Sunday, February 27, 2011



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the rite premiere 160211

Sir Anthony Hopkins is set to make his U.K. debut as a composer when he unveils a new composition at a classical concert in Cardiff.

"The Silence of the Lambs" star will present a brand new piece written for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) as well as several of his original scores at a show in Cardiff, Wales. He will also appear onstage to discuss his songwriting techniques with concert producer Tommy Pearson.

Sir Anthony's concert will be held at St David's Hall in Cardiff on July 24.



In this modern era, the highest court may not be in any given country, but outside it. International Law Courts now rule on many issues especially those related to human rights. A legal issue about employment rights in Germany or Portugal, for example, might eventually be settled in the European Court of Justice.




Some ideas to dress your doors up!




Catherine Zeta-Jones visited Buckingham Palace on Thursday, February 24 to be made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Charles, Prince of Wales.

The actress and her husband Michael Douglas took their kids Dylan and Carys to the ceremony at Queen Elizabeth II's royal residence, where Zeta-Jones was honored for her charity work and services to the film industry.




10. Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond (1981)

on golden pond
When Henry Fonda won his 1981 Oscar for his Very Special Oldie role as a bitter coot of a father in On Golden Pond, he was too ill to attend the ceremony. Too bad the star had to wait so long for his only win: Fonda should have been handed the golden prize 40 years earlier when he was nominated for his great performance in The Grapes of Wrath.

9. Roman Polanski for The Pianist (2002)

Twenty-five years after he fled the country on a sex charge, Roman Polanski was chosen as Best Director for The Pianist, an impressively moody but also rather sketchy and remote drama of one lost soul (Adrien Brody) stumbling through the Holocaust. On Oscar night, all of Hollywood greeted this award as a kind of honorary, penitential homecoming for a great, exiled filmmaker (even though he literally couldn't come home). Yet that only emphasized that Polanski's Oscar was, in essence, a symbolic gesture. The movies he really deserved to win for were his earlier landmark masterpieces: the demonically brilliant spookshow Rosemary's Baby (1968) and the great, labyrinthine, dark-as-midnight mystery-thriller Chinatown (1974).

8. Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field (1963)

At his best, Sidney Poitier could be a ferocious actor (''They call me Mr. Tibbs!''), but Hollywood, always profoundly uneasy about how, exactly, to cast the first black movie star, too often stuck this charismatic trailblazer in roles that turned him into a mild, saintly, eager-to-please supplicant. Lilies of the Field, the movie for which he won Best Actor, is a laughably wholesome piece of kitsch in which Poitier plays a handyman who helps a group of German nuns build a church in the middle of the Arizona desert. The role is so servile (and asexual) that Poitier seemed to be getting rewarded for turning himself into a eunuch. He should have won five years before for The Defiant Ones (1958), the original salt-and-pepper buddy movie, in which his acting had a lyrical intensity.

7. Jimmy Stewart for The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Even Jimmy Stewart didn't vote for Jimmy Stewart to win the 1940 Oscar for Best Actor for his work in The Philadelphia Story; he said he voted for Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath. (See Number 10.) It sure feels like Academy voters realized they made a mistake in not awarding Stewart the top prize when they should have a year earlier, when he was nominated for his stirring work in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. (The Oscar went to the wrong good actor, Robert Donat, in Goodbye, Mr. Chips.)

6. Jessica Lange in Blue Sky (1994)

She actually gives a potent performance as a veteran military wife whose unstable emotional extravagance keeps spilling over the boundaries of her life. Yet when Jessica Lange took home the Best Actress prize for this fascinating if over-the-top curio, it was as much or more of a nod to the indelible work she'd done before — in particular, to her masterful performance as country-music legend Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams (1985), a movie in which she memorably etched the life of a down-home artist caught up in a sexy, boozy domestic purgatory that is never less than blisteringly authentic.

5. Denzel Washington for Training Day (2001)

2001 was a great year for African-American movie actors: Halle Berry won Best Actress for Monster's Ball and Denzel Washington won Best Actor for playing a tough and crooked cop in Training Day. Oh well, the Academy was only a decade or so too late in honoring Washington: Nominated in 1992 for his towering performance in Malcolm X, he should have brought home the gold then.


4. John Wayne in True Grit (1969)

As the fat, raspy, one-eyed trigger-happy old lawman Rooster Cogburn, John Wayne seemed to be doing a comic riff on his entire career. And so there's a certain poetic justice to his having taken home the Oscar for what was, in essence, a lifetime-achievement award. He really should have won back in 1951, for infusing the martinet Marine sergeant in Sands of Iwo Jima with such a haunted sense of private loss. But he really should have won for The Searchers, the John Ford classic in which he boldly excavated the darkest side of the West. As it happens, he wasn't even nominated for it.

