Monday, May 24, 2010

Thai film wins Palme d'Or!

Thai film 'Boonmee' wins top honor at Cannes fest
By David Germain, AP

CANNES, France – The hypnotic Thai film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" won the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, while Academy Award winners Juliette Binoche and Javier Bardem earned acting honors.

"Uncle Boonmee," directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, traces the dreamlike final days of a man dying of kidney failure as the ghost of his dead wife returns to tend him and his long-lost son comes home in the form of a furry jungle spirit.

"I would like to thank my mother and my father, who 30 years ago, they took me to a little cinema in our little town, and I was so young and didn't know what it was on the screen," said Weerasethakul, who previously won the third-place jury prize at Cannes with his 2004 film "Tropical Malady." "I didn't know the concept of cinema. With this award, I think I know a little more what cinema is, but it still remains a mystery. I think this mystery keeps us coming back here and to share our world."

Binoche, an Oscar winner for "The English Patient," won best actress for the cryptic love story "Certified Copy," directed by past Palme d'Or winner Abbas Kiarostami.

During her speech, Binoche pleaded for the release of Kiarostami's countryman, detained Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi — who had been asked to be on this year's nine-member jury.

"I hope he will be here himself next year," Binoche said, as she clutched a nameplate emblazoned with the director's name. "It's hard to be an artist and an intellectual, and the country needs you."

Bardem, an Oscar winner for "No Country for Old Men," shared the Cannes best-actor prize, earning his honor for Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Biutiful," a grim portrait of a dying father supporting his family with a variety of criminal rackets in Barcelona. Also playing a father in crisis, Elio Germano shared the best-actor award for Italian filmmaker Daniele Luchetti's "Our Life," a drama about a widower with three sons.

"I'm very happy that we are sharing the best actor," Bardem said at a news conference alongside Germano, adding it should happen more often "so less people lose. It's very hard for people to lose in the sense of, in a festival, you can't really say what's best. I mean, it's nine people's opinion, and I've been on the jury here, and I can assure you that it's very, very difficult to put nine people in agreement to like anything."

The second-place grand prize went to French director Xavier Beauvois' solemn drama "Of Gods and Men," based on the true story of seven French monks beheaded during Algeria's civil war in 1996.

Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's stark film "A Screaming Man" received the third-place jury prize. The film chronicles the tragic consequences for a father after he loses his cherished job as a swimming pool attendant to his son amid his country's civil war.

French actor-filmmaker Mathieu Amalric won the directing award for "On Tour," in which he plays the manager of a troupe of American burlesque strippers performing around France. Amalric invited his five stripper stars to join him on stage as he accepted the prize.

The screenplay honor was presented to South Korean director Lee Chang-dong for "Poetry," his gentle portrait of a grandmother (Yun Junghee) struggling to write a poem as she copes with the onset of Alzheimer's and her troublesome grandson.

The festival's Camera d'Or award for a first-time filmmaker went to Michael Rowe's "Leap Year," a romance that plays out in Mexico City.

South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo's "Ha Ha Ha," a drama of alternating memories shared by two friends over drinks, won a secondary competition called "Un Certain Regard."

Films from two British past Palme d'Or winners — Mike Leigh's "Another Year" and Ken Loach's "Route Irish" — were shut out for prizes.

Also coming away empty-handed was the lone American film among the 19 contenders, Doug Liman's "Fair Game," a drama about former CIA operative Valerie Plame that stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Leigh's film received some of the festival's best reviews, so its shutout came as a surprise.

"Each and every one of us has some favorites that didn't make it," said "Alice in Wonderland" director Tim Burton, who headed the nine-member jury that chose the winners.

"We tried to invent more prizes," joked fellow jury member Kate Beckinsale.

Critics generally were unimpressed with the lineup Cannes presented at the 12-day festival along the French Riviera. A handful of films stirred some buzz but most of the entries premiered to lukewarm receptions. That contrasted with last year's powerhouse slate, which had included films from Quentin Tarantino, Jane Campion and Pedro Almodovar.

The two top winners last year, "The White Ribbon" and "A Prophet," went on to earn Academy Award nominations for foreign-language film.

This year's festival also was lighter on star power, with a few non-competition films such as "Robin Hood" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" providing the main celebrity sightings, including Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Michael Douglas.

After the awards ceremony, the festival closed with the premiere of French director Julie Bertuccelli's mother-daughter drama "The Tree," starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, who won the best-actress prize at Cannes last year for Lars von Trier's "Antichrist." 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Charice makes Billboard Top 10!!!

