Music icon Billy Joel has opened up about trying heroin, revealing his high from the drug inspired his song Scandinavian Skies. The Piano Man celebrated his 65th birthday a week early on Monday (28Apr14) with a Town Hall event moderated by shock jock Howard Stern and broadcast live on Sirius XM.
During the meeting, Stern inquired about Joel's past drug use, and the singer confessed he once tried heroin and the result was the track Scandinavian Skies from his 1982 album, The Nylon Curtain.
Joel recalled, "This was back in the late '70s I think. We were in Amsterdam, and there was all this stuff going on, so I said 'Let me see what this is like.'
"It got me so high I didn't know how to deal with it. You just get way out, just go to another place, and you're into the blues. All you want to hear is the blues. You start drooling, and you get sick."
The star-studded event also included live performances by Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Boyz II Men, Idina Menzel and Tony Bennett, who sang covers of some of Joel's greatest hits.
The 2014 Sundance Film Festival lineup for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary competition and the out-of-competition NEXT section is officially here, and damn are we excited.
As the festival has evolved and grown, so has the long list of actors and directors who have eagerly jumped on board to be a part of the indie film scene, which means that the lineup of actors for the upcoming event is looking pretty solid. In 2014 we can look forward to seeing the works of those like Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, John Slattery, Aaron Paul, Kristen Stewart, and Mark Ruffalo, and comedians such as Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Lena Dunham, Jenny Slate, Aubrey Plaza, Amy Sedaris, and more.
The festival will run from Jan. 16 to 26 in Park City, Utah and will include 118 features. Still to come are the lineups for Slates for Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, Premieres and Documentary Premieres, and the new Sundance Kids category.
Check out the lineup so far (via Vulture):
Camp X-Ray / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) — A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, J.J. Soria, John Carroll Lynch.Cold in July / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) — After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man's life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell.Dear White People / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one's unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.God's Pocket / U.S.A. (Director: John Slattery, Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) — When Mickey's stepson Leon is killed in a construction "accident," Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy's mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro.Happy Christmas / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Swanberg) — After a breakup with her boyfriend, a young woman moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son. Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg.Hellion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) — When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, 13-year-old Jacob's delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother Wes with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father must finally take responsibility for their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home. Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars, Walt Roberts.Infinitely Polar Bear / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Maya Forbes) — A manic-depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don't make the overwhelming task any easier. Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide.Jamie Marks is Dead / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Carter Smith) — No one seemed to care about Jamie Marks until after his death. Hoping to find the love and friendship he never had in life, Jamie’s ghost visits former classmate Adam McCormick, drawing him into the bleak world between the living and the dead. Cast: Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Judy Greer, Madisen Beaty, Liv Tyler.Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter / U.S.A. (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi.Life After Beth / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love. Soon his whole world turns upside down... Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser.Low Down / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Preiss, Screenwriters: Amy Albany, Topper Lilien) — Based on Amy Jo Albany's memoir, Low Down explores her heart-wrenching journey to adulthood while being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, as he teeters between incarceration and addiction in the urban decay and waning bohemia of Hollywood in the 1970s. Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Flea.The Skeleton Twins / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson, Screenwriters: Craig Johnson, Mark Heyman) — Estranged twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront the reasons their lives went so wrong. As the twins' reunion reinvigorates them, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship. Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, Joanna Gleason.The Sleepwalker / U.S.A., Norway (Director: Mona Fastvold, Screenwriters: Mona Fastvold, Brady Corbet) — A young couple, Kaia and Andrew, are renovating Kaia´s secluded family estate. Their lives are violently interrupted when unexpected guests arrive. The Sleepwalker chronicles the unraveling of the lives of four disparate characters as it transcends genre conventions and narrative contrivance to reveal something much more disturbing. Cast: Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Stephanie Ellis.Song One / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kate Barker-Froyland) — Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives. Cast: Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen, Ben Rosenfield.Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons.
Appropriate Behavior / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Desiree Akhavan) — Shirin is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, a politically correct bisexual, and a hip, young Brooklynite, but fails miserably in her attempt at all identities. Being without a cliché to hold on to can be a lonely experience. Cast: Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson, Halley Feiffer, Scott Adsit, Anh Duong, Arian Moayed. World Premiere.Drunktown's Finest / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sydney Freeland) — Three young Native Americans—a rebellious father-to-be, a devout Christian woman, and a promiscuous transsexual—come of age on an Indian reservation. Cast: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline, Kiowa Gordon, Shauna Baker, Elizabeth Francis. World Premiere.The Foxy Merkins / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Olnek, Screenwriters: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, Madeleine Olnek) — Two lesbian hookers work the streets of New York. One is a down-on-her-luck newbie; the other is a beautiful—and straight—grifter who's an expert on picking up women. Together they face bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women, and each other in this prostitute buddy comedy. Cast: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, Alex Karpovsky, Susan Ziegler, Sally Sockwell, Deb Margolin.A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ana Lily Amirpour) — In the Iranian ghost town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, depraved denizens are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Dominic Rains, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnó, Milad Eghbali. World Premiere.Imperial Dreams / U.S.A. (Director: Malik Vitthal, Screenwriters: Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic) — A 21-year-old, reformed gangster's devotion to his family and his future are put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles. Cast: John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Glenn Plummer, Keke Palmer, De'aundre Bonds. World Premiere.Land Ho! / U.S.A., Iceland (Directors and screenwriters: Martha Stephens, Aaron Katz) — A pair of ex-brothers-in-law set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth through Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, and rugged campsites. This bawdy adventure is a throwback to 1980s road comedies, as well as a candid exploration of aging, loneliness, and friendship. Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Nelson, Alice Olivia Clarke, Karrie Krouse, Elizabeth McKee, Emmsjé Gauti. World Premiere.Listen Up Philip / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry) — A story about changing seasons and changing attitudes, a newly accomplished writer faces mistakes and miseries affecting those around him, including his girlfriend, her sister, his idol, his idol's daughter, and all the ex-girlfriends and enemies that lie in wait on the open streets of New York. Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter, Josephine de La Baume. World Premiere.Memphis / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Tim Sutton) — A strange singer drifts through the mythic city of Memphis, surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids. Under a canopy of ancient oak trees and burning spirituality, his doomed journey breaks from conformity and reaches out for glory. Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson. World Premiere.Obvious Child / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Gillian Robespierre) — An honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant, just in time for the worst/best Valentine's Day of her life. Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David Cross, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind. World Premiere.Ping Pong Summer / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Tully) — 1985. Ocean City, Maryland. Summer vacation. Rap music. Parachute pants. Ping pong. First crushes. Best friends. Mean bullies. Weird mentors. That awkward, momentous time in your life when you're treated like an alien by everyone around you, even though you know deep down you're as funky fresh as it gets. Cast: Susan Sarandon, John Hannah, Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris, Robert Longstreet, Marcello Conte. World Premiere.War Story / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Jackson, Screenwriters: Kristin Gore, Mark Jackson) — A war photographer retreats to a small town in Sicily after being held captive during the conflict in Libya. Cast: Catherine Keener, Hafsia Herzi, Vincenzo Amato, Donatella Finocchiaro, Ben Kingsley. World Premiere.
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITIONAlive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett) — Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease and dementia—many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted. All the Beautiful Things / U.S.A. (Director: John Harkrider) — John and Barron are lifelong friends whose friendship is tested when Barron's girlfriend says Barron put a knife to her throat and raped her. Not knowing she has lied, John tells her to go to the police. Years later, John and Barron meet in a bar to resolve the betrayal.CAPTIVATED The Trials of Pamela Smart / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Jeremiah Zagar) — In an extraordinary and tragic American story, a small town murder becomes one of the highest profile cases of all time. From its historic role as the first televised trial to the many books and movies made about it, the film looks at the media’s enduring impact on the case. The Case Against 8 / U.S.A. (Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White) — A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.Cesar's Last Fast / U.S.A. (Directors: Richard Ray Perez, Lorena Parlee) — Inspired by Catholic social teaching, Cesar Chavez risked his life fighting for America’s poorest workers. The film illuminates the intensity of one man’s devotion and personal sacrifice, the birth of an economic justice movement, and tells an untold chapter in the story of civil rights in America. Dinosaur 13 / U.S.A. (Director: Todd Miller) — The true tale behind one of the greatest discoveries in history. Day One film.E-TEAM / U.S.A. (Directors: Katy Chevigny, Ross Kauffman) — E-TEAM is driven by the high-stakes investigative work of four intrepid human rights workers, offering a rare look at their lives at home and their dramatic work in the field. Fed Up / U.S.A. (Director: Stephanie Soechtig) — Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz / U.S.A. (Director: Brian Knappenberger) — Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz achieved groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing. His passion for open access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Ivory Tower / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Rossi) — As tuition spirals upward and student debt passes a trillion dollars, students and parents ask, "Is college worth it?" From the halls of Harvard to public and private colleges in financial crisis to education startups in Silicon Valley, an urgent portrait emerges of a great American institution at the breaking point. Marmato / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Grieco) — Colombia is the center of a new global gold rush, and Marmato, a historic mining town, is the new frontier. Filmed over the course of nearly six years, Marmato chronicles how townspeople confront a Canadian mining company that wants the $20 billion in gold beneath their homes. No No: A Dockumentary / U.S.A. (Director: Jeffrey Radice) — Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD, then worked for decades counseling drug abusers. Dock's soulful style defined 1970s baseball as he kept hitters honest and embarrassed the establishment. An ensemble cast of teammates, friends, and family investigate his life on the field, in the media, and out of the spotlight. The Overnighters / U.S.A. (Director: Jesse Moss) — Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor's decision to help them has extraordinary and unexpected consequences.Private Violence / U.S.A. (Director: Cynthia Hill) — One in four women experience violence in their homes. Have you ever asked, “Why doesn't she just leave?” Private Violence shatters the brutality of our logic and intimately reveals the stories of two women: Deanna Walters, who transforms from victim to survivor, and Kit Gruelle, who advocates for justice. Rich Hill / U.S.A. (Directors: Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos) — In a rural, American town, kids face heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds, and dream of a future of possibility. Watchers of the Sky / U.S.A. (Director: Edet Belzberg) — Five interwoven stories of remarkable courage from Nuremberg to Rwanda, from Darfur to Syria, and from apathy to action. WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
52 Tuesdays / Australia (Director: Sophie Hyde, Screenplay and story by: Matthew Cormack, Story by: Sophie Hyde) — Sixteen-year-old Billie’s reluctant path to independence is accelerated when her mother reveals plans for gender transition, and their time together becomes limited to Tuesdays. This emotionally charged story of desire, responsibility, and transformation was filmed over the course of a year—once a week, every week, only on Tuesdays. Cast: Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Herbert-Jane, Imogen Archer, Mario Späte, Beau Williams, Sam Althuizen. International Premiere.Blind / Norway, Netherlands (Director and screenwriter: Eskil Vogt) — Having recently lost her sight, Ingrid retreats to the safety of her home—a place she can feel in control, alone with her husband and her thoughts. But Ingrid's real problems lie within, not beyond the walls of her apartment, and her deepest fears and repressed fantasies soon take over. Cast: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt. World Premiere.Difret / Ethiopia (Director and screenwriter: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari) — Meaza Ashenafi is a young lawyer who operates under the government's radar helping women and children until one young girl's legal case exposes everything, threatening not only her career but her survival. Cast: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere. World Premiere.The Disobedient / Serbia (Director and screenwriter: Mina Djukic) — Leni anxiously waits for her childhood friend Lazar, who is coming back to their hometown after years of studying abroad. After they reunite, they embark on a random bicycle trip around their childhood haunts, which will either exhaust or reinvent their relationship. Cast: Hana Selimovic, Mladen Sovilj, Minja Subota, Danijel Sike, Ivan Djordjevic. World Premiere.God Help the Girl / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Stuart Murdoch) — This musical from Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian is about some messed up boys and girls and the music they made. Cast: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Cora Bissett, Pierre Boulanger. World Premiere.Liar's Dice / India (Director and screenwriter: Geetu Mohandas) — Kamala, a young woman from the village of Chitkul, leaves her native land with her daughter to search for her missing husband. Along the journey, they encounter Nawazudin, a free-spirited army deserter with his own selfish motives who helps them reach their destination. Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Geetanjali Thapa, Manya Gupta. International Premiere.Lilting / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Hong Khaou) — The world of a Chinese mother mourning the untimely death of her son is suddenly disrupted by the presence of a stranger who doesn't speak her language. Lilting is a touching and intimate film about finding the things that bring us together. Cast: Ben Whishaw, Pei-Pei Cheng, Andrew Leung, Peter Bowles, Naomi Christie, Morven Christie. World Premiere.
