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WTFN—Oscar Preview 2017 (February 26, 2017)
LANCE BOYLE: (to camera) “Welcome to the ninth Oscar edition of The Cutting Room, the first under the new Trumpian regime. To read from the screeching from both sides of the right-wing of the political spectrum, we might as well redefine the calendar as BT and AT—Before Trump and After Trump. Whether one thinks that the last election marked a break with the past or is the inevitable result of 30-plus years of corporatism, one thing will always be a constant in our lives—movies—and where there are movies, there are award shows. Tonight we look at the best Hollywood had to offer in 2016, and to join me, as always, is Miriam Kale, WTFN’s magnificent movie maven. (camera pulls back into a two-shot. Miriam Kale is now seated across from Lance Boyle.) Miriam, welcome back.” more

WTFNMovie Villains are the Voices of Truth (February 24, 2016)
LANCE BOYLE: (to camera) “Welcome to The Cutting Room. Ordinarily at this time, we feature our picks for the Best Picture Oscar, but this year we’re going to do something different. Instead of looking at the eight nominated films, of which only two or three are legitimate contenders, we’re going to examine the political and social relevance of Hollywood. With me in the studio is Miriam Kale, WTFN’s expert in all things cinematic. (Camera pulls back into a two-shot. Miriam Kale is seated across from Lance Boyle.) Miriam, welcome. How do you see the movie industry developing?” more

WTFN—Oscar Preview 2015 (February 24, 2015)
LANCE BOYLE: (to camera) “Welcome again to WTFN’s Oscar night, the time when we’re supposed to honour the best that moviedom has to offer, but that task seems to be getting more difficult each year. First we have the inflated list of nominees, which means there may be two or three genuine contenders and a fistful of also-rans. Not only is the awards ceremony watered down, but politics rather than storytelling increasingly determines which films get made, and then when one or more of them gets nominated judges are only supposed to consider artistic merits. It can’t be a coincidence that the same themes get recycled, as if time has stood still for studios to reinforce anachronistic stereotypes.…” more

WTFN—Oscar Preview 2014 (February 24, 2014)
LANCE BOYLE: (to camera) “If movies reflect the society that makes them, what should we make of this year’s best-picture nominees? Given that our society venerates gangsters, banksters, propaganda, graphic violence and special effects, it looks like the nominees come down to four main contenders—American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity, of which the first two seem to be getting the most attention. Now, let’s bring out Miriam Kale, WTFN’s movie critic, for her analysis. (He stands up to greet Miriam Kale who enters from stage left to applause, and sits down across from him) So, Miriam, what do you make of the four main contenders?”
MIRIAM KALE: “Well, apart from Gravity, which I’ll get to in a moment, these films all celebrate real people and events connected with criminal activity. American Hustle is the story of con artists and Abscam, the 1978-1980 FBI corruption sting operation; 12 Years a Slave recounts the life of Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into brutal slavery in the mid-19th century; and The Wolf of Wall Street, is focused on 1990s ‘pump and dump’ stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who also ended up collaborating with the FBI.” more

WTFN—Oscar Preview 2013 Part II—The Leni (February 20, 2013)
LANCE BOYLE: “Good evening, and welcome to Part 2 of WTFN’s pre-Oscar special presentation from our West Coast Studios in Los Angeles. I’m Lance Boyle and back with me is move critic Miriam Kale. (to Miriam). Miriam, on last week’s show you told us that Lincoln will likely take the Oscar for Best Picture, but the reasons you gave were shocking. Essentially, you said it will win because of outside factors that have nothing to to with the movie itself, and because the movie misrepresents arguably the most revered president in American history.”
MIRIAM KALE: “What can I say?—Propaganda will always win out over principle. Why? Because, collectively, American society is violent, ignorant and narcissistic. Its members grow up addicted to opiates like America being the natural leader of the free world, the greatest economic power, and the champion of justice. These opiates breed a chauvinism that creates its own reality, and so Americans are unable to look at themselves rationally or understand their history…. ” more

WTFN—Oscar Preview 2013 Part I—Moralizing and myth (February 11, 2013)
LANCE BOYLE: “Good evening, and welcome again to The Cutting Room. I’m your host Lance Boyle. Today is Part One of a special two-part pre-Oscar show that looks at some of the key battles for movie honours. Sitting across from me as always is Miriam Kale, WTFN’s resident expert on all things cinematic.”
MIRIAM KALE: “Lance, you’re too kind, but please go on.”
BOYLE: “Let’s begin with your impression of this year’s crop of Best Picture nominees.”
KALE: “It’s the poorest harvest I can remember. It’s so bad that the Academy could only manage to nominate nine movies. You’d think someone could have found one more to round out the field. After all, that’s why the list was padded from five to 10.” more

WTFN—Oscar Preview 2012 (February 25, 2012)
LANCE BOYLE: (to camera) “Welcome to WTFN’s Oscar Show, the annual event when Hollywood pats itself on the back, and critics kick it in the butt. Joining me in our West Coast studios for this special edition of “The Cutting Room,” is WTFN’s resident movie maven Miriam Kale.” (turns to face her and the camera pulls back into a two-shot)
MIRIAM KALE: “Hi Lance! Got my boots on.”
BOYLE: “Well, let’s get at it, and let’s start with one of your predictions that came true—the list of Best Picture nominees still stands at 10.”
KALE: “Curse my accuracy! I could understand this increase if there were a surfeit of great movies, as there was in 1939, but today, when schlock is Paramount and also a Universal blight, a film now merely has to be good or even average to get a nomination…” more

