Film

Steel Bananas Film Section

Twiggy Moves

Twiggy Moves Rearranged and reappropriated BBC TV footage from the 1960s Music: “Jimmy Mack” by Martha and the Vandellas Marshall Lau | Toronto, 2010 Click here to view the film.

Breaking Bad: Television as Art

It’s rare, but every now and then a pop-cultural artefact comes along that forces one to question one’s own definition of art.  The television show Breaking Bad created by Vince Gilligan et al. may just be such an artefact. Excuse me. Work of art. We of course confront the question of whether television can be

Conversations: The Death of an Obsession

Canadian mastermind director Guy Maddin, behind the autobiographical “me trilogy” consisting of Cowards Bend the Knee (2003), Brand Upon the Brain! (2006) and My Winnipeg (2007), continues to explore the meaning of home with his latest feature film project Keyhole, an indoor odyssey exploring the surrealistic underworld of unbridled emotions, as well as the intimacy

Say A Thing With King Frankenstein And Doug Jones

Monsters may hide in your closet and phantom your nightmares, but to many in this world it is a dream and delight. Since its golden age, a Hollywood tradition of grown actors masquerading around as freaks and ghouls is the foundation of many legacies. Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney of yesteryear, and while CGI may flood

The Antiprocess of My Filmmaking

I want to contribute to this publication straight up and proper. I failed to follow up after just one issue and now I feel like it’s impossible altogether. I find that I only have snippets of things to say about any given topic at a time before I go adrift, never focused enough to conjure

Hot Tubs and Nostalgia in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

What this essay is about: John Cusack now, John Cusack in the 80s, golden years remembered, golden years misremembered interspersed with vintage pictures of my parents. Spoiler Alert: While this “film review” does contain Hot Tub Time Machine spoilers, curiously enough, it may also ruin the end of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle for anyone who

Great Expectations: Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe

Editor’s Note: Be mindful that this review contains spoilers. It is one of life’s greatest frustrations that resolutions are drawn out over time rather than delivered in moments of sudden realization. Only in the most contained situations – in theatres and in stadiums – do we get to live out our dreams of dramatic endings

A Single Man on A Single Man : A Breakup Essay Slash Film Review

What this essay is about: Your life as a cinematic experience, narratives as emotional crutches. Question you may ask yourself halfway through this essay: How many times can a writer make reference to John Cusack while ostensibly reviewing a film starring Colin Firth? Relevant quotation from my notebook from a couple weeks back: Bitten by

An Education in the crux of Art Cinema

Spoiler alert for them folks still preparing for An Education from Lone Scherfig. I shall spoil everything, just like the trailer. Let me throw it out right now that I have a thing with trailers: I can never make it to the end of them. Without any brain-blasting logic behind said rationale, here’s why: halfway

Carlton’s Last Stand

The Carlton theatre closed down. It surprised little, and the only thing that jostles is how immediately it came to fruition. Though to me less so. Maybe I’m cold, but see it from my angle. Even pre-recession I’ve been surrounded by closing theatres. Within walkable distance is what used to be The Capitol, The Eglinton

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 11

Who says that snap judgments and prejudice aren’t a good thing? Not I, Daniel Bernstein that’s for sure. Every month I take a look at the movies that we the viewing audience are to be subjected to and give my often bitter, twisted thoughts about them. I don’t need to see them to know what

Lessons Learned: Jingle All the Way

Every month Daniel Bernstein watches an old movie of questionable quality. Armed with the belief that there are lessons to be learned in all situations, he and another Steel Bananas columnist attempt to find meaning where maybe there isn’t any. This month, Daniel sits with Sarah Beaudin and examines the modern Christmas classic “Jingle all

Lessons Learned: The Net

Every month, Daniel Bernstein watches an old movie of questionable quality. Armed with the belief that there are lessons to be learned in all situations, he and another Steel Bananas columnist attempt to find meaning where maybe there isn’t any. This month, Daniel sits with Borna Radnik and examines the techno-thriller ‘The Net’ starring Sandra

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 10 (Ten Already?)

Who says that snap judgements and prejudice aren’t a good thing? Not I, Daniel Bernstein that is for sure. Every month I take a look at the movies that we the viewing audience are to be subjected to and gives my often bitter, twisted thoughts about them. I don’t need to see them to know

Say A Thing With King Frankenstein and Faye Jackson

I guess there is a balance in the universe. When a field seems so saturated and overstuffed, it always shoots out a gem that makes the whole ordeal seem just worth it all. When you got sick and tired of zombie movies, Shaun of the Dead made you feel bad about your previous sentiments. Last

HINTERVIEW: Marc Boggio, Director of Fear the Reaper

Being an independent artist is a tough wrap. You need to have a day job, a pretty good work ethic and a Rolodex of excuses to legitimize your artistic aspirations. As the rough cut of Marc Boggio’s Fear the Reaper came to a close on the screen in front of me, I realized that making

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 9

October is here and that means that Halloween is right around the corner. Let’s be honest here, Halloween is probably the greatest holiday ever invented ever. It encourages people to dress up, wander the streets at night, and indulge in both candy and liquor. You show me a person who does not like Halloween, and

