WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Don’t misunderstand: New Zealand’s independent film community is enormously grateful for Peter Jackson, whose blockbuster “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, among other things, gave Kiwi directors a jolt of confidence.
“We saw one of our own kind do it,” said Robert Sarkies, a Wellington-based screenwriter and director. “For a remote country that lacks industry and has a feeling of cultural insecurity, what Peter Jackson achieved is pretty huge.”
Still, some film people here worry that Mr. Jackson’s rise has come at a price. The New Zealand government has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Mr. Jackson’s mainstream movies and even rewritten labor laws to accommodate his Hollywood partners. What about other homegrown directors, particularly those interested in artier cinema? Is enough being done to make their careers sprout?
“The government has shown generosity toward these big films while smaller ones are left to struggle,” said Mr. Sarkies, whose movies include “Two Little Boys,” a comedy starring Bret McKenzie. “The fact is, government funding for smaller New Zealand films hasn’t even remained the same; it has gotten smaller and smaller.”
Considering that Lalo Schifrin scares people for a living, he hardly looks the part. Coming down the stairs of his home two weeks ago, one of Hollywood’s leading creators of suspense-movie scores seemed almost bookish—with black-frame glasses, longish silver hair and a face creased as though he spends most of his time smiling.
“When I write a suspenseful score, I need to make audiences forget they are in a safe place,” said the 80-year-old composer, conductor and arranger, settling into a sofa in the dimly lit den of his home, which once belonged to Groucho Marx. “Movie composers, they are like magicians. The music is there to contribute to the make-believe. With suspense, you must create concern where none exists.”
Mr. Schifrin knows a thing or two about making palms sweat. Since 1963, he has written more than 100 suspenseful themes and scores for television and the movies—including “Mannix,” “Bullitt,” “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “The Eagle Has Landed,” four of Clint Eastwood‘s five “Dirty Harry” films, “The Amityville Horror” and the “Rush Hour” series.
This month marks the 45th anniversary of Mr. Schifrin’s most famous soundtrack—”Mission: Impossible,” which won him two Grammys and set new standards for TV and movie suspense music. On Tuesday, a four-CD set—”My Life in Music” (Aleph)—will be released, surveying Mr. Schifrin’s prolific composing and recording career in film, jazz, bossa nova, classical and opera.
The glitzy world of fashion and design doesn’t typically conjure up images of sustainability and social consciousness, but if its up to Eva Kruse, CEO of the Danish Fashion Institute and Chairman of the Nordic Fashion Association, that’s all going to change.
In the last month, she has pulled off the largest sustainable fashion summit in the world, and starting this week, she is launching a global social media campaign, aiming to forever change the way we look at our clothes.
Her goal is for all companies in the industry to declare sustainability a key value.
“I have worked in the fashion industry for nearly 20 years, and it is a wonderful and exciting industry, but it is also one of the largest and most polluting in the world,” said Kruse.
From the massive consumption of water and fertilizer in cotton production, to the chemical processing at plants, the pollution of local waterways and environments, safety issues for workers, fair wages, child labor and other social concerns — issues for the fashion industry are enormous, she says.
“That is why it is so important that we address this … and because of the size of the industry, even a small change can make a big difference,” says Kruse.
Kruse, who founded the Danish Fashion Institute as the only employee in 2005, is credited by industry professionals and government ministers for having put Danish design and sustainable fashion on the world map.
Last month, she gathered more than 1,000 people — including Hollywood celebrities, international designers and other industry professionals — at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, to explore sustainable solutions.
