by Thom Ernst Tuesday October 16, 2012

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Uncover 10 amazing and under-looked Ontario-based film tweeters in the time it takes to read this blog.

The only drawback in choosing a top ten list of film-related tweeters worth following is leaving out the 1,000 tweeters who are equally good.  And so criteria has been set.

1/ Tweets focus an express passion for film

2 /Tweeters are from Ontario

3/ Followers number under 2,000. (Which sadly excludes great tweeters like @ThatEricAlper, @ddsnorth, @zedsq  except, of course, they're mentioned in this parenthesis)

4/ I really, really, really like their tweets/retweets.

The last point is not as arbitrary as it might seem given that the condition of me liking them is based on the tweeter's wit, knowledge and the general enthusiasm for film.

Here goes:

1/ Alex Huls @alxhuls.  Sure he works for TVO's Saturday Night at the Movies but I'd be following regardless.  Alex embraces all film and manages to convey succinct ideas that encourage some great conversations in the twitterverse.  What's more, Alex is good to his followers by engaging them in conversation, debate and a show of mutual support. He created the Twitter Talk Back a weekly forum where he presents a questions to followers and then post the replies each Friday.    But Alex tweets aren't just good, their New York Times magazine good.  Recently Alex tweeted about the thrill of going to midnight screenings which nabbed the attention of the New York Times and within weeks that tweet turned into a two-full page piece in The New York Times weekend magazine

2/ Kristal Cooper @moviegaltoronto. A seriously under followed tweeter.  I'm suspicious that Cooper has a pseudonym under an alternate twitter account where she's racked up well over 2,000 plus followers. I know little about her writing other than what appears on The Toronto Film Scene web site which is her current affiliation although I seem to recall her name linked in the blogosphere a few years back - Reel Addict perhaps?  What's exciting about Cooper is her dedication to film film festivals from TIFF to Planet in Focus.  She also manages to give her tweets back story like when she reveals her 80s affection for The Lost Boys or her admits to a slow burn appreciation for Black Christmas - not easy things to convey  in 140 characters.

3/ Jason Anderson jandersonesque.  There's a lot to like about this guy.  He's teaches a film criticism course, he's a festival film programmer, he has his own film blog  The Andersonesque Film Blog, a contributor at The Grid TO and has graced the pages of Entertainment Weekly, Saturday Night ant the Globe and Mail.  But most important, he has fun, insightful and great tweets.  If social media is set up as a venue for an easy exchange of thoughts and ideas, than Anderson is one of its best conversationalists.

4/ MovieViewer-Man @MovieVigilante.   I suspect MovieViewer-Man was raised near a drive-in theatre.  He calls himself an amateur movie critic and adds a heroic claim to be the defender of B movies.  True to his word, his latest quest is to search out a copy of "Psycho Pike" a long lost killer fish movie filmed in Wiarton, Ontario. So infectious is his pursuit, that he has me looking for a copy too. He also introduced me to Canuxploitation! a great site dedicated to Canadian B film, and for that I'm forever grateful.

5/ Cinefilles @cinefilles  The twitter handle draws me in.  Dubbed with the byline, Real Girls. Reel Reviews.  They're cinefilles.  You'll get it, if you haven't already.  This is a group account unless there's one person coyly hiding behind a community tag.  They're new to twitter and so coming in under 2,000 followers is merely a temporary lack of exposure rather than going unrecognized.  The tweets are few (still under 1,000 as I write this) but promising.  Topics lean towards horror, old and new, but that might be a seasonal focus.  My personal favourite tweet:  "The Exorcist III: A good movie for those who don't like exorcism movies".

6/ Paolo Miguel Kagaoan @paolocase  I've been following Kagaoan's tweets for a long time.  He's an independent film blogger who's found a way to nourish and support himself by watching movies.  His tweets read like a ravished cinephile unable to get enough to watch.  Who else screens "It's a Wonderful Life" out of season and then tweets about Capra's "...genuine depths of despair"?  Some of his tweets are glimpses into a personal philosophy rather than film related but they work as companion pieces to his overall approach to cinema.  It gives Kagaoan an online persona which in turn gives personal context to his film comments.  His tweets read like an autobiography about the daily life of an avid film-goer. 

7/ Brian McKechnie @bamcat A few weeks from now and McKechnie won't be eligible to be on this list as his number of followers almost reach my 2,000 watermark.  Plus he's recently been quoted by Disney on a "Frankenweenie" ad, and there's nothing like poster space to attract a new audience.  McKechnie's focus is on film reviews and interviews though his tweets run the gambit from concerts to camping (sorry to hear about the rain, Brian) and on to the occasional culinary attempts ("I wonder if I could pull off making this awesome "Frankieweenie" cake").  Follow him because McKechnie's goal seems to be accessibility rather than tweeting to a group of film insiders.  More to his credit, his tweets lead to the online magazine, Criticize This! of which he's founder, editor and critic. Reading McKechnie's tweets is like going to the movies with a good friend.

8/ Doug Tilley @Doug_Tilley  Talk about almost being ineligible to make this list, Tilley (he recently tweeted how he enjoys be called by his last name) is about 60 followers short of 2,000.  It doesn't take long to figure out where Tilley's cinema heart is - just take a look at his blog Daily Grindhouse.  Actually, you don't even need to look at the blog, you just need to read the title.  Tilley, like MovieViewer-Man, finds the art in low budget films.  His tweets (and indeed the blog) invites us to respect the tenacity of the film makers and savour the rough edged compromises that drive these 
B movies from concept to screen.  Though he, like most of us, eagerly follows the progress of Tarantino"Django Unchained" .  Tilley is a must follow for fans of genre films.

9/ Karen Gordon @kagor  Gordon is a great proponent of the retweet. Film is mostly her beat though her CBC journalistic instincts veer towards the occasional political observation.  What I find most engaging about Gordon is she follows far more than those who follow her.  Gordon must want it that way because Gordon, it seems to me, is anything but a follower.  She's a self-reflecting philosopher who tweets, it seems, to come to a better understanding of the way she understands film.  And she possesses a genuine interest in what others have to say and when they say it well, it inevitably appears on her twitter page.  It's a clear indication as to why she's a great fill-in host for Mary Ito on CBC's weekend morning magazine show, Fresh Air.

10/ Sasha James @ThatSashaJames  I don't know Sasha James.  I've never met Sasha James.  I not even sure if Sasha James is male or female (although I'll go with female based on the blade-wielding red-riding hood avatar accompanying the tweets).  Either way, Sasha James makes me laugh.  And so I read a Sasha James tweet with an enthusiasm that borders on eager.  How is it that I anticipate the opinion of someone who I encounter only in the twitterverse?  Why do I feel a twinge of sadness when she tweets of her initial disappointment in "Punch Drunk Love"?  It's because James is that really cool friend you hope likes the same movies you do because when that happens you are, if only for the moment, just as cool. 


And please, as a final addition, allow me to offer up my own twitter account for you to follow @ThomErnstTVO.  



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