Following on the critical acclaim of 2020’s POSSESSOR, Toronto Filmmaker Brandon Cronenberg, son of legendary David Cronenberg, follows-up with INFINITY POOL. The Sci-Fi Horror which he writes and directs just premiered at Sundance to warm reception.
Starring Alexander Skarsgård (who also serves as Executive Producer) as James Foster, who ventures to a resort with his partner Em (Cleopatra Coleman). They then discover a culture of brutality, greed and violence. James is seduced by an unhinged woman named Gabi (Mia Goth) and he is faced with a choice to be executed or watch himself die.
We’ve never seen anything like this. You’ve been warned.
A tremendous privilege getting to chat with Cronenberg, Skarsgård, along with Toronto screen veterans Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale) and John Ralston (Ginny & Georgia) as the Red Carpet was rolled-out for the shocker’s Toronto Premiere. Our Amanda Gilmore joined them for a chat.
Amanda Brugel describes her character Jennifer for us.
Brugel: “I play Jennifer, I’m one of the people at the resort who takes full advantage of what it’s like to have a lot of money, doing a lot of bad deeds. I go there with my husband a lot. It’s wealthy people behaving badly and privilege without having respect for anyone else. I usually play people who are a little more grounded, more kind or altruistic. I really wanted to go the other direction and get paid to be a jerk.”.
John Ralston, supported at the Premiere by his family, sheds some light on his Dr. Modan.
Ralston: “My character is Dr. Modan. There’s a group of six of us who move through this Film and provide a great foundation for Mia Goth‘s character, who lures Alexander Skarsgård‘s character James Foster into this group and embarks on this wild introduction to this no-holds-barred, hedonistic journey that this group takes him on. This group comes back year after year and when you watch the Movie, you’ll see why.”.
Brandon Cronenberg takes us through his Sundance experience, where he also premiered Possessor.
Cronenberg: “We went to Sundance, nothing weird happened at all, and then we went to Sundance again! It felt really good to be back at a live festival with people again after the Pandemic. I’m a hermit and don’t like being surrounded by people even, but being around people who love films and presenting it to a warm crowd was pretty exciting.”.
Cronenberg is asked about the first thought that inspired INFINITY POOL.
Cronenberg: “The scene early on that’s kinda an execution scene where someone’s been doubled and the double is standing in for them in this execution. Stop here if you don’t want any Spoilers. That was actually the beginning of it. It was actually a short story I was working on, it was that scene where someone was watching themself. The resort and stuff came after as I was developing it.”.
Alexander Skarsgård just made it into Toronto amidst our snowstorm, from New York, landing on the tarmac and onto the Red Carpet at Scotiabank Theatre. He signed-on to star in and produce the Film while he was working on The Northman. This role is what he calls a perfect follow-up after prepping two years for that Film.
Skarsgård tells us about his magical experience at Sundance.
Skarsgård: “It was an experience I’ll never forget. It was 48 crazy hours, non-stop. We did the Midnight Madness screening, which I hadn’t done before, where you screen it at midnight and do a Q&A at 2:30 in the morning. It was the first time I’d watched the Movie on a big screen with an audience. I couldn’t sleep when I got back. The room was vibrating. It was a very memorable experience.”.
He explains what it is about INFINITY POOL that made him want to sign-on also as an Executive Producer.
Skarsgård: “From the moment I read the Script and met with Brandon, I really believed in the project. And I really love Brandon and wanted to do whatever I could to help promote the project and push it. It’s rare to come across such a unique talent like Brandon and a crazy, wild story. Sometimes there’s such a conformity when you read a Script and it’s derivative. This Film’s so crazy, unique and anarchistic in a fun way.”.
Everybody is talking about Mia Goth‘s spellbinding performance as Gabi. Skarsgård has nothing but raves for the star of the X Trilogy.
Skarsgård: “Mia‘s the best. She’s so lovely and sweet, a real dream to work with and obviously supremely-talented. And a perfect Gabi because she has such a sweet, innocent demeanour. And then the character’s so fucked-up – pardon my French – and goes unhinged in such a crazy direction. That’s really, really interesting in this Movie.”.
