Last Night is about the end of the world. It's about what people decide to do with their last hours, when they've known for months that the end is coming. There are six hours left.
The film follows the last moments of a few more or less typical Torontonians: Sandra, trying to get home to her husband after vandals destroy her car; Patrick, whose world ended long before the apocalypse; Duncan and Donna, working until the last day to keep the gas on; the mob of partiers in the streets; and of course Craig, played by Callum Keith Rennie, who, ever since hearing the end was upon him, has been doggedly attempting to fulfill every sexual fantasy he's ever had. It's a blackly humorous, introspective apocalypse movie somewhat different from the normal fare.
The IMDB page: Last Night (1998)
The film was written and directed by Don McKellar.
Callum Keith Rennie
Runtime: 95 minutes
IMDB rating: 7.4/10 (3,498 votes)
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Keywords: End of Mankind, Multiple Storylines, Y2K, Apocalypse, Black Comedy
12 wins and 20 nominations including:
Toronto International Film Festival
Best Canadian Feature
Genie Awards 1998
'Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role' win by Callum Keith Rennie
'Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role' win by Sandra Oh.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Music and more.
User Comments: 135
One very positive example:
There are films that are great, but by virtue of their intelligence and understatement fall through the cracks - or go on over the years to achieve 'cult' status. Paul Auster's 'Smoke', or Thomas McCarthy's 'The Station Agent' are a couple. This is such a film, and for fans of these types of 'smarter', less 'hollywood' productions there is no greater cinematic experience than finding such a gem. This is unpretentious and real - and ultimately honest and rewarding. Don McKellar has crafted something really special.
You can find all the comments here.
Callum Quotient: 45%
- Craig: You want a drink? I got drinks.
- Craig: It's a collection; they're antique cars. Two old cars is not a collection! It's a guy with two old cars.
- Patrick: I don't want to risk having bad sex today. I don't want it to be the last thing on my mind.
- Patrick: See you.
Craig: No, you won't.
- The "toughs" whom Patrick and Sandra stop to ask for a ride are played by producer Daniel Iron and Canadian filmmakers Bruce McDonald (bearded) and Francois Girard (driving).
- This film was a result of director Don McKellar's invitation to participate in a challenge to make a movie about the imminent Millennium. Instead of making a movie that he felt might date itself too quickly, he opted to make it about the end of the world rather than just the end of the Millennium.
- The part of Sandra was specifically written for Sandra Oh.
- The Wheeler Family 'Christmas.'
- Sandra explains why she has to get home in time.
- Sandra and Patrick interrupt Craig's assignation with Ms. Carlton.
- Craig shows Patrick his kitchen.
- Craig and Patrick discuss their plans in the lobby.
- The countdown.
Do I want to show this to my parents/friends/co-workers?
What did you think overall?
Definitely one of Don's good ones.
Was it violent?
Well, people get frisky during anarchy.
The odd roving gang and some gun-pointing.
Pretty violent, yeah.
Funny at all?
Quite a few funny moments, considering the circumstances
A few, mostly of the black humour/awkward sort.
Patrick's pretty gloomy.
The end of the world is not amusing.
How about sexual content?
This movie is rated R for Craig Zwiller and his ass.
People get pretty near to nekkid!
You can infer that some nookie happened.
Not much, really.
Zip. (Oh, who are you kidding. The Kitchen itself is sexual content.)
Was there sexual violence?
None. In a meaner movie there might have been.
Some implied badness.
Craig listed some pretty rough stuff on that kitchen wall.
Would you hang out with Craig and/or help him complete his list?
What kind of guy is Craig?
He's a total sweetie. With one thing on his mind.
Pretty decent. Wants into your pants, though.
Pretty average. A little skeevy, what with the sexual propositions.
I wouldn't agree to go anywhere alone if I were you.
How many people does he kill?
Nobody at all! It's not like there's a point.
Only one! That's not bad.
A few. Mostly people who had "die during sex" on their list.
He's run through a couple crowds with his car "collection."
The apocalypse was his fault.
Is he nuts?
Remarkably stable, considering the bad news.
It takes a special guy to fill a whole kitchen with sexual fantasies.
He's a little whacked.
Just how hot is he?
I'd help with that list!
Not bad, if you're looking for desperate, end-of-world hookups.
He's a little gross.
Not if he were my last chance, seriously.
Is he queer?
I think the apocalypse was just an excuse to hit on his straight friends.
I think the 'gay sex' item was early on the wall.
Obviously he's considered his options.
Eh. People do strange things when death is looming.
The Kitchen of Iniquity is LADIES ONLY.
Does he die?
You really want to know? Are you sure? Really sure? Well, then. (highlight to read)
::Yes. Him and everyone.::
Food Talk Under the Riviera Sun by Natasha Stoynoff, Toronto Sun, Sunday 24 May 1998
CANNES - You don't really want to think about the end of the world as you lounge under the bright Riviera sun.
But since that's what their film, Last Night -- showing at the Cannes Film Fest -- is about, actors Callum Keith Rennie and Sandra Oh oblige us with musing of how they might spend their last six hours on earth:
CALLUM: "I'd eat airplane food as my last meal. The kind you'd get in coach. The chicken entree."
SANDRA: "Definitely Korean food. Dumpling soup. Now that's comfort food. And I'd be listening to something by The Clash."
C: "Fractured Atlas by Elvis Costello."
S: "For my last movie? Something really romantic."
C: "Tommy Boy?"
(They both howl with laughter.)