Charice's Self Titled Debut CD Lands in the Top 10 on Billboard Top 200 Chart

Fans Flip for Filipino Singing Sensation Following Appearances on Oprah & QVC

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - 05/20/10) - Charice, the 18 year old sizzling hot singing star from the Philippines, landed the No. 8 slot on this week's Billboard charts with sales of 42,985 for her self-titled CD, it was confirmed today by 143/Reprise Records. With her 4th appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show the day of release, followed by a half hour performance that evening on QVC, Charice has clearly captured the hearts of Americans of all ages -- and Canada as well, where her CD debuted at No. 4.

"Pyramid," the first single (performed with Iyaz) was No. 1 last week on the Billboard Dance Charts and is currently being played on over 100 radio stations. Sales of "Pyramid" have jumped 384% the week of the CD's release. The YouTube phenom's viral video of "Pyramid" has received well over six million views. There were also three million views of the official video which has been added into rotation on MTV. Charice is scheduled to perform on Regis & Kelly on June 16th.

"She stands barely five feet tall... but when pop singer Charice opens her mouth, out pours a voice as burly and sure as Whitney Houston's in her 'I Will Always Love You' prime," raved the Daily News. "A powerhouse performance... the stuff of a young Celine, Whitney or Mariah," glowed People Magazine.

"This has been the most exciting week of my life," said Charice. "It's been such a dream come true for me and my family to have so much love from fans all around the world."

Charice started her singing career at age four when her mother, also a singer, discovered the pint size girl singing on a table. She went on to perform in hundreds of singing contests in Southeast Asia. One of her many fans ("Chasters") put one of her performances up on YouTube and a star was born. She first appeared in the US on the Ellen Show and then came to the attention of Oprah Winfrey and "Hit Man" David Foster, who signed her and executive produced her current album. In 2009 Charice appeared in the "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" film and performed the Diane Warren-written and David Foster-produced "Note to God," which had digital sales of over 110,000 copies.

Press contact:
Liz Rosenberg
Liz Rosenberg Media
212-991-4290
liz@lizrosenbergmedia.com

Luke Burland
Reprise Records
818-953-3764
Luke.Burland@wbr.com
Press Release Source: Warner Brothers Records On Thursday May 20, 2010, 3:39 pm

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My picture with Charice from 2 years ago...

I didn't know i kept a copy of the picture with Charice i took in 2008 after my exclusive with her. I was still 20 lbs lighter then and Charice a 16-year old newcomer taking YouTube by storm...

Pardon my shine, forgot to dust-up. Lol!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Roman Polanski raped another 16-yr old girl in 1982!!!

Roman Polanski hit by fresh sex allegations

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Fugitive film-maker Roman Polanski was hit by fresh allegations of sexual misconduct here Friday by a woman who claims the director "forced himself" upon her just after her 16th birthday in 1982.

Polanski, who is fighting extradition to the United States to face sentencing in his 1978 child sex case, was accused by British actress Charlotte Lewis of sexually abusing her at his apartment in Paris nearly 30 years ago.

In a press conference at the Beverly Hills offices of prominent attorney Gloria Allred, Lewis, 42, said she was speaking out to refute suggestions from Polanski's legal team that his earlier case was an isolated incident.

"I am also a victim of Roman Polanski. He sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16-years-old, four years after he fled the United States to avoid sentencing for his crimes," Lewis said in a prepared statement.

Allred said Lewis had given statements to Los Angeles police and prosecutors about the incident which she hoped would be taken into consideration if Polanski was extradited back to the United States for sentencing.

"It is very important that the District Attorney and the Swiss authorities are armed with this information as they decide Mr Polanski's fate," said Lewis, who had a minor role in Polanski's 1986 period flop "Pirates."

"Mr Polanski knew I was only 16 years old when he met me and forced himself upon me in his apartment in Paris. He took advantage of me and I have lived with the effects of his behavior ever since it occurred.

"All I want is justice."

No further information about the circumstances of the incident were revealed and Lewis took no questions. Lawyers for Polanski were not immediately available for comment.

Although Polanski was accused of "forcing himself" upon Lewis, the actress pointedly did not use the word "rape."

"The words we used are the words we used," Allred said when asked about the actress's allegations.

Allred, whose clients have included two of golfer Tiger Woods's alleged mistresses and the family of OJ Simpson's murdered ex-wife, denied Lewis's credibility would be diminished by her decision to only come forward now.

"I think what is important is she came forward now," Allred said. "Not only is it not too late, there's still time if the other victims want to come forward."

Polanski is currently under house arrest in Switzerland where he is fighting extradition in his 1978 case.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Charice' US debut album drops today!

It is the biggest day of the year for Filipino singing sensation, Charice! Today, May 11, 2010, her US debut album drops in stores and fans (including yours truly) are getting mad with excitement...

