things i like:
rock'n'roll, country, punk & metal.
bands that combine all four successfully.
design, graphic & interior.
the intersection of philosophy & sociology.
andrew wk.
emergent gameplay, of the videogaming variety.
deep fried everything.
making lists
, including this one of my life's ambitions, and these of things on my mind at the time.

feedback: @angelidotca or ask me anything you'd like here.

i took a trip! read about it here.

evidence of my lame yuppie side on my (gasp!) house blog here.

Reunited and it feels so good.

Reunited and it feels so good.

Sunday evening coming down.

Fantasia Film Festival 2014 Review Roundup: Part 4… The End.

The festival has been over for almost a week now. Final tally? Of the 44 films that interested me, I managed to see 26, or a little more than a film per day, almost identical to my total for 2013, but nowhere near my festival record of 43 films in 2012 (seriously though, how the fuck did I manage that?). Still two reviews to go, so let’s make ‘em short and sweet:

Space Station 76 High on aesthetics, this comedy puts pretty people on a pretty space station, and lets the story unfold from there. Come for the 1970s retrofuturistic stylings, but stay for the story of sublimated desire, and marvel at the world we were once promised.

Zombeavers If the title doesn’t tell give you an idea of exactly what this film is, you clearly have not seen enough Fantasia films. Kudos to the filmmakers for the hilariously awkward non-CGI creatures, and to the actors for hamming it up through this silly but well executed flick.

All in all, this was an amazing year, and almost everything I saw was a slam dunk. If I had to pick my standouts, I’d choose Cybernatural (best of the fest, by far), BoyhoodThe Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (with the similar In Order of Disappearance coming in a close second), Wetlands (which managed to be this year’s Klown, sort of), and The Creeping Garden. In the “please let there be a sequel or 3 category”, I choose Cybernatural and Let Us Prey, and I Am A Knife With Legs gets a nod in the “WTF?!? how is this so good?” category.

If you want to relive the best of the 2014 Fantasia Film Festival, tune in to CJLO 1690AM tonight from 6pm ET, for a three hour recap of the most memorable films and festival moments. Join Satyyy from Shibuya Crossing and me, Angelica from BVST, as well as special guests, as we run down our festival favorites! Tonight, only on CJLO 1690AM in Montreal, CJLO.com around the world, from 6 to 9pm ET!

Missed my other reviews? Click through for Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

Angelica of BVST on the spinal tap at Heavy Night @cjlo1690am #metalmusic #idratherbelisteningtoCJLO (at McLean’s Pub)

If you missed last night, y’all should come out next month. Watch this space…


Angelica of BVST on the spinal tap at Heavy Night @cjlo1690am #metalmusic #idratherbelisteningtoCJLO (at McLean’s Pub)

If you missed last night, y’all should come out next month. Watch this space…

Fantasia Film Festival 2014 Review Roundup: Part 3

What with the extra day that’s been added, there are three days left to this year’s festival, but still a few films on the docket. Most everything I’ve seen this year has been very, very good, and more than a few have been excellent, but like everyone else, I’m looking forward to a home cooked meal and a proper night’s rest…

Guardians of the Galaxy Bigger nerds than me have weighed in more eloquently on this record breaking blockbuster since it went wide last weekend, but all I can say is that I was happy to watch it a few days early with an enthusiastic Fantasia crowd. I enjoyed the adventures of this merry band of misfits, but I especially loved Groot, and really, couldn’t Chris Pratt’s abs have gotten just a leeetle more screen time? All that work for so few seconds…

Ju-On: The Beginning of the End There is nothing remarkably different or new about this film, so if you know J-horror, you know the basic tropes: creepy kids, people with hair hanging in front of their faces walking or crawling with stilted movements, and jump scares… so many jump scares. This was just alright, but I took a little nap in the middle so maybe I’m no longer qualified to say. 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre I had never seen this classic, but I now know why it’s so highly regarded. Compared to today’s relentless slashers, there is something charming about the low kill count and relatively swift deaths, but it’s the film’s construction that makes it such a special entry into the genre. The beautifully composed shots, creepy set pieces, and skillful build up of tension kept me riveted, and it was interesting to see that, 40 years on, this film still has an incredible visceral thrill.

DJ XL5’s Helluva Zappin’ Party Another excellent DJ XL5 romp, which collects short films into a high energy program intercut with old ads, snippets of weird films and tv shows and other filmic oddities, my favorite short of the night was, without a doubt, Supervenus, which I’ve already mentioned here, and I greatly enjoyed the La bûche de noël (a clip of which you can watch here), part of the Panique au village claymation series, despite it dragging a bit at times. 

