Liverpool, Nova Scotia, is the hub of the Lighthouse Route’s scenic drive along the province’s South Shore. Blessed by Mother Nature, it’s picturesque, book-ended by beautiful beaches, parks, and forests. As the home of the third oldest lighthouse in the province, it’s also rich in history but not exactly the center of the pop culture universe.
Even less so in the 1970s when, as a music and movie obsessed kid, I went to Emaneau’s Pharmacy every week to pick up magazines like Hit Parader and Rona Barrett’s Hollywood. Perhaps because I grew up in a renovated vaudeville theater (it’s true!) I was deeply interested in a world that seemed very far away, and those weekly and monthly magazines were my only connection to music and movie stars.
Liverpool wasn’t on the flight plan for the people I saw in those pages.
Sure, there were rumors that James Taylor and Carly Simon had a beach house nearby, but nobody ever saw them at Wong’s Restaurant, the only eatery in town. And Walter Pidgeon was thought to have come to visit an old friend, but the Mrs. Miniver star, who was born in 1897, wasn’t quite cool enough to be on my list of must-meets or even must-get-a-glimpse-ofs.
Those magazines were my only source. The local movie theater—a gigantic reno-ed opera house—was months behind in getting the new releases, and local department stores like Steadman’s and Metropolitan (known locally as the Metoplitan because of the blown-out “r” and “o” bulbs on the sign that was never repaired) didn’t carry the LPs I was reading about. On paper, I read about The Ramones, Television, the Sex Pistols, learning everything there was to know about the brash new music coming out of New York and London—Johnny Rotten said “fuck” on national television!—before I had ever heard a note of their music. Somehow, though, I knew I would love it…
I thought a great deal about what to say to you this evening. I thought of some funny things, a couple of cinematographer jokes that I could throw around… like Why don’t cinematographer’s smoke? Because it takes them 6 hours to light it… For obvious reasons I decided not to go that route.
Instead I thought back to growing up.
I thought about living in small town Nova Scotia. I thought about being a young man who hadn’t traveled anywhere yet. Who thought that the West Coast was an exotic land where arbutus trees grew and nobody needed to own a parka.
I thought of that young guy who spent most of his early life sitting at the Astor Theater in my town watching the images you people created dance across the screen.
I thought about what I learned about my own country watching the visions of people like Eugene Boyko and John Spotton and their colleagues… people who looked at our country and figured out a way to represent it honestly, on screens big and small.
For me the visions of Toronto in Goin’ Down the Road or Newfoundland in The Rowdyman, shaped the way but I thought about my country, and the way I thought about the people who lived in my country.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the birth of the film and television industry in Canada in the 50s, 60s and 70s—and the subsequent birth of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers in 1957—coincided with a renewal of nationalism nationwide. For the first time Canadians were treated to beautiful, lifelike, moving, in depth portraits of places like Dawson City courtesy of cinematographers Wolf Koenig and Colin Low in City of Gold; or the icy chill of Montreal, captured by cinematographer Paul Leach in Don’t Let the Angels Fall and an all encompassing look at us in Across This Land with Stompin’ Tom Connors with cinematography by Peter Reusch.
Forget the railroad or the Trans Canada Highway, your images of what makes Canada and Canadians special are the things that really connected the country.
The camera has been called a time machine and when we look at the films shot by CSC members we see our past, but we also see a glimpse of our future. The pioneering work done by those men and women laid the foundation for the industry we celebrate tonight… In those images are the very essence of who we are as a people and the creative promise of the industry we work in today.
On Thursday March 26, 2015 Richard hosted a Q&A with “Women in Gold” director Simon “My Week with Marilyn” director Simon Curtis. The two discussed Curtis as Helen Mirren’s tea boy, working with Ryan Reynolds and much more. Next week read Richard’s Metro interview with Curtis in the Friday edition of the paper.
Here’s some info on the movie from IMDB: Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.
Patricia Clarkson’s new thriller, October Gale, sees her working with frequent collaborator Ruba Nadda and starring opposite Callum Keith Rennie, Tim Roth and Scott Speedman.
“Can you imagine I got to be in a film with those men?” she says. “I arrived on the set and said, ‘Oh my God Ruba I have died and gone to heaven.’ Not only are they beautiful men, physically, but if you threw all their handsomeness out the window, they’re gorgeous actors. First class, top of their game, singular actors.”
The New Orleans native, an Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Pieces of April, plays a doctor mourning the loss of her husband. For solace she retreats to a remote cottage in Georgian Bay. Her time of quiet reflection and healing is disrupted, however, by the appearance of a mysterious and seriously injured young man, played by Speedman.
October Gale is the second collaboration between Clarkson and director Ruba Nadda.
“Ruba and I are very similar gals,” Clarkson says. “We like our hair and our lipstick and our high heels. I have four older sisters and Rubba is truly like the little sister I never had. We are like family. We have a second language now. It’s kismet. I think I’m just the luckiest gal to know her and to have her so deeply in my life; in my professional life, in my personal life. I know her family now. I know her sisters. I know her parents. She knows all my friends in New York City and Los Angeles. We’re just family and yet we are able to separate all of that when we enter the workplace. We’re both workhorses. We’re very high energy, we don’t take no for an answer, we’ll fight to the death. She’s Syrian-Palestinian and I’m Southern, so watch out.”
