It’s the kind of thing that lands in the inbox with a thud and you immediately think it must be a hoax since nothing could possibly be that twisted and yet that awesome.
And then… it turns out to be true.
From the mad mind behind vintage Canuck comedy troupe the Frantics comes Mulroney: The Opera, an honest-to-goodness comedic opera/movie based on the life and times former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney with all the real-life supporting players - wife Mila, former PMs Chretien, Turner, Trudeau and Campbell - personified by homegrown comedic lights including Sean Cullen, Colin Mochrie, Ted Dykstra and Rick Miller in the title role.
Writer Dan Redican’s political satire, which features an original operatic score, begins in 2002 as Mulroney arrives at the House of Commons for the unveiling of his official portrait. Smugly feeling underappreciated for his genius (what else is new), Mulroney begins to bend the ear of an unsuspecting security guard, unfurling his personal story: his upbringing in Baie Comeau, his sweeping win of the Prime Minister’s office and those pesky lawmakers who’ve been plaguing him ever since.
Honestly, the trailer looks insane. But because the film has a fairly narrow audience, you’ll need to be nimble to catch it. Mulroney: The Opera plays Saturday (April 16) in Toronto at the Sheppard Grande, Mississauga’s Coliseum and Silver City Richmond Hill (and elsewhere nationwide). It repeats April 27.
For anyone intrigued by the notion of madcap political satire, it’s an absolute must-see.
It’s has been called one of the worst films ever made and “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.”
Now Torontonians have a chance to ask writer/director Tommy Wiseau if his 2003 cult hit The Room - which has quietly enjoyed Rocky Horror-like status around the world with ongoing midnight screenings - was actually purposely bad or just a happy accident that somehow found an audience.
Wiseau brings his “Love is Blind Tour” (not to be confused with Charlie Sheen’s “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option Show,” playing Massey Hall tonight and tomorrow) to the Royal Cinema (608 College St.) next weekend. Five screenings are slated: April 22 and 23 at 9:15 pm and 11:59 pm and April 24 at 9:15.
The Room has played the Royal off and on for an amazing two years, tickling audience in a so-bad-it’s-good capacity.
Written, directed, exec-produced and starring Wiseau, The Room is ostensibly a melodramatic story of a love triangle but as Wikipedia reports, cast members have disputed Wiseau’s claim that the film’s humor is intentional; audiences meanwhile generally view the film as a poorly made drama that’s funny in spite of itself.
Either way, you can ask Wiseau himself; he is slated to intro all screenings and host post-screening Q&As.
A clue to the truth may be offered in the official bumpf:
Plagued with unresolved sub-plots, exaggerated sex-scenes, unexplained characters, and a bizarre script, The Room’s unintentional humour has transformed this would-be-flop into a bona fide cult hit. Since its debut in 2003, The Room has garnered a mass following across the country that includes celebrity actors and comedians like David Cross, Paul Rudd, Jason Siegel, and Katherine Bell, just to name a few.
The monthly sold-out raucous screenings of The Room in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto have drawn comparisons to the midnight interactive audiences of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Big Lebowski. Although originally written as a drama, this unintentional comedy leaves audiences rolling in the aisles.
We thought it was interesting (and kind of cool) that singer/guitarist and proto-punk icon Billy Joe Armstrong was appearing on Broadway in New York as part of American Idiot the musical, based on the critically hailed 2004 Green Day album of the same name.
And that each time he appeared in a stint as drug dealer St. Jimmy, the grosses rose considerably at the St. James Theatre.
So it comes as small surprise that Hollywood has also taken notice and come calling. Deadline.com is reporting that Universal Pictures is negotiating to turn American Idiot into a feature film.
Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning Milk scribe, is in talks to write the script, and Michael Mayer will direct. Mayer helmed the stage run of the musical, which is closing on Broadway April 24 and launching a tour in the fall.
The website goes on to report that the musical, which tells the coming-of-age story of three small-town guys, was optioned before its opening last spring by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. They previously turned the stage hit Mamma Mia! into a Universal film. It is expected that Armstrong will be courted to reprise his St. Jimmy role.
Hey, Sting is proof that stranger things than pop stars-cum-actors have happened. Besides, film might be a nicer way of aging gracefully that Lollapalooza. Just saying...
Fancy yourself the next James Cameron or Denys Arcand or Christopher Nolan? Think you can tell an amazing story - fiction or non-fiction, animated or live action - through the media of short film?
Then you need to know about Air Canada’s enRoute Film Festival. Yes, the nation’s largest domestic air carrier presents a short film fest - this is the fifth annual - and there is plenty at stake for winners, not least bragging rights and heaps of exposure for the selected entries.
Other juried awards include Achievement in Direction, Achievement in Cinematography, and Achievement in Animation. Past jury members have included industry players Jason Priestly, Denis Villeneuve, Donald Sutherland, Alan Cumming, Dan Aykroyd and Rémy Girard, among others. This year's jury will be announced this summer.
Selected films will be broadcast on Air Canada’s personal seatback entertainment system on the Canadian Movies channel potentially viewed by millions of Air Canada customers around the world. A free public screening and awards celebration will be held in Toronto at the end of the year to honour the winners. And if last year’s screening was any indication, the quality on offer is amazing.
Submissions for the 2011 edition of the fest are accepted until May 31 and the contest is open to student and emerging filmmakers, so get cracking. Check out the enRoute website for more info, and good luck.
In a move both cheeky and au courant, Halifax-born Inception and Juno actress and environmentalist Ellen Page has dissed Prime Minister Stephen Harper via Twitter.
