Another VMAs in the books means another blogging season is beginning - this is The Saverina Scozzari Collective's 4th season!
The MTV Video Music Awards are known to be one of the most controversial award shows hence why I love to kick-off each blogging season with one my brutally honest recaps of the show. The VMAs have given us many infamous moments over the years including Madonna and Britney kissing, Miley twerking on Robin, and #Kanye2020. This year's show felt like a bit of a let down. Perhaps it's because my expectations were high, or maybe the show just actually sucked. Here are some of the highlights:
1. JLo's Super Bowl Worthy Performance
Give this legend a halftime performance spot because she was on fire last night. Jennifer Lopez received the Video Vanguard Award and hit the stage to perform both her old and new hits. I may or may not have been dancing along in my living room. My favourite songs of hers are "Waiting For Tonight", "Love Don't Cost A Thing", "Jenny From The Block" and "Get Right". Another reason why I loved this performance is because JLo's one of the few artists I recognized last night. The music industry is continuing to change and I felt like a totally dinosaur watching.
2. Madonna Pays Tribute To Aretha Franklin
Later on in the night, Madonna came on stage to present the prestigious Video of The Year Award, but first she took time to pay tribute to the late and great Aretha Franklin. A snarky Twitter user joked that they would have rather seen her sing the tribute rather than speak. Madonna told a story from her days starting out auditioning for a couple of producers from France and singing Aretha Franklin's song. It was more about Madonna than Aretha and not surprisingly received a lot of backlash.
3. Post Malone + Aerosmith
This was a match made in heaven. Though I'm still not entirely sure who Post Malone is, I was delighted to see him performing with Aerosmith. It was one hell of a way to close the show and I hope other award shows will take note.
Overall, I'd give the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards a 7/10. It had its high energy moments, but everything else was blah. For the full list of winners, click here.
After earning the title of Mr. World Canada 2012, Frankie Cena has become a well-known emcee in the pageant world serving as the Mr. World 2014 host as well as the web presenter for the larger Miss World 2014. In 2017, he hosted the first ever Miss World Head-to-Head Challenge, a 10 x 30-minute segment streamed all across the world on YouTube. This Fall 2018, Frankie will once again join the Miss World Team as their host in Sanya, China. I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with him regarding the lessons he's learned, reality television and his goals for the future. Check out the Q&A below:
What have you learned about yourself throughout your time hosting Miss World?
I have learned so much during my time hosting Miss World, but I think 3 very important things I’ve learned are:
1. I’ve learned that I am capable. The Miss World experience really threw me to the wolves—asking me to host the world’s largest and oldest beauty pageant, despite having, at the time, a pretty fresh hosting resume. I had to learn how to use auto cue and teleprompter and interview people and speak off the cuff and write scripts, and all these things that I’d never really done before. And I had to do them with confidence, and the pressure of an enormous production looming over me. But I succeeded. And I came out of it with more confidence than ever.
2. I’ve learned that the world is filled with amazing individuals. People might believe the stereotype that Miss World contestants are unintelligent and only there to be beautiful—but that is so far from the truth. Miss World’s motto is “Beauty with a Purpose,” and it recruits some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. They are doctors, lawyers, actresses, athletes, people who’ve raised thousands and thousands of dollars for various charities, people who’ve travelled the world. And just through having met them all, I’ve learned that there are so many wonderfully talented and caring people out there.
3. I’ve learned that there are people alive who, somehow, can just do more than others. I worked very closely with Miss World chairman Julia Morley—a woman who’s been around the organization for many years, yet still comes to work in the office every day and oversees every aspect of the organization. She speaks to every contestant and staff member, makes sure everyone is happy, travels the world to ensure that her charity is helping the greatest number of people possible—I’ve even seen her move sets! She would do anything for the organization, because she knows that it’s hers. And it’s been through her that I’ve learned how to be a CEO, a leader, a business owner, and a good person.
Your Instagram bio says that you’re a reality TV fanatic - what’s hot and what’s not right now?
Big Brotherand Survivorare still killing it. They’ve both been around since I was nine years old, so more than 15 years, and remain so amazing. They still showcase human psychology in its best form, putting people in strange environments and having them get by on their personalities—on their ego, charisma and merit. I’d highly, highly recommend.
As for music: The Fourhas been a spectacular series, with probably the best singers I’ve heard on any singing show. Every single singer in the season-one finale was just tremendous and awe-inspiring, doing vocal things that no other show has quite come close to.
Another great new one is World of Dance. It’s taking the dance genre to a new level. Jennifer Lopez is amazing, stunning, and so fun to watch. And the show itself includes dancers from all around the world, including Canada—and getting to see local talent on American television has been very inspiring.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I would love to have my own television show. To host a game show like “Chopped” or “Cupcake Wars”, or even something as big as “Survivor” or “Canadian Idol”—that’s my big dream right now, and it feels like the right time. So, if anyone out there has a pilot or is looking for a host, please do contact me!
