Richard commented on the passing of legendary rock drummer Neil Peart of Rush. “This is a guy,” said CTV Pop Life host Richard Crouse, “who started off with allusions to being like a Keith Moon or John Bonham, from the Who and Led Zepplin, then introduced elements of big band drummers like Buddy Guy and Gene Krupa to (create a) sound unlike anybody else. He was the youngest person ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983,” Crouse added, “simply because no one else sounded like that.”
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Aladdin,” “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the live action remake of “Aladdin,” the wild and wooly “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including Will Smith in the live action remake of “Aladdin,” the wild and wooly “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Music documentaries often veer into hagiography, looking back with rose coloured glasses at their subject. There are heaps of high praise in “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind,” a new career retrospective from co-directors Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, but right from the outset it displays an honesty rare in authorized bios.
After a few bars of his chauvinistic ’60s hit “For Lovin’ Me” Lightfoot, watching vintage footage, demands it be shut off. “That’s a very offensive song for a guy to write who was married with a couple of kids,” he says before adding, “I guess I don’t like who I am.”
It’s a startling beginning to a movie that uses his music and a series of celebrity talking heads like Steve Earle, Sarah McLachlan, Geddy Lee, Anne Murray and Alec Baldwin, who helpfully adds, “This was a guy who sang poems,” to tell the story. Traditionally Lightfoot’s enigmatic approach to his biography has left many questions unanswered in the media. That doesn’t change much here, although he seems to have allowed open access to his home and is occasionally candid in the contemporary interviews. “I regret a lot of things,” he says near the end of the film. “I caused emotional trauma in people, particularly some women, the women I was closest to. I feel very, very badly about it.”
“If You Could Read My Mind” doesn’t skip over sensitive biographical points. His relationship with Cathy Evelyn Smith, a woman he loved who was later accused of killing John Belushi and the infidelities that marred his personal life are examined, although with a light touch that respects his privacy.
Supporting the storytelling are interestingly curated images. From rare clips of his early performances on the CBC and on the stages of Yonge Street taverns and Yorkville coffee houses and archival photos of the legendary, star-studded parties he threw at his Rosedale home, to old footage of his parents and behind-the-scenes images of his acting debut in Desperado—“You’ll never win an Oscar,” said co-star Bruce Dern, “but you’re fun to work with.”—the doc offers a comprehensive visual essay of Canadiana, Gordon Lightfoot style.
Ultimately the best documentary of Lightfoot’s storied life is his work, tunes like “Sundown” and “Rainy Day People” that suggest everything he has to say is in his songs. “Your personal experience and your emotional stress,” he says, “finds its way in by way of your unconscious mind over into the mind of reality and translates itself into your lyrics. And you don’t even know that is happening.”
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the all-singing, all-dancing, all-powerful Genie in the live action remake of “Aladdin,” the wild and wooly “Booksmart” and a doc about the life and times of a Canadian legend, “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.”
How do you define what it is to be Canadian? Does a love of Smarties, Coffee Crisp, Bloody Caesars or ketchup chips make you true blue? Perhaps the use of the letter ‘U’ in words like colour or humour? How aboot the ability to spot and identify a toboggan on a snowy day?
We’re a quiet people, given more to subtle humblebragging than all out back slapping, so you have to do some digging to get to the bottom of Great White North culture. Calgary born ex-pat director Rob Cohen took time off his day job as “The Big Bang Theory” co-executive producer and writer to travel to his home and native land to discover the nature of our national identity.
In a mix of celebrity chats with famous Canadians like the Rush, the SCTV gang, Mike Myers and Dave Foley, on location footage and man-on-the-street interviews the Los Angeles-based Cohen treads over some well-travelled territory. The inexplicable popularity of “The Beachcombers” is examined, as is the ambivalence that Americans feel toward their neighbouring country and the virtues of maple syrup are detailed in a way that should interest Canadians but probably leave the rest of the world scratching their collective heads as to why a country as vast, interesting and diverse as Canada would look outside its borders for approval.
That, I think is the point of “Being Canadian.” In a charmingly quiet way Cohen exposes the real truth; that ultimately it doesn’t matter what our neighbours or anyone else thinks about us. (My two cents? We have Drake so we don’t need anyone’s approval for anything. End of discussion.) Like any other vital, living, breathing entity Canada is ever changing. The Canada Cohen left two decades ago is gone, replaced by a country that maintains its character while growing and maturing. We’ve developed beyond the age-old ‘Is it Peameal or back bacon?’ argument and “Being Canadian,” while traditionally structured, is a good primer on how we are seen and, more importantly, how we see ourselves.