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|Written by April Yorke|
|Monday, 05 March 2012 21:04|
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. March's chat is brought to you by the letter M.
(C): I hardly know where to start, as I am kind of exciting about everything. It's March Madness!
JS: Yes, March is pretty awesome. Lots of Oscar bait and cult classics.
(C): Seriously, we could just talk Ms and get it done: Michael Fassbender, Marilyn, Muppets.
JS: I could just gush about Muppets for the whole article.
(C): Who's stopping you? Are you a man or are you a Muppet, Josh?
JS: I think it's pretty clear that I'm a Muppet of a man. I mean, how close is helping run the Mayfair to helping run the Muppet theatre?
(C): It's very close! Do you guys sing together?
JS: No, but lots of cannons and throwing fish.
(C): Even better!
JS: We're playing The Muppets 5 times over March break. Schedule dependent I may go see it 5 times.
(C): I think you need to rearrange your schedule to make that happen.
JS: I will do my best. I'm fairly sure it's my favorite movie of 2011.
(C): Even more than Resurrect Dead?
JS: Yup. I knew I would like it, but it totally knocked me out. By the time the credits rolled, that movie just gave me everything. Total cliché: I laughed, I cried, it made me feel good about the world. And the music!
(C): Very influential in my life already. The music, that is. For example, I now describe evenings wherein I intentionally do not make plans as "me parties."
JS: Yeah, and "Life's a Happy Song" is brilliance. Not sure why it's not nominated for an Oscar, too.
(C): Clearly Oscars are bunk, so let's not worry our pretty little heads over that oversight.
JS: At the end of the movie I just wanted to hug everyone involved and tell them how proud I was of them.
(C): Okay, but, even the rap? Because having Oscar-winner Chris Cooper rap has taken some flack.
JS: It was very Flight of the Conchords, though, don't ya think?
(C): I thought all the new songs were very Flight of the Conchords.
JS: The rap I thought most.
(C): I would have said "Man or Muppet."
JS: Yeah, well, especially with Brett's voice in there. And Nirvana barbershop quartet! And chickens singing that F U song! And "Rainbow Connection" may have made me have a slight emotional breakdown.
(C): Well, you were always going to cry so that was an excellent time to do so, as everyone else was crying, too.
JS: I hope they get to make another one or a show actually. I hope it makes the show come back.
(C): Me, too, much more so than a movie. To the point where I kept hoping Steve Martin would show up during the movie.
JS: I don't see why Disney wouldn't be interested in doing so now.
(C): As previously established, they suck, so let's not get our hopes up too high.
JS: Dare to dream that potential financial profitability will win out.
(C): Until such time as they create such a show and you figure out a way to broadcast it in the theatre, let us return to Mayfair March Madness.
(C): Michael Fassbender x 2.
JS: I think naked Michael Fassbender x 2!
(C): Nope, but I like how excited you are.
JS: Aww, I thought we had a new Harvey Kietel in the running.
(C): No such luck. Not even a new Ewan McGregor.
JS: He still has time.
(C): Make it happen, Mick.
JS: Maybe in the next X-Men movie.
(C): That's family friendly.
JS: Where did Fassbender come from? He's everywhere all of a sudden.
(C): Fassbender's breakout was Hunger, directed by the same guy who directed Shame.
JS: The Steve McQueen who is not THE Steve McQueen.
(C): Well, no, 'cause that guy's dead.
(C): Also not THE Steven McQueen's grandson, Steven R. McQueen, who is on The Vampire Diaries.
JS: Too many Steve McQueens!
(C): Not enough!!
JS: I swear . . . all I'm thinking about is Muppets. Are there other March Break movies? Hugo? Tin Tin?
(C): In 2D, right?
JS: In glorious 2D! Tin Tin perplexes me.
(C): How so?
JS: I hate hate hate trace-o photo-realistic animation. Stuff like Polar Express and Beowulf.
