Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

Will U.S. movie buffs get to see Creation? Will India’s film fans get to see Cate & Hugh? Will Rick Hansen survive Rick Mercer? Stay tuned!

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: India has halted location filming of the Cate BlanchettHugh Grant drama Indian Summer because the government

CATE: Lady Mountbatten

CATE: Lady Mountbatten

reportedly fears the movie will portray the rumored love affair between Lady Edwina Mountbatten and national icon Prime Minister Nehru despite a stellar performance by Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin, this year’s TIFF opener, Creation, hasn’t found an American distributor because the theory of evolution is considered “too controversial” for the United States. Ah yes – as the French say, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose … despite its catchy title, the sci-fi series Defying Gravity couldn’t. ABC has already dropped it, and CTV is shuttling it to its satellite Space station … on the other hand. David

CRONENBERG: defying all odds

CRONENBERG: defying all odds

Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of the 1958 classic The Fly not only inspired an opera but has also inspired 20th Century Fox to ask him to do it again. Yes, a Hollywood studio wants a David Cronenberg remake of a David Cronenberg  remake. Talk about defying gravity!

IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN! AND HE FLOATS!: Don’t know how you spent your weekend, but Rick Mercer went sailing — sort of. He teamed up with Pembroke, Ont. kayaker and Olympian Sarah Boudens to compete in the

BOUDENS: Olympian

BOUDENS: Olympian

fourth annual Giant Pumpkin Boat Races in the Laurentian Valley Townships and, according to Pembroke Daily Observer reporter Stephen Uhler, “seemed to take particular delight in ramming the pumpkin craft piloted by MP Cheryl Gallant.” Nearing the finish line, Uhler reports, Mercer “was seen to use his paddle to try and shove the MP’s watercraft under, although to be fair, for much of the race the waterline of her vessel was barely above the surface.” Guess we’ll have to wait to find out who won. Meanwhile, brace yourself for a white-knuckle

HANSEN: death-defying

HANSEN: death-defying

ride tonight when two men-in-motion, Mercer and Rick Hansen, take a death-defying plunge (literally!) on the season premiere of The Rick Mercer Report on CBC.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve created an old-fashioned full-service throwback.  We offer radio listeners an alternative to the automated, cookie-cutter radio stations.  We still originate live music and present the ever more rare pop classics from the 30s/40s/50s and 60s.  We celebrate the music of an age when the tempo was slower, you could still make out the words, and people still believed in love.”

ZNAIMER: quotable

ZNAIMER: "old-fashioned"

The speaker? New AM 740 proprietor Moses Znaimer, who is giving his Zoomer Radio station a first-birthday boost with digital stereo sound, a new website and new interactive content. Znaimer’s new maverick station reaches his ‘45-Plus’ target audiences throughout Southern Ontario from Windsor to Kingston, north to Parry Sound, and south into 28 U.S. States.

NO BIZ LIKE SNOW BIZ: Full of admiration for our Canadian athletes as they show their stuff on those eye-catching promos narrated by Donald Sutherland for the CTV Olympics? Me too.  But those snowy hills and mountains we keep seeing aren’t in Whistler. They’re in Chile, because that’s where our athletes are training for the 2010 competition, so that’s where CTV goes to shoot those great spots. And what does South America have that we don’t? You guessed it: Snow.

Ain’t snowbiz grand?

TOMORROW:

Who is Slimey?

And who would willingly choose that name???

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Who wouldn’t talk about Hef, who got shortchanged in my TIFF tally, and who took home the hardware

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: Welcome to another razzle-dazzle week of entertainment in Our Town.  Among the notable treats in store: The Boys In The Photograph, the new Andrew Lloyd Weber–Ben Elton musical about

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

young men and women involved with a neighbourhood soccer team in Belfast in 1969, opens tomorrow night at the Royal Alex … DanceWorks opens its new show, Namesake: three, on Wednesday at Harbourfront’s Enwave Theatre … also opening Wednesday: The new Allen Cole-Melody Johnson-Rick Roberts collaboration, Mimi (or A Poisoner’s Comedy) at the Tarragon  … Darren Anthony’s new concert show, Secrets Of A Black Boy, produced by his sister Trey (Da Kink In My Hair) Anthony, opens at the Music Hall on Friday, the same night conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Anton Kuerti, Richard Margison and more launch a reportedly spectacular new

