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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Staff Movie Watch Swap Volume 1

The mental patients of the Have You Seen... Institute for the Criminally Unsane have officially begun our long talked about movie watch swap. The rules of engagement are as follows:

Each resident picks the name of another out of a vessel of some sort (hat, toilet bowl, air sickness bag). Whoever chooses your name then selects a film for you to watch. It can be either something they really want you to see because they totally love it or something so absolutely horrible they would never ever sit through themselves. The patients (participants) must agree to watch the entire movie, no matter how much of an endurance test it might be, and then file a short report at the end of the mission. This is like, so super fun! If you have a grope of friends, you can do this your very own selves. It's a wonderful way to see something you might have never considered or have just been putting off. Or, it's just be a great way to torture a friend.

So far, here's where we're at in Round 1. Other reports to be filed will be posted as they become available.

SIMONE chose the movie Rituals (1977) for JESSE P. Here's what he had to say:

OK - "RITUALS". Canadian Deliverance knock-off. 1970's. Nice, pastoral opening... innocuous theme music... 5 MDs on a fishing trip in an isolated wilderness... Doctor's conversations sound authentic, but how come noone wonders why someone stole their footwear from the campsite? The doctors smoke pot? Oh- a swarm of bees. I like bees! Ha, the bees are obviously just in front of the camera, while the actors thrash about at nothing in the background - Oh... One of the characters has died. "He was such a boob. Such a gentle boob..." one of the others sobs.... Where does the one doctor keep getting booze? It's like he has a magic flask... Bear traps, bee traps.
I haven't written lately- too engrossed in the plot. It's an interesting twist that all the characters in peril are doctors... in between the action scenes, characters are fleshed in: their guilt, relationships to their Fathers, alcohol- these are key points in the film. .. a scene where Hal Holbrook casts a severed head on a pike into a ravine is an unusual high point.
Well, "rituals" is not that much like "deliverence" after all, and may even be the superior, inasmuch as the latter film strived to bedeck its high-brow aspirations with calculated and gutteral shocks, wheras "rituals" stays the course, aware of itself as a genre movie first and foremost and delivers a surprising experience.

PAUL chose the movie Gozu (2003) for ELLIOTT. Here's what he had to say:

Takeshi Miike's 'Gozu' isn't quite the visceral lacerationfest that his more famous 'Audition' or 'Ichi the Killer' are, however, it is still hugely unsettling. I read a review of 'Gozu' that likened it to some sort of Japanese 'Eraserhead'; an interesting comparison, but definitely a superficial one. Both films concern a young man dealing with familial woes set against a twisted yet familiar cityscape, but Miike's odyssey pushes for more literal horror as opposed to surrealist soundscapes. I may never look at a small child drinking a glass of milk or a protagonist hesitantly speaking to a cow-headed demigod through the vagina of a sleeping girl he may or may not want to fuck who may or may not be the reincarnation of his late brother whose corpse was crushed in a steam press the same way again. Recommended.

JESSE H. chose the movie F For Fake (1973) for PAUL. Here's what he had to say:

I’d been intrigued by F For Fake ever since we added it to the store and this was the kick in the pants I needed to finally check it out. And it’s an odd one indeed! Orson Welles appears as himself and directs this curious documentary/essay about fraud and authenticity. Elmyr de Hory, the artist who became renowned for successfully passing off his own paintings as works by Picasso and Renoir, among others, is a central focus. Welles weaves a code yarn of fact and fiction the viewer must attempt to decipher as other layers are sewn into the scheme along the way. His borderline sensationalized narration and charlatan character presence sucked me in and left me tangled in a sticky dreamlike web of honesty and deceit. The editing becomes a mischievous character itself, winking and nodding, but never revealing.In the end, I was left questioning everyone and everything in my life. Thanks a lot, Hoffman.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


When setting up new accounts, we still get a number of folks who ask us how much our membership fees are. In days of yore, some, well, most video stores used to charge customers a membership or "set-up" fee before they were able to begin paying even more money to rent videos. This was a store cash grab in the glory days of video rental, before the inception of legal and non-legal downloading, mass VOD and the wheelbarrow full of other ways people get their movies today. There wasn't a damn thing you could do other than grumble and pay because the movies you wanted and needed were being held hostage until you coughed up the ransom.

