Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Poster of Action Comedy 'L'appât'


Canadian Film distributor Alliance Vivafilm has released the first poster of the anticipated action comedy L'appât, which will come out on December 17 in Quebec.

The film L'appât was directed by Yves Simoneau. The screenplay was written both by Simoneau himself and William Reymond.

The film takes place in Montreal and a French citizen got murdered. Since that French citizen had highly important information, the French government sends Ventura (Rachid Badouri), an elite spy who can speak eight languages.

However, Ventura will discover that Prudent Philippe Poirier (Guy A. Lepage), an agent of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), is on the investigation whether Ventura likes it or not. As time goes by, both of them will learn how to work together.

The film also stars Maxim Roy, Ayissa Isha and Laïla Tremblay.



CBC Orders Docu-Series 'Village On a Diet'


The Canadian TV network CBC ordered a new show which will follow townspeople trying to lose weight.

The show is based on an award-winning Swiss show called Ein Dorf nimmt ab.

The Canadian version was shot in 90 days in the town of Taylor, British Columbia, which is inhabited by 1,384 people.

In Village On A Diet, we see the town of Taylor declaring war on junk food and trying to motivate people to get off the couch.

In order to help the people in the town achieve their personal objectives, the town council has hired a dietician, trainer, chef and psychologist.

No premiere date has been announced, but Village On A Diet will be aired this winter on Mondays at 9 PM.

Here's a sneak peak of the Swiss show.



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Director Patricia Chica Awarded at the Williamsburg Int'l Film Festival


Canadian director Patricia Chica won a tenth award for her short film Day Before Yesterday at the Williamsburg International Film Festival. She took home the "Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking Award" and her short film will be presented tomorrow at the Concordia University.

Her short film will be presented tomorrow at the Concordia University in Montreal during the LatinArte Festival. The point of this event is to present us cultural works produced by Canadian of Hispanic heritage.

In the short's story, a woman (Michelle Boback) is found unconscious in the middle of downtown Montreal. Since she seems to suffer from a memory loss, she's taken to a police precinct. Besides, she's interrogated by two officers (Jacques Godin and Richard Robitaille) who try hard to find out who she is despite the gargantuan lack of clues.


First Trailer of Action Comedy 'L'appât'


The first trailer of the upcoming action comedy L'appât arrived online yesterday. This film directed by Yves Simoneau will be in theatres in Quebec on December 17, 2010.

The film takes place in Montreal and a French citizen got murdered. Since that French citizen had highly important information, the French government sends Ventura (Rachid Badouri), an elite spy who can speak eight languages. However, Ventura will discover that Prudent Philippe Poirier (Guy A. Lepage), an agent of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), is on the investigation whether Ventura likes it or not. As time goes by, both of them will learn how to work together.

Other details about the film aren't available. However, other members of the cast include Ayisha Issa and Laïla Tremblay.

Line-Up of Canadian Films at the Festival du nouveau cinéma


Yesterday, Montreal's Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC), which will take place from October 13 to 24, revealed its full line-up of films. Nineteen Canadian feature films and documentaries will be presented. However, don't expect to see all films that were screened at the latest Toronto or Vancouver International Film Festivals.

Opening film:
10 1/2
Director: Daniel Grou (Podz)
Starring: Claude Legault, Robert Naylor and Albert Kwan

International selection
Jo pour Jonathan
Director: Maxime Giroux
Starring: Jean-Sébastien Courchesne, Raphaël Lacaille, Jean-Alexandre Létourneau and Vanessa Pilon

Focus Québec/Canada
A Night for Dying Tigers
Director: Terry Miles
Starring: Jennifer Beals, Gil Bellows, Lauren Lee Smith, Tygh Runyan, Kathleen Robertson, John Pyper-Ferguson, Leah Gibson, Sarah Lind and Jessica Heafey

Affinity Point
Director: Deeh
Starring: Danielle Hubbard, Jason D. Pitre, Sophie Ricard and Yann Faussurier

2 fois une femme
Director: François Delisle
Starring: Evelyne Rompré, Marc Béland and Catherine de Léan

Falardeau (Documentary)
Director: German Gutierrez and Carmen Garcia

Fathers & Son
Director: Carl Bessai
Starring: Stephen Lobo, Manoj Sood, Tyler Labine, Vincent Gale, Hrothgar Mathews, Tom Scholte, Blu Mankuma, Viv Leacock, Jay Brazeau, Benjamin Ratner and Sonja Bennett

La fille de Montréal
Director: Jeanne Crépeau

Jaloux
Director: Patrick Demers
Starring: Sophie Cadieux, Maxime Denommée and Benoît Gouin

The Kate Logan Affair
Director: Noël Mitrani
Starring: Alexis Bledel, Laurent Lucas, Noémie Godin-Vigneau and Serge Houde

King of the l’est
Director: Simon Gaudreau

Snow & Ashes
Director: Charles-Olivier Michaud
Starring: Rhys Coiro, David-Alexandre Coiteux, Marina Eva, Marianne Farley, Frédéric Gilles, Alex Kudrytsky, Jean Lapointe and Lina Roessler

Oliver Sherman
Director: Ryan Redford
Starring: Garret Dillahunt, Donal Logue, Molly Parker, Duane Murray, Fiona Highet

Sauvage
Director: Guillaume Sylvestre

Simplement nous (Documentary)
Director: David Tousignant and Tomi Grgevic

Vous n'aimez pas la vérité (Documentary)
Director: Patricio Henríquez and Luc Côté

Events
Se souvenir des cendres (Documentary)
Director: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

Closing film:
Curling
Director: Denis Côté
Starring: Emmanuel Bilodeau, Philomène Bilodeau, Sophie Desmarais, Muriel Dutil, Johanne Haberlin and Roc LaFortune

Monday, September 27, 2010

'The Bang Bang Club' In Canadian Theatres On Oct. 29


After it had being screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Bang Bang Club will be released in Canadian theatres on October 29. For the moment, no U.S. or European release dates have been confirmed for this Canadian film.

This film directed by Steven Silver (The Last Just Man) takes place during the final years of the apartheid in South Africa during the 1990s. These days are seen through the eyes and lens of four young photographers who, among other things, captured the fight between the National Peacekeeping Force and the African National Congress in the Tokoza township. These photographers are Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach) and Joao Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld).

The film is adapted from the book of the same name written by Greg Marinovich and Jao Silva. Besides, the film also stars Malin Åkerman, Ashley Mulheron and Russel Savadier.


Production Underway for 'Endgame'


Production is currently underway for the upcoming Canadian psychological/crime drama Endgame, which was created and showrunned by Avrum Jacobson (Republic of Doyle), in Vancouver. The TV series will premiere in Canada in spring 2011 on Showcase, a cable network, and will be distributed outside of North America by Endemol Group.