To add fervor to the wait, Los Angeles Times released tonight on their website an advanced review of the album. It's an unenthusiastic review but the reviewer singled out Charice' undeniable powerhouse vocals and the limited use of vocal enhancements common these days.

Here is the review (highlights are mine)...

Album review: Charice's self-titled debut

May 10, 2010 |  7:07 pm
Charice_240_ In the 2 1/2 years since Ellen DeGeneres featured this young Filipina singer on her popular talk show, Charice has racked up an impressive number of friends in high places: She's made several appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," sung duets with Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion and signed a record deal with David Foster, the soft-pop impresario behind Josh Groban and Michael Bublé.

Today she's scheduled to appear on "Oprah" yet again, this time alongside Justin Bieber. (Like Bieber, Charice built an initial following on YouTube, where displays of precocious vocal talent are outnumbered only by videos of babies tasting lemons.)

Charice's self-titled international debut contains input from some of those powerful pals, including Foster, the set's executive producer; "Replay" singer Iyaz and such A-list songwriters as Ryan Tedder, Diane Warren and Carole Bayer Sager. Inevitably, the result darts somewhat haphazardly from sleek dance-pop tunes aimed at girls Charice's age ("I Love You," "Pyramid") to schmaltzy slow jams seemingly intended for those girls' moms ("All That I Need to Survive," "Note to God").

If "Charice" lacks any kind of stylistic focus, though, it also feels like an honest showcase of the singer's voice, with relatively uncluttered arrangements and limited vocal processing. There's nothing especially interesting about that voice beyond its technical sophistication; any character is a product of inheritance, not invention.

But its strength lives up to that of her collaborators.

—Mikael Wood

Charice
"Charice"
(143/Reprise)
Two stars (Out of four)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Actors dominate Philippine senate race!

With nearly 60% of the votes tabulated, the race for 12 senate seats in the Philippines is again crowded with familiar actor names whose track records as legislators are comparable to the Philippines' record at the Cannes film festival: poor!

Here are the top twelve vote-getters based on the Halalan coverage of top TV network ABS-CBN...

1)   * REVILLA [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bong_Revilla] 11,622,707
2)   * ESTRADA [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinggoy_Estrada] 11,577,545
3)     DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO 10,664,143
4)     DRILON 9,777,874
5)     ENRILE 9,673,563
6)     CAYETANO 8,496,807
7)     MARCOS 8,349,399
8)      RECTO 7,588,912
9)   * SOTTO [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicente_Sotto_III] 7,435,186
10)    OSMENA 7,055,021
11) * LAPID [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lito_Lapid] 6,547,022
12)    GUINGONA 6,349,249

Good luck, my beloved Philippines!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

My interview with Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus: I don't look far into the future
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated May 09, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Mom, you can pick my boyfriend but not my carpet! These were the exact words teen superstar Miley Cyrus said she used to admonish her mom when she stood her ground at the IKEA store while getting furniture for her own apartment after she turned 17 last year. “My mom picked him over three other actors,” she continued. “She stared at his face and she said, ‘He’s cute, no, he’s really cute!’”

She was speaking to late-night host Jimmy Kimmel during a recent interview when she giddily shared this delightful story. And the boyfriend in the story is her Australian co-star Liam Hemsworth who makes his big Hollywood debut as Miley’s love interest in the weepie Disney Pictures’ love story The Last Song, which opens in theaters on May 12.

The teen singing sensation appears in her most grown-up character to date as a rebellious teenaged daughter who finds her true love during one summer spent with her dad on a southern seaside town. The movie, based on Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling novel, was specially handpicked for the young actress who is slowly trying to shed her Hannah Montana persona — the character that made her famous all over the world, in favor of a more mature performer.

“I am kind of known as a package deal,” she intimated while drawing air quotes during a mid-winter chat with the international press at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. “But I don’t wanna do musicals my whole life! I love music and it’s the most important thing in my life but I want to keep them separate.”

Sparks, a celebrity in his own right after having penned some of the most memorable contemporary love stories to hit the screen in recent years, recalled that he was approached sometime in June 2008 by Disney if he had an unpublished story that would be perfect for Miley. He had none at the time. “I spoke to the Cyruses a couple of times; found out some basic elements that Miley wanted in her movie — she liked animals, she doesn’t wanna sing, she wanted to show some growth — so, with those things in mind, I sat down and came up with the best possible story that I could.” The author presented the idea and spent the next couple of months writing the screenplay before writing the novel.

Few actors can truly claim to have a character written specifically for them and much fewer actors, especially in Miley’s age range, get the opportunity to select their own love interests. “I had a little input because Nick wrote the movie with me in mind.” She helped Nick on how the 17-year-old character should dress up and how she is supposed to talk.

