Tribeca Film Review: Every Day

[from lezgetreal.com]

Every Day is most likely going to be the breakout film of the festival. Luckily, it is also LGBT friendly. The plot focuses around Ned (Liev Schreiber) who is struggling with his crotchety father in-law (Brian Dennehy) moving in, his overwhelmed wife (Helen Hunt) and his two sons, one of which is an out gay teenager (Ezra Miller) and his crazy gay boss (Eddie Izzard).

Director and writer Richard Levine based the movie on his own life. Levine was a writer for Nip/Tuck He said at the festival that it “spun into fiction,” but the relationships are real and his son is gay. One scene in the film takes place at a gay bar, his son described the scene more as “being every parent’s nightmare of what a gay bar is” than the reality. Even so, parents of gays and potential parents of gays (basically, everyone) should see this movie. The relationship between Ned and his son plays a huge part in Ned’s redemptive arc. Ned loves his son and is struggling with his son’s safety, but each time he opens his mouth, his words come across attack on his son for being gay. Levine deftly shows the daily communication breakdowns and misunderstandings we have with the people we love the most. In the end, Ned is able to express to his son just how much he loves him and how proud he is of him.

The actors all give solid performances, Ezra Miller really shines as a beautiful gay teen and Izzard is flamboyant and makes the most of his short screen time. Dennehy performs back flips to make his character sympathetic and he and Hunt have chemistry as father and daughter. The only “off” relationship is between Schreiber and Hunt. She seems a lot older than him and there is no chemistry between the characters. However, don’t let this deter you from seeing the movie. It is by turns funny and touching; it captures the essence of what a family is and exposes the vulnerability and love that we have for those closest to us.

Written by Momo in: Movies |

Eddie Izzard: Mr. Dress Down

[from eyeweekly.com]

Touch a conversational nerve and suddenly the other Eddie Izzard is talking. Not the befuddled, off-the-cuff comic prone to getting lost in the maze of his own material, but the ardent Labour Party activist who rails (quietly, but rails nonetheless) against the evils of “Thatcher’s children” and the anti-EU forces back home in the UK — “xenophobes, racists and Nazis,” he says firmly, partway through listing the Iron Lady’s misdeeds and shadowy friends.

“Look at what she did with her slash-and-burn policies in the early ’80s,” he says, “and what they did in Chile with Pinochet — the mass murderer Pinochet.”

Then, seemingly catching himself, he stops and adds with an easy laugh, “I linked that together quite nicely didn’t I? With the ‘mass murderer’ bit?”

A few minutes later, another nerve touched, and I’m listening to Eddie Izzard the athlete, who got into long-distance running (and now, swimming) after a 2009 fund-raising stunt that saw the largely untrained stand-up run 43 marathons in 51 days.

“We are designed to run,” he says emphatically, citing “five million years of development” as he slips into another speech. “Do antelope run? Yes. Do tigers run? Yes. Do squirrels run? Yes.”

And so on, through rats, dogs, cats and an aside about the Kalahari bushmen.

“We are not designed for this,” he says, pointing to our table and chairs in the bar of the Four Seasons. “We are not designed for cake. We are not designed for lattes. We are not designed for PlayStations, televisions, cars,” and so on.

Point taken but… antelope? Kalahari bushmen? Maybe this stream-of-consciousness performer is never entirely off duty, after all. Which would make sense — Izzard’s muted and all-over-the-map delivery has become his trademark. (Well, that and the dresses. But more on those in a minute.) His routines morph from show to show more than those of a word-for-word guy like Chris Rock because, he notes, words lose their meaning when delivered strictly from memory.

“Religion is my big example,” he says. “People get these prayers but don’t listen to the words when they say them.” He rattles off the first few lines of the Lord’s Prayer as an example. “In church they should say, ‘I want you to improvise the Lord’s Prayer and make the words up.’ Then you’d actually get something that has real meaning.”

Izzard and I are speaking during a press stop in advance of his current tour, his biggest ever in Canada: nine cities with five shows in Toronto — the first three and last two are separated by a month because he’s needed back home for the British election.