The story is centred on a Russian chess champion, Arkady Balagan (Shawn Doyle). Because he's traumatized by the murder of his fiancée, Balagan no longer wants to step outside his hotel room in Vancouver. In order to pay his bill, Balagan decides to solve difficult crime cases or other problems that baffle the Vancouver police without leaving his hotel.

Besides Doyle, the show also stars Torrance Coombs (The Tudors), Patrick Gallagher (True Blood), Kate Isabelle (The Good Wife), Carmen Aguerre (Da Vinci’s Inquest) and Melanie Papilia (Intelligence).

Ensemble Cast Confirmed for TV Series 'XIII'

A few days ago, it has been confirmed that the Canadian TV series XIII began production. Now, the identity of the ensemble cast's members - besides Stuart Townsend, Virginie Ledoyen and Caterina Murino - has been announced. Moreover, don't expect to see some returning faces if you saw the two-parts TV film XIII: The Conspiracy.

Speaking about those who will return, we'll see Stephen McHattie, as Ben Carrington; Greg Bryk, as Colonel John Amos.

As for the new faces, there will be Stuart Townsend, who replaces Stephen Dorff in the titular role. Aisha Tyler will replace Lucinda Davis as Major Janet Jones, XIII's love interest. Other new faces include Paulino Nunes as Frank Giordino, the head of the CIA who is determined to bring down XIII.

This is the information we have for the moment, and more informations will come. The TV series will be broadcasted on Showcase and CanalPlus, which are two cable networks from respectively Canada and France.

In the two-parts TV film, the first elected female president (Mimi Kuzyk) had been assassinated during her speech on Veterans Day. Since that moment, the American government had been chasing a suspect who has the code "XIII" tatooed above his chest and Ben Carrington (Stephen McHattie) became the president. However, the suspect doesn't remember anything about his past. As he runs for his life, XIII also tries to figure out who he really was.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Incendies (2010)

With a touch of fantasy in Denis Villeneuve's Incendies, one often wonders if the film realism. With that said, prepare yourself for this one. In fact, while Polytechnique was a warm-up, Incendies shows us a Denis Villeneuve who is at the peak of his shape.


Built in a non-linear way, the film introduces to Simon (Maxim Gaudette) and Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) Marwal, who are twins. After their mother's death, Jean Lebel (Rémy Girard), a notary for whom the twins' mother worked, reads their mother's last wishes. Upon the reading of these, Jean give one envelope to each twin. Jeanne has to give this envelope to a father who apparently didn't die during the Lebanese Civil War and Simon, to a brother he and his sister have never heard of.

From this day on, Jeanne begins her personal investigation in an unidentified Middle Eastern country (read: Lebanon) in order to gather informations about who her mom really was and where her father is. While Simon loathes his mom and doesn't want to bring the envelope to the mysterious brother, he joins Jeanne in her trip because of his bond with her. Together, Simon and Jeanne will try to understand why their mom had remained silent on her dark past.

As a film in which the focus is mostly put on the mother, the film succeeds. As we progress through Simon's and Jeanne's investigation, we get to see how a civil war leaves its mark on the mother and how it led her to armour herself up. With its non-linear structure and its flash-backs, Incendies can be frustrating to watch at times. The first reason being that the film withholds a lot of information from viewers. Moreover, in the first half, the film doesn't really reveal that much about why Jeanne and Simon has to search for their father and their mysterious brother. However, investing oneself in this film is extremely rewarding. Despite a few far-fetched moments, the film's story is well built thanks to the few hints (about the mysterious brother) that left in the film with so much subtlety.

Furthermore, by introducing us to characters coming from ethnic minorities, the film also finds its way to speak to us. It is also a smart denunciation of the loopholes in the Canadian immigration system. Suppose that your neighbour tells you that he/she comes from a country torn by war, do we really know his true background? Will his/her past ever catch up with him?

Other than that, the film is definitely worth your time because of the cast's solid performance. As the mother, Belgian actress Lubna Azabal brilliantly canvassed the portrait of a woman who wears an armour of courage, but, in reality, hides her psychological scars. As for Maxim Gaudette and Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, I was personally shocked to see two French Quebeckers hired to play Quebeckers of Lebanese heritage. Nevertheless, given that they have the right look to make us believe they're of Lebanese heritage, Gaudette and Désormeaux-Poulin are convincing as people who express curiosity, anger, shock and surprise when their character face the whole truth about their mom's identity.

Rating: 4.5/5

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:131 minutes
Genre:Psychological drama
Screenplay:Denis Villeneuve
Director:Denis Villeneuve
Starring:Maxim Gaudette, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Lubna Azabal

Friday, September 24, 2010

'Durham County' Season 2 On DVD In the USA On Nov. 23


American fans of the TV series Durham County no longer need to come to Canada to buy the second season on DVD. In fact, the second season of this Canadian TV series will be released on DVD on November 23. Moreover, the third season of Durham County will premiere on HBO Canada, a Canadian premium cable network, on October 25.

The show takes place in a fictitious suburb of Toronto called Durham County. After the events of the first season, Det. Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon) got promoted; Ray Prager (Romano Orzari) is in prison because of his murder attempt on Sadie (Laurence Leboeuf), Mike's daughter; and Sadie is still reeling from her traumatizing encounter with Ray. As the second season begins, we're only a few days before Ray Prager appears in court. However, Mike's personal life isn't going the way he wants. As Mike tries to keep his family together, his wife, Audrey (Helen Joy) is seeking a divorce. No wonder Mike, while he's at work, cheats on his wife by sleeping with Dr. Peneloppe Verity (Michelle Forbes), a forensic psychiatrist with dark secrets and, above all, a twisted mind hidden behind an armour of lucidity.

The second season also stars Greyston Holt, Patrick Labbé, Cicely Austin, Claudia Ferri, Mike Dopud, Geordie Johnson, Alex Cardillo and Adelina Khamum.

Finally, ION, an American cable network, hasn't confirmed the stateside premiere of the third season of this show created by Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik, Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Interview: Erin Karpluk Talks About Season 3 of 'Being Erica'


The TV series Being Erica - which premiered two days ago on the Canadian TV network CBC - has always given us so much surprises. I had a phone interview with Erin Karpluk, the show's leading lady, and she told me what we should expect from the third season.

Obviously, my aptitudes in English pronunciation were rusty because I haven't spoken a word in English to someone on a regular basis for three years. Anyway, the interview was a pleasant experience.

Anh Khoi Do: Now that this season's opener revealed that a group therapy was waiting for Erica behind the mysterious door, how did you react when you learned that Erica will be going through a group therapy?

Erin Karpluk: Well, through the group therapy, Erica not only gets to have a session with Dr. Tom, but she also shares her experience with people she can relate to because of what she’s been through. This experience becomes less about Erica. In short, the inclusion of a group therapy makes the show more diverse especially because of the character of Adam (Adam Fergus) who challenges her more than Erica has ever been challenged.

