The American Heartland

This week’s episode of Someone Else’s Movie is a little more thoughtful than most, being a conversation with Second City performer (and wicked awesome improviser) Becky Johnson about Terrence Malick’s Badlands.

You can find it at all the usual spots: iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, and straight from the site. Check it out! It’s a good episode!

You’re almost certainly tired of hearing me say this, but I’m really enjoying this thing. I hope you’re getting some pleasure out of it too.



You thought this weekend was overstuffed already? Here’s one more thing: A bonus episode of Someone Else’s Movie with Douglas freaking Trumbull.

Yup. The guy who created the visual effects for 2001 and Close Encounters uses MGM’s 1962 Cinerama behemoth How the West Was Won as the jumping-off point for a conversation about all manner of bleeding-edge cinema, rolling through his own career and his work with high-resolution, high-speed image capture.

It’s an unusual episode of the show, since we barely discuss the actual movie, but it was a conversation I was delighted to have, and I’m happy to let you all listen in.

Grab it on iTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher, or straight from the site. And enjoy.

Altogether Overloaded

I’ve got kind of a busy day and it’s a massive release week, so it’s time for another round of Six Word Reviews!

Being 17: Techine beats Dolan at own game. [Rad]

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: Technical experiment produces some awkward results.

The Birdwatcher: Actors do their best. Movie doesn’t.

Bleed For This: Yo, Whiplash! Ever thought about boxing? [Rad]

The Carer: Brian Cox, a lion in winter. [Susan]

The Edge of Seventeen: John Hughes for 2016. Pretty decent.

Elle: Susan didn’t like it. I did.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Don’t need another four of these.

The History of Love: Not screened for press. Oh well.

London Road: Experimental musical makes for thrilling cinema.

Nocturnal Animals: If not for Michael Shannon, pointless.

Eleven movies is too many for one weekend, honestly.

The Heavens Over Berlin

This week on Someone Else’s Movie, my guest is actor Torri Higginson, an actor who’s been in everything from The English Patient to Stargate Atlantis, and who’s currently starring on the CBC series This Life.  She spent most of the recording scratching Dexter’s ear, because she’s a good person.

Torri picked Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, a movie of quiet compassion and endless beauty, and let me tell you: It’s exactly the movie we need to be thinking about right now. We recorded this episode a few weeks back and Trump’s name doesn’t even come up (which should be a nice break for most listeners) but its images of a divided Berlin on the verge of recovery after decades of ideological separation seem awfully relevant once again.

You know the drill: Find it on iTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher, or get it straight from the site. And be kind to each other. It’s literally all we have.

Love Is Stronger Than Hate

Two of the year’s best arrive in Toronto today, and one more that’s pretty damn good. Can you figure out which is which? (Don’t panic, it’s not a contest.)

The Age of Consequences: Climate change will threaten America’s security by creating geopolitical instability. There, I just saved you 80 minutes that Jared P. Scott’s monotonous, droning doc might otherwise have wasted. You’re welcome.

Almost Christmas: Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, Nicole Ari Parker, Omar Epps and Kimberly Elise are a pretty solid ensemble in this family drama from Baggage Claim director David E. Talbert. Rad really wanted to like it.

Arrival: Denis Villeneuve’s latest is a sleek, rewardingly complex meditation on the impossibility of contemplating the unknown, with a tremendous performance from Amy Adams. See it on a big screen, like, now.

Do Not Resist: Craig Atkinson’s documentary about the gradual militarization of police forces across America was one of the best things I saw at Hot Docs; sadly, it’s only grown more relevant since then.

An Eye for an Eye: Susan found Ilan Ziv’s documentary about a post-9/11 hate crime more problematic than gripping. Which is too bad, it’s a potentially great story.

Jean of the Joneses: Stella Meghie’s feature debut — about a family dynamic dropped into chaos by a sudden death — got some juice at TIFF, but Jake didn’t much care for it.

Loving: Rad really likes Jeff Nichols’ low-key drama about Richard and Mildred Loving’s struggle to be a couple before and during the civil-rights era, and so do I. You should see it, and also you should read Rad’s terrific cover story about mixed marriages.

Shut In: Naomi Watts and Room‘s Jacob Tremblay are stalked in a remote home in a thriller from UK TV director Farren Blackburn. Not screened ahead of time, so I’m catching it this afternoon. UPDATE: It’s terrible.

Oh, and Leonard Cohen is dead. Fuck this year, sincerely.

My other other gig.