Dys- The first feature from my friend Maude Michaud, this is a very dark, and deeply disturbing film that weaves many controversial elements into claustrophobic tale of dysphoria and dysfunction. I interpreted this film as a deeply feminist parable about government and religious control over women’s bodies, but it works equally well as a brutally shocking tale of what can go wrong within closed doors when the shit hits the fan. 

Bros Before Hos The team behind New Kids Turbo and New Kids Nitro are back, and no surprises here, this film makes The Hangover look like a genteel Jane Austen adaptation. Between the gross out moments and unrelenting misogyny and homophobia, there are some oddly endearing underlying messages about the rights of the physically and intellectually disabled and the perserverance of true love. These films can be enjoyed, but proceed with caution.

From Vegas To Macau Saved mostly by the dapper and charming Chow Yun-fat (channeling a Kyle McLachlan vibe here, somehow), this is a messy, confusing film with a lot of competing elements. Don’t go in expecting an Ocean’s Eleven style heist film, like I did, or you’ll be disappointed, but there are some laughs, some nifty fighting scenes, and plenty of WTF? moments to keep you entertained. 

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared Another delightful Scandinavian surprise, similar in some ways to In Order of Disappearance (previously reviewed here), but with a far more lighthearted comedic touch, I loved this film’s arch take on political history, and the glorious amorality of the titular character. There are lots of laughs to be had, and you will likely be charmed by the quirky cast of characters.

Housebound Here’s a quick lesson in film marketing: if your film is a clever, funny, scary and violent, and your original trailer is just someone brushing their teeth for two minutes, you’re doing it wrong. I hope people didn’t miss out on this film because of it, because then they were cheated out of a really enjoyable twist on a haunted house tale, which shines especially bright because of a full cast’s worth of excellent performances. Catch this one if you can, and maybe flip on the subtitles, because parsing the Kiwi accent might make you bust a gut

Metalhead Abounding in Nordic sparseness, this is a deeply understated film about mourning and identity, all set to a soundtrack of classic metal. I feel like I should end this review here, to do this film’s restraint justice, but I will add that I think metal fans will identify with the issues of alienation and community that this film portrays so eloquently and so minimally.

Wetlands It might be a bit of a gross mess, but I still loved this movie so so much. Definitely not for the prudish or faint of heart, there’s nonetheless a level of earnestness to the utterly stomach turning events of this film that rescues it from the typically gross out fare. High levels of erotic awkwardness abound (so if you’re susceptible fremdscham, you may want to tread carefully), but Carla Juri as Helen is impossibly charming and carries the film with charm and aplomb. A quick shout out here also to Rat Pack Rat, from the team behind The Catechism Cataclysm (which I previously reviewed here), which echoes the discomfort and off the wall humor of the 2011 Fantasia favorite! 

Missed my other reviews? Click through for Part 1 and Part 2

One of my favorites from last night’s DJ XL5 presentation, Helluva Zappin’ Party, this is a teaser for Supervenus. To watch a longer extended cut, click here. The full film gets a little gruesome in just the right Fantasia Festival way, and I hope it will be available online it its entirety someday!

Fantasia Film Festival 2014 Review Roundup: Part 2

The festival is just past its halfway mark, and my batting average for films is sadly quite low, although everything I’ve seen thus far has been very good. I’m averaging just over a film a day, but now that things have settled down, I’m going to try to make up for that in the (just under) half of the festival that is left!

In Order of Disappearance (a.k.a. Kraftidioten) Blending Scandinavian bleakness with bloodied black comedy, this is an excellent story of haplessness and thuggery. Stellan Skarsgård amuses as a man on a mission, and Pål Sverre Hagen is magnificent as the Count, the spidery, foppish archvillain. I particularly loved the visual motif of white powder (snow, flour, cocaine) blowing about, a constant reminder of the shifting and insubstantial foundation for all the film’s deaths, as well as the biting social critique of Norwegian culture and politics.

Small Gauge Trauma I caught the majority, but not all, of the program this year, and as always, it was a challenging and captivating experience. Particularly wrenching, though incredibly beautiful and well made, was Canis, a Spanish stop motion animation of unrelenting heartbreak. I also loved Baskin, a snapshot of Turkish terror that explores a Satanic house of horrors, and, excitingly, is in the process of being turned into a feature.