AKD: Since season 2, we’ve seen Erica going into Kai’s past to help him. Now, in the third season, she gets to help Adam. Why does Dr. Tom allow Erica to help another patient by herself even though Erica is not in the third phase [Note: This means becoming a doctor] of the therapy?

EK: This is some sort of training for the patients so that they can help each other. Although neither Erica nor the other patients are in the third phase of the therapy, Dr. Tom would only put them in a situation that is not detrimental to them.

AKD: During the group therapy, I personally had the feeling that the other patients, excluding Adam, didn’t talk that much. Why did Adam sound blunt and rude towards Erica during their first exchange in the group therapy?

EK: That’s part of Adam’s nature and also because of his dark past, which is nice. These are the things that give Adam (Adam Fergus) his “bullshit detector” attitude and it helps him to challenge her [Erica] more than she’s been challenged.

AKD: The first episode suggested that at some point in the third season, Adam will befriend Erica. How will Erica’s relationship with Adam positively and negatively affect her?

EK: This relation between Erica and Adam evolves with ups and downs. There will be a strong connection between Erica and Adam. In the first episode, they commonly live the moment when Adam’s mom died and people should expect other events that will make them develop commonalities.

AKD: Now that Erica is Julianne’s equal partner in their new publishing company, how will Julianne (Reagan Pasternak) react to the fact that she’s not a level above Erica? I mean, has Julianne kept her reflex of being bossy when Erica is around her?

EK: Erica and Julianne will become more friends. This is an ongoing relation that evolves like a roller-coaster. We see two friends who try different avenues. Julianne brings the bluntness in the relation and they both address that. As for Erica, she brings the social skills. Moreover, in this season, Julianne is more three-dimensional than she’s ever been.

AKD: Since you’ve been on the show Being Erica, what has the show taught you about people? Now, before you answer that question, have in mind that it’s an opened question.

EK: Since I’ve been part of the show, I’ve learned about the resilience that people can have. They use it to combat inner demons and let go of certain things in life.

AKD: Speaking about combating inner demons, does it mean that there will be less reference to Leo’s (Devon Bostick) death in this season?

EK: There will be an entire episode devoted to Leo and also Erica’s family. Her mom, Barb (Kathleen Laskey), will go through some changes in her life. As for Erica's younger sister, Samantha (Joanna Douglas), she’ll get a new boyfriend.

AKD: Since a press release of CBC confirmed that Kai (Sebastian Pigott) will return, what part will he have in Erica’s life in the third season?

EK: I can tell that Kai does return. To what extent will he play a part in Erica’s life? Maybe Erica will meet him in the past, future or present tense.

AKD: Will Erica get to meet Kai when he’s a star?

EK: There’s a big surprise and it involves music. So yes, he will return.

In Canada, the TV series Being Erica is on CBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM. For the moment, SoapNet, a cable network, hasn't announced any premiere date for the show in the USA.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

'Incendies' Will Represent Canada at the Oscars


Although there are more Canadian films to come out, Denis Villeneuve's Incendies will represent Canada in the category of Best Foreign Language Film at the 83th Oscars, which will be held in Hollywood on February 27, 2011. Moreover, Incendies has been in Quebec's theatres since September 17 after it had been presented at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festival.

The film introduces us to Simon (Maxim Gaudette) and Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) Marwal, who are both twins. After Jean Lebel (Rémy Girard) had read their mother's (Lubna Azabal) will, he gives to the twin two envelopes. One is for a dad they thought dead during the Lebanese Civilian War and another one for a brother they've never heard of. What begins for the twins is a personal investigation and a trip to Lebanon. As they'll gather informations, these twins will gradually discover who their mother really was, how the two twins were born and above all, why their mom had always remained silent on the day she was hospitalized.


What to Expect From 'The Listener' Season 2


Two days ago, it was revealed that production began on the second season of the Canadian TV series The Listener. Now, Shaftesbury Films, the production company behind the show, has revealed new details about what viewers should expect about The Listener's second season. In a nutshell, expect to see new characters and new things for the leading characters to deal with.


The new faces joining the regular cast will be Lauren Lee Smith (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Tara Spencer Nairn (Corner Gas) and Sebastien Roberts (Canada Russia ‘72).

In the second season of The Listener, Toby Logan (Craig Olejnik), a paramedic from Toronto, has kept his habit of getting his nose in criminal investigations when he's not on the job with his partner Oz Bey (Ennis Esmer). This leads Toby to get into a case investigated by Integrated Investigations Bureau (IIB) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada's federal police. Obviously, Toby has no other choice but to reveal his telepathic gift to Sgt. Michelle McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith). Despite her scepticism, Michelle will come to think that Toby's gift is an asset for the IIB. Therefore, while still being a paramedic, Toby is enlisted as a collaborator with the IIB. There, he joins Michelle and her team made of computer expert Corp. Dev Clark (Rainbow Sun Francks) and Alvin Klein (Peter Stebbings), an in-house legal expert specialized on complicated investigation cases.

As for Tara Spencer Nairn and Sebastien Roberts, they will both play characters who will revolve more around Dr. Olivia Fawcett (Mylène Dinh-Robic). While Spencer Nairn will play a triage nurse, Roberts, on the other hand, will play Dr. Shane Lawson, a neurosurgeon who develops feelings for Olivia.


TVA Picks Up Comedy Show lOl:-)


TVA, a French Canadian TV network, has picked up a new comedy show called lOl:-) after it had seen the pilot of the show. Moreover, lOl:-), which is a "non-verbal" comedy just like Just for Laughs Gags, has been sold to Comédie, a French cable network, and Nippon Television, a Japanese TV network.

Now that the show has been sold to some networks, at least 1000 comic mini-clips representing 39 half-hour episodes are in production in Canada, Mexico, France, the USA and Morocco. These clips last between 30 seconds to two minutes.

While the cast hasn't been confirmed for the show, anyone who watches this clip will probably recognizes Réal Bossé, Martin Drainville and Antoine Vézina.

Production Underway for 'Hiccups' Season 2

Two days ago, production began in Vancouver for the second season of Hiccups. For the moment, CTV, a Canadian TV network, hasn't announced any premiere date for this Canadian TV series.

In Hiccups, Nancy Robertson (Wanda from Corner Gas) plays Millie Upton a popular children's author who just happens to have anger issues and several other emotional "hiccups." On a whim, Millie impulsively enlists the aid of a life coach Stan Dirko (Brent Butt). Unfortunately, Stan isn't a particularly good life coach. In fact, Millie is his first client ever. So, essentially we have a woman with no idea how to behave, being guided by someone who has no idea what he's doing. It's the lost leading the lost, with the best of intentions, high expectations, and very little success.

The regular members of the cast also includes Laura Soltis (The Guard) as Joyce, David Ingram (Smallville) as Taylor Rymes, Emily Perkins (Ginger Snaps) as Crystal, and Paula Rivera (Flashpoint) as Anna.


