Richard joins Ryan Doyle and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today he talks about how Mick Jagger singlehandedly made the Tequila Sunrise a staple on drink menus everywhere. Then they talk about “Dune” and “The Harder They Fall,” now playing in theatres.
This week on the Richard Crouse Show Podcast: Remember “The Safety Dance”? Of course you do. The Men Without Hats song was a worldwide hit in 1982 and earned them a Grammy nomination but it didn’t end there. It has since been covered by everyone from “Weird Al” Yankovic to the cast of Glee to a recent version by Angel Olsen.
The song’s writer and lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, joins me today from his home on Vancouver Island to talk about some new music and a reimagination of his biggest hit.
Men Without Hats have just released “Again (Part 1),” a five-song EP featuring covers of The Tragically Hip, Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones and Mott the Hoople, along with an all-new version of the group’s signature hit “The Safety Dance,” now called “No Friends of Mine.”
Then we meet Emm Gryner. She is a Canadian musician and vocal coach. David Bowie named Emm as one of his two favourite Canadian acts. U2 frontman Bono named her song “Almighty Love” as one of six songs that he wished he had written.
Gryner toured in David Bowie’s band, singing and playing keyboards, and appears on the recordings Bowie at the Beeb and Glastonbury 2000. Emm helped make the first music video in outer space with Chris Hadfield and is now the author of a new book called “The Healing Power of Singing: Raise Your Voice, Change Your Life: What Touring With David Bowie, Single Parenting And Ditching The Music Business Taught Me In 25 Easy Steps.”
Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.
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Welcome to the House of Crouse. Fifty episodes! Over 100 interviews! That’s a lot of talking. We continue the HoC tradition of bringing you the best in wordy ramblings and informative recitations as we welcome Emilia Clarke and Jojo Moyes, the star and author, respectively of “Me Before You,” a three hanky romantic film in theatres now and Phillip Norman, the legendary biographer who tells us everything we need to know about Mick Jagger. Stop by, have a listen and get some satisfaction.
Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes do a refresher on “Captain America: Civil War” and then talk about the weekend’s big releases,the George Clooney – Julia Roberts thriller “Money Monster” and the lusty and lurid “A Bigger Splash.”
“I like to do peculiar,” says A Bigger Splash director Luca Guadagnino. “It’s great to do peculiar.”
The Italian filmmaker is talking about his relationship with Tilda Swinton, star of four of his feature films. In their latest collaboration she plays a rock star recuperating from throat surgery with her boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) on a remote island halfway between Sicily and Tunisia. Their tranquil time, however, is shattered by the arrival of Harry (Ralph Fiennes) her former record producer and lover and his Lolita-esque daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). Soon into the visit the sunny Mediterranean days take a dark turn as their shared histories bring up some ghosts from the past.
In the new film Guadagnino throws a peculiar twist Swinton’s way by making her character largely mute, forcing her to rely solely on her face and eyes to complete the character.
“We are very dear friends,” he says of Swinton. “We love one another completely. The pleasure of one another’s company is so strong, so unstoppable. Also Tilda is such a courageous performer. That combination makes everyday an adventure, new and funny and tough and great. Also, I think what we do together is very peculiar.”
Swinton is spectacular but A Bigger Splash is worth the price of admission just to see Ralph Fiennes, Lord Voldemort himself, strut his stuff to disco era Rolling Stones.
“I am a big fan of Ralph Fiennes,” says Guadagnino. “I have been loving him since I saw him in Schindler’s List. I saw him in the trailer for the Grand Budapest Hotel and I found this kind of levity that made me think he’d be
perfect for Harry.”
In one long scene Fiennes unleashes some of the wildest dance moves since Elaine Benes in what must be his loosest on-screen performance ever.
“Everything started with the brilliant script by David Kajganich and the description of how this man loses himself to the dance,” says the director.
“Starting from there Ralph proposed to me to work with a choreographer from London. We met her and decided it was good for her to let Ralph find something wild within him. Let him be loose with his own body and have confidence with his own movements. I described the world the choreographer and Ralph went into as psychoanalytical choreography. It was about unleashing and having the confidence to unleash. It wasn’t choreography that was staged gesture by gesture. It was about creating that flow.”
A Bigger Splash is a romp — a lusty and lurid thriller with worldly people, drugs, drinking and some startling nudity.
The film’s nakedness, Guadagnino says, “is about being truthful to the story you are telling and the characters you are depicting. We are talking about four people on an island entangled in the web of desire. People who come from rock and roll, people who come from a sort of elite world, people who are completely liberated in their own skin even though they are completely chained by their passion. They are people who get naked. For me it is not a contrivance. It is the answer to the question, What would they wear in a place like that, doing things the way they do?”
Next time around, however, don’t expect as much skin. “I can’t wait to make a Victorian movie with people dressed all the way up to their necks,” he laughs.
