Filmmaker David Trueba's Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed was the big winner at Spain's Goya Awards on Sunday (09Feb14) after taking home six honours including Best Picture and Best Director. The comedy drama, about a real-life English teacher who used the music of the Beatles to motivate his students, also triumphed in the categories for Original Screenplay, Original Score, Lead Actor (Javier Camara) and Breakthrough Actress (Natalia de Molina).
Ironically, the Goya wins for Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, which takes its title from the Fab Four's hit song Strawberry Fields Forever, occurred on the 50th anniversary of the Let It Be hitmakers' first ever U.S. TV gig on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The night wasn't all about Trueba - Alex de la Iglesia's Witching & B**ching garnered the most wins from the Spanish Film Academy bosses with eight accolades, mostly for technical achievements. Screen veteran Terele Pavez did, however, score the prize for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film.
Meanwhile, the top actress honour was awarded to Marian Alvarez for her role in Wounded, while the drama's director, Fernando Franco, earned the title for First-Time Filmmaker.
Daniel Sanchez Arevalo's comedy Family United, which headed into the ceremony with 11 nominations, only won two awards - Best Supporting Actor for Roberto Alamo and Best Original Song.
British rockers The Enemy dedicated their Saturday night (10Aug13) set at a U.K. music festival to a local teenager who allegedly committed suicide after suffering months of online bullying. The band performed at the Strawberry Fields Festival in Leicestershire, England and frontman Tom Clarke used the gig to honour Hannah Smith, 14, who hanged herself earlier this month (Aug13).
Clarke dedicated the set to the teen and urged festival goers to be more vigilant about online bullying.
In a series of posts on his Twitter.com page, the singer wrote, "I'd... like to dedicate (the) gig to the memory of Hannah Smith, the Leicestershire teenager who was bullied online. Hannah was subject to such relentless bullying online that she tragically took her own life. I'd like to ask all at (Strawberry Fields Festival) as well as... all of our fans to take a minute to remember Hannah, & to step in if you ever witness online bullying for yourself & put a stop to it... It's never acceptable. It's cowardly, and it's cruel, and it has to stop. Thanks to you all. RIP Hannah."
A collection of letters and lyrics written by the late John Lennon has been donated to the British Library in London by the Beatles' only official biographer. Hunter Davies, who befriended the legendary singer in the 1960s, has taken advantage of a new tax relief initiative in the U.K., titled the Cultural Gifts Scheme, which encourages people to hand over gifts for the nation in return for a tax reduction.
His memorabilia includes his correspondence with Lennon, a note containing the lines to the Fab Four's 1967 hit Strawberry Fields Forever and an early draft of In My Life.
The 77 year old says, "I want my Beatles collection to be kept together, in one place, and on public display, and the British Library is the perfect home for it. I'm really pleased the cultural gifts scheme has helped me make this a reality."
According to the BBC, Davies' donation is expected to save him $495,225 (£319,500) - roughly 30 per cent of the value of the collection - in taxes over five years.
Folk legend Richie Havens has died at the age of 72. The New York native, who famously opened the fabled Woodstock festival in Bethel in 1969, passed away suddenly following a heart attack at his home in New Jersey on Monday (22Apr13).
A statement from his relatives reads, "While his family greatly appreciates that Richie's many fans are also mourning this loss, they do ask for privacy during this difficult time."
After starting his folk career in the Greenwich Village area of New York, Havens was signed by Bob Dylan's manager Albert Grossman in the late 1960s.
The turning point in his career came in 1969 at Woodstock, when he kept the crowds captivated for three hours as the legendary event's first performer.
Havens enjoyed a varied and lengthy performing career, releasing over 20 albums, and is well known for his soulful renditions of classic tracks, including Beatles hits Here Comes The Sun and Strawberry Fields.
He also made a foray into acting in the 1970s and '80s, playing Othello in 1974 film Catch My Soul, and appearing alongside Richard Pryor in Greased Lightning in 1977.
