This is the face of a winner. Five-year-old affenpinscher Banana Joe pranced away Best in Show from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday night. Banana Joe (who has the best name ever) is the first of his breed to ever win the coveted title.
According to the New York Times, at an after-show press conference Westminster judge Michael Dougherty said of Joey (as his friends call him), "He's a fantastic affenpinscher, with a fantastic face, a great body. I've never had my hands on a better affenpinscher. Ever." Whoa, bold words, Dougherty, you're making us blush. For those who don't know their breeds, the affenpinscher is a German breed that dates back to the 1600s. They were originally bred to root rats out of stables. You've come a long way, Banana Joe.
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Of the 2,721 dogs who entered, only Joey and six other dogs made it to the final round: Matisse, a Portuguese water dog (just like the Obamas have); Honor, a bichon frisé (which is, shockingly, not a kind of a salad); Jewel, and American foxhound (not related to the American folk singer); Swagger, an Old English sheepdog (not related to Justin Bieber or the Old Spice deodorant); Oakley, a German wirehaired pointer (not to be confused with the sunglasses); and Adam, a smooth fox terrier (Eve competed in another category). It's clear that our little prize-winning gremlin had not only the best physique — thanks again, Dougherty, for that detailed description — but the best name.
So, Banana Joe, you've just one the Westminster Dog Show! What are you going to do now? Is there a Disney World trip in his future? No. He's going to retire, apparently. The Westminster win is just the cherry on top of a sundae of other "big, big show" wins for Joey, and it's now time for him to call it quits. The decision for Joey to retire is bittersweet for his handler, Ernesto Lara, who said of Joey's win, "I don’t think he has anything to prove. I’m not bragging, this is just the way he is. The best thing is that I was in cue with him. … This isn’t a breed you train. He’s like a human. You befriend him.” Joey will now leave Lara's care in Bowansville, Penn., and head back to the Netherlands, where he was born.
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But before he heads back to the land of tulips, Banana Joe will make his Broadway debut. The Associated Press reports that Joey will make an appearance for one night only in the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood on Wednesday. And then, at long last, Banana Joe will be able to settle down and take time to enjoy the finer things in life, like the glory of rolling around in the mud, chasing after mottled tennis balls, and eating bacon.
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[Photo Credit: Stan Honda/Getty Images]
My oh my, this week’s Once Upon a Time was a whale of an episode—and that’s not just because we finally learned the fairytale identity of Dr. Whale (David Anders)! Halloween has descended upon our three worlds and we’re here to Hook you up with all of the monsters, magic, and mysteries you may have missed in this week’s episode “The Doctor.”
Fairytale Land’s Past: The episode opens with Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle) teaching a smiling and generally happy Regina (Lana Parrilla) how to perfect her magical abilities, but when he tells her to snatch the heart from a unicorn, she refuses. The newly-crowned queen shakes her head. “I can’t, it’s innocent.” Rumple snaps back, “Nothing is innocent.” He then proceeds to grab the beating — and now glowing — heart from the animal and explains, “You see when you take a heart, it becomes enchanted. You’re not hurting the beast, your controlling it.” Regina later admits to Rumple in his estate that she is hoping to be able to bring someone back from the dead using magic. “I want true happiness,” she pleads. You guessed it! Regina wants to resurrect her former fiancé, Daniel the stable boy — the one who Cora (Barbara Hershey) killed when she ripped out his heart.
But Rumple instantly shuts down her foolish thoughts, saying that magic can do many things, but when someone is dead, that’s irreversible. “As long as you live in the past, you’ll never find your future,” he taunts to the wide-eyed Regina. At this point, the show’s most handsome fella Jefferson (Sebastian Stan) decides to weigh in on the topic. It appears that the Mad Hatter has been eavesdropping on their conversation, and he tells Regina that he knows of a "wizard" who may be able to do what she’s looking for. Jefferson introduces Regina to the man that we know as Dr. Whale, and says that the doctor is from a different realm, and has traveled here in search of a heart that is strong enough to withstand his “experimental” procedures.