Lock Charmer (El cerrajero) / Argentina (Director and screenwriter: Natalia Smirnoff) — Upon learning that his girlfriend is pregnant, 33-year-old locksmith Sebastian begins to have strange visions about his clients. With the help of an unlikely assistant, he sets out to use his newfound talent for his own good. Cast: Esteban Lamothe, Erica Rivas, Yosiria Huaripata. World Premiere.To Kill a Man / Chile, France (Director and screenwriter: Alejandro Fernandez Almendras) — When Jorge, a hardworking family man who's barely making ends meet, gets mugged by Kalule, a neighborhood delinquent, Jorge's son decides to confront the attacker, only to get himself shot. Even though Jorge's son nearly dies, Kalule's sentence is minimal, heightening the friction. Cast: Daniel Candia, Daniel Antivilo, Alejandra Yañez, Ariel Mateluna. World Premiere.Viktoria / Bulgaria, Romania (Director and screenwriter: Maya Vitkova) — Although determined not to have a child in Communist Bulgaria, Boryana gives birth to Viktoria, who despite being born with no umbilical cord, is proclaimed to be the baby of the decade. But political collapse and the hardships of the new time bind mother and daughter together. Cast: Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova, Kalina Vitkova, Mariana Krumova, Dimo Dimov, Georgi Spassov. World Premiere.Wetlands / Germany (Director: David Wnendt, Screenwriters: Claus Falkenberg, David Wnendt, based on the novel by Charlotte Roche) — Meet Helen Memel. She likes to experiment with vegetables while masturbating and thinks that bodily hygiene is greatly overrated. She shocks those around her by speaking her mind in a most unladylike manner on topics that many people would not even dare consider. Cast: Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Meret Becker, Axel Milberg, Marlen Kruse, Edgar Selge. North American Premiere.White Shadow / Italy, Germany, Tanzania (Director: Noaz Deshe, Screenwriters: Noaz Deshe, James Masson) — Alias is a young albino boy on the run. His mother has sent him away to find refuge in the city after witnessing his father's murder. Over time, the city becomes no different than the bush: wherever Alias travels, the same rules of survival apply. Cast: Hamisi Bazili, James Gayo, Glory Mbayuwayu, Salum Abdallah. International Premiere.
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
20,000 Days On Earth / United Kingdom (Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard) — Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international culture icon Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, this film examines what makes us who we are and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit. World Premiere.Concerning Violence / Sweden, U.S.A., Denmark, Finland (Director: Göran Hugo Olsson) — Concerning Violence is based on newly discovered, powerful archival material documenting the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation in the Third World, accompanied by classic text from The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon. World Premiere.The Green Prince / Germany, Israel, United Kingdom (Director: Nadav Schirman ) — This real-life thriller tells the story of one of Israel’s prized intelligence sources, recruited to spy on his own people for more than a decade. Focusing on the complex relationship with his handler, The Green Prince is a gripping account of terror, betrayal, and unthinkable choices, along with a friendship that defies all boundaries. World Premiere.
Happiness / France, Finland (Director: Thomas Balmès) — Peyangki is a dreamy and solitary eight-year-old monk living in Laya, a Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. Soon the world will come to him: the village is about to be connected to electricity, and the first television will flicker on before Peyangki's eyes. North American Premiere.Love Child / South Korea, U.S.A. (Director: Valerie Veatch) — In Seoul in the Republic of Korea, a young couple stands accused of neglect when "Internet addiction" in an online fantasy game costs the life of their infant daughter. Love Child documents the 2010 trial and subsequent ruling that set a global precedent in a world where virtual is the new reality. World Premiere.Mr leos caraX / France (Director: Tessa Louise-Salomé) — Mr leos caraX plunges us into the poetic and visionary world of a mysterious, solitary filmmaker who was already a cult figure from his very first film. Punctuated by interviews and previously unseen footage, this documentary is most of all a fine-tuned exploration of the poetic and visionary world of Leos Carax, alias Mr. X. World Premiere.My Prairie Home / Canada (Director: Chelsea McMullan) — A poetic journey through landscapes both real and emotional, Chelsea McMullan’s documentary/musical offers an intimate portrait of transgender singer Rae Spoon, framed by stunning images of the Canadian prairies. McMullan’s imaginative visual interpretations of Spoon’s songs make this an unforgettable look at a unique Canadian artist. International Premiere.The Notorious Mr. Bout / U.S.A., Russia (Directors: Tony Gerber, Maxim Pozdorovkin) — Viktor Bout was a war profiteer, an entrepreneur, an aviation tycoon, an arms dealer, and—strangest of all—a documentary filmmaker. The Notorious Mr. Bout is the ultimate rags-to-riches-to-prison memoir, documented by the last man you'd expect to be holding the camera. World Premiere.Return to Homs / Syria, Germany (Director: Talal Derki) — Basset Sarout, the 19-year-old national football team goalkeeper, becomes a demonstration leader and singer, and then a fighter. Ossama, a 24-year-old renowned citizen cameraman, is critical, a pacifist, and ironic until he is detained by the regime's security forces. North American Premiere.SEPIDEH – Reaching for the Stars / Denmark (Director: Berit Madsen) — Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. As a young Iranian woman, she knows it’s dangerous to challenge traditions and expectations. Still, Sepideh holds on to her dream. She knows a tough battle is ahead, a battle that only seems possible to win once she seeks help from an unexpected someone. North American Premiere.We Come as Friends / France, Austria (Director: Hubert Sauper) — We Come as Friends views colonization as a human phenomenon through both explicit and metaphoric lenses without oversimplified accusations or political theorizing. Alarmingly, It is not a historical film since colonization and the slave trade still exist. World Premiere.Web Junkie / Israel (Directors: Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia) — China is the first country to label “Internet addiction” a clinical disorder. Web Junkie investigates a Beijing rehab center where Chinese teenagers are deprogrammed. World Premiere.
Soul star Stevie Wonder is revamping his classic tunes for a new orchestral album he is working on with songwriting pal David Foster. The singer is hoping to release When the World Began next year (14) after recording tracks with a symphony orchestra in London.
The project will feature revamped hits, rarities and new songs.
Wonder tells RollingStone.com, "We got together (on) New Year's Eve and we worked out some things. I played some things in a different way and he (Foster) did some arrangements, and there's some new stuff that I wrote that never was released.
"One song that I wrote when I was 13 - Tony Bennett did it a long, long time ago, called This Town - I'm gonna do it on this album. And there's a song I wrote recently, called When the World Began. I wrote the words, like, last week.
"It is a lot of things that I have done, old material, but doing it a different way. I'm going to do about three or four new songs as well. We did Isn't She Lovely with the orchestra and I wrote another verse to it. And we did I Just Called to Say I Love You."
And the soul man is also working on a gospel album tribute to his late mother.
He adds, "(It's called) Gospel Inspired By Lula... I promised her I would do it. She always wanted me to do it before she passed away... We've been working on some songs and some ideas. So we're going to complete that as well.
"We're going to do some traditional gospel stuff, but I'm thinking about doing a gospel song in Arabic. I'm going to twist it all up in different ways, because I think everyone needs to hear the word of the gospel."
R&B legend Bobby 'Blue' Bland, who influenced everyone from Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett to The Band and Van Morrison, died June 23 at his home in Germantown, Tenn., a small town near Memphis. He was 83.
Though not a household name like B.B. King, Bland was every bit as much a pioneer, albeit an unlikely one. He never played an instrument or wrote music, and he dropped out of school in the third grade to pick cotton. But his velvet voice and relaxed stage presence set him apart from his contemporaries. "I’d like to be remembered as just a good old country boy that did his best to give us something to listen to and help them through a lot of sad moments, happy moments, whatever," Bland said in 2009 on the House of Blues Radio Hour.
If the blues typically burn hot, with stories about heartbreak, grief, and trials of the flesh, Bland lowered the temperature. Sure, in his early days in the mid-1950s playing clubs and serving as an opening act for other blues musicians, he mimicked the B.B. King approach, wailing and sobbing on songs like "It’s My Life, Baby" and "Farther Up the Road" as if hell had come to earth. But by 1958, Bland partnered with trumpet-player Joe Scott and radically changed his style.
Drawing from mellow crooners like Perry Como, Nat King Cole, and Tony Bennett, Bland started to convey laid-back intimacy with his vocals. He abandoned his falsetto and embraced a slow-burn approach that would influence decades of soul acts after him, like Redding and Pickett. It’s why "That’s the Way Love Is" broke out of the R&B chart to become a Top 40 pop hit in 1963. And when Kanye West was looking for some molasses-smooth soul to add to Jay-Z’s "Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)" on 2001’s The Blueprint, he sampled Bland's 1974 lament "Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City."
In the late '60s and '70s, his gentle approach to the blues influenced The Band, who recorded his 1964 song "Share Your Love With Me" themselves, and Van Morrison, who was known to play Bland's "Ain’t Nothing You Can Do" in his live shows.
That's why he got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. And it's why we’re still listening to his music now. The only thing bland about Bobby 'Blue' was his name.
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In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
Last night, viewers were treated to a particularly emotional Grammy Awards. Naturally, the tributes to the deceased Whitney Houston were some of the most moving moments of the night, and in recent television. But many rising artists had a lot to celebrate; particularly, Adele, who swept the awards with four major wins. Check below for a complete list of winners from the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, and for a recap, hop over to our Seven Things You Need to Know About the 2012 Grammys list.
Album of the Year
21 by Adele
Record of the Year
"Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
Best New Artist
Best Country Album
Own the Night by Lady Antebellum
Song of the Year
“Rolling In The Deep” by Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)
Best R&B Album
F.A.M.E. by Chris Brown
Best Rock Performance
“Walk” by Foo Fighters
Best Rap Performance
“Otis” by Jay-Z and Kayne West
Best Pop Solo Performance
“Someone Like You” by Adele
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Body and Soul” by Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse
Best Pop Instrumental Album
The Road from Memphis by Booker T. Jones
Best Pop Vocal Album
21 by Adele
Best Dance Recording
“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” by Skrillex
Best Dance/Electronica Album
“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” by Skrillex
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Duets II by Tony Bennett & Various Artists
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
“White Limo” by Foo Fighters
Best Rock Song
“Walk” by Foo Fighters
Best Rock Album
Wasting Light by Foo Fighters
Best Alternative Music Album
Bon Iver by Bon Iver
Best R&B Performance
“Is This Love” by Corinne Bailey Rae
Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Fool For You” by Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
Best R&B Song
“Fool For You” by Cee Lo Green, Melanie Hallim, Jack Splash
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
“All Of The Lights” by Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie
Best Rap Song
“All Of the Lights” by Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West
Best Rap Album
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
Best Country Solo Performance
“Mean” by Taylor Swift
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars
Best Country Song
“Mean” by Taylor Swift
Best New Age Album
What’s It All About by Pat Metheny
Best Improvised Jazz Solo
“500 Miles High” by Chick Corea
Best Jazz Vocal Album
The Mosaic Project by Terri Lyne Carrington & Various Artists
Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Forever by Corea, Clarke & White
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
The Good Feeling by Christian McBride Big Band
Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music
“Jesus” by Le’Andria Johnson
Best Gospel Song
“Hello Fear” by Kirk Franklin
Best Contemporary Christian Music Song
“Blessings” by Laura Story
Best Gospel Album
Hello Fear by Kirk Franklin
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
And If Our God Is For Us… by Chris Tomlin
Best Latin Pop, Rock, Or Urban Album
Drama Y Luz by Maná
Best Regional Mexian Or Tejano Album
Bicentenario by Pepe Aguilar
Best Banda Or Norteno Album
Los Tigres Del Norte And Friends by Los Tigres Del Norte
Best Tropical Latin Album
The Last Mambo by Cachao
Best Americana Album
Ramble At the Ryman by Levon Helm
Best Bluegrass Album
Paper Airplane by Alison Krauss & Union Station
Best Blues Album
Revelator by Tedeschi Trucks Band
Best Folk Album
Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
Best Regional Roots Music Album
Rebirth of New Orleans by Rebirth Brass Band
Best Raggae Album
Revelation Pt 1: The Root Of Life by Stephen Marley
Best World Music Album
Tassili by Tinariwen
Best Children’s Album
All About Bullies… Big And Small
Best Spoken Word Album
If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) by Betty White
Best Comedy Album
Hilarious by Louis C.K.