Havens concentrated on touring in his later years, and performed at former U.S. President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993. He retired from the stage in 2012 due to health reasons.
Most recently, a rendition of his track Freedom featured in director Quentin Tarantino's slave western Django Unchained.
Arterton was 21 when she was picked to play Strawberry Fields in Daniel Craig's second outing as the superspy and admits she was too young and inexperienced to really soak up what it meant to be a Bond girl, so she was thrilled to meet up with Broccoli at Pinewood Studios in England on Global Bond Day (05Oct12) and discover the filmmakers regretted her oily death in the 2008 movie.
She tells the BBC, "I just met Barbara Broccoli in the corridor and she said, 'I wish we hadn't killed you off'. It would have been so good to come back."
Arterton admits the time she spent on the Bond set was a lot of fun, but she was too "naive" to really get into the movie.
She adds, "It was my second movie and I just remember feeling it was a dream... There was a really good vibe on set and it was a great time."
And joking about her "awful" sex scene with Craig, she reveals, "It was my first scene, my first day on the set... and I remember not really knowing what was gonna happen, and then Daniel Craig just started kissing my back and I was like, 'Oh my God,' but then had to pretend that I was cool about it... He's (Craig) a lovely guy, so he made it very easy."
The star was cast as agent Strawberry Fields in Craig's second 007 outing, but she almost walked out when one American film chief warned her that if she carried on talking in her native accent she would only ever be cast as a maid.
She tells Britain's GQ magazine, "I said, 'Hello! I'm playing a Bond girl who works for the British consulate!' I was so annoyed I nearly walked out... I went through this whole thing of, 'I'm common compared to all these Oxford (renowned British university) graduates. I don't know anything.'"
Arterton's accent also nearly cost her a role in upcoming blockbuster Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - after director Mike Newell ordered her to lose her southern England twang and speak "posh".
Now the 24 year old is working with a voice coach after moviemaker Stephen Frears advised her to seek professional help during a recent audition.
Arterton adds, "I went into this meeting and he went, 'Oh dear, oh dear. Why do you speak like that?' And I went, 'It's where I'm from.' He said, 'Well, you are going to have to sort that out.'"
The British actress, best known for playing agent Strawberry Fields in 007 movie Quantum of Solace, began her career with an appearance in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost in London in 2007, just months before she won her first big screen role in St Trinian's.
The 24 year old recently began a stint in The Little Dog Laughed, a satire about Hollywood, alongside The Young Victoria star Rupert Friend - and Arterton is adamant she made the right move to turn her back on films for a while.
She says, "I really love coming back to the stage. It is a much more rounded experience to working in films, which can be quite airy fairy."
The vampire Lestat de Lioncourt (Stuart Townsend) wakes from a hundred-year sleep to the rock 'n' roll present day and likes what he sees and hears. Tired of the vampire's solitary life he becomes the frontman for an unknown rock band and transforms it into the latest greatest thing gaining the adulation of millions. He also decides to disregard the unspoken rule that vampires must hide away from the rest of world and writes songs encoded with specifics of the secret life of vampires. As expected Lestat's lyrics draw the attention of both the bloodsuckers who want to destroy him and the human vampire scholars (called the Talamasca) who want to study him. One young Talamascan student Jesse Reeves (Marguerite Moreau) becomes obsessed with Lestat after reading his journal from the 1800s. She learns that Lestat had a brief encounter with Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) the most ancient and dangerous vampire to ever exist and the mother of all who walk the Earth in search of blood. He gets his chance to meet Akasha again when his music awakens her from an ancient slumber. She rises and seeks out Lestat to become her king and join her in ruling the world.
