The city was left devastated by 2005's Hurricane Katrina when the levees broke and flood water wiped out residential areas.
Pitt's commitment to rebuilding the hard-hit Ninth Ward region through his Make It Right Foundation has been key to New Orleans' revival.
The Hollywood star has so far helped to re-house 15 families and is aiming to boost the number to 150 by the end of 2010.
But the actor insists it's not enough - because the number of properties they've provided for the community to date is just a fraction of the thousands of homes lost in the natural disaster.
He says, "We are the greenest neighbourhood in the United States and that's only with 15 houses. We will be 150 houses next year. It's an extraordinary success but at the same time I'm irritated because there were 4,000 homes that were lost in this neighbourhood; we're just scratching the surface.".
"New Orleans is alive and well and entering in its new glory. This is because of the tenacity and the spirit of the people that has never died. And the music is still playing and you can still get a drive-through margarita. All is well." BRAD PITT, who is helping to rebuild Hurricane Katrina-hit New Orleans, insists his adopted city is recovering from the 2005 storm.
Annes Bazmee will direct the film, which is expected to go before cameras early next year (10).
Abhishek Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Sanjay Dutt will star in the remake, which will be set in India and feature Hindustani dialogue.
Inspired by the 1944 Sant Anna di Stazzema massacre perpetrated on an Italian town by the Nazis Miracle at St. Anna focuses on four members of the 92nd Infantry Division African Americans also known as Buffalo Soldiers who served in Italy during the final year of WWII. These four find themselves in compromising positions when they befriend a frightened young Italian boy in a remote village that is about to come under attack by the German SS. The fact that this village has likely never seen a black man before becomes the centerpiece of the story that seeks to highlight the color barriers that can separate us--and bring us together--especially under extraordinary pressure. As the town gets to know these individuals they find that they all must band together to fight the common terror associated with a horrible war. Spike Lee has assembled a first-rate cast of young African-American actors led by Derek Luke (Catch a Fire Antwone Fisher) as Staff Sergeant Aubrey Stamps the conflicted leader of the division whose confusion about his place in America drives his actions. Luke has emerged as one very promising actor and further cements his growing reputation with a complex portrayal of a black man in the midst of war. Michael Ealy as Sgt. Bishop Cummings captures all the bravado of a shoot-from-the-hip character out for himself using street smarts to survive a battle he doesn’t think he belongs in. As the reluctant radio operator Hector Negron Laz Alonso plays a Puerto Rican living in Harlem who finds himself sent to war with an all-black unit. Towering above all the rest though is Omar Benson Miller a dead ringer for Forest Whitaker who plays the “gentle giant” Sam Train the one who takes the boy under his wing. His relationship with the young man Angelo played beautifully by Matteo Sciabordi is what gives the film its heart and soul. Several name actors including John Turturro Joseph Gordon-Levitt Kerry Washington D.B. Sweeney and Robert John Burke have relatively brief screen time and there’s a very strange cameo early on from John Leguizamo that seems like it belongs in another film altogether. A host of fine Italian actors including Pierfrancesco Favino and Valentina Cervi add to the flavor and authenticity Lee is going for. Coming off his biggest box office hit ever Inside Man and his Emmy-winning documentary on the aftermath of Katrina When the Levees Broke Lee continues his streak with this very accomplished and humane WWII epic focusing on African Americans we don’t often see depicted in American war movies. Lee makes this point forcefully in the film’s present-day prologue where we meet one of the soldiers now an older man cynically commenting on the all-white cast of the 1962’s The Longest Day as he watches the movie on TV. There is no question Lee is a skilled and extremely talented filmmaker. The many battle sequences in the film are violent and expertly choreographed. Lee’s work with the large cast is also top-notch letting James McBride’s forceful script breathe with plenty of room for the human element missing in many films of this type. Although the picture running at 160 minutes could have benefited from some judicious editing (particularly in the opening and closing sequences) overall it’s a worthy effort from Spike further proof of his new maturity as a filmmaker at the peak of his talents.
Director Spike Lee has added a top American journalism award to his slew of filmmaking plaudits, for his anti-government movie covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The Malcolm X filmmaker was honored for When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, which documents life after the storm hit in August 2005.
Lee was lauded alongside longtime collaborator Sam Pollard, who produced the film, for illustrating evidence of the government's poor handling of the situation in New Orleans post-Katrina.