Miley is a superstar and she’s not even 18 yet!

She is so young she even admits to not wearing a watch because, according to her, she doesn’t have any sense of time. “I don’t really look far into the future. I don’t like living feeling like I have to be somewhere,” she shared. “I just kind of let it come. I am not really a planner. I have no sense of time, I don’t wanna know and I don’t even look at the clock!”

And just like every typical teenager, she playfully disclosed that she also has what she called selective hearing. “It’s not like I am not listening, I kind of make up in my head what I want to hear and that way I make sense of my life.” This childish trait caused minor continuity problems on the set, according to her.

Miley, so named because she used to smile a lot when she was a little girl, became an overnight sensation when her Disney Channel show Hannah Montana captured the imagination of young girls everywhere. “I was among the very first people to do music on Disney Channel. I’d like to get credit for doing that because there wasn’t really music before my show and High School Musical,” she said.

She had her share of critics who bemoaned her almost expeditious rise to stardom with only a hit cable show to her credit. “Sometimes it does upset me,” she grumbled, “but the truth of the matter is at the end of the day when I go home I’m still writing my music. I am not writing it for anyone to tell me that I am talented or that my music is good because I don’t really care.”

“Jodie (Foster) has been an amazing mentor to me. She’d say, ‘Keep your head up high, don’t let anyone knock you down.’” The Oscar-winning actress has been a huge fan of Miley ever since her show launched more than three years ago. ”She has been amazing to me.”

Another celebrity she holds dear is country superstar Melissa Etheridge. “I didn’t even know she knew who I was and one day she called and said, ‘I really respect your music and I really want you to know that as another musician, I really like your work.’” She further recalled how Melissa told her “to keep your head up high and know that whatever you have going is something that’s unique.”

But she has one biggest fan who she feels most pressure from. “I have kids who look up to me all the time but my little sister does everything that I do!” The morning of our interview, she related how she found her sister wearing skinny jeans to school. “She’s just like me!” she exclaimed. “She was trying to be her older sister — she wants to imitate everything I do! She also wants to do music and I want her to know that whatever she does her heart has to be in it a hundred percent.”

“My mom reminds me that my little sister wants to follow in my footsteps so I try to make good choices for her.”

What helps her also is that despite all her success, she is still primarily a daughter and a sister to her siblings when she is home.

“My mom and I are closer than any mother and daughter,” she proudly proclaimed. “We literally kind of finish each other’s sentences but it doesn’t mean that I don’t drive her crazy.” She added, “If that wasn’t the case then you would really be a freak and you would be really, really weird.”

And she also has arguments with her parents. “My mom usually wins over me and my dad. Usually it’s between me and my dad and me and my mom and we kind of go either way but overall my mom usually wins.”

“We just fight over dumb stuff like when I am gone all the time so when I’m home I want to hang out with my friends but I have a little sister so it’s like they ask me to spend time with them coz I am always traveling. I understand that but sometimes it’s hard for me to think about it.”

“I am a lot like my dad and I am lot like my mom in ways, too. But I definitely think that me and my dad are a lot alike because we both kind of let things roll off and it drives some people nuts sometimes. So we don’t really get too upset too often.”

Those familiar with the Hannah Montana series would know that Miley has a famous father, too! Billy Ray Cyrus is the voice behind the ubiquitous line dance favorite Achy Breaky Heart.

“Me and my dad are so close,” she revealed. “I am pretty simple, pretty easy and I could tell my dad basically pretty much everything and he would not judge you at all.”

She is so close to her parents she can pretty much share everything with him, even her love life. “Luckily, I don’t have many boy problems but I feel like that people who are quick to judge are usually the ones who have gone through something. There is no reason to judge, everyone’s gonna make mistake, there’s always gonna be problems in life and if you can’t talk to a family member you can’t talk to anybody because then you are really alone.”

“First love is portrayed probably a little better in the movies than it is in real life because most likely you are gonna get your heart broken and that’s the way how life works. And in every relationship that I ever had — friendship even — I feel like there’s been a loss and a gain and I feel like I definitely gained a lot more because I feel definitely a lot stronger.”

In November, Miley will turn 18 and by that time, she will have long said goodbye to her Hannah Montana character which is currently running its last season on TV and, though she asserts she doesn’t make any plans, she sees herself still making music and concentrating more on her big-screen acting career.

“Hopefully I can do both,” she mused. “Acting is what I wanna do now. I want people to go see my movies because I am in them and they enjoy my acting. But music, I’ll never give it up, it is something that I love.”

The Last Song also stars Greg Kinnear and Kelly Preston.

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