Tag Archives: HUGH HEFNER

Stratford gets Sean, Montreux gets a Weather forecast, PBS gets Ethan’s Time Machine and a Legend gets an Ella

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Visiting New Yorker Jake Ehrenreich winds down his love affair with Toronto this week as A Jew Grows In Brooklyn closes Sunday night at the

DAY: Legend

Panasonic … honorary co-chairs Elton John and Quincy Jones will present Natalie Cole with the 19th Ella award on June 1 at the Beverly Hilton. But I’ll bet Elton, Quincy and Natalie are all secretly dying to meet the normally reclusive songbird who’s taking home this year’s Legend award: The one and only Doris Day… Vibes legend Peter Appleyard will bring his magic to Campbellford, ON this summer with an Aug. 1 Westben concert at The Barn … showbiz wunderkind Ted Dykstra directs the Soulpepper revival of David French‘s backstage comedy Jitters, opening June 24 … Sean Cullen returns to Stratford this summer in King Of Thieves, esteemed playwright

CULLEN: thieving

George F. Walker’s take on The Beggar’s Opera … and ya gotta love the title of west coast artist Ron Terada‘s new show, opening this weekend at the Banff Centre. He calls it Who I Think I Am.

GLOBAL SWARMING: The oh-so-lively Dead Weather, the alternative-riffs band formed by Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) and Alison Mosshart (The Kills) are now set to rock the Miles Davis Hall on July 3 at the 44th annual Montreux Jazz Festival. The band’s new album, Sea of Cowards, dropped earlier this month … can’t help wondering if any of those comely 20-somethings cheering Harry Connick Jr.’s version of And I Love Her on American Idol last week knew he was singing a Beatles song? … and speaking of The Beatles, their stereo boxed set, released last September, has been certified Diamond in Canada by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA).

BERMAN: at UCLA this week

The boxed set is the first CD release since October 2007 to be certified Diamond in Canada, which means The Beatles now have more certified Diamond albums in Canada than any other group or non-Canadian artist.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Oscar-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman is set to premiere her doc on Hugh Hefner, with Hef in attendance, in Hollywood this Thursday at the Billy Wilder Theatre at UCLA … Kylie Minogue’s new single All The Lovers will be released at the end of June, one week before her new studio album Aphrodite drops a week later on July 6 … 10-year-old piano virtuoso and showman Ethan Bortnick is set to razzle-dazzle ’em at the PBS National Convention in Austin, Texas next week, all to promote his sizzling upcoming Musical Time Machine special with Gloria Gaynor, Arturo Sandoval and the Canadian Tenors … and Dynamic Double Exposure duo Bob Robertson & Linda Cullen have launched a naughty new website which features, among other things, a somewhat flatulent beaver. To check out the latest 2X shenanigans, just click here.

TOMORROW:

Get out your calendars!

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Hannah goes to Krakow, Brigitte goes to Sarasota, Liz cheers for a Ghost Writer & Tina Fey is EVERYWHERE!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Where is Tina Fey these days? Everywhere, promoting her new movie with Steve Carrell on every talk show on the dial, Yesterday it was

FEY & FRIEND: she's everywhere!

Oprah, this morning it’s Regis & Kelly, and this weekend she’ll host Saturday Night Live with Canadian pop music phenom Justin Bieber as her musical guest … despite the rave reviews she won when her hypnotic Hugh Hefner documentary premiered at TIFF last September, Oscar-winning director Brigitte Berman returned to the edit suite in January and has emerged with an even sleeker version. Last month she screened it to sell-out crowds and positive press notices at the Miami International Film Festival and at the Museum Of Modern Art in Manhattan, the latter as part of the prestigious

BIEBER: set for SNL

MoMA Canadian Front organized by MoMA’s Larry Kardish and Telefilm Canada festival booster Brigitte Hubmann. “At the first screening in New York Tony Bennett, Dick Cavett, Geoffrey Holder, Dr. Ruth and Christie Hefner were in the audience,” reports Berman, “and the response could not have been more enthusiastic!” This month she’s off to introduce the film at the  Sarasota Film Festival, and next month she’ll fly to L.A. to join Hefner when UCLA hosts a special screening of the film in his honour at the Billy Wilder theatre … Amber Marshall invited her Heartland fans to help her find a new name for her foal, “the horse soon not to be known as Harry,” and has been swamped by thousands of suggestions. Now all she has to do us sort through them all and pick one! … international filmfest planner Hannah Fisher is packing her bags for Poland, where she’ll welcome Aussie director Jane Campion and Bollywood superstars Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan to Krakow and The Off