Best Musical Theater Album
The Book of Mormon: Josh Gad & Andrew Rannells; Anne Garefino, Robert Lopez, Stephen Oremus, Trey Parker, Scott Rudin & Matt Stone (producers); Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone (composers/lyricists)
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1: Various Artists
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
The King’s Speech by Alexandre Desplat
Best Song Written For Visual Media
“I See The Light (From Tangled)” by Alan Menken & Glenn Slater, songwriters (Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi)
Best Instrumental Composition
"Live In Eleven” by Béla Fleck & Howard Levy, composers (Béla Fleck & The Flecktones)
Best Instrumental Arrangement
“Rhapsody In Blue” by Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band)
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
“Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” by Jorge Calandrelli, arranger (Tony Bennett & Queen Latifah)
Best Recording Package
Scenes From the Suburbs, Caroline Robert, art director (Arcade Fire)
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge of Town Story by Dave Bett & Michelle Holme, art directors (Bruce Springsteen)
Best Album Notes
Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads & Beyond As Recorded By the San Francisco Bay By Chris Strachwitz In The 1960s, Adam Machado, album notes writer (Various Artists)
Best Historical Album
Band On the Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection — Deluxe Edition), Paul McCartney, compilation producer; Sam Okell & Steve Rooke, mastering engineers (Paul McCartney & Wings)
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Paper Airplane, Neal Cappellino & Mike Shipley, engineers; Brad Blackwood, mastering engineer (Alison Krauss & Union Station) Producer Of the Year, Non-Classical Paul Epworth
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
“Cinema (Skrillex Remix)” by Sonny Moore, remixer (Benny Benassi)
Best Surround Sound Album
Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (Super Deluxe Edition), Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Bill Levenson & Elliot Scheiner, surround producers (Derek & The Dominos)
Best Engineered Album, Classical
Aldridge: Elmer Gantry, Byeong-Joon Hwang & John Newton, engineers; Jesse Lewis, mastering engineer (William Boggs, Keith Phares, Patricia Risley, Vale Rideout, Frank Kelley, Heather Buck, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra) Producer Of the Year, Classical Judith Sherman
Best Orchestral Performance
“Brahms: Symphony No. 4” by Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
Best Opera Recording
“Adams: Doctor Atomic” by Alan Gilbert, conductor; Meredith Arwady, Sasha Cooke, Richard Paul Fink, Gerald Finley, Thomas Glenn & Eric Owens; Jay David Saks, producer (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
Best Choral Performance
“Light & Gold” by Eric Whitacre, conductor (Christopher Glynn & Hila Plitmann; The King’s Singers, Laudibus, Pavão Quartet & The Eric Whitacre Singers)
Best Small Ensemble Performance
“Mackey: Lonely Motel — Music From Slide” by Rinde Eckert & Steven Mackey; Eighth Blackbird
Best Classical Instrument Solo
“Schwantner: Concerto For Percussion & Orchestra” by Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Christopher Lamb (Nashville Symphony)
Best Classical Vocal Solo
“Diva Divo” by Joyce DiDonato (Kazushi Ono; Orchestre De L’Opéra National De Lyon; Choeur De L’Opéra National De Lyon)
Best Contemporary Classical Composition
“Aldridge, Robert: Elmer Gantry” by Robert Aldridge & Herschel Garfein
Best Short Form Music Video
“Rolling In The Deep” by Adele; Sam Brown, video director; Hannah Chandler, video producer
Best Long Form Music Video
“Foo Fighters: Back And Forth” by Foo Fighters; James Moll, video director; James Moll & Nigel Sinclair, video producers Grammy Trustees Award Dave Bartholomew, Steve Jobs, and Rudy Van Gelder
The month of July was overshadowed by the sudden and shocking death of British singer Amy Winehouse. The Back to Black hitmaker was found dead at her home in London at the age of 27 and the news sent the world of showbusiness into mourning. Tributes poured in from both fans and famous friends following the tragedy, and Winehouse's music shot back into the charts.
The headlines were also dominated by celebrity divorces as Jennifer Lopez announced her split from husband of seven years, Marc Anthony, the father of her young twins, Max and Emme. Arnold Schwarzenegger's marriage also came to an abrupt end as his wife Maria Shriver filed for divorce following revelations the actor/politician fathered a lovechild with the family's housekeeper.
Scarlett Johansson's divorce from Ryan Reynolds was finalised and Patricia Arquette's split from husband Thomas Jane was also made official.
In happier news, all eyes were on Monaco as the world geared up for the second royal wedding of the year, following the union of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in April. In the same month as the British royals flew to Canada to begin their first international tour as a married couple, Prince Albert of Monaco married his fiancee, South African beauty Charlene Wittstock. The couple exchanged vows in two ceremonies in Monte Carlo and the former swimmer became her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco. British supermodel Kate Moss also became a married woman as she wed rocker Jamie Hince in a lavish ceremony in the English countryside, while it was also an exciting month for the Beckham family as former Spice Girls star Victoria, already mother to three boys, gave birth to her first daughter, Harper Seven.
There was also baby joy for Hollywood actress Kate Hudson - she welcomed a son called Bingham with her rocker fiance Matt Bellamy. Singer Jewel, actress Selma Blair and former Fugees star Lauryn Hill also became parents. British artist/director Sam Taylor-Wood also hit headlines after she confirmed she was expecting a second baby with her 21-year-old fiance, actor Aaron Johnson, a year after the birth of their daughter. The couple met on the set of their 2009 film Nowhere Boy and became parents together in 2010.
July also saw troubled British rocker Pete Doherty granted his freedom after serving less than half of his six-month prison sentence for cocaine possession. Another beleaguered star to walk free from jail was rapper DMX, who served seven months behind bars for a probation violation. However, David Gilmour’s son Charlie found himself on the other side of the prison walls as he was ordered to serve 16 months in jail for his part in the 2010 student riots in London. The Pink Floyd star’s son was charged with violent disorder for causing chaos in the British capital and swinging from a flag on the city’s Cenotaph war memorial. (LR/ZN)
The usual serenity of the summer months was shattered this year when Kate Winslet cheated death in a devastating inferno at Richard Branson's luxury island home, and a string of British stars appealed for calm as widespread rioting broke out in the U.K.
Winslet was holidaying at Virgin boss Branson's Necker Island retreat when lightning struck the property, sparking a huge blaze which gutted the home. Her party of 20 miraculously escaped unscathed - and Winslet was later hailed a heroine after it emerged she carried Branson's 90-year-old mother from the property during the drama.
As unrest, looting, and arson broke out for several nights in the U.K., showbiz stars including Idris Elba, Natasha Bedingfield and Boy George called for calm, and there was also bad news for Sir Paul McCartney - who learned his phone had been hacked by the tabloid press - and veteran actress Margot Kidder, who was arrested during an environment protest at the White House.
Tragedy struck at the Indiana State Fair, when a horrific stage collapse left seven revellers dead and more than 40 injured, actor Rowan Atkinson was treated in hospital after wrecking his rare sports car by crashing it into a tree, and French actor Gerard Depardieu was left red-faced when he was thrown off a plane in Paris, France for urinating in the cabin after he was refused access to the toilet during take-off.
It was ladies night at the MTV Video Music Awards as Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga took home two honours each - and Beyonce announced her pregnancy news. And at the Teen Choice Awards, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez were crowned queens of the event when they scooped whopping 11 awards between them.
Kings of Leon finally succumbed to their relentless touring schedule and axed their remaining U.S. dates to allow frontman Caleb Followill to recover from "vocal issues and exhaustion", Aerosmith rocker Tom Hamilton and Deep Purple star Jon Lord both announced they were battling cancer, Bono was hospitalised with chest pains, and Norwegian pop band A-ha thrilled fans by announcing they were to reform.
In family news, Kiss star Paul Stanley became a father again, and there were also welcome additions for Ethan Hawke, funnywoman Tina Fey, illusionist David Copperfield, Jessica Alba, and Benicio del Toro, who fathered a child with Rod Stewart's daughter Kimberly.
There were wedding bells for country singer Chely Wright and filmmaker Sofia Coppola, but romance took a plunge for George Michael and Geri Halliwell, who both split from their partners. Also joining the singles club was Arctic Monkeys rocker Alex Turner, who broke up with MTV presenter Alexa Chung after four years together.
The showbiz world bid farewell to songwriting legend Jerry Leiber, who died of cardiopulmonary failure at the age of 78, Police Academy star Charles 'Bubba' Smith, Bollywood veteran Shammi Kapoor, blues legend David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, Warrant rocker Jani Lane, and Motown hitmaker Nickolas Ashford. (ZN/LR)
September was a month rapper T.I. would like to both remember and forget - he completed an 11-month prison sentence for a probation violation only to run into legal trouble again soon after his initial release for conducting illegal business deals on his way to a halfway house. It wasn't a great month for Madonna either - her movie take on the romance between Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII was savaged by critics at the Venice Film Festival, while her ex-husband Guy Ritchie became a dad again.
Celine Dion was left shaken up after an intruder was found running a bath at her Montreal, Canada home; Neil Diamond revealed his engagement, and Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial got underway in Los Angeles as prosecutors attempted to prove the medic was responsible for Michael Jackson's death.
R.E.M. announced they were splitting after 31 years; My Chemical Romance fired drummer Michael Pedicone after accusing him of stealing from them; Boyzone singer Ronan Keating swam the Irish Sea for Cancer Research in the U.K., and Sir Paul McCartney became a grandfather again and was named the MusiCares Person of the Year - while he also celebrated as his first ballet score debuted in New York.
The Amy Winehouse Foundation was launched on what would have been the tragic singer's 28th birthday, and the star's Body & Soul duet with Tony Bennett became a hit, making the 85-year-old crooner the oldest living artist to have a single in America's Hot 100.
Eddie Murphy was confirmed as the host for the 2012 Oscars; model Lauren Bush became Lauren Lauren when she exchanged vows with Ralph Lauren's son David; British funnyman David Walliams braved the chills of the River Thames and a stomach bug to complete a charity 140-mile swim in eight days.
Actress Evan Rachel Wood lost a tooth during a boozy night out in Paris; Reese Witherspoon was hospitalised after she was hit by a car while out jogging in Santa Monica, California; soul legend Chaka Khan won temporary custody of her granddaughter after claiming the girl's mother was struggling with drug abuse issues, and British The Saturdays singer Una Healy announced she was pregnant.
INXS dropped frontman J.D. fortune for a second time and replaced him with Ciaran Gribbin; Austin Powers henchman Joseph Son was sentenced to life behind bars for a Christmas Eve rape in 1990, and George Clooney went public with his new girl, Stacey Kiebler, at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada.
Ashton Kutcher had a month of ups and downs - his debut on TV sitcom Two and a Half Men was a big hit as 28 million Americans tuned in, but then came the news that his marriage to Demi Moore was in trouble amid infidelity rumours. Comedienne Wanda Sykes opened up about her breast cancer battle and double mastectomy; Sharon Stone won a restraining order against an obsessed fan and promptly put the home he visited uninvited on the market, and reality TV star and filmmaker Jack Osbourne announced his engagement to actress Lisa Stelly and followed that up with the news he was to become a dad.
Third time was not the charm for Clueless star Stacy Dash, who announced her plans to divorce husband number three, Emmanuel Xuereb, and X-Men star James Marsden's wife also joined the divorce club as she filed papers against her husband. Elizabeth Hurley's love life was on the up - she accepted cricket star Shane Warne's wedding proposal just three months after divorcing Arun Nayar.
Meanwhile, Elton John launched his new Million Dollar Piano residency in Las Vegas; Smokey Robinson accepted the coveted Ella Award at the Society of Singers Gala, and the month wrapped up with Shania Twain's alleged stalker pleading guilty to harassing the singer in court in Ontario, Canada.
Among September's Hollywood weddings, Amy Smart married reality TV star Carter Oosterhouse; Cougar Town co-stars David Rogers and Sally Pressman became man and wife, and model-turned-actress Molly Sims wed in a Napa Valley vineyard in California. There were also nuptials for British filmmaker Michael Winner and DJ/producer Mark Ronson, while R&B singer Keyshia Cole and former Friends star David Schwimmer both renewed vows with their spouses in Hawaii and London, respectively.
