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With shades of Kubrick, Compulsion explores the psychology of BDSM

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Compulsion, directed by Craig Goodwill, stars Analeigh Tipton as a budding erotic novelist. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media
Compulsion, directed by Craig Goodwill, stars Analeigh Tipton as a budding erotic novelist. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media

It’s likely the average movie-goer will struggle to name more than a few films that fall under the “psycho-sexual horror thriller” genre (Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut is among the few heavy-hitters). So when Mississauga-raised director Craig Goodwill received the script for Compulsion (then titled Sadie), he admits he was terrified.

“Everything I needed to do seemed to terrify me at some level, and not necessarily a horror-type fear but as a director you always have to search within yourself to find things that you can be relatable so you can understand how to present it,” Goodwill said. “You have to do your own soul-searching, your own research, you need to go to those places where those things happen. What was fascinating was the more you got involved with it, the more normal it all becomes.”

Those places and those things depicted in the script for Compulsion involved “female-empowered sexuality that wasn’t intimidated by the idea of sex,” Goodwill said. He said a big challenge in producing Compulsion was to avoid comparisons to the other big BDSM-related features familiar to moviegoers, such as 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

50 Shades was still led by a male character who takes her into this world. When we meet our lead (Analeigh Tipton, playing a budding erotic novelist), she’s already fully been through that world and ultimately has a thirst for it herself,” Goodwill said. “Almost to the point where she comes somewhat Laissez-faire to this idea of a secret society or sexual society. So it was more about her coming to terms with her own dark past.”

Tipton stars as Sadie, a young woman convinced by an ex-lover to join him at an Italian villa with another woman. Though she sets out to find true love, Goodwill said she’s ultimately burdened by “the perceived sins of her past.”

Boasting a strong cinematic style, Goodwill said Kubrick’s films such as Eyes Wide Shut and The Shining were obvious inspirations in creating a world with strong psychological tension.

“The cinematography is incredible, it’s beautiful and I think it carries the film in many ways, because our challenging aspect of the film is that we’re dealing with characters who exist in a Laissez-faire world of secret societies. Usually, we’re tantalizingly entering into them, wondering what will be around the next corner,” Goodwill said. “But our lead character is someone who kind of has been there all their lives. It was important for us to have a justification – one where the photography, the castles, everything else – and you had a character who, in many ways, didn’t want to be there.”

Goodwill said he felt audiences would respond to a different perspective on BDSM, one where a protagonist already understands where she is sexually but then begins to question her own place in it.

“What’s interesting to me is that in the indie world space we have these ultra-violent sadistic ideas of horror films and then we have these kind of Eyes Wide Shut, 50 Shades of Grey kind of juvenile views of BDSM,” Goodwill said. “What we try to do is take you through the world of someone who has been there before and not necessarily treading on the old ideas.”

Compulsion is available on VOD starting July 24. For more information, click here.

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Schitt’s Creek to conclude after next season

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The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.
The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.

The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will end at the conclusion of its sixth season, series co-creator and star Dan Levy announced March 21.

“We are so grateful to have been given the time and creative freedom to tell this story in its totality, concluding with a final chapter that we had envisioned from the very beginning,” Levy said in a statement. “It’s not lost on us what a rare privilege it is in this industry to get to decide when your show should take its final bow.”

Schitt’s Creek premiered on CBC in 2015, becoming one of the network’s most successful half-hour comedies ever. The show follows the fish-out-of-water Rose family, forced to assimilate into a small town after they lose their family fortune.

Though the show’s first season received mixed reviews, it grew in regard with both fans and critics over subsequent iterations. Schitt’s Creek’s fifth season, which premiered on January 8, 2019, scored a 100 per cent “Fresh” ranking on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.

The show is also among select company among Canadian sitcoms, drawing strong viewership in the United States and elsewhere thanks to distribution on Netflix and the American Pop network. Critics have reacted favourably to recent episodes, with TV Guide’s Megan Vick writing that each season of Schitt’s Creek has “gotten better and better.”

Read Levy’s full statement below.

New episodes of Schitt’s Creek air Tuesday nights at 9/9:30 NT on CBC.

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Watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short “Animal Behaviour”

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The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB
The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB

To get prepped for the 91st Academy Awards, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is offering Canadians the chance to check out Animal Behaviour, nominated tonight in the Best Animated Short Film category.

Animal Behaviour is a new short from Alison Snowden and David Fine, who previously won an Oscar in 1994 for Bob’s Birthday. The short is the 75th Oscar nomination for the NFB, and the first short film for Snowden and Fine since Bob’s Birthday. The 91st Oscars air tonight at 8 Eastern on ABC and CTV.

Watch Animal Behaviour below (expires tonight).

Next up on The Mutt: Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 11/12 - "Daddy Lessons/War Paint". Photo courtesy Bell Media
Wynonna Earp Season 4 is in jeopardy, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, due to financial difficulties. Photo courtesy Space

All of a sudden, Wynonna Earp is in Purgatory.

Earpers were stunned Thursday night when executive producer and showrunner Emily Andras posted (and subsequently deleted) a tweet suggesting that fans of the show may soon have to fight for it. Another tweet, posted shortly later, took a decidedly more straight-forward approach.

Andras appeared to be responding to the news that funding for the fourth season of Wynonna Earp appeared to be on shaky ground, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. According to THR, financial challenges faced by IDW Entertainment have stalled production on Season 4, despite the company being contractually obligated to deliver the show to Syfy.

In response to the news, Earpers took to Twitter with the hashtag #FightForWynonna, which at the time of publication was one of the top Twitter trends in Canada. Though Season 4 has yet to be officially cancelled, IDW has yet to commit to a start date for the new season.

“IDW is committed to continuing to tell the Wynonna Earp story,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Much like the fans, we are passionate about not only the series, but the comics, the characters and the overall message that the Wynonna Earp franchise carries. We are in the process of working out the details for how the Wynonna story will continue and will share new details very soon.”

Our resident Earper, Ghezal Amiri, was a big fan of Season 3, writing that the show’s season finale, entitled “War Paint”, was a “wildly emotional conclusion.” Read her recap here.

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