There’s a melancholy rich old man named Philip (John Standing) who’s
just lost his wife. Standing in front of a mirror naked he complains
to his son Storey (Mathew Delamere also naked) that he’s getting old.
They proceed to stare at their anatomy console themselves by jumping
into bed together watch the Fellini flick and decide to create their
own bordello of women on their estate. There’s some deeper theme here
about women having power but it’s difficult to find under all the
There are willing women everywhere and yet Standing repeatedly -- and
annoyingly -- grumbles his unhappiness and swoons over the young
sensual Palmira (Polly Walker) the only one who smirks her way into the
affections of both men. The actresses’ performances range from amusing
(Vivian Wu as a businesswoman) to confusing (Shizuka Inoh as a
materialistic gambling addict) to plain weird (Amanda Plummer who is
just way too attached to her horse and a fat pig. Don’t ask.)
Anyone familiar with Peter Greenaway knows about his penchant for flesh
("The Pillow Book " "The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover") and
his method of artistry over direction. Trained as a painter Greenaway
loves to shock audiences with unabashed nudity particularly of
characters that aren’t curvy thin or young. But it can be equally
off-putting to moviegoers who really might not want to see "natural
images" blown up onscreen. (And by the way for the amount of skin
there’s very little sex in the film.)
The Magdalene Sisters, British director Peter Mullan's pointed depiction of an abusive Catholic convent, won the Golden Lion for best picture Sunday at the Venice Film Festival. Earlier this week, the Vatican denounced the film, which depicts young women being imprisoned and tormented in convents for often-preposterous reasons, including having been raped. According to The Associated Press, Mullan told audiences, "As regards the film, it's not just about the Catholic Church and how they oppressed young women in Ireland. It's about all faiths, all fundamentalist faiths, that believe they have the right to oppress young women." Other winners included actress Julianne Moore, who took home best actress for Far From Heaven, and Stefano Accorsi, who won best actor for A Journey Called Love. Andrej Konchalovsky's House of Fools, a drama about a psychiatric institution on the Chechen/Russian border whose inmates are left to cope on their own after the staff flee from the war, won the Jury Grand Prix.
Jerry Lewis collapsed backstage at a London theater shortly before he was due to take part in a benefit show and was taken to an undisclosed London hospital, the BBC reports. The 76-year-old comedian has been plagued with health problems since the 1980s, including prostate cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and spinal meningitis. In an interview with the UK's Daily Mirror published Monday, Lewis was quoted as saying that the pain had been so agonizing that he had contemplated suicide. "In April it got so bad that it forced me to get a gun and seriously think about putting it in my mouth," he said.
Patty Duke remained hospitalized Friday and was listed in fair condition at the Kootenai Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, after suffering a concussion and skull fracture when a horse she was spraying with fly repellent apparently knocked her down, the AP reports. Her husband, Michael Pearce, said he heard a thump and a cry from his wife after he left her in the barn to spray the 2-year-old filly. Duke won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1963 for The Miracle Worker.
The AP reports an Oregon couple who purchased the childhood home of former Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain last month for $42,500 has put it up for auction on eBay with an opening bid of $200,000. The couple says they had no idea it was Cobain's house when they bought it. Cobain lived with his father and stepmother in the turn-of the-century home, valued at $52,660 in 2000, from age 11 to 15. As of Sunday there had been no bids. There's still time to submit yours--the auction ends Sept. 15.
Director James Cameron debuted part of Ghosts of the Abyss Friday at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Goleta, Calif., the AP reports. Ghosts, an underwater documentary on the sunken Titanic, was shot in 3-D using a lightweight camera designed by Cameron, his brother Mike and cinematographer Vince Pace.
Hip-hop sensation Lil' Kim will be making her big-screen debut in the urban Western indie Guns and Roses, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Directed by Higher Ed's Jean Claude LaMarre, the film, set in the 1800s, follows the journey of five female outlaws who are fighting to avenge the murder of one of their own. It also stars singer Bobby Brown, LisaRaye, Monica Calhoun, Marie Matiko and Louis Mandylor.