MARSHALL: she's not wild about 'Harry'

Plus Camera Film Festival of Independent Cinema … and New York gossip girl Liz Smith is not a fan of Roman Polanski. “Let let him submit to the law as he should have years ago,” says Liz flatly to her devoted wowOwow.com readers. But that doesn’t change her belief that Polanski is a great filmmaker. Ms. Smith is an unflagging champion of his new Pierce Brosnan-Ewan McGregor thriller The Ghost Writer, which she insists is only “a whisper away from being as great as Chinatown. It is a tension-filled, politically based noir with just enough twists to keep you slightly off-balance but never off-track. This one makes you think and demands all your attention. One deep dig

HAWCO as DOYLE: season finale tonight

into the popcorn and you’ll miss something.All the performances are superb – wonderful turns by Kim Cattrall and Tom Wilkinson – with an especially great hand to Olivia Williams. She is the prototypical noir female – in danger, dangerous, impossible to know. And better if you don’t!”

Okay, I’m sold!

The Ghost Writer is stiill on view at a neighbourhood theatre near you.

P.S. To REPUBLIC OF DOYLE fans: Don’t miss tonight’s first-season finale of the Allan Hawco hit series at 9 pm on CBC-TV. And don’t be surprised if you hear people talking about it tomorrow. My spies tell me it’s quite an eyeful!

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De Niro goes to the Middle East, Mercer goes indoor skydiving (!?!) and Martha goes to war

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: It took filmmaker Brigitte Berman to get the ball rolling, but after the Toronto International Film Festival premiere

DOWNEY JR: Playboy material?

DOWNEY JR: Playboy material?

of her documentary on Hugh Hefner, a major Hollywood biopic is finally going ahead. Producer Brian Grazer (24) recently met with Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody about the project, and Brett Ratner (X-Men) is apparently lined up to direct, with Robert Downey Jr. favoured to play Hef … shhhh, it’s a secret, but my spies tell me irresistible funny girl Monica Parker is currently fine-tuning a new one-woman show cunningly called The Weight Is Over.  Can’t weight, uhhh, wait … and Rick Mercer and Rush rock legend Alex

LIFESON & MERCER: indoor skydiving

LIFESON & MERCER: indoor skydiving

Lifeson go skydiving tonight — the hard way — by attempting to float atop 225 km/h winds generated by a jet engine (!!!) at the Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving challenge. And believe me, ‘freefall’ is the word for it. Catch them tonight at 8 pm on the Rick Mercer Report on CBC.

UP IN ARMS: On Thursday night Toronto theatergoers will see the Canadian premiere of Strange News, a 30-minute multimedia work about the plight of

SWANK: as Amelia Earhart

SWANK: as Amelia Earhart

child soldiers. The work, composed by Norwegian Rolf Wallin with text by Belgian actor/director/writer Josse de Pauw, is narrated by the young Ugandan actor Arthur Kisenyi, and comes to us after breaking theatrical ground in Oslo, Birmingham, Porto, Chicago, and Copenhagen. Filling out the bill is a performance of Igor Stravinsky¹s classic A Soldier¹s Tale, narrated by the legendary Martha Henry and directed by Peter Moss. For tickets call the St. Lawrence Centre box office at 416-366-7723 or just click here.

FLICKERS: Why does news of a Tribeca Film Festival in the Persian Gulf remind me of a New Yorker cartoon? Nonetheless, the 31-film festival opens this

DeNIRO: in Doha

DE NIRO: in Doha

week in Doha, Qatar’s capital, with Robert De Niro, Tribeca’s co-founder, expected to be on hand for the opening film, the Hillary Swank-Richard Gere opus Amelia. Unlike red-carpet filmfests in Dubau and Abu Dhabi, Doha is looking to showcase independent films (Steven Soderbergh’s Informant, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story) — but hey, it’s still the middle east. Both Doha and Abu Dhabi programmed Bahman Ghobadi’s No One Knows About Persian Cats, a film shot covertly in Iran, but none of the Gulf festivals have programmed a film from Israel, and if your passport is Israeli, you can’t get there from here. Intrigued? Yeah, me too. To catch up with Larry Rohter’s report in last week’s New York Times, just click here.

GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT, HOT, HOT: Finally got a chance to see Brad (Love & Human Remains) Fraser’s new comedy about family secrets at

KEELEY & STEWART: hit show

KEELEY & STEWART: hit show

Factory Theatre at a packed Sunday matinee, and now I know what all the fuss is about. Everything about this witty, provocative production is absolutely top-notch, from Bretta Gerecke’s cleverly engaging set to playwright Fraser’s fast-paced cinematic staging and direction. Ashley Wright and Julie Stewart are spectacularly good as the parents, Andrew Craig and Susanna Fournier are outstanding as their confused offspring, and David W. Keeley’s subtle but sly portrayal of the returning restauranteur who unhinges all of them makes this laugh-out-loud dramedy work brilliantly. Don’t miss it. But you will if you don’t act now, because counting tonight there are only six (6) performances left. To snap up your last-chance tickets just click here. And enjoy!

TOMORROW:

Come to the Cabaret.

George & Dani get David, Billboard gets Mary J., CMW gets Dave & Paul, and Madonna gets Jesus

SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES: Winnipeg’s favourite ex-pat David Steinberg is directing the premiere episodes of Living In Your Car, the new comedy series

STEINBERG: Auto pilot

STEINBERG: Auto pilot

from This Is Wonderland creators George F. Walker and Dani Romain. Set in a not-so-fictional slumping economy, the TV series follows a fallen corporate exec who gets caught cooking the books and is legally forbidden from working in any position that involves other people’s money. Clinging desperately to the last symbol of his past, he makes his home inside his luxury car. Walker, Roman and Joseph Kay originally wrote the scenario in response to the Enron debacle.

MADONNA: don't roll your eyes

MADONNA: "Roll your eyes if you want ..."

“Fortunately for us,” adds Walker. “there has been no end to financial misconduct.” Steinberg, who knows all about funny, says he was excited by how topical the subject was, “and how wonderfully written the scripts were, and how funny. Who wouldn’t want to direct this?Additional episode directors for the series include Bruce McDonald, Shawn Alex Thompson and Paul Fox.

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Keynote speaker for the eighth annual Hollywood Reporter & Billboard Film And TV Music Conference at the end of the month is

LUZ: model citizen

LUZ: model citizen

Mary J. Blige … meanwhile, considerably closer to home, iconic music innovators Dave Stewart and Paul Williams are both set to be keynoters at the 2010 Canadian Music Week in Toronto next March … the runaway hit of the Toronto Fringe Festival, it’s been called the next Drowsy Chaperone. So better get yourself to  Nursery School Musical at the Berkeley Street Theatre before it closes this weekend … fresh from screening her rave-winning film on Hugh Hefner at TIFF, director Brigitte Berman detours to Florida this weekend to present her Oscar-winning doc on Artie Shaw to the Miami Jazz Film Festival … and yesterday I told you that I consulted Liz Smith to get the down-low on sky-

SMITH: Roll your eyes if you must

SMITH: Roll your eyes if you must

rocketing French pop star Sliimy, but I should also mention that Liz says Madonna’s relationship with her current playmate. 22-year-old Brazilian model Jesus Luz “is much more than a casual fling; the pop icon is deeply, seriously happy. Roll your eyes if you want (and I know some of you will!), but I can’t begrudge Madonna her happiness. She didn’t break up anybody else’s home and they are both adults.” Adds veteran gossip girl Liz: “Don’t be tiresome about the age difference. That’s so 20th century!”