Prepare for your inner what-the-fuck meter to go from zero to one hundred real quick.
Netflix's new original show, Insatiable, had people talking before it even started streaming due to its focus on body image and the potential negative effects it could have on young females. I thought people were getting their panties in a knot over nothing, but quickly had a change of heart once I started the first episode.
The synopsis goes a little something like this:
"Insatiable is a dark, twisted revenge comedy starring Debby Ryan, Dallas Roberts, and Alyssa Milano. For years, Patty (Debby Ryan) has been bullied, ignored, and underestimated by those around her because of her weight. But now that she finds herself suddenly thin, Patty is out for payback against anyone who has ever made her feel bad about herself. Bob Armstrong (Dallas Roberts), a disgraced attorney whose true passion is coaching beauty pageant contestant, is the only one who sees Patty’s potential, and takes her under his wing -- first as a legal client, and then as a pageant contestant whom he coaches toward becoming the top pageant queen in the country. But Bob and his wife Coralee (Alyssa Milano) have no idea how deep Patty’s rage goes, or how far she will go to exact revenge on anyone who has ever wronged her. Bullies beware: payback’s a bitch, revenge is sweet, and if you cross Patty, you’ll be her next treat."
The focus on being thin was cringeworthy and with every episode, the plot reached a new level of batshit cray. I will say that I couldn't stop watching because of all of the madness, but the discomfort never left.
I remember Debby Ryan from her Suite Life On Deck days, and this is way different from the role she played on that show. I was shockingly impressed by Alyssa Milano's work in this show. The last few things she's worked on have been misses, but she kills it as Coralee.
Despite the endless protests to have Netflix cancel the release of this series, it started streaming today. Feel free to watch and judge it for yourself. I'd give it a 4.5/10.
Do you dig conspiracies and pure fuckery? Well then you may want to give Paul Cadenhead's short film, The Marvin Family Tortoise, a watch.
It features Ronnie Clark, Trip Langley and Rich Clune and the synopsis goes a little something like this: "When Topher Marvin and his pet tortoise Reginald are visited by a mysterious debt collector at their remote trailer home in the desert, all of Topher's paranoia and conspiracy theories seem to come to fruition."
Just ahead of its screening at LA Shorts last week, I had the opportunity to chat with Paul. Check out our Q&A below:
What did you learn about yourself and your craft while working on this?
I learned tons of things while making this film - but I'll give three. I learned that I'll never shoot a film in the desert during the summer again. I learned that I love imperfections. I also learned, thanks to my producer Ben Clune, how powerful optimism really is during the creative process.
How would you describe the film using just one word?
Why should people watch The Marvin Family Tortoise?
The Marvin Family Tortoise will not be presenting you a soapboxy social message, and you won't feel righteous, or warm and fuzzy, or guilty after you watch it. But I do think you will feel something tingle under your skin - a dull shiver like you just spent a bit of time in a mad hermit's sweaty trailer in the middle of the desert. I hope you feel too close for comfort. I hope you can smell his sweaty bathrobe with a hint of canned pineapple.
For more info about the film, click here.
Director Sherren Lee is currently absolutely killing it with her award-winning and critically- acclaimed short film "The Things You Think I'm Thinking". The film has screened in several festivals around the world and has received multiple accolades and awards including the Best Canadian Short at the 2018 Inside Out Film Festival and the AWFJ EDA Award for Best-Female Directed Short at the 2017 Whistler Film Festival. It has also been in competition at over twenty festivals including Slamdance 2018 and SXSW 2018. I was lucky enough to have a chance to chat with her. Check out our Q&A below:
What did you learn about yourself and your craft while making The Things You Think I'm Thinking?
Before making the film, I had not met anyone like Prince or worked with anyone who is differently abled. Prince’s courage, generosity and open heart really put a spotlight on the discomfort I felt when first interacting with him, making me examine why I had those feelings and how those feelings reflected more about me than about him. In terms of my craft, I'm always looking for new ways of telling a story. In this piece, I chose to shoot with anamorphic lenses as I wanted to hold both characters in the frame as much as possible, without cutting back and forth too much. I had a really great time looking for ways of holding one shot for a long time while continually moving the camera. That was very exciting to accomplish.
How do you hope viewers will feel watching this?
If this film can help audiences have more empathy and be less uncomfortable interacting with people with disability, or simply, people who are different than them, then that would be enough. But if we can look inward, examine the assumptions we make about other people, and reflect on how much of that is merely a projection of our own demons, I think we could probably change the world that way.
Would you consider turning this short film into a feature in the future?
Jesse LaVercombe, the screenwriter, is currently drafting the feature screenplay! I'm really excited to see what he comes up with.