3. Martin Scorsese for The Departed (2007)

Consolation Oscar Syndrome caught up with Martin Scorsese in 2007 when the acclaimed director won his first and only statuette for The Departed. Five years earlier, in 2002, the it's-about-time publicity brigade behind Gangs of New York began pushing hard when Scorsese received his fourth Best Director nomination. And in 2004, they pushed again for The Aviator. No luck. The Departed is good and all, but the love showered on it had a sorry-we're-late intensity to it: Scorsese should have won his first Oscar in 1980 for Raging Bull, and another in 1990 for Goodfellas.

2. Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)

Kate Winslet is in the Oscar record books for having received five nominations by the time she was 31. (She's been showered with six in all.) But by the time she finally won the 2008 Best Actress award for The Reader, voters who might have rightfully recognized Melissa Leo for Frozen River or Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married that year were in consolation mode. Winslet should have claimed the prize and been crowned Queen of the World for Titanic in 1997.


1. Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman (1992)

How could Al Pacino finally win a Best Actor award for a performance so operatically florid, so hambone shameless, that it's basically full of, well, hoo-hah? He could do it because Oscar loves ham served with all the trimmings — but also because, in Pacino's case, the Academy had so much to make up for. As Frank Slade, a retired Army Colonel who lost his sight in an accident and has become an incorrigible, Jack Daniels-swilling loudmouth, Pacino grabs your heartstrings by the lapels. What everyone knew, by then, is that the award was really a nod to his earlier work: for his having so epically portrayed Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) as a mensch-turned-monster, for getting so far inside the pathological heroism of Frank Serpico in Serpico (1973), and for making the desperate, hapless bank robber of Dog Day Afternoon (1975) into the ultimate '70s antihero.







Music: Walter Donaldson
Lyrics: Edgar Leslie

Publisher: Walter Donaldson

Copyright: ©1929/1955

Cover: Pud Lane

Collectible Value: $20.00

Category: 1920s Jazz Song

The 1920s were roaring and dance tunes were always in demand. Even tunes about dancing. This one, put together by two experienced and very talented writers, took the craze to a new extreme. Actually, a glance at the lyrics will show what many considered to be somewhat risqué lyrics in spots. But consider that the lyricist also contributed to the double entendre laced He'd Have to Get Under many years before. There is plenty of that here, with blatant references to flapper girls and their undergarments, as well as other titillating scenarios. This is a fine jazz song melodically, and very much in the genre of a traditional jazz band piece, which is how it is presented here. The cover is also one of the better examples of comic art at a time when sheet music covers were becoming definitively more generic




Tibetan Princess Circa 1900



The white part of your fingernail is called the lunula.




Bids for a single lock of Justin Bieber's hair have reached $6,700 in an online auction. The pop superstar cut his famous hair at the weekend and he is offering his locks to various charities in an effort to help them raise money. And one lot has already proven to be a big success on

The hair up for grabs on the auction site was given to chat show host Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of her U.S. show on Tuesday, February 22. Bieber told DeGeneres, "I'm giving pieces of it (hair) to different people. We're doing something special. We want you to donate it to whatever charity you want."




Well he does!




The Oscars (aka Academy Awards) is the biggest night on the movie calendar. Winning an Oscar has always been the maximum achievement for actors, directors and studios in Hollywood. Some say just being nominated is enough, but we all know that’s not the case. Everyone wants to go up to the podium, put their sweaty hands on that statue and thank their mother and God and their agent. Even if we don’t agree with the win, we feel winning that Oscar deserves maybe a second look at a picture or performance. Over the years there have been a string of wins that have raised some eyebrows and, for some, questioned the Academy itself.

Here are 10 controversial Oscar winning films.

10. Hustle and Flow (2006)


Up against Dolly Parton’s country song for Transamerica and a haunting ballad from Crash, many people were stunned that “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the film Hustle and Flow was chosen as Best Original Song at the 2006 Academy Awards. Penned and performed by the hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, it’s Oscar win caused a fair amount of debate within the African-American community since some felt that it glorified a negative portrayal of young, African-American males as pimps and criminals.

9. My Cousin Vinny (1992)


Jaws definitely hit the floor when it was announced that Marisa Tomei was voted as 1992′s Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mona Lisa Vito, the gum-snacking, wisecracking girlfriend of the title character in My Cousin Vinny. Considering that she was up against such highly distinguished actresses as Joan Plowright,

Vanessa Redgrave, Judy Davis and Miranda Richardson, it seemed as though Academy voters had experienced a momentary lapse of judgment in picking Tomei over these much worthier competitors. In fact, Tomei’s win was so shocking that it created a maelstrom of controversy that presenter Jack Palance had misread the actual recipient. But two Oscar nominations later, everyone now knows that was most certainly not the case.