Monday, September 20, 2010

'Dan for Mayor' Season 2 Begins Production


Production has begun today on the second season of the Canadian comedy series Dan for Mayor and will be over on December 8, 2010. For the moment, CTV, a Canadian TV network, hasn't announced any premiere date for this show.

The story follows Dan Phillip (Fred Ewanuick), a bartender and a slacker in his thirties. After he finds out that his ex-girlfriend, Claire (Mary Ashton), is engaged, Dan decides to run for mayor in the fictive town of Wessex, Ontario against the incumbent mayor, Bud Calgrove (John Kapelos). Can Dan be taken seriously?

The also stars Paul Bates, Benjamin Ayres, Suzanne Coy, Laurie Murdoch, David Ferry, Lara Jean Chorostecki and Agam Darshi.


'The Listener' Season 2 Begins Production


According to the Ontario Media Development Corporation, production on the second season of the Canadian TV series The Listener has begun today in Toronto. While the show won't be returning on NBC, an American TV network, CTV, a Canadian TV network, hasn't announced a premiere date for The Listener.


The Canadian TV series The Listener follows Toby Logan (Craig Olejnik), a paramedic from Toronto. Toby has a secret: he's a telepath, which means that he can read the mind of people who are around him. When he's not working, Toby likes to use his powers to solve unsolved crimes. Needless to say that Det. Charlie Marks (Lisa Marcos) is always wondering why Toby is always a step ahead of the Toronto police.

At the end of the first season, Toby has revealed to Charlie, Osman Bey (Ennis Esmer), his paramedic partner, and Dr. Olivia Fawcett (Mylene Robic), his former girlfriend who works in a hospital, that he's a telepath. However, Toby doesn't want his power to become a public knowledge, because he doesn't want to put his life in danger. Moreover, he's looking for his mom.

Finally, the show also stars Arnold Pinnock, Anthony Lemke and Colm Feore.


Fourth Trailer of 'Le poil de la bête'


A fourth trailer of the upcoming adventure blockbuster Le poil de la bête has arrived online. The film's release is scheduled for October 1rst.

The story, which was penned by Stéphane J. Bureau and Pierre Daudelin, takes place in 1665 in New France at a time when a part of Canada was colonialized by France. Joseph Côté (Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge) escapes from a prison in order to avoid death by hanging. Moreover, while some colonial soldiers are chasing him, Joseph takes the identity of a jesuit and hides in the seigneury of Beaufort where most men are waiting for "daughhters of the king"(French women who were sent to Canada in order to find a husband).

At night, Joseph finds out that there are werewolves that terrorize the village. Besides, things get complicated when he falls in love with Marie Labotte (Viviane Audet), a "daughter of the king" that no one wants to marry. All in all, by simply trying to protect his life and Marie's, Joseph will end up fighting against the werewolves.

The film also stars Antoine Bertrand, Patrice Robitaille, Marc Beaupré, Martin Dubreuil, Marie-Chantal Perron, Mirianne Brulé, Gilles Renaud, Gilles Renaud, Sébastien Huberdeau, Michel Barette, Marie-Thérèse Fortin, Patrick Drolet and Benoît McGinnis.

The story was penned by Stéphane J. Bureau and Pierre Daudelin.

Finally, the film was made with a budget of $4.5 million CDN.


Teaser of Biopic 'Gerry'



Those who've been to a movie theatre from Friday to these days have probably seen the teaser of the upcoming biopic Gerry, which will follow the life of Quebec's first rocker, Gerry Boulet. Now, the teaser has already arrived online. Moreover, no release date has been announced for the film, but it will be somewhere in 2011.

The film is made with a budget of $6 million and the titular role of Gerry Boulet will be played by Mario Saint-Amand. Moreover, we still don't have any details about what parts of Boulet's agitated life will be documented by the film, which was written by [cough] cinema critic [cough] Nathalie Petrowski.

The film will also star Madeleine Péloquin, Éric Bruneau, Capucine Delaby, Eugene Brotto, Marc-François Blondin, Roberto Mei, Louis-David Morasse, Mathieu Lepage, Jonas Tomalty and Luc Proulx.


Winners at the 2010 Gémeaux Awards


Yesterday, Quebec celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Gémeaux Awards (Prix Gémeaux), the Quebecker equivalent of the Emmy Awards, but also revealed the best shows in different categories. Without further ado, the winners are:

Best dramatic series:
* Aveux.

Best game show:
* Le moment de vérité.

Best reality show:
* Rock n’Road II.

Best comedy series:
* Les Parent.

Best soap opera:
* Yamaska

Best humour show:
* Infoman

Best direction in a dramatic series:
* Aveux. (Claude Desrosiers).

Best direction in a comedy series:
* François Bouvier - Les hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin

Best leading actress in a dramatic series:
* Laurence Leboeuf (Musée Eden).

Best leading actor in a dramatic series:
* Guy Nadon (Aveux).

Best supporting actor in a dramatic series:
* Guy Nadon - Musée Eden.

Best supporting actress in a dramatic series:
* Marie-Ginette Guay - Aveux.

Best leading actor in a comedy series:
* Patrick Huard - Taxi 0-22.

Best leading actress in a comedy series:
* Anne Dorval - Les Parent.

Best supporting actor in a comedy series:
* Jeff Boudreau - La galère.

Best supporting actress in a comedy series:
* Élise Guilbault - Les hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin.

Best leading actress in a soap opera:
* Élise Guilbault - Yamaska.

Best leading actor in a soap opera:
* Normand d'Amour - Yamaska.

Best writing for a dramatic series:
* Serge Boucher – Aveux.

Best writing for a comedy series:
* Richard Blaimert - Les hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin.

Best writing for a soap opera:
* Anne Boyer and Michel D’Astous – Yamaska.

Best webseries:
* En audition avec Simon.

Best public affair magazine:
* Bazzo.tv.

Best public affair/investigation show:
* Une heure sur terre.

Best companion web site for a dramatic series, humour, variety or animation show:
* Musée Eden.

Best research in a public affair show:
* Enquête.

Best performance in a humour show:
* Marc Labrèche - 3600 secondes d'extase

Best youth show:
* Tactik

Best writing in a humour show:
* Marc Brunet, Josée Fortier and Rafaëlle Germain - 3600 secondes d'extase

Best writing in a youth show:
* Jean-Sébastien Busque, Barclay Fortin, Mathieu Pichette and Félix Tanguay - Les pieds dans la marge

Best supporting actor in a soap opera:
* Germain Houde - La promesse

Best supporting actress in a soap opera:
* Isabelle Vincent - Providence

Best leading performance in a youth show:
* Catherine Proulx-Lemay - Une grenade avec ça?

Best supporting performance in a youth show:
* Rose-Maïté Erkoreka - Une grenade avec ça?

