Flirting with James Bond 007 Skyfall – Red Carpet

What a ride this has been from the very start of principal photography with James Bond 007 Skyfall.

In particular for me this has been a great flirtation with Bond, as this year marked the first ever fund raising gala held by the Toronto International Film Festival, which honored the 50 years of James Bond 007. James Bond 007 50 year exhibition will also move from London to Toronto at Tiff’s Bell Lightbox. What a thrill it has been.

I ran into some great girls during the Toronto International Film Festival and they have this motto, (‘go with the flow’), and that is just what I did from Abu Dhabi.

After Abu Dhabi, it’s a short hop to India to catch the Indian Grand Prix, and this year will be very special. Abu Dhabi is right smack in the middle of New Delhi, and London. The decisions was easy, yes, hit London bring this entire experience of James Bond 007 one full circle. Go with the flow.

“There is nothing quite like it, but this feels even more special for me than the ones that have gone before,” Craig said of the premiere.

In “Skyfall”, Britain’s foreign intelligence agency MI6 comes under attack, leaving Bond to hunt down the threat.

Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes hands ‘M’ a more prominent role than in recent Bond adventures, giving Dench a chance to develop her testy personal relationship with Craig’s inscrutable 007.

“There was lots more to explore – a continuation of what has been happening to us over several years,” Dench said at the premiere. “I boss him about all the time.”

She said the Bond films remained popular 50 years on because “he (is) just very British” and “a hero that we love”.

James Bond 007 is also a class act, and this was so stated by Tom Ford who said, “James Bond, is our kind of a guy, very classic, and very elegant”.

Heir to the British throne Prince Charles attended the screening, which fittingly took place amid the regal splendour of the Royal Albert Hall.

Critics have declared the 23rd Bond film one of the finest in the British secret agent’s half century on the silver screen.

The prince hailed Bond as “the most famous secret service agent of all time” in a letter included in the screening’s programmes.

The Bond franchise has gone on to become one of the most successful in history, with the 22 films released so far taking more than five billion dollars (3.85 billion euros).

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Sweden in Abu Dhabi – ‘Eat Sleep Die’ –

I did not get to see the film Eat Sleep Die at the Toronto International Film Festival, and so I was not going to miss this Swedish gem in Abu Dhabi, at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2012.

“I wanted to make a film about the people I’ve always loved – but was ashamed to be part of.
I wanted to redefine the Swede’s image of Sweden and national identity.
I wanted the leading role to be an intense, cocky, straight- forward Muslim working class girl who doesn’t give a shit what others think about her.
I wanted to portrait a father-daughter relationship I never got to see on screen when I was a young girl.
I wanted to tell the story about young people today, in the midst of
the European unemployment crisis, trying to adapt to a contradictory society.” – Director,Gabriela Pichler

Possibly the most exciting and emotionally acute first feature to emerge from Sweden since Fucking Amal, Gabriela Pichler’s Eat Sleep Die is a heart-wrenching account of the new Europe under globalization — or, to put it in old-school terms, the ugliest aspects of late capitalism and its need to destroy and devour every social structure in pursuit of profit. Directed with sensitivity and profound emotional insight by Pichler — there are few more touching scenes in any film this year than Raša’s reunion with her father, or her and her best friend horsing around in an abandoned playground — Eat Sleep Die boasts brilliant performances from the largely non-professional cast led by Luka, who is quite simply unforgettable as the indomitable Raša.

Gabriela Pichler was born in Huddinge, Sweden and attended film school in Gothenburg. She has directed the short films Nångång (04), Leda (07) and Scratches (08), which won prizes at Munich, Karlovy Vary and the Uppsala Short Film Festival. Eat Sleep Die (12) is her debut feature.

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Academy Award Winner Alan Arkin – Makes The Best Fake Movie – ‘Argo’

I recite the Robert Browing poem to myself all the time. You know the quote?

“Grow old along with me! / The best is yet to be. / The last of life, for which the first was made.”

“I’m praying it’s going to be true” – Alan Arkin

Argo opened the Toronto International Film Festival, the same day that Iranian Embassy officials were being expelled from Canada. The festival in my home town of Toronto also presented the opportunity to learn more about Alan Arkin, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2006 for Little Miss Sunshine which came twenty -eight years after his last nomination for The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (1968).

