Sunday, February 27, 2011


OSCAR 2011

Some OSCAR notes:

The show was consistently interesting, never boring, but never really exciting either. A few lines from Bob Hope remind us how lame other comedians have been since. But then, that was one of Bob Hope's best moments they showed.

The opening film sketch was fun. The opening Hot Body Humping sketch on Jimmy Kimmel's After-the-Oscars show delivered, to bookend the night.

James Franco added little to the night, but Anne Hathaway was good, though not especially funny. More than usual, the hosts introduced the presenters and not much else. They are not comedians.

The show got past the more boring awards quickly, and bunched the songs and Best Picture segments, which avoided some of the more draggy elements of many shows. Still, the show ran a little over the 11:30 supposed ending time. The kids from PS 122 were good. It's always a thrill for kids to get special opportunities like that. Sometime in the next 50 years we'll read about some celebrity who was inspired by their visit to the Oscars tonight to sing in the chorus.

Big winner, of course was THE KING'S SPEECH: Here's how it fared...

The King’s Speech
==>Best Picture
==>Best Director - Tom Hooper
==>Best Actor - Colin Firth
xBest Supporting Actor - Geoffrey Rush
xBest Supporting Actress - Helena Bonham Carter
xBest Cinematography - Danny Cohen
==>Best Original Screenplay - David Seidler
xBest Art Direction
xBest Costume Design
xBest Original Score
xBest Film Editing
xBest Sound Mixing

Black Swan won Best Actress for Natalie Portman. Jimmy Kimmel remarked that Black Swan was the only black nominated this year.

Both Black Swan and The King's Speech were at HIFF (The Hamptons International Film Festival) in 2010, along with James Franco and 127 Hours.

Two of the best lines were

"How to Train Your Dragon".."that's disgusting!"


Tom Hooper's "LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!" - She discovered The King's Speech for him.

I thought both Natalie Portman's talk and Aaron Sorkin's talk were amazing: for how much they said, and how many people they remembered, and how fast they spoke, and what they said, too, in the pressure of the moment.

Natalie Portman, by the way, is not only an actress, she directed a short film that I liked a lot:

I enjoyed Kirk Douglas' spirit as a presenter. Scarlett and Justin made a good team; they were the best presenting couple.

Did Christian Bale forget his wife's name when he was thanking???

Inception was the big winner in the technical categories, with Sound Editing and Mixing, Cinematography & Visual Effects. Alice in Wonderland won for Art Design and Costumes. And The Social Network won for Editing. You'd expect a Best Directed picture to win in some technical categories, but Speech was shut out.

I do not really understand why Barney's Version was even nominated for Costumes, by the way.

The Inside Job was the winning documentary. It describes the way that financial institutions, as well as some academic consultants, were complicit in the financial meltdown. The director was astonished that three years after no one has been sent to jail for fraud.

In a Better World was the Foreign Film winner. It is not easy to see the foreign film winners. They seem to pass unnoticed in the theaters, and even in film festivals. The shorts are kind of invisible also, but more and more they will be able to be searched out online I think.

There was one clip from Winter's Bone which reminded me how terrific that cinematography really was. To appreciate it, watch the DVD, then watch the How-it-was-made feature on the DVD. You'll see the difference between how the place really looks, and how it looks in the film.

Finally, sadly, was the remembrance of those that have passed during this year. Sadly, I had met and known a number of the people mentioned. Some of those I knew were very nice, and nice to me. May they and their families rest in peace. I will remember them fondly and sadly.

Here is a list of nominees and winners:



Natalie Portman


The King’s Speech
==>Best Picture
==>Best Director - Tom Hooper
==>Best Actor - Colin Firth
xBest Supporting Actor - Geoffrey Rush
xBest Supporting Actress - Helena Bonham Carter
xBest Cinematography - Danny Cohen
==>Best Original Screenplay - David Seidler
xBest Art Direction
xBest Costume Design
xBest Original Score
xBest Film Editing
xBest Sound Mixing

True Grit
xBest Film
xBest Director - Joel and Ethan Coen
xBest Actor - Jeff Bridges
xBest Supporting Actress - Hailee Steinfeld
xBest Adapted Screenplay - Joel and Ethan Coen
xBest Cinematography - Roger Deakins
xBest Art Direction
xBest Costume Design
xBest Sound Editing
xBest Sound Mixing

The Social Network
xBest Film
xBest Director - David Fincher
xBest Actor - Jesse Eisenberg
==>Best Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin
xBest Cinematography - Jeff Cronenweth
==>Best Original Score
==>Best Film Editing
xBest Sound Mixing


Best Picture
The Social Network
==>The King’s Speech
Black Swan
True Grit
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
Winter’s Bone

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O. Russell, The Fighter
==>Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
David Fincher, The Social Network
Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
==>Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

Best Actress
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence,
Winter's Bone

==>Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actor
==>Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
==>Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Animated Feature Film
How to Train Your Dragon

==>Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Film
Mexico - Biutiful
Greece - Dogtooth
==>Denmark - In a Better World
Canada - Incendies
Algeria - Outside the law

Best Original Screenplay
Another Year

The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
==>The King's Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours
==> Aaron Sorkin The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Best Cinematography
Matthew Libatique - Black Swan
==> Wally Pfister - Inception
Danny Cohen - The King's Speech
Jeff Cronenweth - The Social Network
Roger Deakins - True Grit

