The Quickening Theatre does a reading of Mister Baxter at Sound it Out, put on by Thesp at the Toronto Free Gallery, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite art spaces. It was great fun and beautifully done.
Birdman got it wrong: serious actors love playing superheroes
The torment of Michael Keaton’s washed-up thesp grossly exaggerates the gap between arthouse movies and Hollywood’s fantasy blockbusters
I blame Alec Guinness. The late Englishman is famously reputed to have labelled 1977’s Star Wars, which brought him elevated fame, fortune and an Oscar nomination, as “fairytale nonsense”. And so, right at the very beginning of Hollywood’s blockbuster era, the message to awards season voters was clear: the new wave of fantasy action epics were to be regarded as inferior, especially so as even those who starred in them thought they weren’t much cop.
The key character in Birdman, Riggan Thomson, might be seen as a latter day Guinness (though surely the Englishman never suffered so greatly). Former BatmanMichael Keaton plays a washed-up former A-lister fighting against almost constant psychological torment, desperate to prove himself as a “real” actor because his best-known role is that of the titular man-sized avian crime-fighter. His damaged daughter (played waifishly by Emma Stone) tries to persuade him that the Broadway play he is mounting is little more than a vanity project. But Riggan is so terrified at the prospect of finding himself returning to the role of Birdman (to the point that he hallucinates the character urging him back into what is admittedly a very silly suit) that he cannot see the truth.
Early 2015 release planned for new horror starring Portlandia’s Ernest Adams
MWB3 Problems has laid out the galactic kitty-litter for its upcoming horror-comedy Zombie Cats from Mars. Directed by Montetré (Holed Up) and written by Ryan Cloutier, the ‘catastrophe’ – which came together thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter – is due for release early this year.
Portlandia’s Ernest Adams stars alongside Jonah Kersey, Stephanie Leet, Bransen Sands Koehler, Julie Marie Howard, and Edward Kopf in fun horror romp that’s part Gremlins, part Critters. Since it’s a movie about cats, writer and producer Cloutier furnished the support roles with furrier thesps. Marci Koski, an animal behavior specialist and volunteer with Furry Friends, supplied animal talent for the film.
The story centers on Billy, an effeminate fan of vintage science fiction action thrillers. His only friend is Cameron, a nerdy film buff who tries to boost his confidence whenever he can. After seeing a UFO land, Billy retreats into his head, imagining that aliens are taking over the town. Cameron is skeptical, as is the rest of the town. Meanwhile, people are starting to die. First, the reclusive cat lady Percis is discovered mutilated by Lester, the church -‐going husband of Carolyn, Percis’s depressed caretaker. Random deaths soon follow, first a jogger, and then a janitor at the Carbonics Warehouse. A pair of news reporters shares this information with the public while the Detective and his Chief try to solve the killings. Meanwhile, the killings continue. Billy, wrapped up in a world of fiction, discovers a story in which Martian Cats land on Earth and inflict horror upon the town. Confident that the killings are the result of the UFO delivering alien cats, he sets off on his own superhero mission to save the town.