Tag Archives: France

Beck bows out, Tony loves Adele, and Gosling thriller & Churchill doc top FFF 12 honours

 AND THE WINNERS ARE:  Participants on the 12th annual Floating Film Festival voted the hugely-overlooked Ryan Gosling-Kirsten Dunst thriller All Good Things the Dusty Cohl Best Feature Award at a ceremony at sea last night on the sleek sophisticated Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship. Coming in a strong second was Winnie,  a sweeping biopic of South African iron lady Winnie Mandela, with stellar support from Elias Koteas and Wendy Crewson, a finely honed portrayal of Nelson Mandela by Terrence Howard, and a remarkably disciplined, outstanding performance of Jennifer Hudson as Winnie. Winner of the Brian Linehan Award for Best Documentary was An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill And The Jews, an unexpected coup for producer and Floating filmfest commander Barry Avrich, who had confided earlier in the week that he was sure  another FFF  contender, Jealous Of The Birds, which ended up in second place, would take the prize. Other major favourites with FFF 12 viewers included the Oscar-nominated father vs. son drama Footnote, from Israel. which gave us a new and somewhat squirmy inside look at academia; and Where Do We Go Now, from France, which won the TIFF Audience Award last September. Unexpected highlights of the week-long filmfest included Rex Reed’s master claass  tribute to actor-director Richard Benjamin and his wife Paula Prentiss, which included screenings of Benjamin’s 1969 screen debut with Ali MacGraw in Goodbye, Columbus, as well as a closing night showing of My Favourite Year, the 1982 Peter O’Toole classic that Benjamin directed with such style and panache. Most controversial entry at the festival was Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz, which left the cinephile audience arguing about its merits for several hours after the lights came on again. But more on Ms Polley’s film and other Floating Film Festival events in future columns.

BENJAMIN & MACGRAW: in Goodbye, Columbus (1969)

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Rocker Jeff Beck will not be attending this year’s Slacker Canadian Music Week after all. Originally scheduled to perform at The Phoenix on March 22, followed by a one-on-one interview on March 23 at the Fairmont Royal York, Beck had to cancel his appearances due to delays in his recording schedule … supersongstress Norah Jones is getting her Irish on. She’s set to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by serenading fans at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Jones’ new album Little Broken Hearts drops May 1, and Jones will tour extensively this year, with other North American dates to be revealed shortly. Hard to believe that it was 10 years ago this month (February 2002) when she released her first album, Come Away With Me, now the #10 best-selling album of the Soundscan era after selling 25 million copies worldwide … good news for Alice Cooper fans – your hero will open for Iron Maiden when the vet rockers bring their splashy new Maiden England World Tour to Montreal, Toronto, Sarnia and Quebec City in July … and you can add Tony Bennett to the growing legions of fans for Grammy sweeper Adele, who he compares with U.S. music legend Kate Smith. “Adele is magnificent,” he told Rolling Stone. “She’s the best British singer I ever heard.”

AKERMAN: piloting with Portia

CASTING ABOUT: Michael Stahl-David and Zoe Kazan are the leads in Joss Whedon‘s upcoming supernatural indie romance,  In Your Eyes Michael Marc Friedman has been cast in the Fox comedy pilot Living Loaded from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia castmember and producer Rob McElhenney Shawn Ashmore and Valorie Curry are joining Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy on Fox’s new Kevin Williamson drama about a serial killer who creates a cult of serial killers …  Malin Akerman is set to star opposite Portia de Rossi in the ABC comedy pilot The Smart One … British actor Jamie Blackley has been cast as the lead in the upcoming 300 sequel … and Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are set as the stars of Michael Bay’s black comedy action thriller Pain and Gain.