(C): I think it's called motion capture. Polar Express is creepy, but things have come a long way since then. Plus it's got Jamie Bell and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
JS: And it's written by Edgar Wright and Steven Moffat and Joe Cornish.
(C): So it's basically amazeballs as far as pedigree is concerned, but you're still worried about the uncanny valley.
JS: Yes, uncanny valley = bad. Guys who wrote Doctor Who, Shaun of the Dead, and Attack the Block = good. Sometimes I just don't understand why it's not a traditional cartoon or live action, but I am definitely looking forward to being proven wrong in my worries.
(C): I think we will see why it's not live action, but the animation bit . . . I just think, if you're Steven Spielberg, there's nothing you haven't done, right? So why wouldn't you try something new?
JS: True. I just hope the people aren't too creepy.
(C): Same because I'd hate for someone to ruin Jamie Bell for me.
JS: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and Edgar Wright haven't teamed up and let me down yet.
(C): Very true. We should trust them.
JS: Spielberg puts his name on Transformers movies, so he's lucky he's surrounded himself with talent I trust more.
(C): Rough! Poor Steven, such a touch critic you are.
JS: And it has a John Williams score. I do enjoy that.
JS: What!?! How dare you!
(C): I dare! I'm not that big on latter day John Williams, and you can't do anything about it.
JS: He gave us Star Wars and Superman and Indiana Jones!
(C): Yes, gave! In the past!
JS: Jurassic Park! Munich! Harry Potter!
(C): Memoirs of a Geisha!
JS: He also did the score for War Horse.
(C): Well, of course. He wasn't going to leave Steven hanging. It is also one of the two Benedict Cumberbatch movies you are showing in March.
JS: What's the other?
(C): Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, my most anticipated movie of 2011.
JS: Ohhhhhh. Gary Oldman!
(C): Yes. He is so, so good in the role. He gets attention for histrionics or what have you, but you get him into these stripped down roles like Gordon in the Batman movies or Guy Smiley in this and he REALLY blows the roof off the place.
JS: His name is Guy Smiley!?!
(C): No, George Smiley.
JS: Aw, someone else has Muppets on the brain, too.
(C): You started it. AND it's directed by the guy who directed Let the Right One In. The Swedish one.
JS: I love Let The Right One In! Ohhhh . . . Cumberbatch is the Sherlock dude who's in the new Star Trek.
(C): YES. Sherlock is so, so good.
JS: I haven't got a chance to watch it. But I love Doctor Who, so I'm sure I will like it muchly.
(C): You need to make some time, but, anyway, you can see why it was my most anticipated movie of 2011.
JS: I do worship the Gary Oldman. He's my favorite thing in Batman.
(C): I find it hard to disagree, and I am sure that you will therefore love him in TTSS.
JS: I've been a fan since the good ole days. In fact, in high school I saw him in stuff like The Professional and Sid and Nancy at the Mayfair.
(C): Aww, do you have a Mayfair anniversary?
JS: I could probably figure it out by going through old schedules. My first Mayfair movie was And Now For Something Completely Different in 1989. Back when I had to pay to see movies there!
(C): We can't all be as lucky as you.
JS: All you need is to sink your life savings and all your free time into the thing, and you get free movies!
(C): You make it sound so easy.
JS: And you get to do things like arrange to have Scott Pilgrim play on your birthday.
(C): I knew it!
JS: We can all enjoy in the Canadian brilliance that is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
(C): Very true. The directing is so fantastic I hardly know what to do with it. So kinetic and smart about its source and inventive.
JS: I think it's the best Canadian movie ever made not directed or produced by Canadians.
(C): I think you may be right. It's unusual not to move the setting, so points for that.
JS: He had to fight for that, too.
(C): I don't doubt it!
JS: Universal wanted to move it to Chicago or New York or somewhere more American-y.
(C): Gross. That wouldn't have been Scott Pilgrim-y.
JS: It's in Toronto with landmarks and stores and music and Canadian currency all present, plus many of the cast are Canadian (Michael Cera, Alison Pill, Ellen Wong . . . ).
