Podcast: Make/Remake Zero Hour! & Airplane!

Zero Hour! & Airplane!

Greetings, programs, and welcome to a very special episode of the Awesome Friday Podcast. Airplane! is one of the greatest comedy films of all time, but did you know it’s a remake? This week we are talking all about Airplane! and the 1957 Canadian Melodrama it’s based on Zero Hour!.

There are JustWatch powered streaming links below. In addition, you can listen to the episode using the embedded player on this page or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Interview: Director Emerson Moore on his film ‘Escape the Field’

Emerson Moore Interview

Greetings programs! Writer and director Emerson Moore’s first feature, Escape the Field, a story about six strangers stranded in an endless cornfield, is on-demand now. I had the chance to sit down with him via zoom to talk about the film, his experiences making it, and more!

There are streaming links for the film below, and you can listen to this interview on the Awesome Friday Podcast wherever you listen to Podcasts.

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Hot Docs ’22: ‘Fire of Love’ paints a portrait of love in magma

Fire of Love / Hot Docs

Katia and Maurice Krafft were rockstars in the field of volcanology. Among the earliest scientists to extensively film and photograph active and erupting volcanos, and often got as close as possible to the magma flows in an age when the unpredictability of the geological activity kept everyone else hundreds of feet away.

It is this love affair –both with each other and with volcanoes– Fire of Love takes a deep dive. This was a couple deeply committed to their field, one that had indeed found something they loved and thus never worked, but filmmaker Sara Dosa is able to paint a compelling portrait through their work.

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Hot Docs ’22: ‘Make People Better’ leans too hard into being a thriller but remains compelling nonetheless

Make People Better / Hot Docs

In the film Gattaca, there is a scene where a set of new parents are consulting a doctor about genetically altering the baby they wish to conceive. When they posit that maybe it’s better to leave a few things to chance, the doctor scoffs and tells them they want to give their baby the best possible start. The film is a warning about the kind of future that genetic engineering and eugenics could create. That hasn’t stopped us from researching this science, though, and in 2018 Dr He Jiankui (JK for short), a geneticist in China, created the first genetically edited human embryos.

Make People Better follows the story of JK in two parallel tracks. One in the build-up to this achievement discusses the ethical implications of literally making people better—the other counts down toward JKs eventual arrest and disappearance by the Chinese government.

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Hot Docs ’22: Scrap is a thoughtful meditation on the things we build

Scrap / Hot Docs

Where do the things we make go when we’re done with them? It’s a question that we too often don’t ask ourselves, along with what the long term effects are of what we do with our old stuff. Scrap doesn’t have any easy answers, but the new film from director Stacey Tenenbaum does offer a fascinating glimpse at a part of our modern world that we prefer not to think about.

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Hot Docs ’22: Framing Agnes obscures its own powerful premise and story

Framing Agnes / Hot Docs

In the 1950s and 60s, researchers at UCLA conducted a study into sex disorders. The resulting archive of data contains a cross-section of trans history in the form of interviews conducted with the study’s participants. One of the participants -a woman known only as Agnes- used the study to receive gender-affirming care and then seemingly disappeared.

With Framing Agnes, director Chase Joynt takes a handful of the stories collected in the UCLA study and presents them to the audience. The interviews themselves are re-framed as interviews on a late-night talk show and performed by trans performers. The performers themselves, along with trans researcher and advocate Jules Gill-Peterson, are also given the opportunity to reflect on the people they are portraying as well as their own life experiences.

The former is a brilliant take. Unfortunately, the latter interrupts the stories that we really want to hear. To put it more succinctly: Framing Agnes fails to get out of its own way.

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Hot Docs ’22 Preview: Matthew joins Thomas from ForReel to discuss their most anticipated films!

Hot Docs + ForReel

Hot Docs 2022 is underway! Once again, I sat down on Zoom with Thomas Stoneham-Judge from ForReel to talk about the upcoming festival, and once again, I had a lovely time. Watch the video after the jump to see what we’re each looking forward to.

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Heads up: Hot Docs 2022 Starts Today!

Hot Docs 2022

Good news, everyone! Hot Docs, the preeminent documentary film festival in Canada, started today and runs through Sunday, May 8th. Better yet, we will be covering it for the first time this year!

There are a ton of excellent selections this year, and you can see the whole lineup on the Hot Docs Festival website. You can follow our coverage here on the site with the HotDocs22 tag!

2022 Hot Docs

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Podcast: The Batman & The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Batman & Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Salutations applications, and welcome to a new episode of The Awesome Friday Podcast. We’re back after a two-week hiatus and talking about two of the year’s most anticipated movies. First up, freshly t streaming services and premium rental, Matt Reeves’s noir-inspired take on the caped crusader, The Batman. Following that, the newly released to cinemas film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, in which Nicolas Cage plays the role he was born to play: Nicolas Cage.

There are JustWatch powered streaming links to each film here on this page, and the episode is live wherever you listen to podcasts. Join us!

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Review: L’Inhumain explores inner turmoil using a mythic monster

L'inhumain

One of, if not the, best-known monsters in indigenous folklore are the Wendigo. Once men, their souls corrupted after turning to cannibalism, they stalk people who enter their territory and devour them, their hunger insatiable. This is the creature that Matthieu (Samuel ‘Samian’ Tremblay) faces in L’inhumain, but whether it’s the monster is up for debate.

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Home Video: Eleven Great Films to Watch for National Canadian Film Day and Where to Buy, Rent, or Stream Them

National Canadian Film Day

Today is National Canadian Film Day! Events are happening all around Canada to celebrate Canadian film, including free screenings, a tribute to the late Jean-Marc Vallée, and more! Check out the NCFD Homepage for event listing, and watch Jean-Marc Vallée’s 2005 masterwork C.R.A.Z.Y., either online or in a screening near you.

In celebration of the day, and if you can’t make it to a screening, here are eleven great Canadian films from the last few years and where you can buy, rent, or stream them.

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Interview: Reel Canada Executive Director Jack Blum on National Canadian Film Day

Jack Blum National Canadian Film Day

The third Wednesday of every year is National Canadian Film Day, a nationwide event that celebrates the best in Canadian cinema. This year is no different, and tomorrow’s event promises to be one of the best yet, with screening events in every province and territory and around the world. This morning I sat down with Jack Blum, executive director of Reel Canada (the organisation that puts National Canadian Film Day on), to speak about this year’s event, the tribute to the late Jean-Mac Vallée, and the focus on indigenous filmmaking.

To learn more about National Canadian Film Day and find a screening event near you, head to their website, CanFilmDay.ca (or their Twitter, @CanFilmDay).

There is an embedded player for this episode after the jump, and it is now live wherever you listen to podcasts. Join us!

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CFF Interview: Actor, Writer, and Producer Jonas Chernick on his film Ashgrove

Jonas Chernick

Greetings programs! Welcome to another Awesome Friday interview! Joining me this time is Jonas Chernick, who produced, co-wrote, and stars in the film Ashgrove. Ashgrove is the story of a scientist played by Amanda Brugel, who may be the key to solving a worldwide pandemic and is forced to take a few days for herself and her family. Chernick plays her husband, and we sat down to talk about the film, what it’s like shooting a movie during a pandemic, and more.

There are streaming links for the movie on this page, and the episode is live wherever you listen to podcasts (including an embedded player also on this page). Join us!!

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