Regina takes them to her mother’s vault and reveals Cora’s vast — and terrifying — collection of hearts. “She was a monster,” Regina says. The doctor agrees to operate on Regina’s beloved, but unfortunately the heart was not strong enough to bring back her source of happiness. A heart-broken Regina arrives in the forest (dressed head-to-toe in black leather, rawr!) to find Rumple training a new, “more dedicated” girl. “Dedicated?” the queen snarls. Regina then proves her dedication by ripping the heart out of the hopeful young witch and crushing it into dust. It’s clear that the kind-hearted and apprehensive Regina is gone — along with her ability to love. Later it’s revealed that Rumple set up the whole rouse, and promised the doctor an enchanted heart if he could break the heart of his young apprentice. Rumple turns to leave saying, “Thanks to your efforts, I’ve made my monster, and I do hope that you’ll be able to make yours.” Oooh creepy!
Fairytale Land’s Present: Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Aurora (Sarah Bolger) are heading back to their safe-haven island to tell the other fairytale characters of Cora’s Lancelot disguise. However, once they arrive at camp the women are horrified to see that everyone has been murdered. Cause of death? Their hearts have been ripped right out of their chests. Classic Cora move. Although at first there appears to be no survivors, one man — hidden under a pile of dead bodies, ew — is still alive. The ladies pull out who Mulan calls “just a blacksmith” but we as the super-smart audience recognize him right away as the oh-so handsome Killian Jones, aka Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue). Dun duun duuuun!
Hooks plays dumb, thanking the women for their kindness and hospitality, but it’s clear that Emma isn’t picking up the lies that the captain is laying down. After he seems a little too interested in their lives back in Sorybrooke and offers to guide them to a portal back home, Emma has had enough. “You’re not going to guide us anywhere until you tell us who you really are,” she demands while holding an extremely sharp dagger up to the pirate’s throat. BAMF. Hook continues to play dumb, so Emma does the most natural and logical thing: she ties him up to a tree and whistles for the ogres to come get their next meal. And then he cracks.
After revealing himself to be the most feared pirate in all the land, Hook begins to squeal like a frightened little piglet. “Cora wanted me to gain your trust so I could learn everything there is to know about your Storybrooke," he says. "She didn’t want any surprises when she finally got over there.” Hook admits that although the wardrobe was destroyed, the enchantment still remains. “The ashes will open a portal, but to find your land she needs more. There is an enchanted compass. I’ll help you obtain it before she does.” He pleads to the three badass women and Aurora. (So far the sleeping princess has been a total yawn.) Emma has just one question for him before she decides whether or not to let him go: Why does he want to go to Storybrooke? The answer is simple and sufficient: “To exact revenge on the man who took my hand, Rumplestilskin.” Hook is set free, and shows the ladies that the compass they need is located at the tippy-top of a sky-high beanstalk. “It’s not the climb you have to worry about. It’s the giant at the top,” he warns. Fee fi foe fum.
Storybrooke: The episode opens with Dr. Whale hoping to speak with Charming (Josh Dallas), but before he utters two words, the prince punches the smarmy man square in the jaw. Swoon! His reason? “For sleeping with my wife!” Whale stammers, “We were cursed!” — clearly the new version of the classic Friends excuse, “We were on a break!” After confirming that the prince is indeed searching for a portal back to fairytale land, Whales bursts in on Regina’s magic-withdrawals therapy sesh with Archie, and demands that she send him back to his world so that he can be with his deceased brother. Achie asks Regina about her selection process for who was placed under the curse, and she retorts, “I don’t care about Whale or his brother. I brought who I wanted.” Turns out Regina also brought her one-true love to Stroybrooke. “His name is Daniel. I preserved his body with an enchantment spell. He’s dead but frozen,” she practically whispers. But when Archie suggests that Regina needs to let go of the past before she can move on, the queen gets mighty pissed and storms out of the office.
