NEWS ROUNDUP


There you have it! Here (above) is the first still frame of myself as Gabe in Josh MacDonald‘s directorial debut, GAME, playing Saturday, September 15th as part of Atlantic Shorts 3! More screening info here.

Earlier this week, myself and Vanessa Walton-Bone, star of my short film ROOM SERVICE (playing the Atlantic Film Fest on the 18th), headed into the Haligonia studio to talk about our film…

Be sure to keep up to date with ROOM SERVICE on Facebook and Twitter as we should have some festival news to announce in the coming weeks.

Finally, The Atlantic Fringe Festival is currently upon us! I designed the poster for my dear friend, Kristin Slaney‘s BLUE MOONS & WAITING ROOMS (see below).

As of today, you still have four more opportunities to see the play and I highly, highly recommend that you do so.

One more bit of Fringe Fest fun: I’m performing as part of 7 DEADLY SINS: FROMMERS GUIDE TO HELL, written by Thom Fitzgerald. It’s an immersive, sight-specific theatre experiment where audience members encounter all of the seven sins, one by one. Tell ’em Greed sent ye’.

Click here for full Fringe schedule / info.

That’s all for now. My apologies for throwing a whole slew of info at you in one post, but this twenty minutes I’m taking to write this is just about the only “down time” I’ve had since returning to Halifax. I am blissfully exhausted. Onward!

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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/

BANFF-BOUND FOR WIDC 2012


It’s with a huge sigh of relief, and an immense amount of pride that I announce that – after being told that I was short-listed (hence: relief) – I have been asked to join the 2012 WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR CHAIR‘s Acting Ensemble next month in Banff, Alberta.

The WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR program, which takes place in one of our country’s greatest arts centres, The Banff Centre, is as follows…

Dedicated to building capacity for mid-career women filmmakers, the Women In the Director’s Chair Workshop takes a dynamic approach to traditional fictional storytelling for film and television by combining classroom theory with practical hands-on experiences. Working in a collegial environment with senior-level mentors, peers, and professional actors (ACTRA) and crews (DGC and IATSE), participants develop personal storytelling styles, leadership skills, and techniques.

I don’t know who I’m working with yet, but I’m quite excited to find out. I’ll be headed there from the 15th to the 29th of January to take part, so please prepare yourself for photos of mountains with me in the foreground.

For more info on the WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR program, please visit: http://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/program.aspx?id=1178

Oh, and have yourself a happy new year!

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.