Saturday, 23 July 2011

Elwy Yost 1925 - 2011 R.I.P.

 Happywax    july 2011

Hey Guys, Happys here on a bit of a sad note on Thursday one of my favourite movie reviewers and Host of the awsomely popular Saturday Night At The Movies and Magic Shadows passed away, I grew up watching Mr Yost, with my dad and grandpa, He's really one of the big reasons I love movies as much as I do, I found this article in the Vancouver Sun and I think it does a pretty good job of summing up his life.  

He was the avuncular TV personality with the funny name — Elwy Yost — and to thousands of movie fans, his program was the best place to see the films they loved, because he loved them, too. "What's on Elwy tonight?" people would ask: That funny name became a trademark for cinema.
Yost, who died Thursday at age 86, was the host of TVOntario's Saturday Night at the Movies from 1974 to 1999, and the weekday serial program Magic Shadows from 1974 to the mid-'80s. While he also hosted a CBC afternoon movie show called Passport to Adventure in the 1960s, it was on TVO that he established his reputation as an enthusiastic movie-lover.
He was no critic: He seemed to relish everything, and his interviews with filmmakers and movie stars were breathless — not to say gushing — encounters. Elwy could hardly wait for the subject to finish the answer before he was saying how marvellous or interesting it was. It was that pure joy that made Elwy such a reassuring and refreshing TV presence.
He was born in 1925 in Weston, Ont., then a suburb of Toronto, the only child of a pickle manufacturer, also named Elwy.
"Elwy's love of movies and storytelling began at an early age," his family said in a statement, "when his father gave him a dime each week to go to the movies, with the stipulation that Elwy come home and tell them the story."
He studied sociology at the University of Toronto, and with a school friend, he made a movie called In Between, one of the first independent films in Canada. He worked at a variety of jobs: It was at the circulation department of the Toronto Star newspaper that he met his future wife Lila Melby — they were married for 60 years — and he later worked in industrial relations at Avro Aircraft until the Arrow project was cancelled in 1959. He also taught English at Burnhamthorpe Collegiate in Etobicoke, another Toronto suburb, where he would ask his students to watch movies and then write about them.
Hearing that CBC TV wanted panellists for game shows, he worked on several, notably Flashback, before he was went to TVO. There, the network acquired the rights to three Ingmar Bergman movies, and Elwy was asked to think of a way to present them. That series, called Three Films in Search of God, grew into Saturday Night at the Movies.

He would introduce the films, show them without commercial interruption, and then follow up with interviews with filmmakers. Bald, bespectacled, forever smiling, he was an unlikely TV star, but viewers sensed his affection for the films he showed and the people who made them, and the program became a must-see. At his peak, he had 250,000 viewers, despite the fact that his show was up against Hockey Night In Canada.
Yost moved to Vancouver with his wife in 1989, and retired from the show 10 years later. As well as his TV work, he wrote four books about film.
He is survived by Lila and sons Christopher and Graham, who is a Hollywood screenwriter (Speed, Broken Arrow and Hard Rain) and executive producer of the TV series, Justified. He also leaves two grandchildren and a daughter-in-law.

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