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.
It’s SEMcast’s sixth anniversary, and writer-director Anthony Scott Burns — whose eerie psychodrama Come True is now available on VOD — joins us to celebrate Michael Mann’s Manhunter, the 1986 cat-and-mouse thriller that first brought Thomas Harris’ characters to the screen. Your genial host Norm Wilner is always happy to talk about the magnificent pissiness of Brian Cox.
With his first feature Jump, Darling arriving on VOD today, writer-director Phil Connell is here to discuss the luxurious chaos of Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, and how much pleasure there is to be had in watching Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson invade Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts’ Italian paradise. Your genial host Norm Wilner was just happy to think about something other than winter for an hour.
Veteran writer/producer Ali LeRoi — whose body of work includes writing Down to Earth and Head of State, creating and producing the television series Everybody Hates Chris and Are We There Yet, and whose powerful first feature The Obituary of Tunde Johnson just dropped on VOD in North America — loves heist movies, and he especially loves Ben Affleck’s 2010 thriller The Town, accents and all. Your genial host Norm Wilner is really curious to see how these things all line up.
Writer-director Shatara Michelle Ford, whose powerful first feature Test Pattern is now streaming on the Kino Marquee virtual cinema platform, has loved Nora Ephron’s 1998 rom-com You’ve Got Mail since she was a tween, and is more than happy to talk about how Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make it awfully easy to excuse some very problematic material. Your genial host Norm Wilner is sorry he sounds like he’s stuck in a fishtank this week.