Friday, July 24, 2009

Just For Laughs Rumour Mill

Confirmed by the warble-voiced Hollywood mentor of Charlyne Yi, the Reigning Queen of Mixed Media Mumblecore Comedy Performance: that fumbled smooch in the film Paper Heart wasn't just acting. The 23 year old Angeleno is dating her co-star, Michael Cera.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just For Laughs Film Festival Jury Announcement & Paper Heart

I went out last night to catch Paper Heart, the mixed-format documentary (and stop-animation!) film from Nicholas Jasenovec & Charlyne Yi (you'll probably remember her from Knocked Up), documenting Charlyne's aw-shucks search for love, its meaning, and so forth. Jake Johnson (as Nick Jasenovec) as the slightly manipulative, but ultimately well-meaning director, was pretty funny, and while all-in-all the film depended on a certain mannered awkwardness, the essential charm of the cast and their own personalities stopped it from devolving into the unbearable twee-fest it could have been.

Michael Cera, for all his corduroy-clad stammering is a funny guy, and a lot of him in this film reminded me of his short-lived series Clark and Michael. Same apartment, too, I guess. Cameos by Seth Rogen, Demetri Martin, and a number of alt-comedy also-rans. Music production by Montreal's own Alden Penner (lately of Clues, formerly of the Unicorns).

Also on the JFL front, today they announced their jurists for the 13th edition of the film festival. From the press release:

This year's jury will be made up of 5 members of the entertainment industry, including David Greenbaum (Vice President of Production and Development, Miramax Films), Alex Epstein (writer, Bon Cop / Bad Cop), Melissa Auf de Maur (music artist from the band Hole and Smashing Pumpkins), Denis Côté (filmmaker, Carcasses) and Tendo Nagenda (Vice President of Production, Mandate Pictures).
Films are screening from July 16 to 25 at the NFB CineRobotheque on St. Denis, by Berri-UQAM metro.

Evan Dubinsky is still Googling himself, and unfortunately, intrepid searchers, I have no photographs of boys in panties here, just an old post on a Victorian musician named Panty Boy.

Ali Rahman information and whereabouts-seekers, please direct your attention to

Friday, July 17, 2009

Who Killed Michael Jackson?