WTFN—Oscar Preview 2011 (February 25, 2011)
LANCE BOYLE: (to camera, as music dies down) “Hello and welcome to WTFN’s second-annual Oscar preview show live from our studios in Los Angeles. I’m your host Lance Boyle. Sitting across from me in The Cutting Room once again is veteran film critic Miriam Kale.” (turns to face her) Welcome, Miriam.”
MIRIAM KALE: “Hi, Lance! It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed.”
BOYLE: “Yes, and it’s also hard to believe that Hollywood churned out 372 moves last year, more than one a day.”
KALE: “And of those, how many were worth watching?” more

WTFN—Hawaii Five-O goes under the political knife (October 4, 2010)
LANCE BOYLE: “Tonight in ‘The Cutting Room,’ we turn from the silver screen to the small screen to look at the new fall season. Joining us in the studio is WTFN’s resident critic Miriam Kale, and via satellite from Los Angeles, we’re pleased to welcome Larry Levy, CEO of Redundancy Entertainment LLP. (Lance Boyle turns from facing the camera to Miriam Kale. They are sitting in high-backed upholstered chairs across a black coffee table. All around are enlarged stills and posters of the new Hawaii Five-O.) Miriam, the pilot of the new Hawaii Five-O was easily the most hyped show this September. Did the hype live up to expectations? more

WTFN—Oscar Preview 2010 (January 25, 2010)
“Good evening, and welcome to WTFN’s inaugural Oscar preview show. I’m your host Lance Boyle coming to you from Los Angeles. The ceremony may still be weeks away but there’s a lot to talk about. Joining us in The Cutting Room is veteran movie columnist and critic Miriam Kale.” (Lance Boyle turns to face Miriam Kale. They are sitting in high-backed upholstered chairs across from each other. A black coffee table is between them and all around are enlarged stills and posters of the nominated movies.) Before we get into the movies themselves, Miriam, what’s your opinion on the Academy’s decision to include 10 best-picture nominees instead of the usual five? more

Hollywood’s most misunderstood genre deserves its own award category
Canadian Arab News (February 15, 2009)
The Academy Awards ceremony bears little resemblance to the relatively modest affair that began it all on May 16, 1929, in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel . Then, a mere nine categories were honoured. Now, scores of awards are given out in categories unthinkable at a time before “talkies” and colour film. Most of these new categories are in what might be called “movie science,” areas like special effects, animation and computer graphics. The other side of movie-making, the artistic side, has understandably suffered as a result; the more money that gets blown on artificial acting, the less money there is to invest in real acting, and that includes intelligent, meaningful scripts.” ... read more

Beware of Greek movies bearing bad history and jingoistic subtexts
Canadian Arab News (April 12, 2007)
Visually and aesthetically, 300 is an impressive movie. Unfortunately, it is also a jingoistic bastardization of history that, intended or not, reinforces our cultural prejudices against Iran and the Middle East. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name, it tells the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, but only in the broadest sense does Miller get the story right.… Like many ahtists, Miller was dissatisfied with the historical record and committed needless embellishments and distortions. The result is a falsified history remarkable mostly for its preposterous depiction of the Persian King Xerxes.” ... read more

U.S.’s political and cultural depravity now playing at a theatre near you
Canadian Arab News (February 22, 2007):
Time again for “the Oscars”—Hollywood’s annual ceremony to honour the best achievements in filmmaking. Doubtless two of the most anticipated categories are Best Actor and Best Director, since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to its shame has never honoured Peter O’Toole or Martin Scorsese with an award. If Scorsese doesn’t win for his direction of The Departed, he should formally boycott the proceedings. Better to tell the academy to go to hell than risk receiving a “pity Oscar” like Paul Newman’s Best Actor award for the 1986 film The Color of Money—a make-good for not giving him the award for The Hustler 25 years earlier. One subject not up for discussion this night, though, is the overall corrupt state of American filmmaking. ... read more

Hollywood’s licence to lie must be revoked
Vancouver Courier (July 9, 2000)
In the upper left-hand corner of every New York Times front page is the famous motto: “All the news that’s fit to print.” Even if the Times occasionally fails to live up to this ideal, as Noam Chomsky can attest, the motto reassures readers that the paper prizes accurate reporting over ideology, a boast the National Post certainly cannot make. If people don’t trust what you print, they won’t buy it, and if people don’t buy the paper, it won’t be around for long. Forthrightness is good economics, at least in the real world. ... read more

Universal studios loses its Silver lining
Vancouver Courier (December 13, 1998)
Have you ever left a theatre asking yourself: “Why did I waste $8.50 and two hours on this dreck? Who thinks that lame Saturday Night Live skits deserve to be made into movies? What studio exec is responsible for this abomination? If some or all of these questions apply, you likely won’t shed a tear for Casey Silver. The head of Universal Pictures was forced to resign after his Seagram’s boss, Edgar Bronfman Jr., had had enough of watching his pictures come in over budget and then lose money. ... read more

Movie fodder stunts mind and intelligence
Vancouver Courier (July 6, 1997)
John Travolta and Nicolas Cage are billed as the stars of the current box-office hit Face/Off, but anyone who has seen the film might beg to differ. Though the two men do have the most lines in the film, the real stars of Face/Off are its implausible script and director John Woo. This is unfortunate, because Travolta and Cage end up playing second banana to cartoonish violence and gratuitous special effects. The result is a mess, but a mess that nevertheless tells us something about the poor quality of Hollywood movies, and the general contempt Hollywood has for its audiences. ... read more