Argo is a political thriller but Alan Arkin will tell you himself that he is not a political analyst, but what he see’s is a worldwide paranoia. Everyone knows: The. Jig. Is. Up. I happen to agree with him that nature is pissed off and everybody’s waiting with bated breath for the other show to drop. Nobody’s free from that fear.

Alan Arkin is a great actor, but all his philosophies of acting: they all fell apart over the years, and suggests that one should not stay rigid, because, sooner or later, the rug is going to get pulled out from under you.

Acting was not really a calling, oh I have to be an actor, rather it came out of a lot of emotional needs – the same old actor bullshit, he say’s: “I need attention. I need love. Blah, blah, blah. And the truth is, being an actor doesn’t help with that at all”.

Little Miss Sunshine for which he won the Academy Award, took a lot of work, they never even thought of Alan for the role in the film. “They were thinking of somebody, I think, about ten or fifteen years older than I was. They thought I was a little virile. Well, ‘Virile’ was the word they used.”

Alan and I both have the same views on relationships, well not that but most certainly marriage. We are both on the same page that marriage requires searing honesty at all costs. Alan learned that from his third wife. Imagine being a CIA agent and you can’t tell your wife anything, and all that bullshit you make up, how do they do it?

Hollywood is and always has been a game where you have to out-bullshit someone else. The art is to turn the bullshit into reality, that is the magic, and few can do it. “It a strange place Hollywood. The class structure there is more rigid than almost anyplace. I have ever experienced. It’s made more difficult by the fact that it’s constantly changing. You never know what class you belong to unless you’re on of the two or three people that have been in the same echelon for a long. Long time.”

So what echelon does Alan Arkin belong to, let me tell you he will get nominated for an Oscar. In my opinion no one stands a chance against the cast and crew of the Ben Affleck’s thriller based on true events than Argo.

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From Sweden With Love – Styling from Prince to 007

Josefine, sat in a cafe with her laptop open, talking on Skype.
She spoke in Swedish. How did I know? I had been to Sweden many time, had friends living there, flown to Stockholm with American Airlines, connecting through Chicago.

Chicago is where Prince began a series of Chicago concerts Sept. 24 at the United Center in support of Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream organization.

Rebuild the Dream offers entrepreneurs tools that individuals and communities can use to create a fairer economic future for all.

As Josefine spoke into her headset, I felt I was watching a scene from the film Girl Who Played with Fire directed by Daniel Alfredson and, starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist. So I decided to leave. As I walked out of the coffee shop, I paused, and thought. I could walk over to Magpie fashion down the street, see what they where making for Prince, or Andy Allo, as both where heading off to Australia for the Welcome 2 Australia Tour, or I could go back and, wait till she finished her Skype call. I went back in.

When Josefine had gotten off the phone I said to her “so where in Sweden are you from?”, she was stunned,  and yet pleasantly surprised. We became friends.

Josefine who is a student, mathematician, cook, astrologer, and model.

During the summer Josefine was in Sweden visiting family, and I sent her an email. I was going to be helping the Toronto International Film Festival, with their first fund-raising gala.

The gala was based on a James Bond 007 theme (as it was James Bonds 007 50th anniversary), and called ‘Night That Never Ends’.  Having been asked to be the Chair of VIP talent I wanted her to meet with the organizers to be one of the Bond girls.

When Josefine returned from Sweden, she met with the organizers, went to a fitting for the Bond girls.  Josefine was not selected to be a Bond girl.  She was selected to be the girl of Magpie fashion.

When Josefine went in for her fitting,  everyone at Magpie were busy getting outfits ready for Prince, those that he has been rocking on-stage in Chicago.

As the festival opened Josefine sitting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto wearing Magpie, posed for a photograph with a Jarrell guitar.  The girl from Sweden, linked to Prince and Andy Allo not with a thread or fabric, but also a guitar. She had gone, from a coffee shop, to the red-carpet wearing Magpie with one-degree of separation between Prince, Andy Allo and herself.

