Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #463: Has Canada's Rep Been Ruined?

Welcome to the show folks...

Well, it didn't take long but mere days after Canada's shining golden Olympics, with fellow Nova Scotian Sidney Crosby's smashing gold medal winning goal, two Canadians possibly ruin our image for being nice, polite folks.

Let's go to the tape...



Oh, right, this is a blog. Sorry, I miss some time, and I completely forget how to do this. So let's start over.


The Producers Oscars, axed a skit being put together by Ben Stiller & Brit comedian Sascha Baron-Cohen. The word is that the skit was cut because the Academy was scared of hurting James Cameron's feelings, and sparking one of his Naomi Campbell-esque temper tantrums. Now the Oscar's producers deny it, claiming the skit was "too MTV" for the show.

But I think what's telling is not whether they axed the skit because it might offend Cameron, or the Academy's octogenarian members, but the fact that Cameron's ego was the first thing people thought of. Because even if the producer's statement is true, that initial image of James Cameron, King of the World, striking fear into the hearts of the Academy by being a touchy douchebag, is now firmly stuck in people's heads.

That story has legs because
everything everyone's ever heard about Cameron the person, has given it a ring of truth.

Jimmy, that's not good.

Sure, you have a couple of billion in filthy lucre in the bank thanks to
Titanic and Avatar, but that money isn't going to hug you at night when you're feeling lonely. The hooker you hired after your seventh divorce, might, but then you'll only fire her when she says that the dialogue you gave her seems wooden and fake.

Personally, if I was in Cameron's shoes, heard about a skit being done about me, and if it was funny, I'd want to be in it.

Two reasons for that:

1. I'm a big fat slice of Canadian ham, and can't say no to sketch comedy.

2. I know that no matter how successful or important I might be, someone is going to laugh about it, it's inevitable. So you might as well be in it, to get people laughing
with you, and not at you.

This is triply true when you have the reputation for prickishness that Cameron has. If the jesters aren't in your tent pissing out, they'll be outside your tent pissing in. It's what I call The Roast Effect. Ever watch a comedy roast, where comedians tear the guest of dishonor a new cake-hole with some of the nastiest humor in the world, you always walk away thinking better about the Roastee. Because only an asshole can't laugh at themselves.

My advice Jimmy, you need some image rehab, so that when something like this comes up, people aren't going to automatically associate you with being an asshole.

Which brings me to the other possibility as to why the skit was canceled:

Now that I think about it, Oscar Producer Bill Mechanic may have done this for his own reasons. Think about it: Mechanic worked with Cameron in the past. Mechanic doesn't like Cameron, he admits it publicly. So Mechanic cancels a skit, knowing full well that people are going to assume that Cameron's raging inflamed ego is behind it.

Fiendishly clever, if you ask me.


Nope that's not the name of a bad children's book written by a celebrity who needs a ghostwriter to find a word that rhymes with "cat." No I'm talking about Canadian actress/filmmaker Sarah Polley, and where she seems to think movies come from.

Recently the Oscar nominee made a short film about heart health commissioned by the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation. It was to debut during a commercial break in the upcoming Oscar telecast. (I'm not sure if it's only in Canada, or if it's international)

Then comes the horror.

Ms. Polley was shocked and appalled to discover that the film, and its airing was paid for by....

.... wait for it....


.... it's really shocking...

....the film was paid for by A CORPORATION!

Specifically the company behind Becel, a heart healthy butter substitute. I myself don't touch the stuff, preferring pure lard on everything.

Why does my chest hurt?

Anyway now it's my turn to be shocked and appalled. Not by the corporation funding the movie, but from Ms. Polley taking her name off the film to protest that a corporation dared sully her artistic vision by making it possible.
Which gives me these questions for Sarah Polley.

1. Were you paid to make this film?

2. If so, why didn't you do it for free?

3. Why is morally better for the Heart & Stroke Foundation, a charity, to take money from their research and health care work to finance this film, rather than from a corporation whose product has the same aims as the foundation?

Of course the answer to all these comes from the milieu that she was literally raised in. Which is the Canadian film scene. In this realm money to make films is not earned, it is dispensed by government bureaucrats and political hacks to their favored minions, who are praised for their brilliance, and integrity, because they have the right connections to get their shot at the taxpayer's collective teat.

This means that it's not all that much of a stretch for her to think it's morally better to take money from heart & stroke research, than from a corporation. She regularly takes money from the government that could have been spent on her other pet causes like health care, and the environment, but she's part of that Toronto clique that's juiced in with the funding agencies, something she's been since she was eight years old, and she's going to use it to raise herself up. Because she's worth it, she's a pure artist, above vicissitudes of commerce.

Remember something Sarah, you may have an Oscar nomination for Away From Her, but exponentially more people know you as "That chick from the Dawn of the Dead remake." Which shows that you should know that it's better to take money from corporations than charities, yet you act like you don't.


  1. So, she's sort of the female Zoolander.

    "What is this?!! A building for ants!!"

  2. Hey - I vaguely remember her as one of the kids from that 80s reality show about people living on Prince Edward Island.

    Er....that was a reality show, right? As an American, I'm often confused...

  3. You're right, it was called Road To Avonlea, and the cast & crew were teleported back to 1900 for the shoot.

    Little known fact, Canadians mastered time travel in 1982, then again in 1936, and after that in 1897.