 One” is honest in other ways, as we see Adam attempt to prove to himself that he’s more masculine than before – and Crawford’s performance is particularly strong during these scenes in which he appears alone and his body language convincingly relays his internal struggle.

“Two 4 One” is a good movie that isn’t light on beauty shots of Victoria, BC. However, Bradley deserves to be applauded for knowing where she wants to take her film and for understanding the level of intensity it would require to venture down those untravelled roads. She knows that providing deep focus to certain themes means having to make compromises and critical changes to the story’s atmosphere.

“Two 4 One’s” time-leaping, shortcutting final third could be compared to the neat wrap-up of an after-school special, but I understand Bradley’s sensibility. Moviegoers, too, should be able to recognize her skillful touch as a filmmaker who keeps her lovely film light-hearted, while also revealing the gravity of difficult issues.

Beginning July 17, “Two 4 One” will be in Toronto cinemas and available on iTunes everywhere.

“Two 4 One” is distributed by Hoggwild Films.

Interview: ‘Whatever, Linda’ creators talk about the Madoff scandal, 1978 and the making of the web series

Creators of the award-winning dramedy “Whatever, Linda” speak with CanScreen about the inspiration for their female-driven web series, filming in New York and their favourite scenes.

Julian De Zotti (THE MARKET), Hannah Cheesman (CHEESE), Matt Eastman (ALLEYS), Kevin Saffer (Touchpoint Films), Mackenzie Donaldson (ORPHAN BLACK, CHEESE)

 Watch episodes on the “Whatever, Linda” website.

Producer/videographer: Nicole Powell
Journalist: Charles Hutchings

Video editor: Stephen George
Special thanks to Matt Code


Interview: The cast of ‘Corner Gas: The Movie’ on fans and ‘seizing the day’

Brent Butt, Fred Ewanuick, Gabrielle Miller, Nancy Robertson, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn talk with CanScreen about “Corner Gas: The Movie,” the fans and “seizing the day.”

Journalist: Jefri Knazan
Videographer: Zachary Zaza
Video editor: Stephen George


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