Nov 14, 2012

Back to God's Country with Live Music Dec. 11th

Silent Film Concert featuring Back to God's Country (1919) 

 Where: Club SAW (67 Nicholas St.), Tuesday December 11, 2012, at 7:30pm, $10, 16FPS, 85mins
 What: Live concert featuring score by Mike Dubue of the HILOTRONS with special musical guests.

Back to God's Country (1919) is Canada's oldest surviving feature film and it was Canada's biggest box-office hit of the silent film era. The film will play with a live musical accompaniment composed by HILOTRONS founder Mike Dubue. The evening will also feature a performance of Mike's new score for the silent short documentary Ice, which looks at the practice of ice harvesting from frozen lakes and rivers in the era before electric refrigeration. The film was produced by the Ontario Motion Picture Bureau (OMPB)and we are lucky it still survives. The vast majority of the OMPB's films were melted down to recover the silver nitrate contained in their film emulsion, an act ordered by the Ontario government, which was desperate for money during the Great Depression.

Our feature presentation, Back to God's Country, is based on a novel by American author James Oliver Curwood, one of the most popular authors of the early 20th Century. He specialized in wilderness adventure tales, somewhat in the mold of Jack London (his novel The Grizzly King was later adapted into The Bear in 1994 by Jean Jacques Annaud). Many of Curwood's novels were set in Canada and he was known for his sympathetic portrayals of both animals and women, so it's clear why its Canadian star Nell Shipman – writer/director/actress and animal trainer - would be attracted to the the story. The plot, concerning a young woman's race across the Canadian arctic to rescue her injured husband from a dastardly villain, gives her plenty of opportunity to showcase her skills. Shipman wrote the scenario for the adaptation and supervised the film's editing, smartly changing the focus of the plot from “loyal dog rescues man” to “loyal wife rescues husband, with the help of a loyal dog”.

Born Helen Foster-Barham in 1892 in Victoria, B.C., Nell Shipman moved to the United States when she was 13 and was writing and acting in Hollywood movies by the age of 20. She starred in twenty-six films in total. With a full complement of wild animals, rugged landscapes, rousing action and a pre-Hays Code nude scene (often credited as the first full-frontal nude scene by a leading actress in a feature-length film), Back to God's Country cemented Shipman's reputation as one of the most ambitious and daring entrepreneurs of the silent film age. Most of Nell Shipman's films were shot in the United States, but Back to God's Country was filmed both in the USA and in Canada in order to take advantage of the Canadian winter. The winter scenes were shot 160 miles north of Edmonton on Lesser Slave Lake, where the crew braved daytime temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit (which, funnily enough, also happens to be -40 degrees Celsius!).

The film was produced by Nell Shipman's Ottawa-born husband Ernest Shipman, who partnered with James Oliver Curwood to form the company Canadian Photoplays Ltd. Ernest Shipman managed to drum up financing through some investors in Calgary and recruited American David Hartford to direct. Hartford capably showcased the natural charms of both his star and the wilderness, aided greatly by first-time feature cameraman Joseph Walker, who later went on to shoot 18 feature films for director Frank Capra, including the classics It's A Wonderful Life and Lost Horizon, becoming one of Hollywood's most famed cinematographers.

Back to God's Country ended up playing around the world to big audiences. In New York City, it opened at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway, then the world's newest and most luxurious movie palace, with 5300 seats. The film became the most financially successful Canadian-produced film of the silent era, grossing around a million-and-a-half dollars (which would be around 25 million dollars today), earning back roughly 300% of its production budget. This was a remarkable feat in a time when most movies only lasted one week in the theatre, and it's largely a testament to the skillful efforts of its savvy and pioneering Canadian star working with a top-notch production team.
The film is lots of fun, and even better with live music!

For more info on the restoration of the film read this PDF

Oct 11, 2012

Amanita Pestilens Nov. 27th Bytowne Cinema

Amanita Pestilens - 50th Anniversary Screening
November 27th, Bytowne Cinema, Ottawa, 9:20pm
35mm, 79mins, 1962

Amanita Pestilens (1962) is an unusually compelling film about one man's obsession with creating “the perfect lawn”. Jacques Labrecque stars as champion lawn-grower Henri Martin, a man who struggles to balance the needs of his family with his own ambitions for horticultural achievement as he wages war against the insurgent mushrooms that threaten his immaculately manicured domain. The film manages the unusual feat of being both funny and suspenseful at the same time, treading a fine line of ominous hilarity perfectly conveyed by Labrecque. It feels somewhat as though Spanish surrealist master Luis Bunuel had wandered into the Montreal of the early 1960's and managed to tap into the cultural zeitgeist of discontent and change bubbling just under the surface of polite society.

