Entertainment briefs – January 20

A Canadian broadcast watchdog says it has received no complaints from listeners after radio stations intentionally defied a ruling against Money for Nothing by airing marathons of the Dire Straits tune last week.

Dire Straits marathon defies watchdog

TORONTO — A Canadian broadcast watchdog says it has received no complaints from listeners after radio stations intentionally defied a ruling against Money for Nothing by airing marathons of the Dire Straits tune last week.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled the 1985 hit single unfit for radio because its lyrics include an anti-gay slur.

The decision sparked an impassioned outcry and classic-rock radio stations in Halifax and Edmonton struck back by playing the unedited version of the song over and over again.

The council won’t take action against any stations airing the unedited version of the song unless another listener complains, and there haven’t been any.


Roger Ebert back with PBS show

CHICAGO — Roger Ebert is returning to the small screen. The famous film critic stopped appearing on television movie review shows in 2006 when cancer surgery left him unable to speak.

But now he has his own segment on a new program, Ebert Presents at the Movies. The weekly show debuts Friday on U.S. public television stations.

“Can you think of another TV show that deals with the movies as movies instead of as celebrity showcases?” Ebert said. His laptop computer speaks his typed comments. “We don’t praise everything.”

The new show will be produced at Chicago’s WTTW, where Ebert and Gene Siskel started taping Sneak Previews 35 years ago. The pair’s iconic “two thumbs” (up or down) reviews became one of the most recognizable judgments in film criticism — and they’ll be featured on the new show.


Sundance opens with cross-section

PARK CITY, Utah — All eyes at the Sundance Film Festival used to be glued to one big premiere that would have opening night all to itself. Now the festival starts with enough choices to fill a small multiplex.

Robert Redford’s independent-film showcase starts Thursday night with two fictional tales, two documentaries and a collection of short movies, offering viewers a cross-section of the 11-day festival’s roughly 120 feature films and 80 shorts.

The idea partly is to avoid hanging the festival’s opening-night fortunes on one of Sundance’s star-studded premieres, whose casts this time include Demi Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Katie Holmes, Kevin Spacey and Tobey Maguire.

It’s also partly to jump right into the festival’s four main events — drama and documentary competitions for both U.S. films and world productions.