Sarah Gadon

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The Dark Knight: David Cronenberg’s creepy obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

The Dark Night: David Cronenberg’s obsessions say as much about us as they do about him

In a way, David Cronenberg put me in the hospital. Last January, I attended a screening of a documentary by the filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock about the black market buying and selling of human organs, called Tales From the Organ Trade. Bienstock had asked Cronenberg to narrate because his own films traffic in what she called “intelligent discomfort.” His enlistment was a wink, a good match for the director known as the Baron of Blood. Cronenberg, with his nasally, Vincent Price pitch, guides the audience through gruesome images of organ-emptied torsos and desperately ill patients who rinse their blood in whirring machines while awaiting new kidneys. His looming presence, associated with films about the sexual penetration of open wounds (Crash) and talking half-alien typewriters (Naked Lunch) and TV screens pulsating like O’Keeffe vagina flowers (Videodrome), doesn’t exactly lighten the mood. I fainted, then vomited, then went to the hospital in an ambulance.

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The Goods

Best Dressed

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Sarah Gadon is ready to heat up Hollywood

Some Like It Hot: Sarah Gadon

Dress, Tanya Taylor; earrings, Jean-Louis Blin, and ring, Robyn Rhodes, both available at Elle Hardware; shoes, Manolo Blahnik, available at Holt Renfrew. Photographed at Allan Gardens Conservatory

Sarah Gadon lies motionless in a bed, luminous as a light bulb against a backdrop of crisp white linen. Her lips are painted a rusty red, her blonde hair frozen in perfect ringlets. Even with her eyes closed she radiates intensity. It’s a scene from Antiviral, the post-apocalyptic morality tale from Brandon Cronenberg (son of David), and Gadon is playing the biggest movie star in the world. The film is about a futuristic society in which obsessed fans buy diseases from ailing celebrities in a desperate attempt to connect with them. Gadon’s character, Hannah Geist, is the object of their obsession. The idea’s not that far-fetched—over the past couple years, Gadon has leapfrogged from minor Canadian TV guest actor (recurring roles on Murdoch Mysteries, Being Erica and The Border) to auteur’s muse and Cannes regular.

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The Goods

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Greta Constantine throws a raucous Parkdale dinner party to preview the fall 2013 collection

Greta Constantine fall 2013Greta Constantine designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong once again opted out of  fashion week for Fall 2013, instead feting their collection with a dinner party at Parkdale restaurant Parts and Labour last night. Likely the furthest west many of the socialite attendees had ever traveled, we heard a photographer yell “say Parkdale!” to some ballgown-clad ladies, and Krystal Koo ask, “Where are we?” while posing outside. Others who made the trek included actress Sarah Gadon, Top Chef Canada host Lisa Ray and social mavens Catherine Nugent, Stacey Jordan (formerly Kimel) and Suzanne Rogers (spotted sneaking a cigarette before the main course was served).

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Toronto’s Best Tweeters: top Twitter feeds from local entertainers, athletes and media personalities

Toronto’s Twitter-happy celebrity set supplies a constant stream of bon mots, feuds and photo scandals, so choosing our favourite social media mavens meant scrolling through thousands of tweets. We settled on 10 notables whose 140-character missives are both funny and revealing. Some are native Torontonians, others have moved here more recently and one or two have only a tenuous tie to the city (but are just too good to pass up). Here, a list of 10 Twitter virtuosos, and why we chose them.

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TIFF Talk

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TIFF RED CARPET POLL: Which Toronto celebrity was best dressed at TIFF 2012?

