Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Foundation at the Just For Laughs Film Festival

We're in the final stretch of the Montreal Jazz Fest, and while it was kind of interesting to press myself up against 100,000 other people for Patrick Watson's performance on Sunday night, truthfully, I've neglected my duties as a newly minted Quebecker (I declared my residency last Friday, after five years of living here), which, at this time, include wandering buzzed around the Quartier de Spectacle, fondling produce at a Farmer's Market or two, and playing p├ętanque in a city park.

Yes, I've been lazy, but now I'm summoning up all the civic pride I can to get involved, even if that means sitting in a dark theatre on a summer evening. (Thankfully, the weather's been mostly miserable...) The Just For Laughs Festival, widely known across the rest of Canada as the place where they film all of the filler stand-up comedy for Saturday night emergency programming on CTV, is here, and truthfully, I can take or leave stand-up comedy and comics. (And circus acts and the tam-tams and many other of Montreal's summer delights. Thank God they don't hold poetry slams outdoors.) But as it goes, there's something very compelling about this year's festival, and that's a screening of two episodes of a new television series on Canada's Showcase network (which re-broadcasts American cable shows, used to show a blue movie or two, and occasionally produces some Canadian shows) which stars two of the principals involved with last year's film, Who is K.K. Downey?, which premiered at Fantasia.

Kidnapper Films' Pat Kiely and Matt Silver make an appearance as the Tak Brothers, in an episode of a new five-part series called The Foundation, which is screening two episodes at the Just For Laughs festival. (Contrary to past years with this blog, I won't delve needlessly and deeply into the arcane details and connections, I'll just say that these are two very talented and very hard-working young men, and their lengthy CVs attest to that.)

From the trailer, it looks like it's just as funny, quick, offensive, and also features just as many questionable hairstyles and incidents of hard-drug use. Mike Wilmot (from It's All Gone, Pete Tong) stars as a morally bankrupt family patriarch, with Mike Dowse (Fubar, It's All Gone, Pete Tong) at the helm.

The Foundation at the Just For Laughs Film Festival
Thursday, July 23rd, 19h
NFB CineRobotheque
1564 rue St. Denis

I'll have a brief Q&A to post with the duo in the next day or so, but in the meantime, to give you a bit of context, here are some audio pieces. The first is a mock college radio show hosted by Terrance and Theo Huxtable that takes place prior to the events in Who Is K.K. Downey, and features an animated and aggravating caller, as well as selections from the film's spectacular soundtrack (Miracle Fortress, CFCF, Duchess Says, and others.). Unfortunately, we weren't able to re-create the smooth reggae sounds that follow on The Natty Dred Show. Production was by Ali Rahman and Martin Horn of Digital Bird Studios, with a little help from yours truly.

Against Film Schools is a 2008 piece produced by Cristal Duhaime, who works on CBC Radio 1's Wiretap with Jonathan Goldstein, for the sadly short-lived and ambitious Savfaire magazine. The voice you'll hear is that of Matt Silver, expounding wisdom to the fresh and naive souls who wish to make it as film-makers.

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