Tag Archives: National Film Board Of Canada

Look, boys and girls, it’s THE RICK MERCI REPORT! … and no, that’s not a typo

BUT FIRST, TAKE A LOOK AT THIS: Canada’s most-watched man, Newfoundland export Rick Mercer, is slated to receive the 2012 ACTRA Award Of Excellence this weekend — yet another trophy to add to his countless Geminis,

HMMMM ... who's the guy with Bonhomme?

honorary doctorates and other accolades.  His weekly Rick Mercer Report, appointment viewing for thousands of Canadian families, is now in its 9th season, and neither he nor the show are showing any signs of slowing down.  How famous is he? So famous, apparently, that he and his show will soon be parodied by Kids’CBC. Yes, the home of cooking yam Mamma Yamma and singing dinosaur Drumheller is about to introduce its own Rick Merci Report, with another Maritimer, Saumon de Champlainplaying Rick. (Aside from his French accent and his vintage

DE CHAMPLAIN: casting coup

wardrobe and the fact that m’sieu de Champlain is, how you say it, a fish — hey, they could be twins.) Never mind — this we gotta see. Let’s hope the Merci Report attracts as many viewers as the original. More than one million Canadians tune in to Mercer’s Tuesday night telecasts, and an additional half million watch the same-week encore broadcast on Friday night. Mercer’s on the move again tonight, ice canoeing (brrrrrr!) at the Quebec the Winter Carnival and checking out Warming Hut installations (including one by Frank Gehry!!) at the Forks (brrrrrr!) in Winnipeg. And yes, there’s a Zamboni involved. And yes, it’s very funny stuff.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I think Margaret Atwood once said, ‘Wanting to meet an author because you like his books is like wanting to meet a duck because you like paté.’ ”

ATWOOD: It's Payback time

The speaker? Filmmaker Ethan Coen, at a film seminar in China last year. And speaking of film and Ms. Atwood,  look for her new collaboration with filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, Payback, to premiere at TIFF Bell Lightbox next month. Baichwal and Atwood christened their new celluloid baby, based on Atwood’s 2008 bestseller,  to much ooohing and aaahing at Sundance last month. Insiders say Atwood on-screen is almost as fascinating as Atwood off-screen, and if that’s true Payback should really be something to see.

OUR TOWN: The National Film Board launches its salute to the National Ballet’s 60th anniversary season tonight with a week-long series of dance on film at the NFB Mediatheque on John Street. First up:  Celia Franca: Tour de

PINA: Oscar contender

Force  by Veronica Tennant, who will speak following the screening. An archival display highlighting the past 60 years of the National Ballet and an interactive station where visitors can watch a dance and film playlist will also be offered onsite … Amy Nostbakken opens her controversial one-woman show, The Big Smoke, at Factory Studio Theatre tonight. Already a hit in the U.K., the play is reportedly inspired by the lives of Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath and is described as a “poetic waltz with death which walks a fine line between sanity and psychosis.”  Sounds like tons o’ fun  … getting the

THOMPSON: one night only

urge to go Oscar-ing before Sunday’s Academy Awatds telecast? You can catch two major nominees at TIFF Bell Lightbox this week – Philippe Falardeau’s rave-winning drama Monsieur Lazhar, up for Best Foreign Film, and Wim Wenders’ eye-popping salute to dance great Pina Bausch, Pina, currently a strong contender for Best Documentary … and Scott Thompson brings back coy barfly Buddy Cole for a one-show-only appearance this Friday at Maggie Cassella’s Flying Beaver Pubaret on Parliament Street.