RIVERS: Saturday night

RIVERS: Saturday night

Royal Conservatory music venue, Koerner Hall, in the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning on Bloor Street West … Chick Corea and Sophie Milman christen the hall with jazz the following night … Celebrity Apprentice champ and TSC favourite Joan Rivers plays Casino Rama that same Saturday night … and Kevin Hearn, Raine Maida, Steven Page and Sarah Slean are among the celebrated warblers who will lend their voices when Andrew Burashko’s Art Of Time Ensemble salutes the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road with a re-imagined, re-invented concert version running two nights only, this Saturday and Sunday, also at the Enwave.

And that’s just for starters, folks.

MY BAD: It’s easy to get cross-eyed when so many stars come to town at the same time. At least, that’s my lame excuse for telling you that Colin Farrell and

BETTANY: double-header

BETTANY: double-header

Julianne Moore ruled the TIFF roost this year with three, count them, three films each, while celebrated runners-up George Clooney, Colin Firth and Amands Seyfried each appeared in two TIFF entries. All of which is true, except for two guys I forgot to mention. Don’t know how I missed him, but Willem Dafoe also deserved to be in that top spot with Colin and Julianne, as he appeared in no less than three TIFF titles this year: Antichrist, Daybreakers and Farewell. Sorry about that, Willem. And yes, Paul Bettany, who played Charles Darwin in the opening night film Creation and Lord Melbourne in the closing night film Young Victoria, should have been listed with Clooney, Firth and the young Ms Seyfried in second place. And yes, I’m just hoping I didn’t miss anyone else.

PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILM FESTIVAL: After three capacity crowds jammed the TIFF cinemas where her much-discussed documentary on Hugh Hefner premiered last week, director Brigitte Berman admitted that

BENNETT: talking about Hef

BENNETT: talking about Hef

by the time she finished shooting she had an embarrassment of riches, and had to delete scenes she loved from the original version to bring the film to a more manageable size. Deletions included interviews with the magazine magnate’s two sons, and the stories they tell about how they were treated in high school as Hugh Hefner’s offspring are apparently so fascinating that Berman intends to include that footage as a separate feature when the film is released on DVD. At a Q&A after the film she informed us that Playboy is the second best-known brand in the world — “Coca-Cola is number one,” she added — and that the toughest interview subject to secure, surprisingly, was Tony Bennett. “His agent is very protective of him, as he should be. But as soon as Tony was told of the request, he was all for it, and just a pleasure to work with.”

Did any key players from Hef’s past actually turn her down? “Yes,” replied the ever-candid Oscar-winning director — “Gloria Steinem, Jules Pfeiffer and Bill Cosby.”

WHO WON WHAT: As T.O. filmfest chief Piers Handling noted on Saturday night, TIFF delivered not only 335 films but also 10 days of consecutive sunshine – “the summer we did not have.” But thanks to superb programming, meticulous planning and the more than 2,000 volunteers (!!) who help make it happen, it was truly a festival to remember.

CLARKSON: winning film

CLARKSON: winning film

Finally, just in case you missed it, here’s who took home the hardware from the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

– Best Canadian Short Film: Pedro Pires, Danse Macabre. Honourable mention: Jamie Travis,The Armoire.

– Best Canadian First Feature Film: Alexandre Franchi, The Wild Hunt.

– Best Canadian Feature Film: Ruba Nadda, Cairo Time, with Patricia Clarkson, Tom McCamus and Alexander Siddig. Special Jury Citation: Bernard Émond, La Donation (The Legacy).

– FIPRESCI Prize (Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics for Discovery:) Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, The Man Beyond the Bridge (India).

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

– FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations: Bruno Dumont, Hadewijch (France).