When he first started speaking on behalf of Labour, “they used to put me on the soft couch,” he says. He was treated like a comedian, thrown slow-pitch questions and expected to perform. Now he calls the prime minister “Gordon” and spars with the best of them like a British Jon Stewart in a dress.

Or rather, sometimes in a dress. But not this time, not this tour, and not this interview, for which he wore a dapper charcoal suit. Izzard’s trademark cross-dressing is on hold in part because folks on this side of the Atlantic sometimes mistook him as just a drag act. And he’d rather not end up as the Boy George of comedy.

“People consistently got the wrong end of the stick,” he says. “So now I’m trying to unpick that. Then I can go back to girl mode when I want to.”

Written by Momo in: Interview |

Hearing why Eddie’s happy to Labour hard for support

[from thisisbristol.co.uk]

HE is used to having comedy audiences eating out of his hand but Eddie Izzard had a trickier crowd to deal with when he visited Keynsham.

The transvestite comedian, actor and long-distance runner is the second celebrity campaigner to join the bid to help Labour junior minister Dan Norris hold on to his highly marginal seat.

For 90 minutes at the Trout Tavern on Temple Street yesterday, he regaled a packed pub garden with the reasons why they should vote for North East Somerset candidate Dan Norris – and announced his own political aspirations.

The 48-year-old star will be wowing Canadians on stage in Toronto come Friday night, but yesterday he was on his 22nd stop out of 25 across the country to muster votes for Labour in the General Election.

“I was in Gloucester this morning…” said the indefatigable performer, before reeling off every town and city he has graced wearing a rosette before then.

“The sun is shining in Keynsham and that’s because of the Labour Party.

“As a street performer I’m used to talking to people a lot and I want to point out that Britain is not broken, like the Tories will tell you. It’s brilliant. And that’s the Britain I believe in.”

Izzard’s appearance was the second from a household name to back Mr Norris, a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May joined Mr Norris last week to back his stance against fox hunting.

Izzard spent an hour fielding questions on child tax credits, what Labour has done for pensioners and the most inspirational person in his life alongside Mr Norris, who has represented the Wansdyke constituency – now redrawn and renamed North East Somerset – for the last 13 years.

Karen Perry, 51, from Winterbourne, was impressed with his impromptu performance.

She said: “It is great for a comedy actor to have a serious side. He put things across in layman’s terms and probably helped Dan Norris reach a few more people today.”

Izzard saved the photos and the press quotes until after the Q&A, marginally longer than Tory warhorse Ken Clark did on Monday, but he was soon swept away off to his next stop, Bournemouth.

Before he went he was quick to answer scepticism over celebrities being put up to support candidates.

“I’m not wheeled out here,” he said. “I’m self-propelled. I volunteered for this. Judge the celebrities on what they’ve done with their lives and if you like it, listen. If you don’t like it, don’t listen.

“The public are intelligent enough that if they don’t agree with what I say then they won’t listen.”

And that’s where Izzard is a valuable commodity after capturing the nation’s imagination running 43 marathons in 51 days around the UK, raising money for Sport Relief.

And his boundless enthusiasm is bound for politics – but not for a decade.

He said: “My own aspirations are for 10 years’ time. I’ve worked my backside off to get my career going so I’m not going to drop it. It would need to go into deep hibernation if I stand (as an MP).”

Pub landlord Jim McCarthy told the Post: “I’m just waiting for Bruce Springsteen to come here now.

“Could do with a bit of that here. They bring out the celebrities in America to support politicians all the time, so why not here?”

Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |

Eddie Izzard can’t be pinned down

[from theglobeandmail.com | thanks Anne!]

It’s not easy getting a straight answer out of Eddie Izzard. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Izzard was in town recently, in advance of an extensive Canadian comedy tour that begins on Friday at Toronto’s Massey Hall. Asked about fellow comedian Craig Ferguson, he perks ups. Says they’re old friends, that they go way back. Oh, really? How far back do you go? “Oh, just right down there, across the road,” he says from a hotel bar, motioning out the window from his corner booth. “Just past the Starbucks. That’s how far we go back.”

