Saturday, May 31, 2008

Latest from Hollywood Today- 30 may 2008

Three Hollywood guilds down, one to go — the biggest one

By Brian Frederick

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 5/29/08

After three weeks of meetings and denials just 24 hours ago that an agreement had not been reached between Hollywood studios and the American Federation of Television and Radios Artists (AFTRA), the two sides signed a tentative deal early this morning.

Roberta Reardon, AFTRA’s National President called the agreement “groundbreaking.”

Hollywood’s biggest studios have been battling it out with labor unions during the past year over new media, such as internet revenue sharing, ITunes, and DVD royalties to name a few concerns.

The Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, and now AFTRA, have all come to terms with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Pressure mounts for SAG’s 139,000 members to sign an agreement with the studios before their current contract expires June 30 or the entertainment industry may see another strike similar to the recent WGA strike.

That strike cost the Los Angeles economy nearly $2 billion, according to officials.

AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild had previously worked together during contract negotiations with the studios, however, the two decided to divorce for the first time in 27 years.

The tentative deal remains to be heard by AFTRA’s union members and become formally ratified.

Reardon said to the media, “this is a challenging time in the entertainment industry, and this was a tough negotiation.”

It was not clear if Reardon was referring to the sour relations that spawned recently between SAG and AFTRA over recruitment of its members or AFTRA’s relationship with the studios.

Now that a treaty has been brokered between AFTRA and the AMPTP, SAG will have to take a hard look at the AFTRA deal.

Nearly 40,000 members of AFTRA are also SAG members.

A possible snag for SAG negotiations within the AFTRA contract, calls for studio exemptions from paying residuals on made-for-internet programs that fall below certain productions costs of $500,000 per series or $15,000 per minute.

Showing promise that a deal could be reached between SAG and the studios.

SAG has not yet issued a strike authorization from its members as their contract expires in one month.

The AFTRA agreement calls for minimum wage increases of 3.5% in the first year, 3% the second year and 3.5% in the third year.

The deal covers hit TV shows such as “Curb Your Enthusiasm” “Reaper” and “Rules of Engagement,” though most TV series are covered under SAG agreements.

AFTRA began in 1937 as the American Federation of Radio Artists.

In 1950, the Television Authority granted by the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, joined AFRA in 1952 to create AFTRA.

Latest- from LBN e lert ( LEVINE BREAKING NEWS- by Michael Levine, one of Hollywoods most influential Publicists

31st may 2008

Jovovich, Weinstein, Blige and perennial amFar auction mistress of ceremonies Sharon Stone make Cannes 08 biggest in the Aids charity history By Jeffrey Jolson

CANNES, FR, (Hollywood Today) 5/26/08 —

Madonna, Sharon Stone, Harvey Weinstein, Natalie Portman, Michelle Yeoh, Mary J. Blige, Victoria and Dennis Hopper, Milla Jovovich, Samantha Morton, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Christian Slater, Dita Von Teese, Bold Films’ Michel Litvak, Palisades Pictures’ Vincent Roberti, French Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld and amfAR’s Chairman Kenneth Cole were among those who came out to support the fight against AIDS at amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS gala in Cannes.

The star-studded event, which was sponsored by Bold Films, Chopard, and The Weinstein Company, raised over $10 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research programs.

Audi, Canal +, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Luxury Limited Edition co-sponsored the event.

Other guests who attended the gala at the Moulin de Mougins in support of amfAR included:

Roberta Armani, Amira Casar, Zoe Cassavetes, Dean and Dan Caten, Roberto and Eva Cavalli, Georgina Chapman, Jeisa Chiminazzo, Maria Cuomo Cole, Emily Cole, Alan Cumming, Lily Donaldson, Laurence Ferrari, David Furnish, Eva Herzigova, Marina Hinds, Tommy Hilfiger, Joshua Jackson, Star Jones, Diane Kruger, Juliette Lewis, Rose McGowan, Tamara Mellon, Svetlana Metkina, Margherita Missoni, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Petra Nemcova, Elsa Pataki, Natasha Poly, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Sir Cliff Richard, Joely Richardson, Guy Ritchie, Renzo Rosso, Rodrigo Santora, Valentino, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Donatella Versace and Bob Weinstein.