Best companion web site for a youth show:
* Kaboum

Best public affair show:
* Une heure sur terre

Best show or original series produced for the Internet: public affairs, documentaries, magazines or sports:
* Kwad9

Best editing in a dramatic series:
* Dominic Champagne - Aveux

Full list of winners at the Gémeaux Awards ([1], [2], [3], [4]).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Miniseries 'The Pillars of the Earth' on DVD on Nov. 23


Sony, an American DVD distributor, has announced that the miniseries The Pillars of the Earth will come out on DVD on November 23. This Canadian-German miniseries - which was aired on the American and Canadian premium cable networks Starz and The Movie Network - will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray.

The miniseries is obviously based on a novel by Ken Follett. Moreover, it's a co-production between Canada and Germany that was made with a budget of $40 million. Speaking about the shooting locations, the show was shot in Budapest and Austria.

The story takes place during the 12th century in England. It's set against a backdrop of war, religious conflict, power struggles and human drama, Follett weaves love-stories and clashes between heroes and villains. The characters we follow are Tom (Rufus Sewell), the master builder, Aliena (Hayley Atwell), the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William (David Oakes), Philip (Matthew Macfadyen), the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack (Eddie Redmayne), the artist in stone work and Ellen (Natalia Wörner), the woman from the forest who casts a curse.

Other stars of the miniseries include Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job), Gordon Pinsent (Away From Her), Alison Pill (Milk) and Sarah Parish (Merlin).



Sketch Series 'Tranches de vie' Premieres September 22 on TVA


TVA, a French Canadian TV network, announced yesterday that its new original series Tranches de vie will premiere Wednesday, September 22 at 7:30 PM. The TV network promised that the show will cast a look at what it means to be in a relation and will have a prestigious cast.

The show will star Pauline Martin, Raymond Bouchard, Josée Deschênes, Emmanuel Bilodeau, Édith Cochrane, Jean-Michel Anctil, Émilie Bibeau and Olivier Morin.

The story follows many couples. Amélie (Émilie Bibeau) and Jean-François (Olivier Morin) are two young lovers who are learning little by little what it means to be in a relation; Claire (Édith Cochrane) and Jean-Guy (Jean-Michel Anctil) are two divorcees who try to build a blanded family that has its own problems; Suzanne (Josée Deschênes) and Luc (Emmanuel Bilodeau) constantly live a love-hate relationship; Muriel (Pauline Martin) and Daniel (Raymond Bouchard) have been together since 30 years and they consider themselves as "experimented" lovers.

Finally, you can follow the show on its official web site and Facebook page.


Superbad (2007)

Dismissing Superbad back in 2007 wasn't quite a loss for me because I've never really been a fan of teen comedies. Much to my surprise, Superbad turned out to not only be enjoyable but also smart. Some will find the film extremely vulgar, but this element gives a certain depth to the film.

The story is centred on Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), two virgin teenagers who are about to graduate from high school. Like most of their "yearmates", they're planning to go to "the last party" before graduation. This party will take place at the house of Jules (Emma Stone), a girl Seth with whom Seth wants to lose his virginity. As for Evan, he promised to Becca (Martha McIsaac) - a girl he's been liking for quite a while - that he'll come to the party.

Both Seth and Evan had respectively promised to Jules and Becca that they'll bring the booze. This is why Seth and Evan rely on their nerdy friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) only to discover that he has the least unconvincing fake ID card ever. While Fogell gets on a ride with two incompetent cops (Bill Hader and Seth Rogen) after he had paid for the drinks, Seth and Evan try to find another way to get drinks before getting to the party as quickly as possible. Along the way, their friendship gets tested. Obviously, there's nothing new about this film's story. We get to see two dudes who are so desperate to get laid. While Seth doesn't mind getting horizontal with a drunk girl, Evan, on the other hand, feels that a respectful sex involves two sober people. With such a simple premise, don't be surprised to see female characters who either want to party or have sex.

Despite a lack of depth with the female characters, Superbad is a smartly written comedy. In fact, with a disturbing line from Seth that says "You know when you hear girls say 'Ah man, I was so shit-faced last night, I shouldn't have fucked that guy?' We could be that mistake!", the film certainly looks crude. However, that crudeness - when it comes to dealing with sex - serves the purposes of showing how some boys' immaturity can look like in high school. Therefore, as much as the film makes you laugh or grin, it has the honesty to tackle some problems that exists. Moreover, the film's message gets to us quite well, because Jonah Hill has an indescribable trick to give life to such an unlikeable character.

In short, Superbad is definitely an entertaining film that is simultaneously funny and smart even though it deals with sex, the biggest literary, cinematographic or televisual third rail. Unfortunately, despite a good start, Superbad loses a lot of momentum in the middle only to regain it in the last act. Did the two scriptwriters - Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg - need to stretch the part when Fogell spends his time with the two incompetent (and uninteresting) cops played by Rogen and Hader before making it to the party? Hell, even Homer's Odyssey has a quicker pace (note: I've seen the play in high school)!

Rating: 3.5/5


Origin:USA (2007)
Length:113 minutes
Genre:Comedy
Screenplay:Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Director:Greg Mottola
Starring:Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Martha McIsaac and Emma Stone

Thursday, September 16, 2010

'The Soprano State' to Premiere October 2010 in the USA


New Jersey Pictures, an American studio, announced that its documentary The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption Part One will premiere at Clearview's Ziegfeld Theatre in New York on October 18. Four days after that, the film will begin its theatrical career in select theatres of New Jersey and New York City.

The film is based on a New York Time bestselling book by veteran investigative journalists Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure. The documentary fcast a glance on the corruption among politicians and government officials in the state of New Jersey: envelopes of money exchanged for political favors; cash paid for back-door deals; Construction contracts handed out for those who have to pay elected officials are a few examples. Moreover, by upholding that New Jersey is "arguably the most corrupted State" in the USA, the documentary brings us in the days when New Jersey was a British colony.

The Soprano State features interviews and commentary from the attorneys, politicians and journalists who were there – including current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The film is narrated by Tony Darrow (The Sopranos & Goodfellas).

Moreover, The Soprano State has reunited a very successful team. It is executive produced by Kellie Pyffer. Kalafer, LeDonne and Pyffer, have teamed on the Academy Award-nominated films Curtain Call and Sister Rose's Passion, winner Best Documentary Short at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival, both acquired by HBO, and on The Diary of Immaculee, which was honored at The 2006 Toronto film Festival’s “One By One” event.

The production team for The Soprano State includes Steven Moskovic (Director of Photography), Daniel Raiffe (Associate Producer), Molly Williamson (Editor).

TV Series 'Murdoch Mysteries' Heading to China


After the UK, the Canadian TV series Murdoch Mysteries - which is aired on the Canadian TV network CityTV - is preparing its entrée in China. Shaftesbury Films, the production studio behind this TV series, announced that Murdoch Mysteries will be broadcasted in China on CCTV-8, a channel dedicated to drama series.