Shot on location in Montreal and close to Ottawa at Harrington Lake in 1962 by director René Bonnière, it was the first fictional feature film produced by legendary Ottawa filmmaker F.R. “Budge” Crawley. It was also the first Canadian feature film produced in colour, and stands as the cinematic debut of Canadian acting queen Genevieve Bujold, who, in her role as rebellious daughter Sophie Martin, displays enough raw cinematic charisma to suggest that she was born for the movie screen.

The production has the added bonus of having captured images of La Belle Province at a time of great physical and social transformation. It contains numerous visual delights, including early 1960's fashion, wonderful old Montreal streetscapes, and the sight of shockingly new-looking highway interchanges. Special mention should go to Ottawa-based composer Larry Crossley for writing an excellent score, incorporating jazz, folk, and orchestral music, helping the film take on the scope of a much larger production.

Unfortunately Amanita Pestilens never received a wide release. Festival screenings and the occasional TV appearance served to spread the legend, but the film has essentially been vault-bound for 50 years. We are proud to bring it back to the big screen, before it returns to dormancy like a mushroom spore waiting to re-emerge - hopefully sooner than the year 2062!

Part of the Canadian Cult Revue film series at the ByTowne, presented by the Lost Dominion Screening Collective. English-language version.

Sep 20, 2012

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal, Oct. 23rd 9:10pm

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is a Danish-Canadian co-production shot in the Ottawa area in the winter of 2011. This comedy-horror movie features appealing Danish actor Thure Lindhardt as Lars Olafssen, a world-famous artist with ‘painter’s block’ who takes a teaching job at an obscure art school in a small Canadian town. Struggling to fit into his new surroundings, he soon finds inspiration in Eddie, a mute gentle-giant of a man with an odd somnambulistic habit: stalking the woods at night and devouring small forest animals.

Canadian actor Dylan Smith (Immortals) plays Eddie with subtle menace, effectively portraying the character’s Jekyll and Hyde nature. Georgina Reilly (‘Murdoch Mysteries’) lends appropriate cuteness and intelligence as Lars’s nascent love-interest. Supporting standouts include Paul Braunstein (‘Train 48’) as a smart small-town cop, and Stephen McHattie (Pontypool) as Lars’ art dealer suddenly eager for more commissions.

First-time feature director and co-writer Boris Rodriguez pulls together an entertaining story skewering artistic pretension with low-brow horror. The film makes good use of its small-town setting to build suspense and takes particular advantage of the harsh beauty of the Canadian winter to enhance the film’s themes and visuals.

Eric Hynes of The Village Voice calls the film ‘inspired’ and says that it ‘strikes just the right balance between camp horror and clever satire.’

– Lost Dominion Screening Collective
Oct. 23rd 9:10pm @ The Bytowne Cinema
Part of the Canadian Cult Revue film series at the ByTowne,

Producer Michael Dobbin will attend a Q&A after the screening, along with some members of the cast and crew.

Sep 11, 2012

Dump Talk: Dogma Television North of 60

Lost Dominion Screening Collective presents:
Dump Talk Retrospective
Club SAW (67 Nicholas St.) – Tuesday September 18th, 2012, 7:30pm, 75mins

Part of the Canadian Cult Revue III series
Admission is a food or cash donation to the Ottawa Food Bank, cash bar

In the fall of 2001, Yellownkife community cable debuted a new home-grown TV-show filmed largely in the winter in the town's garbage dump. Dump Talk  featured interviews, improvised comedy and documentary vignettes exploring the lifestyle and culture of the largest town in the Northwest Territories. Loosely inspired by the “dogma” filmmaking trend out of Scandinavia, whereby films were produced with the barest of production values, Dump Talk took pride in making a virtue of its minimal-to-non-existent budget. Treasures scavenged in the dump and sold on eBay helped finance production expenses. The talk-show set was constructed and deconstructed each episode out of refuse and recycling found on location. Dump Talk became a "must view, cult hit" for local Yellowknifers, which was probably helped by the fact that it aired right after TV-Bingo.