Their first film together, Cairo Time, was the Best Reviewed Romance on Rotten Tomatoes for 2010 and soon they will begin work on a series for HBO. Clarkson says her on-set relationship with Nadda is based on respect and the director’s unique vision.
“Ruba has the courage to make films that people want to make,” she says, “the kind of movies auteurs think they’re making but she actually has the courage to do it.”
October Gale, for instance, Clarkson says, doesn’t have “a traditional thriller pace. It’s Ruba Nada pace.”
Linda Cardellini’s new show is filmed far from Hollywood. The former Mad Men co-star plays Meg Rayburn, wayward daughter of a large, secretive family in the Netflix series Bloodline. She co-stars with Kyle Chandler, Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek but says the Florida Keys location is as much a part of the show as the cast.
“It is otherworldly. It is different from anything I have known,” she says. “It is a place that has a duality to it. On one hand it is extraordinarily beautiful and on the other there is this oppressive heat and slight danger that follows you around everywhere. When you’re in the elements there are a lot of things around you that are sometimes friendly to human beings and sometimes not so much. It’s perfect for the show because it really shows this paradise and on the other side here are these really dangerous things.”
When she was first approached to do the Bloodline there wasn’t even a script for her to read.
“There was a pitch,” she says, “and I had a meeting with [producer] Glen Kessler and he spoke so beautifully with so much rich detail about who this person is, what she means to the family, what the story means. To me that was very exciting; how much he had to say and how much he knew. It showed to me that the creators of the show were very interested in each and every one of the characters. To have the family dynamic be appealing you have to understand every facet of the family.”
The pitch won her over, in part because she had just binge watched the legal drama Damages, the last show from the same producers.
“When I watched Damages I loved how they wrote for women,” she says. “I thought what could have been viewed as a stereotype was introduced and explored in such a fashion that broke all those stereotypes and broke all those glass ceilings about what a female character could or couldn’t be. To me that was very exciting.”
She now hopes people will binge view all thirteen episodes of Bloodline which went up on Netflix last week.
“I love it,” she says of binging in front of the TV. “It has invented a new way for people to get entertainment. I think it’s great because you don’t have to make an appointment with the television. You don’t have to rely on it coming on every week and waiting.”
You can tell Will Ferrell has a new movie coming out because he’s doing the darndest things.
On March 12 he played for ten Major League Baseball teams in five spring training games in one day. Since then he’s roasted Justin Bieber, walked red carpets at South By Southwest, dressed as a leprechaun with David Letterman, appeared in snack cake queen Little Debbie drag on The Tonight Show and traded barbs with Jon Stewart while wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with dozens of pictures of Zack Galifianakis.
He’s pulling out all the stops to make sure everyone knows Get Hard, his comedy about a rich man who hires a coach (Kevin Hart) to prep him for prison, opens this weekend.
A few years ago I landed in the middle of one of Ferrell’s outlandish publicity stunts.
In July 2012 he was stumping for The Campaign, a political satire co-starring Zack Galifianakis. The hot-and-steamy Toronto summer afternoon began with the actors riding down Yonge Street, throwing out campaign buttons to passers-by until they arrived at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Inside I hosted a press conference with them and Mayor Rob Ford. On stage actors posing as Mounties guarded the Stanley Cup as Ford, then most famous—and controversial—politician in Canada, gave the guys advice on how to campaign. Nothing was rehearsed and everyone was a bit nervous as I brought the three to dais.
Ferrell talked about what happened next on the Late Show with David Letterman.
“We step up to the mic. We’re supposed to say a few words, and I say, ‘How about a big round of applause for your mayor, Rob Ford.’ It was literally… not even a smattering of applause, just two people.”
“It was just so silent, that I actually had to comment on it. So I said, ‘Mr. Mayor, that’s a horrible ovation,’ and the press core burst out laughing. And he was just laughing. He didn’t care. Just sweaty.”
Ford was a good sport and played along. He gave them each a miniature Stanley Cup, pinned “Rob Ford for Mayor” buttons on their chests and handed out his famous business cards, fridge magnets and bumper stickers before imparting some sage advice.
“It’s very simple. Every person you meet hand out a magnet and business card and return people’s phone calls. Customer service is number one.” With a laugh he added, “and don’t talk to the Toronto Star,” the newspaper that had been dogging him of late.
It may not have been the smoothest promotional stunt of all time, but it certainly was a memorable one.
The next year Ferrell worked Ford into the promotion for Anchorman 2. By this time Ford’s scandal-ridden term in office, fuelled by admissions of drug use, had rocketed him into the international spotlight.
Ferrell, in character as ridiculous San Diego newscaster Ron Burgundy, came out in support of Ford’s re-election. “Ron doesn’t realize how much trouble Rob Ford is in,” said Ferrell. “He just thinks he’s a great guy. Gregarious. Fun. Life of the party. Ron’s advice would just be ‘keep doing what you’re doing, it’s obviously working.” He even wrote a campaign song to the tune of Loverboy’s Working for the Weekend.
As usual, Ford took it all in stride, tweeting, “I had to laugh at my friend Ron Burgundy & his take on my 2014 re-election campaign song.”
There’s been no mention of Rob Ford in the promotion for Get Hard, but if Ferrell ever makes The Campaign 2: The Re-Election perhaps he’ll give the former mayor a call.