While the third season has already been aired in Canada, more than 200 million Chinese will have the chance to see Murdoch Mysteries's first and second seasons dubbed in Mandarin.

This TV series based on a novel series by Maureen Jennings takes place in the Toronto of the 1890s. Det. William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) investigates homicide cases and he has to deal with a boss (Thomas Craig). In fact, Det. Murdoch advocates the use of forensic techniques, which were radically new at the time. Moreover, in the Toronto Police Department, Murdoch has allies in the form of Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy), a young pathologist who shares Murdoch's passion for science, and Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris), a young policeman.

Murdoch Mysteries was recently honoured with an award for Excellent Drama Series at the 2010 Seoul International Drama Awards, which were presented in Seoul, Korea on September 10. The series’ lead, Bisson, was in attendance to accept the award on behalf of Shaftesbury. The fourth season is currently in production in Toronto and Hamilton.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Six Australian Films at the 15th Pusan Int'l Film Festival


A total of six Australian feature films and one short will be heading to the 15th Pusan International Film Festival, which will be held from October 7 to 15.

***


WORLD CINEMA

Dreamland
Production Company: Bunya Productions
Producer: David Jowsey
Director/Writer: Ivan Sen
Sales: Bunya Productions
Australian Distributor: PackScreen in association with Bunya Productions
Cast: Daniel Roberts, Tasma Walton
Synopsis: Dan Freeman, an obsessive UFO hunter, roams the Nevada desert around the border of Area 51 searching the skies for contact. But alone in the desert he awakens to a bigger mystery.

Oranges and Sunshine
Production Companies: See-Saw Films & Sixteen Films
Producers: Emile Sherman, Camilla Bray, Iain Canning
Director: Jim Loach
Writer: Rona Munro
Sales: Icon Entertainment
Australian Distributor: Icon Film Distribution
Cast: Emily Watson, David Wenham, Hugo Weaving
Synopsis: The story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals in recent times: the organised deportation of children from the UK. Against overwhelming odds, Margaret reunited thousands of families and brought the authorities to account.


[Poster not available]
Wasted on the Young
Production Company: WBMC
Producers: Janelle Landers, Aidan O’Bryan
Writer/Director: Ben Lucas
Sales: Fortissimo Films
Australian Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Cast: Oliver Ackland, Adelaide Clemens, Alex Russell
Synopsis: After an incident at a high school party sets off a fatal chain of events, two brothers must place their lives at the mercy of popular opinion.

***

FLASH FORWARD
Lou
Production Company: Matchbox Pictures
Producers: Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon, Tony Ayres, Belinda Chayko
Writer/Director: Belinda Chayko
Sales: Bankside Films
Australian Distributor: Kojo Pictures
Cast: John Hurt, Emily Barclay, Lily Bell-Tindley
Synopsis: The tender story of the relationship between 11-year-old Lou and her grandfather. Not long after Lou’s father walks out of her life, her grandfather crashes in. But when Doyle comes to stay, Lou discovers, against all her expectations, the healing power of love.

***

MIDNIGHT PASSION

Red Hill
Production Company: Hughes House Films
Producers: Al Clark, Patrick Hughes
Writer/Director: Patrick Hughes
Sales: Arclight Films
Australian Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing
Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E Lewis
Synopsis: A young police officer relocates to the small country town of Red Hill with his pregnant wife to start a family. His first day on duty rapidly turns into a nightmare when news of a prison break sends the local law into a panic, and a convicted murderer serving life behind bars returns to the isolated outpost seeking revenge.

The Reef
Production Company: Prodigy Movies
Producer: Michael Robertson, Andrew Traucki
Writer/Director: Andrew Traucki
Sales: Lightning Entertainment
Australian Distributor: Polyphony Entertainment/All Interactive Entertainment
Cast: Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering
Synopsis: When their boat capsizes on the Great Barrier Reef, four friends swim for land, stalked by a Great White Shark. Based on true events, this is a terrifying tale of survival on the open sea.

***
WIDE ANGLE – SHORT FILM SHOWCASE
[No poster available]
The Kiss
Production Company: Sacred Cow Films
Producer: Sonya Humphrey
Writer/Director: Ashlee Page
Sales: Sacred Cow Films
Cast: Nicole Gulasekharam, Briony Kent
Synopsis: Returning home after a night out, two teenage girls seek respite from the heat. Fuelled by cheap alcohol and teenage hormones they make their way to an isolated fire-water tank. They soon discover they are trapped with no way out.

Source: Screen Australia

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

'Being Erica' Season 3 Premieres Sept. 21 on CBC


CBC, a Canadian TV network, announced that its hit original series Being Erica's third season will premiere Tuesday, September 21 at 9 PM. This premiere happens to be one week after the release of the show's second season on DVD on September 14.

Those who have seen the second season knows that Erica Strange (Erin Karpluk), a thirty-two-year-old woman from Toronto, broke up with her boyfriend, Ethan Wakefield (Tyron Leitso). Besides, she got fired from her job as a junior editor at River Rock, a publishing house along with her boss (and also friend), Julianne Giacomelli (Reagan Pasternak). As the second season's cliffhanger suggested it, Erica and Julianne have decided to found a publishing house of their own.

Brent Kennedy (Morgan Kelly), Erica's and Julianne's former colleague, is now the editor at River Rock. Because he holds a grudge against Erica and Julianne, he'll stop at nothing to put them out of business. As for her therapy with Dr. Tom (Michael Riley), Erica will talk about "transformation" with him. This means that Erica must find the right thing to do in order to fulfill her destiny.

For the third season, we should expect to see returning characters like Erica's fellow time-traveler Kai (Sebastian Pigott), Erica’s mother Barb (Kathleen Laskey), father Gary (John Boylan) and Erica's sister, Samantha (Joanna Douglas). Newcomers for the third season include Adam (Adam Fergus) who both befriends Erica and is a thorn in her side; Lenin (Brandon Jay McLaren), a new love interest for Samantha; the “bear” couple Dave (Bill Turnbull) and Ivan (Michael Northey), new owners of Goblins café; and the all-powerful Dr. Arthur played by Oscar-nominated actor Graham Greene.

Finally, if you want to check the promo, go here.

'Dragons' Den' Season 5 Premieres Sept. 22 on CBC


The Canadian hit reality show Dragons' Den's fifth season will premiere on September 22 on CBC, a Canadian TV network. For this year, more than $20 million has been made in deals.

As always, the host will be economic journalist Dianne Buckner. As for the judges, who are among Canada's wealthiest entrepreneurs/venture capitalists, we'll still see investor Kevin O'Leary, marketing expert Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving (the owner of the Boston Pizza franchise), IT security expert Robert Herjavec and energy tycoon W. Brett Wilson.

For those who don't know, the show's concept allows budding entrepreneurs to come in the den and present their idea to the five judges/investors. These budding entrepreneurs must describe their product/idea and say how much they need for a certain percentage in their product/idea.