The show also took some of its inspiration from the halcyon days of Ottawa's community-cable volunteer movement (pre-Rogers corporate slickification), when rough-and-ready genre-bending shows such as the early “Tom Green Show” and “In Your Face!” took comedy to the streets of the city and aired their shows with minimal censorship or corporate interference. Two of Dump Talk's creators, Paul Gordon, and Adam Bowick were Ottawa-raised transplants to the North, and they brought some of that NCR video-pride to the YK. As far as we know, Dump Talk is the only TV-show in Canadian history to be filmed primarily on location in a town dump.

VHS tapes have been passed around, but never has a DVD of Dump Talk been assembled until now. To celebrate the occasion we decided to make a party of it.  Bowick and Gordon will be on hand to introduce the video and answer questions. It should make for a fun evening at Club SAW.

Yellowknifer Article here from Dec 21st 2001

Jun 21, 2012

Cinema Under the Stars III Aug 10-11th

Raven's Knoll and the Lost Dominion Screening Collective present:
Cinema Under the Stars III, August 10th and 11th 2012
Friday August 10th at dusk we bring you vintage 16mm animated films

The program runs approx. 70mins.

Titles include:
Trolls of Norway, a look at all the different trolls that inhabit the streams, forests and Caves of Norway
Legend of Paul Bunyan, an animated look at the legendary giant and his companion Babe the Blue Ox. 

+ some surprise vintage cartoons, trailers and snipes.

On Saturday, August 11th at dusk we present the fantasy classic, The Dark Crystal, on 35mm, 1982, Rated PG, 93mins
 The Dark Crystal (1982) is one of those films that sticks with you long after you've seen it. Why? Because it's super cool! It's an elaborately concocted fantasy adventure film made with puppets, co-directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, longtime creative collaborators on both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show (and later Labyrinth). It was also produced by Gary Kurtz, one of the producers of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. The film follows the journey of Jen, an elf-like “Gelfling”, as he quests to save his world from destruction. That's a pretty classic template for adventure, and the film doesn't disappoint.

It wasn't a huge blockbuster when it came out, but it was very successful, particularly in Europe and Japan. If you were lucky enough to see it as a kid you probably have more than a few indelible memories, mostly owing to its amazing puppetry, fantastical sets, and the fact that it's a genuinely scary movie. It also has great moments of humour and wonderment. The fact that the puppets are “real” give the film a sense of solidity and reality that is lacking in many of today's computer-generated fantasy films. That is perhaps part of the secret of its current status as a cult fantasy favourite that finds more ardent fans with each passing year. The film not only looks great, it sounds great too, as just as much effort was put into the sound design as into the puppets. It will be an awesome summer treat at Raven's Knoll!
The films are free, camping rates are $11 per adult, $5 for children

Special thank you to SAW Video for donating a 12ft fast fold cinema screen for the weekend.

Apr 13, 2012

Cinema Under the Stars III August 10th-11th at Dusk

Once again we will be screening film under the stars at Raven's Knoll Campground. Raven's Knoll is a just outside of Eganville, Ontario on the Bonnechere River close to Golden lake. Check back for more details on the lineup. The films will start at dusk near the Raven stage. All feature films we be shown on 35mm, with shorts on 16mm.  Projector Stats:  35mm Century CC with Simplex Sound Head, 6000ft kelmar reels arms, 750watt Xenon ORC lamphouse.

The films are free, camping is $11 a night per adult, $5.00 per child.

Apr 5, 2012

Thats a wrap! CCR Season II is over.

Thanks for all the support during our second season of the Canadian Cult Revue.

Special thanks go out to the Bytowne for their great venue. Thank you Megan, Phil, Bruce and the Projectionist's Kirk and Paul!  

Our top 5 attended shows were:

1. "Lost Films" with Live Music by the HILOTRONS.

2. "Janis" a Crawley Films produced documentary on Janis Joplin.

3.  "Jesus Christ Superstar" the perfect Easter send off.

4. Ottawa native Adam Traynor's Ottawa Premiere of "Ivory Tower"  the first public screening at the Bytowne of a DCP (Digital Cinema Package).

