Tag Archives: SLAWKO KLYMKIW

Kiefer comes home, Kevin hosts the Inn crowd, Regis goes Rama & Bette’s Rose blooms again

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: When director Norman Jewison founded the Canadian Film Centre 20 years ago, who knew where it would lead?

SUTHERLAND: new Chair

SUTHERLAND: new Chair

Now CFC alumni are everywhere, and 90 percent of them are working, so they must be doing something right. Its latest venture, the new Actors Conservatory, may be the CFC’s most ambitious undertaking to date. Funded by Canwest and The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, the new program is designed to provide collaborative, in-depth, professional on-screen training for Canadian actors. And it also provides a chairman who knows all about all of those things. Kiefer Sutherland, currently

MAJUMDER: 24 alumnus

MAJUMDER: 24 alumnus

shooting the eighth season of his hit series 24, flew in from LA earlier this month to officially accept his new role as chair of the Conservatory.

“I am honored to contribute to Norman Jewison’s legacy,” Kiefer told 2,000 guests at the annual CFC barbecue, “by offering my passion for storytelling, for Canada and for its talent.” CFC chief Slawko Klymkiw noted that the award-winning actor has consistently hired Canadian actors for key roles on 24 (e,g., Leslie Hope, Shaun Majumder, Elisha Cuthbert, Carlo Rota, Colm Feore.) “Kiefer’s experience,” he added, “will greatly enrich this program.” Michael Levine, executor of Brian Linehan’s estate, said Linehan would be delighted with Sutherland’s new role. “He loved Kiefer,” said Levine. “He thought he was a great actor, and a very generous and

BETTE: The Rose

BETTE: The Rose

intelligent young man.” The first eight actors chosen to participate in the inaugural five month session are Sarah Allen and Simon Baker of B.C., Sean Morrison, from Cape Breton; Jesse Aaron Dwyre, from Kingston; and Zoe Doyle, Michelle Giroux, Jean-Michel Le Gal and Abena Malika from Toronto.

Stay tuned.

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Remember Bette Midler’s dazzling Oscar-nominated screen debut in The Rose? Hmmm – you’re older than I thought. The Rose celebrates its 30th anniversary with a special Academy of Arts and Sciences screening tonight at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Hollywood.

 

FRANKISH: hosting tonight

FRANKISH: hosting tonight

OUR TOWN: Remember the Inn On The Park? After a significant restoration it’s now an events venue, and tonight Breakfast Television host Kevin Frankish hosts a celebration of its return at Grand Opening Soirée of Events On The Park. CFRB’s Bill Carroll will co-emcee during the night, with performances by Andy Kim, pianist Terence Gowan and The Anita Rossi Band. Executive Chef Ray Nolan is overseeing the cocktails and canapés … … set to sparkle next weekend at Casino Rama: Bill Cosby and Regis Philbin …  glory-voiced ex-Nylon Mark Cassius sings at Statler’s tonight accompanied by popular piano man Ken Lindsay. “What a talent!” confides Lindsay. “And what a privilege to play for him!” … and Daryn Jones and Johnny Guardhouse are among the laff-makers set to perform at the East End Comedy Revue next Friday at The Dominion on Queen.

 

SONDHEIM: T.O. hat trick

SONDHEIM: T.O. hat trick

SEPTEMBER SONGS: The first in a series of three ‘in-concert’ theatrical evenings premiered last week to raves from a near-capacity house, as some of this country’s greatest musical comedy talents dazzled in an evening devoted to Stephen Sondheim musicals.  On Monday they’ll perform the second evening, reprising classic tunes from Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd and more. All three evenings are staged at the audience-friendly Metropolitan Community Church and all proceeds benefit the Actors Fund of Canada. For more info, and to order tickets while you still can, just click here.

Have a great weekend!

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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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As Hollywood watches, Cher finally thanks her Moonstruck mentor Jewison for her Oscar (at last!)

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD:  When Nicholas Campbell, Angie Dickinson and Shawn Doyle are members of the audience, sitting a few rows ahead of Canadian uber-agent Michael Levine, Beverly Hills columnist George Christy and M.A.S.H. producer Burt Metcalfe, you know there’s something special happening on stage. And what is happening on stage at the L.A. County Museum of Art is very special indeed.

Assembled to tell tales, some tall, some small, are an illustrious clutch of Oscar winners: Classic beauty Eva Marie Saint, still-ravishing screen siren Faye Dunaway, artful cinematographer Haskell Wexler, brilliant songwriters Marilyn & Alan Bergman. Joining them is still-irrepressible funnyman Carl Reiner. Emceeing the evening is veteran film historian Leonard Maltin. And sitting between Maltin and Dunaway is the subject of all their stories, and the object of their bubbling affection: Screen director Norman Jewison.

