OPENING NOTES

Marlon Brando throws his weight about, computers help Moscow’s lovelorn, and New Brunswick seeks a new image

July 17 1989

OPENING NOTES

Marlon Brando throws his weight about, computers help Moscow’s lovelorn, and New Brunswick seeks a new image

July 17 1989

OPENING NOTES

Marlon Brando throws his weight about, computers help Moscow’s lovelorn, and New Brunswick seeks a new image

FRICTION AT THE TOP

Despite a regal bearing that makes Jeanne Sauvé appear perfectly cast for her role, key Conservatives in Ottawa— including some cabinet ministers—are not big fans of the Governor General. According to Tory insiders, the Governor General's penchant for foreign travel is one source of the cool relations between her and the ministers. They note that Sauvé has made four trips abroad during the past six months alone— to Uruguay, Brazil, Japan and Spain. In response, Sauvé's aides maintain that, in doing so, their boss is simply answering invitations that were issued to Canada's head of state. But the Tories are equally critical of Sauvé's movements within Canada: they say that she rarely strays outside the TorontoOttawa-Montreal axis. In any event, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has not found a successor to Sauvé and he agreed to her request to extend her five-year term in office until January. At that time, Mulroney will likely have accomplished one task for 1990: naming a new governor general.

Sauvé, Mulroney : perfectly cast, but cool with key Tories

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

For many tourists, New Brunswick is only a way station on the road to the more aggressively marketed attractions of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. But New Brunswick is now striving to sell itself as a destination in its own right. To that end, the province has hired Lippincott & Margulies, the New York City consultants who created the red-andwhite swirl of Coca-Cola's current logo. The goal, said one provincial official, is to erase the impression “that there is not much here. " Try the smooth taste of new New Bnmswick.

Sharing the screen with lizards

A ctor Marion Brando was in Toronto last week where he was playing a gangster in Freshman, a comedy that revolves around smuggling diamonds within giant, ______ subtropical monitor lizards. In deed, the lizards-reptiles that are eight feet long and weigh as much as 100 lb.-have shown them selves to be as temperamental as any Method actor: one has already bitten the movie's animal trainer and another escaped from the set and eluded capture for 2½ hours.

During an earlier visit to Toronto last month for makeup tests,

Brando delayed his departure from the posh Sutton Place hotel for three days before reluctantly leaving for Vermont. There, a handpicked instructor taught him a crucial skill for his role: the portly

actor has to play a scene on ice skates. Somehow, Brando’s film portrayal of a Mafia don in The Godfather seemed less stressful,

Out of bounds to ordinary citizens

On the eve of the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, many Parisians are questioning the lack of liberty, equality and fraternity in some bicentenary celebration plans. Indeed, as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, President George Bush and five other freeworld leaders prepared for their annual economic summit, government spokesmen said that one of Paris’s most popular attractions—the Louvre museum—would be closed to the public for part of this week. That will allow the politicians to tour the museum in the same fashion as France’s prerevolutionary elite: privately.

FROM RUSSIA WITH COMPUTERIZED LOVE

Mikhail Gorbachev has opened up the Soviet economy by allowing private enterprises, and in Moscow some comrades have responded by establishing a computerized venture for the lovelorn: a commercial matchmaking service. Indeed, extensive local press coverage has helped the new agency, called Posrednik (intermediary), to open files containing the personal statistics and interests of about 3,000 clients—65 per cent of them women.

Posrednik charges its clients a top fee of $62 to conduct regular computer matchups of prospective mates, and agency co-owner Igor Koroviakov said that he hoped to add videotaped messages from eligible singles to his service—as soon as he hires someone who can operate his new taping equipment.

Cuban contraband

They have been a forbidden luxury for American smokers since the United States placed an embargo on Cuban imports

in 1962. Still, Havana cigars from Fidel Castro’s island have remained popular with U.S. smokers. Indeed, U.S. customs officials estimate that Americans bought more than $33 million worth of the stogies last year. And, said one official, “a great many” of those came through Canada, where Cuban goods are legal fare. Refined taste knows no borders.

DRESSING DOWN IN WASHINGTON

His decision to wear a blue business suit to a White House dinner in 1987 raised eyebrows in both fashion and political circles. And Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s cool rejection of official Washington’s dress code has now been followed by one influential figure in the U.S. capital. Indeed, Senate president pro tem Robert Byrd’s refusal to don formal wear at black-tie events during the past year has sparked protests from the International Formalwear Association, a worldwide Chicago-based organization rep-

resenting tuxedo rental and sales stores. In a recent letter to Byrd, association president Gary Davis warned the senator that his sartorial taste “jeopardized an entire industry.” Davis went on to suggest that Byrd’s discomfort with black tie was perhaps due “to the occasion rather than the dress.” Responded Byrd, a veteran of countless formal events in Washington: “One who does not enjoy the wearing of the tuxedo ought not to feel that he must. I do not.” Byrd is a politician who prefers to suit himself.

Signs of controversy

Mayor Jean Doré is engaged in a coverup in Montreal—a campaign to tone down lurid street ads for strip clubs that critics say degrade women. Said lawyer Marie-Odile Trépanier: “There are signs of naked women three storeys high.” For his part, Maurice Lemieux, a 50-year-old businessman who owns two downtown strip bars, said club owners installed the signs for one reason: to attract customers. Added Lemieux: “Personally, I think the clubs overdo it. The names of the places all have the word sex in the them. It got out of hand.” Still, legal experts say that the city will have difficulty drafting a bylaw that does not violate the club owners’ freedom of expression under section 2(b) of the federal charter of rights—unlike the Quebec government, which used the charter’s notwithstanding clause to ban English from outdoor signs.