Best Art Direction
==> Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
The King's Speech
True Grit

Best Costume Design
==>Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech

The Tempest
True Grit

Best Original Song
Coming Home
- Country Strong
I See the Light
- Tangled
If I Rise
- 127 Hours
==>We Belong Together
- Toy Story 3

Best Original Score
How to Train Your Dragon -
John Powell

Inception -
Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech - Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours - A.R. Rahman
==>The Social Network - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Best Documentary
Exit Through the Gift Shop
==>Inside Job
Waste Land

Best Film Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
==>The Social Network

Best Makeup
Barney's Version
The Way Back
==>The Wolfman

Best Sound Editing
Toy Story 3
TRON: Legacy
True Grit

Best Sound Mixing

The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Best Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Iron Man 2

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
==>Strangers No More
Sun Comes Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Best Visual Short Film (Animated)
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Lets Pollute
==>The Lost Thing
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Confession
The Crush
==>God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

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Thursday, February 24, 2011



Margaret of Anjou, whom the English still (550 years later - they do take a while to accept a French woman as English) call "Margaret of Anjou" (rather than Queen Margaret), was Queen (or "queen consort") of England from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471.

Shakespeare gave Margaret some of the best scenes, and one of the most enduring, sustained character arcs, of any of his characters (certainly the most important for any female character).

She first appears as a captive of the English in Henry VI Part 1, when the Earl Of Suffolk, her captor, falls immediately and passionately in love with her.

In Henry VI Part 2 she is Queen, but Suffolk is out of favor and must flee. His goodbye is one of Shakespeare's most poetic, passionate, and heartbreaking scenes.

In Henry VI Part 3, Margaret, in the midst of wars, speaks one of the most bitter, cruel vengeful speeches in Shakespeare, mocking and then killing her enemy, York, who addresses her, saying: "O tyger's heart wrapt in a woman's hide!".

In Richard III, Margaret, now an old woman, stands up to Richard III with curses, and decries the evils that have been done.

The Red Bull Theater has just held a two week "lab" developing a play that encompasses the sway of her appearance in all the plays. The result is the play -- which will be presented Friday (2/25) through Sunday (2/27), together with a benefit on Saturday evening -- Margaret: The Tyger's Heart (the title coming, as above, from York's description in Henry VI Part 3 -- "O tyger's heart wrapt in a woman's hide!" actually, one of several references to Margaret as a tyger).

The play was developed in collaboration with The Shakespeare Society.

See below for more about Margaret of Anjou. First, here's some information about this production from the Red Bull Theater:

In the Raw
Developing the Classics of the Future.

February 25-27, 2011
Shakespeare's MARGARET: A Tyger's Heart
Adapted from Henry VI and Richard III
Directed by Michael Sexton

An In the Raw Developmental Lab Production
In collaboration with The Shakespeare Society
Featuring Michael Stewart Allen, Craig Baldwin, Jacob Fishel, Kate Forbes, Jason Butler Harner, Randy Harrison, Robert Stanton, David Townsend

Focusing on Margaret of Anjou from Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Pts 1, 2 and 3, and Richard III, this workshop will explore the journey of one of Shakespeare’s most remarkable characters, a woman of astonishing variety with an extraordinary arc over four history plays.

The aim of the two-week Lab is to create an evening-length theatrical work for nine actors that tells the riveting story of Margaret’s progress from young woman to queen, lover, wife, mother, political operator and battlefield commander, exploring the comic, macabre, as well as the human and loving sides of Shakespeare’s Margaret.

Produced by Red Bull Theater in collaboration with The Shakespeare Society, the workshop offers four public presentations.

Friday Feb 25, 8pm
Saturday Feb 26, 2pm
Saturday Feb 26, 8pm* Benefit
Sunday Feb 27, 3pm

Theater at St. Clement's
423 West 46th Street

$40 Regular
$60 Premium
$30 Under 30/Shakespeare Society Members
$20 Students/Industry

$100 Regular
$150 Premium
*Benefit features private party with actors, special guests Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Stuhlbarg, and others following the performance

Seating Limited!



A new work laboratory series, IN THE RAW creates an artistic bridge between Revelation Readings and Full Productions, providing space, time, and support for projects ready to move beyond a staged reading, but that require further development and exploration prior to full production.

Each IN THE RAW project receives a workshop with a director, top-notch actors and designers, and includes public presentations. We are pleased to share this part of the creative process with our audience.

Margaret of Anjou lived for 52 years, from March 23, 1430 to Aug 25 1482. She was born in the Duchess of Lorraine, the second eldest daughter of René I of Naples, Duke of Anjou and Bar, King of Naples and Sicily... and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine.

On April 23, 1445, at the age of 15, she married King Henry VI of England, who was 23. She was described (by Shakespeare, his sources, and others) as beautiful and strong willed.

She entered the English political scene as strife between warring factions in England escalated. In May 1455, a Great Council solidified the split and enmity with the Yorkists, which initiated thirty years of the War of the Roses.

