Tag Archives: STEVEN SPIELBERG

Billy rocks the Oscars — imagine our surprise — and Dusty Cohl’s floating filmfest sails again

CRYSTAL: Welcome home, Billy!

JUST A SIMPLE BOY WITH A DREAM: Yes, I watched last night’s Oscarcast. Just me and another billion people. And yes, it went on too long. It always does. But it was a splendid reminder of why we’ve missed Billy Crystal. Let’s hope Academy chief Tom Sherak can coax him to return next year.

BENJAMIN: filmfest honouree

ANCHORS AWEIGH: The one-and-only (as far as we know) Floating Film Festival sails from Fort Lauderdale today on a week-long movie cruise of Caribbean islands. Launched  by Toronto filmfest co-founder Dusty Cohl, and kept afloat after his death by filmmaker Barry Avrich, festival programmer Hannah Fisher and travel magician Rosemary Durham, this 12th (!!!) edition will visit San Juan, St. Barth’s, Antigua and the Virgin Islands while unspooling 15 new and classic films. Among this year’s gems is the hit 1969 drama Goodbye, Columbus, with stellar performances by Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw. Highlight of the voyage is expected to be an evening tribute to Benjamin, who will be accompanied on the cruise by his wife

REED: all at sea

Paula Prentiss. (More on the Benjamins as it happens.)  Also on hand to kibbitz and chide FFF 12 filmgoers are the film critics for the Chicago Tribune and New York Observer — respectively, Michael Phillips and Rex Reed (yes, that Rex Reed.) Tonight’s opening film is Dori Bernstein’s stunning biography of Broadway legend Carol Channing.  (More on that tomorrow.)

LINEHAN ON LINE:  Legendary interviewer Brian Linehan was one of the original Floating Film Festival crew members, interviewing stars on stage and usually making the voyage more exciting for all concerned. Good news is that, at

LINEHAN: on line at last

long last, dozens of Linehan’s television interviews are now on line for the whole world to see. Go to www.brianlinehan.ca and you’ll find hours of memorable moments with Daniel Day-Lewis, Mark Harmon, Bette Midler, Leah Pinsent, Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini, Elaine Stritch, Kiefer Sutherland, James Spader, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg and many more.  The three major organizations behind the website — the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, the National Screen Institute (NSI) and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – have done a remarkable job of putting it together. Says TIFF CEO Piers Handling: “Brian was the celebrity journalist everyone wanted to talk with, and we’re proud to be able to preserve and digitize some of those incredible interviews to be enjoyed by the public via the new website.”  We couldn’t agree more.

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OMG it’s Fabian!! … plus Katie & the Kennedys, Hoffert’s next gig, Spielberg’s next flick and Harrington’s nuptials

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Veteran crowd-pleasers Fabian and Bobby Vee headline the Original Stars From American Bandstand show at Fallsview Casino July 1&2 … Irish

FABIAN: taking the Falls

sensations Celtic Women are set to make their only area appearance July 16 at Casino Rama. Apparenty they couldn’t find a big enough venue in T.O. …  gardenia-voiced thrush Judy Marshak is set to headline the Friday night Jazz Vocalist Series at The Old Mill this week with Bruce Harvey on piano and George Kozub on bass. M’lady’s repertoire will include some favourite standards by Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Dave Frishberg, Blossom Dearie and Cole Porter. For more info, just click here … and magical media music man Paul Hoffert was in Singapore last month, teaching a course on how to compose music for videogames, websites, iPads, & such, using his own textbook, Music For New Media. When he’s not on stage celebrating the current revival of his superBand Lighthouse

HARRINGTON: engagement(s)

he’s on stage playing jazz, either as part of the Paul Hoffert Trio or the Jim Gelcer Trio, and admits he’s already having far too much fun. Next gig for Hoffert and his trio is a stint this weekend, also at the Old Mill. Hmmmm ….

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS DEPT. I: What do Girl Guides Of Canada and the Art Gallery Of Ontario have in common?  Next week’s official launch of Canadian Girls Say, the photography exhibition opening Wednesday in Walker Court.

BALLET HIGH: National Ballet of Canada stars Guillaume Côté and Zdenek Konvalina will dance their new creative collaboration Impermanence when it premieres later this month at the 73rd annual Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence … ballet icon Rex Harrington and fiancé Robert Hope, who have been together for six years, got officially engaged in March – in France, no less — and will wed next summer. Meanwhile, much to the delight of his fans, Harrington will return to the stage in the

KINNEAR: JFK?

role of Prince Gremin in the newly designed Onegin, June 19 – 25 at the Four Seasons Centre … and speaking of Onegin, the National Ballet website currently features two dazzling behind-the-scenes videos of the remaking, restoring and refurbishing of Santo Loquasto’s spectacular designs for this extravagant Russian melodrama. To see them, just click here.

