ACCLIMATIZATION


The Banff Centre asked me to write a blog entry for BanffCentre.org describing my experience as a member of the WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR‘s Acting Ensemble. Not knowing that I’m totally a professional blogger, I wowed them thoroughly. Enjoy:
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It’s now more than a week since I travelled to The Banff Centre and I’m still incapable of catching my breath. You could probably blame the 4,800 foot altitude in Banff (or perhaps my extended absence from the treadmill), but after two weeks of breathlessness, only one explanation remains: I think I’m in love…

It was a month ago when I received word that I had been selected to join the 2012 Women in the Director’s Chair Acting Ensemble. Talking to many of my peers in Halifax who, in the past, had participated in various programs at The Banff Centre, it didn’t take me long to get excited about my inclusion in the ensemble.

Since starting the workshop two Sundays ago (on the 15th), there wasn’t much time to stop and smell the proverbial roses; every day was jam-packed with exhilarating, exhausting challenges that kept us on our toes.

Early in week one, we had a day of auditioning (I literally mean a full day: I auditioned six times), after which the ensemble was assigned to work with their directors on the Main Scenes where the majority of our collective efforts were to be placed. I was chosen by directors Celia McBride and Sara McIntyre  to help bring their fantastic scripts to life.

We also worked on Guerilla Scenes. We were given scripts that intentionally had very little to no set-up and back story in an attempt throw us off our game and get our filmmaking-feet wet before launching into the Main Scenes.

The night before shooting the guerillas, WIDC Producer Carol Whiteman gave a speech about protecting the filmmaker’s “freedom to fail” which really stuck with me. The next day, during the Guerilla Shoot I felt inspired to attempt things that I ordinarily wouldn’t try. Small things, but things nonetheless; immeasurable to the naked eye, but [personally] groundbreaking .

After we wrapped up the Main Scenes (which went phenomenally), it seemed as though things were finally slowing down…a bit more bitter than sweet.

A phrase that’s been said again and again around here has been “It’s about the process not the product”, and you truly feel that. It’s something I’ll certainly try to hold onto as I try to acclimate (see what I did there?) back into the soul-crushing “real world” of show-business.

Thank you everyone in Banff. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with all of you.

Glen Matthews is a professional actor, currently based out of Toronto, with roles in HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, THE CORRIDOR, MOBY DICK, ROLLER TOWN and HAVEN. He was recently voted Halifax’s BEST FILM/TV ACTOR by the readers of The Coast Halifax’s Weekly, and nominee for a Robert Merritt Award (Theatre NS) for BEST MALE LEAD PERFORMANCE for his work in 2010′s LOGAN AND I. Watch his demo reel here.

Photo credit: Don Lee.

Read the original post @ http://www.banffcentre.org/blog/2012/01/30/guest-post-actor-glen-matthews/

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TOP 11 FILMS OF 2011

It’s that time of the year (the end of it) when people sit down and drum up lists of their favourite things of the past twelve months. Today, I would like to share with you (only because you care so much) my 11 favourite films of 2011…

Onward!


11HANNA – Directed by: Joe Wright
There’s a lot to like about HANNA, especially it’s odd-characters, it’s odd-pacing, and it’s incredible soundtrack, which just so happens to be the best soundtrack of the year — oh don’t mind me, I’m just trying to start a flame-war with all the DRIVE-soundtrack fanatics in the comments section (leave a comment, I dare ya’).


10MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – Directed by Woody Allen
My screening for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS could not have been more perfect for Allen’s whimsy: Saturday morning in the cinema, packed to the gills with giggling, giddy senior citizens. Leave your snarkiness at the door, Matthews. Avoid all spoilers of this film, and watch accordingly.


9WIN WIN – Directed by Tom McCarthy
I’ve made no attempt to hide the fact that I’m a huge fan of writer, director and actor Tom McCarthy — the guy played a big part in inspiring me to write and direct my first short film, ROOM SERVICE. As with both of McCarthy’s other films (THE STATION AGENT and THE VISITOR), WIN WIN’s strength is in it’s characters. My expectations could not have been higher and I was not let down.


8RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – Directed by Rupert Wyatt
Speaking of expectations… Any reasonable person would agree: this movie should have sucked. Really bad. But it didn’t. In fact, it was fairly awesome. Aside from a cringe-inducing final five minutes, the film had some of the best sci-fi moments of the year, and at one point (see photo above) literally made me gasp-out-loud. I generally don’t do that too often unless I’ve spilt a hot drink on my lap.