5. Ed Folger's World premiere video art collection "The River Of Life, Or The Case Against Certainty". A home made DCP btw.  Check out his new silent film inspired Second Life Video here

Canadian Cult Revue Season III is in the works!

Mar 29, 2012

Jesus Christ Superstar April 4th Bytowne

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) April 4th, 6:40pm, Bytowne Cinema
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Original Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Cinematography by: Douglas Slocombe
Film Editing by: Antony Gibbs
Written by: Melvyn Bragg and Norman Jewison

Starring: Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman, Barry Dennen, Bob Bingham

Vintage 35mm print, anamorphic print 2:35:1, 108 minutes

Norman Jewison's big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Jesus Christ Superstaris a fun film that pulses with a surplus of musical and visual energy. As far as musicals go, it has all the necessary ingredients of success: catchy tunes, fabulous costumes, and great performances by a talented cast. Standouts include Carl Anderson as Judas Iscariot, and Ted Neeley as Jesus Christ.

As with the stage production, the film embraces anachronism as a virtue. The all-out effort to mix the fashion and music of the early 1970's with Biblical times translates very well to the big screen. Jewison’s choice to film on location in the Holy Land pays off with spectacular scenery that reinforces a production that could easily have been too “far-out” and collapsed under the weight of its postmodern pretensions.

For all of its non-traditional elements, Jesus Christ Superstarmay be one of the best big-screen treatments of the Jesus story, effectively illustrating how an ancient religion is still relevant in the modern era. Coming two years after Jewison’s triumph with Fiddler on the Roof, a more traditional musical, it’s the work of an ambitious filmmaker always willing to set himself big technical challenges in the name of better storytelling. Jewison takes the opportunity to tell “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and tells it well.

Mar 9, 2012

Lost films with the HILOTRONS March 28th @ Bytowne Cinema

The HILOTRONS in silent film mode
Lost Films with Live Music by the HILOTRONS, March 28th, 7pm, Bytowne Cinema,  Approx 70mins 35mm and DCP 2K

Collection of vintage & archival short films with brand new music performed and composed live by The Hilotrons.
The Canadian Cult Revue presents its second live music screening of the season with a selection of historically significant ‘lost films’ (well, nearly lost...) from the collection of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Most of the films are silent shorts from the 1920’s, and will be projected from brand new 35mm prints created at LAC’s film conservation facilities in Gatineau.

To start off the evening, we’re showing a 1946 newsreel featuring many stories from the local area, including: a spectacular fire in Hull that destroyed the interprovincial bridge; the famous Dionne Quintuplets in Grade Five; Barbara Ann Scott at a skating championship; and, a spy ring uncovered by the RCMP. Then, local favourites the Hilotrons will play newly-composed soundtracks to our selection of silent short films with fascinating subjects such as: wireless telephony, preventing tooth decay, and graphite mining in Calabogie (seriously, they’re good!).


We will also be playing a reel from The Man From Glengarry (1922), also accompanied by The Hilotrons. The film, a spectacular silent feature shot in Ottawa in the early 1920s by director Henry Macrae, concerns a blood feud between the leaders of rival logging camps along the Ottawa River. This reel is one of only two that remain in existence.


Mar 5, 2012

The Peanut Butter Solution March 14th @ The Mayfair Theatre

March Matinee of The Peanut Butter Solution
1985, PG, 94mins, Mayfair Theatre, 3pm March 14th, 35mm

From the director of Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller comes this endearing tale about a kid, a couple of friendly ghosts and a magical cure for baldness that comes with one important caveat: take it easy on the peanut butter.

Feb 28, 2012

Interview with Mike Dubue of the HILOTRONS

Mike Dubue is a musican, composer and a member of the Ottawa-based band HILOTRONS.

Paul Gordon of the Lost Dominion Screening Collective interviewed Mike about composing music for silent films. Mike and the HILOTRONS will be playing live March 28th at the Bytowne Cinema as part of the Canadian Cult Revue film series.

Mike Dubue (right) conducting Night of the Living Dead LIVE.  
Interview recorded (February 27th 2012)

PG: So Mike, you have been involved in scoring for films for a while now, but how did you get involved with scoring silent films?

MD: Well, it started with Metropolis and the 2009 opening of the Mayfair Theatre. It was sort of a hefty idea as it’s a really long film, but we said "Hey, let’s try this" and well, I became really addicted to scoring silent films.

