Tag: movies

Exodus Decoded features Toronto’s Indiana Jones

Toronto filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, in conjunction with Ontario-born film producer James (“Titanic”) Cameron, has produced a slick new two-hour television documentary about the Biblical Exodus that has more offbeat theories than The Da Vinci Code and more wizardry than anything you’ve ever seen in Harry Potter. The Exodus Decoded, which is scheduled for viewing on…

Palestinian ‘Paradise Now’ — box office bomb

There’s “nothing unusual about cinema portraying the psychodrama of real-life events torn from headlines,” Toronto Star writer Rosie Dimanno observed in a January review, noting that many films (such as Monster, In Cold Blood and Silence of the Lambs) traffic “in murder verite and the particular pathology of killers without conscience.” Dimanno was in the…

Prince of Egypt transforms the Exodus story

Based on the Biblical story of the Exodus, Dreamworks Studio’s visually stunning animated musical The Prince of Egypt opens across North America during the lucrative Christmas market (1998), and the studio hopes to see profits on the $70 million production soon. The first full-length animated film to focus on a Biblical narrative, The Prince of…

Film: A Treasure in Auschwitz

The Polish town of Auschwitz is known primarily as the site of horrific Nazi death camps, and its previous history as a town with a once-thriving Jewish community comes as a surprise. Stirred by an old storekeeper’s eyewitness account and his precisely-drawn map, Israeli Yariv Nornberg mounts an archeological expedition in search of some Torah…

Barenboim confuses music baton for magic baton

Seven years ago the Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and his close friend, Edward Said, the late Palestinian-American intellectual, jointly established an orchestra with talented young classical musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Unable to meet in their home countries, the participants spent several summers making music in Spain, where the experience…

Conversation with screenwriter Len Blum

Sitting in the study of his Forest Hill home, Len Blum hands the visitor a paperback copy of Howard Stern’s scatalogical memoir Private Parts, whose cover bears the promise, “Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture.” Then Blum — the 45-year-old, award-winning screenwriter who commutes regularly between Toronto and New York — admits that he’s…

Gilbert Gottfried is a scream

American comedian Gilbert Gottfried, whose most celebrated role was the voice of the parrot in the Disney movie Aladdin, brought his quirky brand of stand-up humor to Canada recently (1997) for two sold-out shows at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Superclub as part of the Toronto Comedy Festival. Gottfried responds to the audience’s welcoming applause by pleading…

Conversation with Red Buttons

As he prepares to bring his recent smash Broadway revue to Toronto, stage and screen veteran Red Buttons, who is 76 and lives in Los Angeles, joked that he was contemplating taking French lessons just in case the Yes side won the Quebec referendum. “I might even bring my wife along, and introduce her as…

Obit: film worker Bill Brodie (1931-2002)

Bill Brodie, a film production designer and art director who won a Genie for the Canadian film The Grey Fox and worked on Barry Lyndon, Superman and other acclaimed international features, has died in Cobourg, Ont. at the age of 70. Known for his exacting vision and relentless professional energy, Brodie scouted for locations, designed…

Profile: Gail Carson Levine

For New York-area author Gail Carson Levine, fairy tales sometimes do come true. The highly successful children’s author, who gave a reading recently (2004) at Toronto’s Bialik Day School, is the creator of Ella Enchanted, a young person’s novel that has been turned into a movie by Miramax Films. The film stars Anne Hathaway and…