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Entertainment behind the scenes

Bill Gates to America: education matters

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Director Davis Guggenheim (R) and Bill Gates attend a news conference to promote the film "Waiting For Superman" during the 35th Toronto International Film Festival September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

Worry about the U.S. public education system has brought billionaire Bill Gates into the movie business, with a cameo role in a documentary looking at the “full-on crisis” of undereducated kids, in a school system that’s failing to meet their needs, and a tough message to business leaders:
Education matters, and good students will strengthen American business and improve its competitive position.
Gates is one of the experts who appears in “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary that focuses on staggering signs that American children are falling way behind their counterparts in other countries, even as school spending increases.
Director Davis Guggenheim, who also directed Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” tells the story through everyday students, as well as key reformers and stakeholders in education.
“We are in full-on crisis mode,” producer Lesley Chilcott told a press conference which Gates also attended.
Gates said Microsoft is finding it increasingly difficult to find home-grown science and engineering students, and many science students did not come through the public school system.
“If you look at a computer science department in the top schools the majority are not U.S.-born,” he said. “That just says something about our education system.”

Pictured above:

Director Davis Guggenheim (R) and Bill Gates attend a news conference to promote the film “Waiting For Superman” during the 35th Toronto International Film Festival September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

UPDATE-Former prosecutor, filmmaker at odds over statement on Polanski in documentary

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A retired L.A. prosecutor has admitted that he lied when he said in a documentary film that he advised the judge in Roman Polanski’s 1977 case to send the director to prison.

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The documentary in question, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” is cited by Polanski’s defenders as evidence that he was the victim of judicial misconduct.

Is it Anvil? Nah dude, it’s CannesVil!

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anvilThey came, they played … no, they thrashed.

Heavy metal band Anvil, led by frontmen Steve “Lips” Kudlow (guitar) and Robb Reiner (No, it’s not the movie director. It’s the drummer, with two bb’s) livened up the Cannes film festival on Sunday night in show at Morrison’s Irish pub.

It was a decidedly different type of affair – a hot and sweaty one – here in this seaside French Riviera town known more for gowns, tuxedos and flutes of champagne than leather jackets, t-shirts and pints of beer. But that’s what made it rock — it was real. We watched Anvil play on Sunday. You can go, too, by clicking below. … rock on!

Sundance’s real filmmakers

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Robert Redford likes to say the Sundance Film Festival is a place of discovery for fresh cinematic voices, but often all we hear about are the stars. So, here’s some of those new filmmakers at Sundance 2009.

 

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