Madonna's Maverick Films is developing a TV movie with VH1 called How to be the Perfect Latino Popstar, a Pygmalion story set in the world of Latin music, Variety reports. Maverick partners Madonna and Guy Oseary will executive produce the movie, based on a script by Laura Angelica Simone.
Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was being treated in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital Sunday for an undisclosed ailment, the AP reports. Lightfoot was rushed to a hospital in Orillia, 50 miles north of Toronto, on Saturday night shortly before he was set to perform at a concert promoting his latest album, A Painter Passing Through. He was later airlifted to Hamilton. Lightfoot, 63, and his wife have asked that no more information be given out at this time.
The Oscars aren't just about movie stars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present 17 awards for outstanding scientific and technical achievements. And for the first time, one of the awards will be an actual Oscar statuette, which will go to the Pixar folks for the development of the software "Renderman."
"This is the first Oscar ever given specifically for the development of computer software," Academy President Robert Rehme said today.
The 17 awards were voted by the Academy's Board of Governors, based upon the recommendations from the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.
The Scientific and Technical Academy Awards will be presented on March 3 in Beverly Hills.
Here's the complete list of winners:
Academy Award of Merit (Oscar Statuette)
To Rob Cook, Loren Carpenter and Ed Catmull for their significant advancements to the field of motion picture rendering as exemplified in Pixar's "Renderman."
Scientific and Engineering Awards (Academy Plaques)
To AKAI Digital for the design and development of the DD8 Plus digital audio dubber specifically designed for the motion picture industry.
To Fairlight for the design and development of the DaD digital audio dubber specifically designed for the motion picture industry.
To Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) for the design and development of the Sony DADR 5000 digital audio dubber specifically designed for the motion picture industry.
To Timeline, Incorporated for the design and development of the MMR 8 digital audio dubber specifically designed for the motion picture industry.
To Joe Wary, Gerald Painter and Colin F. Mossman for the design and development of the Deluxe Laboratories Multi Roller Film Transport System.
Technical Achievement Awards (Academy Certificates)
To Vic Armstrong for the refinement and application to the film industry of the Fan Descender for accurately and safely arresting the descent of stunt persons in high freefalls.
To Bill Tondreau of Kuper Systems, Alvah J. Miller and Paul Johnson of Lynx Robotics, and David Stump of Visual Effects Rental Services for the conception, design and development of data capture systems that enable superior accuracy, efficiency and economy in the creation of composite imagery.
To Leonard Pincus, Ashot Nalbandyan, George Johnson and Tom Kong for the design and development of the Softsun low pressure xenon long-arc light sources, their power supplies and fixtures.
To Glenn Berggren for the concept, Horst Linge for research and development, and Wolfgang Reineke for the final design and production of the Isco-Optic lenses for motion picture projection.
To Udo Schauss and Karl Lenhardt for the optical design, and Ralf Linn and Norbert Brinker for the mechanical design of the Schneider Super Cinelux lenses for motion picture projection.
To Philip Greenstreet of Rosco Laboratories for the concept and development of the Roscolight Day/Night Backdrop.
To Venkat Krishnamurthy for the creation of the Paraform Software for 3D Digital Form Development.
To George Borshukov, Kim Libreri and Dan Piponi for the development of a system for image-based rendering allowing choreographed camera movements through computer graphic reconstructed sets.
To John Pytlak for the development of the Laboratory Aim Density (LAD) system.
To Alvah J. Miller and Paul Johnson of Lynx Robotics for the electronic and software design of the Lynx C-50 Camera Motor System.
To Al Mayer, Sr. and Al Mayer, Jr., for the mechanical design, Iain Neil for the optical design and Brian Dang for the electronic design of the Panavision Millennium XL Camera System.
Now you may stop reading.