Many of the wars were fought in and over French territory. Even the terms of Henry's marriage to Margaret were seen by some as too favorable to the French. This may be one cause, or one result, (or both), of the fact that Margaret, a French woman, was not popular among some factions of the English court. The father of Henry VI, Henry V, had conquered most of France. Henry VI fought many wars to hold France, much of the war unsuccessful. Indeed, Margaret's campaigns on behalf of Henry may well be considered more successful than his.

Although allies of Margaret managed to defeat Richard Plantagenet, the Duke of York, in 1460, and Margaret had him beheaded (described in the famous scene in Henry VI part 3 above), the Yorkists managed to depose Henry VI in 1461. He regained the throne briefly in 1470. Though Henry VI was imprisoned, and then killed (by the future Richard III) in 1471, Margaret, after being imprisoned, was ransomed by the French king, and lived until 1482.

During the quieter period of her reign, between 1445 and 1455, Margaret was a champion of education, and founded Queens' College in Cambridge.

Floating past Queens' College on the river Cam is like travelling 550 years back in time.

Founded by Margaret of Anjou 1448
View from the river Cam
Photo by Eric Roffman

Here is Queens' College's chronology of its creation:

before 1446 - Andrew Dokett was already Principal of St Bernard's Hostel on a site now occupied by the New Court of Corpus Christi College. He was also Rector of St Botolph's, the church of the parish within which Queens' College lies.

1446 Dec 3 - Andrew Dokett obtained a Charter from King Henry VI to found St Bernard's College on a site now part of St Catharine's College.

1447 Aug 21 - First Charter revoked. Andrew Dokett obtained a new charter from King Henry VI to found St Bernard's College on the present site of Old Court and Cloister Court.

1447-8? - Petition of Margaret of Anjou to her husband the King to have the foundation and naming of the new college. Second Charter returned to the King and the lands of StBernard's College surrendered to him.

1448 Mar 30 - Letters Patent from King Henry VI to Queen Margaret granting her the lands of St Bernard's College and licence to found a college.

1448 Apr 15 - Charter of Queen Margaret to found the Queen's College of St Margaret and St Bernard.

1448 Apr 15 - Sir John Wenlock, Chamberlain to Queen Margaret, lays the foundation stone at the south east corner of the chapel.

1448 - First part of Old Court completed: the Library, Chapel, E stairs, Gatehouse, A stairs and part of B stairs.

1449 - King Henry VI gives 200 for the buildings.

1449-50 - Old Court completed: remainder of B stairs, C stairs, Kitchens, Hall.

1454 - Chapel licensed for services.

Founded by Margaret of Anjou - 1448
Courtyard view through the arch.
Photo by Eric Roffman

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Friday, February 18, 2011



Photo © Markus Nass

At a press conference on Monday, February 14th.
Back row: Nik Xhelilaj (Albania), Domhnall Gleeson (Ireland),
Pilou Asbæk (Denmark), Alexander Fehling (Germany).
Front row: Alicia Vikander (Sweden), Marija Škaričić (Croatia), Natasha Petrovic (FYR Macedonia),
Clara Lago (Spain), Andrea Riseborough (United Kingdom), Sylvia Hoeks (The Netherlands).

Every year, at the Berlin International Film Festival (BIFF / Berlinale), young, exciting actors are named by the EFP (European Film Promotion Network) as SHOOTING STARS! Many of those named over the last few years have gone on to become among the world's biggest, most important, and most brilliant international stars. Here are some of the most famous participants in the Shooting Stars Program:

Moritz Bleibtreu - Germany - 1999
Daniel Bruhl - Germany - 2003
Daniel Craig - UK - 2000
Cecile de France - France - 2003
Anamaria Marinca - Romania - 2008
Carey Mulligan - UK - 2009
Ludivine Sagnier - France - 2001
Rachel Weisz - UK - 1998

Some other Shooting Stars are well known internationally, but slightly less famous in the US so far (watch for them!),

Sarah Bolger - Ireland - 2009
Hannah Herzsprung - Germany - 2008
Nina Hoss - Germany - 2000
David Kross - Germany - 2009
Franke Potente - Germany - 1998
Alba Rohrwacher - Italy - 2009

Nina Hoss, incidentally, is a member of this year's jury at the Berlin Film Festival.

For the last few years, several Shooting Stars have attended the Hampton's International Film Festival (HIFF) in October, joining the HIFF Rising Stars for the Hamptons' Breakthrough Performers program. In 2008, Anamaria Marinca and Hannah Herzsprung were among the visitors to the Hamptons. In 2009, Alba Rohrwacher (I Am Love) was a visitor.

Here's a story about last year's (2010) program:

Here's a list of this year's Shooting Stars:

Pilou Asbæk (Johan Philip Asbaek)- Denmark
Alexander Fehling - Germany
Domhnall Gleeson - Ireland
Sylvia Hoeks - The Netherlands
Clara Lago (Clara Lago Grau)- Spain
Natasha Petrovic (Natasa Petrovic) - FYR of Macedonia
Andrea Riseborough - United Kingdom
Marija Skaricic - Croatia
Alicia Vikander - Sweden
Nik Xhelilaj (Kreshnik Xhelilaj) - Albania

This year, more than usual I think, many of the Shooting Stars have appeared in films that have been seen in the US. Domhnall Gleeson actually appeared on stage here, garnering a Tony nomination for his perfomance in Martin McDonagh's "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" on Broadway. Domhnall was also in True Grit, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts I & II) and, together with Andrea Riseborough, in Never Let Me Go. Andrea also appeared in Made in Dagenham. Sylvia Hoeks was seen in The Storm, the Opening Night film at the Stony Brook Film Festival last year. And Alexander Fehling was seen in Inglorius Basterds.

