Entertainment behind the scenes
He’s a physiotherapist by day and a filmmaker by nights, weekends and everything in between. Semyon Pinkhasov has captured facets of Soviet life that rarely get shared beyond Russia’s borders, even after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
(For story, click on http://r.reuters.com/qac34m)
The self-taught, self-financed, award-winning amateur documentary filmmaker has seen his films shown worldwide at festivals and on Russian and English-language television channels. Focused on the arts and the sport of fencing (U.S. Olympic Team Coach in 1984), he tells stories about Grigory Fried, who has run a music appreciation club in Moscow for 45 years without taking a kopeck; Tikhon Khrennikov, the first and last secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers; and Boris Efimov, perhaps Stalin’s favorite cartoonist.
One film about German fencing legend Helene Meyer, whose half-Jewish heritage provided Adolf Hitler with political cover to stage the 1936 Olympics, won for best screenplay at the 2009 International Festival of Sports Films in Moscow. But what drives someone with no background in film, journalism or the arts to dive into movie making? Roll the video:
Photo: Documentary Filmmaker Semyon Pinkhasov is shown in his Manhattan apartment on June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Daniel Bases
Celine Dion has come top of a magazine poll on the world’s worst cover versions. Total Guitar magazine said the Canadian singer’s rendition of AC/DC classic “You Shook Me All Night Long” put her in the No. 1 slot of the list published in its July issue.
Dion never released the song as a single but performed what the magazine called the “offence” against music at a Las Vegas concert six years ago in a duet with Anastacia.
Visiting the Ian Fleming exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London this week, it was interesting to see how important he and his relatives thought his time as a reporter with Reuters was. His niece, Kate Grimond, suggested his stint with the news agency helped him settle down after leaving school and taught the writing skills that would serve him well when he came to write the hugely successful James Bond series. Fleming himself once said: “Reuters was great fun in those days … above all, I have to thank Reuters for getting my facts right.”
It was a slight shame that the company name in the quote, printed in large letters on one of the exhibition walls, was misspelled as “Reuter’s”. One of the press officers promised to have that put right, so I shall go back and check some time.