Tag Archives: CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival

AbFab redux, Mercer crosses the bar, Current TV, and an author’s angst inspires a Holt Renfrew haiku

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ:  It’s official — National Ballet chief Karen Kain confirmed yesterday that ballerina Bridgett Zehr, who danced both a tragic Giselle and a sizzling Carmen this season, has been promoted from First Soloist

MERCER: fearless

MERCER: fearless

to Principal Dancer … Tracey Erin Smith returns as your favourite stripper evangelist — “saving souls one lap dance at a time!” — in her Fringe hit The Burning Bush this week for 10 nights only at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts … The Marcus Trio play a rare hometown gig this Thursday at The Smiling Buddha … the 2009 CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival opens tonight at the Bloor Cinema with a program of Award Winners From Around The World,  followed by a glam after-party at C-Lounge … and I guess Rick Mercer didn’t receive that Stars Never Get Their Hands Dirty memo. Last Friday night the fearless TV icon, who will brave the most daunting conditions for a laugh, was the Guest Of Honor at the North Battleford, Saskatchewan Kinsmen Club fund-raiser and drew a sizeable crowd — so sizeable that the Kinsmen’s volunteer bartenders couldn’t keep up with the demand for liquid refreshments. According to a report from one of the Kinsmen, Mercer sized up the situation, leaped over the bar and helped the besieged bartending team keep the beverages flowing. “This,” they report, “was a memorable night.” You said it.

TUBE TALK: The first version with Roseanne Barr and Carrie Fisher didn’t work, and the new and retooled American version of Absolutely Fabulous, this time with Kirsten Johnson (Third Rock From The Sun) and Kathryn

SAUNDERS: she's still Fab. but ...

SAUNDERS: she's still Fab. but ...

Hahn (Crossing Jordan) didn’t make the cut either, despite what was reportedly a splendid pilot exec produced by the original series star and creator Jennifer Saunders. Maybe because it’s hard to get all excited about what got us all excited more than a decade ago? And wasn’t it Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley who we were really excited about? … coming soon to a living room near you: Current TV, a joint venture between Al Gore’s Current TV channel and the CBC. The network is a hybrid television channel and web site that airs both content submitted by users and professionally produced content. CBC will request approval from the Treasury Board in order to proceed with launching the channel … FashionTelevision has picked up the Ashton Kutcher-produced behind-the-scenes modeling soaper The Beautiful Life with Mischa Barton (The O.C.) … and just in case you still can’t get enough Hollywood gossip, Star! Is adding Extra! to its two-hour programming block with E-Talk, TMZ and Access Hollywood.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  It’s official — National Ballet chief Karen Kain confirmed yesterday that ballerina Bridgett Zehr, who danced both a tragic Giselle and a sultry Carmen this season, has been promoted from First Soloist to Principal Dancer … Tracey Erin Smith returns as a stripper evangelist — “saving souls one lap dance at a time!” — in her Fringe hit The Burning Bush this week for 10 nights only at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts … the Marcus Trio play a rare hometown gig this Thursday at The Smiling Buddha … and I guess Rick Mercer didn’t receive that Stars Never Get Their Hands Dirty memo. Last Friday night he was the Guest Of Honor at the North Battleford, Saskatchewan Kinsmen Club and drew a sizeable crowd — so sizeable that the Kinsmen’s volunteer bartenders couldn’t keep up with the demand for liquid refreshments. According to a report from one of the Kinsmen, Mercer sized up the situation, leaped over the bar and helped the besieged bartending team keep the beverages flowing. “This,” they report, “was a memorable night.” You said it.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “A sobering thought: what if, at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential?”

The speaker? Lily Tomlin’s brilliant partner in comedy crime, writer Jane Wagner, who also notes: “Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.”

Gotta love her. I know I do.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Holt Renfrew haiku: Eight sales staff doing nothing. Yet I don’t exist.”

COUPLAND: Holt's shopper

COUPLAND: Holt's shopper

The author? Author Doug Coupland, sharing his thoughts with his Tweeple. And judging from some of his other comments, Holt’s may not be the ideal place for him to shop. “No matter what I do to my body I never look modern. I look like an Antarctic explorer from the 1940s … I still look old-fashioned no matter what I do. Like I should be on a postage stamp. When I try looking modern it just looks wrong.”