Richard and “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson kick around the weekend’s big releases, the George Clooney – Julia Roberts thriller “Money Monster,” the lusty and lurid “A Bigger Splash” and the Scottish drama “Sunset Song.”
In 1969 the Alain Delon potboiler “La Piscine” (“The Swimming Pool”) had a look at beautiful people and sexual jealousy set against the backdrop of the Côte d’Azur. Forty-five years later director Luca Guadagnino makes the story his own, transplanting the characters to a remote island halfway between Sicily and Tunisia, replacing jealousy with desire and setting the whole thing to the slinky beat of The Rolling Stones’ “Emotional Rescue.” “A Bigger Splash” keeps the swimming pool but reinvents the rest of the story.
Rock star Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) and her boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) are living a quiet life on the coast of Italy. Very quiet. She is recuperating from surgery and can’t speak. Their tranquil time, however, is shattered by the arrival of Harry (Ralph Fiennes), Lane’s former record producer and lover, and his Lolita-esque daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). He’s an impulsive first-one-in-the-pool, free spirit who invites strangers over to hang out (“You’re not speaking sweetheart so I had to make other plans!” he says.), she’s a flirty presence who says things like, “My trouble is, I fall in love with every pretty thing.” A day or so into the visit the sunny Mediterranean days take a dark turn as their shared history brings up some ghosts from the past.
“A Bigger Splash” is worth the price of admission just to see Ralph Fiennes, Lord Voldemort himself, strutting his stuff to disco era Rolling Stones. He unleashes some of the goofiest dance moves since Elaine Benes in what must be his loosest performance ever.
Come for the dancing, stay for the bawdy and boisterous atmosphere. The idyllic, sun dappled backdrop plays at odds with the noirish story as Guadagnino brushes his canvas with sexual tension, slowly adding layers to the story as he builds up to a startling climax. It’s a romp, with worldly people, loads of nudity, drugs and drinking, until it isn’t and the time comes to pay the price of living a wild life without regrets. As the characters manipulate one another Guadagnino manipulates the audience with flamboyant filmmaking, unexpected jump cuts and zooms, which demand your attention.
A strong cast—this is Fiennes’s showcase but Schoenaerts anchors the foursome with brooding, if bland work while Johnson smoulders and Swinton pulls off a mostly silent performance with artful facial expressions—holds interest when they are behaving like the entitled folks they are and even more when it starts to crumble.
Playing out in the background are examples of Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis that stand in stark contrast to the lives of luxury lead by the leads. Guadagnino doesn’t make direct commentary on the situation—in fact he doesn’t take a stance on any of the behaviour on display—but instead subtly suggests that we—and the characters, specifically a police inspector—are more interested in the story’s sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll than the plight of the Tunisian refugees.
“A Bigger Splash” could have swum in the shallow end of the pool, but subtly and interestingly goes off the deep end.
Robert Rodriguez, co-director of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, has assembled an impressive cast of marquee names for the long awaited followup to 2005’s Sin City.
Actors like Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson and Bruce Willis are returning from the first instalment, while newcomers to the series include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green and Josh Brolin.
Rodriguez welcomes back another name, Lady Gaga, who he first cast in Machete Kills.
“When I asked if she was interested in acting she said, ‘I studied acting and I always wanted to be in one of your movies because of the theatricality and the showmanship.”
When she finished shooting her role of a deadly assassin in Machete Kills, Rodriguez tweeted, “Holy Smokes. Blown away!” and promptly cast the singer in A Dame to Kill For.
For years, directors have looked to musicians to bring their natural charisma to the screen. Perhaps no one more than Nicolas Roeg has explored the potential for rock stars to become movie stars. “They have,” he said, “a greater ability to light up the screen than actors.”
In 1970 Roeg and co-director Donald Cammell made the psychedelic crime drama Performance, starring Mick Jagger in his first on screen role. The Rolling Stone played the mysterious Mr. Turner, a jaded former rock star who gives shelter to a violent East London gangster (James Fox). In 2009 Film Comment declared Mick Jagger’s Turner the best performance by a musician in a movie.
Next came The Man Who Fell to Earth, an existential sci-fi film about an extraterrestrial named Thomas Jerome Newton, starring a perfectly cast David Bowie in his feature film debut. Roeg says he “really came to believe that Bowie was a man who had come to Earth from another galaxy. His actual social behavior was extraordinary. He seemed to be alone — which is what Newton is in the film — isolated and alone.”
Finally, Bad Timing was advertised as a “terrifying love story” and called “a sick film made by sick people for sick people” by its own distributor. Art Garfunkel, of 60s folk duo Simon and Garfunkel, stars as a psychology professor living in Vienna whose sadistic relationship with a pill addicted woman (Theresa Russell) ends with a battle for her life. The sexually explicit film was difficult for the actors, and at one point Garfunkel even wanted out. Over martinis Roeg told his nervous actor, “I must ask you to trust that I know where I’m going. It’s a maze, but there is an end to it.’”
Garfunkel stayed on, delivering a performance that the New York Times called “very credible.”