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS DEPT. II: What do Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes have in common? The Kennedy dynasty, apparently. Kinnear will play the USA’s most admired commander in chief, with Holmes as the future Jackie O., in a big-budget mini-series shooting here in June. Barry Pepper is set to play Robert Kennedy, Kenneth Welsh will play J. Edgar Hoover and Tom Wilkinson will play poppa Joe Kennedy Sr.  Who will play Marilyn? Not Lindsay Lohan — she’s already committed to bringing Linda Lovelace‘s sad story to the screen. But wouldn’t she be terrific in the role? (I’m just sayin’ … )

FLICKERS: Director David Frankel, now shooting the screen version of The Big Year, is juggling a wonderfully eclectic cast including Anthony Anderson, Jack Black, Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston, Steve Martin, Dianne Wiest, Owen Wilson and JoBeth Williams … this year’s Toronto Jewish Film Festival was the most successful TJFF ever. Which is why they’ve already set the dates for next year’s movie marathon: May 7-15, 2011. Now that’s planning ahead  … and Steven Spielberg will direct the film version of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, the saga of a friendship between a boy and a horse whose fates continue to intertwine over the course of World War I. The stage version is currently a major crowd-pleaser at the National Theatre in London.

TOMORROW:

Peter Appleyard, Natalie Cole, Sean Cullen,

Hugh Hefner & Doris Day (yes, Doris Day!)


Charlize gets Sam, Rivers gets roasted, Leo gets Brave, & TIFF film buffs get The Essential 100

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Okay, in the Golden Age of Hollywood they would have made him change his name. Zach Galifianakis, who has

STREEP: As new bestseller Julia Child

STREEP: As new bestseller Julia Child

his pick of projects since his boffo boxoffice Hangover, is set to do a new comedy called Dinner With Schmucks (a title they also would have changed) … rising Aussie hearrthrob Sam Worthington has just signed on to co-star with Charlize Theron in a new thriller called The TouristLeonardo DiCapiro and director Ridley Scott are developing a new version of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World …  the Walter Cronkite memorial this morning at Avery Fisher Hall is the hottest ticket in New York, and once President Obama arrives, they’ll seal the doors. So latecomers will not be an issue … Vanity Fair literary lion Dominick Dunne will be memorialized tomorrow afternoon at St. Vincent Ferrer Church … and there’s no doubt about it, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams (a.k.a. Julie & Julia) have made Julia Child ‘hot’ again. Good news is, Ms. Child’s famed cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking has been reprinted and is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Bad news is, my spies tell me the publisher didn’t reprint enough copies and most of the new editions have already been, you should pardon the expression, gobbled up.

UNFORGETTABLE: Besides being brilliant filmmakers, what do Ingmar Bergman, Francis Ford Coppola, Federico Fellini, Victor Fleming,

SCORSESE: two for the show

SCORSESE: two for the show

Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Fritz Lang, Jean Renoir, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francois Truffaut and Wong Kar Wai have in common? Of 87, count ‘em, 87 international film directors, they’re the only ones who have more than one movie in The Essential 100, the TIFF film and gallery tribute of 100 films which will open Bell Lightbox next September.  The eye-popping four-month film tribute, which will run to the end of the year, is designed as a showcase for the most influential films of all time. Can’t wait.

ANN-MARGRET: honoured tonight

ANN-MARGRET: honoured tonight

AGE-CANNOT-WITHER DEPT.: She conquered television, movies and Broadway, in that order, and has never stopped working. Am I the only one who can’t believe that Lily Tomlin just celebrated her 70th birthday? … also defying

all the Old standards: Enduring Hollywood icon Ann-Margret, here to be honoured by Best Buddies tonight at the Four Seasons … another ageless screen charmer, Linda Sorensen, is currently in Montreal shooting Barney’s Version … and indefatigable Joan Rivers, a sensational 76, is back in Vegas playing the showroom at the Venetian Hotel.

RIVERS: roasted this weekend

RIVERS: roasted this weekend

“It’s been nearly a decade since I played this town,” she reports, “and boy have a lot of things changed! When I used to perform in Vegas, all of the shows starred married couples. You had Steve & Eydie, Sonny & Cher and my favorites, Siegfried & Roy. One thing, though, has stayed the same—Vegas is the only place where you can see Cher, Bette Midler, Celine Dion and me, all in one night and all played by the same man.”