Magic is real and dreams come true. Now let’s  rock Chicago.

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Five Ladies and Two Brothers – Ritz to Ursa

At times unbelievable events begin to feel not just familiar but pre-ordained.

In the tick of the madness of the Toronto International Film Festival, in the luxury of the Ritz Carlton, racing back from the lobby, as I made my way through the Ritz Bar to it’s patio outside, Steph, Brenda, Ioanna, Corinne and Leanne caught my eye. How our conversation started is cloudy and vague to me. What I do know is that the ladies were a kaleidoscope of smiles, energy, and gimlet eyes, that would make anyone stop and say “hi”. I did just that.

The ladies informed me that they were celebrating two of their birthdays, and I believe I offered them a bottle of wine, which they declined as they would soon be off to dinner at a Queen Street, West restaurant Ursa. A friend had said so many great things about it they told me, “Wow, you’re going to Ursa, I know the chef” I said, “let me call him and let him know you are on the way”. It was one of those Hollywood moments, when you run into someone at a restaurant or bar, and make certain they are looked after wherever they are going.

The Ritz Bar and the hotel itself was in full swing, it was the second last day of Tiff, the band Kiss were off to dinner as well, and my friends had begun to arrive, not to mention that the cast and crew of ‘English Vinglish’ were getting ready for the evening gala screening.

I called Ursa, asked for Jacob,( that is chef Jacob Sharkey Pearce), who with brother Jonathan Lucas and their team make this fine restaurant run. As soon as I had Jacob on the phone I handed my cell phone to one of the girls, so they could talk to the chef directly. But hello, what about cocktails? Now I wanted to see what day it was, and as it was Friday Robin Goodfellow would be working the bar. I wrote Robin’s name down for the ladies, and let them know they would be looked after with great cocktails.

Later in the evening as things were rolling the band Kiss had returned from dinner at Scaramouche Restaurant, and if you thought you were in the tick of things at earlier in the evening now things were really taking-off, the red carpet in full swing, and it was then I got a call from Corinne, she wanting to know if they should come back to the Ritz Bar for wine. I had not checked my emails earlier as I had one from the ladies that was as follows.

Hey Tim,
Thanks from the ladies at URSA !
Your friends are taking care of us – excellent food and drink. Let us
know if we’re welcome to share the fabulous wine you were talking about
with you and your friends Gene. Paul, Eric etc….

…Gene, Paul, Eric being the band members of Kiss. “Absolutely, come over”. The wine in question was that from my friends vineyard Ravine Vineyard, which is a fabulous place to go chill eat and drink wine in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region. This was Tiff, it was Canada, and I was keeping it Canadian (represent!).

I did not see the girls arrive, but as I floated through the Ritz Bar I saw the ladies sitting at my favorite table, in the corner, I made certain they got wine, and introduced them to Doc McGhee best known for working with KISS, Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe. The latter two groups experienced their rise to stardom under his management. He has also worked with Hootie & the Blowfish. Things were set, the ladies back at the Ritz Bar, in good hands and who wouldn’t be entertained by the stories of Doc McGhee.

Now that is what I call a birthday night out.

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Adrian Grenier and The Jarrell Guitar – Tiff12

Adrian Grenier and I last came together when a friend of mine Wendy Starland who had discovered Lady Gaga came to rock the party for the film “Entourage”. That was Tiff11.

This year at Tiff12, Boy and Doll PR, had arranged for a luxury gifting lounge on the 44th floor of the Ritz Carlton Residence’s. Jarrell Guitars were there as Madonna was going to roll into town at the same time during Tiff12. The connection? Madonna’s guitarist Monte Pittman play’s on a signature Jarrell guitar, the MPS.

Adrian was presented with his Jarrell Guitar, by Jarrell guitar CEO, and Boy and Doll PR at the Ritz.

The story does not end there. Today Monte Pittman will come and rock his MPS in front of the Ritz Carlton, in Toronto at the Ritz Bar.

Monte Pittman plays Ritz 4pm. So come and check out the man that rocks Madonna and see why Adrian Grenier, and Canadian music legend love the Jarrell guitar.

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