Friday Film Pick – Coffee and Cigarettes

I’ve been on a bit of a Jim Jarmusch kick as of late after finally seeingOnly Lovers Left Alive. A friend recently reminded me of Jarmusch’s excellentCoffee and Cigarettes, and it’s as fantastic to watch years later as the first time around, easily making it my Friday film pick for this week.

Iggy Pop & Tom Waits Having Coffee

Shot in black and white, the film is a series of vignettes of people drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and talking, woven together in such a way only Jarmusch is capable of.

Tom Waits in Coffee and Cigarettes
Friday Film Pick - Coffee and Cigarettes

‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ features an eclectic cast with the likes of Tom Waits, Steve Coogan, Cate Blanchett, and Steve Buscemi popping up in these visual striking, often comic and surreal conversational segments.

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Friday Film Pick – Byzantium

Byzantium Film Poster

Confession time – I love vampires.

Well not literally, BUT vampire mythology, literature and film.

Sorry though Twi-hards, as much as I love sparkles, I don’t like Twilight. I even read the series. And those are many long hours of my life I’ll never get back. Thanks Stephenie Meyer.

Eleanor Trapped in the Lift

Anyway! Byzantium however is a totally different beast than sparkle-town.

Directed by Neil Jordan (also the director of 1994’s film adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interveiw With a Vampire), Byzantium tells the story of a vampire mother – Clara (played by Gemma Arterton) and daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan).

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Friday Film Pick – Quadrophenia

Looking for some essential films to watch this May long weekend? Might I suggest to you The Who’s 1979 film Quadrophenia directed by Franc Roddam.

Quadrophenia Blu-ray Cover

Quadrophenia is easily one of my favourite films. I’ve owned it on VHS, DVD and most recently the excellent Criterion version on Blu-ray. My fascination with Mods and Brighton really began with this film when I first viewed it as a teenager, and continues to this day.

Mods riding to Brighton

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Friday Film Pick – Spirited Away


Winner of the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away is Studio Ghibli’s best-known and most critically acclaimed work, and a modern classic of the animated film. After they move to a small suburban town, ten-year-old Chihiro and her parents discover what seems to be an abandoned amusement park which mysteriously contains a restaurant with plenty of food, but no customers. When her parents are turned into pigs after sampling the restaurant’s cuisine, Chihiro discovers that the park is a haven for hundreds of spirits and monsters ruled over by the bobble-headed witch Yubaba. In order to save her parents, Chihiro is forced to work all manner of odd jobs in the spirit world, where she finds herself in the midst of a feud between Yubaba and her gentle twin sister. Featuring some of Miyazaki’s most dazzlingly imaginative creations — most notably the alarmingly immense masked spirit called “No Face” — Spirited Away is a visual wonder and a uniquely philosophical take on the standard coming-of-age story. “One of the year’s best films” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times).

Chihiro Drowning Scene in Spirited Away

When I was a child, I nearly drowned (several times in fact). The first time this happened my curiosity and incomprehension of perspective got the better of me.

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Friday Film Pick – The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz Film Poster

“This film should be played loud!”

The Last Waltz in my household is a Thanksgiving tradition. Though the actual performance took place during the American Thanksgiving in November, we still watch it every year on the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend.

The Band

If you like music, and you like docs AND you’re a Scorsese fan, well then you’re in for a treat. Directed by Martin Scorsese The Last Waltz documents the Band’s final concert at the Winterland in San Francisco, after 16 years on the road together.

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Friday Film Pick – Good Ol’ Freda

Good Ol Freda Poster

The Beatles were together for 10 years – Freda, she was there before they made it and after they finished.” – Billy Kinsley, The Merseybeats.

One of my favourite films from this years Hot Docs 2013Good Ol’ Freda is back for a second round starting this weekend at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema here in Toronto.

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