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The Reeler Blog

Screening Gotham: Six Degrees of Don McKellar Edition

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With STV in limbo, the Canadian(s) have taken over the asylum for the day, and I thought I'd bring you a little news from the outermost outer borough, innermost in our hearts: Canadia.

--Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore have signed on to appear in Blindness, an adaptation of a Jose Saramago novel about a town where everyone but Moore is inexplicably swept with a blindness epidemic. Between Moore's saintly powers in The End of the Affair and guerrilla gyno role in Children of Men's infertility epidemic, I'm beginning to think Morgan Freeman was miscast. Blindness is scripted by Don McKellar, who wrote about the last day on Earth for his film Last Night and who lived three doors down from me in the Little Italy section of Toronto. The same neighborhood, in fact, where Michael Moore attempts to gain unforced entry into a local home in Bowling for Columbine. It's a good thing Moore didn't try to walk into McKellar's house, because you couldn't put a toe on that guy's lawn without risking third degree frostbite. Unfriendly! *

--Moore is making an appearance on Oprah today, and I'm guessing it's not to discuss diet tips. Back from Cannes, the Stateside promotional push for Sicko seems to be beginning in earnest, and I can only hope it includes as much discussion as possible of the scene that takes place in my hometown of London, Ontario, where we never lock our doors and eat clouds for sustenance.

--London, Ontario is also the site of a pivotal Johnny Cash concert scene in Walk the Line, discussed in this Times article on the perils of the musician biopic, where the usual, self-destructive trajectory risks being more stretch-and-yawn than crash-and-burn. I always wondered why they left out the part of Johnny Cash's life where he lent his name to Canada's first ATM card, "The Johnny Cash Card," and allowed cardboard cutouts of himself to be propped up in every Canada Trust across the country. I'm not actually making that up. Also discussed in the article are Dylan wig-out I'm Not There (shot in Montreal) and Mike Myers' (Canadian) Keith Moon project, but the piece is pegged to this week's Edith Piaf biopic, La Vie En Rose. In what should have been labeled as a spoiler alert for that film, Elvis biographer extraordinaire Peter Guralnick makes the following comment on avoiding the "hagiographic approach," including:

stringing together the best-known moments from an artist’s career like so many Life magazine snapshots. “You lose any sense of character and you end up having these tableaus of familiar scenes which never have the same impact as the actual moments.”

I feel that if a Canadian had written that piece, they would have known how to spell "tableaux." Edith is shooting up in her grave.

--Finally, strap on some headphones and celebrate today's fucking of the F.C.C. by checking out this IFC News list of some of the most memorable potty mouthed moments in film, beginning (and ending, as far as I am concerned), with this clip from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, in which the boys have just emerged from a foreign film, from Canada, starring inveterate Uncle Fuckers, Terence and Phillip.

--Michelle Orange

* This is a joke. DMcK is by all accounts a warm and gracious Canadian.

Posted at June 5, 2007 12:35 PM

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