Denis Villeneuve's 'Incendies' Will Be Distributed in the USA


According to the folks at La Presse, Denis Villeneuve's Incendies, which is an adaptation of a play by Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad, will be distributed in the USA by Sony Pictures Classics. This deal has been made while the film is currently being screened at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festival.

In Denis Villeneuve's Incendies, Lebel (Rémy Girard), a notary, reads for Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon Marwan (Maxim Gaudette), two twins, their mother's (Lubna Azabal) will. Both twins are surprised to see two envelopes: one for a father they thought he was dead and one for a brother they've never heard of.

For Jeanne, these two envelopes might help her to understand why her mom has adamantly kept her mouth shut ever since she was in hospital. This is why Jeanne decides to travel to the Middle East in order to know her family's true past. Although he never loved his mom, Simon, because of his bond with his sister, decides to join Jeanne in her trip to the Middle East. Together, with the help of Lebel, the twins will discover that their mother wasn't really what they made her out to be.

The film will also be distributed in France, Switzerland, Israel, Germany and Italy.


Line-Up of Canadian Films at the Vancouver Int'l Film Festival


The Vancouver International Film Festival, which will take place from September 30 to October 15, is known for bringing the world to people in and around Vancouver. Moreover, it also has Canadian films in its line-up. All in all, expect to see some Canadian films that are currently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The opening film will be the Canadian-Italian co-production Barney's Version. Other Canadian films include:

* A Drummer's Dream, by John Walker
* A Night for Dying Tigers, by Terry Miles
* A Simple Rhythm, by Tess Girard
* Altitude, by Kaare Andrews
* Amazon Falls, by Katrin Bowen
* An Ecology of Mind, by Nora Bateson
* Barney's Version, by Richard J. Lewis
* Breaking the Silence: Burma's Resistance, by Pierre Mignault and Hélène Magny
* Curling, by Denis Côté
* Everywhere, by Alexis Durand-Brault
* Father & Sons, by Carl Bessai
* Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie, by Sturla Gunnarsson
* Guido Superstar: The Rise of Guido, by Silvio Pollio
* Les amours imaginaires, by Xavier Dolan
* Here I Am: Denny Doherty and The Mamas & the Papas, Paul Ledoux
* Hope Builders, by Fernand Dansereau
* In the Wake of Flood, by Ron Mann
* Incendies, by Denis Villeneuve
* Leave Them Laughing, by John Zaritsky
* Love Shines, by Douglas Arrowsmith
* Love Translated, by Julia Ivanova
* Mammalian, by Frank Wolf
* Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames, by Adam Reid
* Modra, by Ingrid Veninger
* Trois temps après la mort d'Anna, by Catherine Martin
* Repeaters, by Carl Bessai
* Route 132, by Louis Bélanger
* Score: A Hockey Musical, by Michael McGowan
* Snow and Ashes, by Charles-Olivier Michaud
* Two Indians Talking, by Sara McIntyre
* Uncle Brian, by Nick McAnulty
* When the Devil Knocks, by Helen Slinger
* Whirligig, by Chaz Thorne
* Winds of Heaven, by Michael Ostroff

Canadian Series 'XIII' Begins Production


Yesterday in Toronto, production began on the first season of the upcoming Canadian TV series XIII. This series based on a comic book created by Jean Van Hamme and William Vance will take place after the events in the two-parts TV film XIII: The Conspiracy. Moreover, XIII: The Series will be aired in 2011 on Showcase and CanalPlus, which are two cable networks respectively from Canada and France.

In the two-parts TV film, the first U.S. female president (Mimi Kuzyk) had been assassinated by a sniper during her Veterans Day speech. While the USA's secret services is hot on his heels, the assassin manages to escape. A few weeks after these events, an elderly couple discover the body of an amnesic man wearing a parachute. This man has the number "XIII" tatooed on his neck. Since he has been designated as the prime suspect in the assassination of the president, XIII will constantly be running for his life and trying to discover who he really was.

According to CanalPlus, the leading cast will be made of Stuart Townsend in the titular role, Virginie Ledoyen and Caterina Murino. For the moment, there's no confirmation that Greg Bryk, Stephen McHattie, Lucinda Davis, Jonathan Higgins, Ted Atherton, John Bourgeois and Jessalyn Gilsig, who were all in the two-parts TV film, will be in the series.

Finally, here's the trailer of the two-parts TV film.


'Sanctuary' Season 3 Premieres Oct. 15 on Space


The hit Canadian science-fiction TV series Sanctuary will return for a third season. The show will premiere on Space, a Canadian cable network dedicated to sci-fi, on October 15 at 9 PM.

Note that Ashley Magnus, the character played by Emilie Ullerup, will not be in the third season. This character was killed in the second season.

This show created by Damian Kindler follows Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), the head of the Sanctuary Network, who either hunts abnormal creatures or offer them a shelter. She leads a team made of forensic psychiatrist Dr. William Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), weapon expert Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi) and computer expert Henry Foss (Ryan Robbins). This goes without saying that Magnus offers a sanctuary to some abnormal creatures because she wants to study them. In the third season, the team tries to reach god-like abnormal Kali and prevent it from unleashing tidal waves that will kill million of people worldwide.

Like other seasons, Sanctuary was shot in Vancouver. The show is still shot in front of a green screen and uses a RED camera.

Here's a trailer of the second season.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Trailer of 'Todd and the Book of Pure Evil'


The trailer of the first season of the Canadian TV series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is already online. The first season of this half-hour series will premiere on Space, a Canadian cable network dedicated to sci-fi shows, on September 29 at 9 PM with two back-to-back episodes.

This TV series shot in Winnipeg takes place in a High school. Inside this school, there's a book that can unleash hell, put an end to the world or satisfy someone's deepest desire at a steep price. Todd Smith (Alex House), a teenager, gets hold of the book. When he learns about the power of this book, he intends to impress the girl that he has a crush on, Jenny (Maggie Castle). Unfortunately, Todd makes life at a school a nightmare. Whether he likes it or not, Todd has to save the school.

The show also stars Billy Turnbull, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins, Norman Yeung, Steve Arbuckle and Jason Mewes.


Director Jonathan Caouette Is Preparing 'All Flowers in Time'

After he had directed his first film called Tarnation, director Jonathan Caouette is preparing a new film called All Flowers in Time. Details regarding the film's story are not available. However, it was said that Caouette will team up with The Phi Group, a studio in Montreal. Moreover, Chloë Sevigny will star in the film.

Finally, the film has an official web site.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

On the Set of Upcoming Film 'Le sens de l'humour'

Production on the upcoming film Le sens de l'humour has been over since last month. While no trailer isn't available, we've got a visit on the set of this film. Moreover, Le sens de l'humour will be released in Quebec on July 8, 2011.