On the stormy drive home, Regina thinks that she sees her beloved beau walking down the streets of Storybrooke, and it turns out she’s right! Daniel’s body is missing from his clear coffin, and Regina decides to confront Whale at the hospital. She enters a destroyed laboratory and finds a now one-armed Dr. Whale, covered in blood and lying on the floor. Whale says that he successfully brought Daniel back from the dead, however, her former fiancée has now become a full-fledged monster. Regina is overjoyed at the fact that Daniel has finally returned to her and tells Charming, “I think it’s like when you awoke from your coma. He’s following his final thoughts to where he last met me: The stables.”
Unfortunately, Henry (Jared Gilmore) is in the middle of his “how to be a knight” training and is at the stables bonding with his new noble steed. Daniel arrives, and naturally all of the horses freak the eff out because there is this half dead monster moaning about. Henry — after probably peeing his pants — sees the blood on Daniel’s hands and offers to help, but the monster decides that choking Henry is the best option. Luckily, Charming and Regina arrive just in time to save their grandson/son, and Regina begs for Charming not to hurt Daniel. “He’ll listen to me! Please!” she cries. It’s clear that Daniel does not recognize his former flame, and he proceeds to choke her as well. Regina whispers the classic spell-breaker, “I love you,” and light floods into the monster’s eyes. However, Daniel is in unbearable pain, and he begs Regina to move on and let him go. “No, I wont lose you again," she says. "Without you I’m lost." Just as Daniel is about to lunge for her throat again, Regina stops him and finally uses magic to send her one-true love to the afterlife.
Dr. Whale begs Rumple to re-attach his arm, and it only takes three words to get him to agree: “I need magic.” Whale tells Rumple that he brought Daniel back form the dead in hopes that Regina would send him back to his world. Whale explains, “I want to see my brother, to try and bring him back again. The first time ended badly.” Flashback to a world where everything is in black and white, and Dr. Whale (who’s real name is Victor) looms over a lifeless body on an operating table with his new, enchanted heart in his hand. The surgery — complete with lightening and fancy equipment — is a success, and the fingers of his stitched-together brother begin to twitch underneath the white sheet. His high-praising assistant whispers, “It’s magic, Dr. Frankenstein!” To which the doctor quickly corrects him, “No, not magic. It’s science.” Cue the thunder and lightening, and the screen fades to black.
What did you think of this week’s ultra-creepy Once Upon a Time? We’re you as bummed as we were that ABC ruined the Whale reveal in their promo? Excited to see Emma and Snow face the beanstalk giant next week? Cast your spell in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: ABC]
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Jaws. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Schindler's List. Jurassic Park. Saving Private Ryan. You'd think by now, after nearly forty years of directing, Steven Spielberg would be content kicking back and basking in the glory of his legacy. Not so.
In a rare instance for any director, especially someone as prolific Spielberg, December sees the release of two films by the Hollywood legend: The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse. One's an animated thrill ride in the vein of Indiana Jones, the other, a heartwarming tale of a boy and his horse, spread across the waitron landscapes of World War I Europe. Suddenly, I feel like I'm not living up to my potential.
I had a chance to sit in on an intimate discussion with the director, to discuss War Horse in detail, a rare look into a master's of cinema's process. The conversation is just as magical as you'd think:
On going from theatrical play to movie:
Steven Spielberg: One of the catharses for me and also helping me want to tell this story to audiences as a film was, something that’s just sort of hinted at in the play. There’s a little moment where the Jordy and the German are able to help Joey who’s trapped in barbed wire. It was a lovely moment in the play, very fleeting moment in the play, but it made a profound impact on me. That was a moment that Richard and I decided to to expand and to go deeper with.
But the greatest moment in the play - the great thing about theatre is there’s some illusions that you can only create on the boards that you can never create on film no matter how many digital tools that are at your disposal. And that was the amazing moment in the play where the little Joey becomes the adult Joey, and that incredible piece of theatricality. You can never do in a film.