Sure, Hollywood’s stars descend on Toronto during TIFF, but the local talent was also well-represented on the red carpets this year. Sarah Gadon looked the part of a classic starlet on Antiviral’s red carpet in a gold Dolce and Gabbana dress with patent black pumps and scarlet lipstick, while singer Chantal Kreviazuk wore cerulean for the premiere of Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of the Garth Drabinsky. Toronto darling Rachel McAdams took to Passion’s red carpet in a sleeveless tux-inspired look from Italian designer Emilio Pucci, accented with a gilded scarf (we like the idea, but those pants are a little bulky-looking, no?). Finally, writer and director of Stories We Tell Sarah Polley was characteristically low-key on the red carpet in a short, sheer dress, though her gold floral heels are sweet. Whose look wins out?

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TIFF Talk

TIFF Red Carpet

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Red Carpet Style: 23 looks at TIFF’s leading men and women

Scrutinizing the glamorous gowns and sharp suits worn by film industry elite is one of the principal pleasures of TIFF (after all the movie talk, of course). And now that the festival is winding down—most of the A-listers have already dispersed, taking their impossibly attractive faces and designer wardrobes with them—it’s time to pick out the best of the bunch, as well as a few notable flubs.

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TIFF Talk

TIFF Red Carpet

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TIFF RED CARPET: Sarah Gadon heads a parade of Canadian talent at the premiere of Antiviral

TIFF RED CARPET: Antiviral

We’ll try to forgive director Brandon Cronenberg (David’s son) for debuting his first film at Cannes rather than at his hometown fest—but only because we’re intrigued by the creepy premise of the film, in which ordinary folks pay to be infected with celebrities’ diseases in order to feel closer to them. In any event, with compatriots like Sarah Gadon, Wendy Crewson and Nicholas Campbell present, the premiere of Antiviral felt like a Canadian reunion. Gadon—a local beauty and TIFF 2011’s rising star—went for the gold in a full-sleeved gown, while Crewson walked the carpet in a fun and flouncy animal-print dress. In contrast, fellow cast member Caleb Landry Jones looked brooding in a mustard-coloured blazer and two-tone shoes (we hope he’s not coming down with something).

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TIFF Gallery: Christina Hendricks cheats on Bryan Cranston (in a live read of American Beauty)

TIFF Gallery: Christina Hendricks cheats on Bryan Cranston (in a live read of American Beauty)

Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman packed Ryerson last night (seriously, the line wrapped three-quarters of the way around the block) for his table read of American Beauty. Taking his “Live Read” series outside its Los Angeles home, the Montreal-born director enlisted several big names, including Breaking Bad’Bryan Cranston as unhappy suburbanite Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey in the movie), Mad Men’Christina Hendricks as his wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening in the original), and Toronto’s Sarah Gadon as Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari)—plus, somewhat oddly, George Stroumboulopoulos in a few smaller roles. The cast, most of whom had only just met each other, lined up across the stage in a row of chairs and performed their roles to an enthusiastic house. The reviewers, too, were kind—although the National Post noted that Stroumboulopolous was fine, “but the gulf in talent between him and the seasoned actors was noticeable.” (To be fair, matching Bryan Cranston for acting chops is a pretty tough feat.)

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TIFF Talk

TIFF Parties TIFF Talk

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TIFF PARTY: Deepa Mehta, Rob Stewart and Ben Mulroney host the annual Canadian Film Centre shindig at the Spoke Club

TIFF PARTY: Deepa Mehta and Rob Stewart host the annual Canadian Film Centre shindig at the Spoke Club

The annual Canadian Film Centre party at the Spoke Club is always, and fittingly, pretty Canadian. Hosted by Ben Mulroney and filmmakers Deepa Mehta and Rob Stewart, the party took place on the eve of TIFF rather than during the festival proper. Sure, that meant the Keiras and Jakes of the world had yet to arrive—though stars are starting to descend on the city today—but the homegrown actors, directors, producers and others involved in the country’s film community came by to show their support (A-listers like Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams and Sarah Gadon were sadly not in attendance).

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TIFF Talk

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TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: top 10 spots for boozing and schmoozing with stars

TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: where to party

TIFF can be the most exhausting event of the year—10 days of near constant drinking, schmoozing and stargazing, all, ostensibly, in the name of movies. Choosing the best parties requires insider intelligence and expert planning. Here, a highly discerning look at the festival’s hottest hot spots.

