Singer-actress Courtney Love is being sued for failing to pay more than $40,000 in rent for a Vancouver home she rented while working in the on the film 24 Hours, The Associated Press reports. Love was to pay owner Peter Ashby $26,500 for a period from April 20 through June 7, with a $15,000 deposit. In a statement, Love said the agreement was subject to her approval of the home, which she had not seen. The singer and her daughter moved out after one day, saying the mansion was too big and had too many stairs. She has asked the court to dismiss the legal action.
Radio personality Garrison Keillor had surgery Wednesday for a common valve repair and is expected to make a full recovery, AP reports. Keillor, 58, has hosted A Prairie Home Companion on Minnesota Public Radio since the show began airing in 1974. Keillor also is the author of several books and hosts the daily five-minute radio show The Writer's Almanac.
Charlton Heston and science fiction writer Ray Bradbury are trying to save the Cinerama in Omaha, Neb., from demolition, AP reports. The Indian Hills Theater was built in 1962, but costs to renovate it would be too high. The Methodist Health System bought the bankrupt theater and intends to turn it into a parking lot for its nearby nursing college. Kirk Douglas, Janet Leigh, Patricia Neal and film critic Leonard Maltin also have joined forces to save the theater, which is still capable of showing films on its 70-foot-wide, curved, floor-to-ceiling screen.
Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is in talks to star in a modern Cinderella tale by director John Hughes, Variety reports. Hughes will write and produce the romantic comedy for Revolution Studios and could begin filming in 2002. Lopez will play a young dreamer who gets a job as a chambermaid in a luxury hotel, meets a British chap and falls in love. Hilary Swank was originally set to star in the project.
Musicians Moby, Beastie Boys, Alanis Morissette, the Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, Trey Anastasio, Jackson Brown and James Taylor have formed a coalition named the New Power Project to urge the president to develop a more responsible energy policy, Rolling Stone magazine reports. The group plans to use their tours and Web sites to educate listeners about oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic Wildlife Refuge and renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy. They also will circulate petitions to be sent to congress and the Bush administration. More information is available at www.saveourenvironment.org.
Rapper Eminem and Australian Prime Minister John Howard are involved in a war of words, BBC News reports. The feud erupted after the rapper's first show in Melbourne, Australia, when he joked to an audience that he wanted to buy a house and move to the continent, but that he didn't think the prime minister would like it. Howard warned that Eminem was still on probation and could be thrown out by immigration ministers. He has publicly said he does not like Eminem's music or lyrics, and the illusions to violence that are involved in his performance.
Mark Wahlberg wants to help inner-city youths stay out of trouble, AP reports. On Thursday, Wahlberg announced that the Mark Wahlberg Foundation would raise and distribute funds to youth service programs. The actor credits the Col. Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club in the Boston's Dorchester neighborhood for helping him turn his life around.
Volume.com will feature an exclusive webcast of a Mos Def benefit concert with Jack Johnson, starting July 27. Filmed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, features Mos Def and his new group Jack Johnson with members of Living Colour and P-Funk and includes performances of Ms. Fat Booty and Umi Says. Information and registration for the exclusive webcast is available at http://www.volume.com/mosdef. The concert will be available online through August.
In a surprising move, the members of the New York Film Critics Circle, an association of film reviewers from major Manhattan-based newspapers and magazines, selected "Topsy-Turvy" as the Best Picture of 1999.
Part biopic, part backstage drama, "Topsy-Turvy" is an opulent motion picture that focuses on the prickly relationship between librettist William Schwenk Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. Mike Leigh was selected as Best Director for the same film, which now becomes poised with "American Beauty" (selected by the National Board of Review), "Three Kings" (the Boston Critics' choice) and "The Insider" (the L.A. Film Critics Association winner) as frontrunners in the upcoming Oscar race.
The top acting honors were awarded to two performers who portrayed real-life figures. Veteran Richard Farnsworth was named Best Actor for his turn as Alvin Straight, a man who rode a tractor several hundred miles across the Midwest in order to reunite with his estranged brother, in "The Straight Story," directed by David Lynch. Hilary Swank was cited as Best Actress for her superlative portrayal of Teena Brandon, a Nebraska woman who lived her short adult life as a man, in "Boy's Don't Cry."
The quirky, highly original comedy "Being John Malkovich" earned three awards: Best Supporting Actor for John Malkovich (for playing a character based on himself), Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Keener and Best First Film for director Spike Jonze.
For the first time in its 65-year history, the Circle voted to present a prize for Best Animated Film, bestowing the honors to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the uproarious and irreverent "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut." As Circle Chairman Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly explained, "You could almost say that this award category created itself. There has been such an increase in animated features targeted at adults as well as children, that as critics we felt we had to recognize superior achievement in the field."
"All About My Mother," directed by Pedro Almodovar, was selected as the Best Foreign Language Film, marking a clean sweep in all the critics' prizes presented to date.
Other award presented by the New York Film Critics Circle include Best Cinematography to Freddie Francis' lensing of "The Straight Story," Best Non-Fiction Film to "Buena Vista Social Club" and Best Screenplay to Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for the little-seen "Election." A special award for distinguished achievement in film criticism was bestowed on Manny Farber.
Gleiberman and Vice-Chairman David Sterrit of The Christian Science Monitor made the announcement of the awards. The annual presentation of the awards will be held at a dinner at New York City's Windows on the World at the World Trade Center on Jan. 9.