I Am A Knife With Legs Proving that technical excellence can easily take a backseat to clever writing and well spun story, this DIY gem is a clear indicator that outsider art is alive and well. With a ridiculous storyline, funny musical numbers, artful animations and clever jokes, this film’s flashes of brilliance turn into a strobe light that leaves the audience stunned and confused, but utterly delighted.

Let Us Prey I absolutely loved this film, despite its imperfections. Burning slowly for its first half and then maniacally shredding itself to pieces in the second, there are a few lines of cheesy dialogue and some over the top characterizations, but none of that matters thanks to a compelling storyline and excellent performances, particularly by Liam Cunningham as the enigmatic prisoner in cell six. There’s also a setup for a sequel here, which has the potential to be absolutely amazing.

Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead Picking up where the original Dead Snow left off, this sequel delivers more of the same. Laughs, gore, pacing problems, and of course, Nazi zombies, it’s all back in part two. The American characters are somewhat superfluous, although Martin Starr is a welcome addition to any film, but overall this film is a bit tighter than the first, and a solid, if silly, addition to the zombie film canon.

The Creeping Garden It’s difficult to describe how excellent this film is, but stoners will likely let out a collective “whoa” if they get a hold of this incredibly unique, bizzarely specific film. The chemically unenhanced will be enchanted as well, as they step through the looking glass into a world populated by creeping, pulsating, slimy looking growths, and the artists, scientists and musicians obessed with their potential. Don’t let “this is a documentary about slime mold” deter you; yes, it’s definitely that, but it’s so much more.

BTW, The Creeping Garden screens again this afternoon at 3pm in the De Sève theatre, and is absolutely worth cutting out of work early for. Trust me.

A screening has also been added for Cybernatural, which I reviewed in my first review round up, and which is absolutely not to be missed. Do yourself a favor, and get a ticket to the 9:45pm screening tomorrow night, also in De Sève.

Zany, unhinged, groundbreaking and genre bending… these all describe CJLO 1690 AM, the Fantasia Film Festival and I Am a Knife with Legs. Blend these three together, and it’s gonna be a party you won’t soon forget. 

CJLO is proud to present the world premiere of I Am a Knife with Legs, part of the brand new “Fantasia Underground” programming section at the 2014 Fantasia Film Festival! Spotlighting “outrageous indie outsider visions created in the counter-cultural spirit”, this section is a perfect fit for CJLO, Montreal’s underground radio station. I Am a Knife with Legs pushes the boundaries with its absurdist humour, musical numbers, offbeat animation, and a microbudget of $12,000! The CJLO-sponsored screening happens Friday, July 25th at 7pm in the DB Clarke Theatre!

After the film, come to the downstairs bar at Kafein (1429 Bishop) to celebrate 10 years of partnership between the Fantasia Film Festival and CJLO 1690AM, with drinks, snack and CJLO DJs doing what they do best! The party starts at 8:30pm, bring your friends!

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/885731088107278

Fantasia Film Festival 2014 Review Roundup: Part 1

We’re five days in and the festival is already hitting me hard… I’m looking forward to week two, when I can maybe just relax and watch movies until my eyes shrivel up like raisins. Let’s get to the films I’ve seen so far, shall we?

Jacky au royaume des filles This wacky French flick imagines a world in which horses are worshiped, everyone eats gruel from a faucet, and men wear a modified niquab and are subservient to their domineering, masculine wives. While ultimately inconclusive and without a clear message (strange, given its premise), this film is good fun and thought provoking in its own way. 

Kite Despite some pacing problems and mushmouthed, garbled acting by supporting characters, I quite enjoyed Kite for its elegant violence and occasional flashes of photographic brilliance. While the story, adapted from a Japanese anime, is somewhat predictable, this is an acceptable popcorn film and I was not disappointed.

Faults This film is a lovely surprise, a slow burning character study that pits the flawless Mary Elizabeth Winstead against the equally excellent Leland Orser in a story about cults and mind control. Gripping and claustrophobic, this out of the ordinary film deserves to be seen.

Boyhood Director Richard Linklater does not disappoint with this hotly anticipated epic. A coming of age tale unlike any other, this film manages to eclipse the cleverness of its premise (the film was shot over 12 years, and follows the main character from age 6 to 18) and become a meditation on the thread that draws life together. Darkly comedic, with Linklater’s signature laconic style, this film manages to hold a mirror up to the viewer’s own life, suscitating tears and laughter alike. Also, it seems everyone missed the glorious Dazed & Confused Easter egg: the convenience store clerk from D&C (David Blackwell) makes a return appearance in Boyhood as… a convenience store clerk!