It always irked me that stores would engage in this membership funny business. Today, only the insane require you to pay them for the privilege of giving them more money. Even at a time when we could have charged for this (our first few years in the video game) we didn't. While we are certainly interested in making revenue, we are not into gouging people.

So, for however long we have left in this crazy business, we will never implement membership fees. Because we care. Deeply.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Svankmajer Trailer Posted


It's always an exciting time when Czech legend Jan Svankmajer completes a new work. The surrealist visionary's last feature 'Lunacy' was one of my faves of 2005 and such an incredible sight to behold. It's a demented and glorious assault on the senses, pelting those before it with razor-sharp political fury and as the name holds, cinematic insanity.

Well fiends, the slime has come in the form of Surviving Life (Theory and Practice) which recently opened to eager arms and as expected, those who have seen it are quite pleased with themselves. You can find the trailer and stills here. Even looks oddly futuristic. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled and will bring this in for you just as soon as it becomes available. Until then, if we are lucky enough to get a Toronto screening before the DVD release, you know that a trip to the big city will most certainly be in order.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

These Books Is Off Tha Hooks!

Now, normally, the only thing we endorse reading are subtitles. But we've gone and made another exception and added a few quirky, cool and compelling books alongside our magazines. We plan on adding more so if you're looking for an offbeat holiday gift, stop in and have a page through!

Here are a few of the titles on our shelves now!

POOP CULTURE: How America Is Shaped By Its Grossest National Product
Poop Culture dissects the latest taboo, smashing the fear and embarrassment that manipulates our view of the one thing we all have in common.

FERMENTING REVOLUTION: How to Drink Beer and Save the World
Fermenting Revolution tells you how to drink beer and change the world. With passion and humor, it reveals how "beer activists" around the globe are leading the sustainability movement - with its values of cooperation, the protection and celebration of nature, and the nurturing of equitable communities - against the onslaught of corporate globalization. This book documents beer's spiritual roots.

The celebrated Wallace family returns to their groundbreaking historical romp with a dozen new entries about Tupac Shakur, Ayn Rand, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Carlos Castaneda, Michael Hutchence, Anna Nicole Smith, Wilt Chamberlain and others that reveal the intimate intersections between sex and celebrity.

A Panorama of American Film Noir addresses the essential amorality of its subject from a decidedly Surrealist angle, focusing on noir's dreamlike, unwonted, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel atmosphere, and setting it in the social context of mid-century America.

Never before seen in an English or Spanish language edition are the lurid and often surreal images used for '60s and early '70s Mexican pulp novels and comic covers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ZOMBIE WALK 2010 - Join Us-Join Us-Join Us!!


Grunts and moans all! By popular demand, the Have You Seen... zombie walk lives another year! This Saturday October 30th the city will be alive with the sounds of the undead as we put on our best rotten cotton and stumble forth into the streets of Peterborough to terrify the living.

We meat at Have You Seen… (321 Aylmer) in our grisly gear for a 6pm departure.
Then east for a human feast along Charlotte where we take a ghoulish stride up George to Hunter.
We then figure out which way is left? and proceed to the Red Dog for the totally free 7pm movie screaming* of a gut busting zombie epic that will be sure to tickle your fetid fancy!

The night will be outta sight and the early start means you can definitely squeeze this into your Halloween party plans! So tell your family, tell your friends and dress up your zombie cat for an evening of fun, flesh and festering film. The more, the gorier!

Many thanks to The Red Dog& The Wolf !

Until then, practice your stumble & let's get ready to mumble!!

*We must apologize to our younger zombie kin but the contents of the movie are not recommended for undead children. All ages are welcome to stumble along with us on the walk though!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Great Criterion Onslaught of 1812

As promised, here's the list of recent acquisitions from the Criterion Collection, some brand spankin' new to DVD and others spand brankin' new to us! This brings our list of CC titles to roughly 24,312. Or less.