Like Andrea and Domhnall, Shooting Stars have often appeared in films together. Marija Skaricic and the 2010 Shooting Star Zrinka Cvitesic were both in "What's A Man Without A Moustache?". And Alexander Fehling was in Storm (different from Sylvia's The Storm) together with 2008 Shooting Star Anamaria Marinca.

We'll have to see whether some of this year's Shooting Stars will bring their films to the Hamptons. Hopefully, quite a few of these charismatic actors will be able to visit HIFF with their films in October.

Here some additional info about these actors, plus photos:

Nik Xhelilaj - Albania
Photo © Edvina Meta

Nik Xhelilaj
(Kreshnik Xhelilaj) - Albania
1983-03-05 - 27

=>Born in Tirana, Albania, Nik Xhelilaj graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts there in 2008.
=>His film acting debut was the short SINGLE USE (Erion Hasanllari, 2005).
=>He had lead roles in
-- Piro and Eno Milkani's Albanian-Czech co-production SORROW OF MRS. SCHNEIDER (2008)
--and Artan Minarolli's ALIVE! (2008).
=>In 2010, the German-Albanian co-production THE ALBANIAN (Johannes Naber, 2010), earned him
-- the Silver George for 'Best Actor' at the 32nd Moscow International Film Festival
--the 'Best Actor' award at the 2nd PriFilmFest in Prishtina, Kosovo
--and the 'Best Actor' award at the 47th International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.

Pilou Asbek - Denmark
Photo © Isak Hoffmeyer

Pilou Asbæk (Johan Philip Asbaek)- Denmark
1982-03-02 28

=>Born in Copenhagen, Pilou Asbæk graduated from The Danish National School of Theatre in 2008.
=> He made his screen debut with Niels Arden Oplev's WORLDS APART, and was nominated for Danish TV 2 Zulu's People's Choice Award as 'Best Supporting Actor'.
=>In 2009, Pilou portrayed a crippled Iraq veteran in the EMMY-nominated DR TV series "The Killing II".
=>2010 saw Pilou in his first lead role in Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm's R, as the prisoner "R".
=>Pilou starred in Pernille Fischer Christensen's A FAMILY, in competition, and winner of the International Film Critics' FIPRESCI Award for Best Film, at the 2010 Berlinale.

Sylvia Hoeks - The Netherlands
Photo © Ron Stam

Sylvia Hoeks
- The Netherlands
1983-06-01 - 28

=>Sylvia Hoeks was born in Maarheeze, The Netherlands.
=>At 14 she began working with Elite models.
=>She studied at the Maastricht Theatre Academy.
=>For Jos Stelling's DUSKA (2007), Sylvia won the 'Best Supporting Actress' Golden Calf at the annual Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht.
=>She appeared in "Vuurzee (Vara)" and "Bloedverwanten (Avro)" on Dutch TV.
=>Her first lead role was in Ben Sombogaart's THE STORM (2009), which opened the Stony Brook Film Festival (NY, USA);
=>At Portugal's Festroia International Film Festival she was named 'Best Actress,' also for THE STORM.
=>In 2010, she starred in the title role of Rudolf van den Berg's TIRZA, The Netherlands' official submission for the Academy Awards 2011.

Natasha Petrovic - FYR of Macedonia
Photo © Robert Jankuloski

Natasha Petrovic (Natasa Petrovic) - FYR of Macedonia
1988 ~23

=>Natasha Petrovic was born in Stip, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
=>She has been studying drama in the Faculty of Dramatic Arts of the Sts. Cyril and Methodi University in Skopje since 2007 and will graduate in 2011.
=>Her first feature film role was Milcho Manchevski's SHADOWS which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 and was the national Academy Award submission in 2008.
=>In 2009, she played the lead role of Samira in Juanita Wilson's feature debut AS IF I AM NOT THERE. For this performance, Natasha is nominated for 'Best International Actress Film' at this year's Irish Film & TV Awards.

Marija Skaricic - Croatia
Photo © Mare Milin

Marija Skaricic
- Croatia
1977-08-06 - 33 -- 5-5

=>Marija Škaricic was born in Split, Croatia.
=>She trained at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb.
=>Her first leading role in A WONDERFUL NIGHT IN SPLIT (Arsen A. Ostojic, 2004) earned her the Heart of Sarajevo award for 'Best Actress' at the Sarajevo Film Festival.
=>She co-starred alongside Zrinka Cvitešic and Leon Lucev in the romantic comedy WHAT IS A MAN WITHOUT A MOUSTACHE? (Hrvoje Hribar, 2005).
=>In 2006, she garnered another Heart of Sarajevo for FRAULEIN by Andrea Štaka.
=>Her recent films (which both premiered at the 2010 Berlinale) include
--Burhan Qurbani's debut feature SHAHADA
--and Zvonimir Juric's short YELLOW MOON.
=>For her role in Dalibor Matanic's MOTHER OF ASPHALT, she won the Golden Arena for 'Best Actress in a Leading Role' at the 57th Pula Film Festival as well as the FIPA d'Or Grand Prize.

