From 1999 to 2002, money spent on making films in Canada has doubled, as production crews look to save money by exploiting the weak Canadian dollar. By a remarkable coincidence, the number of U.S. cities that give a darn about the Northern migration of moviemaking has also recently doubled, from one (Los Angeles) to two (L.A. and New York.) What made the Big Apple sit up and notice? Well, you don’t really expect New Yorkers to sit still while a TV movie about the life of former mayor Rudy Giuliani is filmed in Toronto, do you?
Product placement has been a staple of big-budget Hollywood films ever since E.T. followed a trail of name-brand candy into Elliot’s bedroom. But a coalition of activist groups and health organizations is demanding that the film industry draw the line at in-film cigarette advertising. “The groups want the industry to encourage the Motion Picture Association of America to impose an R rating on films that include smoking, except those that ‘clearly and unambiguously’ reflect tobacco’s dangers.”
“Looking for fresh ways to engage overloaded students, a growing number of professors at big universities and small colleges are supplementing traditionally sober textbooks with a curious genre: the textbook-novel. Written specifically with the college classroom in mind, these works are often by professors who have created characters ranging from a free trade-spouting angel to a short, bald professor (take a bow, Milton Friedman) who likes to solve mysteries. And while pedagogical novels are not new, their growing popularity is.”
For the first time, Austrian authorities, acting under a court order, have seized a painting thought to have been stolen by occupying Nazi forces during World War II. The seizure was sought by a Vienna-based Jewish advocacy group, and hailed by art experts worldwide as a crucial step in the movement to repatriate the thousands of artworks looted by the Nazis.
“The U.S. Department of Justice has begun what some legal experts believe is a serious investigation into whether the country’s two largest alternative newspaper chains violated federal antitrust laws when they closed competing weeklies in Los Angeles and Cleveland, thereby dividing the markets between them.”
Alina Cojacaru is a genius, or so say the dance cognoscenti who are in the business of slapping such labels on 21-year-old wunderkinds. Genius or not, the Romanian pixie has taken the London ballet scene by storm, and many critics say she already possesses the maturity most great dancers achieve in their thirties, and there appears to be no limit to her potential.
Pianist Andre Watts never made it to the stage Thursday night. Watts was preparing to perform with the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California, when he collapsed backstage and was rushed to the hospital for emergency brain surgery. The procedure went well, but Watts is expected to be out of commission for up to two months.