I see.

Somewhat incidentally, a couple of days later, I’m talking with Ferguson. When the subject of Izzard comes up, the Scottish-American talk-show host, who played Massey last week, says something identical. “Oh yeah, Eddie and I, we go way back.” Funny you should say that, because Eddie told me exactly the same thing, that the two of you go back a ways, up the street, over by the coffee shop. “Oh, no,” Ferguson corrects, “we go further back than that.” Really? How far? “Past the coffee shop, well down the street, closer to the massage parlour,” he says.

I think I have it now. But if I don’t, almost everything about Izzard is answered by Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story, the new documentary about his persevering, roundabout life. It starts in South Yemen (down the street, past the goat shop), where Izzard’s father was based as an official with British Petroleum. The comedian’s life story, spliced with bits of his 2003 Sexie tour, is laid out: the boarding schools, the youthful fascination with football, a stint at Sheffield University, street performing, stand-up success in London and Europe – he answers “Oui” to “Parlez-vous français?” – and then the United States, transvestitism, 1999’s Emmy-winning HBO special Dressed to Kill (with funny bits on Hitler and Humperdinck), Hollywood acting roles (Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen and the celebrated Mr. Kite in Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe), the controversy involving reusing his old stand-up material, political aspirations and a string of marathon runs for charity.

Which brings us up to date. Izzard, a stream-of-consciousness surrealist with a savvy sense of history, brings his Stripped Too tour to Canada, the “stripped” referring to possibly more than one thing. He is stripped of his fake breasts and glittering dresses for one thing. “I’m in boy mode, as opposed to girl mode,” says the straight transvestite, blazingly blue-eyed, in jacket and jeans. “But really, it’s about the stripping away of ideas.”

Izzard does a sort of witty Monty Python version of stand-up. For example, he mashes Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens into a single author who wrote Great Expectations, about an amoeba named Pip. “Yes, Darwin and Dickens,” Izzard muses during our interview, “lived in Dictionary Lane, a couple of vowels away from each other.”

In a basic way, Izzard is like most comedians, using humour in an attempt to make sense of it all. “I look for logic in the universe,” the self-described spiritual atheist says on the subject of religion. “Take the Bible. I think the first part of it should be that the Earth is round – just to give everybody a heads up on the whole ‘Earth is round’ thing.”

There has been a lot of that lately – comedians rationally (if humorously, absurdly) reconsidering religion, from Bill Maher’s film Religulous to Lewis Black’s book Me of Little Faith. But isn’t bringing logic to faith a little like taking a gun to a knife fight? “Faith can be great,” Izzard answers. “But there needs to be common-sense logic too. You look at the Bible or the Koran, you’d think they’d take the slavery out of it. Even the popes, when they were losing some of the gospels down the back of the sofa, you’d think they say to themselves, ‘Let’s get rid of this slavery stuff.’ I mean, how to sell your daughters – somebody’s going to notice that.”

In the film Believe, a younger Izzard is shown with a map, with tiny pins and flags noting his comedic achievements. A keen student of military history, he plotted his comedic profession as if it were an army campaign. I ask him, then, what battle epitomizes his career – Operation Market Garden, the Second World War operation that inspired the star-studded movie A Bridge Too Far? “No, not Market Garden,” he answers. “There’s no bridge too far in my world.”

Apparently not. His fascination with the military inspired his recent run of more than a thousand miles through Britain for charity. “When I was younger, I wanted to be in the British Special Forces,” he says. “Running around the country was a test – could I have been in the army?”

At the end of our zigzagging interview, I attempt to pin down Izzard, a man of segues. “Who are you?” I ask in my best Barbara Walters way. Izzard pauses, just a little, before replying: “I’m a British European. I think like an American. I was born in an Arabic country. I’m a stand-up comedian and an actor. And I do a bit of running, and I plan to run for Parliament. I think that about covers it.”

