Tag Archives: Worldwide Short Film Festival

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.

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Sandra & Ryan switch bait (and nationalities,) Kirstie gets a crush, Maggie hosts a Buddies bash, and Joan hits off-Broadway with a drag band

I’VE GOT A CRUSH ON YOU: Twitterbug Kirstie Alley admittedly gets crushes like crazy. Two weeks ago it was Jamie Foxx. Her new swoon? Violinist David Garrett. “Mr. Foxx is on the back burner today,” she confided last week

GARRETT: Kirstie crush

GARRETT: Kirstie crush

to her more than 40,000 Twitter followers. “Hottie violin player on front burner … boiling …” But she’s also an ardent admirer one of television’s true Golden Girls, Mary Tyler Moore alumnus Betty White. “I want to be Betty White when I grow up,” Kirstie insists. “I love her!” … which reminds me, Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds clearly had a lot of fun shooting their new romantic comedy The Proposal, and it shows. The plot involves a transplanted Canadian boss who forces an American underling into a marriage to avoid being deported from the U.S. The inside joke is, Hollywood screen queen Bullock plays the Canadian boss and Canadian heartthrob Reynolds plays her harassed American assistant. Funnier still is the ‘secret’ out-take they manufactured to promote the movie on Will Ferrell’s 

WHITE: friction causer?

WHITE: friction causer?

Funny Or Die website, in which they both royally send themselves up as spoiled movie stars. Why did Kirstie’s crush on Betty White remind me of Sandra & Ryan? Because Betty is the cause of the fictitious friction between the two stars on the set in their sly rehearsed romp for Ferrell fanatics. To see for yourself, just click here.

GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE:  Okay, last night was not the Tony’s finest hour. Granted all the stars gathered at Radio City Music Hall seemed to love that overblown  musical opener, but despite Elton, Dolly and Liza it was mostly a train wreck on television. Camera direction was disastrous most of the night, as were persistent audio problems. New musicals were well represented but new dramas were given alarmningly short shrift

What was good about it? The Tony win for David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish, who continue to make Billy Elliot, The Musical the ongoing talk of the town. And, as predicted here Friday, Tony host Neil Patrick Harris’ clever closing number was almost worth wading through the three (!!!) hours preceding it, which he so masterfully sent up.  And despite this flawed smorgasbord showcase,   I can’t wait to get back to Broadway to see some of these great shows. George & Ira Gershwin wrote, I like New York in June / how about you?  Over the years I’ve been there every month of the calendar year, and still can’t find a time or a season when I don’t love New York. So take a few days to lick your wounds, Tony TV producers, and then go back to the drawing board and fix it. And in just case you’ve forgotten: Yes You Can.

CASSELLA: Vent-ing

CASSELLA: Vent-ing

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Gorgeous Natalie Portman makes her directorial and writing debut behind the camera directing Lauren Bacall, Olivia Thirlby and Ben Gazzara in Eve, one of the ‘hot tickets’ for the Canadian Film Centre’s upcoming Worldwide Short Film Festival June 16-21. For more info on the WSSS line-up, click here …  Tragically Hip icon Gord Downie narrates Mongrel Media’s dazzling new doc, Waterlife, about the future of the Great Lakes, a gift enjoyed by 35 million North Americans that may not be able to continue giving if we don’t change our corporate ways. Want a sneak preview? Click hereMaggie Cassella’s much-anticipated new series The Vent premieres June 28 on Out TV and on the web at http://www.getoutthevent.com. La Cassella will host a Vent launch party – an

RIVERS: stand up

RIVERS: stand up

official Gay Pride event — on Sunday June 21 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and will preview the series’ first episode, Celebutantes, at the party. Sounds like fun … and speaking of Pride, Joan Rivers, who championed AIDS victims and fund-raised for research long before it became fashionable to do so, is set to do two shows on Thursday June 25 at off-Broadway’s Gramercy Theater, at East 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue, timed to coincide with New York City’s annual Gay Pride Week. The historic venue had been transformed into an intimate nightclub for Rivers’ show, with cabaret tables in the orchestra section, a full bar and waiter service. Her opening act? Rising indie drag band She-Dick. (And no, I’m not making that up.) Tickets are $25-$125 with net proceeds going to Rivers’ favorite charities: God’s Love We Deliver and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

TOMORROW:  Catching up with Anne Murray.

