Best Cinema Experiences of 2014:


What really counts in this post is the experiences, not the wording or grammar, etc… That’s my polite way of asking you to disregard the lazy, formulaic summaries and to focus on each, particular screening and the atmosphere each created. Also, please forgive my shoty camera work and the quality of some of the videos…

I Origins (Cast and Director Q and A):

I’m a Mike Cahill admirer. “Another Earth” blew me away and I couldn’t wait for his follow up…and it did not disappoint. Oh, and having Michael Pitt join Cahill in a post-screening Q and A was the icing on the cake.


99 Homes: (Cast and Director Q and A):

Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, and Andrew Garfield so close I could literally reach out and touch them…need I say more? Shannon is one of my all time favourite actors and the chance to hear him speak about his latest film nearly had me in tears of fortune and excitement.



Locke: (Stephen Knight Q and A):

If you know me, you know that my fandom in regards to Tom Hardy and “Peaky Blinders” knows no bounds. Naturally, having the chance to catch an advance screening of “Locke,” Hardy’s and “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight’s latest collaboration, left me winded. It’s also the only time my mom has ever stepped into my world, the life of a die-hard cinephile. And the fact that she loved it in its entirety left me overjoyed.


The Imitation Game: (Cast and Crew Q and A):

Benedict Cumberbatch…in person…that is all… Oh, and Keira Knighley and Matthew Goode too.



Q and A: Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The Guest: (Director/Writer/Cast Q and A):

This past year’s screening of “The Guest” during TIFF 2014’s Midnight Madness program was easily the most fun I’d had at a cinema all year. Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard are uproariously funny and extremely talented at what they do. Add in the charismatic, unbelievably charming and handsome Dan Stevens in addition to the lovely Maika Monroe, and you’ve got one hell of a theatre experience. The film itself cracks my top 10 of 2014 with ease and this screening has a lot to do with it. I hate to admit it, but having my lame-o friends undergo the craziness with me made all the difference in the world. Plus, we were the only ones to bring a beach ball! Which only added to the over-the-top atmosphere throughout the entire screening. I should probably explain… Midnight Madness is TIFF’s most out of control cinephile experience. There’s loud music beforehand, it starts at midnight, there’s the potent scent of substance abuse lingering in the air, and usually has a ball or two being tossed around. It’s essentially a rock concert that replaces the band with a film.


The 50 Year Argument: (Martin Scorsese Q and A):

This is, without question, the best experience I’ve ever had in a theatre to date, let alone 2014. Of course, any occasion that has you sitting in the presence of one of cinema’s greatest filmmakers is a monumental occurrence indeed. To be completely honest, the film, “The 50 Year Argument,” although thoroughly engaging and utterly interesting, was simply a welcomed formality, a terrific bonus. Being granted the opportunity to listen and digest Martin Scorsese discussing film and his career for an extended period of time is unlike any euphoric treat that’s ever graced itself to my presence.





Did you have a particularly awesome cinema experience this past year? Let me know in the comment section below, I’m dying to know! Also, if you haven’t contributed your voice to the latest poll, please click on Vote! in the bar above to do so…don’t make me chase you down!

About [email protected]

Aspiring writer who absolutely adores film and television.

Posted on January 29, 2015, in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Amazing! I had absolutely nothing that can compare to any of these.

  2. Dude. That is awesome. How the hell did you score passes tho these. Umm can I get you anything . Do you need anybody killed. I’m not saying I will do it, but I will try my best to find the right people to go to screenings like this

    • Hahaha, thanks Vern! No I don’t need anyone killed or something like that ;). About half of these took place at the Toronto International Film Festival, so you’d need to live in or near Toronto, or want to make the journey to the city. The other screenings I was able to attend thanks to the good people at Elevation pictures and Fox Searchlight.

  3. You must be the worlds greatest celebrity stalker!

    My best claim to fame last year was drunkenly shouting at Russell Crowe at the Noah premiere.

  4. That’s awesome. I’ve never been to a Q and A before but I’d love to. Not something that happens over here much outside of London unfortunately.

  5. There’s no shortage of great stuff here Joseph. Personally, I can’t wait for 99 Homes. I remember seeing Bahrani’s debut Man Push Cart at the London Film Festival where the director was present for a Q&A and Mike Leigh was in the audience. A personal highlight!

    • Thanks! I can tell you that while not overly complex or as sound structurally as I’d originally hoped, 99 Homes is a strong outing for all involved, especially Shannon and to a more surprising extent, Garfield. Although I know Andrew can and should successfully aim higher.

  6. So freaking cool! Glad you had so much fun at the theater this past year.

  7. christ, your post only reminds me just how dull my life is.

  8. My God if I were this close to Goode in person I would throw myself on that stage and…. I’d be in jail right now for harassment.

  9. Did I have any awesome cinema experiences? Um NOT COMPARED TO THIS!!!! You got Benny and Laura Dern and Michael Shannon and Martin Scorsese…I got an overweight Captain America and Black Widow couple at a premiere screening of Captain America. I must have done something bad in a past life and am still making up for it. Lol. But I’m happy for you, Joseph!!! This all sounds amazing. :)

    • Haha, oh I’m so sorry Cara :(. I get the feeling from a lot of comments on this post that people are getting the wrong impression…that this is some sort of subtle way to brag about how great my life is…when in actuality this is not the case ;). Regardless, thanks for making me feel the shame of joy lol.

      • Bahaha no, Joseph, you shouldn’t feel bad about getting to do the stuff you’ve done. I’m just happy to live these things vicariously through you. :)

  10. Holy shit dude. I don’t know which experience to comment on more, but I think getting to be that close to the great Marty Scorsese has to take the cake. That is entirely too cool.

    This post literally motivates me to get myself out of the Dirty South and get to at LEAST the SXSW film festival (I believe that’s in Austin, Texas?) but my ultimate goal is to position myself somewhere in Utah so I can start attending Sundance on a semi-regular basis. That would be so much fun. And truth be told indie films is where it’s at anyway.

    Love this!!!

    • Thanks Tom! Yeah, the Scorsese thing blew me away!

      Maybe we could hit up Sundance together ;). Always wanted to go, but quite a ways for me. I’m very fortunate to live in such a bustling city in regards to cinema (Toronto).

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