"We needed to have someone who people would be willing to pay $25 to see,” explained a spokeswoman for Women in Crisis, a hotline and emergency-shelter organization for battered women in Guelph, Ont. The $25-person turns out to be Toronto Maple Leafs president and renowned sexist Harold Ballard. Organizer Janet Ellis says Ballard will speak about wife abuse and the need for crisis organizations. Ballard has also announced that he will bring along his old chum King Clancy to kick in his two-cents’ worth. “He’s been a perfect gentleman to us,” says Ellis. “I think his image has made him misunderstood.”
tilt’s a phantasmagoria—set as exI lovers confront each other at a costume ball,” says Toronto producer Renée Perlmutter, describing a segment of her upcoming film, Love, written by and starring singer-composer Joni Mitchell. The segment by the Saskatche-
wan songstress is only one of nine written by such women as Liv Ullman, Lady Antonia Fraser and Edna O’Brien.
It’ll be the second time this year that Mitchell has floored her guitar for floodlights, having just finished Shadows and Light, an original mélange of concert footage and fantasy sequences which is being described in film circles as a “docufantasia.”
The mallets were flying and the balls were rolling at the World Croquet Championships last week in Parksville, B.C. Twenty-eight three-member teams spent two days socking it to the wicket
for about 300 croquet fans. Among those following the action was the crew of NBC’s Real People led by Sarah Purcell, who spent most of her time directing real people on the delicate art of appearing to be real people. Purcell even learned how to hit a wooden ball, taking pointers from Hugh and Hazel Earle and Warwick Bluck of the Brock House Croquet Club, a senior citizens’ team from Vancouver. Unfortunately, their team was knocked out of competition early when Bluck whacked his foot
with his mallet. For the third time in its five-year history, the winners were the Oak Bay Fossils from Victoria—Doug Carrick, Glen Atkinson and Bob Hunt. In the end, Purcell pronounced croquet her kind of game because “It doesn’t involve running around getting all perspiry.”
The royal soap opera in Monaco ended last month with an official announcement from the palace that Princess Caroline and her 40-year-old playboy husband, Philippe Junot, were definitely separating. The final blow to the two-year marriage was struck when Junot invited 24-year-old Gianina Facio to join him aboard a yacht off Turkey. While the pair kissed and cut a rug in public, 23-year-old Caroline huddled with her parents, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, as they tried to figure a gracious way out of the mess. Junot now describes himself as “an independent man,” and it is doubtful that Facio will
alter that state of affairs. She is the daughter of a former Costa Rican ambassador who enjoyed Andy Warhol’s classic 15-minutes of fame as a New York model before “discovering that it was work.” And Junot’s yachting holiday is hardly an extravagance to Facio. Two years ago, she and a companion explored the Yucatan with the assistance of a valet and cook before returning to Facio’s New York “home” at the Xenon disco. Asked how she supports herself, Facio replies: “I telephone home for money.” With that in mind, Junot has announced that Caroline “can act as she pleases.”
Comic Mike MacDonald is hoping that a coat hanger through the ears will help his career as much as the old arrow-through-the-head routine did for wild and crazy guy Steve Martin. The hanger, along with a tennis racket, oversized sunglasses and an aged baseball jacket are MacDonald’s props for a routine he calls Rock Star, which has had Canadians from coast to coast laughing it up at Rex Smith concerts and in the defunct discos where comedy has replaced Donna Summer. Rock Star is, of course, the ultimate teen-age fantasy and one that MacDonald, 25, came close to in 1976 as a member of Ottawa’s 25-piece choir-turned-orchestra, Mapleridge. “We were like Canadian diplomats,” he explains. “Heck, we even played for Richard Nixon.” Currently, MacDonald is honing his Star routine, which he hopes to unveil on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert later this year. “Television will be such a relief,” he says, citing incidents of flying ashtrays from live audiences. “Luckily, I haven’t had to pay my dues in stitches, but a couple of times the hanger has nearly punctured my eardrums when I’ve hit a low ceiling.”
Venerable news anchorman Walter Cronkite has globe-trotted the world through war and peace, so where does he go on his summer vacation? Manitoulin Island in Ontario. Cronkite took the vacation following a bit of filming on a documentary about an energysaving sailboat named Aria, owned by packaging tycoon George Kress of Wisconsin. Tanned and fit, he cavorted aboard the $l-million, 27-metre craft, which sports a 36-metre mast and sails that are raised and lowered electronically to cut down on the size of the crew. And how did Cronkite like his summer vacation? “Well, I’m glad to be here,” he announced in the gravel drawl that soothes America. “I’ll be back.”
The 100th anniversary of the birth of U.S. iconoclast writer H. L. Mencken will be celebrated in his home town of Baltimore on Sept. 12 amid a blaze of hoopla that would probably have launched the master of invective on a tirade against the booboisie. The Menckenfest will include two banquets featuring Alistair Cooke, editor of Vintage Mencken, a Mencken impersonator, an hour-long film called Mencken's America and a special cancellation in Mencken’s honor from the U.S. Postal Service. Around Baltimore, creating Mencken memorabilia has become something of a cottage industry and the city is braced for an onslaught of faithful fans. “No one,” wrote Mencken, “ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”
When Georges Forest won a Supreme Court case over an English-only parking ticket last December and a ruling that Manitoba’s Official Languages Act of 1890 was illegal, the St. Boniface insurance agent won no accolades from the government of Premier Sterling Lyon. The province is now legally restored to its bilingual status and a multimillion dollar budget has been assigned to translate 90 years of unilingual statutes. Despite the absence of legislative love for Forest, he will be internationally honored on Sept. 12
when Amadou Cissé Dia, president of the Senegalese National Assembly, invests him with the Order of the Pleiade from the 29-country Association Internationale des Parlementaires de Langue Française. Forest will become an “officier” of the Order which was established in 1975 to honor parliamentarians, civil servants, academics and others who have helped promote the French language. Forest, however, does not plan to rest on his laurels. In the next round of the fight he may seek legal rulings to force simultaneous translation facilities in the Manitoba legislature, along with a fully bilingual Hansard.
Once-and-future-comedienne Margaret Trudeau lost one of her freelance jobs last week before she had even started. Hours before the death knell sounded through the corridors of The Ottawa Journal, Executive Editor Jim Rennie had corralled Trudeau into agreeing to write a food and fashion column for the paper twice a week. Rennie says he made his appeal to the prime minister’s estranged wife in a directly exploitive way by saying she could provide needed circulation. Trudeau was impressed by his honest approach and agreed to start setting finger to typewriter in a couple of weeks. Rennie would not disclose exactly how much the coup would have cost the Journal, but admitted that “the lady was broke.”
There wasn’t the usual film festival aura of glamor at The World Film Festival in Montreal last week, possibly because the Quebec government provided only half of the moderate financing requested by feisty festival director Serge Losique. Nevertheless, the theatre at Place des Arts was packed for the opening night film, The Lucky Star. Critical reaction was varied but favorable to Max Fischer’s Canadian-made film about a Jewish teen-ager with cowboy fantasies who, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, wears the mandatory yellow Star of David as though it were a sheriff’s badge. Fischer was quick, however, to lash out at a review in Le Devoir, which he judged anti-Semitic. The double-bylined anti-Star review by Francine Laurendeau and Richard Gay deemed the film: “A bargain-basement version of Jewish history and culture, which is already overexposed on the screens of the world.” Director Fischer collected newspapers from the period as part of his research. “I can accept criticism,” he said, “but what appears in Le Devoir could as easily have been quoted verbatim from the Nazi-controlled newspapers of the period in which the film is set.” Edited by Marsha Boulton
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