Strength in Numbers!

This morning, MMC! awoke to discover big news on the film-nerd front with the announcement of The 25th Frame podcast/media network! Founded by MMC! friends Aaron West, Cole Roulain, Ericca Long, and Matthew Gasteier, the network is a tribute to cinema fandom.

We are a collective group of cinephiles and pop culture aficionados with like minded interests. The 25th Frame is not just a podcast/media network, but also a state of mind.

We are ultimately a group that helps each other deliver content that we feel is interesting, informative, culturally relevant, and elevates inclusive cinema discussions.

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My Top 20 Film Discoveries of 2018!

For list-nerds like me, the end of the year is a special time with everyone one and their dog posting their best and worst movie lists for debate and celebration. (For what it’s worth, you can find my still-evolving list of Top 50 favourites for 2018 on Letterboxd and our dogs’ most hated film of the year was Wim Wenders’ Pina (2011).) I particularly love those year-end discovery lists and recommend the Pure Cinema Podcast‘s “Film Discoveries for 2018,” the loads of lists at Brian Saur’s blog Rupert Pupkin Speaks, and the “Ants in the Pants of 2018” episode hopefully soon to arrive at The Magic Lantern podcast. But before I get to MMC!‘s favourite discoveries of 2018, I want to take a moment…

This has been a great year at MMC! To be honest, this blog is really meant to satisfy my curatorial, scholarly, and fan-service itches and I really don’t pay much attention to traffic and the like, but it’s hard not to notice that traffic is up a whopping 40% over last year and that’s no doubt due to a lot of good people who’ve contributed to keeping MMC! a rewarding experience. Big thanks to Aaron West for having me on his Criterion Now podcast once again, this time with the great Tim Leggoe. With two visits under my belt, I’m just going to declare myself part of the CN family. Big thanks to all the film festivals who’ve let me participate in their great events – the Chattanooga Film Festival, Ithaca Fantastik, the Buried Alive Film Festival, the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival – and to filmmakers like Ryan Prows and Bo McGuire for being genuinely awesome people to meet and spend time with. Thanks once again to podcast-men Sam and Dan of the Arrow Video Podcast for their kind words. Lastly, big thanks to those out there who regularly support this little corner of film fandom – blogs like Noirish, Sci-Fi Jubilee, Voices From The Balcony, Movie Fan Man, Screen Zealots, The Telltale Mind, Cracked Rear Viewer, dbmoviesblog, 100 Films in a YearSilver ScreeningsWindows on Worlds, and our Finnish friend jnvahtola. (Plus shout-outs to floodmouse, Erin, and Simoneteffect!) Keep up the good work all of you and see you in 2019!

And now, here are my top 20 first time screenings for 2018 along with my Letterboxd reviews:

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Ants In Your Pants!

Our next proposal is taking forever. Maybe with a little effort I can get it posted before Christmas!

While we all wait, how about a quick shout-out to The Magic Lantern podcast! It’s the end of the year, so that means that the show’s hosts, Ericca Long and Cole Roulain, have recently put up their latest “Ants In Your Pants” episode where they share their respective top ten first time screenings for the year (plus some honourable mentions). Included on their list are various MMC! favourites like Ruggles of Red Gap (Leo McCarey, 1935), ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’ (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1945), The Lineup (Don Seigel, 1958), and The Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973). If you haven’t already discovered their wonderful podcast, go take a listen and maybe even buy one of their swell, glow-in-the-dark pins!

And because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (and because I’m incapable of restraint and of not making lists of my own), here are my top 20 first time screenings for 2017 along with my Letterboxd reviews.

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Four Extraordinary Heroes, One Regiment: Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman, Claude Rains and Herbert Marshall in World War I

PoppySource: Four Extraordinary Heroes, One Regiment: Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman, Claude Rains and Herbert Marshall in World War I

Here is a wonderful piece on four of everyone’s favourite leading men and their efforts in World War I as members of the London Scottish Regiment.  These accounts are all the more moving for the self-effacing honesty, the admissions of fear, and the heartfelt sadness expressed by these soldiers/actors.

Big thanks to sistercelluloid for this fascinating post.

Vrai Kaiser on Hayao Miyazaki

Source: Vrai Kaiser on Hayao Miyazaki

Such a wonderful quote on the Japanese master that we couldn’t help but share it.

It might make me a bit old and cantankerous to say so, but to me Miyazaki was the achievement of what anime could be. Not his love of planes or rolling green hills and environmental metaphors (for every auteur has themes to which they love returning), but for the sense of honest wonderment and scope. For characters who lived and breathed and whose actions felt real, and whose relationships were always honest. For worlds that were unique and enthralling even when he stepped into the works of others, and for female characters that were dynamic and varied and strong without having to be Strong Female Characters. The man gave me my favorite film, and a language to speak about animation with passion before I knew such a thing was possible. I will miss him dearly as a viewer As an artist, I’ll try to carry his dreams into the future.

Thanks Nitrateglow!

Despair has no wings, A Crystal Maze, Alphaville and Film Studies for Free

Yesterday at Film Studies for Free, Catherine Grant posted “STUDY OF A SINGLE FILM: On Godard’s ALPHAVILLE – Dystopia 50 years on!”  We love dystopias and Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (1965), and are only too pleased to nerd out on some French New Wave scholarship.  Enjoy Patricia Pisters’ Despair has no wings (2015) and Henrike Lindenberger’s A Crystal Maze (2014) embedded here and the other essays collected at the Film Studies for Free page.

Thanks Catherine!