There was baby news for model Jodie Kidd, who gave birth to a son; actress Mary McCormack, who became a mum for the third time, and January Jones, who welcomed Xander Dane to the world while staying mum about the tot's father. Actors Emily Deschanel, Ana Ortiz, Mike Myers, Danny McBride and Jenna Fischer also became new parents. In the music world, former Spice Girl Melanie Brown gave birth to her third daughter, and country star John Rich and former Pussycat Dolls member Carmit Bachar welcomed babies too.
On September's sick list were rocker Scott Weiland and pop stars Katy Perry and Adele, who both scrapped shows due to illness, while Megadeth headbanger Dave Mustaine underwent surgery for a serious neck injury.
The month's big winners included movie mogul Tyler Perry, who was named Forbes magazine's Highest Paid Man in Entertainment; actor Michael Fassbender and director Alexander Sokurov, who claimed Best Actor and Best Film honours, respectively, for Shame and Faust at the Venice Film Festival. Gritty TV drama Boardwalk Empire picked up eight Emmy Awards; Calle 13 landed a record 10 Latin Grammy Award nominations, and Happy Days star Henry Winkler picked up an honorary Order of the British Empire medal at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Also winning: P.J. Harvey, who scooped the Mercury Prize in Britain, Arcade Fire, who claimed Canada's Polaris Prize, and U2 and Rolling Stone Keith Richards, who were named GQ magazine's Men of the Year.
September's losers included Scarlett Johansson, who was left exposed in a series of leaked naked phone photos; Cameron Diaz, who split from baseball beau Alex Rodriguez, and John Travolta, whose beloved Mercedes-Benz was stolen outside a Jaguar dealership in Santa Monica, while his Swordfish co-star Halle Berry broke her foot while on location in Spain.
Meanwhile, we said a sad goodbye to a slew of famous faces, including actors Andy Whitfield and Cliff Robertson; beloved TV stars Mary Fickett and Vesta Williams; actor Jack Garner; French DJ Mehdi Faveris-Essadi; blues great Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith; R&B hitmaker Vesta Williams; gospel icon Jessy Dixon; celebrated British writer/producer David Croft; Happy Gilmore star Frances Bay, and moviemakers David Pressman, Charles Dubin, George Kachar and Paul Hunt. (KL/MT)
October was a big month for celebrity weddings - funnyman Seth Rogen tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Lauren Miller, Twilight star Nikki Reed married singer/songwriter Paul McDonald, and former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress Shannen Doherty walked down the aisle for the third time when she exchanged vows with celebrity photographer Kurt Iswarienko. Also hoping to make it third-time lucky was Robin Williams, who wed graphic designer Susan Schneider.
Also taking the plunge was Kiss rocker Gene Simmons, who married his girlfriend of 28 years, Shannon Tweed, and Sir Paul McCartney, who exchanged vows with American heiress Nancy Shevell on what would have been his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon’s 71st birthday.
And Sex & the City star Mario Cantone made good use of New York's new gay rights bill by solidifying his love for longtime partner Jerry Dixon.
A number of other stars announced their intention to wed in October - NCIS: Los Angeles star Eric Christian Olsen proposed to girlfriend Sarah Wright and Trace Cyrus popped the question to Disney actress Brenda Song. And actress Kaley Cuoco was sporting a new sparkler after boyfriend Josh 'Lazie' Resnik got down on bended knee. Also officially off the market were former child star Frankie Muniz, The Devil Wears Prada actor Stanley Tucci, rapper The Game and Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love's grown-up little girl Francis Bean Cobain.
A number of other celebrities were prepping their homes for babies - movie star Bruce Willis, American footballer Tony Romo, former Dawson's Creek hunk James Van Der Beek, and actress Kaitlin Olson all announced they are expecting little ones, and Jessica Simpson ended months of speculation by announcing she was pregnant.
And October's new parents included Ne-Yo, who welcomed a baby boy, model Ali Landry, who gave birth to her second child, actress Spencer Grammer, who became a first time mum, and France's First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who became a mum for the second time when baby Giulia was born. Reality TV star Tori Spelling took home baby number three, as did Jackass funnyman Johnny Knoxville. And Sex & the City beauty Kristin Davis, The Help actress Viola Davis and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation veteran Mariska Hargitay all adopted babies.
But it wasn't such a happy month for rapper Rick Ross, who suffered two seizures on his way to a concert, or socialite Kim Kardashian who filed for divorce from husband Kris Humphries after just 72 days of marriage.
In other news, Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto announced he was gay and troubled actress Lindsay Lohan had her probation revoked after failing to complete her required community service hours. She also faced a limousine lawsuit for allegedly neglecting to pay a bill, her dad was arrested - twice, and she was served a lawsuit for reportedly attacking a Betty Ford Clinic employee during her stay there last year (10).
Meanwhile, the stars came out to show their support for the Occupy Wall Street protests, which were originally launched in New York City in a bid to end corporate greed, and the world mourned the loss of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, British TV and radio personality Sir Jimmy Savile, The Charlie Daniels Band keyboard player Joel 'Taz' Digregorio, former Weezer star Mikey Welsh, veteran British actress Betty Driver, The Miracles guitarist Marv Tarplin, pianist Roger Williams and IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, who died in a horrific car smash at the Indy300.
British bachelor Hugh Grant stunned the world when he announced he had a new love in his life - a baby girl he had fathered during a brief relationship with Chinese model/actress Tinglan Hong. He wasn't the only star to join the celebrity parents' club in November - singer Lily Allen had a reason to Smile again after giving birth to a daughter, her first child with new husband Sam Cooper, while newsman Piers Morgan and his wife Celia Walden also became parents to a little girl. Maggie Gyllenhaal and her husband Peter Sarsgaard announced they were expecting their second child, as did reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian and her partner Scott Disick.
Selena Gomez revealed she is set to become a big sister, while Justin Bieber had some unwanted baby news of his own - he found himself at the centre of a paternity scandal following allegations he had impregnated 20-year-old Mariah Yeater following a backstage tryst in Los Angeles last year (10). The Baby hitmaker denied the claim and Yeater subsequently dropped the lawsuit.
Lindsay Lohan's troubles hit the headlines again after she was sentenced to serve 30 days behind bars for a probation violation, although she was released after less than five hours due to jail overcrowding. Dr. Conrad Murray was not so lucky - he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter relating to the death of Michael Jackson and sentenced to the maximum of four years behind bars.
In other legal matters, country singer Mindy McCready sparked a manhunt after she took her five-year-old son Zander from his father's Florida home without permission; Tim McGraw won a court battle with his record company bosses releasing him from his contract; and TLC star T-Boz declared bankruptcy.
Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling became driving forces in the push to improve British press standards following the News of the World phone-hacking scandal earlier this year (11) - the three stars were called to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry and told how they had had their voicemails, emails and other private messages intercepted by private investigators working on behalf of tabloid reporters.
The sporting world mourned the death of boxing great Joe Frazier at the age of 67, just days after it was revealed he was battling liver cancer, while the hip-hop industry was rocked by the passing of rap icon Heavy D, who collapsed outside his Los Angeles home and was later declared dead at 44. British moviemaker Ken Russell also passed away, aged 84, and longtime Oscars producer Gil Cates died at 77. Meanwhile, Beatles fans remembered George Harrison on 29 November as fans marked the 10th anniversary of his death.
Veteran pop star George Michael was forced to scrap the remainder of his European tour after he was struck down by a serious bout of pneumonia; Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb also spent time in hospital after suffering abdominal pains, and Adele and Keith Urban had a quiet month as they both recovered from vocal cord surgery, while heavy rock fans rejoiced as the original members of Black Sabbath announced they would be reuniting for a new album and tour in 2012.
It was ladies' night at the American Music Awards as Taylor Swift and Adele walked away with three honours each, while Lady Gaga reigned over the MTV Europe Music Awards and newlyweds Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton ruled the Country Music Association Awards by taking home the two top vocalist prizes. November also saw Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher end weeks of speculation about their marriage by calling it quits, while Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles tied the knot and Anne Hathaway began making plans to wed boyfriend Adam Schulman, and former The Hills star Kristin Cavallari and American footballer Jay Cutler became engaged again, months after they broke off their initial plans to marry.
And it was a busy month for the film industry - the latest Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn - Part 1, landed the biggest global debut in the film franchise's history, thanks to a massive $284 million (£177.5 million) opening weekend haul; Golden Globes bosses decided to bring back controversial comedian Ricky Gervais to host his third prizegiving in 2012; Billy Crystal stepped in for Eddie Murphy as the host of the 2012 Academy Awards a day after the comic and producer pal Brett Ratner resigned, and the race for the Oscars kicked off with the Gotham Independent Film Awards, where Terrence Malick's Tree of Life and Mike Mills' acclaimed Beginners made history when they became the first films to tie for the Best Feature prize in the ceremony's 21-year history.
The holiday bells were peeling for newlyweds A.J. McLean, actress Judy Greer, reality TV star Jeff Probst and Yeah Yeah Yeahs rocker Karen O, while Sinead O'Connor married an addiction counsellor in Las Vegas only to call off the union 16 days later. There were also splits for actress Debra Messing and Chaz Bono.
Britney Spears led the month's bride and grooms-to-be when she accepted former agent Jason Trawick's proposal on his 40th birthday, while Steven Tyler, John Legend, Matthew McConaughey, basketball legend Michael Jordan and Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood all popped the question to their girlfriends - and there was baby news for new dads Robert De Niro, Halle Berry's ex Eric Benet, actor Charlie Day, Westlife star Kian Egan, actress/singer Fantasia Barrino, Essence Atkins and pop star Dev, while actress Alyson Hannigan, Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, Kings of Leon star Caleb Followill's supermodel wife Lily Aldridge, Alessandra Ambrosio and Irish singer Andrea Corr announced they were pregnant.
There was drama for rapper Tyler, The Creator, who was arrested for alleged acts of vandalism during a show in Hollywood; singer Christina Perri, who was attacked in a car-jacking incident; Barry Manilow, who underwent hip surgery, and Morrissey, whose concert in Puebla, Mexico was evacuated following an earthquake, while Britain's Prince Philip and R&B star Etta James spent Christmas in hospital.
Lindsay Lohan bared all for Playboy magazine; Adam Lambert was arrested in Finland following a pre-Christmas bust-up with his boyfriend; rapper The Game halted a gig in Norway to confront a bottle-throwing fan; boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was sentenced to 90 days in jail for a 2010 fight with his ex; a man who leaked an unfinished new Madonna song online was arrested in Spain, and Michael Douglas' incarcerated son Cameron was handed an extra four-and-a-half years behind bars for another drug conviction.
And there was yet more drama for Terrence Howard, who requested a restraining order against his wife; model Lauren Scruggs, who lost her hand and an eye in a freak plane propeller accident; Hollywood couple Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart, who had to vacate their home after high winds brought a tree crashing into their living room, and pop star Selena Gomez suffered a family tragedy when her mother miscarried.
Meanwhile, Jodie Foster's estranged father was jailed for five years after he was found guilty of a property scam; Angelina Jolie was sued by a Croatian journalist who alleged his chronicle of the Bosnian War inspired her directorial debut; Kirsten Dunst won a restraining order against an obsessed French fan; an extra died of a heart attack while shooting The Dark Knight Rises in New York; Goodfellas actor Tony Darrow was sentenced to six months behind bars for arranging a real-life mob beating, and Charlie Sheen had to change his phone number when he accidentally tweeted it to his followers.
The month's big winners included singer Melanie Amaro, who became the first U.S. X Factor winner; Julio Iglesias, who was named Spain's best-selling recording artist of all time; Russell Simmons, who was crowned PETA's Person of the Year; Chaka Khan, who won permanent custody of her granddaughter; Lady Gaga, who was hailed the year's highest earning female musician, and Taylor Swift who picked up Billboard magazine's coveted Woman of The Year honour.
Also winning in December: Guns N' Roses, the Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were all announced as the members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2012, and Twilight star Kristen Stewart, who was named Forbes magazine's Most Lucrative Star. Adele dominated the year's end album and singles polls; Jason Newsted reunited with Metallica for their 30th anniversary bash in San Francisco, and Martin Scorsese's first 3D movie Hugo was the surprise Best Film winner at the National Board of Review Awards in America.
