Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Woody Allen’s latest take on life’s “nightmare”



Writer-director Woody Allen doesn’t mince words when expressing the anxiety he feels about aging and death.

In a typically blunt, near-two minute tirade, seventy-four-year-old Allen, said he sees no advantage to the golden years at all.

“You shrivel, you become decrepit, you lose your faculties, your peer group passes away. You sit in a room gumming your porridge. I don’t see any advantage in this whatsoever,” he told reporters at a Toronto Film Festival press conference for his “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” which opens in theaters on Sept. 22.

“It’s a bad situation. It’s a joke without a punch line. It’s an unpleasant thing. It’s kind of a nightmare. The best thing you can do … is to distract yourself. You do all these things that distract you and keep you from thinking about the tall, dark stranger that comes and gets you despite all your efforts to, you know, eat health foods and exercise.”

Robert De Niro’s school of less is more


deniro Would-be thespians take note, screen legend Robert De Niro has the day’s free acting lesson.

The actor, on a whistle stop at the Toronto Film Festival to promote “Stone”, which co-stars Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich, told Reuters the secret to great acting is keeping on-screen reactions to a minimum.

Hef the feminist


hef(writing and reporting by Cameron French)

Hugh Hefner — media mogul, millionaire lades man, porn baron, feminist icon.  …

Umm, feminist icon?

That last description doesn’t exactly jump to mind when discussing the founder of Playboy magazine and its numerous adult-oriented offshoots in publishing and on television. Yet, a new documentary screening here at the Toronto International Film Festival, “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist & Rebel” shines a different light on Hef’s past — his work in the feminist and civil rights movements — and considers the notion that his Playboy empire has been a vehicle for female empowerment.

“The Informant!” Matt Damon feels fine looking fat


damonMuch has been made of superstar Matt Damon adding 30 lbs of heft to take on his new role in Steven Soderbergh directed movie “The Informant!”. The movie hits U.S. theaters on Sept. 17, but it premiered at the Venice film festival earlier this week. You can read about it here.

“The Informant!,” whose backers hope to win an award for Damon playing a corporate whistle-blower in a U.S. agri-business, also debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. On Friday in Toronto, Damon was talking to the media about his role.

Toronto film festival gift lounges — worth the wait for sponsors


Rapper and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges

If there’s one Hollywood rule that is nearly universal, it is that stars will almost always be late to anything – to dinners, to events, to interviews — and that even includes so-called “gifting lounges” where they get stuff free. Free!

Gifting lounges are nothing new at film festivals such TIFF, Sundance or Cannes or at big award shows (the value of past Oscar gift bags notoriously runs in the tens of thousands of dollars) but lately organizers have been doing more than just giving away items to create buzz around their venues. They look upon the lounges as “media hubs” where actors schedule press interviews, photo shoots and parties — not just as quick, down-and-dirty stops to grab free stuff.

“Paris, Not France” — almost not Toronto, either


paris.jpg(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng)

Even before she arrives for the Toronto film festival, the business of being Paris Hilton has rolled into town.

Hilton made headlines on the first day of the Toronto International Film Festival when the New York Post’s Page Six reported that she forced festival organizers to cancel two of three screenings of a documentary about her, “Paris, Not France,” in order to amp up the promotional volume for the premiere.