Sunday, November 13, 2005

Beyond Twitch City

Movie night last night and what a great choice we made, if I do say so myself. I was getting mighty tired of the formulaic dreck we've been seeing lately (*cough* Amityville Horror *cough*), so managed to grab one that we've been wanting to see for a while.
Childstar tells the story of a film being shot in Toronto that is the vehicle for an increasingly troublesome 12-year old megastar, who disappears shortly after his arrival in the company of a model/actress/sometime prostitute.
The wunderkind of Canadian cinema, Don McKellar, wrote, directed and stars in this film. He plays the part of an experimental film-maker who takes the job as driver for this childstar and his mother. I've been somewhat of a fan of Don McKellar since the days of Twitch City, the quirky and surprisingly compelling tv series about a recluse who spends his days and nights watching television in his apartment.
With Childstar, McKellar cements his claim as one of Canada's more interesting film-makers. He is like Atom Egoyan, but with a sense of humour. Because Childstar is very funny. It's a subtle humour, but we're all grown-ups, right? We don't need laugh tracks to tell us when something is funny.
Perhaps one of the most brilliant moves was casting Alan Thicke (Alan Thicke!) as the dad in the sitcom for which this kid is famous. Thicke is amazing as he channels William Shatner in this role. I don't know what it is about bad Canadian actors being so good at parodying themselves, but I applaud it and personally will never tire of it.
Another pleasant surprise was the subltety which Jennifer Jason Lee brings to the role of the manipulative, opportunistic, but oddly detached Hollywood mother. She could so easily have chewed up the scenery in this role, but she plays it very low-key, to great effect.
And Sloan even makes a cameo appearance! They were hilarious, even if Chris Murphy didn't do any scissor kicks.
Canada's film industry is miniscule compared to the bohemoths of Hollywood and Bollywood. We'll never compete when it comes to blockbusters or extravagansas, and I don't think that's where our strengths will ever lie. Let's stick with the little gems like Childstar that aren't being made anywhere else.


Neil said...

Quite a far cry from Southpark by the sounds of things Barbara... you have quite a range of interests!

I hope you had a nice weekend!

Kellee said...

Barb has the most kickass ecclectic taste - I am sure there are more surprises on the way! ;)
Barbarella-we made the trip back and forth yestderday and it was exhausting!!! BUT - at least things seem to simmering down a bit (knock on wood). One great thing was I listened to my CD's that you and Jen C. made me - and even got my husband into some of my life, wonders never cease...ha! Hi to the fam - tell Eva she had better be slaving away at making me a Canadian Hipster-type CD - I am loving hearing new, talented Canadian music and I haven't been exposed to her taste yet. She better be nice about it or I will never buy her soap there. ;) SERIOUSLY- start thinking about a visit down in a few months..we'll all have a a blast. If your hubby likes golf, then we are free to lose 'em and go play. We still hope to come see a hockey game, but you'll have to keep us informed on your schedule for that. Damn, I am a blog-hog...write soon!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Neil, I am interested in all things shallow and fun.

Kellee, soooo glad you made the trip unscathed. Hope everything will be calm and boring for you for a while. (I mean that in the best possible way) I'll get that lazy daughter working on cds.

Stephanie said...

Scissor kicks make the world go round!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

haha so true, Stephanie, and Chris Murphy is the scissor-kick king. They're as dependable as death and taxes.

Anonymous said...

kellee calling Barbara "Barbarella" - spitting up my NyQuil, that's so damn sweetly funny!

Canadian actors are the best. Even Keanu Reeves. The ability to self-parody, and accept parody, is a wonderful trait. I want to go watch movies with you someday.

Is Canadian popcorn drizzled with Labatts or something?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Michelle I agree that Keanu Reeves is the height of bad Canadian acting, but I'm not so sure that's really a parody. (I think you have to be aware of something in order to parody it - I don't think Keanu has that ability).

Barbara Bruederlin said...

And Michelle, I would love to go movie watching with you someday! We'd likely get kicked out of the theatre for snarky comment making, though!
Cdn popcorn drizzled with Labatts... hehe

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