In other movie news, Transformers: Dark of The Moon was named the year's most mistake-ridden film; Orson Welles' Citizen Kane Oscar sold at auction for $861,000; Drive dominated the Satellite Awards while The Help, The Artist and The Descendants picked up the lion's share of nominations for the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, In The Land of Blood and Honey, also picked up Golden Globes nods and she was named the 2012 recipient of the Stanley Kramer Award at the Producer's Guild of America Awards.
In music news, Amy Winehouse's posthumous album debuted at number one in Britain; 30 Seconds To Mars broke a concert record at a show in New York - their 309th in a single album cycle, and Gucci Mane was released from prison.
Wrapping up the month, Oscar winner Colin Firth was immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds in London; Men's Health magazine bosses crowned Jennifer Aniston the Hottest Woman of All Time; Liz Taylor's diamonds and gems set a new auction record by becoming the most valuable private jewellery collection; LMFAO were forced to abandon a gig in Honduras after a fire broke out at the venue; Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins announced her split from fiance Gethin Jones, and Coldplay rang in 2012 with a $1.6 million gig in Abu Dhabi.
And the last month of the year saw the notable deaths of actor Bill McKinney, soul stars Dobie Gray and Howard Tate, M*A*S*H regular Harry Morgan, Clark Gable and Loretta Young's love child Judy Lewis, actress Doe Avedon Siegel, former child star Susan Gordon, country singer Billie Jo Spears, Aussie actor Graham Bown, world leaders Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong-Il, songwriter Ralph MacDonald, Kojak star Dan Frazer, directors Don Sharp and Yoshimitsu Morita, writer Christopher Hitchens and Tarzan's chimp sidekick Cheetah, who died of liver failure, aged 80.
Comic-Con. The mecca of pop culture.
Movies, TV, Comic and Gaming enthusiasts will gather in the temperate California town for a five-day, pop culture extravaganza, where the top dogs in every field come to showcase their latest and greatest products. Whether it's the Hall H premiere trailer of a new summer blockbuster, the cast meet and greet in Ballroom 20 for the hot new TV show or just a sit down with some insightful creator-types in a dark and dingy backroom, SDCC is always full of surprises and this year looks to be no different.
We'll be there on the ground floor picking up all the news bites as they break, but you can check out the schedule for the first two days below -- and better prepare for the onslaught of updates!
Friday, July 22
10:00-11:00 LEGO Star Wars— A behind-the-brick look with the LEGO Star Wars team at how the epic Star Wars story comes together with the creativity and imagination of the LEGO brand. Additionally, be among the first to hear about a special LEGO Star Wars entertainment event, and meet Emmy award-winning writer Michael Price. Also includes Q&A time. Room 7AB
10:00-11:00 Torchwood: Miracle Day— John Barrowman (Doctor Who) and Eve Myles (Doctor Who) join cast members Mekhi Phifer (ER), Bill Pullman (Independence Day), Alexa Havins (All My Children), and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), along with writer Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica), to discuss the fourth installment of the hit BBC Worldwide show, a Starz Originals co-production, currently airing Friday nights at 10 ET/PT on Starz. Ballroom 20
10:15-11:15 Star Trek: The Captains— William Shatner is joined by fellow Star Trek captain Avery Brooks to present a preview of the EPIX Pictures original documentary produced and directed by Shatner, in which he travels the world to interview all the actors who've played Starfleet captains. This lively discussion and Q&A session is moderated by Comic-Con fave Kevin Smith. Room 6BCF
10:30-11:30 Locke & Key FOX Pilot Screening— The most talked-about pilot not on the fall schedule was the FOX production of Locke & Key. This screening of the entire pilot will show you just what a void there will be on your TVs this fall. Watch the special filmed adaptation of Welcome to Lovecraft, and see the Eisner-nominated comic brought to life. Can't get in to see it this morning? Don't worry...there's a rescreening tonight at 9:15 in Room 6DE! Room 8
11:00-12:00 Radical Publishing— Radical will announce its imprint deal with Sam Worthington's production company, Full Clip, and introduce the writers and artists working on those projects. Panelists include Sam Worthington (Avatar), John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz (Full Clip Productions), Rick Remender (The Last Days of American Crime), Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier), Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer), and Radical Studios president Barry Levine. Radical will also give the inside scoop on Sam Worthington's attachment to Rick Remender's The Last Days of American Crime. Room 24ABC
11:00-12:00 Paramount: The Adventures of Tin-Tin— TBA Hall H
11:15-12:15 AMC's The Walking Dead— Stars Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Jon Bernthal (The Pacific), Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), Laurie Holden (The Mist), Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints), Steven Yeun (The Big Bang Theory), Jeffrey DeMunn (The Green Mile); series creator/writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption); executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator); executive producer Robert Kirkman (creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic book series); and makeup artist and consulting producer Greg Nicotero discuss the success of season one of AMC's series The Walking Dead and reveal what to look forward to in season two, which will air on AMC this Fall. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of season two. Ballroom 20
11:30-12:30 Halo Universe— Frank O'Connor, Kevin Grace, and others from 343 Industries, as well as special Halo guests Greg Bear and Karen Traviss, discuss the first 10 years of Halo and offer a sneak peek into what's next for this exciting sci-fi universe. Room 6BCF
11:30-12:30 Locke & Key Panel— Make your plans to watch the Locke & Key TV pilot at 10:30, then join Eisner-nominated creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, along with Locke & Key TV pilot writer Josh Friedman, for a frank discussion of the show, the comic, and what's coming up in Clockworks, the second-to-last story arc in the acclaimed series (or is it?). Room 8
11:45-12:45 Nickelodeon & DreamWorks Animation: Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness— The bodacity continues as Po the panda punches his way onto a new animated series. Executive producer Peter Hastings and supervising producers Randy Dormans band Gabe Swarr present an exclusive sneak peek into the new series by Nickelodeon and Dreamworks. This panel will also include select moments with voice cast members Mick Wingert (Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special), James Hong (Kung Fu Panda 2), Kevin Michael Richardson (Penguins of Madagascar), and John DiMaggio (Penguins of Madagascar), followed by a screening. Moderated by Megan Casey, executive in charge for Nickelodeon. Room 6A
12:00-1:00 ABC Family: The Nine Lives of Chloe King— An exclusive sneak peek of an upcoming episode of The Nine Lives of Chloe King, followed by a Q&A session with the cast and producers. The cast in attendance includes Skyler Samuels (The Gates) as Chloe King, Amy Pietz (The Office) as Meredith King, Grey Damon (True Blood, Friday Night Lights) as Brian, newcomer Grace Phipps as Amy, Benjamin Stone (Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter video game series) as Alek, Alyssa Diaz (Shark Night 3D) as Jasmine, and Ki Hong Lee (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Paul. The executive producers are Dan Berendsen and, from Alloy Entertainment, Gina Girolamo. The Nine Lives of Chloe King airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on ABC Family. Room 23ABC
12:15-1:15 Relativity Media: Raven and Haywire— Two fantastic films from Relativity Media debut in this Hall H presentation.Raven -- The film is a gritty thriller in which Edgar Allan Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who's using Poe's own works as the basis for a string of brutal murders. Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, Luke Evans, and Alice Eve and is directed by James McTeigue.Haywire -- An electrifying tale of espionage and betrayal. A female covert ops specialist who works in the deadly world of international operatives strikes back after discovering she's been double-crossed by someone close to her in the agency. Mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano makes her feature film -- and Comic-Con -- debut, starring and performing her own high-adrenaline stunts. Also appearing is director Stephen Soderbergh.
12:30-1:30 The Big Bang Theory Screening and Q&A— Dr., Dr., Dr., Dr., Dr., Mr., Miss...See everyone's favorite scientists (and engineer and waitress) from The Big Bang Theory as the show's producers and stars return to San Diego with a special screening and Q&A. Executive producers Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men), Bill Prady (Dharma & Greg), and Steve Molaro (iCarly) join stars Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), Jim Parsons (Garden State), Kaley Cuoco (Charmed), Simon Helberg (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), Kunal Nayyar (NCIS), Mayim Bialik (Blossom), and Melissa Rauch (True Blood) for a fun and lively discussion. From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS, and The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 13. Ballroom 20
12:45-1:45 Legendary Pictures: Preproduction Preview— Legendary Pictures holds its first-ever Comic-Con panel and shares an early look at some of the movies on the company's upcoming film slate. Fans will be able to access Legendary's plans, garner sneak peeks at their movies in preproduction, and hear from filmmakers and cast members from the upcoming Pacific Rim, Seventh Son, Paradise Lost, and Mass Effect. Panel participants include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Guillermo del Toro, Ben Barnes, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Alicia Vikander, Alex Proyas, Sergei Bodrov, Travis Beacham, Mark Protosevich, and Casey Hudson. Room 6BCF
1:30-2:30 Screen Gems: Underworld 4— Underworld 4 brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D. Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrior Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find that humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species. Appearing in person are Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, Len Wiseman (producer and director of Underworld and Underworld: Evolution), and directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein. Hall H
1:30-2:30 Adult Swim: Childrens Hospital— See a never-before-screened episode of Childrens Hospital and hear from the show's creative team led by Rob Corddry (Cedar Rapids) and Jon Stern (The Ten). They will be joined by members of their ensemble cast of comedic heavyweights, including Malin Akerman (Couples Retreat), Lake Bell (No Strings Attached), Erinn Hayes (Parenthood), Rob Huebel (I Love You Man), and Megan Mullally (Will and Grace). Childrens Hospital explores the emotional struggles and sexual politics of a group of doctors charged with healthy libidos. The panel will close with a sneak peek at Adult Swim's newest live-action comedy, NTSF:SD:SUV::, featuring creator and star Paul Scheer (The League). NTSF:SD:SUV:: is a clandestine team of government agents working to protect San Diego from numerous terrorist threats coming in daily from such evil countries as Mexico, Canada, and Guam. This team of highly trained operatives has only one job: saving your ass so you can drive your Prius and see your movies in 3D without worrying about living in a country run by no-good terrorists. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1:45-2:45 Bones— Creator/executive producer Hart Hanson, executive producer Stephen Nathan, and stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel discuss the shocking finale of Bones Season 6 as well as what's in store for Booth and Brennan in an exciting Season 7! Hanson will also introduce the audience to the stars of The Finder, his new FOX series premiering in January. Plus, Q&A! Ballroom 20
2:00-3:00 Green Lantern: The Animated Series Video Presentation and Q&A— Warner Bros. Animation brings the Green Lantern to television in a new CG-animated action series for Cartoon Network from world-renowned producer, artist, and animator Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series). Based on the DC Comics superhero, Green Lantern: The Animated Series centers on Hal Jordan and his partner Kilowog, who find themselves alone on the edge of the Guardian Frontier fighting off an invasion by the deadly Red Lantern Corps. Timm headlines a panel -- moderated by Warner Bros. Animation's Sam Register (Teen Titans) -- that also features producer Giancarlo Volpe (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and producer/story editor Jim Krieg (Ben 10: Alien Swarm). In addition to the Q&A, fans in attendance will be treated to footage prepared exclusively for Comic-Con. Don't miss out, or you'll be waiting 'til 2012! Room 6BCF
2:15-3:15 Exclusive Screening of ABC's Newest Supernatural Series, The River— From the studio that brought you Lost comes a new adventure set deep in the Amazon. Executive producers Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Michael Green (Green Lantern), and Zack Estrin (Tru Calling), along with cast members Joe Anderson (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Eloise Mumford (Lone Star), and Leslie Hope (24), present an exclusive screening and a Q&A of their much-anticipated new series, The River. All attendees will get a limited-edition Comic-Con giveaway. Room 6A
2:45-3:45 DreamWorks: Fright Night— Colin Farrell (The Way Back), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Imogen Poots (Jane Eyre), Dave Franco (Charlie St. Cloud), director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), and screenwriter Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) take the dais to give fans a taste of the horrific fun to come in DreamWorks Pictures' 3D reimagining of the classic horror film. Hall H
3:00-4:00 Eureka— Small town. Big panel. Syfy's smash hit Eureka is back at Comic-Con. Colin Ferguson (Jack Carter), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison Blake), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo), and guest star Felicia Day (Dr. Holly Martin) join executive producers Jaime Paglia and Bruce Miller for a chat about the big secrets of America's smartest little town. Moderated by guest star Wil Wheaton (Dr. Isaac Parrish; Wesley Crusher, Star Trek: Next Generation). Ballroom 20
3:00-4:00 Bob's Burgers— Bob's Burgers creator/executive producer Loren Bouchard, executive producer Jim Dauterive, and cast members H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal entertain animation fans with hilarious never-before-seen footage from season two, followed by a Q&A. Room 23ABC
3:15-4:15 Falling Skies— TNT's powerful drama series Falling Skies follows a group of survivors who band together after a devastating alien invasion has incapacitated most of the world. Ordinary people are called upon to fight back against the occupying alien force as they struggle for the survival of the human race. Join stars Noah Wyle (ER), Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation), Will Patton (Armageddon), Drew Roy (Secretariat), Collin Cunningham (Living in Your Car), and Sarah Sanguin Carter (Shark) and co-executive producer Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) in a Q&A, and watch exclusive never- before-seen footage from Falling Skies. Room 6BCF
3:30-4:30 ThunderCats Premiere Episode Screening and Q&A— Comic-Con, ho! From the moment this series was announced, fans have answered the call -- now, the wait is over as Warner Bros. Animation is proud to bring you the world premiere of this new reimagining of the beloved '80s franchise. Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wily Kit, and Snarf are back! After the screening, producers Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender), art director Dan Norton (G.I. Joe: Resolute, and members of the voice cast will discuss what viewers can expect in the first season of this exciting new series. ThunderCats premieres in a special one-hour episode on Friday, July 29 at 8/7c on Cartoon Network. Room 6A
3:30-4:15 Adult Swim: Robot Chicken— Seth Green (co-creator, Robot Chicken), Matthew Senreich (co-creator, Robot Chicken), and Tom Root (head writer, Robot Chicken) discuss the popular Adult Swim series. The series uses stop-motion animation to bring pop culture parodies to life in a modern take on the variety/sketch show format. In Robot Chicken, no pop culture target is safe. Legions of action figures are used to spoof everything from reality television and Star Wars to past presidents. Moderated by Keith Crofford, vice president of production, Adult Swim. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
4:00-5:00 Developing Interactive Entertainment: The Performance Capture Techniques of the Uncharted Franchise and Today's Film Industry— Naughty Dog has consistently led the industry in adopting advanced performance capture processes and technology to propel their critically acclaimed Uncharted video game franchise to greater heights of quality and presentation. Launching in November, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception delivers character-driven narrative and dramatic action sequences to create an engaging experience that grounds the player in the game world with relatable and believable characters. Moderated by USA Today's Mike Snider, Uncharted 3's creative director Amy Hennig and cast members Nolan North, Richard McGonagle, and Emily Rose discuss the influence of theatrical techniques and styles from the history of film that have helped the team produce interactive entertainment. Room 25ABC
4:00-5:30 Sony— Sony returns to Hall H with a stellar lineup of films and talent, including:Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance -- After blazing a trail around the globe in the worldwide hit Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Columbia Pictures' Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter, Blaze is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider again, but it is the only way to protect the boy -- and possibly rid himself of his curse forever. Live on stage: directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank) and stars Nicolas Cage, Idris Elba, and Johnny Whitworth.30 Minutes or Less -- From Ruben Fleischer, the director of Zombieland, comes the action comedy 30 Minutes or Less. In the movie, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network and Zombieland) is a small town pizza delivery guy whose mundane life collides with the big plans of two wannabe criminal masterminds (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). The duo kidnap Nick and force him to rob a bank. With only a few hours to pull off the impossible task, Nick enlists the help of his ex-best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari). As the clock ticks, the two must deal with the police, hired assassins, flamethrowers, and their own tumultuous relationship. Talent in attendance includes director Ruben Fleischer and stars Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Michael Peña.Total Recall -- Welcome to Rekall, the company that with one little implant can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his ordinary existence. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. With the line between fantasy and reality blurred and the fate of his world hanging in the balance, Quaid goes on the run to discover his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. Based on Philip K. Dick's classic story "I Can Remember It for You Wholesale," this new take on some of his most visionary ideas is directed by Len Wiseman and stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, and John Cho, all of whom will be appearing.The Amazing Spider-Man -- The Amazing Spider-Man is back on the big screen, shot in 3D for the first time, and will be swinging into your neighborhood on July 3, 2012. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, and Martin Sheen, as well as Sally Field, and directed by Marc Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man's new creative team will be taking a whole new direction in the unfolding saga of everyone's favorite web-slinger. Appearing in person are producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, director Marc Webb, and our own Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy -- Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
4:15-5:15 Warehouse 13— For one day only, America's top-secret treasure trove is moving from the middle of nowhere to the middle of Comic-Con. Stars Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Saul Rubinek (Artie Nielsen), and Allison Scagliotti (Claudia Donovan), along with executive producer Jack Kenny, take you inside Syfy's blockbuster hit series, Warehouse 13. Moderated by Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo, Eureka). Ballroom 20
4:30-5:30 Marvel Television Presents: Anime on G4— Marvel Television and G4 take your favorite characters -- Iron Man, Wolverine, The X-Men, and Blade -- to Japan to tell their stories in a whole new way, beautifully animated by the anime masters at Madhouse. Hosted by Attack of the Show's Blair Butler, watch a never-before-seen episode with Marvel's head of TV Jeph Loeb and surprise guests. Plus, get a sneak peek at The X-Men's explosive first episode. Room 6BCF
4:45-5:45 Phineas and Ferb— Hear from the brilliant minds behind the series, Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, along with voice talent Vincent Martella (Everybody Hates Chris), Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure), and Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad). See exclusive footage and hear all the scoop about their upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, which premieres August 5. Moderated by Matt Blum of Wired.com's Geek Dad. Room 6A
5:00-6:00 BBC America's Bedlam: Exclusive U.S. Premiere Screening and Q&A— Star Theo James (Downtown Abbey) and creator David Allison (Boy Meets Girl) host a premiere screening event followed by discussion and Q&A. Bedlam Heights, the stylish new apartment building, has sexy tenants and gorgeous amenities. But little do its new residents suspect that behind the luxury fittings lay unimaginable horrors. This is a place tainted by abuse, suffering, and death -- and the ghosts of its dark and violent past are out for revenge. As the direct descendent of those who ran the asylum, Kate (Charlotte Salt, The Tudors) -- who both lives and works there -- is a prime target. She is surprised by the unexpected arrival of Jed (James), her adopted cousin. With a history of mental illness, Jed is a troubled man who sees ghosts and visions of the past. Recent messages to "Save Kate" propel him back into Kate's life. Can he really "Save Kate"? And from whom, or what, does she need saving? Everybody has a dark side in this new series also starring Ashley Madekwe (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), Hugo Speer (Skins), and Will Young (Pop Idol winner, Skins). Bedlam premieres October 8 on BBC America's Supernatural Saturdays. Room 7AB
5:00-6:00 The World of Capcom— Capcom fans won't want to miss this opportunity to learn about all the new games coming from their favorite video game publisher. Plus, get in-depth details straight from Capcom's stellar producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi (Resident Evil 4) about his exciting new open-world action adventure game, Dragon's Dogma. Producer Jason Leigh talks about the zombie-infested streets of Fortune City in Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, and producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya discusses the new over-the-top rollercoaster IP, Asura's Wrath. Followed by a Q&A session. Room 25ABC
5:30-6:30 True Blood Panel and Q&A session— Mixing romance, suspense, mystery, and humor, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated True Blood kicked off its 12-episode fourth season June 26 on HBO. The series follows the on-and-off romance between waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people's thoughts, and 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Oscar and Emmy award winner Alan Ball created and serves as executive producer of the series, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. The series -- and this panel! -- also features Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse, Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte, Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton, Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette, Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby, Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam, Joe Manganiello as Alcide, and Kevin Alejandro as Jesus. Moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly. Ballroom 20
5:45-6:45 Spartacus: Vengeance— Liam McIntyre (McLeod's Daughters) makes his Comic-Con debut, along with Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), Manu Bennett (30 Days of Night), Dustin Clare (Underbelly), and Katrina Law (Legend of the Seeker). Executive producer Steven S. DeKnight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) joins the cast to discuss the upcoming second season, titled,Spartacus: Vengeance, expected to air on Starz in January 2012, and the exclusive content found on the Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Blu-ray discs, available September 13. Room 6BCF
6:00-7:00 Hermes Press / Dark Shadows The Classic Series and the New Tim Burton Film— Lara Parker (Angelique from Dark Shadows), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans and Josette DuPres from Dark Shadows), Jim Pierson (consulting producer for the new Dark Shadows film), and Daniel Herman (publisher, Hermes Press) talk about the classic show, the comic book, and print tie-ins and reveals up-to-date news and some surprises about the upcoming Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp, along with a Q&A session. Room 4
6:00-7:00 Alphas— Syfy's newest original series Alphas has taken the summer by storm -- and it's just the beginning. David Strathairn (Dr. Lee Rosen) and fellow cast members, plus creator and executive producer Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand; The Avengers) and executive producer Ira Steven Behr (Star Trek: The Next Generation; The 4400), reveal why impossible is what Alphas do best. Moderated by Geoff Boucher ("Hero Complex," Los Angeles Times). Room 6A
6:00-7:00 Girls Gone Genre— Come talk with women who write, read, game, and perform in arenas that are statistically dominated by men. What happens when traditionally "male" genres are reinvented by female writers and embraced by female fans? Sex and the City it ain't. Meet the women who like to play with trucks and Barbies. And Wolverine action figures. And flux capacitors. Moderator Jenna Busch is joined by panelists Marti Noxon (screenwriter/producer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Mad Men, Fright Night), Gale Anne Hurd (producer, The Walking Dead, Terminator, Aliens), and Marjorie Liu (writer, X-23, Daken: Dark Wolverine, Black Widow, Dirk & Steele novel series). Room 25ABC
6:00-7:00 At the Drive-In— Come with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when one of the few places you could see some offbeat genre films and a slew of trailers was at your local Drive-In. We're trying something new at Comic-Con this year by giving some up and coming genre filmmakers an evening berth to preview their upcoming films. So as San Diego gets darker tonight, so will Hall H as we welcome our first guests to the Virtual Drive-In:Grave Encounters -- Locked in an actual abandoned mental hospital, the crew of a ghost-hunting reality show find themselves trapped in a psychotically endless and deadly labyrinth. Written and directed by The Vicious Brothers, Grave Encounters, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, takes the found footage horror genre to a terrifying new level. Appearing on stage: The Vicious Brothers.Tucker & Dale vs. Evil --Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count. Tucker & Dale Vs Evil has been a hit on the festival circuit, debuting at Sundance, and winning the Midnight Audience Award at SXSW, the Jury Prize for First Feature at Fantasia, the Best Director award at Fantaspoa, and the Best Motion Picture Award at Sitges. Confirmed panelists include Eli Craig, Alan Tudyk, and Tyler Labine.
6:30-7:30 Resident Evil Round-Up!— 2011 marks the 15th anniversary of the legendary video game franchise that gave fear a face and horror a home. Get the latest information about the newest entries to the Resident Evil franchise: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, with producer Rey Jimenez; Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS; the gorgeous reimagining of Resident Evil 4 HD; and Resident Evil Code Veronica X HD, plus some surprises! Followed by a Q&A session. Room 5AB
7:00-8:00 Sushi Girl— Sushi Girl chronicles the story of five friends who reunite six years after a diamond-job-gone-wrong to eat sushi off a naked girl. Sure enough, the thieves can't help opening old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot, and all mayhem ensues. This film marks the return to the big screen for Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Noah Hathaway (Neverending Story) and also features cast members Tony Todd (Candy Man), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Andy Mackenzie (Shoot 'Em Up), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight), and Cortney Palm (Sunday Morning High). The legendary Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill) also stars. Kern Saxton (Deader Living Through Chemistry) directed and co-wrote with Destin Pfaff (Millionaire Matchmaker). Producers Neal Fischer (Fight Club) and Suren Seron (Forever Plaid) and moderator Ted Stryker (KROC) round out the panel. Meet the entire cast and creators and witness the world premiere of the official trailer, followed by Q&A session. Room 25ABC
7:30-8:30 Death Valley— MTV brings the unique marriage of horror and comedy together with this new series. Join members of the ensemble cast, including Caity Lotz (Mad Men), Tania Raymonde (Lost), Bryan Callen (The Hangover), Bryce Johnson (Sleeping Dogs Lie), Texas Battle (Final Destination 3), and Charlie Sanders (Funny or Die), along with showrunner/executive producer Eric Weinberg (Californication, Scrubs), director Drew Daywalt (Bedfellows), executive producer/director Austin Reading (Spike TV's Scream Awards, FEARnet), executive producer Julie Kellman Reading, and co-executive producer Spider One, in a discussion about the challenges of bringing the comedy and horror genres together and how the team involved in the series bring all the elements of what they know best to the series. Fans will get an exclusive first look at an upcoming episode. Q&A session to follow! Room 5AB
7:30-8:30 Lost Girl— Supernatural seductress Bo is a succubus who feeds off sexual energy. Having survived for years alone, she now discovers she is one of the Fae, creatures of legend who pass as humans. Unwilling to chose sides, Bo forges her own path between the human and Fae worlds, embarking on a mission to unlock the secrets of her origin. Join star Anna Silk (Ghost Whisperer); actor Emmanuelle Vaugier (Saw II), who guest stars as The Morrigan, the head of the Dark Fae clan; and the production team behind the series, Jay Firestone, executive producer (Andromeda, Mutant X) and Michelle Lovretta (Mutant X), as they discuss this exciting new show coming soon to SyFy! Room 24ABC
8:00-10:00 World Premiere: Batman: Year One— Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Animation proudly present the World Premiere of Batman: Year One, the highly anticipated next entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Based on the landmark 1987 DC Comics titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli, Batman: Year One depicts young Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham. When the film ends, stay in your seats for a lively panel discussion amongst voice cast members Ben McKenzie (Southland), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), executive producer Bruce Timm (DCU films), directors Lauren Montgomery (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) and Sam Liu (All-Star Superman), and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano (DCU films). Moderator Gary Miereanu will offer a first glimpse into the 2012 DC Universe Animated Original Movies slate, give away some exclusive prizes to inquisitive audience members, and quite possibly introduce a few surprise guests. Warner Home Video will distribute Batman: Year One on Blu-ray and DVD, OnDemand and For Download on October 18, 2011. Ballroom 20
9:00-11:00 Syfy Screening: Eureka, Haven, and Mercury Men— Imagine Greater with fellow fans during an advanced preview screening of the next all-new episode of Eureka, followed by a special presentation of an all-new Haven. And be sure to stick around for the exclusive premiere of the new digital series The Mercury Men. Introductions by Eric Balfour (Duke, Haven). Room 6A
9:15-10:15 Locke & Key FOX Pilot Screening Encore— Second screening added due to demand! The most talked-about pilot not on the fall schedule was the FOX production of Locke & Key. This screening of the entire pilot will show you just what a void there will be on your TV this fall. Watch the special filmed adaptation of "Welcome to Lovecraft" and see the Eisner-nominated comic brought to life. Room 6DE
10:15-12:00 Encore Screening: Batman: Year One— Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Animation offer a second opportunity to see Batman: Year One, along with a chance to see a few special Comic-Con exclusive trailers for upcoming Warner Bros. films, videogames, and Blu-ray/DVD releases. Ballroom 20
There are 115 films selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Even the most die-hard film buff couldn’t see each one that Park City, Utah has to offer but luckily we have selected the few that look most promising based solely on their loglines, cast, etc. (for a full list of competing films go here, for a full list of non-competing films here). Check out our top picks below!
Cedar Rapids (Director: Miguel Arteta; Screenwriter: Phil Johnston) —A wholesome and naive small-town Wisconsin man travels to big city Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at a regional insurance conference. Cast: Ed Helms, John C Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Alia Shawkat, Sigourney Weaver.
Ed Helms helped write the movie. That alone should sell the film to you.
The Details (Director and screenwriter: Jacob Aaron Estes) —When hungry raccoons discover worms living under the sod in a young couple’s backyard, the pest problem sets off a wild and absurd chain reaction of domestic tension, infidelity, organ donation and murder by way of bow and arrow.Cast: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert. A movie with raccoons, infidelity, Elizabeth Banks, and a death by bow and arrow? Sold.
Life in a Day (Director: Kevin Macdonald) —Life in a Day is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film. On July 24, 2010, professional and amateur filmmakers captured a glimpse of their lives on camera and uploaded the footage to YouTube, serving as a time capsule for future generations. While the film may be boring, the fact that they did this makes the film worth watching.
The Music Never Stopped (Director: Jim Kohlberg; Screenwriters: Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks, based on the story “The Last Hippie” by Oliver Sacks) — A father struggles to bond with his estranged son who suffers a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. He learns to embrace his son’s choices and to try to connect with him through the power of music. Cast: J.K. Simmons, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Mia Maestro. While this sounds a little too sad for my tastes, J.K. Simmons is the man. He alone could get me into any movie so I guess I’ll stick it out for this one.
My Idiot Brother (Director: Jesse Peretz; Screenwriters: Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall) — After serving time for selling pot, Ned successively moves in with each of his three sisters as he tries to get back on his feet. His best intentions quickly bring the family to the cusp of chaos and ultimately the brink of clarity. Cast: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer. If the cast alone isn’t working for you, Zooey Deschanel plays a lesbian with Rashida Jones. Don’t forget to breathe.
Perfect Sense (Director: David Mackenzie; Screenwriter: Kim Fupz Aakeson) —A poetic and magnetic love story about two people who start to fall in love just as the world begins to fall apart. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Ewen Bremner, Stephen Dillane, Denis Lawson and Connie Nielsen. I only included this one for its ridiculous logline.
Red State (Director and screenwriter: Kevin Smith) — A group of misfits encounter extreme fundamentalism in Middle America. Cast: Michael Parks, Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner, John Goodman, Melissa Leo. Let’s see how well Kevin Smith handles the horror genre. He’s been talking about this one for years, time for him to put up or shut up. Though something tells me that won’t happen any time soon.
Salvation Boulevard (Director: George Ratliff; Screenwriters: Doug Max Stone and George Ratliff, based on the novel by Larry Beinhart) —An evangelical preacher who has captivated a city with his charm frames an ex-hippie for a crime he did not commit. Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Marisa Tomei. There is something alluring about the prospect of a preacher framing someone for something they didn’t do. Add this cast in and we’re definitely excited.
The Son of No One (Director and screenwriter: Dito Montiel) —Two men in post-9/11 New York are forced to relive two murders they committed as young boys. Their lives start to unravel by the threat of the revelation of these shocking and personal secrets. Cast: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche. The closing night film doesn’t sound too interesting except that it has Tracy Morgan. Color me intrigued and let me stroke my long and gorgeous goatee.
Bobby Fischer Against the World (Director: Liz Garbus) — The drama of late chess-master Bobby Fischer's career was undeniable,as he careened from troubled childhood, to World Champion and Cold War icon, to a fugitive on the run. Bobby Fishcer is one of the most fascinating people to ever become a grand champion of chess. His story has been told before but personally I don’t think one more will hurt.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Director: Morgan Spurlock) — A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement is financed and made possible by branding, advertising and product placement. A film buff endorsing a movie from one of the best documentarians working in his new film about the film business? You must be crazy.
Bellflower (Director and screenwriter: Evan Glodell) — A ballad for every person who has ever loved and lost – with enough violence, weapons, action and sex to tell a love story with apocalyptic stakes. Cast: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes. Case in point of a second half of a sentence completely saving the sentence from the first half.
Lord Byron (Director: Zack Godshall; Screenwriters: Zack Godshall and Ross Brupbacher) — When he's not pursuing women, Byron is smoking weed and loafing around. But he's grown restless in his middle-age and feels the need to escape – he just doesn't know where to go. Cast: Paul Batiste, Gwendolyn Spradling, Kayla Lemaire. We’re definitely not wanting to see this looking for advice. Definitely not.
The Off Hours (Director and screenwriter: Megan Griffiths) — A passing truck driver brings an unfamiliar sense of optimism to a woman working the night shift at a quiet diner, reminding her it's never too late to become the person you always wanted to be. Cast: Amy Seimetz, Ross Partridge, Scoot McNairy, Lynn Shelton, Bret Roberts, Tony Doupe. I love truck drivers. I’m pretty sure I still want to be one. If this doesn’t have a killer country soundtrack I want my money back (which is whopping zero dollars, but whatever).
to.get.her (Director and screenwriter: Erica Dunton) — Five girls come together for one fateful night where anything goes. They all had secrets, but their friendship was the only thing they knew to be true. Cast: Jazzy De Lisser, Chelsea Logan, Adwoa Aboah, Jami Eaton, Audrey Speicher. BLUGH.
Kaboom (Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki)— A science fiction story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students. Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, Juno Temple. A science fiction film about sexual awakening? I’m there.
Meek’s Cutoff (Director: Kelly Reichardt; Screenwriter: Jon Raymond) — In 1845, three families who have hired mountaineer Stephen Meek to guide their wagons over the Cascade Mountains get lost and face hunger, thirst and a lack of faith in their instincts for survival. Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Zoe Kaza, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson. So this is basically a period piece of Alive with two of the best actors around. Done.
Submarine (Director: Richard Ayoade; Screenwriter: Richard Ayoade from the novel by Joe Dunthorne) — Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents' marriage and to lose his virginity before his next birthday. Cast: Craig Roberts, Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins, Yasmin Paige. This film had a big showing at this years Toronto Film Festival. I just want to see it already!
Uncle Kent (Director: Joe Swanberg; Screenwriters: Joe Swanberg and Kent Osborne) — A pothead cartoonist in Los Angeles spends a weekend trying to sleep with his visiting house guest – a woman from New York he met on Chatroulette. Cast: Kent Osborne. While the premise sounds awesome, basing around the already past its prime fad Chatroulette seems like a wrong move.
Hobo with A Shotgun (Director: Jason Eisener; Screenwriter: Johnathan Davies) — A hobo hops from a train with dreams of a fresh life in a new city, but instead finds himself trapped in an urban hell. When he witnesses a brutal robbery, he realizes the only way to deliver justice is with a shotgun in his hands and two shells in the chamber. Cast: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Gregory Smith, Brian Downey. Looks like we found the winner for Best Title.
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Director and screenwriter: Madeleine Olnek) — A shy greeting card store employee unknowingly falls for a lesbian space alien while two government agents closely track their romance. Cast: Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler, Jackie Monahan, Cynthia Kaplan, Dennis Davis, Alex Karpovsky, Rae C Wright. Just kidding about the best title thing from above. This is the clear winner.
Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) (Director: Andre Ovredal) — A group of student filmmakers get more than they bargained for when tangling with a man tasked with protecting Norway from giant trolls. Cast: Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Mørch, Tomas Alf Larsen. Norwegian giant trolls, what more could you ask for?
Corman’s World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel (Director: Alex Stapleton) — Tracks the triumphant rise of Hollywood’s most prolific writer-director-producer, the true godfather of independent filmmaking. Cast: Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, James Cameron, Roger Corman. Just look at who all is involved and tell why you wouldn’t watch this? Now shut up and learn something.
Jess + Moss (Director: Clay Jeter; Screenwriters: Clay Jeter and Debra Jeter) — Without immediate families that they can relate to, and lacking friends their own age, second cousins Jess and Moss only have each other. A series of visceral vignettes conjure memories of companionship and sexual awakening during a summer shared together on their Kentucky farm. Cast: Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers. So it’s like George Michael and Maebe make a movie? Whatever, I’ll watch.
The Nine Muses (Director and screenwriter: John Akomfrah) — An allegorical fable divided into overlapping musical chapters, this film retells the history of mass migration to post-war Britain through the suggestive lens of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. And the Most Pretentious Sounding Film award goes to The Nine Muses. Thanks for playing.
Benavides Born (Director: Amy Wendel; Screenwriters: Daniel Meisel and Amy Wendel) — A high school senior in a forgotten town has earned admission to the University of Texas at Austin but can't afford to go. Her one shot is a scholarship for winning the State Powerlifting Championship. Cast: Corina Calderon, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Joseph Julian Soria, Julia Vera, Julio César Cedillo. Female Powerlifting hasn’t exactly gotten the best films attached to it. I hope this film changes that.
Homework (Director and screenwriter: Gavin Wiesen) — Quirky, rebellious George has no ambitions other than to cut his next class. But one day, one girl gives him the perfect reason to figure out who he really is. Cast: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Elizabeth Reaser with Rita Wilson and Blair Underwood. This sounds stupid but Emma Roberts is kind of cute, so who knows.
The Ledge (Director and screenwriter: Matthew Chapman) — Perched on a ledge, a man says he must jump by noon, while a cop races against time to get to the bottom of it. Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson and Terrence Howard with Christopher Gorham. Early reviews of this film say its really good. So I’ll go along for now.
Like Crazy (Director: Drake Doremus; Screenwriters: Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones) — A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship. Cast: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, Alex Kingston. UGH... wait, it’s Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence? Never mind, this is going to be awesome.
Take Shelter (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Nichols) — A working-class husband and father questions whether his terrifying dreams of an apocalyptic storm signal something real to come or the onset of an inherited mental illness he's feared his whole life. Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker. This looks super serious, and that’s great, but I really just want to see Katy Mixon.
Terri (Director: Azazel Jacobs; Screenwriters: Patrick Dewitt and Azazel Jacobs) — Orphaned to an uncle who is fading away, mercilessly teased by his peers and roundly ignored by his teachers, Terri is alienated and alone. When the dreaded vice-principal sees something of himself in Terri, they establish a friendship which opens Terri up to the possibility that life is not something to be endured, but something to be shared, and even enjoyed. Cast: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton, Olivia Crocicchia, Bridger Zadina. Ok, I know this film sounds ridiculous, but it has Creed Bratton in it. That’s gotta count for something, right?
The Untitled Sam Levinson Project (Director and screenwriter: Sam Levinson) — A pair of reckless siblings are dragged into a chaotic family wedding by their overwrought mother. Cast: Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Jeffrey DeMunn, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, Thomas Haden Church. Wedding movies involving dis-functional families are always the best.
BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer’s Journey (Director: Constance Marks) — The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash. A movie about the guy who has his hand up Elmo’s butt all day? Actually, that sounds kind of sweet.
Page One: A year inside the New York Times (Director: Andrew Rossi; Screenwriters: Kate Novack and Andrew Rossi) — Unprecedented access to theNew York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity. Something tells me it will be more than bored journalists checking Twitter all day.
The Redemption of General Butt Naked (Directors: Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion) — A brutal warlord who murdered thousands during Liberia's horrific 14-year civil war renounces his violent past and reinvents himself as an Evangelist, facing those he once terrorized. And the award for logline least like the film the title suggests goes to this film.
Abraxas (Director: Dai Sako; Screenwriters: Dai Sako and Naoki Kato) — After botching a speech on career guidance at a local high school, a depressed Zen monk with a heavy metal past realizes that only music can revive his spirit.Cast: Suneohair, Rie Tomosaka, Manami Honjou, Ryouta Murai, Kaoru Kobayashi.
Zen monks and heavy metal? This nirvana goes to 11.
All Your Dead Ones (Todos Tus Muertos) (Director Carlos Moreno; Screenwriters: Alonso Torres and Carlos Moreno) — One morning, a peasant wakes to find a pile of bodies in the middle of his crops. When he goes to the authorities, he quickly realizes that the dead ones are a problem nobody wants to deal with. Cast: Alvaro Rodríguez, Jorge Herrera, Martha Marquez, Harold Devasten, John Alex Castillo. Sounds gross to find a bunch of dead bodies amongst your crops, but it does sound like a great film.
Happy, Happy (Sykt Lykkelig) (Director: Anne Sewitsky; Screenwriter: Ragnhild Tronvoll) — A perfect housewife, who just happens to be sex-starved, struggles to keep her emotions in check when an attractive family moves in next door. Cast: Agnes Kittelsen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens, Joachim Rafaelsen.
You had me at sex-starved Norwegian housewife.
Vampire (Director and screenwriter: Iwai Shunji) — On the surface, Simon seems like a fairly normal, average young man, devoted to his teaching job and ailing mother. Secretly, he is compelled to hunt through online chat rooms and message boards, searching for the perfect girl who will ensure his own survival. Cast: Kevin Zegers, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rachel Leigh Cook, Kristin Kreuk, Aoi Yu and Adelaide Clemens. A Japanese film about creepy guys hunting girls? Surely you jest.
KNUCKLE (Director: Ian Palmer) — An epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveler bare-knuckle fighting, this film follows a history of violent feuding between rival clans. I hope this film will make me want to break a bottle over my head and throw someone out a pub window.
Project Nim (Director: James Marsh) — From the Oscar-winning team behind Man on Wire comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who was taught to communicate with language as he was raised and nurtured like a human child. I’ve often dreamed of a world where men and monkeys live as one. Also I’ve always wanted to ask a Gorilla if he wanted to play video games with me.
Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (Director:Matthew Bate) — When two friends tape-recorded the fights of their violently noisy neighbors, they accidentally created one of the world's first 'viral' pop-culture sensations. And with a great title and an intriguing logline, this film has me wanting more. Sounds delightful.
The Dixie Chicks stunned America at the Grammy Awards Sunday night by claiming five big prizes, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Just four years after the trio was ostracized for making anti-President George W. Bush comments onstage during a London concert, they were celebrated for hit song "Not Ready to Make Nice" and album Taking the Long Way.
In accepting the Best Song prize, newly brunette singer Natalie Maines--who made the infamous comments onstage in 2003--personally thanked her bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Robison for supporting her during the controversy.
She joked, "I told you I'd take you to the Grammys, stick with me."
The 49th Grammys also served up a night to remember for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who claimed four top honors with wins for Best Rock Album and Best Boxed/Special Limited Edition Packaging for Stadium Arcadium and Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for "Dani California."
Meanwhile, American Idol winner-turned country sensation Carrie Underwood and Mary J. Blige claimed three awards apiece. It was a bittersweet night for Blige, who entered the Grammys leading the pack of nominees with eight nods.
Composer John Williams, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Ludacris, jazz great Chick Corea and Gnarls Barkley were among the double Grammy winners.
The full winners list can be seen on the next page...
Record of the Year
"Not Ready to Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks
Album of the Year
Taking the Long Way - Dixie Chicks
Song of the Year
"Not Ready To Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks
Best Rock Album
Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Best New Artist
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
"Ain't No Other Man" - Christina Aguilera
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
"Waiting on the World to Change" - John Mayer
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
"My Humps" - The Black Eyed Peas
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals
"For Once in My Life" - Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
"Mornin'" - George Benson (& Al Jarreau)
Best Pop Instrumental Album
Fingerprints - Peter Frampton
Best Pop Vocal Album
Continuum - John Mayer
Best Dance Recording
"Sexy Back" - Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
Best Electronic/Dance Album
Confessions on a Dance Floor - Madonna
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Duets: An American Classic - Tony Bennett
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
"Someday Baby" - Bob Dylan
Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
"Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Best Hard Rock Performance
"Woman" - Wolfmother
Best Metal Performance
"Eyes of the Insane" - Slayer
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
"The Wizard Turns On..." - The Flaming Lips
Best Rock Song
"Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Best Alternative Music Album
St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
"Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
"Heaven" - John Legend
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
"Family Affair" - (Sly & The Family Stone), John Legend, Joss Stone with Van Hunt
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
"God Bless the Child" - George Benson & Al Jarreau Featuring Jill Scott
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
"Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
Best R&B Song
"Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige
Best R&B Album
The Breakthrough - Mary J. Blige
Best Contemporary R&B Album
B'Day - Beyonce
Best Rap Solo Performance
"What You Know" - T.I.
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
"Ridin'" - Chamillionaire Featuring Krayzie Bone
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
"My Love" - Justin Timberlake Featuring T.I.
Best Rap Song
"Money Maker" - Ludacris Featuring Pharrell
Best Rap Album
Release Therapy - Ludacris
Best Female Country Vocal Performance
"Jesus, Take the Wheel" - Carrie Underwood
Best Male Country Vocal Performance
"The Reason Why" - Vince Gill
Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
"Not Ready to Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks
Best Country Collaboration with Vocals
"Who Says You Can't Go Home" - Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles
Best Country Instrumental Performance
"Whiskey Before Breakfast" - Bryan Sutton & Doc Watson
Best Country Song
"Jesus, Take the Wheel" - Carrie Underwood
Best Country Album
Taking the Long Way - Dixie Chicks
Best Bluegrass Album
Instrumentals - Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Best New Age Album
Amarantine - Enya
Best Contemporary Jazz Album
The Hidden Land - Béla Fleck & the Flecktones
Best Jazz Vocal Album
Turned to Blue - Nancy Wilson
Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
Some Skunk Funk - Michael Brecker
Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
The Ultimate Adventure - Chick Corea
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Some Skunk Funk - Randy Brecker with Michael Brecker, Jim Beard, Will Lee, Peter Erskine, Marcio Doctor & Vince Mendoza
Best Latin Jazz Album
Simpatico - The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project
Best Gospel Performance
"Victory" - Yolanda Adams
Best Gospel Song
"Imagine Me" - Kirk Franklin
Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album
Turn Around - Jonny Lang
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
Wherever You Are - Third Day
Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album
Glory Train - Randy Travis
Best Traditional Gospel Album
Alive in South Africa - Israel & New Breed
Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
Hero - Kirk Franklin
Best Latin Pop Album
Limón y Sal - Julieta Venegas
Best Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album
Amar Es Combatir - Mana
Best Tropical Latin Album
Directo Al Corazon - Gilberto Santa Rosa
Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album
Historias de Mi Tierra - Pepe Aguilar
Best Tejano Album
Sigue el Taconazo - Chente Barrera Y Taconazo
Best Norteno Album
Historias Que Contar - Los Tigres del Norte
Best Banda Album
Mas Alla del Sol - Joan Sebastian
Best Traditional Blues Album
Risin' with the Blues - Ike Turner
Best Contemporary Blues Album
After the Rain - Irma Thomas
Best Traditional Folk Album
We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions - Bruce Springsteen
Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album
Modern Times - Bob Dylan
Best Native American Music Album
Dance with the Wind - Mary Youngblood
Best Hawaiian Music Album
Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live from Maui - Various Artists
Best Reggae Album
Love Is My Religion - Ziggy Marley
Best Traditional World Music Album
Blessed - Soweto Gospel Choir
Best Contemporary World Music Album
Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie - The Klezmatics
Best Polka Album
Polka in Paradise - Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra
Best Musical Album for Children
Catch That Train! - Dan Zanes and Friends
Best Spoken-Word Album for Children
Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs - Bill Harley
Best Spoken-Word Album
Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis - Jimmy Carter with Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together - Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee
Best Comedy Album
The Carnegie Hall Performance - Lewis Black
Best Musical Show Album
Jersey Boys - Original Broadway Cast with Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, John Lloyd Young & Others
Best Compilation Soundtrack Album
Walk the Line - Joaquin Phoenix & Various Artists
Best Score Soundtrack Album
Memoirs of a Geisha - John Williams
Best Song Written for Motion Picture/Television
"Our Town (from Cars)" - Randy Newman/James Taylor
Best Instrumental Composition
"A Prayer for Peace" - John Williams
Best Instrumental Arrangement
"Three Ghouls" - Chick Corea
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
"For Once in My Life" - Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder
Best Recording Package
10,000 Days - Tool
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Best Album Notes
If You Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It! - Fats Waller
Best Historical Album
Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry 1891-1922 - Various Artists
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
At War with the Mystics - The Flaming Lips
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
"Talk (Thin White Duke Mix)" - Coldplay
Best Surround-Sound Album
Morph the Cat - Donald Fagen
Best Engineered Album, Classical
Elgar: Enigma Variations; Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Four Sea Interludes - Paavo Jarvi & Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Producer of the Year, Classical
Best Classical Album
Mahler: Symphony No. 7 - San Francisco Symphony
Best Orchestral Performance
Mahler: Symphony No. 7 - San Francisco Symphony
Best Opera Recording
Golijov: Ainadamar: Fountain of Tears - Women of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Best Choral Performance
Pärt: Da Pacem - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra)
Messiaen: Oiseaux Exotiques (Exotic Birds) - Cleveland Chamber Symphony
Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (Without Orchestra)
Chopin: Nocturnes - Maurizio Pollini
Best Chamber Music Performance
Intimate Voices - Emerson String Quartet
Best Small Ensemble Performance
Padilla: Sun of Justice - Los Angeles Chamber Singers' Cappella
Best Classical Vocal Performance
Rilke Songs - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
Best Classical Contemporary Composition
Golijov: Ainadamar: Fountain of Tears - Osvaldo Golijov
Best Classical Crossover Album
Simple Gifts - London Voices, London Symphony Orchestra
Best Short-Form Music Video
"Here It Goes Again" - OK Go
Best Long-Form Music Video
Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Lifetime Achievement Award
Booker T and the M.G.'s
MusiCares Person of the Year
Presidents Merit Award
Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss
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