Who killed Michael Jackson? Ian Halperin, in an interview with the Montreal Mirror, thinks it was the vultures that surround him. Who murdered Michael Jackson? Was Michael Jackson murdered? Death by neglect? Overwork? Janet Jackson? Latoya Jackson? Jermaine Jackson? It couldn't be bass-loving Tito Jackson, so humorously portrayed as a best-of hocking envious brother by Tracy Morgan of 30 Rock. Did Scientologists kill Michael Jackson? Could they have saved him from the rampant rumours of homosexuality, anorexia? Was it Cory Feldman? What about Corey Haim? Corey Feldman killed Michael Jackson, by diluting his brand. Certainly Corey Haim did not kill Michael Jackson. Out of the two Corys/the two Coreys, I just don't think he would have it in him. More than likely, in a plot to squash the popular uprising in Tehran and across Iran, the Iranian government killed Michael Jackson. Twitter has changed the world. Eddie Murphy might have killed Michael Jackson by wearing that red jacket so much. Was that in Raw? Those Jakarta bombings, in Indonesia... Michael Jackson was beloved by southern Asians, and the Japanese, of course, but for different reasons. Bollywood loved him. I don't know how the northern Asians felt about The Prince of Pop. Did the Mongolians like Michael Jackson? Maybe, but there was no love. Same with the northern Chinese provinces. Vaguely aware, but, meh, whatever. I don't know if anyone can ever answer these lingering questions, and maybe it's more rhetorical than anything else, like when Jeru the Damaga asked who killed hip-hop. It turned out hip-hop wasn't dead, but that Puff Daddy had just kidnapped him, had him holed up somewhere in New York (not in one of the five boroughs) and maybe Ma$e was around, feeding him and playing poker or whatever. Probably reading the Holy Bible. Death by Jeans Job. A career in denim. The last crime in a world gone mad. New Mexico. Explosions. I get so much traffic for hood rat, it's kind of weird. Hoochie Mama, too. Maybe it's people looking for 2 Live Crew ringtones. I don't know if it's 2 Live Crew diegesis or what. Someone in Hanna, Alberta came here recently from the query "Is there a dog you can ride?" I guess it's a big agricultural area, Hanna, in Alberta. Must be a recession thing. Horses are so expensive. If there was a ridable dog, why, that'd be easier to feed and you wouldn't have to worry too much about them running away. Dogs stick around. They're loyal like that. Michael Jackson in Prada, by Miu Miu. Nice shoes. Sex and the City killed Michael Jackson. Evan Dubinsky of Bad Flirt hasn't Googled himself recently. Maybe I'll write about Greg Ipp's CONTROVERSIAL ARTICLE. I wonder if Jian Ghomeshi has commented yet. I am going to make this blog the first search result for Evan Dubinsky. I bet I can make it to at least #2. I'm #5 right now on Google for Evan Dubinsky. I don't really want to change the name of the blog to Evan Dubinsky Kicks or something, though. Noah Bick Kicks would be funnier. Those rideable dogs, man, I get a lot of hits for that. And pictures of Dean Martin, Sharon Tate and Mia Farrow for some reason. bad flirt is evan dubinsky, jasamine white-gluz, laura lloyd, music, raf de la durantaye. Yoko Ono killed Michael Jackson.british open leaderboard 2009, martellus bennett was a great rapper, loved his rap video, love hip hop videos by martellus bennet, and evan dubinsky hip hop project, too. Lindsay Avner was not on the Tour de france stage 13, or the Tour de France Stage 11, either. Tour de France Stage 14 and Tour de France Stage 15 will be great, as long as Lori Silverbush and Tom Colicchio from that Homecoming Movie with Jared Kushner don't end up in a trailer, and instead Tom and Lori have a baby. Top Chef, never seen that show. Panasonic tc p54z1 is out and Heather Zeo is happy, happy, happy. Taleon Goffney. Where are these names coming from? Myley Cyrus? What a weird first name. The Apollo moon landing hoax is a tired and boring conspiracy theory, and I'm a bit too queasy to read anything about Canada's favourite serial killers, Karla homolka and paul bernardo. Karla Homolka lives in Montreal now, or supposedly lived in the south of Montreal. Apparently there was some ex-convict who loved her and seeked her out. Who knows what Karla Homolka does in Montreal. Maybe Karla Homolka is in Pointe-Claire, or Verdun, or Karla Homolka is in St. Henri. The North bay road castle is quite the amusing Ontario/Ontarian theme park or tourist attraction. Back to that Martellus bennett rap video, starring Julio Lugo, who could show him a thing or two about rhymes and crimes. Adam kimmel. Adam Kimel even. Maybe Adam Kimmell. Miami beach castle is not as cool as that North Bay thing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kesha Nichole, Richard's Wedding, Trendifying, and those damn sharks in New York.