Domhnall Gleeson - Ireland
Photo © Danny Prussmaan

Domhnall Gleeson - Ireland
1983 27 6-1

=>Domhnall Gleeson studied Media Arts at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
=>He made his film acting debut in Martin McDonagh's short SIX SHOOTER (2004).
=>In 2006, he earned a Tony Award nomination for his part in the Broadway production "The Lieutenant of Inishmore".
=>He followed this with an Irish Theatre Award nomination for 'Best Supporting Actor' for his role in "American Buffalo" at the Gate Theatre in 2007.
=>On screen
--He played the lead in the Irish feature SENSATION (Tom Hall, 2010).
--He was in the 2011 Berlinale opening film TRUE GRIT (Ethan and Joel Coen, 2010).
--He appeared along with Andrea Riseborough and Keira Knightley in NEVER LET ME GO (Mark Romanek, 2009).
--He was also in A DOG YEAR (George LaVoo, 2006).
--Domnhall appeared alongside his father, Brendan Gleeson, in Paul Mercier's STUDS (2005) and the two parts of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.
=>He will be in his father's directorial debut AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS (2011).
=>For his performance in "When Harvey Met Bob" he is nominated for 'Best Actor in a lead role TV' at this years' Irish Film & TV Awards (IFTA).

Clara Lago - Spain
Photo © Kuranda

Clara Lago
(Clara Lago Grau)- Spain
1990-03-06 - 21

=>Madrid-born Clara Lago was only ten years old when she auditioned for her first role.
=>Two years later she won a Goya Awards nomination as 'Best Emerging Actress' for her title role in Imanol Uribe's CAROL'S JOURNEY (2002).
=>Since then, Clara has been able to follow an acting career and continue her school education, which included a year's schooling in the United States.
=>Her films have included
--YOUR NEXT LIFE (2004) by Manuel Gutiérrez,
--Manuel Gomez Pereira's THE HANGED MAN (2009)
--Oskar Santos' FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS (2010)
--and then Arévalo's new comedy PRIMOS
--and Andi Baiz's BUNKER in Colombia.

Andrea Riseborough - UK
Photo © Niall OBrien

Andrea Riseborough
- United Kingdom
1981-10-27 - 29 -- 5-7

=>Andrea Riseborough graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in 2005.
=>She won the 2006 Ian Charleson Award, for exceptional classical stage work from actors under 30, for her performances in "Miss Julie" and "Measure For Measure".
=>In 2009, Andrea was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for her portrayal of the young Margaret Thatcher in the TV drama "The Long Walk To Finchley".
=>She made her film acting debut in Roger Michell's VENUS (2006)
=>and has followed with
--HAPPY GO LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008),
--NEVER LET ME GO (Mark Romanek, 2010)
--WE WANT SEX (Nigel Cole, 2010)
--BRIGHTON ROCK (Rowan Joffe 2010)
--and W.E. (2011) as Wallis Simpson, under the direction of Madonna.

Alexander Fehling - Germany
Photo © Joachim Gern

Alexander Fehling - Germany
1981 ~29

=>Alexander Fehling studied acting at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" from 2003-2007.
=>He made his film debut in Robert Thalheim's AND ALONG COME TOURISTS (2006), for which he received the Young German Cinema Award as 'Best Actor' at the Filmfest München in 2007.
=>He had supporting roles in Heinrich Breloer's BUDDENBROOKS (2007), Hans-Christian Schmid's STORM (2008), and Quentin Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009).
=>He had leading roles in
--Frieder Wittich's 13 SEMESTER (2009)
--Philipp Stölzl's GOETHE!
--Andres Veiel's fiction feature debut IF NOT US, WHO?, which will have its world premier in Competition at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival.
--Jan Zabeil's THE ART OF DYING and
--NIEMANDSLAND (working title) directed by Toke Constantin Hebbeln.

(Note: 2011-02-19 -- IF NOT US, WHO?, won the "Alfred Bauer Prize" -- for broadening the horizons of the art of filmmaking -- today at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.)

Alicia Vikander - Sweden
Photo © Marica Rosengard

Alicia Vikander - Sweden
1988-10-03 - 22

=>Alicia was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.
=>She made her big-screen acting debut in Lisa Langseth's PURE (aka BELOVED) which won the Flash-Forward Award at the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival.
=>For the role of Katarina in PURE she was awarded 'Best Actress' at the 2011 Guldbagge Awards.
=>Most recently, Alicia had a lead role in Ella Lemhagen's CROWN JEWELS (2011).

-- LOVE'S FINE WIT -- Shakespeare's sonnets selected and rearranged to dramatize the story of an intense love triangle, with Elizabethan music. One night only: April 23 6:00 at the Cornelia Street Cafe - 29 Cornelia Street NY 212 989-9319.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Lara Logan has been one of the best and most courageous foreign correspondents for the last few years. Working for CBS, she has reported brilliantly from many of the worlds worst hotspots.