The film truly belongs to Townsend and fans of the Anne Rice's novels will be happy to know he completely embodies the charismatic vampire Lestat. The little-known Irish actor who starred in last year's indie About Adam with Kate Hudson rules the screen whenever he is on it and luckily he's on it quite a lot. He's especially powerful when he is in rock star mode. Although Moreau's Jesse is fairly one dimensional she comes alive in her scenes with Townsend. Let's hope they keep asking him to play Lestat (when and if they make any more films from Rice's vampire novels) and next time give him an actress he can have some real chemistry with. The late R&B singer Aaliyah made her second film appearance in Damned as the queen. Even though she is only in the film a short time she possesses a certain charm as the ancient and evil Queen Akasha and makes a great first impression by destroying a vampire coven. Yet her acting skills are just not up to par with the rest of the cast including the charismatic Vincent Perez as the vampire Marius and Lena Olin as the kind-hearted vampire Maharet.
Damned was set to be released in the fall of last year but word of mouth had the film destined for the video shelf before it even made it to the big screen. Then tragedy struck and as the news of Aaliyah's untimely death echoed throughout the world of entertainment Warner Bros. wisely decided to hold onto it and release it in theaters at a more favorable time knowing there would be an audience who'd want to see the singer's last film. Yet for all the bad press surrounding it Damned actually pleasantly surprises you due largely in part to Townsend's mesmerizing performance. Michael Rymer's direction is not a masterpiece of filmmaking by any stretch of the imagination but it has a certain MTV quality about it which makes it appealing. That same quality however also makes it too slick glossing over the meatier parts of Rice's novel making the dialogue and action trite and sometimes downright silly. Come to think of it the 1994 Interview With the Vampire also suffered from the same thing. Maybe translating Rice's words is harder than it looks.
Ashley Judd and auto racer Dario Franchitti have finally settled on a wedding date after 11 months of speculation, according to The Associated Press. Judd, 33, has decided to marry Franchitti on Dec. 12 in Dornoch, Scotland, near the castle where Madonna married director Guy Ritchie in 2000.
Tea Leoni, 35, and David Duchovny, 41, married since 1997, are expecting their second daughter in early 2001, according to the AP.
According to the Miami Herald, Miami law-enforcement officers are now combing O.J. Simpson's Kendall, Fla. home in search of evidence that the former football star/actor is involved in a free satellite-TV scam. Their findings are forthcoming, but Simpson is already in hot water after officers discovered he was involved in an ecstasy drug ring on Tuesday.
On Friday, Rapper Jay-Z was sentenced to three years of probation stemming from a stabbing incident that occured on Dec. 1, 1999. Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) pleaded guilty to stabbing record producer Lance Rivera at a New York night club.
Pamela Anderson further distanced herself from ex-husband Tommy Lee on Friday by asking a Los Angeles court to nullify a joint-custody agreement that had previously been issued. Anderson stated that she believes Lee is an "unstable, dangerous man" who should not share custody of her two children. The court has yet to reach a ruling.
Hundreds of Beatles fans showed up at the Strawberry Fields section of New York's Central Park on Saturday, to honor the late George Harrison and commemorate the 21st anniversary of the death of John Lennon.
Christopher Tolkien, son of author J.R.R. Tolkien, is publicly blasting the new film The Lord of the Rings, telling Reuters that he believes the movie does not do justice to his father's tale. Literary critic Michael White, who wrote a biography about the elder Tolkien, agrees, saying that the author would have "hated" the adaptation.
Actor Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions) is bragging about his new role in the Robert Altman film Gosford Park, but for unusual reasons. Phillippe raves that his character--a man with a missing eye--may destroy his image as a cutie-pie teen dream, which makes him very, very happy, PageSix.com reports.
After 698 performances on Broadway, the hit revival The Music Man is closing shop on Dec. 30. Producers of the show cite financial woes as the reason for the shutdown.
After a long battle with cancer, George Harrison, known to fans as the "Quiet Beatle," passed away at a friend's home. Harrison was 58.
Harrison died at 1:30 p.m. PT on Thursday in Los Angeles, following a battle with a brain tumor that ultimately caused his demise. His wife, Olivia, and 24-year-old son, Dhani, were with Harrison at the time of his death.