HOT TICKETS: Toronto’s now-fabled Hot Docs festival has joined forces with Kinosmith to launch The Hot Docs Collection, which will see the DVD release of popular Festival films and other titles chosen in consultation with Hot Docs programmers. The first two titles in the Collection, RIP: A Remox Manifesto and Flicker, are now available for purchase, and you can order ‘em right here … and what “hot ticket” attraction sold out in hours in New York, racking up $2.5 million dollars in ticket sales? No, not U2, and not even the aforementioned Madonna. The hot seller was the Metropolitan Opera, which enjoyed a very robust first-day box-office haul for its coming season. Who knew?

(All those folks who bought all those tickets, that’s who!)

TOMORROW:

CFRB takes aim at CBC’s morning man.

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.

Greenwood shines for Beresford, Google scoops up Bawden, and it’s a wrap! — almost — as TIFF gets set to hand out some heavyweight hardware

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Stratford scene-stealer Geraint Wyn-Davies, currently winning raves for his joyful performance as Bottom in

FOX: on The Hour

FOX: on The Hour

Midsummer Night’s Dream, will take his next play out of town before opening in Stratford next summer. He plans to test his one-man show Do Not Go Gentle, by Leon Pownall, about the life of Dylan Thomas, in New York, where he’ll open a limited run this winter … Google, who continue to be two steps ahead of all other search engines, have reportedly snapped up esteemed Toronto Star alumnus Jim Bawden to cover the Canadian television scene. Smart move, guys! But then, that’s what makes Google Google George Stroumboulopoulos kicks off his sixth

McLACHLAN: dragon lady

McLACHLAN: Dragon lady

season of The Hour with a 60-minute one-on-one with Michael J. Fox … and yes, that was Sarah McLachlan looking lovely at the CBC Fall Launch. She showed up to cheer on her current squeeze, Dragons’ Den panelist Brett Wilson.

FILMFEST FOLLIES: Now that we’re getting close to the finish line, hot titles emerging from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival include Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, Bruce Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer, Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother & Child, Lee Daniels’ Precious,

BONO: at TIFF

BONO: at TIFF

Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time, Tom Ford’s A Single Man, Lone Sherfig’s An Education, Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air, Joel & Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, and Brigitte Berman’s controversial celluloid portrait of Hugh Hefner. Should be interesting to see who finishes in the money when TIFF prize-winners are announced tomorrow afternoon stars continue to shine where and when you least expect them to. My spies tell me Jason Reitman devotee Aaron Eckhart slipped in to see Up In The Air last weekend.’Bono showed up for his pal Colin Farrell at the unveiling of Neil Jordan’s Ondine. Geoffrey Rush

CAINE: conversing

CAINE: conversing

came out to cheer for Michael Sheen in Tom Hooper’s The Damned United. And Sam Neill was among the eager onlookers who raised hands to ask questions when Harry Brown hero Michael Caine participated in a 90-minute on-stage Conversation with Seamus O’Regan … and at the initial screening of Lars Von Trier’s AntiChrist, which premiered the first night of the festival, my spies report that midway through the film “someone actually fainted and caused a bit of a scene when they toppled onto the row in front of them, totally alarming those people. Talk about a perfect way to start a film festival!!”

SMITH: great quotes

SMITH: great quotes

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “A lot of things have disappeared as I have grown older and a lot of wrinkles and flab have suddenly appeared. But whatever I’ve lost, I still have great legs. As the late actress Kitty Carlisle Hart used to say as she showed her gams at age 90, ‘The legs are the last to go.’ Kitty had a good life motto. She looked at herself every morning in the mirror and said, ‘Kitty, I forgive you!’”

The speaker? Liz Smith, who just keeps wowing us with her wit ‘n’ wisdom on wowOwow.com.

TOGETHER AGAIN (ALMOST): It’s been years since they co-starred at the then Pantages in Phantom Of The Opera, but Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca

GREENWOOD: "spectacularly good"

GREENWOOD: spectacular

Caine continue to brighten stage and screens. Wilkinson was here this week to promote The Tudors at CBC’s elegant mid-week Fall Launch. In the new season he plays an antagonist who Henry VIII summarily executes. “But they must have liked what I did, because they’ve asked me return as a ghost!” Meanwhile, the glory-voiced Ms Caine is set to headline her own concert show, Raising Caine, next Sunday Sept. 27 at the new Conservatory Theatre … and speaking of dynamic duos, Twin Peaks alumni Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Chen are only two of the reasons why TIFF showstopper Mao’s Last Dancer is such a riveting film. Credit director Bruce Beresford for hiring Bruce Greenwood to play the U.S. choreographer with his own agenda. Greenwood, who delivers a brilliantly nuanced performance,  is spectacularly good. But then, so is the movie. Don’t miss it.