Strange Random Ecology Quote:
“The first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else.” – Barry Commoner (American Biologist, Teacher and Activist, b.1917)
- Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2012: The new sustainable fashion (europaregina.eu)
- Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark urges ‘green’ fashion (europaregina.eu)
- Win an Eco-Friendly Swimsuit From Eco Swim (Worth $124!) (inhabitat.com)
- Sustainable Fashion Lab 2012! (sustainable-fashion.com)
- Fashioning Change Makes Shopping Sustainably a Whole Lot Easier (ecosalon.com)
- EcoSalon Takes a Seat at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit (ecosalon.com)
- Promote and Support Eco-Friendly Sustainable Fashion (forcechange.com)
- Sustainable Fashion: An Industry R-Evolution (sustainable-fashion.com)
2189 Sunset Plaza Dr, Los Angeles
For sale: $6.5 million
Talk about a house that deserves an Academy Award for set design. This place has everything and more when it comes to a rockin’ Hollywood party, including a two-story disco, IMAX theater, rooftop pool, grotto with a hot tub and a view of Tinseltown.
Perched above Sunset Boulevard, this custom home has hosted celebrities galore, from P. Diddy and Hugh Grant to Russell Simmons and Val Kilmer. (Not to mention Denise Richards and TV shows like “Love is in the Heir” and “It’s Complicated.”)
It’s not too difficult to see what attracts stars to the home. Listing agent Patrick Norman of Rodeo Realty said its easy access to Sunset Plaza shops and boutiques makes this one-of-a-kind property so hot.”
And,” he adds, “It’s turnkey. Just bring your toothbrush — swimsuit optional.”
The British glamour photographer Richard Franklin has owned the Hollywood Hills home since it was built in 1990. Over the years, Franklin doubled the size, pushing the original house from 3,400 to 6,500 square feet and adding its unique features.
What puts the pulse to the place is its most unusual feature: A two-story disco with a programmable lighting and sound system. But then again, the three-table, Vegas-style gameroom isn’t too shabby, either.
Each room carries out its own theme, from an entirely gold room complete with gilded furniture to an Egyptian-themed room with hieroglyphic-covered walls and a chic, sleek white room.
Strange Random Hollywood Quote:
“I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” – Andy Warhol (American Artist. Initiator of Pop Art, 1928-1987)
- Hollywood Glamour Dazzles at Oscar Parties (bellasugar.com)
- Neon Trees’ On The L.A. Experience, It’s “Very Trashy But In A Rad, Novel Sort Of Way” (kroq.radio.com)
- Nicole Richie To Design For Macy’s (huffingtonpost.com)
- Stardust Pictures Reports its Film “Bff & Baby” Wrapped Production with an A-List Wrap Party at Hollywood Hot Spot, The Colony (prweb.com)
The life-size painting, Double Elvis (Ferus Type) from 1963, epitomises Warhol’s obsessions with fame, stardom and the public image, according to Sotheby’s.
“The silver background of Double Elvis (Ferus Type), along with the subtle variations in tone give the serial imagery a sense of rhythmic variation that recalls the artist’s masterpiece, 200 One Dollar Bills completed the previous year,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.
That work soared to nearly $53 million or four times its estimate in 2009, when the art market was reeling from the financial crisis that struck in 2008. It was the highlight of the season, and achieved the highest price of any work at the fall auctions.
In the Double Elvis work, Presley is dressed as a cowboy, shooting a gun. Sotheby’s described him in the work “a Hollywood icon of the sixties rather than the rebellious singer who shook the world of music in the sixties.”
The double in the title refers to a shadowy image of Presley in the same pose that appears next to him in the work.
Strange Random Andy Warhol Quote:
I read an article on me once that described my machine-method of silk-screen copying and painting:
‘What a bold and audacious solution, what depths of the man are revealed in this solution!’
What does that mean?