Feist in the flicks! Zann on the hustings! David Sedaris at Carnegie Hall! (uhhhh, wait a minute …)

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: What do Dark Knight scene-stealer Cillian Murphy, pop music queen Leslie Feist and Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall? They all appear on screen in the Canadian Film Centre’s upcoming

FEIST: on film

FEIST: on film

 Worldwide Short Film Festival, opening June 16 at special venues near you … Gallery 888’s 10th Anniversary Spring Fling & Ovarian Cancer Canada Fundraiser runs tomorrow, June 3, to  June 21, with works from over 40 artists … Ingrid Bergman’s pre-Rossellini daughter, New York broadcaster Pia Lindstrom, celebrated her new Sirius XM radio show with a dinner at Morton’s in Manhattan …  the buzz begins. YTV is all set to welcome a new comedy series this September, That’s So Weird. What’s really weird is that part of the team behind it cut their comedy teeth on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Corner Gas. As street cred goes, not too shabby. Stay tuned … and speaking of comedy, Double Exposure’s weekly podcast sends up Susan Boyle (of course!), Stephen Harper’s discovery of some shocking Michael Ignatieff tapes, and a new epicurean delight from Canada’s Governor General. To hear it, just click here.

ZANN: NDP runner

ZANN: NDP runner

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Gossip Girl heartthrob Chace Crawford has taken over the Kevin Bacon role abandoned by Zac Efron in Paramount’s forthcoming remake of Footloose … Lyndsy Fonseca has been added to the upcoming Hot Tub Time Machine (and yes, it’s a comedy) …  Zach Braff will write, direct and co-star withCameron Diaz in Swingles (can you guess what it’s about?) … Rosario Dawson will be Kevin James’ love interest in The Zookeeper (ditto) … and when Nova Scotians go to the polls one week from today, don’t be surprised if they elect stage & screen charmer Lenore Zann to represent them.  A staple of Canadian and U.S. TV movies and mini-series, and justifiably celebrated for her tour-de-force portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, the gifted actress from the Maritimes is the NDP’s candidate in Truro-Bible Hill, and the opposition is clearly concerned.

 

ZANN: as Marilyn

ZANN: as Marilyn

On the same day NDP Leader Darrell Dexter announced Zann’s candidacy in Truro, Liberals circulated a bare-breasted photo of Zann as she appeared in an episode of the cable TV series The L Word. Zann says her nude scenes have never been a secret and they have no bearing on her abilities as a candidate. As for Nova Scotia Liberals, she added, “I think it shows their desperation.” Me too.

SEDARIS: at Carnegie Hall

SEDARIS: at Carnegie Hall

LITERATI:  Toronto Star laugh-maker Linwood Barclay reads clues from his new mystery Too Close To Home tonight at the Toronto Reference Library … Joy Fielding reads from her new novel, Still Life, tomorrow night at North York Central Library … Tash Aw’s Map Of The Invisible World goes Luminato at the Al Green Theatre on Thursday June 11 … and Camille Paglia explains her three new Commandments, Break, Blow, Burn, in a three-part lecture series on June 16 at the ROM … who knew? I bought Judy At Carnegie Hall and purchased Rufus At Carnegie Hall but apparently I missed out on the really big one: David Sedaris At Carnegie Hall. And no, I am not making this up. You can buy it online at Indigo/Chapters for only $17.80 plus shipping. Sedaris, the best-selling author of such quirky gems as Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed In Flames, has become a raconteur to reckon with. And if his Carnegie Hall ‘concert’ is anything like his on-camera stint a while back with David Letterman, it should truly be a CD to remember.

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