July 9, 2012
Craig & Marc Kielburger
At 12-years old, Craig Kielburger read a news headline that changed his world view. As a result - he set out to change the world. The headline read 'Battled Child Labour, Boy, 12, Murdered.' The story was about Iqbal Masih, a child-labour activist who was shot and killed near his home in Pakistan. Equal parts outraged and inspired, Craig got together some friends from his seventh-grade classroom, and started a group called 'Kids Can Free the Children'. The group's mandate was to fight child exploitation and end poverty. Today, the name of the group has changed, but the vision remains the same - Free the Children is the world's largest youth network, with more than one million young people from 45 countries. Now, after 15 years spent advocating for social justice, Craig and Marc have pulled together what they've learned in a new book called 'Living Me to We: A Guide for Socially Conscious Canadians.'
July 9, 2012
A few years ago, Yung's first feature 'Up the Yangtze' won a Genie Award for best documentary. The story followed two Chinese teenagers whose lives are uprooted by the Three Gorges Dam, the biggest hydro-electric project in the word. The story was personal, but also emblematic: the growth of modern China on a human-scale. On some level, the subject matter in 'Up the Yangtze' was personal: China has always been close to Yung's heart. The son of first-generation immigrants to Canada, Yung was raised in Ontario, and later moved to Montreal. Yung says, finding his place in the world meant learning see it from multiple perspectives - not a bad trait for a documentary filmmaker. Now, Yung is back with a new doc, 'China Heavyweight,' a story about two young boxing hopefuls and their coach in a non-traditional sport - at least, non-traditional for China. Once again, there are questions about China's place in the world: In a country that doesn't tend to emphasize the individual, are boxers more interested in fighting for their country, or for themselves?
July 10, 2012
How many actors have played a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a geisha, a martial arts master, an astronaut, and a stunt-crazy, sexy sidekick to James Bond, 007? Just one - the amazing, pioneering Michelle Yeoh. Michelle is no stranger to a good fight: from those dazzling kung fu scenes in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' to the way she re-invented the role of the "Bond Girl" in 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. In fact, Yeoh has been blazing trails ever since she drop-kicked her way to the top of Hong Kong's action-movie scene in the early '90s - matching the likes of Jackie Chan, stunt for stunt. Not bad for a former Miss Malaysia who quickly became the highest-paid female actor in Asia. Michelle has also become a passionate spokesperson, educating people on the importance of road safety in developing nations. So her latest movie 'The Lady', in which she plays the role of Burmese leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi - someone who's spent decades fighting for democracy - is a perfect fit.
July 10, 2012
In 1997 'Open Mike with Mike Bullard' was born. It started small, but it became a big deal. See, talk shows had always thrived in the States; just today you've got your Lettermans, your Lenos, your O'Briens, and your Kimmells to name a few. But in Canada we'd never really cracked it until Mike Bullard came along. Mike dominated the airwaves for 7 years, even earned some Gemini awards. Today Mike's back with a new show on the radio. Beyond the Mic with Mike Bullard on Toronto's Newstalk 1010 radio has the pioneering comic sounding off on the news of the day - and whatever else strikes him.
July 11, 2012
Kathleen Turner has made it her mission to prove that Hollywood leading ladies don't have to be "ladylike" at all - and she's done it her way. For the last 3 decades, she's made her name on the screen and on the stage playing passionate, provocative, fearless (and often very funny) women. Kathleen made an unforgettable, red-hot screen debut as the ruthless Matty Walker in 'Body Heat' in 1981. But she wanted to be more than just a "femme fatale" and followed that with a comedy, 'The Man with Two Brains'. After that, her career was on fire: "Romancing the Stone', 'Prizzi's Honor' (both of which nabbed her Golden Globe Awards), 'Peggy Sue Got Married', 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'. But in the 90's Kathleen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and she turned to alcohol to help deal with the constant pain. By 2005, Kathleen made a comeback in the Tony-nominated play 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf'... published a juicy memoir, appeared nude in the play 'The Graduate,' and acted in films like 'The Virgin Suicides'. Over the years, Kathleen's been a fierce advocate for women's reproductive rights & Planned Parenthood. Now she's back on stage in a new production of 'High': Kathleen plays a no-nonsense nun who grapples with faith, redemption and human fallibility in her efforts to help a young addict face the truth.
