Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

There’s mud at Glastonbury, and it ain’t glorious


Mud, mud, glorious mud. Or so goes the popular English song.

It’s a phrase often applied to the Glastonbury music festival, where the combination of some 180,000 people, rain and 900 acres of grassy fields in an English valley can produce an awful lot of the stuff.

At only my second Glastonbury after last year’s sun-baked edition, the rain and mud has come as a bit of a shock. Of course I’m careful who I complain to at the festival – veterans merely shrug their shoulders and say something like “nothing compared to …” and name a year when the conditions were particularly unpleasant.

Getting from one venue to the next is not easy at the best of times in Glastonbury, with crowds and a poor sense of direction often getting in my way. Now it takes at least twice as long as I trudge through sticky, squelchy mud and try to avoid the kind of messy belly flops I’ve seen performed – mostly accidentally – by fellow festival goers.

Keeping the tent from turning into a mud bath is another challenge, and taking notes in the rain a further frustration.

Lady Gaga has monsters, Cheryl Cole has soldiers


Has Cheryl Cole gone Gaga?

The British singer, who is not the global phenomenon that is Lady Gaga, has written a message to her fans following her embarrassing fallout with the makers of the U.S. version of “X Factor”, who apparently did not want her on the judging panel having initially said that they did.

Cole’s website was silent throughout the fiasco which dominated British tabloid headlines for days, but she has finally broken her silence with a missive posted on Sunday reassuring the world that she is fine despite the setbacks and has been spending time with her friends, family and “doggys”. Well, in fact she doesn’t mention any setbacks, but merely describes the last few weeks as “the weirdest”.

Cannes – let the guessing game commence


Phew. Eleven days gone and the end is in sight at the Cannes film festival.

No, this is not a bad a assignment to have as a journalist, and no, we aren’t complaining, but yes, the end of the busiest festival  many of us can remember is a relief.

2011 has had it all — good movies (I can’t tell you my personal choices — this is Reuters!), big stars, great parties, huge interest from the outside world and a big dose of controversy.

Does director Malick exist?


Admittedly with tongue firmly in cheek, French reporters in Cannes for the film festival are pondering the unthinkable — does U.S. director Terrence Malick actually exist?

Most film makers are only too happy to share the limelight with their cast at the world’s biggest showcase, bathed in sunshine so far this year and the scene of an endless circus of screenings, press conferences and parties frequented by the beautiful people.

You talking to me? De Niro perplexes at Cannes


Robert De Niro is known for explosive performances, lighting up movies as a mobster, conquistador or evil CIA stepdad. But to journalists, he has an entirely different reputation — as one of the toughest people to interview in showbusiness.

When facing reporters, the “Goodfellas” star has not always felt compelled to wax poetic. In fact, he barely waxes at all: De Niro has been known to field questions with abrupt ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, leave pregnant silences that can make the most seasoned interviewers squirm — or simply shrug his shoulders.

Woody back on form in Cannes. Phew!


I, along with just about every other reporter and critic in Cannes for the film festival this year, was a little nervous about Woody Allen being chosen to open the event with his romantic comedy “Midnight In Paris”. Many cinephiles feel the 75-year-old Oscar winner has failed to live up to his famously high standards in recent outings. In Britain, at least, “Match Point” was not much loved while “Cassandra’s Dream” was broadly unpopular.

But Midnight In Paris quickly won over the notoriously picky Cannes crowd at a press screening today, with laughter (in all the right places) and warm applause as the credits rolled on what he has described as his “love letter to Paris”. The surreal tale follows Hollywood scriptwriter Gil, played by Owen Wilson, who is in Paris and travels back in time each night to the 1920s, where he meets his heroes including Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. As he grows closer to Picasso’s lover Adriana, played by Marion Cotillard, he moves ever further from his present-day fiancee, played by Rachel McAdams.

Have Gaddafi stars gone far enough?


Beyonce, Nelly Furtado and Mariah Carey have all tried to repair any damage that their links to the tainted regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi may have caused them.Beyonce.jpg

On Monday, Furtado tweeted that she would give away the $1 million she earned for just 45 minutes performing before the clan in Italy in 2007. OK, it’s a start, but when, and to whom, and how will anyone know?

from Photographers' Blog:

The room where no one says cheese

You’ve just won your Oscar, given your acceptance speech to the world and are whisked off stage. The world watching on television goes to a commercial break as you are escorted off to meet the press, first stop “The Photo Room”.

Actress Melissa Leo holds her Oscar for performance by an actress in a supporting role for "The Fighter" backstage at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 27, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake

You come around a corner and step up onto a 60-foot long low-rise stage. Behind you are three 10-foot golden Oscar statuettes, each surrounded by a bouquet of colorful flowers. In front of you is a grandstand of 60 well-dressed photographers who all want you to hold up your award and look at them, and no one says cheese.

New Dads Elton John, David Furnish plan more movies


JohnFurnishNow that they have baby Zachary to look after, Elton John and David Furnish may follow up their animated movie “Gnomeo and Juliet” with more kids’ films. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born on Christmas Day at a Los Angeles hospital to a surrogate mother.

The celebrity couple produced the feel-good, gnome-infested take on William Shakespeare’s bleak tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”, and the film hits theatres in Britain and the United States on Feb. 11. At the London premiere this weekend, the couple walked the red carpet along with some of the stars who provided voices, including Emily Blunt, Stephen Merchant and Matt Lucas.

Did Gervais go too far at Globes?


The day afteRickyr the Golden Globes, and, in Britain at least, there is as much media chatter about show host Ricky Gervais and his no-holds-barred approach as there is about Colin Firth’s acting award for his portrayal of the stammering King George VI in “The King’s Speech”.

Normally the reaction on this side of the pond to major U.S. movie award shows is to champion the victorious Brits, or otherwise bemoan their failure. This year would have been no exception — joy for Firth, otherwise disappointment for the film about the British monarchy — were it not for Gervais and his less-than-gentle jokes that took aim at, among others, Charlie Sheen, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp of “The Tourist”, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Cher, the actresses in Sex and the City, prominent Scientologists and Hugh Hefner.