*     *     *

Advertisements

Anne kicks off a new tour, Robin gets ready for Rama, Robert gets ready to make a splash, the NFB gets animated & T.O. film buffs go on Cairo Time

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Jazz legend Joe Sealy, cabaret queens Nancy White and Judith Lander, and We Will Rock You alumni Yvan

LANDER: October concert

LANDER: October concert

Pedneault and Alana Bridgewater headline an afternoon musicale Oct. 25 at Rosedale United Church … Robin Williams plays Casino Rama Nov. 11 & 12 … Ron James is set to host the Nov. 14 Gemini Awards telecast from Calgary … good news for her Atlantic fans: Serena Ryder will play the first of six “intimate” east coast gigs November 26 in St. John’s … and Robert LePage’s nine-hour theatrical marathon, Lipsynch, is currently on view at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with intermissions and a dinner-break, through this Sunday. The brilliant Quebec dazzle-master, set to world-premiere his predictably controversial new opera The Nightingale and Other Short Fables

WILLIAMS: at Rama

WILLIAMS: at Rama

here next week at the Four Seasons Centre, plans to fill a partially raised orchestra pit with roughly 30 tonnes of water. His singers will wade in, waist-deep, to manipulate puppets while the orchestra plays onstage behind them. Now that’s show business!

FLICKERS: New season for the TIFF Cinemateque screenings at the AGO starts tonight, with Lisa Ray set to make an appearance tomorrow night for the screening of Deepa Mehta’s hit comedy Bollywood/Hollywood. For more info, just click here …  TIFF award-winner Cairo Time, with Patricia Clarkon and Alexander Siddig, opens in T.O. today. Film buffs, take note: Director Ruba Nadda will be attending tonight’s 7pm screening and tomorrow’s 2pm and 7pm

CLARKSON: in TIFF winner

CLARKSON: in TIFF winner

screenings at the Varsity Cinemas for post-screening Q&A’s … award-laden writer-director Paul Haggis’ current film project has an intriguing title: The Next Three Days … and in celebration of International Animation Day and the National Film Board of Canada’s 70th anniversary, the NFB is launching a special edition of Get Animated! – a series of free public screenings, from October 23–31, 2009, in 13 communities across this country. Accordingly, the NFB’s Get Animated! website is already offering exclusive animation programming to all its visitors.

LITERATI: Royalists continue to be fascinated by the Queen Mother’s recently revealed diaries and letters, despite the fact that her younger daughter,

MURRAY: on the road again

MURRAY: on the road again

the late HRH Princess Margaret, reportedly destroyed a lot of the Queen Mum’s correspondence in an effort to cover up the scandals created by Charles and Diana … look for new books this fall from both Peter Mansbridge and Rex Murphy … on your mark, set, buy: Top Five fiction finalists for this year’s Giller Prize are Kim Echlin, The Disappeared; Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean; Linden MacIntyre (yes, the Linden MacIntyre,) The Bishop’s Man; Colin McAdam, Fall; and Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault … and Anne Murray is set to kick off her cross-Canada tour to promote her new autobiography, All Of Me, with a signing session at Indigo Books & Music on Oct. 29 at the Eaton Centre. To find out when she’s coming to your town, just click here.

And have a happy Thanksgiving.

-/-

Are the stars out tonight? Yes, for the Dora Awards. But not all today’s showbiz news is happy …

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: And welcome to another week of razzle-dazzle in Our Town.  Sparklies set to join host Jian Ghomeshi on stage tonight at the 2009 Dora Mavor Moore Awards at the Winter Garden include Anne

GHOMESHI: hosting tonight

GHOMESHI: hosting tonight

Anglin, Cynthia Dale, playwright John Gray, Graham Greene, C. David Johnson, Tom McCamus, Colin Mochrie, National Ballet of Canada soloist Rebekah Rimsay, Ontario Culture minister Aileen Carroll and Mayor David Miller. Director Vinetta Strombergs and writer Briane Nasimok will be talent-wrangling from the wings … what’s NOT happening today? TheNational Post, which is attempting some creative cost-cutting by NOT publishing a Monday newspaper – a new policy that will continue through the Labor Day weekend …  and, of course, Monday garbage pick-up is NOT happening either — unless you’re listening to the right radio station. CFRB wise guys Bill Carroll and Jim Richards are taking trash talk to a new level by sending 1-888-I AM JUNK to pick up trash every week during the strike for six listeners who send the best emails telling why the station should pick up their garbage. The contest ends this Friday, and the winners can invite neighbours to drop off their trash for weekly pick-up as well!

