News Column

Philadelphia Daily News Howard Gensler column

December 4, 2013

YellowBrix

Dec. 04--SOMEONE in Barbara Walters' camp needs to look up the word "fascinating."

What could be her final show presenting the "10 Most Fascinating People" of the year is seriously lacking in the fascination factor.

Two stars from "Duck Dynasty"? Daffy Duck is more fascinating.

Prince George? He's a baby. Not fascinating. Except to his parents.

Robin Roberts? Anyone whom you can spend every morning with is good company, but not that fascinating.

Edward Snowden? OK, Barbara, you got one.

Miley Cyrus? What's the opposite of fascinating?

Jennifer Lawrence? Love her, wish she'd spend more time in Philly so we could hang out, but she'd be the first one to admit that she's barely even interesting.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian? Sorry, fascinating is not synonymous with annoying.

Publicity whores are, by definition, not fascinating. Fascinating people are not just surprising or outlandish, they're enlightening, intriguing. You want to know more about them, not less.

Awards season already?

The New York Film Critics Circle has named David O. Russell's "American Hustle" the best film of 2013.

The critics group also awarded "Hustle" best supporting actress for "Fascinating" Jennifer Lawrence and best screenplay for the script by Russell and Eric Singer. The film is a fictionalized tale of the FBI's late 1970s Abscam investigation.

Best actor went to Robert Redford for his shipwreck drama "All Is Lost." Cate Blanchett won best actress as a bitter, fallen socialite in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine."

"12 Years a Slave" helmer Steve McQueen took best director.

--The Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" won best film at the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, in New York.

Best actor went to Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club." Brie Larson took best actress for "Short Term 12."

Steve Buscemi presented a posthumous tribute to his "Sopranos" co-star James Gandolfini.

The Gotham awards are presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project, an advocacy group for independent filmmakers. Awards are selected by juries.

--The Academy Awards has winnowed the best documentary field down to 15 finalists, which includes the Indonesian death-squad examination "The Act of Killing" and the backup-singer tribute "20 Feet from Stardom."

Also making the short list are: "The Armstrong Lie," "Stories We Tell," "Tim's Vermeer," "Blackfish," "The Square," "The Crash Reel," "Cutie and the Boxer," "Dirty Wars," "First Cousin Once Removed," "God Loves Uganda," "Life According to Sam," "Pussy Riot: A Punk's Prayer" and "Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington."

Five films will be chosen from the 15 by documentary branch members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 16. The 86th Academy Awards ceremony is March 2.

Paul Walker update

Autopsies were completed yesterday on the bodies of "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, both of whom died in a fiery weekend car crash.

The LA County Coroner's Office also said yesterday that it has received dental records from the families of both men.

Those will allow not only for formal identification of the bodies, but also official word on whether Walker or Rodas was driving.

Walker's publicist has said Walker was the passenger.

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures said production of "Fast & Furious 7" is on hold. Although a large portion of the film has been shot, the movie is incomplete. It's scheduled for release in July.

TATTBITS

--Next year's Essence Festival is getting a dose of music royalty from Prince.

The "Purple Rain" singer-songwriter is headlining the 20th annual festival, a celebration of black music and culture being held July 3-6, in New Orleans.

Prince, who performed at Essence in 2004, also headlined this year's South By Southwest Music Festival, in Austin, Texas.

--Billy Joel will perform once a month at Madison Square Garden -- as long as the fans will have him.

Joel announced yesterday that he'll perform a residency at the famed NYC venue every month for as long as New Yorkers will buy tickets. He's set to perform sold-out shows on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, March 21 and April 28. He also will perform on his 65th birthday, which is May 9. Tickets go on sale Saturday.

"We're gonna dust off some stuff," he said in an interview after the news conference. "We're gonna feature more of the album tracks, more obscure songs. We'll still do some songs people are familiar with and like, but we're gonna change it up. It gives you an edge."

The Bronx-born Joel first performed at MSG in 1978. Since then, he has played at the venue 46 times.

--A best-selling German satirical novel about Adolf Hitler's reappearance 66 years after the end of World War II is to be turned into a movie for release in 2015.

The book Er ist Wieder Da has become a surprise success since it was published last year, selling more than 1.3 million printed and electronic copies despite the fact that it deals with a touchy subject for many Germans.

An English-language version is to be released in April under the title Look Who's Back.

In the book, the Nazi leader awakens in modern-day Berlin and becomes the star of a TV comedy show.

"How I Met Your Fuhrer"?

- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

Phone: 215-854-5678

Twitter: @DNTattle

___

(c)2013 Philadelphia Daily News

Visit the Philadelphia Daily News at www.philly.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters