News Roundup: Sept. 16


Top Story

Actor-turned-director Peter Mullan‘s controversial film The Magdalene Sisters, which the Catholic Church has railed against as an “angry and rancorous provocation,” took the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival Sunday, Reuters reports. The film, which also won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, tells the story of three wayward women sent to live in an Irish convent in the 1960s and the abuse they suffered at the hands of the nuns there. Miramax Films, who has picked up the film for U.S. distribution, defended it Friday, stating Magdalene Sisters deals with the issue of abuse of women during that era, not just within the Catholic Church. Other winners at the festival included Canadian director David Cronenberg‘s Spider, starring Ralph Fiennes as a schizophrenic, which took best Canadian feature and The Whale Rider, a film from New Zealand, which took the People’s Choice award.


Elizabeth Taylor, who received radiation therapy for basal cell carcinoma–a type of curable skin cancer–this summer, has been given a clean bill of health by her doctor. Her spokeswoman told The Associated Press Friday there is no longer any signs of the disease.

Angelina Jolie is continuing her efforts as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by donating $100,000 toward food for Western Sahara refugees. “I hope to encourage other people to make themselves aware of this crisis facing the Western Saharan refugees and do what they can to help,” AP reports Jolie said in a statement. The refugees were displaced when Morocco annexed the Western Sahara in 1975.

Billy Joel just wants to be loved–is that so wrong? The singer told The New York Times Magazine “You can’t go home with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You don’t sleep with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You don’t get hugged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and you don’t have children with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I want what everybody else wants: to love and to be loved, and to have a family. Being in love has always been the most important thing in my life.” Please, somebody go hug that man.


F/X has decided not to renew the Baywatch spoof Son of the Beach, which was executive produced by shock jock Howard Stern and co-created by star Tim Stack. The three-part finale of the Tuesday night show, in which lifeguard Stack and his buxom staff patrol the beaches, will air Sept. 17, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1.


After she collapsed in her home in Stockholm last week, Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson was hospitalized with a brain tumor. Best known for hits such as “The Look” and “Joyride, ” Fredriksson, 44, will undergo more testing to determine proper treatment.

An Internet pornography company wants to buy the Napster trademark and domain address for $3 million. Private Media Group Inc. offered to snap up the bankrupt song-swapping company’s last remaining asset to capitalize on the brand identity for its peer-to-peer pornography network.