Ask a simple question.

Eddie Izzard’s Stripped Too plays Toronto’s Massey Hall Friday and Saturday (and again on May 30 and 31); Winnipeg, May 10; Regina, May 12; Calgary, May 14; Edmonton, May 17; Victoria, May 20; Vancouver, May 21 and 22; Montreal, May 25; and Ottawa, May 28.

Written by Momo in: Interview |

Eddie Izzard plans his own race for political power

[from Walesonline.co.uk]

MARATHON-RUNNING comedian Eddie Izzard threw himself into the election race in Wales yesterday as the campaign enters its final laps.

Sporting a red Labour rosette, he made no secret of his own ambition to stride into the electoral arena.

He urged cheering students at the University of Glamorgan’s city centre Atrium building to use their vote and insisted he was committed to the Labour cause.

The comedian and actor, who lived for two years in Skewen, near Neath, said: “I am not being wheeled out here. I am self-wheeling. I am self-propelled. I volunteered for this because I am standing for election in 10 years time.”

Last year Mr Izzard established a reputation for tenacity and raised more than £1m for the charity Sport Relief by running 43 marathons in 51 days.

Speaking in the student- friendly Vulcan pub opposite the university building, he insisted he was serious about taking on the challenge of winning office.

He said: “I’m about 99.9% sure I’m going to run. I’ve got to do an election in my life – it could be MP, MEP or Mayor of London. I’ve got the next 10 years to work out sound policies, talk to experts around the world, do all that stuff that you need to do.”

The 48-year-old hopes that criss-crossing the country on his many marathons may have improved his chances of selection by a constituency party. “Having run around the United Kingdom I think I could stand anywhere.”

Mr Izzard sees human history as a struggle between progressives and conservatives. He said: “Around England, all these huge landowners have put up ‘Vote Conservative’ all over their land and you think ‘Well, yeah, vote Conservative and it will be back to the feudal system.’”

He is upbeat about devolution continuing and the Assembly gaining new powers.

“Having your own parliament, I think that’s cool,” he said. “Scotland’s got one. I’m very happy for Wales to do that but still we can all be working together and having no borders.”

A Welsh Conservative spokesman said: “We admire Eddie Izzard’s recent achievement in running 43 marathons in 51 days. But we’re sure even he’ll admit getting Labour re-elected is a challenge too far.”

Steven Owen, a 22-year-old film student at the University of Glamorgan, said: “I haven’t voted before but having Eddie come here will spread a lot of interest and I will definitely consider using my vote.”

Former First Minister and Cardiff West Labour AM Rhodri Morgan is a fan of Mr Izzard.

He said: “He’s a brilliant stand-up and his act has always got two or three levels to it. There is always a political level, because he’s an obsessive collector of facts of all kinds.”

Mr Morgan said winning support among students was crucial in Cardiff Central, which Lib Dem Jenny Willott took from Labour in 2005 by 5,593 votes.

Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |

Eddie at Weymouth College Theatre

Eddie is playing Weymouth College Theatre Tues 27th April 10pm (profits going to the Labour Party) Tix £10 – 01305 2087021 – The BeeKeepers

Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |

Comic Eddie Izzard spreads Labour message in Newcastle

[from journallive.co.uk]

COMEDIAN Eddie Izzard brought a touch of celebrity glamour to the campaign trail as Labour aimed for the student vote.

Mr Izzard met with would-be voters at the Starbucks coffee shop in Eldon Square in a bid to encourage students to use their vote.

He was joined by Newcastle Labour candidates Chi Onwurah and Catherine McKinnell, as well as Washington and Sunderland West candidate Sharon Hodgson.

The stand-up comic told curious on-lookers that as far as he was concerned the election was a battle for fairness, “something the Conservatives have been very quiet on”.

He added: “I ran around this country which the Conservatives are saying is broken and I didn’t see that. I saw people who want fairness and that is what Labour is standing for and it’s a what the vast majority of people want.

