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Last Night (movie post)





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.



Cast/Characters:

Don McKellar
Sandra Oh
Callum Keith Rennie
Sarah Polley
David Cronenberg
Tracey Wright
Geneviève Bujold

Patrick Wheeler
Sandra
Craig Zwiller
Jennifer Wheeler
Duncan
Donna
Ms. Carlton


Year: 1998

Runtime: 95 minutes

Country: Canada

IMDB rating: 7.4/10 (3,498 votes)

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

Keywords: End of Mankind, Multiple Storylines, Y2K, Apocalypse, Black Comedy



Awards:

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%



Pictures:













Quotes:

  • 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.




Trivia:
  • 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.



Interesting scenes:

  • 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?
Poll #1188872 Last Night

What did you think overall?

Awesome!
27(50.0%)
Definitely one of Don's good ones.
23(42.6%)
Meh.
1(1.9%)
Pretty slow.
0(0.0%)
/o\
0(0.0%)

Was it violent?

Totally tame.
1(1.9%)
Well, people get frisky during anarchy.
16(30.2%)
The odd roving gang and some gun-pointing.
25(47.2%)
Pretty violent, yeah.
1(1.9%)
/o\
0(0.0%)

Funny at all?

Laugh riot.
0(0.0%)
Quite a few funny moments, considering the circumstances
23(42.6%)
A few, mostly of the black humour/awkward sort.
19(35.2%)
Patrick's pretty gloomy.
1(1.9%)
The end of the world is not amusing.
0(0.0%)

How about sexual content?

This movie is rated R for Craig Zwiller and his ass.
36(66.7%)
People get pretty near to nekkid!
4(7.4%)
You can infer that some nookie happened.
6(11.1%)
Not much, really.
0(0.0%)
Zip. (Oh, who are you kidding. The Kitchen itself is sexual content.)
0(0.0%)

Was there sexual violence?

None. In a meaner movie there might have been.
29(54.7%)
Some implied badness.
9(17.0%)
Craig listed some pretty rough stuff on that kitchen wall.
8(15.1%)
Pretty disturbing.
0(0.0%)
/o\
1(1.9%)




Would you hang out with Craig and/or help him complete his list?
Poll #1188873 Craig Zwiller. The Man. The Slutmachine.

What kind of guy is Craig?

He's a total sweetie. With one thing on his mind.
15(25.4%)
Pretty decent. Wants into your pants, though.
28(47.5%)
Pretty average. A little skeevy, what with the sexual propositions.
12(20.3%)
I wouldn't agree to go anywhere alone if I were you.
1(1.7%)
Run. Far.
0(0.0%)

How many people does he kill?

Nobody at all! It's not like there's a point.
53(91.4%)
Only one! That's not bad.
0(0.0%)
A few. Mostly people who had "die during sex" on their list.
4(6.9%)
He's run through a couple crowds with his car "collection."
0(0.0%)
The apocalypse was his fault.
0(0.0%)

Is he nuts?

Totally sane!
1(1.7%)
Remarkably stable, considering the bad news.
21(35.0%)
It takes a special guy to fill a whole kitchen with sexual fantasies.
26(43.3%)
He's a little whacked.
0(0.0%)
/o\
0(0.0%)

Just how hot is he?

*incoherent noises*
12(20.0%)
I'd help with that list!
23(38.3%)
Not bad, if you're looking for desperate, end-of-world hookups.
4(6.7%)
He's a little gross.
0(0.0%)
Not if he were my last chance, seriously.
0(0.0%)

Is he queer?

I think the apocalypse was just an excuse to hit on his straight friends.
5(8.5%)
I think the 'gay sex' item was early on the wall.
12(20.3%)
Obviously he's considered his options.
26(44.1%)
Eh. People do strange things when death is looming.
2(3.4%)
The Kitchen of Iniquity is LADIES ONLY.
0(0.0%)




Does he die?
You really want to know? Are you sure? Really sure? Well, then. (highlight to read)

::Yes. Him and everyone.::




Articles/Interviews:

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?"

C: "Yeah."

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.



Other Articles:

Callum Keith Rennie backstage at the 1999 Genies.

Don McKellar on the making of Last Night.





Links:

The theatrical trailer. (Shows advertisement first.)

Callum's post-Genies interview with Mike Bullard.


Fic:

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!




Availability:

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.




Last Thoughts:

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.

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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belmanoir
May. 16th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
What a fantastic interview with him and Sandra Oh!!!

::loves::

This article:

http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Lab/7658/tvfilm/art/satnite-ckr.html

also has this fantastic quote from Don about Last Night:

Paul Gross has allowed Rennie to build the character of Detective Stanley Ray Kowalski much to his own design. "Callum has an ego and will really defend things and argue but he has a good sense of improvisation," says Gross. "In a series, it's better to say here is the template, what do you feel would be interesting to include?" But in October, working on the feature film Last Night during a Due South hiatus, Rennie was forced by writer/director Don McKellar to play his character (a man who spends his last two months of life on earth chasing his every sexual fantasy) as written. Rennie resisted. "Callum makes himself cooler than possible, then uses that as a defense to not allow awkward, less-than-cool moments to sneak out," says McKellar. "It's hard for an actor to ask 'where do I have to go to find myself at a place that may not be natural for me?' I wanted him to find the possibility of the part in himself and that requires an insight into that persona of his. He's high-maintenance, gets himself all fucked up, but I like his problems. They are fascinating. And he achieved great acting, different, rich. He is aware of his own mythology and his gift and is now employing them with more objectivity and maturity."
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
I heart that interview. They're such goofs.