La Rivers, who is set to play Casino Rama later this month, gets roasted by host Kathy Griffin and a clutch of comedians including Brad Garrett, Carl Reiner and Gilbert Gottfried this weekend on The Comedy Network.

TOMORROW:

Charles Darwin on the Origins Of TIFF, new stage turns for Louise Pitre and Edie Falco, and a celluloid Tree that keeps on growing.

Jian gets Matt, Rama gets Tony, Much gets David, TIFF gets Sarah (AND Julie!) & Anne walks the Walk

OUR TOWN: Still the biggest draw in the history of CBC Radio, Jian Ghomeshi and Q return for a new season this morning with special guest

DAMON: on 'Q' this morning

DAMON: on 'Q' this morning

Matt Damon. Damon, in town for the TIFF screening of his new flick The Informant, has now been named the recipient of the American Cinemateque Award next March, following in the footsteps of previous honourees Julia Roberts and Samuel A. Jackson … French DJ David Guetta, who rocked the Guvernment on Sunday night, is scheduled to greet fans at MuchMusic today. His new CD One Love debuted here at #2 … don’t look for Tony Bennett at the opening of TIFF on Thursday. He’ll be serenading fans at Casino Rama …  sidewalk star owner Anne Murray returns to King Street this weekend to host Blue Rodeo, Kim Cattrall, Tom Cochrane, Howie Mandel and Robert Munsch, among

BENNETT: Barrie-bound

BENNETT: Barrie-bound

others, at the 12th annual Canada’s Walk of Fame Tribute … speaking of veteran music-makers, Loggins & Messina are set to play Fallsview Casino this coming Friday and Saturday nights. Slightly closer to home, The Smothers Brothers play Casino Rama on Friday followed by Black Crowes on Saturday … terminally gorgeous Cheryl Tiegs brightened Breakfast Television this morning in City TV’s new digs at Yonge-Dundas Square … keep wishing you could go on one of those sensational tours of Ontario wine country? Me too. Especially when I learned that more than 90 (!!) Ontario wines will be available for sampling next week at Taste Ontario, a one-night-only event at the Art Gallery Of Ontario: “Tour the best of wine country for only $45!” Hey, I’d love to! … but alas, it’s all sold out.

MS. SOMEBODY: We loved her work as a writer and director on Away From Her, but we must admit we’re really looking forward to seeing her on

POLLEY: on screen again in Mr Nobody

POLLEY: on screen again in Mr Nobody

screen again. Sarah Polley, who seems to get better and better each time we see her, co-stars with Jared Leto, Diane Kruger and Linh-Dan Pham in Mr. Nobody, a new TIFF entry by much-admired Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael. Insiders whisper you should add it to your Must List right now … meanwhile Polley’s Oscar-nominated Away From Her leading lady, iconic British beauty Julie Christie, also co-stars in a new Special Presentation film: Glorious 39, from director Stephen Poliakoff … and TIFF-bound filmmaker Joe Dante, currently on jury duty at the Venice Film Festival, will wing his way

CHRISTIE: Polley protegee (AP)

CHRISTIE: Polley protegee (AP)

here in time to introduce his new film The Hole as well as a special TIFF screening of the W.C. Fields classic It’s A Gift.

WILL ‘CATCH ME’ CATCH ON?: In the Good Ol’ Bad Ol’ Days, gentle reader, Hollywood took big Broadway musicals and turned them into lavish movie musicals. Now Broadway takes movies like Hairspray and Billy Elliott and turns them into lavish stage musicals. Latest casualty is Dolly Parton’s tuneful 9 to 5, which closed Saturday night. Newest pretender about to open on the Great White Way? The musical version of Catch Me If You Can, the hit Steven Spielberg drama with Leonardo DiCaprio as a compulsive but irresistible

DICAPRIO: with foxy flight attendants in Catch Me If You Can

DICAPRIO: with foxy flight attendants in Catch Me If You Can

impostor. Leo is not, I repeat, not repeating his role on Broadway. But with a book by Terrence McNally (The Full Monty) and music and lyrics by Hairspray duo Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman, the show is already creating some boxoffice sizzle.

Still to come in the new year: Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in The Addams Family, and the $40 million musical extravaganza Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, directed by Julie Taymor.

TOMORROW:

new films for Leo,  Zach and Charlize — and 13 Essential directors

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