8. The Pianist (2002)


No one can deny that The Pianist was a great film, but this didn’t prevent it from generating a whirlwind of controversy at the 2002 Academy Awards. Up against Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day Lewis, Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine, Adrien Brody shocked the audience with his Best Actor win. (He also shocked presenter Halle Berry, upon whom he planted a big, wet kiss.)

On top of star Adrien Brody’s surprise win, The Pianist caused even greater controversy when Roman Polanski was named recipient of the Best Director Oscar. Yes, Polanski is one of the legendary directors in film history, but many thought the only thing the convicted rapist deserved was a jar of mint jelly. Why? –Because he was still (at the time) on the lam. Not to mention, Chicago’s Rob Marshall had already won the Director’ Guild of America prize that year.

7. Crash (2004)


Race relations for dummies. That’s how many people viewed Paul Haggis’ film that interweaves several stories spanning two days in Los Angeles involving a collection of interrelated characters. Still, the film snatched the Oscar for Best Picture away from favorite Brokeback Mountain thanks to an aggressive campaign. And if that weren’t enough, Crash also generated a great deal of behind-the-scenes drama concerning the number of producers eligible for a nomination/win.

6. Kramer Vs Kramer (1979)


Over the years, several actors have taken home an Oscar even though they are hardly in the film—the most notable being Anthony Hopkins’ Best Actor win for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins is actually only onscreen for a total of 16 minutes, but hey, he’s Hannibal the cannibal—a character so chilling that in 2003, the American Film Institute named him the #1 movie villain of all time.

In stark contrast to Anthony Hopkins’ win, it must be pointed out that there was some seriously suspect voting when Meryl Streep won a Best Supporting Actress award in 1979 for Kramer Vs Kramer. Now, as good an actress as Streep is, let’s face it, she is barely seen in Kramer Vs Kramer. The win begs the question whether there should be a screentime minimum to be eligible. Then again, it’s Meryl Streep.

5. Shakespeare in Love (1998)


Shakespeare in Love left many critics shaking their heads after the 1998 Academy Awards. For starters, how did Shakespeare in Love manage to take home the Oscar for Best Picture over two classic movies of the war film genre—The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan? The latter deserved the Oscar solely for it’s opening sequence. In fact, so sure was everyone that Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan would take home the Best Picture award that Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, was the Best Picture presenter.

Furthermore, what was the Academy smoking when they awarded Gwyneth Paltrow the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love? Sure, she’s so hot it actually hurts, but that little golden statue could have turned in a better performance.

4. Titanic (1997)


Titanic dominated the 1997 Academy Awards, but was it really deserving of eleven Oscars? Many critics think not. In the Best Picture category, it beat off competition from As Good As It Gets, The Full Monty, Good Will Hunting and the epic noir, L.A. Confidential. Years later, the Academy would increase their support of less arthouse/more commercial films in the hopes of bringing more viewers to the telecast – carrying on the debate of what it really means to be “Best Picture.”

3. Butterfield 8 (1960)


People still argue over the 1960 Best Actress Oscar nod given to Elizabeth Taylor, as call girl Gloria Wamdrous in Butterfield 8. Taylor herself disliked playing the role, but contractual obligations dictated that she take the part. Furthermore, there was no chemistry visible between Liz and her leading man, actor Laurence Harvey, and critics say that her role was way too “high camp” to be taken seriously. Whatever your take is on this film, you still have to admit that Elizabeth Taylor holds your attention… but an Oscar? Still, she wouldn’t be the last woman to use sex to make it to Oscar night.

2. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)


Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth may have been epic in scope and highly popular with audiences, but there are those who continue to sniff their noses at its 1952 Best Picture win. They believe it hardly measures up artistically to the films it was up against – The Quiet Man, High Noon, Moulin Rouge and Ivanhoe. Many attacked DeMille’s movies for being excessive and overly sentimental; but that has never deterred fans from watching and enjoying them. it obviously did not bother those Academy voters who picked it as a winner either.

1. How Green Was My Valley (1941)


While no one can deny that John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley was an outstanding motion picture, many still object to the fact that it won the Best Picture Oscar in 1941 – over Orson Welles’s masterpiece Citizen Kane. It is widely believed that since Citizen Kane was loosely based on William Randolph Hearst and his mistress Marion Davies, the furious media magnate pressured Hollywood into rejecting the film as the Best Picture winner. At that time, Hearst’s newspaper employed influential gossip columnist Louella Parsons, who could quite literally make or break stars’ careers. Nobody wanted to risk angering Hearst further by voting for a movie he obviously disapproved of, no matter how worthy it was. Success, as they say, is the ultimate revenge and, despite W.R.H.’s efforts to obliterate its memory, Citizen Kane is now judged by many as the greatest movie ever made.




Imagine a family night around the entertainment centre … 

early karaoke?