The evening opened as amfAR CEO Kevin Frost welcomed guests to the fifteenth annual Cinema Against AIDS Cannes event.

Kenneth Cole, amfAR’s Chairman of the Board, took to the stage next and reminded everyone about the critical nature of pursuing sound research in the face of the AIDS epidemic.

The legendary live auction, conducted by Sharon Stone, amfAR’s Global Fundraising Chairman, and Harvey Weinstein, kicked off with Sharon Stone’s pledge of $100,000 towards amfAR’s international HIV/AIDS projects.

In a moving speech, she urged others in the room to meet her pledge;

this joint effort raised $2 million in 10 minutes.

Bidders included Christophe Navarre of Moët-Hennessy, Renzo Rosso, Roberto Cavalli, Milla Jovovich, Michelle Yeoh, and Valentino.

Following this unprecedented gesture, Ms. Stone presented a lot including a Louis Vuitton vanity case designed by the Global Fundraising Chairman herself, and a one-of-a-kind print of Keith Richards signed by the photographer Annie Leibovitz, which sold for $129,000.

Later on, she auctioned off her own personal vintage Porsche 911 Targa, a meticulously restored automobile, which sold for $810,000.

Longtime amfAR supporter Madonna spoke movingly about her experiences losing loved ones to HIV/AIDS as a young performer in New York City in the eighties.

Madonna thanked amfAR for all the work they have done over the years, and emphasized that a cure for AIDS must be found.

She also introduced a clip of her documentary “I Am Because We Are,” a film she narrated and produced, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in conjunction with amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS.

In the spirit of generosity, Madonna donated a private performance of two songs, won by an ecstatic bidder for $560,000.

A special performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Mary J. Blige was a highlight of the event.

Ms. Blige brought the crowd of over 700 guests to their feet when she sang her rendition of “One” by U2, and her hit single “Family Affair.”

Later in the evening, guests were treated to an unexpected surprise as amfAR Ambassador Milla Jovovich serenaded the crowd along with Sharon Stone while Dita Von Teese performed a tantalizing preview of her signature burlesque moves which were auctioned off to a lucky winner.

As a sharp reminder of the devastation caused by HIV/AIDS, amfAR Ambassador Michelle Yeoh held a moment of silence in honor of children around the world affected by the epidemic.

amfAR supporter Natalie Portman also contributed to the live auction as she and Paulo Coelho danced onstage while auctioning off a package dedicated to the upcoming Weinstein film release “Nine.

The package included lunch on-set with a cast that includes Oscar Award-winners Daniel Day-Lewis and Marion Cottilard, screening tickets, and an original manuscript of Paulo Coelho’s new novel about the Cannes Film Festival.

The package sold for $243,000.

A last minute addition to the program was made by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who offered “24 Hours with Diddy,” to the highest bidder.

This lot raised $324,000 for amfAR.

Other highlights of the auction included:

Christian Slater and Petra Nemcova auctioned off an HP Film Festival and Tech Package for $35,000.

Rose McGowan and Svetlana Metkina auctioned off a Christian Dior Parfums package, including a personalized scent, for $40,500.

Rodrigo Santoro and Jeisa Chiminazzo auctioned off a Victoria’s Secret Package including invitations for six people to the Victoria’s Secret Pre-Show Party, six VIP seats to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, and access to an exclusive Victoria’s Secret After-Party for $178,000.

A Christian Dior Couture red sapphire crystal encrusted mobile phone with 640 diamonds was sold by Sharon Stone for $195,000.

David Furnish and Dennis Hopper auctioned off a private sitting with renowned artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel for $486,000.

Madonna added her special touch to a diamond-encrusted alligator skin Chanel purse designed by Karl Lagerfeld by including her personal lip gloss, compact mirror, and blotting papers for $486,000.

A portrait sitting with world-renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier, as well as a print of his “Elephant, New York, 1991,” was sold by Michelle Yeoh for $324,000.

A custom-tailored Chopard by Alberta Ferretti dress, adorned with 2.904 carats of Chopard precious stones on lilac silk chiffon was sold for $486,000.