7 – A tie between:  DETENTION – Directed by Joseph Kahn
I’m sure I could be accused of bias here, but it’s nothing but pride for fellow-Haligonian, Mark Palermo who wrote the screenplay for Joseph Kahn‘s second feature film. Try and process this: a high-school, slasher-flick comedy that also has elements of time-travel. The film moves at an unbelievable pace, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s everything I wanted SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD to be.

Technically, I think DETENTION belongs in the 2012 category, I just wanted to get behind this movie early on and encourage you to embrace this madness when it’s available to you.


7 – &: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL – Directed by Brad Bird
In spite of the public’s opinion of Tom Cruise’s very public, very odd life, he just can’t help himself from being awesome when he steps in front of a camera. MI:4 has some of the most-thrilling action sequences conceived on-screen all year, and also a surprising sense of humour.


6DRIVE – Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
“This film will shock you” is such an incredibly lame thing to say, but it applies here. From the first minute, I was hooked in, and was convinced that I was witnessing a brutal, unforgiving, modern masterpiece unravel before my very eyes. It was in the final fifteen minutes that the film lost me with a (in my opinion) weak finale. The anger I feel towards the ending is only a result of how amazing the rest of the movie is, so there’s that.


5WARRIOR – Directed by Gavin O’Connor
Howard Hawk’s famously said that a great film must contain “Three great scenes, [and] no bad ones”. Off the top of my head, I can count six great scenes in WARRIOR, which isn’t surprising given the talent involved, and nothing that even resembles a “bad scene”. Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and (surprisingly – for me, at least) Nick Nolte all give beautiful, heart-wrenching performances.

The major flaw of the film is it’s premise: we are expected to believe that two brothers could end up in the finals of a worldwide mixed-martial-arts tournament, which is, to say the least, ridiculous. If you can get passed this, you’ll be enjoying one of the finest ensemble casts 2011 has to offer. Upon three viewings, I have been brought to tears all three times. Manly, manly tears.


4MELANCHOLIA – Directed by Lars Von Trier
This was my first foray into the world of Lars Von Trier, and although I’ve heard many a weird thing describing his films, nothing could prepare me for this. Beautiful, frustrating, brave, and overall: haunting.

If there’s a full moon in the sky, I am now incapable of looking away without first pondering the world’s end. Thanks for that, MELANCHOLIA.

Oh, and Kirsten Dunst can act!


3SUBMARINE – Directed by Richard Ayoade
The main criticism I’ve heard leveled against Wes Anderson‘s most-recent films is that they are increasingly lacking in a human characters, which I personally disagree with, but for anyone who has this problem with his films of late, may I recommend viewing Richard Ayoade‘s debut feature film, SUBMARINE, a quirky and whimsical coming-of-age story highlighted by some amazingly well-balanced performances.

This film has 2011’s second best soundtrack — that’s right, you DRIVE soundtrack enthusiasts! Meet me in the comments section!


2ATTACK THE BLOCK – Directed by Joe Cornish
All too often, especially in the past ten years, we have been promised films with incredible premises such as “Nazi zombies”, “Pirates vs. Ninjas”, “Snakes on a plane” that have more often than not, ended up absolutely sucking. ATTACK THE BLOCK, which is essentially “Hoodlums vs. Aliens” is a film that finally delivers on it’s potential for awesome.

It’s not a surprise that SHAUN OF THE DEAD director Edgar Wright, was the executive producer on this film, as it has the same balance between comedy, action, and thrills, and perhaps it’s been even more finely defined here with ATTACK THE BLOCK. Anyone who knows how much I love SHAUN OF THE DEAD, knows how big of a compliment that is.


1MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE – Directed by Sean Durkin
I really don’t want to say too much about this film. It’s so much better to be discovered. It starts as one thing and slowly builds into an absolute masterpiece.

Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of the Olsen twins (you heard me) is phenomenal (yes, you still heard me) in the lead as Martha, a young woman haunted by her memories of her time spent with a cult lead by John Hawkes (skinnier and better than ever), as she attempts to re-assimilate with her family. It sounds like an okay premise, but the execution is flawless.

If you take a recommendation from me just once this year, treat yourself to MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE.