PG: What was involved with scoring Metropolis considering it's over 2 hours long. It’s a well-known film, what did it take to pull it off?

MD: Well, the original score for Metropolis is brilliant so we didn’t really stray far away from it. However, it is arranged for an eighty piece Orchestra and we were a five-piece band. So we sort of broke it down but we had a lot to work with already, so really the job ahead of time was learning the material and doing a lot of rearranging and a slight bit of writing. Metropolis gave us a good scope of what the work is like to score a silent film. Whether we want to start from scratch and score it note for note or if we want to work with existing material.

PG: What were the instruments used for Metropolis and who were the musicians?

MD: Drums and percussion - Mike Essoudry. Paul Hogan played electric guitar. Linsey Wellman played bass clarinet, alto flute, flute, and alto sax. I played left-hand bass, right-hand organ, some synths, and bass.

PG: Since Metropolis you have scored a number of silent films including running a silent film festival. Can you name some of those films for us?

MD: Sure. So Metropolis, Nosferatu, The Rail Rodder, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari , Back to God’s Country, The Bear, Boy and Dog, Carry on Sergeant! (1928), Man from Glengarry, Tim’s Tiny Tooth, Wireless Telephony, Graphite Mining in Calabogie and Night of the Living Dead.

PG: Tell me a bit about Night of the Living Dead, that’s a bit of a different one because it’s not a silent film.

MD: The idea was to work with films in the public domain that weren’t silent but turn them into silent films in the sense of turning off the sound and then recreating the full sound design live. So I’d have voice actors on microphones in sync with actors on screen, then foley artists in sync doing all the sound effects with the film. Then I had a small chamber group orchestra of five strings, bass clarinet, guitar, prepared piano, vibes, and flute. It was all performed live to the film.

PG: Night of the Living Dead was one of your most successful shows including the shows at Bluesfest.

MD: That’s right, we did three shows at the Mayfair and two at Bluesfest.

PG: Are you ever going to do it again?

MD: Yep, when we can afford to do it. (Laughs)

PG: Ok what has been your favorite film to score so far?

MD: Well, Night of the Living Dead - it’s a tossup of three for three different reasons.

The Night of the Living Dead was really interesting because I directed a lot of how it actually worked live...I transcribed the whole script and created one of the first post-production scripts for the film because there was none in existence for whatever reason. Then I got to make a real Foley score, the way you would score Foley for something like an animated cartoon, like Looney Tunes. So that was kind of exciting...I got to work with the original music that George Romero had used but because it was all public domain I got to rearrange a bunch of ideas because the music editing in that film has always been kinda choppy. So I got to work with existing music but also rearrange, recompose. It was kind of fun to amalgamate it all together.

Then Cagliari is my favorite because I got to score it note for note. Then Back to God’s Country - it’s an original score but I kind of used lots of different music that would have been played or existed in Canada at the time, whether it be Canadian folk music, Acadian music, different Klezmer music.

PG: So right now you’re doing a mini tour with the HILOTRONS of Caligari plus four Canadian short films. How’s that going, and what’s involved with that?

MD: So far it’s going alright. We're trying to strategically book it for time and cost efficiency for the band on the road, because it’s a trying production to bring on the road. Trying might be the wrong word as we are enjoying it, there’s nothing trying about it - but it’s a lot of rehearsing to get it to the point where it is. It’s hard to treat the shows just like band shows so we are being selective of where we are playing. Then with the material itself it’s fun because with the four films as a band we are able to split the composing duties to everybody, we are all able to write for the films. So that’s a nice opportunity for the band.

PG: Speaking about the band, the HILOTRONS are pretty much a rock band, so what do they think about playing and composing for silent films?

MD: Well, the cool thing about this situation is that a lot of us come from and have somewhat of a background with scoring for cinema or live theatre, or dance. So we were able to utilize that experience in working with visual imagery. The band is good at wearing two hats, the hat of being a pop band playing on stage in rock concert format or we can work with a film, sort of like a chamber ensemble.

PG: Any major future plans?