The awards, created in honor of CBS reporter George W. Polk--who died reporting from the Greek civil war--are regarded as one of journalism's top prizes.
Pollard and Lee have worked together on Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers and Bamboozled. The pair will receive their award on April 12 at a ceremony in New York.
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
Filmmaker Spike Lee was stunned when he saw New Orleans for the first time after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city, because it looked like nuclear-damaged Hiroshima, Japan.
Hiroshima was devastated by atomic bombs during World War II on Aug. 6, 1945, while large parts of New Orleans were left flooded when the hurricane broke the city's levees last summer.
Lee returned to New Orleans to film the aftermath for his upcoming documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and couldn't believe the devastation before him.
He says, "It looked like what I assume Hiroshima looked like after World War II.
"I just couldn't believe this was happening right now in America. It was one of those moments where you know someone will ask you years from now, 'Where were you when Katrina happened?'"
Article Copyright Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Spike Lee is heading to New Orleans, Louisiana, to make a documentary examining whether race and politics played a role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The Do the Right Thing director watched television coverage of the disaster while he was in Venice, Italy, for the city's film festival, and he's since compared the New Orleans situation to the 1974 film Chinatown, which starts as a simple detective story, but becomes an intricate tale of corruption and greed.
He says, "People could not believe, especially the residents of the Ninth Ward (in New Orleans), that there wasn't hanky-panky in the flooding.
"And what I thought about automatically was Chinatown, the great film by Roman Polanski. The whole subplot of the whole thing is about water in Southern California and how it was not delivered to the people who needed it."
Lee, who insists he will use "factual journalism, not creative narrative" in the probe, plans to have the project ready for next year's one-year anniversary of the hurricane.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
The cast and filmmakers behind the upcoming Roll Bounce are doing their part to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
They have announced that when the film is released this weekend, they will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to the Operation USA for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.
In a partnership with DirecTV, Roll Bounce will also be screened for thousands of people at more than 80 shelters across the Gulf Coast region the night before its theatrical release.
In addition, DirecTV has launched a 24/7 "Hurricane Katrina Information" channel. The channel displays vital information regarding the Katrina relief and recovery efforts to evacuees in shelters (where DirecTV has installed services) and to customers nationwide.
Viewers can now have a personal message scroll across the bottom of the screen in hopes of contacting friends and family separated by the storm. All they need to do is send an e-mail to Katrina@directv.com.
As for Roll Bounce, director Malcom D. Lee (Undercover Brother) and producers Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. (Barbershop) stated in a press release: "We are so proud that the love, laughter and creative force that was poured into making this heart-warming family film will be channeled toward the support of those families in need."
The film's star, Bow Wow, said: "Tragedy can strike any of us at any time. We are honored that Roll Bounce can help to support our communities at such a crucial time."
Roll Bounce is a late '70s-inspired coming-of-age comedy featuring an all-star cast led by Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Mike Epps, Wesley Jonathan, Kellita Smith, Meagan Good, Khleo Thomas and Nick Cannon.
Brace yourself Dr. Laura. This clueless teen queen (Natasha Lyonne) has it all: good looks a football captain boyfriend and a popular pair of pom-poms. But her candy-colored world crumbles when her panicked parents stage an intervention after finding a Melissa Etheridge poster that leads them to conclude she's a friend of Ellen. After being carted off to an anti-gay rehab camp for teens the perky princess must choose between the straight and narrow-minded or the love that dare not speak its name.
The quirky ensemble casting is half this film's fun. Lyonne is charming as the pepster tempted by T&A and she sparks onscreen with swanky and sexy co-star Clea DuVall who plays the butch femme fatale suitor (alarmingly reminiscent of Nancy McKeon's Jo from "The Facts of Life.") Drag queen supreme RuPaul is unrecognizable out of his high heels and even higher blond wig wearing a "Straight is Great" T-shirt as a macho militant ex-gay counselor. Cathy Moriaty is sweetly sinister as the homophobic headmistress and Mink Stole steals scenes as the uptight upright meddling mom.
Kudos to Jamie Babbit for tackling this hot-potato topic but this well-intentioned film too often misses its mark turning potentially comical scenes into unbearably awkward moments. Babbit fouls when tugging at the heartstrings but hits home runs when the humor is at its broadest.