By Brian D. Johnson - Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 0 Comments
Rebelle (War Witch), Montreal director Kim Nguyen’s intimate and compelling drama of an African child soldier, swept Sunday night’s inaugural edition of the Canadian Screen Awards, winning 10 of its 12 nominations. A week after the Oscars, where Rebelle inevitably lost to Amour for Best Foreign Language Film, this low budget Quebec feature triumphed over larger Canadian productions such as Midnight’s Children. And after being flown from the Democratic Republic of Congo to attend the Academy Awards, the film’s 16-year-old star, Rachel Mwanza, was on hand in Toronto to accept the CSA honour for best performance by an actress in a leading role. Mwanza, who made her acting debut in Rebelle, was a homeless street kid in Kinshasa when she was cast as 12-year-old Kimona, an orphan rape victim who tells her story to her unborn child.
Rebelle also won awards for director, original screenplay, supporting actor (Serge Kanyinda), cinematography, editing, production design and sound. That didn’t leave much for everyone else. James Cromwell took best lead actor for his role opposite Geneviève Bujold in Still Mine, its only award. Laurence Anyways, Xavier Dolan’s story of a teacher’s transsexual odyssey, won just two of its 10 nominations, for costumes and make-up. And of its eight nominations, Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children won two: Seema Biswas was named best supporting actress for Midnight’s Children, while screenwriter Salman Rushdie was awarded for adapting his own novel. David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis took best original song and score. And, as expected, Sarah Polley won the documentary feature prize for her acclaimed family memoir, Stories We Tell.
Hosted by Martin Short and broadcast live on CBC TV, the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards have melded film’s Genies and TV’s Geminis with the goal of creating a bigger, glitzier event. Short trotted out a trunk full of his beloved SCTV characters for the event—including Jiminy Glick, who dished out insults on the red carpet, and Ed Grimley, who puffed out his trouser-hoist paunch and said, “I look like Rob Ford from the back.” From his grand entrance on a swing to being cradled by Glenn Healey while giving a performance-art impression of bagpipes, Short gave a knock-out performance that put Oscar host Seth MacFarlane to shame.
Leading the TV winners were two shows that are now defunct: Flashpoint won for best dramatic series and its star, Erico Calontoni, was named best actor in a drama series, while Less Than Kind won for best comedy series, and best comedy actress (Wendy Meldrum), while Gerry D. (Mr. D) won for best comedy actor. Best actress in a dramatic series went to Meg Tilly for Bomb Girls. Continue…
By Brian D. Johnson - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM - 0 Comments
… but first the beloved comedian fields our questions
Martin Short, 62, is popping up everywhere these days, from hosting Saturday Night Live’s Christmas show to pitching Lay’s potato chips in a Super Bowl ad. A profile in Vanity Fair canonized the veteran of SCTV and SNL as “Hollywood’s most beloved comedian.” And the Hamilton, Ont.-born entertainer, who lives in Los Angeles, will host the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. Replacing TV’s Gemini Awards and film’s Genies with a single show, the CSA gala will air live on CBC TV on March 3 at 8 p.m.
Q: Nice to see you christening the CSAs. But after your show-stopping song-and-dance number on SNL, you should be hosting the Oscars. Why not?
A: First, I was never asked. Second, that would be a phone call where you’d say, “Oh God, I guess I have to do it, don’t I?” It’s a tough gig. People are very critical of the person doing that job. And at the end of the day, it’s not about them. You work four months on your monologue and all they write about the next day is “How about that Adrien Brody kiss!”
By Emma Teitel - Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM - 0 Comments
A chat about his new radio show and, of course, Spenny
Kenny Hotz is a breaker of records in (among other things) octopus wearing, semen producing, bible peddling, and gas passing. Post Kenny vs. Spenny, he’s been covering new–equally gross– ground. There was Testees, a short-lived comedy about human test subjects, Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will, a reality series in which Kenny wanders a Nevada desert naked, tries to get his mother laid, and enlists a Jewish community to help him build a mosque. And now, for the first time in his career, he’s doing radio–with Testees actor, Jeff Kassel. Hotzcast, will debut this month on Sirius XM’s Laugh Attack (XM channel 160), live on Tuesdays at 5 PM ET. Kenny and Jeff will be covering politics and popular culture, with the occasional guest (including, he hopes, Martin Short some day.) Here’s Kenny Hotz on life without Spencer, Hebrew school, the NHL lockout, and his new “no mandate” radio show.