Kesha Nicole Nichols is quite a lady, the Richard Jefferson wedding must have been a blast Is it really Ni Cole? Kesha Ni'Cole Nichols, maybe. Nee Cole? Nico! Little Pamela Laverne Long and Wendy Touton pics and pictures, bios and biographies. The uncensored tale. Shameless video. Why do the Russians care? Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a parable for the Obama Age (some say Obama throws like a girl, but that's coming from a fat guy in pleated khakis who tucks in his polo shirts) or just plain racist, Sibylle Szaggars photograph is in high demand, Tu 154M were some doomed Caspians, MTLQQ is the General Motors stock symbol and I hope it's not on your market ticket, Andree McLeod is Alaskan, Swine flu symptoms checker is going to make you paranoid, The People's Pharmacy sounds like something out of Berkley, basking sharks are more common than those that are broiled, Gipper's List sounds like some quasi-religious Reaganite parable, Maria del Carmen Bousada was quite the mother, WJFK format change has people talking, while Tupolev 154 was mentioned above, Trutv is a reality TV station, I guess? Robert Redford's biography makes some mention of Natalie Wood, but not enough. A Today show wedding is more exciting than Larry Bird and his rights (miranda or not). I've never seen the Mike O'Meara show, but the BAA half marathon, well, not that either. But people run, boy, do they run in the Boston half marathon. 2009 or 1979, when a lot more people were smoking. Ben Mezrich did not win the all star game 2009, and the Jimmy V foundation might not be as generous as you imagined. Sheriff David Morgan is in Escambia County, in Florida, someone got murdered there. Who woulda thought? The Tour de France is in stage 11. Riley Fox was a 3 year old, and, unfortunately, not a bit character in the beloved Wind in the Willows novel. Huddle House is a gross-out diner in the United States that to some might mark a symbol of the end of the American empire, but is really just gross. Lola Redford (nee von Wagenen) and Robert are now married. Congraulations, say James Rafe Mitchell and Ty Strickland. Probably not a coupling that that ol' stalwart broad Ayn Rand would have approved of. So many sports events like the British Open Golf just pass me by. Back to those basking sharks - they seem to be popping up everywhere - even Long Island, whereas the Tupolev plane isn't going anywhere. Jim Valvano, what a coach and what a foundation head. The late great probably would have appreciated the Ann Arbor art fair, as would have Sotomayor paramour Kevin Edward Noonan. No one's going to take a pet airline - that's pre-Recession nonsense. Caspian airlines, will we remember you a month from now? Or does the New Zealand earthquake story have more legs? Alstrom Syndrome, that rare thing. The Harry Potter box office rides strong. Anthony Randolph is a fine player, Danielle Keller was 29 years old, and will never get the chance to enjoy a drink prepared by the portable frozen drink maker, the Margarator, which will be a frat house staple for years to come. Dave Chappelle, in Pioneer Square or Reef Central, either way, not that funny. Now, when a giant shark washes ashore, people take notice. Penelope Cruz pregnant? Oh, woah, despicable me. Evan Dubinsky's star-turn. Dubinsky is moving to Los Angeles, they say.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Q&A: Matt Silver & Pat Kiely (Kidnapper Films, Who Is K.K. Downey?)

Screenwriters, comedians, and mensches Matt Silver and Pat Kiely took some time to answer my questions about their work on the Showcase Series' The Foundation. 2 episodes of the upcoming series will be screened as part of the Just For Laughs Festival, which opens on Thursday, July 16th and occasionally subjects Montrealers to more street theatre than even they can handle.

How did Mike Dowse approach you to work on this project?

We had known Mike for a little while through our mutual friend Paul Spence. He had seen a few of our sketch shows back in the day and so when it came time to put together a writer's room, he gave us a shout. The room included myself, Pat Kiely, Paul Spence, a hilarious dude named Gord Skillet, Mike Dowse, his producer Jennifer Wilson, and a seasoned T.O. writer named Jackie May. It's really the best way to write comedy in my opinion, because you just sit around all day trying to be the funniest guy or girl in the room. (full disclosure: I was never the funniest guy or girl in the room).

You and Pat play the Tak Brothers in The Foundation: can you describe a bit about your characters and their relation to the series?

Pat plays an ex-Olympian who loses his legs to a drunk driver, and I play his skeevy drug-addict brother. In it's simplest terms, Pat is recruited to wheelchair his way across Canada by the head of a charitable organization and I tag along as his manager and drug dealer. Neither of these brothers are the nicest or healthiest dudes, and essentially they figure out pretty quickly a way to cheat the system by attaching the wheelchair to the back of a tour bus.

Both of you, if IMDB is any indication, appear to have had a rather busy couple of years, even besides working on K.K. Downey. Besides your God-given talent, Protestant work ethic and mounds of charm (etc., etc.), do you find that there's anything community-wise that Montreal has, that has kept you steadily working?

We've been lucky enough to have a bunch of friends who, over the last few years, have gone into production with a bunch of stuff. The anglo production community is pretty tight in Montreal, so if someone decides to shoot something (usually on a limited budget) they know that there's a pool of cheap talent out there. We just happen to be the cheapest of the cheap talent.