On researching World War I:
SS: Well my first reaction every time I, I, I delve into an episode of history that I don’t know very much about is…my first reaction is anger that my teachers never taught me about it. Why didn’t I learn this in school? I think just Kathy, and I, Joanne and Janusz, a lot of us went to the Imperial War Museum, and they opened up all of their backroom exhibits that the public does not get to see on the First World War. We went back there and we saw some things, and we got statistics and learned so much that we didn’t know about, about the First World War. I wasn’t willing to bring out in the film, because this wasn’t meant to be a history lesson, so there’s nowhere in the film that says four and a half million horses were killed in the First World War. But it was important that we got to understand the kind of jeopardy both, Joey and his best horse friend, Top Thorn, were going to be in.
On “directing” the horses:
SS: Bobby Lovgren was our Horse Whisperer, and he had a tremendous team of real, gentle souls that understood how to connect with the gentle soul of an animal, of these horses. And I didn't think the horses could do what they turned out to have done in War Horse. I was hoping we would be able to get it all but I didn't think we could. So what I did was I storyboarded the entire film.
I also pre-visualized the film so that the trainers could either tell me, ‘This is impossible, no animal can do this. You better make this a CG horse,’ which I didn't ever want to do, or, ‘Yes, I think we can get the horse to do this.’ And they had several months or 3 or 4 months, to be able to come back to me with the result. And every time I pre-viz something, 85% of the time they said, we can achieve this. It hasn't been done before on film but we think we can get the horse to do this in a very humanitarian way. So I directed the horses through our Horse Whisperers. Did I go off and take the horse by the reins and go off to a quiet place to have a conversation with the horse? No, not once, not once. Do the Horses sometimes miss their mark and step out of their key light? Yes.
Here's the other thing that the horses did. This is something that you never plan for, sort of the miracle that I experienced making War Horse. The horses started to improvise beyond any of our wildest hopes and expectations. If the actors were keyed up and ready to flip out, like Emily Watson as the Mother, when Ted brings the wrong horse, the horses felt the vibrations of her anger through her performance and they were reactive. The one horse just started rubbing its face against Ted Narracott's body all through the scene. Not just one angle, but every angle. Every time he showed up, that horse would see him coming and start using him as a rubbing post. That's something that wasn't planned, wasn't pre-visualized, wasn't storyboarded. Every single day, the horses brought something we never expected them to bring.
On casting the unknown Jeremy Irvine:
SS: Well I'm a veteran of foolhardy casting choices. You know giving Drew Barrymore her first chance to know, to kind of help carry ET and getting Christian Bale his first film, to basically totally carry Empire of the Sun I've risked everything on new people who are really believed in. So for me I have no risk aversion. I don't feel any anxiety and longer in casting someone who has to literally carry a movie, if they had never done a movie before because if I think they've got it, then I can work with what they bring to me.
And Jeremy had it. Jeremy had a gift. He's affable. He made a tremendous connection with these animals even though he didn't ride until he made War Horse with us but there was just something about the spirit of his naïveté being a, sort of a young actor in training but never having been given a break. It reminded me of Joey. He never acted before either. So I had Jeremy who had never acted before. Had a horse that had never been in a movie before and I figured what the heck. Put them together. Let's see what happens.
On John Williams score:
SS: Well John's beautiful score was a direct result of John's reaction to the film which is the way he works. He has a musical intuition greater than any composer I know. He had a profound reaction to the movie that he saw and he just went away for six weeks and called me on the phone and his office is right next to mine. He's been living—we've had adjoining offices now for almost 25 years and he said, come over I want to play you a few sketches. He calls them sketches. And I came over to his piano and he played me four different sketches and I cried four different times. That's all I can say.
, his films and celebrated the land that he was shooting pictures on. So it wasn't really about John Ford it was more about an opportunity that availed itself to me because of how spectacular these locations were.