- Andy Warhol’s ‘Double Elvis’ Could Sell for $50 Million at Auction (newsfeed.time.com)
- Warhol’s Double Elvis (1963) Expected to Fetch $50 Million (sadmanstongue.com)
- Warhol’s Double Elvis to fetch double price at auction? (rt.com)
- Playboy Gunter Sachs’ art collection goes on sale revealing full scale of his obsession with former wife Brigitte Bardot (dailymail.co.uk)
- Warhol painting of Taylor fetches $662K in NY (pbpulse.com)
- NARS & Andy Warhol (oneprettyplace.wordpress.com)
- Teddy Forstmann’s art goes on sale in May at Sotheby’s (usatoday.com)
- Munch’s “The Scream” expected to fetch $80 million at auction [Art] (io9.com)
- Andy Warhol painting of Elizabeth Taylor sells for more than $600,000 (telegraph.co.uk)
Creative America, the group launched this summer to muster support in the creative community for tougher anti-piracy laws, recently debuted a 12-minute video that highlights the impact of content theft on all aspects of the filmmaking chain — from the grips to the independent filmmakers.
The video, which was more than two months in the making, is posted on Creative America’s website at http://www.creativeamerica.org.
Through internal videos, newsletters, emails and booths set up in company commissaries, media giants such as NBC, Viacom, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. have been encouraging their employees to join Creative America.
And it is a very good video. Well-made, as you might expect, sincere, but absolutely lacking in substance and energetically waving a Stars and Stripes. In fact, it looks very much like Public Service movies of the 50s, warning people of the dangers of Marijuana or similar. But you decide …
Strange Random Piracy Quote:
“Where there is a sea there are pirates” – Greek proverb
- Creative America releases new anti-piracy video (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- NBC exposed as strong-arming suppliers into supporting SOPA (thenextweb.com)
- Artists Unite to Stop Film and TV Piracy (mediabistro.com)
- Your tax dollars at work: misleading, lurid “anti-piracy” ad campaign from US AG and Natl Crime Prevention Council (boingboing.net)
- Anti-piracy group BREIN caught ripping off music (inquisitr.com)
- Hollywood unions, networks and studios mount anti-piracy offensive (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- NBC Universal threatens suppliers to support SOPA/PIPA, or else (americablog.com)
- Web Freedom Groups Spar With Hollywood in SOPA Fight Online (clickz.com)
“If popular culture has taught us anything, it is that someday mankind must face and destroy the growing robot menace.” Author and robotic engineer Daniel H Wilson’s description of How to Survive a Robot Uprising seems like it is straight out of a robot disaster movie.From Terminator and Blade Runner to Transformers and Star Trek, robots are coming and the impending apocalypse is almost upon us.
At least that’s what Hollywood would have you believe.
And theme parks around the world are spending billions of dollars hoping that the thrill of robots can entice tourists.”The problem with tools – which is what robots are – is that we become dependent on them,” says Wilson, whose new novel Robopocalypse is being made into a film directed by Steven Spielberg.
“That’s scary, so we contemplate the disaster scenarios that could come from being over-dependent on tools.
“It’s true – our tools could fail someday – but it doesn’t mean they’re malevolent or immoral or have an ethical bias.”
While he writes about it, he does not really believe the end of the world is coming.
And developers are trying to turn the tide of robotic prejudice with a $1.3bn project in South Korea for Robot Land – a theme park and research institute not only using robots for ride technology but using them as waiters and ticket inspectors.
Strange Random Robot Quote:
Making realistic robots is going to polarize the market, if you will. You will have some people who love it and some people who will really be disturbed. – David Hanson
- This Is What DARPA’s Robot Ostrich Will Look Like (spectrum.ieee.org)
- Rise of the Ping Pong Robots (hardware.slashdot.org)
- Actual robot sportscaster could replace robot-like human sportscasters [Video] (io9.com)
- Robopocalypse: Daniel H. Wilson’s Novel To Become Steven Spielberg’s Film (singularityweblog.com)
- Miniature robot rides bicycle like a pro – Gizmag (gizmag.com)
- Robotic Walking Aids – Toyota Health Robots Help the Eldery and the Incapacitated Move Easily (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)
- Japan’s “Miim” robot get a new walk [Video] (inquisitr.com)