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|Written by April Yorke|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 00:00|
Each month, (Cult)ure movie nerd April Yorke chats with Mayfair co-owner and geek-in-chief Josh Stafford about what's playing at Ottawa's home of stuff you won't see anywhere else. For July, we come up with some truly lame nicknames, speculate about mass terror, and let you in on the secret to calling the shots at the Mayfair.(Cult)ure: Can we discuss how you are showing the best movie of the year (so far) at the Mayfair in July?
JS: Cabin in the Woods!
JS: My #1 movie wish of the year so far was that we would screen it, so I'm very glad we got to squeeze it in. I rarely see movies in a non-Mayfair experience. I managed to get preview passes to see it, though. So glad I saw it without seeing the trailer or reading articles . . .
(C): You wouldn't have been spoiled by the trailer. Everything and everyone was really good about keeping things under wraps. Just like we will be here!
JS: I believe the tagline is, "You think you know the story." That's pretty damn perfect. I mean, Joss Whedon co-writing and producing a horror movie with one of his Buffy-verse alum directing, I'm in. But the movie amazed me. It was everything you could hope for out of a film. It tried so hard. It was brilliant. It was funny. It was scary. It had a few dozen moments that blew my mind. Any praise sounds kind of movie critic cliché, but I really think and hope it's a game changer.
(C): I think you're in love.
JS: I think so. If it's wrong to love Cabin in the Woods, I don't want to be right.
(C): In other classics news, Hitchcock!
JS: Hitchcock is one of those great Mayfair experiences. It feels like the ideal place to watch his movies.
(C): Yours is the kind of set-up he made them for.
JS: We screened Rope last time, that's my favorite, but I love The Birds. I like it 'cause it's the only fantastical Hitchcock movie, the only one that's not human antagonists.
(C): And late in his career, too. Maybe he just got tired of people.
JS: It's not Hitchcock directed, but I'm also excited to see Psycho II. In the age of Freddy and Jason sequels, I actually liked the Psycho sequels.
(C): 'Cause of Anthony Perkins?
JS: Yeah . . . and it's the writer of Fright Night.
(C): Admittedly that is a pretty good selling point.
JS: I hope it does well. Maybe we could track down III and IV, too.
(C): How can people resist a Pyscho double bill?
(C): Unless they are bigger suckers for a Rear Window / The Trouble with Harry double bill. Then I will forgive them.
JS: They can see both. Or all.
(C): And they should. Let's say you're not in horror (horrors!); Mayfair's also kind of romantic this month.
JS: Yes, of various sub-genres. Whether your romantic leads favour the likes of Diane Keaton dramatics, Jason Segel comedy, or Michelle WIlliams breaking out hearts again.
(C): Hey! You don't know if Michelle is going to break hearts. She might mend them!
JS: I hope so, but the last couple movies we've screened starring her have been excellent and depressing.
(C): I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt. Man, she should play a dizzy dame, though. I bet she'd be great at it.
JS: I think it'll be great and doubt it'll be the mountain climb of emotions that Blue Valentine was. Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman are in it, and I'm a big fan of both. And Sarah Polley knows how to make a movie.
(C): And Luke Kirby!
JS: I am not super familiar with Mr. Kirby.
(C): He was on the first season of Slings and Arrows, and he was great.
JS: Well, the movie had me at the other three actors, but I'm sure she cast him for a reason and that he'll hold his own.
(C): Benefit of the doubt Stafford, that's what they call you.
JS: Worst and most unimposing gang nickname ever name ever.
(C): You're the negotiator. You know, the one who determines if people can bring bricks or cans or if it's just skins.
JS: Or instead convinces everyone to watch a Jason Segel movie instead of fighting.
(C): Exactly! Because Emily Blunt is so darn charming!
JS: And both were in Muppets.
(C): Yes, but now they get to share some screentime.
JS: I guess that makes up for Kermit not being there.
(C): Or is he?
JS: Oh man! Now I'm going to be so disappointed that Kermit doesn't inexplicably play his roommate or something.
(C): I shan't say another word on the topic.
JS: For Darling Companion, we have something even better than a movie reuniting Lawrence Kasdan with Kevin Kline.
(C): Even better? What? How?
JS: Well, it's a dog-themed film, so we are bringing back our popular (yet insane) 'Bring your Dog to the Mayfair' on the matinee screening on the 7th.
(C): Wait . . . you can bring your dog?JS: Yes.
(C): To the Mayfair?
JS: To watch the movie with you.
JS: I know!!
(C): This might be your best idea yet. Celebrity Gypsy attendance?
JS: I will be there, with Gypsy in tow. We have a manager and a protectionist with dogs, too. It's presented by our friends at WAG across the street, so hopefully many dog people will hear about it and bring puppies along.
(C): I think you should put PUPPIES WELCOME on the marquee.
JS: Good idea. When you have a gimmick like that you don't have to bother pitching Kasdan's resume (Big Chill, Silverado, Empire Strikes Back) or that supporting cast includes Dianne Wiest and Richard Jenkins. Hey, he was in Cabin in the Woods!