According to an AP report, she was brutalized in Cairo during the celebrations after the departure of Mubarak, and saved by "a group of women and 20 Egyptian soldiers."

She has returned to the US. We wish her well!

Here's a report:

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Tom Brokaw was on Letterman describing with unusual clarity and common sense the situation in Egypt and around the world. Basically, he summed up all that has been said on the news (but usually on the news they have different "experts" each telling only one aspect of the story). Brokaw pulled it all together, with both the opportunity -- and the distance the countries have to travel -- to establish a safe, prosperous country with a rule of law, without corruption, etc. And he reviewed the pressures on the other countries in the region.

While Brokaw was discussing China, noting that although China is advancing rapidly, rural China is still far behind us, living in the 18th or even the 17th century, Letterman interjected, "Have you been to Newark?"

Ah, Newarkians, send those letters in!

Letterman announced the Swimsuit Issue Cover Girl. He did so by unveiling the billboard on the street across from his studio. That, of course, happened while the show was taping, many hours before the show was broadcast. So the Internet had reported the model chosen long before the TV audience saw it on the show.

Russian model Irina Shayk is Swimsuit Issue cover girl! She is beautiful! (No surprise there.)

Ten swimsuit models delivered the Top 10. Several excelled in their delivery.

Best top 10 delivery: models Hilary Rhoda #7, Cover model Irina Shayk #6, Alyssa Miller #4 & Anne V #1.

These are the women to watch as possible future actresses as well as super-models!

Sports Illustrated

Letterman Show -- Late Night with David Letterman

Irina Shayk

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Monday, February 14, 2011



Cannes - FRANCE
May 11 to 21, 2011

Cannes - FRANCE
May 11 to 21, 2011


In the Spotlight this week is the 4th Annual CANNES INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF), showcasing independent cinema in the South of France, and providing filmmakers the opportunity to screen in Cannes during the time when the Cannes Film Festival takes place.

Unaffiliated with the Cannes Film Festival, CIFF seeks to be an equalizer for indie artists, leveling the playing field and offering a unique opportunity for filmmakers to get their projects both shown and sold. CIFF presents its selections as part of the Marché du Film, the international film marketplace where films are bought and sold during Cannes. Several films from CIFF 2010 were sold in the Marché du Film and went on to international releases, including RED WHITE & BLUE and PARADOX.

CIFF filmmakers will be assisted in promoting and selling their projects at the Marketplace, and are invited to attend marketing and sales courses, network with industry players, and host launch and promotion parties in conjunction with CIFF. Some participating filmmakers will be extended accommodations in addition to travel and airfare allowances. Sponsored prizes valued at over $50,000 USD will be distributed, and 11 category winners will be recognized.

February 25, 2011 - Late Deadline
Upgraded projects save $5 on this deadline

showcases emerging talent and promotes low-budget and independent films and screenplays to the industry during the time when the Cannes Film Festival takes place, although the event is not affiliated with the Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes).

With an emphasis on new talent, discovery, and innovation, CIFF's vibrant program of films and events combines a commitment to indie filmmaking ideals with a sound understanding of their possibilities in the marketplace. Filmmakers work together to promote each other's projects, making CIFF an exciting and comfortable place to screen your film.

Submit your film or screenplay to the Cannes Independent Film Festival for the chance to promote your work in the South of France during one of the world's biggest film events!

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Sunday, February 13, 2011



Here's some notes on tonight's SNL (In reverse chronological order):

Fine show. Russell Brand was a fine host. He bled for us!

"Are you gods or are you men?" "I killed George Washington." "That did not go as planned." British flag over the WHITE HOUSE.

Spiderman doesn't allow reviews yet. Unless they have a quote they can use in the ads.

SNL job opening -- Head writer in charge of making sure every skit has a funny ending.

A Spot of Tea (Pouring Tea Causes Earthquakes) Nonsensical. But funny.

Livin' Single... Good to the very end... and all the body parts in between.

Weekend update -- Sharp. Gets better. Peaks at Hosni Mubarek - Stays a great one 'til... alas... the ending.

The King's Taster aka The King's Speech. -- Great sketch.

British Film Preview hilarious. There's some future tough guys on the SNL cast.

Funny travel sketch goes blah at ending. Someone needs to be on-call to re-write the ending of certain sketches.

Host monologue -- Russell Brand is funny.

Spiderman Injury Attorney -- better than Conan parodies.

Pre-credits sketch starts promising ... peters out. (O'REILLY & OBAMA ... yes "O'Reilly" really is bigger in the title -- Actually it's the same font size, but O'REILLY looks bigger than OBAMA because of the shape of the letters.)

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Monday, February 07, 2011



Alan Gilbert
Music Director of the New York Philharmonic
Photo Credit - Chris Lee

Each year, the THURNAUER SCHOOL OF MUSIC at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades holds an event to benefit the scholarship fund, promote music and music education, and provide an exceptional educational and musical experience for its students and guests.

Called THE GIFT OF MUSIC, this event includes a concert by one (or more) of the world's most brilliant musicians, and a workshop in which the musicians interact directly with the student.

This year, on Wednesday, February 9, the GIFT OF MUSIC will feature Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, and ten musicians in the orchestra, including Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster, and Sheryl Staples, Principal Associate Concertmaster.