On the various looks of War Horse:
SS: I think there was three different pallets in the film that Janusz established, the pallet of these farmers just scratching out a living and, and failing miserably until Joey comes into their life, and that had a real sense of nature, the sky, the ground. Janusz waited for the light. We all waited for the right light. We waited for the right clouds to come over, and, uh, I haven’t waited for light in a long time [laughs]. I kept saying David Lean waited for light all the time, but, of course, he took 300 days to make a movie. We only took about, uh, 64 for this one.
And, of course, there’s a whole different color pallet in No Man’s Land from that moment almost up until the end, and finally when the sky is infused with—we had real sunsets three days in a row. So, the whole last few moments of the film are actual sunsets, supplemented with filters, but that, that was actually flaming orange-red sunsets that we were able to shoot.
On making a movie for younger audiences:
SS: Well you know I try to make, I try to make films you know as -- I don't really think I've discriminated against one audience in favor of another you know. Certainly if I make a movie like Saving Private Ryan that has an R-rating I don't expect you to attend. That's a movie like this is intended for everyone. I really didn't discriminate. I really didn't say this is going to be, to enlighten young audiences, bring them back during an era where the machine where the incomes of warfare supplanted the horse, the great paradigm shift where the horse was only four or five million horses were killed in what you want but also the horse was rendered more as a beast of burden and less of an implement of warfare after that.
Those are all lessons that we all learned in researching War Horse But that's not the reason I told the story either. Sometimes a story just connects with me and when they really connect with me so -- with such intensity that I have to make the movie. I have to direct a movie, not producers but direct it. I hope I can bring a lot of people along with me. I just don't ever say it's just for this audience and, and not that audience as well.
On being nervous while shooting a new film:
SS: I always hide my nervousness because everybody else is nervous. Why impose my burden on them? They've got their own problems to solve you know, memorizing their lines and figuring out how to play the scene that day and so I don't really expose my own process to anybody else because you know it's hard making movies. But I need to stay nervous. If I don't stay nervous I'm not going to direct anymore because nerves keep me honest.
Some days there's not and those are really hard days. But the day that there are it's better to-- it's better for me to come to the set with an open mind and an open heart that you come to the set with everything figured out like I've just built the iPAD you know. And I've tested it and I test marketed it and I know it's going to work you know. I don't know what's going to work until it works. And I also don't know what's not going to work until it fails. I just don't know. This is how I've directed all my life.
And that little bit of nervousness that I bring every day keeps me honest and keeps, keeps me from thinking I have all the answers and that's why I think I'm a very collaborative director because I rely on the people around me, Janusz and Kathy and in this case you know, you know Richard Curtis and Rick Carter the production designer and Joanna Johnston costume designer and my editor Michael Kahn. I mean, it's a great team I have and it takes a lot of the burden off me because I'm exposed and open to all of their collaborative notions as well. So it's, it's why I stick with the same people on every movie.
On his own animals:
SS: Well, I have my dog, Potter, a really funny looking thing, Border Terrier. Then I have my other dog, our family dog, Harlow who’s an Australian Shepherd. I’ve got three parrots, but I live with 12 horses, because my daughter who just turned 15 is a competitive jumper and she travels the country in competition jumping her horses. We have stables for as many as 12 horses. Right now, we have 8 on property living with us.
I’ve been living with horses now for about, 15 years. So, um, when I saw War Horse I was maybe even more ready to tell this story. When I realized I was about to direct War Horse, I had been so moved by the play and by the book that I actually went out to the stables and I just stood out there with my camera, my iPhone, and I just started photographing the horses from all angles. I just cried -- tried to see how many expressions can I get out of these horses, you know? [laughs] And when I realized that I couldn't get expression per say from the eyes and the face of the horse I realized by standing back that the horse expressed himself in, in his entire bearing. That the horse needed all four legs, his tail, the ears especially, and how the ears move in directing its attention to what it’s, it’s reacting to…you needed to get back to really, really see the magnificence of the horse. So, I spent a lot of time with that iPhone trying to figure out how to shoot the horse [laughs].