(C): Alison Pill! I love her! And Knives is clearly the best.
JS: I kinda have her tattooed on my arm!
(C): Kinda? Get her for real. Don't half-ass Knives Chau.
JS: No, it's Kim Pine playing drums.
(C): Ohhhh. That's good, too. Is it one of your frames?
(C): Solid choice.
JS: It's my favorite movie of 2010, hands down.
(C): Good birthday choice, then.
JS: In the opening scene when Kim Pine proclaims, "We are sex bob-omb! 1 - 2 - 3 - 4!" . . . if you don't fall in love with this movie, there is something wrong with you. I have similar feelings if you don't love our other cult movies in March.
(C): Throw down, Stafford!
JS: Like The Thing and Big Trouble In Little China.
(C): So, really, you are coming out as pro-John Carpenter/Kurt Russell. This is not a surprise.
JS: It's a shame they didn't work together more.
(C): What's stopping them? They still could.
JS: Dare to dream.
(C): If Disney could bring back The Muppet Show, then these two can get in a room together.
JS: Make it happen! Jack Burton is one of the great blow-hard idiot heroes, like Han Solo but not so bright.
(C): Yes, Solo is more sneaky/clever.
JS: He is for sure. Jack just kinda stumbles through the whole movie and amazingly doesn't get killed.
(C): Sometimes luck is all it takes.
JS: Luck and, in The Thing, an awesome hat.
(C): For reals, a good hat can take you places. That's what Justified has taught me. Well, Justified and my pre-existing love of hats.
JS: His hat in The Thing is so big!
(C): It's cold, Josh. He has to keep warm.
JS: Wise that Kurt Russell.
(C): Man, that movie is bad-ass. Sometimes I forget.
JS: It's just so purely scary. It was on the heels of Alien, of course. Similar vibe, but it stands on its own with much more paranoia and human weakness. I won't spoil since theoretically someone might come see it for the first time, but the ending is amazing.
(C): I know, I am having a hard time not mentioning it myself. Let's not. People, head on down to the Mayfair and find out for yourselves.
JS: Come for the hat, enjoy the aliens, sit in awe of the ending.
(C): Sweet fancy Moses, more ad campaigns should include the line "come for the hat."
JS: Hat film festival!
(C): Please have one. I would be delighted.
JS: I will investigate. Does Meryl Streep wear a hat in The Iron Lady?
(C): You know it. The British love a good hat.
JS: And I bet The Artist has hats in it.
(C): Yes, it does. It's quite charming.
JS: And My Week With Marilyn. Movie hats everywhere!
(C): Actually, I don't remember any hats in that. A scarf, sure.[i]
JS: Hmm. I guess I still wanna see it.
(C): You should. Michelle Williams is great.
JS: Remember when Michelle Williams was the one on Dawson's Creek who wasn't Dawson or Pacey or Joey?
(C): You know, she was always great, even then. I think it was easier for her to carve a niche because she was less defined by the show than certain others.
JS: We screened Blue Valentine last year, and it almost killed me. That movie was a mountain climb.
(C): She basically is that movie. As much as I love the Gosling, she makes that thing sing.
JS: And she's going to be in Sam Raimi's Oz!
(C): Now there's an idea.
JS: I loved Mean Girls and Lindsay Lohan and think it's a shame things didn't work out there. It's so nice to see a teen actor break through and stay out of trouble.
JS: Oooh . . . teen segue!
(C): Go for it.
JS: Battle Royale.
(C): Amazing. Were you inspired by the premiere of The Hunger Games?
JS: I didn't even think about that, but definitely same theme, eh?
(C): Oh! It's my most anticipated movie of 2012, so I've got it on the brain. Very much so! Teens killing each other for the televised amusement(ish) of others, only one can survive, etc.
JS: I'm not familiar with Hunger Games, but it sounds like a Battle Royale remake.
(C): It's a series of books.
JS: When were they written?
