Monthly Archives: November 2012
This week meet:
Artist Manager, Starfish Entertainment
- Where are you?
In my living room on a fantastic vintage pink couch in Leslieville trying to get the motivation to do laundry and pack.
- If, starting today, you could only listen to one record/cd/digital album for six months, what would it be?
Tom Waits. Closing Time. Hands down. I can’t get enough. I can’t remember a time when it hasn’t been part of my life but we’re definitely revisiting the most intense time in our love affair.
- What is your ultimate couch (burn out/hangover) day entertainment?
Lying on the aforementioned pink couch, watching movies or reading. I always have tons of books on the go and a lazy day can be an incredible chance to catch up.
- What kind of art do you live with?
Vintage prints from my Nana’s house. Some paintings by my dad. A couple of Martin Tielli prints and one of his original sketches. Two tiny pieces by Beverley Hawksley (Hawksley Workman’s mom). Photographs taken by myself and friends.
Dia de los Muertos! One of my favorite days of the year, when we celebrate the dead. Bring them all back to life! The evening already began well with two of my very dear friends and I dining at one of my favorite restaurants. The conversation is always lively but it’s the Day of the Dead subject matter that eventually elicits an awesome outcome…. a decision. They will join me in my endeavor to stop by the Necropolis Cemetery (the oldest in Toronto) on my way home to honor the dead. Once this idea takes hold their enthusiasm is boundless, with one friend sprinting from his seat and out the door to make it to the wine store before it closes for a bottle of red and upon his return my other friend takes off to the corner store coming back with candles, flowers and a complete stranger named Jada who she has invited to partake in our adventure. Jada immediately asks if she has time to do a shot and of course the answer is ‘yes’ because it occurs she may need one for this. Even our waitress is participating by giving me a lighter and a bag of tea light candles to place on the graves (an absolute must). Off we go, in a cab and on our way. We arrive at the Cemetery only to find that all the gates are closed and locked, no way in. The disappointment is thick in the group but we decide to set up on the steps of the gate anyway. We light our candles, open the bottle of wine and place the flowers in a planter next to us. And as this Cemetery is located right next to Riverdale Farm (a petting zoo for kids) the only thing penetrating the silence is our joyous laughter and the baaa-ing of sheep (so surreal). Eventually we see a figure coming towards thru the black but as he’s on a cell phone we know he’s not one of the undead (unfortunately).
Part of our coverage this year at Hot Docs, allowed SASSYTIDBITS to meet RADIOMAN. We have been watching with interest as his story keeps evolving and what adventures are coming his way. We asked Paul Fischer the producer of the documentary to give us an update of what’s been happening since we last met.
Last April the first feature film I produced, a documentary entitled RADIOMAN, had its World Premiere at Hot Docs in Toronto. RADIOMAN is about a New York street bum of the same (nick)name, who overcame homelessness and lifelong alcoholism to become a New York film set legend with celebrity friends, an unparalleled information network and over 100 small parts to his name – he’s the Derelicte model in Zoolander, the bum on the Central Park bench in Elf, one of the inmates in Shutter Island.
Radio (as he’s known to us) had never been outside of the US before Hot Docs; getting him a passport was a six-month odyssey because of his absolute lack of any identification paperwork. As it turns out he loved his first international experience – he loved the different accents, the different ways tourists and locals pronounced Toronto, wanted to know why Canada and the US weren’t one and the same country. His innate curiosity is made for travel. He loved interacting with crowds at our screenings, especially at the Docs for Schools one, after which he was mobbed for over an hour by high school students wanting autographs and pictures. He enjoyed the experience so much that five months later he hopped on a bus with a passport, by himself, and went back for the Toronto Film Festival, hobnobbing with Dustin Hoffman for a weekend before going back to his daily life on film sets.
This October the documentary received its first public release, in the UK, which is where I and the director, Mary Kerr, are from, and we flew Radio to London for the occasion. This was more than just his first trip over an ocean, or his first trip so far away: Radio has dreamed of coming to England ever since he was a little kid watching Hammer horror films and old Sherlock Holmes serials. He imagined it full of fog, murder and hopefully horse-drawn carriages; Jack the Ripper returning and slicing and dicing a few more prostitutes would have absolutely made his trip. He landed at Heathrow on a Friday and went straight into press interviews. That following Tuesday the release kicked off with a charity premiere in support of Shelter, the UK’s largest homelessness and housing charity, and over the next three weeks of Radio’s trips we held screenings in London and in Scotland. The charity premiere was at a 400-seater cinema in Piccadilly, a room that had held premieres for George Clooney and Michelle Williams; the rest of the London run was at the Prince Charles Cinema a couple of minutes away, a 104-seater famous as a B-movie house and generally known as the London film buff’s favorite cinema. Radio loved interacting with the audiences at both. One of the things that’s been fantastic about doing a release this way – one or two screenings in each venue, with Radioman and Mary present for a Q&A – has been that we’ve been able to get a much personal reaction from the audience. We don’t receive admission numbers without knowing what people thought: Radio’s Q&As last half-an-hour and then a third of the room every time sticks around to speak to him or follow us to the pub, and it’s really felt like we were sharing something with people, rather than making it and putting out there to be facelessly purchased by them.