Entertainment behind the scenes
from Photographers Blog:
Picture the scene; after completing more than a dozen television interviews, then facing ten photographers all clamoring for her attention on a red carpet lined with tall gold Oscar statues, Italian actress Sophia Loren was game enough to sit atop the base of one of the last Oscar statues used as backdrops. She settled herself, carefully arranged her dress so her long tan legs were shown to advantage and posed up a storm.
As she got up and prepared to head into the tribute honoring her at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Tribute in Beverly Hills, I thanked her for her patience. She turned to me and said “This is fun”.
I have covered red carpet events for Reuters in Los Angeles for the past 19 years - the routine premiere, the various award shows from Oscars to Grammys - but it still boils down to getting there early, hoping the publicist has marked a spot for you on the arrival line, and waiting.
Thursday night at the Academy, there were only about ten of us shooting. As luck would have it, I was placed next to last in line, right at the end of the arrivals line. It could have been good or bad. If the guest was in a hurry they would fly past. But it seemed luck was on my side as Miss Loren posed for the first group of photographers, I asked her publicist, Stan Rosenfield, if he would have her pose at the Oscar statue in front of my position, she posed for the others, then moved to right in front of me. She then proceeded to give the gift of a great pose, sitting at the base of the statue. As events go, one of the few remaining screen legends making a rare appearance in the U.S., this was one to be remembered.
They aren’t exactly Laurel and Hardy, or Hope and Crosby, or Lewis and Martin (that’s singer Dean) or even Rowan and Martin (as in Laugh-in’s Dick Martin). So when Oscar organizers on Tuesday named Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as the co-hosts of the upcoming Academy Awards, it left more than a few Hollywood watchers scratching their heads. You can read the story here.
After all, their only two pull quotes from the press release issued by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ranged from Martin’s mildly funny “I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin,” to a decidedly mixed statement from Baldwin, “I don’t play the banjo but I’m thrilled to be hosting the Oscars — it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
All of you who’ve been reading Reuters and Fan Fare this past two weeks know that we are currently at the beginning of the film industry’s award season, and smack in the middle of the final of three festivals that launch Academy Award campaigns — at Telluride, Colorado, Venice, Italy, and here in Toronto, Canada.
from Africa News blog:
Something isn’t sitting quite right at this year’s fantastic, dust-filled pan-African FESPACO film festival.
For a start, it’s less “pan-African” than it might be: of 19 feature films competing for the shiny statue of Princess Yennenga riding her golden stallion -- Africa's very own Oscar -- only one is from east Africa and none from Nigeria, whose video industry is third only to Hollywood and India’s Bollywood. By far the majority are from French-speaking countries.
(Writing by Lisa Baertlein)
Glamour ruled on Hollywood’s biggest night, and “Slumdog Millionaire” star Freida Pinto was brilliant in a blue John Galliano gown, supporting actress winner Penelope Cruz donned a 60-year-old Balmain and best actress winner Kate Winslet dazzled in a one-shoulder number from Yves Saint Laurent.
Stars like Heidi Klum and Natalie Portman added splashes of color, but many stars including Anne Hathaway, Cruz, Taraji P. Henson and Evan Rachel Wood wore white and other light colors.
Kate Winslet, who is nominated for an Oscar for best actress in ”The Reader,” has been happy to take her clothes off for the sake of her art.
But those days may be over.
“I think I won’t do it again: a) I can’t keep getting away with it, and b) I don’t want to become ‘that actress who always gets her kit off,’” Winslet told Time magazine, in a profile that ran on its website on Thursday.
Word comes to us that Oscar has a new favorite champagne, Moet & Chandon.
And there will be plenty of it. The bubbly will be poured at the Red Carpet Cocktail Party, the Awards Ceremony, the fabulous Governor’s Ball after the ceremony, the Foreign Language Film Awards Cocktail Party and the New York Oscar Viewing Party. That’s a lot of champagne. But hey, times are tough, and even Hollywood could use a little cheering up. So, break out the bubbly, Oscar.
The hype around Friday’s release of the “The Dark Knight” has reached a fever pitch, with Heath Ledger’s dark turn as the Joker generating an avalanche of posthumous Oscar buzz.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone has called Ledger’s performance “mad-crazy-blazing brilliant,” while the sequel’s director Christopher Nolan has raved in the New York Times that Ledger’s portrayal of the sadistic makeup-caked villain is “stunning” and “iconic”.