July 11, 2012
Buddy Guy might be the greatest living blues guitarist in the world. But hey, don't take our word for it: Just ask guitar-slingers like Eric Clapton or John Mayer, both of whom have sung his praises - and songs. And Buddy's got stories to share about some of the greats of rock & roll, about what he was doing the day Martin Luther King Jr. died, and so much more. It's all in a revealing new memoir called When I Left Home.
July 12, 2012
So, you remember that crazy little fella Merry Brandybuck from 'Lord of the Rings'? In a trilogy that intense, that epic (and that long), Merry was the comic relief. And the guy who played him, Dominic Monaghan - well, he's pretty much the same way. In fact, he's got a pretty solid rep as a prankster - maybe you saw him play this famous practical joke on Elijah Wood over satellite... The Rings movies made him a star. And, still only in his mid-20s, Dom found himself partying a little too hard, and lost in L.A. Luckily, he found himself only to get Lost again. Dom had a good run on as Charlie Pace, playing a rocker battling addiction and fighting for survival. His latest film takes that theme to the next level. It's called 'The Day', and it asks a difficult question: In a moment of total desperation, how far would you go to survive?
July 12, 2012
You can call Calvin Trillin a humourist or a satirist, an adventurous eater, certainly a poet but don't call him a foodie. Calvin Trillin is less interested in the food people eat than in how that food connects them to one another. For decades he's been chronicling -- often with humour -- daily life in America. According to Calvin, the greatest thing to happen American cuisine was the Immigration Act of 1965. Before that, the US favoured Britons over Asians. He says "I guess the idea was that people who like bland food make good citizens...In food terms, it wasn't a good policy." The 76-year-old Trillin is a long-time staff writer for New Yorker magazine. His latest book is out, it's called 'Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin'. The book is a collection of forty years of his best humour writing. It covers the gamut from politics to finance, from food to class warfare. But it wasn't an easy task trying to decide which essays should stay and which should go. When asked about the experience, Calvin replied: "there's an old Midwestern phrase, 'haven't had so much fun since the hogs ate little sister.'"
July 13, 2012
Back in the day, TV news anchors had a pretty traditional and well-defined gig: Put on a suit, sit at a desk, and monologue the news - the newscaster as the "voice of God". Well, for better or worse, our media landscape is shifting, and nobody knows it better than Kevin Newman. Kevin paid his dues as a reporter in Toronto, but he spent years working south of the border, including a few years as a co-host on 'Good Morning America.' Ultimately, Kevin decided to come home. For nine years, he was the anchor for 'Global National,' a job that took him across the country and beyond. These days, not only is he a co-anchor on CTV's 'Question Period,' speaking truth to power on Parliament Hill, he's also CTV's official Digital News Evangelist (yes, that's his actual title) - Basically, Kevin is focused on where news is heading in the 21st century, and the changing ways we tell stories. So, does TV news still matter? Can news be a two-way conversation? And as we witness a changing of the guard, will old media giants be forced to evolve, or get out of the way?
July 13, 2012
Wonder Mike & Master Gee
One of the biggest landmark moments in music history can be traced back to 1979: Three kids from New Jersey put out the first hip hop song to ever become a hit: 'Rapper's Delight,' by The Sugarhill Gang. Eleven verses, and over 300 rhymes, all by three trailblazing Emcees: Wonder Mike, Master Gee, and Big Bank Hank. At its peak, 'Rapper's Delight' was selling more than 50,000 copies per day. It inspired countless artists, and helped define a whole new genre of music - unfortunately, that's where the feel-good story goes bad. For the past 20 years, Wonder Mike and Master Gee have been at war with their former record label. It started with creative differences and lost royalties, but it ended with a battle over the group's very name. Now, Mike and Master Gee are speaking out in a new documentary called, 'I Want My Name Back.' It's the story of two musical pioneers, fighting for the recognition they deserve.