“There’s great spirit up here, a great spirit in Newcastle and a great spirit in Gateshead and Sunderland, and I’m glad to come up and lend my support.”

Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |

Come campaigning with Eddie Izzard

[from hopenothate.org.uk]

On Monday 3 May we are taking to the streets of Barking and Dagenham again and this time we will be joined by Eddie Izzard.

Eddie is a longtime supporter of the HOPE not hate campaign and he is giving us his Bank Holiday Monday to help prevent the BNP from taking control of the council.

We are now in the short campaign period and that means we will just be working in our key target wards – those that the BNP need to win if it hopes to take control of the council. Each ward will have a different leaflet.

We will be campaigning in the morning from 10.30am-1pm and then we are holding a HOPE not hate summer party in one of our key target wards. There will be food from across the globe and children’s entertainment.

Over 70 people have already signed up for the day … and we haven’t even properly advertised it yet. Following last Saturday’s massive turnout we are hoping to get all six wards leafleted by 1pm. For that we need 150 people. We are once again putting on a bus from Camden and Hackney, a minibus from Bermondsey and encouraging people to get on the 10.10am train from London Fenchurch Street to Dagenham Dock.

Will you come out campaigning with Eddie Izzard on Monday 3 May? Sign in here:


Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |

Comedian Izzard joins Dari on campaign trail

[from thenorthernecho.co.uk]

COMEDIAN Eddie Izzard joined the Labour election campaign trail in the North- East yesterday.

The internationally renowned stand-up star joined Dari Taylor, candidate for Stockton South, at Stockton Riverside College to meet some of the students.

Speaking after a tour of the college, Mr Izzard said: “I have been a member of the Labour Party since 1995 and I am proud of that.

“It is the party that still stands up for what is best for this country and even though we have made mistakes, if another party was in charge we would be going backwards, not in recovery like we are now.

“I have volunteered to do this, as this is the party that wants to give fairness to everyone, and that is what people want.

“I ran around the country and now I am going round in a car campaigning with the Labour Party.”

Mr Izzard, 43, has aspirations to become an MP in ten years time, once he has achieved all his ambitions as a comedian.

“I don’t have any natural talent,” he said. “I just have the commitment and the determination to do things.

“I first made people laugh when I was 12 and even then I was quite surprised.

Now I have just performed at Madison Square Garden.”

Ms Taylor said: “We have all been pitching to get him (Eddie Izzard) on board because he can inspire the young people.”

Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |

Election 2010: Eddie’s serious on Powell

[from southmanchesterreporter.co.uk]

Labour has been wheeling out the big guns as it makes a big push to win the Withington seat.

The second week of campaigning in the run up to elections on May 6 saw visits from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former cabinet minister David Blunkett and even comedian Eddie Izzard.

Eddie added a touch of showbiz glamour as he helped Withington candidate Lucy Powell launch the party’s north west manifesto on Monday, April 19.

He told the Reporter:?”I’m here to support Lucy Powell who will be a fantastic MP for Withington.”

Eddie, who splits his time between homes in London and Los Angeles, admitted that even though Gordon Brown may not be the best at smiling he still backed him as the best person to lead the country.

“It’s great to have humour in politics but we are talking about serious things here,” he said.

Mr Brown visited the Siemens factory on Thursday, April 15 ahead of that evening’s leaders’ TV debate.

Lucy Powell said: “I think Gordon’s visit sends the signal that we are fighting hard to win this seat.

“If we want a Labour government not a Tory one we have to win Withington.”

Former home secretary David Blunkett and Wythenshawe and Sale East MP Paul Goggins also hit the campaign trail on April 15 with Lucy Powell, visiting the Barlow Moor Community Centre in Chorlton where they met residents to discuss Labour’s plans to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Around 30 elderly residents from the estate questioned Blunkett on how his party could end problems such as gangs of youths setting fires and riding off-road bikes.

Mr Blunkett also warned that increasing employment in the public sector was key to improving deprived areas, and warned that cuts to public spending would have a knock-on effect ‘that everyone would feel’.

Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |


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