A Gallery of Snaps:
See our Chat (11-minute version):
Elevation Pictures release INFINITY POOL January 27, 2023.
Our Review here.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Elevation Pictures)
The legacy of Disney’s DUMBO continues to last for generations beyond its original 1941 release. Visionary Filmmaker Tim Burton takes the reins in the upcoming 2019 live-action remake of the animated classic. In-town for a rare visit to promote its release was Golden Globe and EMMY Award-winning Actor, Author, Producer and Filmmaker, Danny Devito. Known for a large expansive body of work despite his diminutive frame, Devito has starred in several classics like Big Fish, Tin Men, Throw Momma from the Train, Matlida, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment, Romancing the Stone, Twins and Batman Returns.
We hear Devito endured quite the wait arriving in the City the other night, which we had a chance to ask him about. There was a reported fire at Toronto Pearson International Airport, but being the true professional he is, he was ready to go bright and early for a day of Press, starting with an exclusive at CITY’s Breakfast Television.
Devito stars as Max Medici, whose circus is revived when he learns that his baby elephant born with oversized ears can actually fly. V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) is a flashy entrepreneur with big plans, expressing interest in incorporating Dumbo into his new grand venture, Dreamland propelling the baby elephant to stardom and potential riches. That is until, it is learned Dreamland actually harbours some unsettling, dark secrets. It is up to amputee war veteran Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) along with his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to protect Dumbo’s best interests after he is separated from his mother, Jumbo.
See the Trailer:
There were jugglers, popcorn, cotton candy, face-painters and a even a man on stilts at the festive affair. A Snapchat filter even was deployed for the occasion. Walking the Red Carpet at the Film’s Canadian Premiere at Scotiabank Theatre were the likes of Alexandra Porat (The Launch), Kyla Young (The Marijuana Chronicles), Luke Bilyk (The Marijuana Chronicles), Dalmar Abuzeid (Anne with an E), Cindy Sampson (Private Eyes), Scott McGillivray (Income Property), Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Danielle Graham (eTalk).
We ask these notable Canadians what the legacy of Dumbo means to them:
The Mississauga native featured on CTV‘s The Launch recently, attended the Premiere and tells us, “I think there’s a beauty in these Remakes. I’m a huge fan of something animated coming into live-action.”.
“And I think it’s also important for children to be introduced this kind of storyline. Sometimes it’s harder to watch older films. When they see the live-action, it might inspire them to watch the original. I think they’re both going to be very different and special in their own ways.”.
The Toronto Actor known best for his work on Degrassi, just wrapped on locally-filmed The Marijuna Chronicles, based on a true story of a group of women who partook in an outlandish experiment where they were tested rigorously after marijuana use. He says, “I think one of the greatest things about these live-action Remakes of all these classics is that people born in 2001 didn’t get to experience the cartoon itself and everything it meant to us. The young kid who’s nine or ten years old getting to watch The Lion King or Dumbo and real people get to see real actors.”.
“Not only does it spark imagination, but for little actors out there, young people who wanna start getting into this industry. They see it’s not a cartoon, you can really see that that magic can be real in real life.”.
Young also stars in The Marijuana Chronicles and reveals, “I saw Dumbo for the first time when I was eight and I was so sad. I’m a crier and I was a crier when I was eight.”.
“I think it’s so awesome that someone like Tim Burton who has such a unique and twisted mind can bring this fantasy to life again in hopefully a totally new and different way.”.
The Private Eyes Actress who stars alongside Jason Priestley, tells us “I was obsessed with Disney movies as a kid, I loved them obviously. I’ve cried over this Movie over a hundred times already and I’m kinda hoping that I’ll make it through as an adult – strong.”.
This Anne with an E star is a fan of remaking stories. He tells us, “Well, I think there’s always something to be learned from re-telling stories especially because there’s new angles and perspectives, new things to consider when you’re telling a story.” .
“I’m part of a show, Anne with an E, re-telling a story that’s been around a really long time. There’s something about people we recognize, figures and characters we’re familiar with, because then we’re more likely to wanna listen and take something away from their story that we’re so familiar with.”.
