6 items from 2011
I was privileged enough to 'interview' the chimp, so breathed a sigh of relief when I discovered he was still hanging around
Tape machine on table, chair a suitably safe distance from the "talent", it was a nerve-racking one. Usually with celebrity interviews danger can come from one of three sources: jet lag, substance abuse or monstrous ego – sometimes, if you're unlucky, all three rolled together, perched on the edge of a hotel bed. The fear here, though, was from the purely physical. Natural aggression. Instinct. The advice from the actor's "people" was simple and chillingly clear. "You don't touch him! If you touch him he could break your arm. If he goes for you, you dive into the pool. He has been tethered to the chair for your safety."
When #cheetah started trending on Twitter this morning, I feared the worst. Possibly the most famous ape in history had climbed into heaven's hanging tyre. »
- Andrew Woods
Fox is planning to adapt The Magicians into a series for television. What caught my interest, since so many scripts get picked up this time of year, was that Michael London is producing, and he was heavily involved in Milk. Anyone read the books?
During the premiere week for The Rosie Show, Rosie will be flying the entire cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to Chicago to perform a medley.
Is the next James Bond movie going to be called Skyfall?
E! is starting a new modeling show called Scouted, and it sounds slightly interesting. This isn't about people who want to be models – they're heading into cities around the country and plucking the hot waitress or barista, giving them a fast makeover, »
- Ed Kennedy
Apes rule at the box office – but films for chimps? Chris Michael reports on an evolution in film-making
Just as ice ages are cyclical, recessions come and go and Iron Maiden T-shirts periodically pop back into fashion for a few seconds, so it is undeniable: as we do every couple of decades, we are living through what can only be described as a Chimp Moment. The major symptoms you know about. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a prequel to the 1968 Charlton Heston film, a Chimp Moment that itself came about two decades after Ronald Reagan made 1951's Bedtime for Bonzo. Project Nim documents the post-hippy social-experiment Chimp Moment of the 70s. There's even the remarkable success of Go Ape!, the treetop zip-line obstacle course "for those in search of their inner Tarzan" – now with 27 branches across the UK. But perhaps the most disturbing blurring of the line »
- Chris Michael
Friend, killer, lover, specimen ...
The guinea pig
Cinema persistently tries to achieve what science so far has not: make a man/monkey mashup. In The Doctor's Experiment; or Reversing Darwin's Theory (1908) men are turned into apes, while in Balaoo the Demon Baboon (1913, twice remade) a doctor has a go at the reverse, with the side-effect of turning them murderous. In 1932's Murders in the Rue Morgue, women are injected with ape blood (they die); in Return of the Ape Man (1944) Bela Lugosi swaps John Carradine's brain with that of a gorilla (again, doesn't go well). The Man Without a Body (1957) tells of an impressionable gent who submits to the ministrations of a scientist who has been seeing what happens when you play switcheroo with monkey heads.
The erotic cipher
King Kong resonates because, much as Kong repels us, we empathise too: who hasn't been rejected by the object of »
- Catherine Shoard
Bill Maher was asked on "Piers Morgan Tonight" whether he would rather see Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann as President of the United States. The HBO host and comedian said "I guess Bachmann…I don't know. Who can say? At least she is somebody who can read. She has a job. She was a lawyer. She's in Congress. She's not someone who just sits there and reads the prayer on her Blackberry like Sarah Palin. I mean, we're splitting hairs here." Pier Morgan went on to asked whether Maher thinks that Palin could actually win the presidency. He said "Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. People say, 'This one is a joke or this one is a joke.' I remember when I was 12 years old in 1968 and Ronald Reagen was first considering running for president. I remember what a joke that was. Ronald Reagan? You mean the "Bedtime for Bonzo" guy? Well, »
It's a big day for USA history today. 100 years ago today in 1911 Ronald Reagan was born in Illinois. He lived there until his college graduation in the early 30s. By 1937, after a brief dip in Iowa, he was seeking movie stardom in Hollywood. Forty-four years later he became the 40th President of the United States.
Reagan in the late 20s or early 30s in Illinois
He remains the only Us President who ever starred in motion pictures, though he isn't remotely the only entertainer who has been elected to public office. Even when movie stars don't express a desire to run for office, they often dive in in a big way. (Warren Beatty is a prime example. His political life has a supporting role in the book Star. Today is the last day to enter the contest to win the book).
Jane Wyman & Reagan in 1940. She won "Best Actress" shortly after divorcing him. »
- NATHANIEL R
6 items from 2011
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