News Roundup: Dec. 16

Top Story

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has chosen Todd Field’s In the Bedroom as its best film of 2001, while the film’s lead actress Sissy Spacek took best actress honors. David Lynch won the best director nod for his compelling Mulholland Drive and Denzel Washington was named best actor for his work as a rogue cop in Training Day. The supporting actor picks went to Jim Broadbent for his performances in Moulin Rouge and Iris, while Kate Winslet was chosen for her turn as the young Iris Murdoch in Iris. Other honors went to screenwriter Christopher Nolan for his screenplay Memento No Man’s Land for best foreign film and Shrek for best animated film. The awards were announced Saturday and will be presented Jan. 22.

In General

To avoid the same strike panic that occurred earlier this year, the Directors Guild of America met with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Nov. 26, six months before the contract expires, and voted unanimously to recommend ratification of a three-year contract with the movie studios. The new contract will go into effect July 1, 2002, and will last through 2005.

Siena Heights University in Michigan will be adding the popular animated TV series The Simpsons to its curriculum. A two-credit class will explore how religion and philosophy are part of popular culture, including The Simpsons. Some of the class reading requirements will be The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer by William Irwin and The Gospel According to the Simpsons: The Spiritual Life of the Most Animated Family by Mark I. Pinsky.

Country singer Tanya Tucker gave a very disappointing performance Nov. 30 at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, Wis. and the arena is having to give discount certificates to the attendees as an apology. During the hour-long concert, entitled Tanya Tucker Christmas, Tucker sang only five Christmas songs and used lyric sheets.


British actor Ian Holm, currently starring in The Lord of the Rings, was reportedly flown to the United States for urgent prostate cancer treatment, according to the The Mail. The actor apparently had an operation during the summer for the condition and his agent told the paper, “He is currently in America receiving treatment. It is a personal matter.”

Opera great Placido Domingo’s spokeswoman reports that the famed tenor is doing fine since his blood pressure soared during a performance at La Scala Opera House in Milan Tuesday, forcing him to walk off the stage. He was able to return, however, and finish his performance of Verdi’s Othello.


Musician Rufus Thomas, best known for his songs “Walking the Dog” and “Do the Funky Chicken,” died in St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday of unknown causes. He was 84.