The Real Estate guru arrived at the Premiere with his family. He states, “With everything going on in the world, it’s a very relevant topic about inclusion, people’s differences and all the things the Circus represented in the Movie.”.
“I think it’s appropriate and fun and maybe something for the kids and all of us to learn.”.
The Actress who has been hard at work on The Handmaid’s Tale and promoting the Made Nous campaign in advance of Canadian Screen Week, arrived also with her family. “Dumbo resonated with so many children. It was devastating to watch as a child. As a mother of two beautiful young boys, I love the story. I love how it goes into the relationship between a mother and son.”.
“Also, I like the idea to embrace who you are and what you are and the special qualities that seem odd and translate that into your real life and make it work for you.”.
The icon dishes on his troubled landing in Toronto Sunday night. He says, “We were stuck in the airport for three hours last night because of a grease fire in a restaurant that was in the International Arrivals terminal of the airport. It was a comfortable and nice time, everyone was really nice. There was no alcohol. When you park at the gate, you can’t have any alcohol. I slept a bit, I read, I went on my phone and went on Twitter. I love Twitter, I love Social Media.”.
“The thing is in the original 1941 movie, there were so many great values. Talking about the others, Xenophobia, acceptance and the thing inside you that you can contribute to the world and yourself. We kept all those things. The Animal Rights thing, we made sure to address that because we feel animals should not be imprisoned”, he adds.
We ask him also about reuniting with Tim Burton and Michael Keaton once again. “They’re like our family. Tim and I have done five movies together. Michael and I have done three. It’s really good to work with your friends.”.
See our Chats:
See some more Snaps from the Red Carpet:
Scott McGillivray + Family
Luke Bilyk x Kyla Young
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release DUMBO Friday, March 29, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/David Baldwin/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
All photos taken on the Nikon D3400.
Nominations were announced earlier today at Oliver & Bonacini‘s Aperture Room for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards, now in their fifth year. Announcing nominees were a trio of Canadian talent including actors Maxim Roy (Shadowhunters), Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) and Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale).
With 134 categories, divided by Digital Media, Television and Film, the Awards brought out some familiar and new names. Leading the Television nominees once again is ORPHAN BLACK with a stellar 14 nominations (and wins in the past three consecutive years) including Best Dramatic Series and Actress (Tatiana Maslany). SCHITT’S CREEK, also a multi-CSA winner which just premiered in its third season, follows closely in second with 13 nominations, while KIM’S CONVENIENCE gets 11 nominations in its debut. The latter two, both from CBC, compete for Best Comedy Series.
Leading the Film nominations with nine nods is Xavier Dolan‘s IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD including Best Motion Picture and Direction, Canada’s Best Foreign Picture entry at the upcoming Academy Awards. RACE, also filmed in Montreal like WORLD, gets eight nominations, while BEFORE THE STREETS, OPERATION AVALANCHE and WEIRDOS each get six nods apiece.
Newly-appointed Academy CEO Beth Janson who returned to Canada recently after a stint in the U.S., comments on the lack of a star system in Canada and hence the necessity of recognizing our own Canadian talent which she is certain has no shortage of. “The stories we tell are increasingly reflective of our diverse experiences as Canadians, and that is a trend to cherish”, she tells a room of industry, media and nominees.
Some Snaps from the Breakfast:
Academy President, Martin Katz
Actress, Amanda Brugel
Actor, Simu Liu
Actress, Maxim Roy
Nominees Jennifer Dale and Adrian Holmes
Team Schitt’s Creek congratulate Catherine O’Hara on her nod!
See you in March!
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The 2017 Canadian Screen Awards air live on CBC Sunday, March 12, 2017 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, hosted by Howie Mandel. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer that night is slated to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Awards cap-off Canadian Screen Week, which takes place between Monday, March 6 – Sunday, March 12, 2017. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer that night is slated to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Like previous years, Fans will have a chance to engage with various events set to take place leading up to the Awards. Visit ACADEMY.CA for updates.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
One of our favourite TIFF bashes annually is the UniFrance Party, held at The Fifth Social Club. While the Red Carpets during the Festival are very Hollywood-centric, this one event stretches the scope of the Festival to include French-language Film. Several high-profile names graced the Carpet at the Party this year including iconic actress Isabelle Huppert and auteur Filmmakers like Paul Verhoeven, François Ozon and Olivier Assayas. Legendary French actress Agnès Varda who was a dear friend of the late Jim Morrison, also attended in a rare appearance.