(C): The first one came out in 2008.
JS: The Battle Royale novel came out in 1999! Rip off!
(C): Not really, but I am not going to explain why for spoiler reasons.
JS: Okay, let's concentrate on Battle Royale awesomeness instead. I think Quentin Tarantino said it was his favorite movie.
(C): I can see that. Wasn't it banned in the US?
JS: Yeah. This is the Ottawa Premiere! The movie is 12 years old!
(C): Oh, wait, that was only a rumour. Debunked!
JS: Myth Buster!
(C): March Mayfair Myth Busters!
JS: According to the interweb, "The film began its first general North American theatrical run at the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles, CA, on December 24, 2011, 11 years after its Japanese theatrical release."
(C): So it makes sense that it is just making it to Ottawa now.
JS: Yup. Especially in world of reality Survivor TV, it's a very interesting movie to watch and contemplate.
(C): Despite the violence, I tend to think of it metaphorically.
JS: Yuh huh. Just powerful, and I look forward to hopefully be watching it with a nice big crowd. A real example of big screen movie watching being more effective over TV movie watching.
(C): Nothing says, "Sunday night" like "teens killing each other all over the place." Yeah, anyone who's seen a bootleg will want to see this to see how it stacks up.
(C): Plus, if you were underage when those things started circulating, you can finally see it in the clear.
JS: I can neither confirm nor deny I originally watched it from a friend who got a comic con bootleg.
(C): You dirty bootlegger!
JS: Shhhhh. They were dark times!
(C): A decade ago?
JS: There was no other way to see it!
(C): Well, you didn't have Mayfair control then, so they were truly dark ages.
JS: JCVD! JCVD!
(C): Are you chanting at me?
JS: Yes! We have him in the 1988 classic Bloodsport in all of his Belgium martial arts kick ass greatness. The first steps towards the cinematic greatness of Universal Soldier, Street Fighter, Timecop, etc.
(C): A touchstone, if you will.
JS: Truly one of the great action stars who can do the splits of all time.
(C): You just don't see that enough. Captain America would never do splits. The sissy.
JS: Big sissy. Okay, to go to the complete other end of the spectrum: Into the Abyss. Another amazing and bizarre Werner Herzog documentary experience.
(C): I think you guys have a Herzog crush.
JS: How could you not!?
(C): It's his speaking voice.
JS: One of my favorite pastimes is speaking in his voice! I can neither confirm nor deny that many a conversation between my girlfriend, my projectionist friend, and myself happen in Herzog-speak.
(C): Nor should you unto point of death because you could never find as many cool things to talk about as Herzog does.
JS: I want a show where Herzog reviews movies like The Muppets!
(C): HA! That would be INSANE.
JS: I think you meant to yell AWESOME! I also wanna mention the Everything Is Terrible event. Everything is Terrible is a found footage comedy troupe, I guess you'd call 'em. A bit like Mystery Science Theatre, so they stand in front of the screen and go through crazy stuff found on VHS and narrate along. It's really great stuff. They're here with Dogie Woggiez! Poochie Woochiez! It's a completely dog themed program! I guarantee hilarity.
(C): I know you need to flee shortly, but I feel like we're letting the fans down if we let two months go by without coming up with any crazy movie ideas.
JS: Can it involve Muppets?
(C): Can it ever!
JS: Werner Herzog Muppet documentary!
(C): YES. Got it in one.
JS: Green light.
(C): Herzog will perform "Rainbow Connection."
JS: Spoken word Shatner-style.
(C): With a kazoo.
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.
[i] Now that April has a chance to think about it, she's sure Kenneth Branagh and Julia Ormond both wear hats in that movie.
Tags: birthday partying, cinema, dirty bootleggers, great hats of cinema, hat film festival, herzog speak, kazoos, march mayfair myth busters, mayfair, mayfair anniversaries, mayfair march madness, michael fassbenders wang, ottawa, out on the town, release, scott should have chosen knives, you cannot make april like latter day john williams