Reiner and Saint, of course, led the all-star cast of Jewison’s classic comedy hit The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming;  even before that, Reiner had scripted Jewison’ s curious comedy about marketing immortality, The Art Of Love, with Ms. Dickinson  and Dick Van Dyke. Dunaway had co-starred with Steve McQueen in Jewison’s notorious romantic thriller, The Thomas Crown Affair.  Haskell Wexler owned the eyes behind the camera on such diverse Jewison films as In The Heat Of The Night and Other People’s Money.  And Marilyn & Alan Bergman wrote the original songs, now American standards, that graced such Jewison gems as Best Friends (How Do You Keep The Music Playing) and Thomas Crown Affair (Windmills Of Your Mind.) And all of them have some wonderful tales to tell. But the master story teller, naturally, is Jewison himself. 

When he tells us how Steve McQueen misbehaved on Thomas Crown Affair, going AWOL in a dune buggy while the cast and crew watched the light fade, Dunaway is clearly entranced. “I never knew that!” she exclaims. Thomas Crown was only her third film, she says; Warren Beattywas still locked in the editing room with Bonnie & Clyde,  and Jewison had hired her after seeing her off-Broadway in Hogan’s Goat. And when McQueen disappeared from the set, Jewison had told her to wait in her trailer until he called her. “And I did what I was told!” she adds, chuckling softly.

The  tribute to Jewison is originally slated to run 45-60 minutes, but the hush from the appreciative crowd inspires Maltin to let his all-star gabbers hold sway. Reiner, who played a leading man for the first time in his life in Jewison’s Russians Are Coming, reveals that the director had originally asked him to play the Russian sailor, a plum role that Alan Arkin eventually won. Reiner and Saint further regale the audience with tales of white-knuckle flights to Jewison locations;  Wexler reminds us of Jewison the activist and his deep commitment to U.S. civil rights; and the Bergmans praise him as one of only two directors they’ve worked with (the other, sadly, being his friend, the late Sydney Pollack) whose passion for music gives him a unique  understanding of  the potential of original music in screen storytelling.

The near-capacity crowd is clearly enthralled. Close to the front LACMA honcho Ian Birney, another transplanted Canadian, is grinning happily. Beside him sit the co-hosts of the event, Film Independent’s Dawn Hudson and Canadian Film Centre chief  Slawko Klymkiw, beaming like proud parents. Klymkiw, aided and abetted by Birney and Hudson, has initiated this event (among others) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Toronto film centre Jewison founded two decades earlier, and celebrated alumni Christina Jennings and Clement Virgo, among others, are sitting in the theatre with the rest of his fans.

Leonard Maltin is admittedly fascinated by the fact that in addition to international megahits as Jesus Christ Superstar and Fiddler On The Roof, this Canadian director, in his opinion, has  also produced some of the most quintessentially American films ever to come out of Hollywood. And the on-stage showbiz love-in is well into its second hour when Maltin raises the subject of another polished Jewison diamond, Moonstruck, which will be screened immediately following the tribute. And then he utters the magic phrase that so many of us have been hoping to hear.

“Let’s invite Cher up here,” says Leonard Maltin.

A gasp from the audience, a truly all-ages group from 9 to 99, as a woman seated near the front of the house makes her way to the stairs leading up to the stage,  her long black hair a perfect contrast to her stylish white designer duds and funky white fedora. Cher is on stage kissing Reiner, shaking hands with Saint, embracing Dunaway — the audience is standing now, and cheering — and greets Jewison with an enormous bear hug. Cher is in the house, and an already excited crowd is now deliriously beside themselves.

The fun is just beginning. When she confesses she was a “bad kid” on Moonstruck, Jewison smiles in tacit agreement. “But,” he interjects,” you’re a good girl tonight.” Yes, she agrees, she’s a good girl tonight. And she proves it, by telling wonderful anecdotes, revealing and occasionally touching, about the fact that Jewison had to cajole, trick and at times even threaten her to enable her to do the best screen work of her career. 

She tells tales out of school, too, stories that make Jewison laugh out loud. About how he finally got Nicolas Cage to loosen up for a scene by relentlessly goading him until Cage picked up a chair and threw it across the room. “And we were all shocked,” she recalls, “and we all looked at Norman, waiting for him to say something, anything! …  and Norman said, ‘Action!’  And he got the scene he wanted.”

When she and Jewison weren’t at odds with other — a creative tension she now suspects he manufactured, to enhance her performance — they were a formidable tag team. For one thing, they both wanted Cage for her leading man. Cher had seen him in Peggy Sue Got Married, “and I thought he was terrific.”

And Jewison remembers thinking that the young actor, at that time, was clearly “the most tortured soul in Hollywood.”