McLACHLAN: celebrating Canada Day

McLACHLAN: celebrating Canada Day

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Singer Paul Potts, who was the Susan Boyle YouTube sensation of his day when he first triumphed on Britain’s Got Talent, serenades tomorrow night at Kitchener’s elegant Centre In The Square. Torontonians will have to wait a couple of weeks more, when he performs here at the Elgin on July 18 … superthrush Sarah McLachlan and Quebec charmer Marie-Jo Thério will headline the party at Parliament Hill on Wednesday night in Ottawa. CBC Television, Radio-Canada and bold will telecast highlights at 9 pm … Tim McGraw and Reba McEntire

DORE: Rivoli-bound

DORE: Rivoli-bound

are set to headline the first annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival on Prince Edward Island on July 10, 11 and 12 … Jon Dore is hosting two nights of comedy mayhem at the Rivoli July 15 & 16 with a very catchy title: The Jon Dore Television Show’s Writers and Jon Dore of the Jon Dore Television Show Stand-Up Comedy Show, Show! Expect an evening of stand-up comedy featuring Dore and his writers Mark Forward, Laurie Elliott and Steve Patterson. “It is important to understand,” adds Dore manager Lorne Perlmutar, “that none of the proceeds of this show will be going to a charitable organization. Jesus is cool.” Whew! That’s a relief … and did you know that Seinfeld alumnus Jason Alexander is an accomplished song-and-dance man? He’ll show off that next-to-secret skill set when he appears at Casino Rama July 25.

MANN:  more honours

MANN: more honours

FLICKERS: Chalk up another win for enduring filmmaker Ron Mann. Last week he received the 2009 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Mann, whose hit doc Know Your Mushrooms is now available on DVD, won the award for Individual Artist, and then selected Toronto actor and film-maker Charles Officer (Nurse. Fighter. Boy) as the Premier’s Emerging Artist prize winner … Canuck heartthrob Taylor Kitsch will team up with one of his Wolverine co-stars, Lynn Collins, in the Disney adventure John Carter of Mars. And talk about yer parent traps — Greg Kinnear and Kelly Preston will play Miley Cyrus’

PRESTON: Miley's mom?

PRESTON: Miley's mom?

parents (!!!) in The Last Song, also for Disney … our National Film Board and the Shorefast Foundation will establish Newfoundland’s first e-cinema installation, the NFB’s first English-language e-cinema partnership in Canada.

The new system will use new digital technology to give residents and visitors to Fogo Island access to great works of Canadian cinema from the NFB as well as independent filmmakers. Fogo Island, by the way, is the largest of the offshore islands of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the new project will be launched this November … and management of the merged British film studio Pinewood Shepperton, where The Dark Knight, The Bourne Ultimatum and most 007 epics are shot,  has signed a five-year deal

CRONKITE: failing health

CRONKITE: failing health

to take over the seven state-of-the-art sound stages of Toronto’s struggling Filmport, which will now become Pinewood Toronto Studios.

APRIL SHOWERS IN JUNE: Quite naturally, lots of other news was overshadowed last Thursday by Farrah Fawcett’s passing and the shock waves caused by Michael Jackson’s unexpected demise. The saddest of the lot, for me, was the confirmation that legendary CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite is seriously ill with cerebrovascular disease and is “not expected to recuperate.” And to add to that unhappy news — not that you were looking for more — neither Mike Wallace nor 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt are doing very well at the moment.

T.S. Eliot claimed that April was the cruelest month.

Maybe. But this year, June is no picnic either.