They will perform a selection of chamber music, and then Alan Gilbert will conduct the Thurnauer School Of Music student orchestra in a performance that includes the "Theme From Schindler's List," with Glenn Dicterow as soloist.

In addition to the concert, the Gift Of Music event always includes interaction directly with the students. In prior years, performers have played together with the students in the afternoon, answered questions, and hung out. Violinist Maxim Vengerov told the musical story of Ferdinand The Bull, with the students around him on the stage. Wynton Marsalis played basketball with the students in between the afternoon workshop and the evening concert.

It is extremely generous of Alan Gilbert and the musicians in the Philharmonic to take time out from what is an incredibly busy schedule to support music and music education with the students of the school.

Music and music education is extremely important. The support from such distinguished musicians and cultural icons is especially welcome when times are tough and resources are scarce.

It is critical that the community respond to this generous gift by Alan Gilbert, and the other incredible musicians by supporting music and musical education and becoming active participants in the musical community!

Mark O'Connor
A Composer and Violinist
With a strong interest in American music and music education
At the Thurnauer School of Music
Photo by Eric Roffman

Guided from the beginning by Founding Director Dorothy Roffman, The Thurnauer School of Music is celebrating its 27th season. It is a "community school" -- which means that everyone is welcome, anyone can attend. Located at the Kaplen JCC On the Palisades in Tenafly, NJ, membership at the JCC is not required to study at the school; there is no age requirement; no audition to pass. Each new student, whether a 3 year old starting violin, a ten year old learning the guitar, a twelve year old flutist with some prior training, or a retiree starting to practice piano again, gets an audition that places them with the right teacher, but no-one is turned away.

The school maintains the highest level of instruction. Teachers come with the best music training in the world; and they must be good teachers. The standard is that every student must have a good experience, as well as the best training. The Thurnauer School of Music is one of the best places in the world to start an instrument.

The school provides instruction in many instruments, plus choral, chamber music and orchestral experiences.

In addition to the annual Gift Of Music Concerts, there are several Master Classes given during each year. Auditions to participate in these events are open to students in all of New Jersey. Many great musicians, including Itzhak Perlman, and several members of the New York Philharmonic, including some playing in Wednesday's Gift Of Music Concert, have taught these Master Classes.

The school has several partnership programs with schools in New Jersey, including the Music Discovery Partnership in which students receive music education from the Thurnauer School, and the Chamber Music Express program in partnership with Class Notes, which brings music education to classrooms in New Jersey and around the region.

Students at the Thurnauer School have many performing opportunities at the school, and outside, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and other venues all over the region. One student played on the Sesame Street float at last year's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Former students now play all over the world in orchestras, chamber music groups, and solo concerts. Some teach music. Some have gone on to other careers with a legacy of knowing and loving music. Some have sent their own children to the school.

The Founding Director, Dorothy Roffman (who was joined by Susan Tall for one year) has led the school since its very beginning, brought in by Sandra O. Gold who nurtured the school at the JCC some twenty seven years ago. (Dorothy was teaching violin to Sandra's daughter Amelia at the Manhattan School of Music at the time. Later, Amelia was a teacher at the Thurnauer School. Currently, Dorothy is teaching Amelia's daughter.)

Shortly after the school was founded, Maria and Bill Thurnauer provided personal and financial support for the school, that gave it strength to grow. A few years later, Joan and Alan Handler initiated and began supporting the Master Class program and then the Gift Of Music Benefit Concert. The Richard H Holtzer Memorial Foundation helped establish chamber music concerts by the Thurnauer Chamber Music Society. Additional major contributions have supported the partnership programs, scholarships, and other activities.


(Musicians and repertoire may be subject to change.)


Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic

Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster
Sheryl Staples, Principal Associate Concertmaster
Sharon Yamada, Violin
Yulia Ziskel, Violin
Alan Gilbert, Viola
Rebecca Young, Associate Principal Viola
Ru-Pei Yeh, Cello
Maria Kitsopoulos, Cello
Judith LeClair, Principal Bassoon
Nancy Allen, Principal Harp
Jonathan Feldman, Piano

Glenn Dicterow
Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic

PROGRAM (Performances by Thurnauer School Of Music instrumental and choral groups, the Thurnauer Symphony Orchestra, and Musicians in the New York Philharmonic)

Chamber Music including selections from
- Beethoven Piano Trio No. 4, Op. 11
- Andres "Chants d'arriere-saison for Bassoon and Harp"
- Mendelssohn Octet (Allegro moderato ma con fuoco)

Orchestral Music, conducted by Alan Gilbert, including selections from
- Mozart Divertimento, K. 137, in Bb
- Williams "Theme from Schindler's List"
Glenn Dicterow, Violin, with the orchestra


General admission tickets are available at the BergenPAC box office, 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood (Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), online at, or by telephone at 1-888-PACSHOW (1-888-722-7469).


This is a benefit concert. Event sponsorships are very important!
Sponsorships may include patron seating, a meet-the-artist reception and additional benefits. Sponsor inquiries should be made through the Thurnauer School, at 201-408-1462 or


The school reaches out into the community through public performances and its 12- year Music Discovery Partnership with the Englewood Public Schools, a program in jeopardy due to budget cuts.

