With his new film Drifting Snow arriving on VOD today, filmmaker Ryan Noth (No Heart Feelings, The National Parks Project, Farm Crime) is in the mood for another road-trip picture: Kelly Reichardt’s 2006 breakout Old Joy, a melancholy drama starring Daniel London and Will Oldham as old friends trying to reconnect with a drive to a hot spring. Your genial host Norm Wilner is more than happy to go along for the ride.
On this special Friday bonus episode, writer-director Scott Abramovitch — whose first feature Eat Wheaties! just arrived on VOD platforms everywhere — tackles The Apartment, Billy Wilder and Itzek Diamond’s Oscar-winning 1960 masterwork where Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray play out a timeless parable about the price of upward mobility. Your genial host Norm Wilner is really happy with this one, insight-wise.
Actor and screenwriter Mary Holland (Veep, Homecoming, Happiest Season and the new-to-VOD comedy Golden Arm) steps up for the brave young women of the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant in Michael Patrick Jann’s beloved 1999 mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous. Your genial host Norm Wilner totally forgot Amy Adams was in this.
Now that Violation has arrived on Shudder Canada, filmmaker Dusty Mancinelli (who wrote and directed the film with star Madeleine Sims-Fewer) is here to talk about Back to the Future II, the 1989 sequel in which Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale and company literally revisit their 1985 blockbuster to the delight of audiences everywhere. Your genial host Norm Wilner is good to go.
The multifaceted Brea Grant — who wrote and stars in Lucky, wrote and directed 12 Hour Shift and co-stars in The Stylist — is here to celebrate the anarchic glories of Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the 1990 sequel where Joe Dante deconstructed his 1984 blockbuster with a sledgehammer. Your genial host Norm Wilner has been quoting the Brain Gremlin for thirty years now. (This is not a euphemism.)
His first feature Honeydew arrives on VOD today, so it’s the perfect time for writer-director Devereux Milburn to break down the revelation that was Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love — the knockout 2002 romance that changed the way the world saw Adam Sandler. Your genial host Norm Wilner has some fairly profound feelings of his own about this one.
Writer, director and producer Saman Kesh — whose new project Doors just landed on VOD platforms everywhere — is here to explain how the fever dream of melancholy that is Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express changed the way he saw cinema. Your genial host Norm Wilner just hopes all those empty pineapple cans were properly recycled.
Writer-director Emma Seligman — whose first feature Shiva Baby is now available to rent on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox and goes into wider VOD release across North America on Friday — tackles another directorial debut: Edward Norton’s Keeping the Faith, in which Norton and Ben Stiller play a priest and a rabbi whose lifelong friendship is rocked by the reappearance of a childhood friend (Jenna Elfman). Your genial host Norm Wilner knew those nine years of Hebrew school would come in handy eventually.
With her semiautobiographical web series The Communist’s Daughter newly streaming on CBC Gem, writer-director Leah Cameron is here to celebrate Don McKellar’s Last Night, the delicate 1998 drama about a handful of Torontonians — played by Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg, Tracy Wright and many more — facing the end of the world. Your genial host Norm Wilner is just happy we made it to the other side.
It’s our anniversary week! Have a bonus episode! Here’s writer/director BenDavid Grabinski, whose terrific first feature Happily drops on VOD today, to discuss the indie miracle that is Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, which pairs Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith for a screwball comedy that proves more than worthy of its title. Your genial host Norm Wilner thinks you should see Happily, by the way.