"He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends,'' the Harrison family said in a statement to reporters. "He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.'"
Former Beatles frontman Paul McCartney greeted reporters outside his London home on Friday and expressed his sentiments on the loss of his longtime friend to The Associated Press.
"I am devastated and very, very sad. He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother," McCartney said.
"George has given so much to us in his lifetime and continues to do so even after his passing, with his music, his wit and his wisdom," John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, told AP on Friday.
Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth was "very sad to hear the death of George Harrison," AP reports.
Great Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, also expressed his sentiments to BBC News on Thursday. "He wasn't just a musician, an artist, but did a lot of work for charity as well. He'll be greatly missed around the world."
"George Harrison was once of the great Liverpudlians," Liverpool's Lord Mayor Gerry Scott told Reuters. "He was a warm, peace-loving man who much more than just a talented musician."
Alan Williams, the Beatles' first manager, told AP that Harrison was an essential part of the band's chemistry.
"I would say he was the major cog in the Beatles at that time. He kept them together probably because of the calming effect he had," Williams said.
Harrison was 13 years old when he bought his first guitar and befriended Paul McCartney at school. McCartney introduced him to John Lennon, who was in a band called the Quarrymen. After several lineup changes and a name change, McCartney, Lennon and Harrison brought drummer Ringo Starr aboard and the Beatles were born.
After the Beatles parted ways in 1970, Harrison embarked on a solo career that started with his 1971 album, All Things Must Pass, and its hit singles "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life."
During the same year, he organized the Concert for Bangladesh, one of the first rock 'n' roll benefits, and helped fellow musician Sir Bob Geldof put together Live Aid, a benefit for African famine in 1985, AP reports.
"It really is the end of a dream," John Chambers of the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society told AP. "The only comfort we can take is the legacy of the music, which is as powerful and mysterious today as it ever was."
Fans across the globe are mourning Harrison's death.
At Harrison's mansion outside of London, fans have left flowers and notes for the guitarist. Flags were flying at half mast and a book of condolence has been opened at Liverpool Town Hall, birthplace of The Beatles, BBC News reports
In addition, the city council has announced that there will be a memorial service for Harrison, but no date has been set.
Harrison was also awarded the freedom of the city in 1984, Reuters reports.
Last year, Harrison saw a compilation of Beatles No.1 singles, 1, sell millions of copies.
"The thing that pleases me the most about it is that young people like it," Harrison said in an interview with AP at the time. "I think the popular music has gone truly weird. It's either cutesy-wutesy or it's hard, nasty stuff. It's good that this has life again with the youth."
On Oct. 1, Harrison recorded the song "A Horse To Water" with his son Dhani and pianist Jools Holland at his Switzerland home. The tune is featured on Holland's album Small World, Big Friends, released on Nov. 19 in the UK.
In New York City, fans began gathering before dawn Friday at Strawberry Fields, a section of the city's Central Park created in memory of another fallen Beatle, John Lennon, who was killed outside his nearby apartment in 1980.
Harrison spent last week at New York's Staten Island University Hospital where he was treated for his cancer. After his release on Nov. 22, Harrison took a private jet to Los Angeles, where he was treated with conventional chemotherapy at the UCLA Medical Centre, ABCNEWS.com reports.
McCartney and Starr had visited Harrison at Staten Island University Hospital just last week.
"When I saw him last time, he was obviously very unwell but he was cracking jokes like he always has...he'll be sorely missed," McCartney told AP.
The singer waged a long battle with cancer during the last few years.
In May, Harrison underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs. In April, a malignant growth was taken from one of his lungs.
Harrison was treated for throat cancer after doctors found a lump on his neck in 1997.
"It reminds you that anything can happen," he said at the time. Harrison blamed years of smoking cigarettes for his illness.
Harrison received courses of radiation therapy at Britain's leading cancer treatment center, the Royal Marsden Hospital, at that time.
Harrison is survived by his wife and son, his brother, Peter, and his sister, Lou.