Life After Beth While there’s something off about this film, with its strange construction and odd pacing, this ultimately works for it, and keeps it from being yet another zombie film. Aubrey Plaza… well, is Aubrey Plaza all over the eponymous Beth (although her performance once fully “transformed” was delightful), but it was Matthew Gray Gubler’s supporting performance as a a scrawny overcompensating wannabe Rambo that amused me the most. 

Suburban Gothic Where his previous film Excision was stylized and elegant, Richard Bates Jr.’s follow feature, Suburban Gothic, is looser, weirder and a lot more silly. Designed to mimic children’s soft horror (Are You Afraid of the Dark?) but for adults, this film will find its audience, but it just didn’t work aesthetically for me.

Cybernatural One of the best so far, this film manages to bring both a fresh perspective and a timely topic to a somewhat tired genre, singlehandedly revitalizing the found footage film in an incredibly clever, dynamic way. Shot from a single, unwavering perspective (that of one person’s computer screen), this film manages to be utterly suspenseful and terrifying. Tackling cyberbullying in a pointed, but not moralistic way, this is a film that’s totally for our time, and it deserves a huge audience, and maybe even a few sequels, Paranormal Activity-style. If you love this genre, I cannot recommend this film enough, and I only hope more people will get the chance to see it.

Oh hai there.

Oh hai there.

things that are on my mind:

the absolute worst thing you can do to a middle aged white guy is ignore him.

do people in the american south have more trouble counting syllables? this is an honest question.

remember this? daniel alfonso is back, this time slowly petting trimming roy oraschin’s beard. pour yourself a drink, light a few candles, then click here and treat yourself.

i have a problem with c___ine.

if you think i mean cocaine, you’d be terribly wrong. the truth is worse, and wildly socially acceptable. keep guessing.

the fantasia film festival starts tomorrow. this year i’m aiming for 44 films in 21 days, which is doable, but unlikely. normally i post a list of all the films i want to see, but in lieu of that, how about a list of those i absolutely don’t want to miss? boyhood, dead snow: red vs. dead (the sequel to the 2009 norwegian favorite about zombie nazis, this time inexplicably featuring martin starr?), metalhead, and yeah, i’ll admit it, guardians of the galaxy… but only because it seems to make intensive and gratuitous use of chris pratt’s abs.

Lie or Liar are back with another video (you can watch it here), and while this one isn’t nearly as notorious as the first, I figured the ladies (and probably a few of the men) would appreciate another animated Scott Prisk gif… 

Lie or Liar are back with another video (you can watch it here), and while this one isn’t nearly as notorious as the first, I figured the ladies (and probably a few of the men) would appreciate another animated Scott Prisk gif… 

TONIGHT! My set starts at 7:30, and DJ XL5’s SPANDEX ZAPPIN’ PARTY officially kicks off around 9:30, so come grab a beer and bite at the lovely Terrasse St-Ambroise and get wild, wild, wild with me! Whether you’re down to mock it, or rock it, you’re not gonna wanna miss it!
Pictured above, a selection of my outfits for this evening. Which do you prefer?

TONIGHT! My set starts at 7:30, and DJ XL5’s SPANDEX ZAPPIN’ PARTY officially kicks off around 9:30, so come grab a beer and bite at the lovely Terrasse St-Ambroise and get wild, wild, wild with me! Whether you’re down to mock it, or rock it, you’re not gonna wanna miss it!

Pictured above, a selection of my outfits for this evening. Which do you prefer?

Hey, guess what I’ll be doing this Saturday? 

If you guessed DJing ALL THE HAIR METAL YOU CAN HANDLE all night at the Terrasse St-Ambroise (5080 Rue Saint-Ambroise), then you win an awesome screening of DJ XL5’s Spandex Zapping Party, which starts at 9:30pm, Saturday, July 12th! McAuslan and CJLO 1690AM are super proud to present this latest, hairiest DJ XL5 event, which collects film and video clips from the bitchin’est era ever, and you better be there!

What’s not to love? Delicious booze and food under the starry sky, yours truly spinning the sleaziest metal all night long, and an amazing collection of the glammiest, hammiest 80s era visual delights… Once again, the film starts at 9:30, but come early to hear me spin and buy me beers!