“So of course Norman and I thought he’d be perfect for the role!” adds Cher, grinning.

When MGM balked at casting Cage, she huddled with Norman and then told her manager to tell the studio she would walk out on the picture if they didn’t hire Cage. “Which, of course, I had no intention of doing!” she add with a guilty grin.

But hey, she and Norman got the leading man they wanted. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Movie history, that is. Which brings me to another piece of movie history.  When Cher won her Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck, she facetiously thanked her hairdresser and her make-up artist, but neglected to acknowledge the guardian angel of her performance.

On Friday night she makes up for that 20-year-old gaffe.  After a brief intermission she returns to the stage to introduce Moonstruck, and gives the speech she should have given 20 years ago at the Academy Awards. It is short, sweet and unmistakably sincere — a luscious cherry to top a spectacularly rich evening.

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BEV ON THE BEACH: Who was the alabaster blonde walking on the sand with Norman Jewison yesterday? None other than CTV  charmer Beverly Thomson, who got up Friday at 3 a.m., co-hosted the morning edition of Canada A.M., and then hit the airport. An understandably bleary-eyed Thompson made it to Los Angeles in time to attend the tribute at LACMA and yesterday hit the beach to tape an exclusive interview with Jewison in Malibu. And you can see it too, tomorrow morning on CTV.

 

Funny thing, but these guys are pretty funny!

 

BUBLE: Juno funnyman

BUBLE: Juno funnyman

GROBAN: Emmy charmer

GROBAN: Emmy charme

 

FUNNY FELLAS:  Two of the world’s best crooners are becoming almost as celebrated for their irreverent sense of humour as they are for their spectacular vocal abilities.

Josh Groban, who first won hearts when he romanced Calista Flockhart on Ally McBeal, did such a great scene-stealing solo at the Emmy Awards that his number on that show is now a YouTube favourite. To see and hear Josh joshing, in perfect pitch, click here.

Then again, maybe it’s something about being on awards shows. Michael Bublé enjoyed his comic turn with Russell Peters on last month’s Junos awards so much that he put a link to it on his website. Which links you to the CTV website. Which lets you see Michael and Russell clowning around backstage. Or, you can just click here.

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HAIL CAE$AR:  Have you ever raised your glass to toast what is actually in your glass? Sounds weird, but no, you read that right.

MERCER: Comic Caesar

MERCER: Comic Caesar

The Bloody Caesar, that uniquely Canadian concoction, turns 40 this year, and isn’t even remotely shy about it. What else was happening in 1969? Says Mark Teo in SHARP Magazine for Men:

These Eyes by the Guess Who … dominated the radio waves. The Montreal Expos debuted as Canada’s first major league baseball team. Canada’s now-distinct multi-coloured currency was introduced. Canada’s sharpest political satirist was born in the form of Rick Mercer. And a Northern cocktail revolution was germinating in the mind of Walter Chell at the Calgary Inn.” For more of Teo’s engaging birthday history of the savoury Caesar – including some variations that most purists will not approve of – just add ice and click here.

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FUNNY GIRL:  When she’s not on camera on Little Mosque On The Prairie you can usually find Deb McGrath fervently engaged in her favourite sport: Shopping. In last Saturday’s Globe & Mail, aided and abetted by G&M staffer Deirdre Kelly, McGrath was the guest writer for the My Last Stupid Purchase column.

McGRATH: Holt's habitué

McGRATH: Holt's habitué

Her purchase? ‘A cool and pricey boho chic Zac Posen skirt,” snagged for a song at Holt Renfrew’s. But it wasn’t nearly as appealing when she tried it on again at home.

“Never buy anything tight when you are having a flat-stomach day,” warns the now poorer but possibly wiser Ms McGrath. “Flat stomach days are like leap years and blue moons.”

Mind you, she knew that one day her flat stomach would appear again – and it did, after a week of stomach flu. “But by then,” she notes, “my skirt was out of season!”

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JEWISON: tribute tonight

JEWISON: tribute tonight

 

HAIL TO THE CHEF: Canadian Film Centre chief Slawko Klymkiw is in L.A. today to celebrate film director Norman Jewison, a man who has cooked up some mighty tasty film treats over the years, from Jesus Christ Superstar to Fiddler On The Roof, from The Thomas Crown Affair to Moonstruck, from A Soldier’s Story to In The Heat Of The Night, from The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming to Agnes Of God.  And as if that wasn’t enough, Jewison also founded the Canadian Film Centre a mere 20 yearts ago, raising the bar to create a new standard of excellence for young Canadian filmmakers. Tonight’s tribute at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art will be hosted by veteran film critic Leonard Maltin, and you can be sure some of Norman’s chums will show up to cheer him on. Happily, I’ll be there too, to tell you all about it on Monday. (Promise.)

Have a great weekend!