Coupland, who is currently finishing the second draft of his book on Marshall McLuhan, is basically an urban explorer. “Met Paul Potts at a radio station,” he notes. “Asked him what advice he had for Susan Boyle.” He also shares his current social observations. “Q: How do you know you’ve had young people over for dinner? A: You don’t get a thank-you email, phone call or note.” But his description of ‘Holt Renfrew haiku” is far more typical of his everyday existence. “The cell phone in my left pocket rang and demagnetized my hotel room card swipe,” he reports.  Sometimes he sounds like he’s reliving Woody Allen’s sophomore years. “Universe looking very large. Me feeling very small,” he confesses on an earlier posting. And on another he fearlessly sums up his past 24 hours: “One great big total sack of shit of a day.”

Hmmm – wonder if he knows that song, Sucks To Be Me …

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Julia gets Javier, Joan gets a rich idea, Anna gets to play house, & U.S. viewers finally get to see US!


 

BARDEM: with Julia?

BARDEM: with Julia?

 

FLICKERS: Oscar winner Javier Bardem will join Oscar winner Julia Roberts and recent Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins in Ryan Murphy’s big-screen adaptation of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love.  According to my sometimes reliable sources, Bardem will play Felipe, “the exotic, deeply spiritual foreigner Roberts falls in love with towards the end of her journey, who rocks her world by introducing her to the wonders of the multiple-orgasm and expensive Spanish goat’s milk cheeses.” Well okay then! … Ed Zwick hopes to reunite Brokeback Mountain lovers Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway this fall in Love and Other Drugs, based on the nonfiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman (no, I’m not making this up) …  she’s

GYLLENHAAL: with Anne?

GYLLENHAAL: with Anne?

still working on a final cut, but word is out that Oscar winner Brigitte Berman has done it again with her new candid study of Playboy personified Hugh Hefner … Neil Patrick Harris, so good at holding the Tony Awards together last Sunday, will star in The Best And The Brightest, an indie about New York’s cutthroat world of private kindergarten … in Paul Bettany’s next film, a horror western called Priest, he’ll play a warrior priest who turns against the church to track down a murderous band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece. Oh sure, same old, same old … add one more thriller to your summer movie Must List: Kari Skogland’s 50 Dead Men Walking. And you can sneak preview it by clicking right here.

FARIS: short role
FARIS: short role

GLOBAL’S GOT IT: Global’s fall line-up includes my favourite show of the new season so far – Glee, a series about a vibrant group of geeky misfits and the resurgence of their high school’s unpopular glee club. The pilot was exceptionally entertaining … say, is that U.S. or … US? Oh – it’s us! Get ready to see a lot more Canada Post mailboxes on screen on U.S. television. Home-grown series Flashpoint and The Listener, and still to be seen police series Copper and The Bridge, are all set in Toronto. Filmed in Toronto, yes, but actually set in Toronto. I ask you, what is this world coming to! … and let’s enjoy it while it lasts … and Anna Faris (House Bunny, Observe & Report) plays a suburban mom who dreams of being an actress in Legally Blonde screenwriter Kirsten Smith’s directorial debut The Spleenectomy at next week’s CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival.  

RIVERS: rich?
RIVERS: rich?

HOW’D YOU GET THAT IDEA? Her new series, How’d You Get So Rich? starts in August on the U.S. cable channel TV Land, and Joan Rivers couldn’t be happier. “The premise for the show came to me while I was on the road and driving through neighborhoods across America. Suddenly there would be a humungous mansion and I’d ask, ‘Who the hell lives there? How’d they get so rich?’ And then I’d wonder, ‘Is it a single, Jewish man?’

How’d You Get So Rich? goes inside the doors of these opulent homes where we meet real go-getter Americans who have made their fortunes doing some incredible things.” 

For a sneak preview, just click here.

 

KIRSTIE: root beer floats?

KIRSTIE: root beer floats?