I remember that quote. It's a good one. *g*
(no subject) - c_regalis - May. 16th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
_unhurt_
May. 16th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
hi, i have not time for extended comment right now, but this roooocks.

(and The Kitchen of Iniquity? <3)

eta: callum quoting blake? *pets him*

Edited at 2008-05-16 04:36 pm (UTC)
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
\o/

Yes! The Kitchen of Iniquity. What else could it be called? *g*

Callum is a special snowflake. &hearts
green_grrl
May. 16th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
A few. Mostly people who had "die during sex" on their list.

*sporfle*

C (smiling wickedly): "You can make even bad sex good."

Hell-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."


ROTFLMAO! I love how giddy they are in this interview! Adorable. :-)

For fics, here are a few crossovers:

the_antichris's Undiscovered Country Last Night/Slings & Arrows. Craig/Geoffrey.

isiscolo's No Fear Cavalier Last Night/Slings & Arrows. Craig/Darren.

latxcvi's Reaffirmation (links to webarchive) Buried on Sunday/Last Night. Gus/Craig.

strangecobwebs's One Night in Toronto Last Night/Men With Brooms. Craig/Chris/Amy.
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Hell-O!

Seriously! What I wouldn't give to see the look on his face right then. asdfh

Thanks for the fic links!
katee8
May. 16th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
Hee. Awesome post! Love those two bantering about his ass. LMAO! \o/
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
His ass is an important subject!

\o/
thornnuminous
May. 16th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
I love this movie like I do few others. I have my copy, yes I does.
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
It is really quite good. It's one of the first I ever saw with Callum in it. :)
ezust
May. 16th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)


I've been thinking about this movie SO MUCH in the last few weeks. I have no idea why. You've put me over the edge. Must watch this weekend….

meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
\o/

Then my mission is accomplished. *g*
nos4a2no9
May. 16th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
Meres, this was a fabulous write-up! It gives the reader a very good sense of the film, and I loved the quotations from those articles. OMG, could Callum and Sandra Oh BE any cuter? Ass bantering! Callum feeling like he'd need a "release" before the end of it all! *hearts him* "Last Night" is one of my favourite of the 6D movies, and you really captured the high points of the film here. Good job, kiddo!
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Yay!

OMG, could Callum and Sandra Oh BE any cuter?

I THINK NOT. Else there'd be a rift in the space-time continuum or something. &hearts
mirylla
May. 16th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Great post! \o/ I love this movie... and I agree with Sandra Oh, it's important we see Callum's ass... LMAO!

He doesn't do enough sex scenes *shakes fist*
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Sandra is clearly a woman of great wisdom. *nods*

He really doesn't. Let's hope for his future films. *g* Or BSG.
zabira
May. 16th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
fabulous, fabulous post, meres! \m/

and OMG, could that interview BE ANY CUTER??? i think not.
meresy
May. 16th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
\m/ \z/

Thanks for checking it over for me! You are the bestest fandom wife.

and OMG, could that interview BE ANY CUTER?

I really don't think it could!
scriggle
May. 16th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
Awesome post, Meres!

I wish there were a vid of the Callum & Sandra banter.

ETA:
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.

As c said, helleboredoll compiled that book for the MJ CKR panel. It's not online anywhere but I (you) can upload it if anyone wants a copy.



Edited at 2008-05-16 11:35 pm (UTC)
meresy
May. 17th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
\m/

I don't think I can edit the credit into the post without flummoxing the polls, but at least it's in comments. :) And I didn't mean if the book was online -- just whether there was an original source site I could add.

I DO have a MU link for the article book (it was too big to email, and I needed to have it at various computers.) Perhaps I shall post the link, if people want. :)
callumvixen
May. 16th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

Very perfectly wonderful post!!!! And NRRRRRRRRRRRRGH. Hello HAWT.
meresy
May. 17th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
*beams*
c_regalis
May. 16th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yaaay! This is an awesome post! ♥

Love that interview with him Sandra. They are kind of painfully cute together. Interesting that sometimes he doesn't have a problem answering the question about his last meal. Interesting also that TWO interviewers couldn't think of anything else to ask. *shakes head*

I think the MJ compilation was done by helleboredoll. Not sure if it's available online anywhere. It should though.

She did the CKR panel, together with Scrig. There were golf balls. *beams*
c_regalis
May. 16th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
The poll options! ♥!
(no subject) - meresy - May. 17th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - meresy - May. 17th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - May. 17th, 2008 09:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - meresy - May. 17th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - May. 18th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
kitten_of_rain
May. 16th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
Sandra and Callum are ADORABLE. Oh my god.

"You can make even bad sex good." sjdfk

Excellent post! ♥
meresy
May. 17th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
"You can make even bad sex good." sjdfk

How does he know, is what I'm asking.
roadrunner1896
May. 16th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
This is a great post about "Last Night", Meres. It was worth waiting for it. You did a good job there.

And that interview with Callum and Sandra is just too cute for words. *snuggles them both*

And your poll was funny. Though we already knew you could do that since you helped Zabira.

I think you can do this again sometime. :D
meresy
May. 17th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D
china_shop
May. 16th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Craig Zwiller. The Man. The Slutmachine.

Hee! *loves* Awesome post! :-)
meresy
May. 17th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Hehe, I was wondering if people noticed that. I was kind of proud of it. *g*
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