(C): Full circle! Oh, man, it is impossible not to love Dianne Wiest's crinkly nose.
JS: She's Edward Scissorhands mum! Another cross-over movie we have upcoming is The Fly.
(C): What's the cross?
JS: We've started to have a nice lil' crossover relationship with the NAC. We had a James Bond fest, and they had a James Bond orchestra night. Then they're doing a Lord of the Rings night, so we wanted to do something on the same theme. Since the night at the NAC focuses on Howard Shore's score, we thought we'd focus on that, too. So we're going to screen The Fly, from his frequent collaborator David Cronenberg, with music by Shore. It's a great score, a great sci-fi / horror movie, and it's from the era when remaking a movie was actually something unexpected and not commonplace.
(C): It was less about laziness then than finding a new window into a feature.
JS: Yeah, it was actually more along the lines of re-adapting a story for a new time-frame, adding something new, putting in a modern twist. Nowadays a remake comes out in a year or two, and it's carbon copy of original, except maybe in a different language or accent.
(C): Not just that, but with those remakes you feel like no one grappled with why the story needs to be retold. What's driving the creator? You always feel like Cronenberg thinks through every detail. You may not always like it or agree, but the work is there on the screen.
JS: I imagine film fans in the 80s first hearing that news "What!? Cronenberg is adapting that Vincent Price movie!?"
(C): Shock! Confusion! Mass terror!
JS: He and Shore are pretty amazing in their overall collaboration. Them, Burton / Elfman, Hitchcock / Hermann. We seem to be showing all three of those pairs this month.
(C): Delightful match-ups . . . like the Mayfair and the NAC!
JS: If Indy was this month, too, then we'd have all the top filmmaker / composer team greats. The NAC is doing other stuff upcoming that we're going to join up for. Fun stuff! The other thing I'm happy about this month is that we're showing not one but two documentaries that don't remind you that the end is nigh!
(C): Does not compute.
JS: We have a habit of showing excellent, popular, yet feeling of doom inducing docs.
(C): Still, I do not believe you. What could these documentaries be about if not our doom?
JS: Neither of these movies will remind you that the oceans are poisoned, all the bees are gone, or schools are failing us. They will present stories of video game development and rock 'n' roll.
(C): Dude, there are people who totally think those two things spell our doom.
JS: Damn! Hmmm . . . well, maybe it does fit into our doc regular style then. Indie Game got prizes from places like Sundance and lots of nice praise, and Shut Up and Play the Hits is about the end of one of the day's most popular indie bands, so I guess that's kinda sad.
(C): lcd soundsystem! But also kind of cool.
JS: I'm so square I am completely unfamiliar.
(C): This does not surprise me.
JS: Aw snap! A mutual friend demanded we show it, and so it happened. That is the power friends of the Mayfair wield! It's that easy, people!
JS: Yuh huh.
(C): Unfair! Where are all my screenings?!
JS: Didn't you demand to see Bernie?
(C): HA! Though I am a Linklater fan. Less so a Jack Black one.
JS: Not even School of Rock?
(C): That is a pretty good use of him. I enjoyed him in High Fidelity, but I find he's not deployed well.
JS: Matthew McConaughey also reunites with Linklater.
(C): Now that's a combo I can get behind.
JS: Think first thing since Dazed and Confused.
(C): First thing since The Newton Boys.
JS: Oh yeahhhhh. How could I forget.
(C): Brothers who are bank robbers? True story? Indeed, how could you?
JS: Too distracted thinking about Cabin in the Woods.
(C): Naturally. Who isn't distracted by The Hemsworth?
JS: I love that he did that movie with Joss a million years ago, but it just sits on a shelf and finally comes out just after Joss directs him in Avengers.
(C): But just before The Avengers is released. It's like pre-buzz.
JS: Crazy chain of events.
(C): Time is a goon.
JS: We have learned 3 things -- dogs at the Mayfair is great idea, Cabin in the Woods is amazing, and, if you want a movie at the Mayfair, ask Drunky.
(C): And that's one to grow on.
JS: . . . As read by Michael J. Fox.
Josh Stafford also programs the annual festivals 'Killer 63' and 'Fake Trailers, Reel Festival.' Life highlights include: having a letter read on-air by David Letterman, shaking hands with Bruce Campbell, going to the mall where Dawn of the Dead was shot, going to the graveyard where Night of the Living Dead was shot, and being killed by Jango Fett in a Star Wars comic. Josh watches a lot of movies, reads a lot of comics, and loves roller derby.
April Yorke prefers quoting TV shows to nearly any other form of communication, thinks roller derby is the only excuse for not going to the movies more often, and finds that buying more shelves is the best way to deal with her book-buying habit. You can reach her at april[at]culturemagazine[dot]ca.
Tags: cinema, distracted by the hemsworth, just ask drunky, lame nicknames for everyone, line up to get your heart broken, mayfair, ottawa, out on the town, puppies welcome, theft