When will the series debut on Showcase?

I'm not 100% sure when The Foundation will be on Showcase. I'm thinking sometime in Autumn but again I'm not totally sure about that.

Pat Kiely: The only thing I can add is that "The Foundation" premieres on Sunday nights, starting September 20th at 10pm (after Weeds and before Kenny vs. Spenny).

Are there any plans for anything from Kidnapper Films in the works?

Kidnapper is cooking a few things up. We're hard at work on the script for our next feature, ostensibly a Montreal period piece where three idiots fix a horse race. We're also putting the finishing touches on another script which is being produced by Mike Dowse (FUBAR, Pete Tong) and John Hazlett (Suburbanators, These Girls). Besides that...shit I think that's it.


Where indeed, my friend. Where indeed. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Matt Silver as Mark in the film One-Man Party. Directed and shot by Mark Slutsky for the 2008 Montreal 60 Second Film Festival. This year's edition will be taking place on September 9th through 11th at Sala Rossa.

Thanks for the shout-out, Pardon My Hindi!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Foundation at the Just For Laughs Film Festival

We're in the final stretch of the Montreal Jazz Fest, and while it was kind of interesting to press myself up against 100,000 other people for Patrick Watson's performance on Sunday night, truthfully, I've neglected my duties as a newly minted Quebecker (I declared my residency last Friday, after five years of living here), which, at this time, include wandering buzzed around the Quartier de Spectacle, fondling produce at a Farmer's Market or two, and playing pétanque in a city park.

Yes, I've been lazy, but now I'm summoning up all the civic pride I can to get involved, even if that means sitting in a dark theatre on a summer evening. (Thankfully, the weather's been mostly miserable...) The Just For Laughs Festival, widely known across the rest of Canada as the place where they film all of the filler stand-up comedy for Saturday night emergency programming on CTV, is here, and truthfully, I can take or leave stand-up comedy and comics. (And circus acts and the tam-tams and many other of Montreal's summer delights. Thank God they don't hold poetry slams outdoors.) But as it goes, there's something very compelling about this year's festival, and that's a screening of two episodes of a new television series on Canada's Showcase network (which re-broadcasts American cable shows, used to show a blue movie or two, and occasionally produces some Canadian shows) which stars two of the principals involved with last year's film, Who is K.K. Downey?, which premiered at Fantasia.

Kidnapper Films' Pat Kiely and Matt Silver make an appearance as the Tak Brothers, in an episode of a new five-part series called The Foundation, which is screening two episodes at the Just For Laughs festival. (Contrary to past years with this blog, I won't delve needlessly and deeply into the arcane details and connections, I'll just say that these are two very talented and very hard-working young men, and their lengthy CVs attest to that.)

From the trailer, it looks like it's just as funny, quick, offensive, and also features just as many questionable hairstyles and incidents of hard-drug use. Mike Wilmot (from It's All Gone, Pete Tong) stars as a morally bankrupt family patriarch, with Mike Dowse (Fubar, It's All Gone, Pete Tong) at the helm.

The Foundation at the Just For Laughs Film Festival
Thursday, July 23rd, 19h
NFB CineRobotheque
1564 rue St. Denis

I'll have a brief Q&A to post with the duo in the next day or so, but in the meantime, to give you a bit of context, here are some audio pieces. The first is a mock college radio show hosted by Terrance and Theo Huxtable that takes place prior to the events in Who Is K.K. Downey, and features an animated and aggravating caller, as well as selections from the film's spectacular soundtrack (Miracle Fortress, CFCF, Duchess Says, and others.). Unfortunately, we weren't able to re-create the smooth reggae sounds that follow on The Natty Dred Show. Production was by Ali Rahman and Martin Horn of Digital Bird Studios, with a little help from yours truly.

Against Film Schools is a 2008 piece produced by Cristal Duhaime, who works on CBC Radio 1's Wiretap with Jonathan Goldstein, for the sadly short-lived and ambitious Savfaire magazine. The voice you'll hear is that of Matt Silver, expounding wisdom to the fresh and naive souls who wish to make it as film-makers.