MD: Well - as much work as I can do with the silent films. As much as I’m a musician, I’m also a real big film buff. A lot of what I’m trying to do with the silent films isn’t really necessarily about the music. The music is only there to kind of heighten the films and bring some attention to the actual picture. For me it’s all about the cinema and about people seeing the stuff because otherwise they might not see it without this opportunity. It’s exciting for the people to watch, especially the Canadian stuff that we are working with.

PG: Do you think silent films are having a bit of a renaissance? With The Artist winning Best Picture and Hugo.

MD: Yes, absolutely. Here is the interesting thing about the silent era: it is what it is and when talkies came out cinema became a different art form. Needless to say the silent era was pretty much completely squashed just because industry standards had changed, which is fine because we have had amazing cinema since then, but the art of the way silent films were made was kind of left unexplored. 30 years of the silent era is really not a long time for any art form so hopfully the renaissance that you mention maybe has a lot to do with people wanting to re-explore the idea an see what we can do with it now.

PG: Cool. Thanks for the talk and I’m looking forward to the at the Bytowne Cinema in Ottawa, March 28th, 2012.

Man From Glengarry Live

Jan 26, 2012

The River of Life, Or The Case Against Certainty leap day screening

The River Of Life, Or The Case Against Certainty

World Premiere
71mins, DCP 2K, Feb. 29th, 6:50pm Bytowne Cinema

Directed by:  Edward Folger

In a tribute to the work of his friend, the late Canadian/Bolivian/Dutch artist Juan Geuer, Canadian/American filmmaker/poet Edward Folger builds a jig-saw vision of his life in Ottawa, in the form of a graphic raga, evolving, like classical Indian music, from a leisurely beginning, into a frenzied ride on the force of nature. He draws from his history with media – still photography, feature films, early consumer video; moving on to standard digital and state of the art, high definition video; and finally, into online virtual worlds.

From New York, New England, Ottawa, rural Ontario, and the vast digital world of Second Life, in concert with artists from France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Denmark, each stanza of this video poem twists in a new direction – drama, documentary, animation, still montage, experimental, music video. The worldview that Folger shared with Juan Geuer is the glue holding all the pieces together. Portions of the film have been screened previously at various galleries and international film festivals and some chapters were produced with the support of the City of Ottawa and SAW Video Media Arts Centre.

– Lost Dominion Screening Collective

Folger’s work leaps forward into the Twenty-First Century, visualizing String Theory and M-Theory, vibrating in the full eleven dimensions of reality.

– László Fontoskodó, Director of the Institute for Post-Quantum Critical Studies

Jan 3, 2012

Videodrome, Jan. 25th Bytowne Cinema

Videodrome, 1983, rated R, 90mins, 35mm Archival print, 7pm Jan 25th at the Bytowne Cinema

Anyone familiar with pioneering Toronto television station City-TV, particularly its daring, fly-by-the-seat-of-its-pants incarnation in the 1970’s and 80’s, will recognize the inspiration for the fictional CIVIC-TV station in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. CIVIC is where Max Renn (James Woods) works as a producer seeking out the most provocative programming to drive up the ratings, always keeping an eye on finding the next big thing to scoop the competition. It’s this search that leads Renn to uncover an international conspiracy involving a mind- and flesh- altering signal hidden within violent images originating from the United States.

Videodrome still has the power to provoke philosophical reflection and disturb in equal measure nearly thirty years since its release. Like many of Cronenberg’s early films, it’s constructed around tropes of out-of-control technology, physical mutation, and sex and violence as social contagion. It’s the triumphant culmination of the first phase of his career, blending elements of science fiction, horror, and film noir in a deftly executed mix of genres. It’s noteworthy for being the first film where he started getting respect as a filmmaker of real intellectual substance, and not just a shockmeister intent on delivering cheap gory thrills.

For Canadian viewers, the fact that the film is set largely in an identifiable Toronto, and makes such great use of uber-Canuck references like Moses Znaimer and Marshall McLuhan, makes it all the more fun. Oscar-winner James Woods, always an interesting actor, makes for a compellingly flawed anti-hero, and he shares the screen with a cadre of fine supporting players, including rock star Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits (CBC’s ‘Street Legal’) and the perfectly-cast Jack Creley (Dr. Strangelove and TVO’s ‘Write On!’), who plays the McLuhanesque video-theorist Dr. Brian O’Blivion. To that we say: Long live the New Flesh!
– Lost Dominion Screening Collective