BRYAN: Spring breker

GOLDSINGER: Country warbler Luke Bryan’s album Tailgates and Tanlines is now officially certified gold in Canada. Plus, his first single from the album, Country Girl (Shake it for Mes, is now platinum here, and his second single I Don’t Want This Night To End is already gold.  All this after his I Don’t Want This Night To End spent four weeks at #1 on country music radio charts. So expect some hootin’ and hollerin’ when Luke’s fourth Spring Break EP — Spring Break 4: Suntan City  — drops tomorrow.

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Brad gives up his metal rug, Liona makes more headlines and Harland goes ape for gorillas

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Bad news was, Ben Heppner had to cancel his appearance at the Canadian Opera Company’s 60th anniversary

HEPPNER: concert-to-come

concert earlier this month due to the viral infection he caught in October while singing at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Good news is, Heppner will perform a special solo recital with piano, on stage of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, at a date to be announced soon. And, his songfest will be free for all ticket purchasers of the Nov. 7 COC Diamond Anniversary concert … the Stratford festival memorial celebration of stage lion Douglas Campbell is set for this Monday at 3 pm on the Festival Stage and is open to the public … National Ballet chief Karen Kain has wooed and won dancer Jirí Jelinek, who will join her merry NBOC band as a Principal Dancer in January. Previously a Principal Dancer for both the National Theatre in Prague and the Stuttgart Ballet, Jelinek has blazed a trail dancing through Europe, and was most recently invited by the

WILLIAMS: going ape?

Hamburg Ballet to dance the role of Stanley Kowalski in John Neumeier’s version of Tennessee WilliamsA Streetcar Named Desire … and guess who went on an African Gorilla safari, following in the footsteps of Dian Fossey? Would it surprise you to learn that I’m talking about Canuck ex-pat Harland Williams? Oh sure, it can get a bit dicey on The Jay Leno Show, but go to Rwanda, man — it’s a jungle out there. To see Harland and the Gorillas he almost Mist, uuuh, missed, click here.

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: As indicated in that extravagant recent photo spread in Hello magazine, Liona Boyd continues to live a fascinating life. From  her eight-

BOYD: it's her year

year romance with Pierre Trudeau — “Pierre asked me to come and live with him and have a child by him” — to her ongoing relationship with HRH Prince Philip (“He’s still my best pen pal”) to her hush-hush performance for the sequestered jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial, the world’s first female guitar virtuoso has blazed her own unique trail in show business. This fall she has two, count ’em, two new albums — Liona Boyd Sings Songs of Love, a collection of duets with Croatian singer-guitarist Srdjan Givoje, and Seven Journeys , a CD of new-age, atmospheric music. And as if that wasn’t enough, her back catalogue is also

JOLIE: no sharp edges

being reissued by Universal on iTunes. Which by my reckoning has gotta make 2009 the Year Of The Lion(a.)

OH, STOP GRIPING: Wonder why my hero, Manhattan gossip girl Liz Smith, can always make me laugh? Here’s an item from one of her recent, eminently readable columns on the frankly fabulous femme website, wowOwow.com.

Brad and Angie spent a recent weekend personally baby-proofing their French chateau. (Oh, stop griping. They have a chateau, that’s just the way life is. I’m sure you have something they don’t have.) Not only did the parents of six toddlers put plugs over the electrical outlets and all that, they even moved out some of Brad’s art pieces and furniture, objects too sharp, too hard, too high, too appealing to curious tykes. So, for the time being, interesting stuff like Brad’s metal woven rug are in the chateau’s garage. Which is probably a smaller chateau. Life isn’t fair, deal with it.”

Funny lady, our Liz. Truthful, too.

DOUBLE OR NOTHING: Vladimir Putin puttin’ out a rap song? Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton meeting for a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Michael Ignatieff introducing the new Liberal theme song? And Quebec’s favourite game show is “Le Whack Job”? Yes, Linda Cullen & Bob Robertson have gone AWOL again. For another crazy episode of Double Exposure Radio. click here — but do so at your own risk!

AND NOW, MY FAVOURITE POSTER-OF-THE-WEEK:

9th JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL: This poster makes me smile.

Happy weekend!

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