 

U ARE WOT U EAT:  “Sonic is doing free root bewer floats today,” Kirstie Alley swoons on Twitter. “I can’t believe I am missing out on Sonic root beer floats … I REALLY WANT ONE … I am having Fing nectarines … I hate being fat.” Given her too-celebrated roller coaster diets, you might think that Kirstie is the only Tweeter obsessed with food. Wrong. We all are, apparently. Before signing off a few nights ago screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) informed us that she was “going outside for a

COUPLAND:  cereal killer

COUPLAND: cereal killer?

swim.” Why?  “Just ate two bowls of pasta and want to see if I float.” And author Doug Coupland (JPod, Souvenir Of Canada,) who seems like the least likely suspect, is constantly keep us in the loop about what he’s eating and when he’s eating it. “Through a chain of circumstances too complex to explain here I ended up eating just three hotdogs and five vanilla sugar cookies for dinner.” And: “Crazy summer heat …” (Yes, he lives in Vancouver.) “… Had to force myself to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and Vitamin D milk.” And: “Breakfast is for losers.” And: “Brunch is the worst idea for a meal.” In short, not yer average ham ‘n’ eggs kind o’ guy.

 

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Carmela moves to the E.R., Pacino plays doctor, Courtney in Short order, Harrison & Calista blue-sky it, and why Denzel won’t play Obama

Okay, she’s a nurse with a drug habit. We’ve seen that before. And her boyfriend, a pharmacist, is also her dealer. Which is sort of a twist. What makes this story so interesting? Jackie – or Nurse Jackie, as per the new dramatic series about her – is played by award-laden Sopranos star Edie Falco, and her pharmacist

FALCO: addicted

FALCO: addicted

boyfriend is played by Paul Schulze, who played Father Intintola, the neighborhood priest with whom Edie/Carmela was totally infatuated. And making the drama behind this drama even more, well, dramatic, is the fact that both the star and the series writers Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem are card-carrying members of AA. Falco, who has sober for almost two decades, says she was determined not to take a holier-than-thou approach to Jackie. ““It was sort of endlessly fascinating and deeply saddening when I was struggling myself,” she told New York Times writer Kathryn Shattuck. “I know what it’s like to be lost in addiction.” For more of Ms. Shattuck’s excellent Rx on Nurse Jackie, click here.

AND SPEAKING OF ANGELS OF MERCY:  It’s official. Al Pacino will play suicide specialist Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the upcoming HBO biopic.

MACNEIL: wedding belle

MACNEIL: wedding belle

COMMON GROUND: What do John Travolta and Harrison Ford have in common? For one thing, they’re both licensed pilots. Which is how Ford celebrated the Memorial Day weekend by flyng his bride Calista Flockhart, her son Liam and his grandson Ethan to the Monterey Aquarium, which opened early so the family could watch some sleepy penguins wake up … what do Laura Dern, Eric Stolz, and Courtney Cox have in common? They’re among the celebrated on-screen players in the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, set for June 16-21 at a theatre near you … what do CBC EVP Richard Stursberg and comely CBC news anchor Carole MacNeil have in common? Wedding bells. According to Carole’s CBC News: Sunday co-host Evan Solomon, they’re planning to tie the knot later this month.

BOYLE: " ...next?"

BOYLE: " ...next?"

ON THE BOYLE: A sometime-collaborator of Steve Martin‘s, actor Ricky Jay is also a sleight-of-hand artist and author. Earlier this week he contributed an op-ed piece to the New York Times about the apparent worldwide obsession with Britain’s Got Talent ‘loser’ Susan Boyle.

 “Should we have expected anything more, or less?” he asks. “Our first look at Ms. Boyle generated not only expectation but surprise. But as she became overexposed, our surprise diminished. The extraordinary became commonplace.”

Because of her presence on youtube, he notes,  “A performing cycle that once could have taken years is herein reduced to days. She’s unknown, we’re surprised. She’s embraced, we’re disenchanted. She’s the runner-up … next?”

To see Jay’s column, cleverly and appropriately headlined Desperately Seeking Susan, click here.

WASHINGTON: remake
WASHINGTON: remake

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “When Barack Obama’s story is ready to be told, I’ll be too old to do it. And if it were made right now, he has too much to do to have me hanging around asking for tips on how to play him.”

The speaker? John Travolta’s co-star in The Taking Of Pelham 123, Denzel Washington, in an interview with Reader’s Digest.

For a sneak preview of this remake – believe it or not, it was villainous Robert Shaw versus lawman Walter Matthau (yes, Walter Matthau) in the 1973 original – just click here.