What is it they say about a Rosie by any other name?
Probably that it'd be a much easier life. At least that's what a Portland, Ore., radio station will tell you after it was sued by handlers for talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell.
The station KRSK-FM is being ordered to stop referring to itself as "Rosie 105" by Warner Bros. and Telepictures, who produce and distribute "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." They say KRSK is using the comedienne's trademarked name without her permission.
The radio station, meanwhile, offers their defense: "Rosie" is named for Portland, known as the Rose City. We're assured they will not be giving away Ring Dings and koosh balls.
OY VEY?: It wouldn't be a new week without a new Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas item, now would it?
After you've taken the weekend to recover from the baby news, here's a new humdinger: She is considering converting to Judaism, according to a British newspaper.
That's because Douglas' family is Jewish, and the 30-year-old actress is rumored to be "fascinated" by the religion, even speaking to a rabbi about converting, according to the Mail. An unnamed source close to Zeta-Jones told the paper that "Michael and his family are very proud of their Jewish heritage. In Judaism, the mother pays a pivotal role in raising the children to honor their faith."
The couple, who will marry this year and are expecting their first child, have agreed to raise the baby as a Jew. News of the pregnancy broke Friday; Douglas, 55, spoke up about it to TV Guide Online. "Both of us are very happy," he said. "We would have preferred to have had the opportunity to make the announcement ourselves when we wanted to, rather than [the tabloids] simply picking us apart when they want to."
ONE SMART COOKIE: Elisabeth Shue's now after the one thing that escapes her: a college degree.
So she's returning to her almost alma mater -- Harvard, thank you very much -- to complete the one semester she needs to finish her degree in government. She attended the school in the 1980s after transferring from the all-girl Wellesley College, leaving around the time she got her first big role, in 1987's "Adventures in Babysitting."
But when she'll run with the Crimson again is still up in the air. "The timing depends on one more movie role she wants to do," her representative, Steven Huvane, told the New York Daily News.
ALL ABOUT ALMODîVAR: Pedro Almod-var, who takes the Roberto Benigni award for Most Unintelligible But Exciting speech at the Golden Globes, took best director and best film honors at the Spanish Goya Awards on Sunday.
The Goyas, named for the 18th century Spanish painter, are Spain's equivalent of the Oscars, and Almod-var, despite his many critical hits, had always failed to nab the prize. But this year, his film "All About My Mother" swept seven awards and is the Oscar favorite for Best Foreign Film.
The 48-year-old director dedicated the award to his mother, who died just after the film was released.
"I read in the newspaper that (collecting other film awards) I've never mentioned my mother. I did it deliberately -- I was waiting for this occasion," he said.
STRAIGHT FROM STONE: That Sharon Stone can always be counted on for notable quotables. The 41-year-old actress, who co-stars with Ellen DeGeneres as a lesbian couple in a segment of HBO's "If These Walls Could Talk 2," declares to TV Guide, "I'm exactly like a gay woman except I don't have sex with women."
She goes on to say, "I have people who are prejudiced against me for all kinds of stupid things. Because I'm tall or because I'm an actress, whatever. You never walk into any environment that people don't decide as you walk through the door what they like and don't like about you. That's about life."
As for DeGeneres, she quips, "I learned that I'm exactly like a straight woman but I don't have sex with a man." Thank you both for sharing.
QUICK TAKES: Armyan Bernstein has been named ShoWest's Producer of the Year for his work on "The Hurricane," which he also co-wrote. The honor, given by the National Association of Theater Owners, will be awarded at ShoWest's convention March 9 in Las Vegas ...
... Atom Egoyan's "Felicia's Journey" won four Genies, Canada's equivalent to the Oscar, on Sunday. The film took honors for screenplay adaptation, actor (Bob Hoskins), cinematography and original score. Best motion picture went to "Sunshine," a Canadian-German-Austrian-Hungarian film starring Ralph Fiennes, which also won for overall sound and sound editing.