Tag Archives: Toronto Jewish Film Festival

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!)


Brace yourself for movies, movies and more movies for children and Comic Book lovers in filmfest-crazy T.O.

Better rest your eyes this week. Two more major film festivals are almost upon us.

The Toronto international Film Festival’s celebrated children’s festival, Sprockets, proudly offers “the films kids around the world are lining up to see.” And yes, these children’s

IRREVERENT TUNESMITHS: the gang's all here

films really are international. This coming weekend includes five features short films from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Germany and Mexico, presented in collaboration with the Canadian Film Centre’s popular Worldwide Short Film Festival. And no, black tie is not required. Screenings start Saturday morning at 9:30 am, and one of the best things about the excellent Sprockets website is that you can personally program Best Bet viewing for your kids by based on age or their current school status [Grade 3, Grade 5, etc.) For all the deets, just click here.

HIRSCHFELD by Hirschfeld

Also premiering this Saturday is the 2010 Toronto Jewish Film Festival, which may have snagged more hot titles than ever before. Two movies about movies, The Brothers Warner and Cinemas Exiles: From Hitler To Hollywood, are ringing that Don’t Miss bell for me. Also bound to garner attention: Gay Days, which chronicles the rise of openly gay citizens in Israel [from three in 1985 — yes, three — to 3,000 by 1998;) and is one of more than two dozen Canadian premieres; and a screening of Larry Weinstein‘s much-lauded dramatic documentary Inside Hana’s Suitcase.

HANA'S SUITCASE: encore screening

Special focus of this year’s TJFF is People Of The Comic Book, a salute to the artists and innovators who communicate with millions by creating images that make us laugh and cry. Hot ticket highlights of this special sidebar series include The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story, about the brilliant New York Times caricaturist; Irreverent Imagination: The Golden Age Of Looney Tunes; and encore screenings of Bob Zemeckis’ classic Disney ‘Toon Town comedy Who Killed Roger Rabbit, Ralph Bakshi’s X-rated Fritz The Cat, and Ron Mann’s classic Comic Book Confidential. (Talk about yer embarrassment of riches!) Tickets are now on sale for the run of the festival. For the complete schedule and more info, just click here.

AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME: Do you think Rick Mercer deserves an Olympic medal?Toronto Star sports reporter Randy Starkman does. Yesterday in his excellent Olympics blog at http://www.thestar.com Starkman proclaimed that Mercer should be named an honorary Canadian Olympian.

“For one thing,” he wrote, “the bits he does with Canadian Olympic athletes are hilarious, but at the same time show a great appreciation for the athletes and their sports. Check out Rick trying out bobsleigh or biathlon or synchronized swimming and water polo.

MERCER: honorary medalist?

“Maybe Mercer keeps going back to the Olympians to do his shtick because he finds them so accommodating and easy to work with, but you also gets the sense that he understands what they’re about and the contribution they make to the country.His March 2 blog in which he takes up their cause with future funding on the line really shows that. He writes:

“And see this is the thing about governments; governments can take any amount of money and they can make it seem like a lot or a little. And we’ve been told over and over again that this government – this wonderful government – has spent over 55 million dollars over five years supporting amateur athletes. What a huge amount of money. Who’s ever heard of such a sum? 55 million over five years. In fact it’s the same amount of money this same government has spent in one year, in one Conservative riding, preparing for one G8 meeting. A meeting by the way that will last one day. Starts at nine, ends at five. And at the end of the day the only Canadian on a podium will be the prime minister. Never mind Owning the Podium, this is more Pass the Imodium.

“And my guess is when the meeting’s done, no six year old is gonna be inspired to be the best in the world at anything. That is the job of our Olympians. Team Canada did their job now it’s time we do ours and make sure the bucks don’t stop here.”

STEWART: chicken zzzzoup

Adds Starkman: “Maybe Rick Mercer should be in that parade in Montreal later this month.”

Maybe he should.

SEE/HEAR: And now, for the educational part of our program, Martha Stewart will show us how to put a chicken to sleep. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. And no, I’m not making this up. Hey, seeing is believing. To watch  Ms Stewart induce poultry zzzz’s, just cluck, uhh, click here.

-/-

Going, going, gonzo as celeb auctions take off, eh!