Q: Hi Kenny, how are you?
A: Surprisingly well. Still relevant, thank God. How are you? How is everyone at Maclean’s?
Q: Everyone’s fine, I think. We’re all in cubicles, so I can’t see anyone right now.
A: Yeah that’s good. You don’t wanna see those people.
Q: Tell me about your new radio show.
A: It’s funny because I’m not really a radio guy and my fans have been bugging me for years, telling me to do a podcast, but podcasts are stale and they’re dying now. But I’ve always been a really big fan of radio and I grew up with it. I’m 45 and the early part of my life I spent with headphones on in my basement listening to radio.
Q: What kind of radio?
A: Brave New Waves, 102.1, a lot of CKLN, you know, Ryerson. And then when I moved to Los Angeles I lived in a garage for five years, and it was Howard Stern every morning.
Q: Have you ever met Howard Stern?
A: No, but I heard he liked the show [Kenny Vs. Spenny].
By Nicholas Köhler, Kate Lunau, Chris Sorensen and Michael Petrou - Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 4:20 PM - 0 Comments
Kathie Lee makes viewers cringe, François Hollande caps CEO pay, and a bad week for the Biebs
Justin Bieber had a very bad week. First the Canadian pop star was accused of hitting a photographer in Los Angeles. Next, he was concussed after running into a glass wall on a Paris stage (and blacked out backstage for 15 seconds). And in Norway, fans mobbed him in the streets of Oslo, fainting, pushing, and forcing Bieber to take to Twitter to beg his teen fans to “please listen to the police.” No one was hurt, but none of this will change the opinion Bieber expressed to GQ magazine last month: “You can’t trust anybody.”
Justice for Egypt?
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades before the Arab Spring forced him from power last February, has been sentenced to life in prison for his complicity in the deaths of protesters rising against him. This wasn’t enough for Mubarak’s many opponents, who wanted the death penalty and took to the streets in anger when they didn’t get it. Many are also furious at the acquittals given to top police chiefs allegedly involved in the killings. More than a year after the Arab Spring, the military still decides who will be punished and who will not. They were willing to sacrifice Mubarak, but not his henchmen.
By Jaime Weinman - Friday, October 24, 2008 at 4:30 PM - 7 Comments
This show ran on ABC in the 1979-80 season. It was created by the same team that did Taxi: James L. Brooks and his gang had been hired away from MTM by Paramount, which gave them immense freedom and large budgets (by sitcom standards). Taxi won four straight Emmy awards for best comedy and was a hit, at least at first; this show didn’t even last a full season.
The concept was, simply, a white-collar version of Taxi: it’s about a law-school grad, played by the young and then-unknown Martin Short, who goes to work at a big law firm on Wall Street. Taxi was about people who had to come to terms with the fact that they weren’t going to get the lives they dreamed of, and The Associates had the same theme, in an upscale way: it’s about an idealistic young professional who has to adjust to working for The Man. (One episode had Short working for a network and watching as they censor all the funny stuff out of a sitcom episode; the episode was actually more depressing than funny.) The cast was good, not as good as Taxi — the cast just didn’t seem to have the same kind of chemistry — but it had Short, Alley Mills (The Wonder Years), Joe Regalbuto (Murphy Brown) and, for sex appeal, model Shelley Smith. The best-known actor in the cast was the veteran Wilfred Hyde-White as the dotty senior partner; he was almost the Latka Gravas of the show, giving out with long, rambling monologues that suggested he either hadn’t rehearsed or wanted us to think he hadn’t rehearsed. Earl Pomerantz wrote several other episodes, and the lion’s share of the 13-episode run was written by the great David Lloyd. But while the show had a cult following, and was certainly a quality product, it was hard to sustain much interest in these people; Taxi had that Honeymooners vibe of rooting for the underdog losers, but who can root for the employees of an evil law firm?
This episode is the pilot, whose writing was nominated for an Emmy. It was written by Michael Leeson, one of the Brooks team’s favourite writers on Taxi. The theme song was written by Albert Brooks (yes, that Albert Brooks) and sung by B.B. King.