The Cocktail Party is brought to us by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et du Développement International (MAEDI), Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Institut Français, Procirep, Mairie de Paris, Air France, Lacoste, m0851 and Renault Nissan.
See some Snaps from the glamorous bash!
Paul Verhoeven + Isabelle Huppert
Andréa Grau (Touchwood PR) + Kristian Bruun
Olivier Assayas + Isabelle Huppert
Isabelle Huppert + Bavo Defurne
Jean-Paul Salomé (UniFrance President), Isabelle Huppert + Piers Handling (Director + CEO, TIFF)
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Now in its third thriving year, AN EVENING WITH CANADA’S STARS was held last night at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Leading into the Academy Awards and Canadian Screen Week, the Gala honours Canadian accomplishments in Cinema during Awards Season and if any year, this was the year to celebrate. The Gala is brought to us by Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles.
Canada notched over 20 nominations at the Academy Awards this year and one Technical Achievement Award! This also marks the first time ever Canada has had two Films in the running for Best Picture, with Canadian Co-Productions ROOM and BROOKLYN both being nominated.
It was an at-capacity crowd as Canadian talent and notables filled the venue. Being honoured with the Academy‘s Legacy Award are two iconic Canadian screen veterans, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, whom after making us laugh many years on SCTV, still continue to do so on CBC Series, Schitt’s Creek. Both walked the Carpet tonight with their loved ones before taking the stage to accept their honours.
The fashion was bold and elegant on the Red Carpet with presenter Emmanuelle Chriqui in a gorgeous red and white floral print dress making a subtle Canadian statement. Amanda Brugel was a vision in wavy white, reminding us again what a triumph she was in ROOM as a quick thinking police officer who helps save the day. Laura Vandervoort simply never disappoints and chose a fashion-forward pink lace number. Katie Boland was a stunner in a magenta dress, looking classic and chic. Missy Peregrym continues to rock our world with her amazing choices including a dyed pixie cut and short black dress shirt-like number. Academy Award-nominated Shoreh Aghdashloo was effortlessly chic in simple, flattering red. Stealing the entire show though was dapper Jacob Tremblay, star of ROOM in a perfectly-tailored and patriotic red suit which had us both jealous and in “awww”. Did we mention his swoon-worthy police detective dad Jason was there too? Effortlessly cool in a non-stagedad way.
Why don’t you be the judge of that? Let’s gawk at some of that Canadian beauty which the World can’t seem to get enough of:
Presenters Lyriq Bent + Emmanuelle Chriqui
Legacy Award honourees Catherine O’Hara + Eugene Levy
Catherine O’Hara + Guest
Jacob Tremblay + Amanda Brugel
Toronto Mayor John Tory + Guests
Sarah Blackwood of Walk Off the Earth
George Stroumboulopoulous with Air Canada‘s Bambina Marcello + Robert Trudeau
Martin Katz, Academy Chair
Stephan Moccio (co-wrote “Earned It” by The Weeknd for Fifty Shades of Grey)
Co-Presenter (and Canadian Screen Award Nominee) Lyriq Bent sums-up the spirit of An Evening with Canada’s Stars best by telling the room “We’ve got to show the world what we’re all about because that’s what it takes to be great. We need to understand ourselves before we need others to understand us.”. After he and Chriqui called to stage all Canadian Academy Award Nominees this year, last but not least was the brilliant young star of ROOM himself, Tremblay. “I need you all to understand – this is the future generation. This is why when we see talent, we need to embrace talent, not just tell him how great he is, but to show this young man what it is to be a good man. That’s our responsibility in this industry.”.
Suicide Squad star Adam Beach, who also presented, had a two or thing to say about Tremblay too!
See the Video:
So everybody was trying to crash this Party!
Canadian Screen Week runs Monday, March 7 through Sunday, March 13, 2016, the night of the Canadian Screen Awards.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
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