Some more facts about the Thurnauer School of Music

The Thurnauer School of Music (, established in 1984, has been designated as a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State. It serves more than 700 students in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. It also serves as an area cultural resource by presenting more than 30 concerts annually, as well as master classes with world-renowned artists. The School is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and an integral part of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades. JCC membership is not a requirement for enrollment or financial aid at the Thurnauer School. The School is supported, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the Richard H. Holzer Memorial Foundation; the Community Chest serving Englewood, Tenafly and Englewood Cliffs; the Sacramento Region Community Foundation; the Lillian Pitkin Schenck Fund; and numerous individual donors. For further information, contact the music school at or 201-408-1465.

David Finckel
Cellist and Co-Director of The Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society
At the Thurnauer School of Music
Photo by Eric Roffman


The Gift Of Music artists have included world famous violinists Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Gil Shaham, Ani & Ida Kavafian, and Maxim Vengerov; Cellist Steven Isserlis; The Juilliard, Emerson and Orion Quartets; flutist Paula Robison; Pianists Melvin Chen, Claude Frank, Andrew De Grado, Simon Mulligan, Marija Stroke, Lilya Zilberstein, Lillian Kallir, Jonathan Feldman, and Richard Goode; Jazz legends: Marian McPartland, piano, Rufus Reid, bass & Kimberly Thompson, drums; The Paquito D'Rivera Jazz Quintet, and The Wynton Marsalis Septet; clarinetist David Krakauer; composer and violinist Mark O'Connor; and the co-chairs of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: David Finckel, cello and Wu Han, piano

1991 Pamela Frank, violin & Claude Frank, piano
1992 Joshua Bell, violin & Andrew De Grado, piano
1993 Richard Goode, piano
1994 Claude Frank & Lillian Kallir, piano duo
1995 The Wynton Marsalis Septet, jazz
1996 The Emerson String Quartet
1997 Erie Mills, soprano, Kurt Ollmann, baritone & Marija Stroke, piano
1998 Ani & Ida Kavafian, violin/viola duo & Jonathan Feldman, piano
1999 David Finckel, cello & Wu Han, piano
2000 The Juilliard String Quartet
2001 The Paquito D'Rivera Jazz Quintet
2002 Gil Shaham, violin & Jonathan Feldman, piano
2003 Marian McPartland, piano, Rufus Reid, bass & Kimberly Thompson, drums
2003 Joshua Bell, violin & Simon Mulligan, piano
2004 The Orion String Quartet
2005 Paula Robison, flute & Melvin Chen, piano
2006 Maxim Vengerov, violin & Lilya Zilberstein, piano
2007 Steven Isserlis, cello & Melvin Chen, piano
2008 David Krakauer, clarinet & Marija Stroke, piano
2009 Mark O'Connor, violin
2010 David Finckel, cello and Wu Han, piano



THURNAUER SCHOOL OF MUSIC FACEBOOK PAGE!/pages/JCC-Thurnauer-School-of-Music/132117614226?v=wall





By telephone at 1-888-PACSHOW (1-888-722-7469)


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When they were good, they were very, very good. And when they were bad, they were horrid.

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Sunday, February 06, 2011



Dana Carvey did a decent job of hosting. He had brief visits from old friends Mike Myers and Jon Lovitz; and not a bad appearance by Justin Bieber (as Justin Bieber) on The Church Lady sketch (but punches were pulled... not even close to Skins). I liked the look of the B&W start of Linkin Park's 2nd set, and the music 'til they started singing -- I've never liked the SNL mix of vocals.

Here's some more notes on the highlights (and the echh-y sketches).

In reverse order, from end to beginning of the show:

=>Wrap-up - Not a bad show tonight, not a great one either.

=>Wrap-up - Dana Carvey has two great looking kids.

=>Embrace Me...
by the fingerlings (??? - 4 fingers?) ... echh. Pointless. (YES. BAD AND ANNOYING IS BAD AND ANNOYING. So what. )

=>Promo for Celebrity Apprentice... that was a sketch, right?

=>Wurtz is a character with character. A winner, consoling losers.

=>Pageant -- Wiig's one word ... "Me!" was the funniest moment in the whole sketch. But the sketch has a real kick. Satire with an edge. Not funny, but edgy.

=>Live with Regis & Kelly ... Not so funny.

=>Bieber & SNL generating about 1000 tweets or more per half hour.

=>Weekend Update - Egypt Winners and Losers, James Franco & Disco Weather rocked on the mark.

=>THE ROOMMATE - Better than the real thing! NOT! Maybe scarier than the real thing in a different way?

=>Celebrity Crisis Center -- Great concept, limp writing, lousy impersonations, except for Eddie Murphy. That man's GOOD!

=>Church Lady. The voice is a little out of practice, but... Still funny, after all these years. Decades, actually.

=>Black Noise commercial. I'll buy it.

=>Monologue... ecch. I don't care for "I'm the best" monologues. This one was especially flat.

=>OMG! it's Wayne's World, back like were all back at 9 yrs old.


Here's the SNL web site -- It should keep up with the show. It seems kind of lazy, with a confusing design besides.

Here's the SNL Twitter site. It's also kind of lazy.

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