Yearly Archives: 2015

Ennis Esmer on Three Amigos!

It’s the last episode of 2015, and Ennis Esmer finds a sliver of time between episodes of Blindspot and Red Oaks to salute Three Amigos, John Landis’ affectionate 1986 tribute to silent movies, the premise of Seven Samurai and the chemistry of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. Your genial host Norm Wilner just tries not to shoot the Invisible Swordsman.

A Very Kristian Bruun Christmas

Our first Christmas episode brings Kristian Bruun — who co-stars in the Murdoch Mysteries holiday special airing on CBC December 21st — back into the basement to discuss his favorite holiday movies and explore his own relationship with the season. Your genial host Norm Wilner supplies the fruitcake.

Nick Mancuso on 8½

Actor, producer, voice of Billy in Black Christmas — Nick Mancuso has done it all, and now he brings one of his greatest artistic inspirations, Federico Fellini’s 8½, into the basement for an aria on cinema, Italy and the craft of acting. Your genial host Norm Wilner is the audience.

Lauren Collins on Obvious Child

Lauren Collins, a Degrassi veteran who spins her TV stardom for comedy in the short film Zero Recognition, brings Gillian Robespierre’s 2014 indie Obvious Child into the basement for a conversation about rom-coms, social mores, smart character writing and the magic that is Jenny Slate. Your genial host Norm Wilner is on the same page. #StandWithPP

Nelson George on Sparkle

Nelson George — whose latest documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, is now available for pre-order on iTunes — brings the original version of Sparkle into the basement to explore the curious cultural moment that produced a blaxploitation melodrama about Diana Ross and the Supremes. Your genial host Norm Wilner is in it for the Aretha stories.

Michael McNamara on Dont Look Back

Producer and director Michael McNamara — whose new film The Trick with the Gun has its theatrical premiere in Toronto this Thursday (November 19) before going live on Vimeo on Demand this Friday (November 20) — brings D.A. Pennebaker’s Dont Look Back into the basement because it’s the movie that changed his life. Your genial host Norm Wilner spends the entire episode trying not to put the apostrophe back into the title.

Milcho Manchevski on Amadeus

It’s our second straight Best Picture winner, as Milcho Manchevski — director of the terrific Macedonian drama Before the Rain, and subject of the new archival collection Monograph — brings the artistry and joy of Milos Forman’s extravagant 1984 drama Amadeus into the basement. Your genial host Norm Wilner is most pleased.

Natalie Merchant on All About Eve

Singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant, whose new documentary Paradise Is There: A Memoir is playing in theatres and available this Friday in the deluxe edition of The New Tigerlily Recordings, comes to the basement to discuss (and perform selected dialogue from) Joseph L. Mankiewicz’ 1950 classic All About Eve. Your genial host Norm Wilner is her delighted audience.

Steven Hoban on The Cabin in the Woods

It’s Halloween, so veteran producer (Ginger SnapsSplice) and newly-minted director (A Christmas Horror Story) Steven Hoban descends into the basement with Drew Goddard’s delightful monster mash-up The Cabin in the Woods for a conversation about smart storytelling, sympathizing with the right characters, and how to hide a thoughtful deconstruction of genre inside a workplace comedy. Your genial host Norm Wilner spent the entire time trying to solve this weird puzzle box.

Gabriel Carrer on Point Break

Fresh from screening his new film The Demolisher at the Toronto After Dark Fillm Festival, writer-director Gabriel Carrer champions Kathryn Bigelow’s adrenaline-junkie actioner Point Break, now almost a quarter-century old and still somehow the only movie where someone throws a dog at Keanu Reeves during a foot chase. Your genial host Norm Wilner hangs on for dear life.