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Jason Reitman brings his live table read series to TIFF with American Beauty

Reitman’s live read of The Apartment, featuring Paul Rudd, Cara Buono and David Wain (Image: Jason Kempin/WireImage/Getty)

Since last October, Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman has been organizing a series called “Live Read” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, where he gets his famous actor friends to do a live table read of a beloved movie script (for instance, he did The Breakfast Club with Jennifer Garner portraying Molly Ringwald’s Claire Standish, somehow). On Thursday, Reitman’s bringing the show to TIFF with a live reading of American Beauty, that classic tale of mid-life crises and plastic bags, at the Ryerson Theatre at 6 p.m. (tickets are on sale along with the regular festival single tickets).

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CONFIRMED: Toronto’s Rachel McAdams and Sarah Gadon will be at TIFF

(Images: TIFF)

They may be from Toronto, but that doesn’t make us any less excited to know that hometown stars Rachel McAdams and Sarah Gadon will be attending TIFF this year. McAdams plays the childhood friend-cum-love interest of Ben Affleck’s character in Terrence Malick’s new film To The Wonder, as well as a lusty, psychotic executive in Passion (Brian De Palma’s remake of Alain Corneau’s Crime d’amour), while noted beauty Gadon takes on the role of a beloved starlet in Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral (Gadon’s character is disease-inflicted, and her virus is harvested, sold and then injected into fans in a “biological communion” of sorts—it is a Cronenberg flick, after all).

TIFF Talk

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TIFF 2012: secrets, celebrity viruses and a teenage badass in this year’s lineup of Canadian features

The Canadian films to earn spots at TIFF this year include a range of comedies, dramas and thrillers, but also some that aren’t so easily defined—for instance, Sarah Polley will screen her follow-up to Take This Waltz, the genre-bending Stories We Tell, and David Cronenberg’s son Brandon will show his first film, a horror-thriller called Antiviral that premiered at Cannes. Here’s the rest of the Canadian talent:

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TIFF Talk

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VIDEO: the trailer for Antiviral, Brandon Cronenberg’s first film (screening at TIFF)

This year’s TIFF Canadian features were announced earlier this week, and one of the most high-profile comes courtesy of Brandon Cronenberg, son of Canada’s greatest (and most prolific) oddball director, David Cronenberg. Antiviral is about a clinic that injects celebrity-obsessed fans with viruses harvested from the objects of their adoration, and the trailer suggests Brandon has inherited some of his father’s interest in body horror and cultural commentary—along with an admiration for Toronto actress Sarah Gadon.

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Party Pages: The Dark Knight Rises premiere after-party at Wayne Manor

The Dark Knight Rises Toronto premiere

Nestor Carbonell plays the mayor of Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises (Image: George Pimentel/WireImage)

One of the most anticipated films of the year, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, premiered last night at Scotiabank Theatre in all its IMAX glory. Cast members Matthew Modine and Nestor Carbonell were present (alas, there was no sign of Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale and Joseph Gordon-Levitt), but it was starlet Sarah Gadon who really stole the show—her frosty blonde locks stood out in the crowd, and her draped black cocktail dress was just coquettish enough. After the popcorn was eaten and the nearly three-hour-long film finished, guests moved on to a Dark Knight gala at 1 King West, which for one night only was converted into Wayne Manor. That project involved glossy couches, spotlights, live bats in a cage (shoved in a corner and not looking too pleased to be there) and an assembly of women who were hired to observe the party from a balcony and cast flirty glances at anyone who made eye contact (it was like Eyes Wide Shut, but without public, somewhat awkward looking, intercourse). There was much to see, from the replica Batman, Bane and Catwoman costumes to eTalk’s Ben Mulroney interviewing guests on a small stage (how he could hear anything, we’re not sure).

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