In no particular order:

AND THE SHIP SAILS ON (1984) Frederico Fellini Italy
CLOSE-UP (1990) Abbas Kiarostami Iran
LAST WAVE (1977) Peter Weir Australia
METROPOLITAN (1990) Whit Stillman U.S.andA.
ACE IN THE HOLE (1951) Billy Wilder U.S.andA.
PARIS, TEXAS (1984) Wim Wenders U.S.andA.
THIS SPORTING LIFE (1963) Lindsay Anderson UK
HOBSON'S CHOICE (1954) David Lean UK
SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941) Preston Sturges U.S.andA.
ALEXANDER NEVSKY (1938) Sergei Eisenstein Russia
SWEETIE (1989) Jane Campion Australia
PITFALL (1962) Hiroshi Teshigahara Japan
WOMEN IN THE DUNES (1964) Hiroshi Teshigahara Japan
FACE OF ANOTHER, THE (1966) Hiroshi Teshigahara Japan
ORDET (1955) Carl Th. Dreyer Denmark
DAY OF WRATH (1943) Carl Th. Dreyer Denmark
GERTRUD (1964) Carl Th. Dreyer Denmark
MY METIER (1955) Torben Skjodt Jensen Denmark
LE PLAISIR (1952) Max Ophuls France
EARRINGS OF MADAME DE..., THE (1953) Max Ophuls France
RIVER, THE (1951) Jean Renoir France
SANSHO THE BAILIFF (1954) Kenji Mizoguchi Japan
ANTONIO GAUDI (1984) Hiroshi Teshigahara Japan
MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAURENCE (1983) Nagisa Oshima Japan
COLOSSAL YOUTH (2006) Pedro Costa Portugal
IN VANDA'S ROOM (2000) Pedro Costa Portugal
OSSOS (1997) Pedro Costa Portugal
MR. ARKADIN (1955/2006) Orson Welles U.S.andA.
HONEYMOON KILLERS (1969) Leonard Kastle U.S.andA.
I AM WAITING (1957) Koreyoshi Kurahara Japan
RUSTY KNIFE (1958) Toshio Masuda Japan
TAKE AIM AT THE POLICE VAN (1960) Seijan Suzuki Japan
CRUEL GUN STORY (1964) Takumi Furukawa Japan
COLT IS MY PASSPORT, A (1967) Takashi Nomura Japan
THIN RED LINE, THE (1998) Terrence Malick U.S.andA.
MAGICIAN, THE (1958) Ingmar Bergman Sweden
L'ENFANCE NUE (1968) Maurice Pialat France

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eye-Assault Update (i.e. Some New Stuff)

Each update, but a few of our new titles are spotlighted while many more are added with little blog fanfare. It's worth stopping in to check out all the new stuff we get each week!

It sounds like a soft drink but it is in fact the latest motion picture from Cube director Vincenzo Natali. Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody (in his 148th film appearance this year) star as totally sexy gene-splicing scientists. And when these two get together the action gets hot and splicey! Sorry. Also check out Natali's neat indie flick 'Nothing' where two guys go outside to find everything has vanished and has been replaced by a white void.

A few years ago we were lucky enough to be part of bringing legendary director and cinematographer Albert Maysles to town for a talk and career retrospective at Trent and golly gee, what a sweet, sweet man. His longtime friendship with artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude (see their outstanding 5 DVD collection available at a Have You Seen... near you) has been well documented and their obsession with assembling an installation in New York's Central Park is the subject of The Gates. The controversial plan took many years to bring to fruition and we're given a behind the scenes look at the journey.

Don't mess with the Russian Mob. Or really, any mob for that matter. Maybe a mob of Strawberry Shortcakes? No, that would be frightening too.

Newest Harmony Korine and yeah, the title pretty much sums it.

Coming soon... the Criterion Collection MOTHERLOAD. We've already got hundreds, now we're adding dozens more! Check back for details soon...