– People’s Choice Award: Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. First runner-up:  Bruce Beresford, Mao’s Last Dancer. Second runner-up: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Micmacs (Micmacs à tirelarigot).

– People’s Choice Award – Documentary: Leanne Pooley, The Topp Twins. Runner-up: Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story.

– People’s Choice Award – Midnight Madness: Sean Byrne, The Loved Ones. Runner-up: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, Daybreakers.

TOMORROW:

Margaret Atwood, Twyla Tharp, Rick Mercer, and more.

TIFF kicks off Creation, Ms Falco goes back to the boards, and La Pitre reunites with Benny & Bjorn

MAD ABOUT MOVIES: Toronto’s 34th annual movie marathon officially opens tonight with at Roy Thomson Hall, but it really kicks off today at noon with

BETTANY: as Charles Darwin

BETTANY: as Charles Darwin

a screening of Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man at Yonge-Dundas Square. Other films unspooling before tonight’s opening Gala include director Lone Scherfig’s An Education, already provoking Oscar buzz for U.K. actress Carey Mulligan; the new documentary about legendary French film director Henri-Georges Clouzot, renowned for his suspense thrillers, and the film he was never able to finish; and Sook Yin Lee’s

FALCO: back on the boards

FALCO: back on the boards

Year Of The Carnivore, which is definitely not the opera. (Or Short Bus, for that matter. Tonight’s Gala opener is Creation, director Jon Amiel’s ambition exploration of the life and loves of Charles Darwin, with real-life couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as the renowned scientist and his missus, as he begins to write On the Origin of Species, destined to become the most widely read book of natural science and one which will irrevocably change the world. For a sneak preview, click here.

FOOTLIGHTS: Remember when L.A. was a cultural wasteland? Happily, things change. High-profile thesps set to star on L.A. Theatre Works stages this season include Ed Asner and Jonathan

ARKIN: on stage

ARKIN: on stage

Silverman in Once In A Lifetime; Kate Burton in The Constant Wife; Edie Falco in Side Man; Adam Arkin and JoBeth Williams in Dr. Cerberus; and Mark Ruffalo and Lauren Ambrose in Awake and Sing (even if Albert Schultz and Soulpepper beat them to it) … Nuala Fitzgerald is set to do one of her dazzling salon solos next month in Toronto to benefit the Actors’ Fund Of Canada. Her new show, Away With Words, is a pastiche of her favourite bon mots and brilliant passages from O’Casey, Yeats, Shaw, Joyce, John Lennon, Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash and even Spike Milligan. For tickets write edgarcowan@hotmail.com … and the

PITRE: trick or treat?

PITRE: trick or treat?

much-anticipated return of musical comedy showstopper Louise Pitre in Toxic Avenger: The Musical is currently set to premiere on Halloween, Saturday Oct. 31, at the newly-renovated (what, again?) Music Hall on the Danforth. Meanwhile, La Pitre will re-team with her Mamma Mia composers Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaes to headline a Broadway concert vetsion of their new ABBA musical Kristina on Sept. 23-24 at the Stern Auditorium in Manhattan.

Sounds like an extremely hot ticket to me.

A TREE GROWS IN TORONTO: It’s been invited to more than 50 film festivals and received 12 international awards from cities as diverse as Chicago, Taipei, Cairo, Mexico and Iran. This fall it’s invited to the Tel Aviv International Children’s Film Festival, the 7th Istanbul International Children’s Film Festival, the National Archives in Ottawa and the Tribeca Cinemas Kids Series. And chances are you’ve never even heard of it. A short film produced, written and directed by Toronto-based filmmaker Mitra Sen, The Peace Tree tells the story of two little girls, one Muslim and one Christian, who dream of celebrating each other’s festivals, Christmas and Eid, but have to overcome resistance from their parents before they can realize their dream.  Filmmaker Sen is currently working on a new project, Under The Same Sun, but since its release in 2005 her film has triggered the creation of Peace Trees in schools and gardens around the world. For more about The Peace Tree and the remarkable seeds it planted, click here.

TOMORROW:

more TIFF premieres, Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones

and the one-man renaissance of Cheistopher Plummer