RYAN’S FANCY:  He plays  Sandra Bullock‘s lover in The Proposal, Hugh Jackman’s nemesis in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Scarlett Johannson‘s hubby in real life, but in his not-so-spare time Ryan Reynolds is a tireless

REYNOLDS: auctioneer

REYNOLDS: auctioneer

crusader for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Last year he ran in the New York City marathon and raised 100K to combat the disease, which both his father and his pal Michael struggle with every day. Now Reynolds is auctioning off tickets to his two new movies. Winner of the Wolverine tickets will attend the April 28 premiere in Hollywood. Winner of  the Proposal tickets will attend the June 1st premiere,with Ryan and Sandra Bullock … just biding your time? Stop biding and start bidding. The Toronto Jewish Film Festival has launched its first Charity eBay Auction with more than three items to choose from, fine dining fine to movie passes, theatre tickets to  wine storage. Just go to www.tjff.com and click on the eBay link. Or just click here … and not to be outdone, bidding has now begun on Toronto’s now-fabled HotDocs festival’s Opening Night Gala Auction. Bidders from across Canada and around the world will compete with opening night attendees to win trips to Italy and South Korea, weekend getaways, private film screenings, exclusive on-set experiences and more! To check it out go to http://www.auctionwire.com — or just click here.

GOODMAN: heavyweight

GOODMAN: heavyweight

 

DID THE STAGE MOVE FOR YOU TOO?:  Talk about Big Men on Broadway! Currently heavyweights treading the boards on the Great White Way include Brian D’Arcy James, who spends 90 minutes every day getting green for his title role in Shrek: The Musical, with Drowsy Chaperone showstopper Sutton Foster as Fiona; Brian Dennehy, who explodes in rage nightly in the revival of Eugene O’Neil‘s steamy Desire Under The Elms; and John Goodman, now a prepossessing 300 pounds, currently in previews for the revival of the Samuel Beckett classic Waiting For Godot with Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin and John Glover. 

KEATON: restoration

KEATON: restoration

 

A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME Dept.: Still-gorgeous Oscar winner Diane Keaton, in town this week to speak her piece at the Toronto Star-sponsored Unique Lives series, has in interesting hobby: She restores houses, particularly brilliant ones. A full-fledged member of America’s National Trust for Historic Preservation, she recently completed her finishing touches on a finished a Spanish Colonial home in Beverly Hills. I’m told the house, a mansion really, was originally designed in 1927 by architect Ralph Flewelling, and has been painstakingly restored. It features an inner courtyard with a fountain separating the kitchen and family room on one side from the media room, den and staircase. It has thruway arches in the living and dining rooms. The 7,145 square foot layout includes seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms — the master suite has dual bathrooms — and a separate guest suite. The home has a pool, and the yard has pathways lined with olive trees.

Keaton has listed the house at $11,995,000.

And no, I’m not making this up. 

WILL THE REAL BILLY BOB THORNTON PLEASE SHUT UP? Ooops, he did it again. Went on the Jimmy Kimmel Show this week. Said he was shocked by the reaction to his appearance with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio’s flagship interview show Q. 

GHOMESHI: eye-high Q

GHOMESHI: flagshipper

“The fact that that was news was astounding to me,” Thornton told Kimmel. “But it gave humpbacked geeks all over the world something to do for a couple of days.” 

Okay, Billy Bob, it’s come down to this.  We’re begging you, man. Just zip it. While you still have one or two fans left, before your band mates find a new lead singer who restricts what comes out of his mouth to lyrics, or before studio execs decided that yes, despite all rumours to the contrary, there really is such a thing as bad publicity. Resist the urge to go on any more talk shows, and just button it. For at least the next six m0nths.

And don’t you worry none about us. We gravy-free mashed potatoes are actually kinda famous for forgivin’ and forgettin’. Worry about the guy on ABC News who led off his report on your appearance on Q with this catchy phrase: “Wellll, it’s now official:  Billy Bob Thornton is a jerk.”

So when you start mendin’ fences, Billy Bob, you might wanna start at home.