According to a story in the Toronto Star, Page used her popular @EllenPage Twitter account to slam Harper and his Tory government, blaming them for global warming.
In an April 8 tweet to her actor pal Rainn Wilson, linked to her 104,837 followers, Page reacts approvingly to something Wilson said about Canadians. But she adds a warning about Harper:
"Right on eh! @rainnwilson We are mostly cool ... due to our climate. Except don't follow Stephen Harper. Ignore that guy." 8:13 AM Apr 8th via Twitter.
Page, 24, later elaborated:
"Oh and if Harper has his way. We will lose the coolness of our climate." 8:14 AM Apr 8th via Twitter.
Page also has it in for Big Oil and Big Gas. Here are a couple of recent tweets blasting them:
"Nova Scotians -- say no 2 fracking. Lets be leaders in sustainability. Clean/renewable energy is the only direction." http://tinyurl.com/46t6cq9 3:18 PM Mar 23rd via web.
"Classy move Chevron. Classy f-ing move. redgreenandblue.org/2011/02/14/chevron-sues-amazon-natives-it-poisoned-with-toxins/ 6:23 AM Mar 17th via web.
Page will soon be seen as a masked green avenger in the movie Super opposite Wilson. Harper, meanwhile, better watch his back... or at least have his handlers wedded to their handhelds during tonight's sure-to-be-heated candidates debate.
Talk about a departure. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe plays the lead in the forthcoming gothic horror The Woman in Black, which hits theatres this fall and looks all kinds of creepy judging by the teaser trailer released today.
The official synopsis doesn’t give us much to go on (“A young lawyer travels to a remote village to organize a recently deceased client's papers, where he discovers the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance”) though Wikipedia adds some detail.
The film is based on a 1983 thriller by UK novelist Susan Hill about a menacing spectre that haunts a small English town and has been successfully adapted for the stage as well as British TV and radio. And, uh, dead children are involved. Grisly. Anticipate a Halloween opening.
The first trailer for the Elizabethan-era conspiracy thriller Anonymous - a nail-biter about the true identity of William Shakespeare and starring an amazing British cast including David Thewlis, Rhys Ifans (in a rare serious role), Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson and directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla) has surfaced and it’s a whopper.
The film isn’t slated for release until September but it looks five kinds of intriguing. It almost makes us wish for fall… well, not really. But you get the point. Here’s the official bumpf; trailer below:
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds such as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Sigmund Freud, namely: who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare?
Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when scandalous political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles lusting for the power of the throne were brought to light in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.
Fans of goth-friendly American filmmaker and visual artist Tim Burton have just six days remaining to take in the career-retrospective of his work at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox, which closes April 17.
The sprawling exhibition, organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, includes Burton movies plus paintings, sculptures, drawings (featuring stuff dating back to his childhood and adolescence), prop designs and more, each offering a highly personal and unique insight into the wildly original director.
Some 700 items (!) form the core of the show; added to Burton’s remarkable film oeuvre, it’s a must-see. And hey - anyone who can consistently bring Johnny Depp to the screen is A-OK in our books. His movies are pretty awesome, too.
American film director, indie/art house darling Greg Araki is set to debut his newest film, 2010’s Kaboom, this weekend in Toronto with a few key personal appearances.
Araki will attend the 7:30 pm screening tonight (April 8) at TIFF Bell Lightbox, sticking around to also enjoy a 9:15 screening of his 1992 classic The Living End, correctly described by Wikipedia as “the gay Thelma and Louise.”
Saturday (April 9) Araki appears as part of the In Conversation With… series also happening at the Bell Lightbox, 7 pm. Other titles in Araki’s oeuvre, including Doom Generation and Totally F&%$ed Up, are slated for screenings as part of TIFF Cinematheque’s director retrospective running through April 20.
As to Kaboom - which screens through until April 13 - it’s being described as “hilarious, libidinous” and most tellingly, “perhaps the first great paranoiac-dystopian sex comedy in the history of cinema.” Here’s the official bumpf; trailer below:
Kaboom shoves a typically Arakian crew of frequently stoned, sexually fluid San Fernando Valley dwellers up against portents of conspiracy and apocalypse. When a sweet-natured, bisexual punk-waif and his tart-tongued lesbian pal arrive for their freshman year at a southern California college, they embark on a lively round of experimentation with sex and substances. However, their frolics take on a more ominous cast when dream visions, mysterious messages and threatening figures in animal masks seem to foreshadow dark times on the horizon.
Of note: Kaboom film premiered at Cannes last year, where it snagged the inaugural Queer Palm award for its contribution to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues.
The DVD isn’t available until May 10. But you can bet your best three-finger devil salute that fans of Aussie rock bruisers AC/DC are champing at the bit anticipating the release of AC/DC Live at River Plate, an electrifying feature-length concert film shot in Argentina in December 2009.
Lest you think the word “electrifying” is meaningless and overused, just trying watching the trailer below without getting gooseflesh. Shot over three sold-out shows as the band played to some 200,000 fans in Buenos Aires for the first time in 13 years, Live at River Plate captures a group on top of the world.
And really, you can count on two hands the number of bands that can literally and consistently sell out shows in every corner of the globe. AC/DC is one. Live at River Plate was shot with 32 cameras (!) entirely in HD (!!) and features 19 songs over 110 minutes as well as ‘behind the scenes’ footage chronicling how this massive production came together.
The film will be available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Ltd Edition collector’s edition with exclusive t-shirt. Additionally the DVD contains a bonus feature titled The Fan, The Roadie, The Guitar Tech & The Meat, features interviews with AC/DC, their crew and fans among the excitement of the shows and the city of Buenos Aires.