TOMORROW:

Remembering Michael & Farrah

-/-

The new kid in The Hall goes to Cannes

 

Maybe Simone Signoret was right after all.
As I recall, the title of her 1976 autobiography was  “La nostalgie   
n’est plus qu’elle était” (“Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be”.)
I remember her in twilight, sitting outside the Colombe d’Or,  
clutching her shawl, hunched over like a little old French lady.
But while you wax poetic and I wane nostalgic, I hear another story, a  
new story, that makes me remember how we felt about Cannes in our  
halcyon salad days. And this story is unfolding as we speak.
He’s just a young guy from Newfoundland.
His name is Stephen Dunn.
Last November Stephen and seven other 1st year film students competed  
in the Toronto 48 Hour Film Project. They entered a short film called  
‘The Hall’ — a film which Stephen wrote and directed.
Competing against industry professionals many years their senior, they  
won Best Film, Best Writing, Best Acting, Best Cinematography, Best  
Editing and the Audience Choice award.
As a result they represented Canada at the Miami International Film  
Festival in March, won the top prize, and were proclaimed to be one of  
the Top 15 international short films for 2008.
‘The Hall’ was then chosen to screen in Boston on March 30 as one of  
the best films in the history of the 48 Hour Film Festival.
And where did that lead them? To Cannes.
‘The Hall’ will be screened this Tuesday March 19 at the festival’s  
Short Film Corner. (It will also be competing in the NFB’s online  
short film contest.)
And while i get all nostalgic about the once and magical student hang-
out on the Rue d’Antibes, I doubt if Stephen Dunn has ever heard of La  
Petit Carlton, let alone the Croisette hotel & terrace it was named for.
But then, he’s all about the present. And living every minute of it.
“I’m here now,” he emailed fellow Newfoundlander Rick Mercer,  “and  
it’s so effing intense. Yesterday I saw two films, saw Tilda Swinton,   
listened to Martin Scorsese speak TWICE and watched Francis Ford  
Coppela cry from 10 feet away. I’ve been here two days and can already  
say that this has been my most incredible trip yet.”
To check out ‘The Hall’ and its filmmaker, his youtube channel has his  
vlogs at
The trailer for his short film is at
And his facebook page is located at
Yes, it’s a new world. But some traces of the ‘old world’ excitement  
still survive.

-/-

 

He’s just a young guy from Newfoundland.

He’s just a young guy from Newfoundland.

His name is Stephen Dunn.

Last November Stephen and seven other 1st year film students competed in the Toronto 48 Hour Film Project. They entered a short film called The Hall — a film which Stephen wrote and directed.

DUNN: kid from The Hall

DUNN: kid from The Hall

Competing against industry professionals many years their senior, they won Best Film, Best Writing, Best Acting, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and the Audience Choice award.

As a result they represented Canada at the Miami International Film Festival in March, won the top prize, and were proclaimed to be one of the Top 15 international short films for 2008.

The Hall was then chosen to screen in Boston on March 30 as one of the best films in the history of the 48 Hour Film Festival.

And where did that lead them?

To this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The Hall will be screened March 18 — this Monday afternoon — at the festival’s Short Film Corner.

SWINTON: at Cannes

SWINTON: at Cannes

(It will also be competing in the NFB’s online short film contest.)

Stephen Dunn is having a very good time in Cannes.

“I’m here now,” he emailed fellow Newfoundlander Rick Mercer a few days ago,  “and it’s so effing intense. Yesterday I saw two films, saw Tilda Swinton,  listened to Martin Scorsese speak TWICE and watched Francis Ford Coppola cry from 10 feet away. I’ve been here two days and can already say that this has been my most incredible trip yet.”

I predict he will be just fine. If  he doesn’t implode by Monday.

To check out The Hall and its filmmaker, you can see his vlogs on his youtube channel right here.

To see the trailer for his short film, just click here.

And to send a message to him on Facebook — because, c’mon, you know you want to —  just click here.

Bonne chance, Stephen.  

Or we say in Quebec, Merde!