This film is the second collaboration between Michel Côté, Louis-José Houde and director Émile Gaudreault. In fact, we remember them for having worked together on the comedy De père en flic, which holds the box office record for the most profitable Canadian film in Canada (not the world, mind you) with $11 million.

The story follows two comedians who decide to work together. Needless to say that these two guys will have success. One day, they make fun of a member of the audience. However, that person turns out to be a serial killer.

Finally, the film also stars Anne Dorval, Pierrette Robitaille, Benoît Brière, Zaccari-Charles Jobin, Luc Senay, Pierre Collin, Marilyse Bourke, Alexandre Goyette, Sonia Vachon, René Richard Cyr and Éveline Gélinas.


On the Set of Upcoming Film 'Frisson des collines'


On August 31, production wrapped up for the upcoming coming-of-age film Frisson des collines, which was directed by Richard Roy. The film's release is scheduled for spring or summer 2011.

The film's story takes place in 1969 and the three leading characters - who are all three kids - try to raise hell together. They do this in order to escape from the monotony of life in a village in Quebec. Each of the character will try, at the same time, to make a transition towards adolescence. As for Frisson, a young boy who recently lost his father, his dream is to go to Woodstock in order to attend to a concert. In fact, because he wants to get the autograph of Jimi Hendrix, his idol, Frisson will try to find the money for the trip.

After a round of auditions, the boy who was chosen to play Frisson is Antoine Pilon.

The film also stars Evelyne Brochu, Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Antoine Bertrand, Anick Lemay, Geneviève Brouillette, Patrice Robitaille, Paul Doucet, Rémi-Pierre Paquin and Jean-Nicolas Verreault.

On the Set of Upcoming Film 'L'appât'


The upcoming film L'appât is currenty in production in Montreal and will be in Quebec's theatres in December 17, 2010. Meanwhile, the news agency WebPresse.ca has brought us on the set of this film by director Yves Simoneau, who directs his first film in Canada after an absence of nine years in our film industry.

The screenplay was penned by Yves Simoneau and writer William Reymond.

The film takes place in Montreal and a French citizen got murdered. Since that French citizen had highly important information, the French government sends Ventura (Rachid Badouri), an elite spy who can speak eight languages. However, Ventura will discover that Prudent Philippe Poirier (Guy A. Lepage), an agent of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), is on the investigation whether Ventura likes it or not. As time goes by, both of them will learn how to work together.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

'Barney's Version' Will Be Distributed in the USA by Sony Pictures Classics


Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all American distribution rights for the Canadian film Barney's Version, which was produced by Robert Lantos (Eastern Promises). This film directed by Richard J. Lewis and based on a novel by Canadian writer Mordecai Richler is currently being screened at the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will be released in Canada in winter 2010.

We follow Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti), an English-speaking Jew from Montreal, who feels in love for the first time of his life. However, it appears that he'll be married three times. Clara (Rachelle Lefevre), Barney's first wife, is a beautiful writer, but she's mentally ill. The second wife (Minnie Driver) left Barney at the time Boogie (Scott Speedman), Barney's best friend, disappeared. Miriam (Rosamund Pike), the third wife, left Barney for another man and he hopes that she'll come back to him.

The film is a co-production between Canada and Italy. Besides, it was made with a budget of $28 million. As for the shooting locations, the cast and the crew went to Montreal, Austin, the Laurentian region (all in Quebec, Canada), Rome and New York.

Furthermore, note that while Barney travelled to Paris in the novel, the producers decided to make the character travel in Italy instead. After all, the character of Barney Panofsky and the book Barney's Version are very popular in Italy.

Finally, the film also stars Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Greenwood, Saul Rubinek, Clé Bennett, Macha Grenon, Ellen David, Mark Addy, Maury Chaykin and Harvey Atkin.


Trailer of 'A Beginner's Guide to Ending'


The trailer of Jonathan Sobol's A Beginner's Guide to Endings is already online. The film is currently being screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

According to the TIFF, here's the story:

Duke White (Harvey Keitel) hasn’t been an ideal father to his five boys. An inveterate gambler who never experienced a windfall he couldn’t blow within twenty-four hours, he has come to the end of his rope, literally. Years ago, he signed up his three eldest sons for unsafe drug tests that turned out to have dire consequences: the boys’ life expectancy have been substantially reduced. Upon receiving the news after their father’s funeral, the sons return to their family home in Niagara Falls, where they respond to their eminent demises in different yet equally hilarious ways.

Womanizing Cal (Scott Caan) is determined to hook up with Miranda (Tricia Helfer), the one girl who got away. Cautious Jacob (Paulo Costanzo), the only son with a real job, is determined to take every risk he didn’t take earlier, usually accompanied by Duke’s youngest son, Todd (Siam Yu). And finally there’s his eldest, Nuts (Jason Jones), a boxer turned promoter who seems to have inherited his father’s love of the calamitous long shot.
The film also stars Jared Keeso, Jared Keeso, James Preston Rogers, Thomas Michael, Alex Appel, Gavin Fox, Rufus Crawford and Siam Yu.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Alexandra's Project (2003)

Rolf de Heer's Alexandra's Project is the kind of unknown film that doesn't oversell too much details about its story. While some may be fascinated, many, among those who've seen this Australian film, will be divided. At most, the film entertained me as much as a Hollywood blockbuster, but it was only the actors' performance that kept my attention.

The movie introduces us to Steve (Gary Sweet) is a man who seems to have it all. He lives in a peaceful neighbourhood, has a nine-to-five job that he likes, has two children (Samantha Knigge and Jack Christie) who loves him and a stable marriage with his wife, Alexandra (Helen Buday). On his birthday, Steve gets two surprises. The first one being a promotion at his job that he's been dying for.

This is why Steve leaves office earlier in order to get his second surprise. In fact, he believes that his wife and children prepared a surprise party for him. However, once he's at his house, Steve finds nobody and receives written instructions to play a video tape. In this tape, his wife and his children wishes him happy birthday. After she had asked her children to leave, Alexandra performs a strip-tease for Steve. Afterwards, she begins a monologue that aims to humiliate Steve and express her contempt for being his wife.

The first thing we can reproach to this film from Down Under is its slow pace. The film began so slowly that at some point, I wanted to press on the "stop" button and go to sleep. However, what made me stay on board was the envy to know what the whole story was about. As it turned out to be, Alexandra's Project was really entertaining, but the story itself became a little bit implausible the moment Alexandra expressed her disgust for being Steve's wife. Nonetheless, one has to recognize that despite being written like some blockbuster, Alexandra's Project is well carried by the performance of Gary Sweet and Helen Buday who do fully invest themselves.

With that said, Alexandra's Project is a film that has its good bits and bad ones. Once you get the past the first half of the film, you'll be entertained no matter what you think about the whole story.

Rating: 3/5


Origin:Australia (2003)
Length:103 minutes
Genre:Thriller
Screenplay:Rolf de Heer
Director:Rolf de Heer
Starring:Gary Sweet and Helen Buday

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