Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including “The Secrets We Keep” (digital and on-demand), “I Am Greta” (in theatres) and “Totally Under Control” (Digital and on-demand).
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “The Secrets We Keep” (digital and on-demand), “Vampires vs. the Bronx” (Netflix), “I Am Greta” (in theatres) and “Totally Under Control” (Digital and on-demand).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “The Secrets We Keep” (digital and on-demand), “Vampires vs. the Bronx” (Netflix), “I Am Greta” (in theatres) and “Totally Under Control” (Digital and on-demand).
“Totally Under Control,” the title of the new Alex Gibney now on VOD, is a bad joke. Kind of like nicknaming a tall guy Tiny it’s an ironic, sarcastic comment on President Donald Trump’s repeated denial of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Made in secret over the five months leading up to the U.S. Presidential Election, it features damning interviews with scientists, medical professionals and government insiders.
The opening narration sets the stage, not that anyone alive needs reminding that we are living in very strange times. “2020. Since the 1980s, it’s been a magical year for science fiction writers, the year of predictions about the future, and the ruthless power of technology and humanity would be bound together by a world wide web. Artificial Intelligence would exponentially expand the powers of the human mind. And the world would be dominated and controlled by information based mega corporations without need for government intervention. But all that turned out to be a technocratic illusion when nature set loose a terrible disease that took advantage of the very connectivity we had manufactured.”
The narration goes on to say, “At a moment of crisis the world’s most powerful nation didn’t rise to the occasion it descended into division and chaos,” before asking the million dollar question, “Why did it fail to reckon for a danger for which it should have been so well prepared?”
To answer the question Oscar winner Gibney with co-directors Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger invented the “Corona Cam,” an easy and sanitary way to do interviews—this does not look like a Zoom meeting—to interview a variety of experts like whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright who says, “We, the scientists, knew what to do for the pandemic response. The plan was in front of us, but leadership would not do it.”
Add to that recent newsreel footage, investigative reporting and ominous narration and you have a portrait of catastrophic systemic bungling, beginning in January 20, 2020 when the U.S. and South Korea both discovered their first cases of COVID-19, that has left hundreds of thousands dead, many hundreds of thousands more ill with side effects that will linger for years and an economy in tatters.
It’s a haunting collection of facts that would be unbelievable if it wasn’t true. Gibney, Harutyunyan and Hillinger’s aim to expose “a system-wide collapse caused by a profound dereliction of Presidential leadership,” is methodical and urgent, digging behind the headlines to reveal a timeline that should be of concern to everyone reading this or watching the film. It is a difficult watch, not because it isn’t slickly made but because it an infuriating reminder of how we got into this situation.
The movie’s tagline says it all, “The truth will make you sick.”
Check out episode twenty-three of Richard’s web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet Liberty DeVitto. He joins me via Zoom but you’ve been listening to him for decades. As Billy Joel’s drummer from 1976 to 2003, he’s credited as drummer on records with sales of over 150 million copies. Do you love “Just the Way You Are”? That Liberty DeVitto. How about “She’s Always a Woman,” “Only the Good Die Young” “You May be Right” or “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”? All Liberty DeVitto. He’s what they call a New York City style drummer, solid and powerful. He also an author with a new memoir, “Liberty: Life, Billy and the Pursuit of Happiness,” available now wherever you buy fine books. It details not only the good times with Joel, but also the bad… leading up to their split in 2006. Later in the show I ask Liberty about how his relations with the singer disintegrated… and how they buried the hatchet after fifteen years. We started though, by talking about something we’re all missing these days: live music.
Watch the whole thing HERE on YouTube or HERE on ctvnews.ca!
Check out episode twenty-two of Richard’s web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet actor James Purefoy, direct from the south west of England, via Zoom. If you were a fan of HBO’s “Rome,” you know him as joyfully decadent Roman general and politician Mark Antony. Perhaps you were a fan of “The Following,” which saw him play a college professor-turned-serial-killer and cult leader for three seasons opposite Kevin Bacon. The versatile actor has a list of credits as long as my arm including the film he joins me to talk about today, “Fisherman’s Friends.” No, it’s not about the cough drops… it is a is a good-natured crowd pleaser about a real life singing group from Cornwall in England who went from singing at the local pub, when they weren’t on the water making a living, to producing the biggest selling traditional folk album of all time. Purefoy plays Jim, the leader of the group, who was initially skeptical about their chances for success outside their tiny village. When we did this interview he was sitting in his garden, and proudly showed me all the produce he’s been growing since the beginning of the pandemic. That also means that from time to time you’ll hear a bird chirping or a bit of wind… it’s not your speakers, it’s just nature on Purefoy’s property.
“I’ve become so inured and disappointed towards marketing people and advertising people,” he says in the interview, “what they’ve done to projects that I’ve been in where you go, “I can’t believe you even watched it, and yet you’ve come up with this poster. Do you know anything about this show?” So I think that one becomes a little cynical about that kind of thing and I think the answer to that is just to really be present between action and cut, and that that’s the thing. That’s the only really, really pure bit of job that I’m really interested in. That’s what I love doing. And the fame? Keep it. It really doesn’t bother me. If I can keep doing what I’m doing and not be vastly famous, then I’m really happy with that. That’s OK.”
Watch the whole thing HERE on YouTube or HERE on ctvnews.ca!
Richard sits in with Humble & Fred’s Pirate Radio podcast, featuring co-hosts “Humble” Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson, to talk about life and work during COVID-19, what going to the theatres will be like and what will happen at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.