September 3, 2012
Unless Toronto city councilor Doug Ford is reading this, I think it's safe to assume we're all familiar with Margaret Atwood. She's one our most enduring storytellers. From The Handmaid's Tale to Oryx and Crake to The Year of the Flood, Margaret's a master of asking, "What if?" What if we lived in a society where women's freedoms were restricted? Where we took genetic engineering too far? Where we completely lost touch with nature? She calls it "speculative fiction" -- stories that let us try on possible futures, possible selves, and ultimately force us to ask, "Do we really want to head down that road?" 'Cause when it comes to the road we're on these days, Margaret Atwood can see farther than most...or maybe, she's just brave enough to look. Margaret's first encounters with other worlds happened in childhood -- she loved to draw flying rabbits in capes and spaceships. And from Batman to Brave New World, Margaret's relationship to the supernatural has been lifelong. She explores that relationship in a brand new book -- a collection of essays that begins with flying rabbits and ends with her novels flying off the shelves It's called In Other Worlds: Science Fiction and the Human Imagination.
September 3, 2012
George R.R. Martin
Author George R.R. Martin is a game-changer in the world of fantasy fiction. His epic-fantasy book series, 'A Song of Ice and Fire' is massive: twenty-two languages, over fifteen million books sold worldwide, and the basis for the Emmy Award-winning TV series, 'Game of Thrones'. And in 2011, TIME magazine named him as one of the most influential 100 people in the world. His armies of worldwide fans are hungry for the 6th instalment in the series - especially given that Season 2 of the TV adaptation, 'Game of Thrones', has just wrapped on HBO Canada. Prepare yourself for the excruciating wait until Season 3 premieres... it'll be worth it!
September 4, 2012
Nobody talks up hockey in this country quite like Don Cherry. Love him or hate him, Grapes is a Canadian icon. All because of a few minutes every Saturday on 'Hockey Night in Canada'. For more than twenty-five years, on 'Coach's Corner', Don has been telling the country what he thinks. In 1980, he made his first appearance on 'Hockey Night in Canada', and he's been vocalizing his opinion ever since. In 2010, the CBC aired a two-part miniseries about his life, 'Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story', dramatizing the story behind the scenes. Now, there's a sequel, the first part of which airs March 4th. It will tell the story of Don's many years in public broadcasting, and the drama that Grapes continues to generate to this day.
September 4, 2012
Shy; Reserved; Diplomatic; Polite: all terrible words to describe Brian Burke. Say what you will about the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the man says what he means, and means what he says. To date, he's been a General Manager in Hartford, Vancouver and Anaheim, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2007. For the past three years, he's been running the Leafs, where he continues to speak his mind: in early January, he made headlines by defending enforcers, arguing they help keep dirty players in check. Recently, Brian's embraced a cause that transcends hockey: two years ago, his 21-year-old son Brendan was killed in a car accident, just months after announcing he was gay. Inspired by Brendan's courage, Brian has become a spokesperson for tolerance, speaking out on a subject often ignored in the world of sport.
September 5, 2012
George Bernard Shaw said it so well: 'We don't stop playing because we grow old ... we grow old because we stop playing.' If that's the case, then William Shatner is the youngest cat around. What other octogenarian do you know releasing a new memoir, a new record, and touring a stage show all in the same few weeks? The new book is called 'Shatner Rules,' and it lays out some guidelines for living the good life: things like, 'Don't Trust The Facebook' and 'Always Say Yes'. His new record, meanwhile, is called 'Seeking Major Tom' - and, in a nod to his 'Star Trek' roots, Bill's rounded up some of the great sci-fi songs and performed them... as only he can. Since his days as Captain Kirk, Bill's explored all sorts of new worlds, from 'Boston Legal' to '3rd Rock From The Sun' to 'Shit My Dad Says', and now he's back where he started -- on stage - in a new show called 'How Time Flies'. It's Bill telling stories, laughing at his own mistakes, and musing on his own mortality. Though really, for Bill, any signs of slowing down are surely light years away.
September 5, 2012
Hollywood is big on clubs: the Rat Pack, the Brat Back, the Frat Pack. And now there's the comedy crew led by producer Judd Apatow. Guys like Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel - and Seth Rogen. With films such as Knocked Up, Superbad and The Pineapple Express, Seth's at the forefront of a new generation of comedians who are not afraid to tackle humour that's unsentimental, embarrassing and even raunchy. In short, just like life. Seth also writes or co-writes much of his own material, including Superbad, The Pineapple Express and The Green Hornet , which earned him a reported $6 million payday. That's a hell of a journey from the comedy clubs of Vancouver, where Seth began performing at around 13, with jokes about Bar Mitzvahs and summer camp. At 17, he got his big break as a pot-smoking burnout on Freaks and Geeks. The show didn't last long, but it did introduce Seth to Judd, who later cast him in the movie Knocked Up. That film turned the last guy you'd think of as father material into a relatable hero. Now, just shy of his 30th birthday, Seth is taking on topics that are not-so-funny in a couple of films that are playing this year's Toronto International Film Festival. In Canadian director Sarah Polley's upcoming 'Take This Waltz', he plays the husband in a marriage set on self-destruct. And his new film, 50/50, is based on his real-life buddy's struggle with cancer. It's about friendship, with a lesson or two on how to survive life's darkest moments.