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TOP 11 HONOURABLE MENTIONS (because why not): CEDAR RAPIDS, TYRANNOSAUR, BEGINNERS, 50/50, KUNG FU PANDA 2, X-MEN FIRST CLASS, HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D, THE DESCENDANTS, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, FAST FIVE, and BRIDESMAIDS.

(ASSUMED) TOP 11 FILMS I HAVEN’T SEEN: TAKE SHELTER, SHAME, CARNAGE, CAPTAIN AMERICA, SUPER, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE ARTIST, THE SKIN I LIVE IN, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, and CAFE DE FLORE.

MOBY DICK STILLS

Mike Barker‘s 3-hour mini-series MOBY DICK had it’s premiere last week (Part 1 aired on the 8th, Part 2 the 15th) on Australian Television to rave reviews. If you’re in Australia, you can watch both parts on ABC1’s iView website @ http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/761180. If you’re not in Australia, you can’t. Believe me, I tried.

I am happy to also report that my friend Maggie from down unda’ was able to snag a couple screenshots of me in action with the extreme talents of (1) Charlie Cox, and (2) Eddie Marsan

For the time being, I suppose you’ll have to take my word that that’s Marsan.

Although no date has been set for a stateside release, RHI Entertainment is handling the distribution (http://rhitv.com/movies/moby-dick-2010), so hopefully word will come from them regarding the North American premiere for our eyes to feast on.

Stay tuned, seafarers!

SUNDANCE ’11 – UPDATE #5

THE TEASE
Author: Glen Matthews
January 23rd, 2011 – 11:30am

Mr. Zan Rosborough, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN‘s sound-mixer/actor/stunt-performer/&-probably-something-else has been filming our escapades down here in Utah, and will be editing together a short video within the next few weeks. Until then, please enjoy (?) this teaser that he has cut together…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

On the docket for today: in an hour myself and Henry Townsend are going to check out a documentary on the legendary Roger Corman, after that, we will experience an official American pass-time by watching some NFL playoffs. Tonight, we’re going to check out the much-talked-about protest of Kevin Smith‘s new film RED STATE by the Westboro Baptist Church (see below)…

(Yeah… that’s right, those guys… er, kids.)

So that should be entertaining… right?

And tonight we’ll be attending a party for all three of the Magnet Pictures releases, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, TROLL HUNTER, and I SAW THE DEVIL. Fun fun!

More to come from this fag-enabler!

SUNDANCE ’11 – Update #2

TANIGHT’S THE NIGHT
Author: Glen Matthews
January 21st, 2011 – 3:10pm

We are t-minus 8.5 hours away from the world premiere of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival! Through the miracle of having an awesome Producer (Rob Cotterill), all of the lovely folks who have made the trek from Canada to Utah (including myself) now have their Maple-Syrup-coated hands on tickets for tonight’s screening! Rejoice! Exclamation-marks abound!

So if you’re too impatient to wait for tomorrow’s blog update(s) and would like to keep updated on the happenings of tonight’s screening, you’re best bet would be to check out the Twitter pages of some of the members of the cast & crew. They are myself (@GlenJM), Jason Eisener (@JasonEisener), Rob Cotterill (@RobCotterill), Greg Smith (@GregoryTheSmith), & Elana Zatzman (@__Nova__).

We’re gonna make you effers proud!

Also, make sure to check out this terrific news video by the CBC’s Colleen Jones @ http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2011/01/21/ns-video-hobo-shotgun-sundance.html & this article by The Chronicle Herald’s Andrea Nemetz @ http://thechronicleherald.ca/ArtsLife/1223195.html.

And last but not least, have a peep at the Hobo swag toques being given out to all sorts of disgusting folks here at Sundance…

Odd. As I get older, my nose appears to get broke-r.

Matthews out.

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN POSTER #2

Look Ma’, I’m on a poster! For the first time in my career, I’ve made it onto the poster of a feature length film (baby steps), HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. That’s me in the  top right sporting the yellow balaclava (you’ll have to take my word for it), along with fellow gang-member Zach Tovey (owner of Pro Skates).

She’s a beaut’, isn’t she?

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN premieres in six days in Park City, Utah as part of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival! In five days, I will be touching down in Utah to take part in the fest. Check back on the 2oth for frequent updates from myself and other members of the Hobo posse!

Credit: First Showing