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George gets Oprah, Kim gets a sidewalk star and Toronto gets one heaping helping of Hollywood

STARS IN OUR EYES: What a weekend for celebrity-spotting in Our Town.  In addition to Penelope Cruz, Colin Farrell, Jeff Bridges, Jason Bateman, Hugh Hefner, Drew Barrymore, Ewan McGregor (who walked the red

McGREGOR: took flight

McGREGOR: took flight

carpet, then dashed to Pearson International to catch a flight) and too many more to mention here, Anne Murray hosted the stars receiving Walk Of Fame honours on Saturday night at the Four Seasons Centre. New sidewalk star owner Kim Cattrall, back in New York this morning shooting Sex And The City 2, also sparkled at George Christy’s 25th annual filmfest family reunion at the Four Seasons, as did Michael Caine, Rachel Ward & Bryan Brown, Norman Jewison, Michael Sheen, Rex Reed, novelists Ron Base & Shinan Govani, Seamus O’Regan, Chaz & Roger Ebert, Ben Mulroney and An Education scene-stealer Carey Mulligan, who flew to Manhattan yesterday to start shooting Wall Street 2 with Michael

CATTRALL: Back to Manhattan

CATTRALL: Back to Manhattan

Douglas. A few blocks away at Il Fornello TIFF co-founder Bill Marshall & Sari Ruda hosted their annual All-Star Lunch for directors Fred Schepisi, Patricia Rozema and Don Shebib, satirist Rick Miller, filmfest veteran Tony Watt, columnist Martin Knelman, ex-Toronto mayors David Crombie & Art Eggleton and many more. Veteran filmfest programmer Hannah Fisher and producers Pierre Sarrazin & Suzette Couture were among the guests soaking up the sun and snacks at Tonya Lee Williams’ lively networking reception at The Pilot for her ReelWorld Indie Lounge. And producer Laszlo

CLOONEY: with Oprah

CLOONEY: with Oprah

Barna and dozens of TIFF participants showed up to shmooze at the Canadian Film Centre soiree hosted by CFC chief Slawko Klymkiw at The Spoke Club.

Biggest crowd-pleasers of the weekend: George Clooney, who greeted cheering fans Friday night at the premiere of The Men Who Stare At Goats and then showed up with Oprah Winfrey on his arm for the Saturday screening of Jason Reitman’s crowd-pleasing Up In The Air. (My spies tell me Reitman’s Thank You For Smoking star Aaron Eckhart also was there. Who knew?) La Wnfrey herself drew thunderous applause last night at the premiere of Precious, as did Mariah Carey. But it was Michael Caine who earned the most affectionate TIFF standing ovations yesterday in his stellar Q&A session with Canada A.M. stalwart Seamus O’Regan.

TIFF TALK: TIFF visitor Tilda Swinton reportedly wants to star in a new screen version of Mame, more along the lines of stage & screen Mame Rosalind Russell than movie musical Mame Lucille Ball … popular music-makers Terri

SWINTON: new Mame?

SWINTON: new Mame?

Clark and Hawksley Workmen are among the entertainers appearing this week at the Hard Rock Café as part of the fifth annual TIFF-related Canadian Music Café …  Canuck luminaries ranging from Christopher Plummer, Norman Jewison and David Cronenberg to Margaret Atwood, Oscar Peterson and Louise Pitre are currently showcased in a new 30-year retrospective by photographer Edward Gajdel at the o born contemporary gallery on Yonge street … Bobby Del Rio is living the Actor’s Dream. He’s in every single scene of Mio Adilman’s short TIFF film Unlocked … and organizers of the Dubai International Film Festival pulled the plug on tonight’s planned Park Hyatt cocktail soiree. All in all, not Dubai’s best year for public relations. Maybe all the headline-grabbing fuss about the TIFF salute to Tel Aviv scared them off?

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