September 6, 2012
Back in 1975, a young Canadian made his first feature-length movie. 'Shivers' was so dark, so perverse, that its artistic merit was debated in Parliament. It was also the most profitable Canadian film up to that point. Flash-forward 35 years and David Cronenberg is still making movies that push boundaries, explore darkness and make us squirm. But more than that, they're films about ideas, that delve deep into the psychology of complex characters. His latest, 'Cosmopolis', is no exception. Based on the Don DeLillo novel of the same name, 'Cosmopolis' follows a ruthless, 28-year-old billionaire (played by Mr. Twi-hard himself, Robert Pattinson), on a journey of self-destruction and greed. It premiered at this year's Cannes festival, where David's son, 32-year-old Brandon, was premiering his directorial debut.
September 6, 2012
No matter which side you root for Team Edward versus Team Jacob battles, there's no denying the success of Robert Pattinson. The Twilight movies have made him millions - and earned him millions of fans. But Twilight series is going to be wrapping up this fall. So what do you do when the thing everyone loves you for is over? Start taking chances. Like starring in the new, old-school David Cronenberg film, 'Cosmopolis'. Playing Eric Packer, the Wall Street mogul with a death wish, is his ultimate chance to break free from 'Twilight', show off his acting chops and maybe prove he really can sparkle.
September 6, 2012
Paul Giamatti plays dark and conflicted souls with so much heart, often, you want to hug him and smack him all the same time. You probably remember Barney Panofsky in 'Barney's Version' - the film based on the book by Can-lit giant Mordecai Richler. That role earned Paul several Best Actor awards at the Genies and the Golden Globes. His depiction of eccentric comic-book artist Harvey Pekar in 'American Splendour' got him an Oscar nomination ... and his role as the difficult Miles Raymond in the indie hit 'Sideways' won him a Screen Actors Guild Award. The HBO mini-series 'John Adams' brought Paul an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the Founding Father. Pretty amazing for a guy who didn't always want to be an actor. Recently, Paul was startled by a script he received in which his bitter, deranged character had just one single 20-minute scene at the very end of the film. The film? 'Cosmopolis', based on the novel by Don DeLillo and directed by David Cronenberg.
September 6, 2012
If you told Sarah Gadon that in less than a year she'd go from university lecture halls to film festival red carpets, she'd probably say you were out of your mind. Sarah first appeared on stage at age seven, as a lamb in a Toronto production of 'The Nutcracker'. For more than 10 years she worked consistently on television; on everything from 'La Femme Nikita' to CBC's own 'Being Erica'. But when Sarah sent her audition tape to Cronenberg, she thought it was a long shot. Cronenberg liked what he saw, though, and cast her in 'A Dangerous Method', as psychiatrist Carl Jung's rational and loyal wife, Emma. Cronenberg was so impressed with Gadon, he asked her to star in 'Cosmopolis'; an adaptation of Don DeLillo's 2003 novel of the same name. Sarah is the attention-seeking wife a ruthless billionaire Eric Packer (played by Robert Pattinson). Cosmopolis debuted at this year's Cannes festival, where Gadon also appeared in Aniviral, the first film by Cronenberg's 32-year-old son, Brandon.
September 7, 2012
There are a handful of people in television history who have crossed generational divides, who have delivered the news, laughter and life lessons for decades, and in the process have woven themselves into the cultural fabric of our lives.After a while, it becomes hard for us to imagine them as anything but iconic. But each was young once, and each fought their way to the top.Regis Philbin fought hard.Growing up in the Bronx in the 1930s, he'd listen to Bing Crosby and dream of being on stage. After a short stint in the Navy he moved to Los Angeles, and enrolled in the NBC page program. Within a few years he was on air, but spent the next two decades in relative obscurity, hosting local news programs and late-night talk shows. It wasn't until his mid-fifties when he re-launched ABC's morning show and became a household name. His 29-year stint on "Live! With Regis and Kelly" (formerly with Kathie Lee) ended just weeks ago, but don't jump to any conclusions: This 80-year old bristles at the idea of retirement, and says he's far from it. We believe him.
September 7, 2012
Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Most reporters remember their first big assignment. For Sanjay Gupta, it's hard to forget: he started in the CNN newsroom just weeks before 9/11, and got his first taste of reporting at Ground Zero. Since then, he's become one of the network's most recognizable and trusted faces. But Sanjay's not just a reporter - he's also a well respected neurosurgeon and professor of medicine. Greatness runs in the Gupta family; Sanjay's mom, who emigrated from India, was the first female engineer with the Ford Motor Company. Sanjay was accepted to medical school at 16, and after 10 years of operating on people's spines and brains, took a fellowship in the White House, where he wrote speeches for Hillary Clinton. And today he seesaws between the role of doctor and reporter - sometimes he's both, at the same time. In 2003, he embedded with a U.S. Navy medical unit in Iraq, filing stories and performing brain surgery. His reportage has inspired both criticism and valuable debate: when is it okay for journalists to become participants in their stories? Now CNN's chief medical correspondent has written his first novel. Monday Mornings offers a behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on inside a hospital, at the meetings that patients - and the public - aren't invited to.