One of the highlights for me of a very busy and emotionally demanding September was spending time at the Toronto International Film Festival and at Fantastic Fest with Scott Weinberg, Cinematical editor and FEARNet film critic. Festivals are great because you end up seeing the same faces, people you don’t see the rest of the year.
Sundance, SXSW, Comic-Con, Toronto, Fantastic Fest… it’s a circuit that takes me to Austin twice a year, to one of the biggest pop culture press events on the planet, and to two of the most important festivals that happen internationally, and it helps keep me connected to what’s going on during the year in film. It’s also just plain nice to see those faces and have those conversations and spend that time with film-loving friends.
This year, Weinberg joined me for all of the Midnight Madness programming at the Ryerson Theater, and it was a blast. Colin Geddes put together a really impressive series, and each night was a totally different energy depending on which film was playing. For me, the evening that I anticipated the most was the premiere of John Carpenter’s new film, “The Ward.” Since I first worked with John in 2005, I’ve been hoping to see him working on the bigscreen again, and it was a thrill to be in that audience, to be one of the first to see the film.
The night before, as Weinberg and I were writing reviews, we were talking about that anticipation, that weight that comes from having a career like his, and we realized that we should get that anticipation down on tape. I set up the mic quickly, and what resulted is a loose, informal, hour-long trip through Carpenter’s full career, from “Dark Star” to “Ghosts Of Mars.” We rank each of this theatrical features, each of us picking our favorite films along the way.
What amazed me is how Weinberg and I can both love Carpenter’s work, but disagree so strongly on some of his films. There are movies I don’t like at all that Scott really likes, and vice versa. I’m still trying to understand why someone who so obviously understands the things that makes Carpenter’s work special and great would be so down on “Prince Of Darkness,” but that’s exactly why we had this conversation. Keep in mind, we’re about four days into the festival here, working on about three hours sleep a night, and Weinberg was floored up the first few days. We recorded this at 2:00 in the morning, and we’re sitting in a hotel room and on a balcony 14 floors up.
This isn’t this week’s podcast… it’s a bonus. I’m going to have on special guest Devin Faraci, one of the badasses behind the brand-new Badass Digest, and I’m also going to have a very special interview with “Four Lions” director Chris Morris. That podcast will be going up on Wednesday, and it will be the regular format, with this week’s DVD titles covered as well as a look at the new releases on Friday.
For now, you can either subscribe to the RSS feed for the podcast, which we’ve submitted to iTunes, so hopefully it’ll be there in the next few, or you can listen to it via the player below, or download it from the embedded link.
“The Ward” is still looking for a distributor, but as soon as there’s news about that, we’ll make sure to share it with you, right here at HitFix. In the meantime, Happy Halloween.