C: "Okay, okay. Wings Of Desire. 'Cause, gosh darnit, the damn thing's so hopeful! Lemme switch that to the last 10 minutes of Apocalypse Now."
S: "Casablanca! Romantic yet bittersweet."
C: "So what about sex?"
S: "I don't know. What if it was bad sex? Forget it!"
C (smiling wickedly): "You can make even bad sex good."
S: "Too much pressure."
C: "I'd be so tense, I'd need a release."
S: "But what if you couldn't release in TIME?"
C: "But to go out while doing it ... the explosion in the end would be like ... death."
S: "So the end of the world would be like one Big O?"
S (teasing him about his brief nude scene in the film): "All you've been doing the last two days is obsessing about your ass."
C (defensive): "It's just I've never seen it in that framework before. I don't want the terror of seeing my own ass on screen. What if I like it -- a LOT?" (He laughs.)
S: "I think it's very important we see Callum's ass in the film. We never get to see enough men's asses on screen."
C: "Let's change the subject."
S: "Okay. The last book I'd read? Sexing The Cherry -- there's one page that describes these magnetic beings that are dancing ... spinning until they become particles of light."
C: "I'd read The Toronto Sun. No question."
This article was gleaned from the awesome book of articles compiled for the Muskrat Jamboree '06 CKR panel (please tell me who I credit for the collection?). If you know an online source for this, please link me.
You Can Just Callum Charismatic by Bruce Kirkland, Canoe Jam 22, October 1998
Callum Keith Rennie's character in a new movie, Last Night, is sex obsessed -- in the sweetest way possible.
"He's not bad, he's not evil," the actor says.
Rennie, the epitome of ragged cool in a country that is wary of charisma, plays a carnal yet naive man who is toting up his conquests by category. So he joyfully beds his high school French teacher (Genevieve Bujold) and awkwardly propositions his best buddy (Don McKellar).
He doesn't have much time. Last Night, written and directed by McKellar and opening here tomorrow, is the darkly comic story of what happens to a group of Torontonians in the last six hours of life on Planet Earth. Other key performers include Sandra Oh, David Cronenberg and Sarah Polley.
Before filming, Rennie was worried that his character might turn into a pyscho or just a jerk. "Don and I had a lot of discussions about that because, on the page, he looked like he might be a sociopath rather than just a sweet guy who's just trying to get some things out of the way, some experiences that he really wants to touch upon before he departs.
"On the page, it looked quite daunting. Are these acts of love or acts of loathing or acts of expression? The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
Talking with Rennie is an intriguing experience. He thinks. He reacts. He teases. He provokes. He pushes boundaries. Rennie is a reformed alcoholic and drug dabbler who has been clean-and-sober for five years and now casually refers to his years of booze-soaked despair as "the addiction."
REJECTS THE 'STAR' LABEL
He came to acting and public notoriety late. Now 38, Rennie was 33 when he finally took acting seriously as a craft and as a career. In films, he was discovered as Sandra Oh's boyfriend in Mina Shum's Double Happiness, going on to roles in John L'Ecuyer's Curtis's Charm and Bruce McDonald's hugely underrated Hard Core Logo. On TV, he played Paul Gross' 'American' counterpart in the last year of Due South.
Just don't call him "a star," even though, with his smoldering eyes and natural charm, he is star material. "I don't think they really understand what they're talking about," he says wearily of journalists who have dubbed him as Canada's "hottest" actor. "I can't get asses in the seats for movies. There has been more coverage of me for a television show (Due South) than for any movie I've done."
That might change with Last Night or Cronenberg's futuristic thriller eXistenZ -- Rennie is part of an international ensemble -- but he is not cocky. "I've learned not to invest over the years because of how films like Hard Core Logo and some other ones have just not done well.
"They can get all the publicity and advertising and the greatest hype -- and all for the right reasons -- and a Canadian audience will still not respond to it because it doesn't have a 'star' name. If we had put Keanu Reeves in Hard Core, there would have been a greater audience for it. It's the marquee name and that's the nature of the business, which we have yet to understand in Canada."
Born in Sunderland, England, raised in Edmonton from the age of four and trained in acting between bouts of alcoholic depression across English Canada from Vancouver to Toronto, Rennie is now based in both Toronto and L.A.., where he has had a sublet since September. He is growing impatient with Canadian sensibilities, especially in film.
"It's hard. And it always sounds like a bitch and that you're biting the hand that feeds you. But you feel confused here. You just don't know what's around the corner, what's next. If you stay here long enough, you're the lobster climbing out of the pot and everybody's going to hate your guts."
Source same as above.
Callum Keith Rennie backstage at the 1999 Genies.
Don McKellar on the making of Last Night.
The theatrical trailer. (Shows advertisement first.)
Callum's post-Genies interview with Mike Bullard.
Ashes to Ashes by serialkarma
Last Night Ficlet by threesunrises
Another Day At The End Of The World by kristiinthedark
New Skyline Apocalypses by llassah
This list is woefully incomplete. Link 'em if you got 'em, folks!
Last Night is readily available on DVD at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and several eBay stores.
It also occasionally airs on cable film channels such as IFC and Sundance, and late night cinema on CBC.
While the film can occasionally be a bit slow, it is one of my favourites among the projects Callum has starred in. It's not maudlin or overdone, and the emotions of the characters ring true. Callum imbues the character of Craig with an awkwardness and quirkiness that feels very familiar, turning a character who could easily be a bit of a creep into just a regular guy trying to make the best of his last days. Of course, the multiple sex scenes don't hurt the impression one bit.