-/-

 

Cooking up a storm with ‘Doubters’ Meryl & Amy

BEAUTY CALL: Still-breathtaking silver screen siren Jacqueline Bisset, who reportedly walks away with Linda Yellen’s new opus, The Last Film Festival, has finally agreed to do a TV pilot. CBS has signed her for the lead role

BISSET: coup for CBS

BISSET: coup for CBS

 in The Eastmans, about a wealthy family who have made their fortune in medicine …  Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, so good together in Doubt,  team up again for Julia & Julia, the Julia Child saga now slated to open in August. The film marks Streep’s third outing with Nora Ephron, who co-wrote Silkwood and penned her own bestseller, Heartburn, which became a first teaming for Streep and Jack Nicholson … and one-man music machine Michael Feinstein recently coaxed 80-year-old MGM girls Jane Powell and Arlene Dahl  to team up with Jane Russell (yes, THE Jane Russell, now a sassy 88 years old) in a concert salute to Hollywood musicals.  Feinstein cast Hollywood Reporter alumnus Robert Osborne, more famous today as on-camera anchor of Turner Classic Movies, as the host, and audiences reportedly loved it.  Will the unstoppable Feinstein bring it to Broadway? Stay tuned.

* * * 

BALLET HIGH:  Attention, Ottawa dance fans — the National Ballet’s three-day run of Romeo & Juliet at the National Arts Centre this week is virtually sold

COTE: Romeo in Ottawa

COTE: Romeo in Ottawa

out. And on opening night Karen Kain will give a free talk about the dazzling NBOC production before Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté dance the title roles. So if anyone at the NAC owes you a favour, now’s the time to call it in … p.s. to Toronto balletomanes: The National’s White Hot Gala is now set for June 18. The company’s 4th annual fundraiser will include a one-hour performance by stars of the ballet, followed by a reception featuring a live DJ and Grey Goose signature cocktails, followed by an extraordinary three-course dinner by Mark McEwen, followed by a White Hot night of dancing on stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with the company’s biggest stars, including the legendary Ms. Kain. For more info click here.  

 * * *

PARTON: smart stuff

PARTON: smart stuff

HELLO, DOLLY: She’s a superb songwriter, a sexy singer, and an All-American fantasy. And so smart, too.

“Dumb Blonde jokes don’t bother me a bit!” says Dolly Parton. “Because I don’t think I’m dumb. And I know I’m not blonde!”

She’s a columnist’s dream.

* * *

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Big-voiced vocal coach Elaine Overholt, currently shooting her Big Voice television series for ‘W’, is currently weighing offers from

OVERHOLT: big voice

OVERHOLT: big voice

two rival U.S. networks who want her to create the same magic for them … don’t know what you did last weekend, but comeback kid Leonard Cohen spent Good Friday with 7,000 fans, on stage in his adopted home-away-from-home, Los Angeles … highlights of the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival, set for July 3-18 in Freddie Mercury’s favourite town, will include a world premiere performance by Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang and the reunion of Status Quo and John Fogerty

* * * 

PENN: boycotting Bill?

PENN: boycotting Bill?

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Sean Penn is a great actor, and if you hire him, you’ll get a good performance. I’m just not going to give a guy who gives aid and comfort to people like (Iran president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Saddam Hussein, when he was alive, my 10 bucks. That’s my right as an American.”

The speaker? Brass-tongued Fox TV maverick Bill O’Reilly, who boycotts Sean Penn movies.

When asked to comment, Sean Penn said, “Bill who?”

* * *

FLICKERS:  One of the most welcome features of Tonya Lee Williams’ 9th annual ReelWorld Film Festival, opening tomorrow night, is a free Family screening this weekend. Set for Saturday at 11 am at the Cineplex Odeon

WILLIAMS: family flicks

WILLIAMS: family flicks

 

Carlton Cinemas, the screening will include four (4) short films and a 20-minute interactive show, with Canwest graciously picking up the tab, For more info on ReelWorld screenings and seminars, click here … adult film aficionados were saddened by news that Marilyn Chambers (Behind The Green Door) died over the weekend at her home in Los Angeles. Chambers, who counted David Cronenberg‘s Rabid among her few legitimate films, was 56 … and does any other city have as many film festivals as Toronto? And yes, we’re bragging, not complaining. Next up: The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, an annual celebration on themes of Jewish culture and identity, showcasing feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world – 90 films from 23 countries. This year’s TJFF opens Saturday and runs for 10 days. For tickets call 416-967-1528 or cick here

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RIVERS: all for All

RIVERS: all for All

 

SEE/HEAR: Two episodes ago, Celebrity Apprentice survivors (so far) Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa were asked to create a viral video commercial for All detergent.  After Donald Trump gave their respective team videos a definitive thumbs down, Joan and Melissa decided to shoot their own videos, on their own time and their own dime, with highly amusing results. Check ’em out here, and enjoy!


 TOMORROW:  Natalie Wood’s daughter in New Brunswick.