Archive for neil burns

Birthdays, VIFF, Canadian puppets, Kimchi Western. And Woody Allen.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2009 by N.W. Douglas

Cinema Truth turns one year old today.  And except for the name change partway through, this is the same blog that began September 24, 2008.  This is the first blog (of three or so) that I’ve managed to actually make it to one year of sustained use, so today is a bit of a mild personal milestone.  To the loyal readers, thanks for your insightful comments, and to the Google picture visitors, thanks for the hit counts.  While you’re clicking through to that image, have a look around.  I promise I’ll do the same when I come looking for that Aguirre-and-pipe-player screenshot that surely someone out there has online.

In terms of festivities, there isn’t much planned.  I watched Woody Allen’s excellent MANHATTAN (1979) yesterday, and since I have Diane Keaton: Art Snob on the brain, I think a few chuckles are in order:

I will note, as a sad counterpoint to my very first post, that I’ll be seeing less films at VIFF this year; indeed I may not get out to the festival at all amid the demands of schoolwork, pre-production, work, and other obligations and interests.

edison-leo poster

Speaking of VIFF, this may be a good time to talk quickly about EDISON & LEO, a film I saw at last year’s festival.  Directed by Neil Burns, it bears the honor of being the first Canadian stop-motion feature.  It’s the kind of story that seems hellbent on owning the term “quirky,” – it’s about a mad scientist with an electricity-powered son, vengeful mystical First Nations women, and Manitoba – but it doesn’t trip up in its own little excesses to the point where it’s just an exercise in obscure silliness.  The film has plenty of charm, both visual and verbal, to power through the uneven sections.

The film has apparently been released to DVD by TVA Films; as far as I’m aware, it didn’t receive theatrical distribution.  For a genuine milestone in Canadian cinema, this is a shame.  Seek out the DVD.  Support this film.  Hopefully Neil Burns is working on something new; it’s early yet, but based on EDISON, I think Canada may have found its Tim Burton.  Burns pulls off genuinely effective and beautifully rendered storytelling, warts and all.  A trailer may be found here, though it does a fairly appalling job at showing the film’s strengths.

good-the-bad-the-weird-poster1

And while we’re hopping between streams here, I still can’t believe that the THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD, that Korean love letter to Sergio Leone, has yet to receive North American distribution.  It has (or had, if the window of opportunity has closed) huge crossover appeal as an action-comedy, and yet nobody sprang for it.  If you have  a chance of seeing it, grab it tightly.  It’s the closest thing we’ve had to Indiana Jones-style adventure in twenty years, and with 100% less CG aliens.

I’m looking forward to another year here at Cinema Truth.  There are some exciting things planned for this fall and winter, and I hope you’ll join me on the journey.  Onwards and upwards…