Lessons Learned: Waterworld

Every month, Daniel Bernstein watches an old movie of questionable quality. Armed with the belief that there are lessons to be learned in all situations, he and another Steel Bananas columnist attempt to find meaning where maybe there isn’t any. This month, Daniel sits with Colin Fallowfield in an attempt to analyze legendary box-office bomb

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 8

Last month I was the fill-in guy for Nancy on Weird News, today I am holding up the mantle for everyone’s favorite cranky bastard, Mr. Daniel Bernstein. I’ve always enjoyed Trailer Trashin’. Furthermore, I’ve always enjoyed being something of a cranky bastard myself, so it makes perfect sense that when Young Daniel was unable to

Say A Thing With King Frankenstein And Lloyd Kaufman

A legend of film and good taste, Lloyd Kaufman is the maestro behind Troma films, churning out beloved classics such as The Toxic Avenger, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, Cannibal the Musical, Surf Nazis Must Die and most recently, Poultrygeist: Night of The Chicken Dead. Lloyd Kaufman is also an author and a well-outspoken individual on the

Lessons Learned: Twilight

This month’s guest: Borna Radnik Despite all of my ramblings about the gallons of crap that Hollywood shovels on to us every month (see Trailer Trashin’) I actually love terrible movies. There is nothing quite like sitting down with a group of people and heckling the idiots on screen. It seems to give me a

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 7

Summer days are drifting away. There is no use fighting this fact anymore. What this means for the world of cinema is that we will be getting a few more end-of-the-summer blockbusters and then we are right into horror movie season. I admit I do have a certain affinity when it comes to the macabre.

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 6

I haven’t seen the movies that I am about to review. For the most part, I do not really plan to. Part of the reason is the cost of the ticket is far too much for my poor wallet to endure every week. However for the most part it is the principle that I shouldn’t

Say A Thing With King Frankenstein and Erich Weiss

In an age of tramp stamps and TLC saturation, it’s hard to imagine a time when tattoos walked hand in hand with the title of ‘Badass’ along a field of broken dreams and shattered bottles. Erich Weiss can, however, spending over a year documenting stories from legends such as Ed Hardy and Eddie Funk about

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 5

First impressions are important. We all know this even if we do not admit it. To me, this holds especially true for the modern art of cinema. Every year producers spend millions of dollars on promotional materials designed to make you, the consumer, go out and spend fifteen dollars to see the latest piece of

Luminato 2009: Terror at Dundas Square!

Ninety years is a pretty big gap by today’s standards. While in the past it was entirely commonplace for whole millennia to just zoom by without much really changing in the way of, well anything, what with the rate that things progress these days, fifteen minutes ago might as well have been a bygone era.

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 4

The summer movie season has officially kicked off. After a bit of a whimper from Wolverine and an enormous bang from Star Trek, we now have an entire four months of cinema gold to look forward to. At least that’s what I am hoping – this next month of releases has some potentially lofty highs

Say A Thing With King Frankenstein And Edgar Wright

I think if Edgar Wright was any less friendly and I any more creepy, my weeks of pressing to get a few questions out of him could have ended in police sirens and tears. But so sue me I wanted to speak to Edgar Wright. They guy’s literacy phonics done some hi-holarious films like Shaun

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 3

Finally! Here we are in the middle of April and it’s only now that we are starting to see some movies that are more than just the leftovers from the previous year. In fact as we get closer and closer to the summer months (Still a long way away, I know) we should start to

Before Michel There Was Melies

Madame ou Monsieur, do you remember the first time you saw magic? For many people it was likely an older member of the family, like a grandfather performing a simple trick and it would generally go something like this: he’d show you his hands, Okay, the hands are empty you’d think. Then he would wave

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 2

Here we are post-Oscars, now the year in film can truly begin. It always seems that everything that is released before the Academy hands out their awards is simply garbage dumped on an unsuspecting public, now we can finally start to see some quality entertainment… Or maybe not. It looks to me that nearly everything

Trailer Trashin’: Vol. 1

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Every child is taught this life lesson some time in kindergarten. Usually it is right after they make fun of the fat kid or the girl with the lazy eye. When it comes to people, yes these are good words to live by. However I am here to

Celebrating 70 years: The National Film Board of Canada shows us that it’s not just ‘Gross’, it’s SICK! (‘sick’ in that cool urban sense of the word… you know, the way that the kids are saying it.)

What imagery comes to mind when you hear the term or see the words “Canadian Film Industry?” Take several seconds to mull it over. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…. Now let’s compare notes. For me it’s Paul Gross (that “Due South” RCMP bloke). Like a piece of gum, which I accidentally stepped on three blocks

When All Else Fails: A Belligerent Douchebag’s Guide to Hollywood in 2009, or, A Few Movies This Year That Might Not Totally Suck

Ashcliffe October 2, d. Martin Scorsese, w. Laeta Kalogridis, Steven Knight, s. Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Jackie Earle Haley Martin Scorsese’s first post-Departed flick has a fairly badass cast and is based on a novel by the same dude who wrote Mystic River (Dennis Lehane), which I enjoyed despite not really