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Donatella Versace auctioned off Madonna’s personalized, custom-made white Gibson acoustic guitar created especially for her “Confessions” tour for $486,000.

Alan Cumming and Dita Von Teese auctioned off a luxury Dubai International Film Festival Vacation, including four VIP tickets to Cinema Against AIDS Dubai, for $170,000.

Sharon Stone closed the auction by auctioning off a collection of one-of-a-kind Fendi baguettes designed by notable contemporary artists including Tom Sachs, Nicola Guerraz, and Clara Halter for $162,000.

In addition, Hollywood Reporter and Screen International offered amfAR six months of free advertising.

amfAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS galas have been important and successful fund-raising events for the Foundation since 1993, generating more than $43 million for essential AIDS research. Past events have been hosted by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, and Sir Elton John.

Like the epidemic itself, AIDS research knows no borders.

amfAR’s programs have had a global reach since 1986, when the Foundation began awarding international grants.

Today, amfAR continues to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide and works to translate that research into effective treatment, prevention, and education programs around the globe.

For more information, visit

amfAR recognizes American Airlines for its commitment to the fight against AIDS and its generous support of amfAR’s mission.



A large group of major leaders from both the world of Entertainment and Technology converged for a cocktail party discussion with author (The Long Tail) and Wired magazine editor, Chris Anderson, at the palatial Bel Air home of Peter Guber, last night.

Included in the guest list were Cuba Gooding Jr., Carson Daly, Jon Feltheimer and his wife Laurie, Michael Levine, Ed Victor, Alan Nevins, Caroline Graham, Andy Gavin with his wife Sharon and her twin sister Keren Perlmutter, LCO publicist Ali Duncan, Jane Fleming, HBO's Colin Callendar, James Patterson, Richard Rosenblatt, and Steve Bowen.
Anderson, who is in the process of writing a new book titled Free, took questions from the guests.

***L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley as the guest of honor last night at the cocktail party of prominent attorney Eric George in Westwood.

***Henry Kissinger blowing out birthday candles on his chocolate layer birthday cake (he's 85) at the Mayflower Inn in Washington, Conn., with wife Nancy and two other couples.

***Whitney Port of "The Hills" sipping Inocente tequila with investment banker J.P. Gutfruend at Lily Pond in East Hampton.

***BE AN LBN-CORRESPONDENT - send your celeb sightings to


Famed Hollywood photographer Harry Langdon, along with approximately 284,000 other "influencers."


***Looks like Mel Brooks is exiting the movie business.

The comic powerhouse, who turns 82 next month, is quietly shuttering Brooksfilms, a source says.

Brooks founded his LA-based production company in 1980 to make "The Elephant Man" because he felt billing it as "A Mel Brooks film" would lead audiences to believe the heartbreaking tale was a farce.

***Legendary comedic actor Harvey Korman died yesterday.

He was 81.

The actor, possibly best known for his stint on the "The Carol Burnett Show" and in the film "Blazing Saddles," died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago.

***The Screen Actors Guild's keeping a low profile as it returns to the negotiating table with no comment Thursday as execs met with the majors and with AFTRA reps, says Variety.

The Hollywood Reporter notes also that following AFTRA's tentative agreement with the studios - similar on key issues to the WGA and DGA pacts - it remains unclear how SAG might mark any further gains in those same areas.



A house owned by rapper 50 cent burned to the ground early this morning in a Dix Hill blaze.

Six people went to the hospital with non-serious injuries, Newsday reported on its Web site.


***Bob Morris sang " 'Bye, 'Bye Blackbird" for HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman, Marisa Marchetto and Jonathan Van Meter of Vogue at the party for Morris' hilarious new tome, "Assisted Living: True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad," at the downtown NYC loft of Jonathan Burnham.


***Scott McClellan, making the media rounds to promote his book and push back against the ferocious counter-attack by Bush loyalists, declined to come out tonight for John McCain and said he liked what he had heard from Barack Obama.

"I haven't made a decision," McClellan told Katie Couric on CBS's "Evening News," when asked if he was backing the Arizona senator.

McClellan paid homage to McCain, saying that the Republican nominee had "governed from the center, and that's where I am."


***HBO might want to ask for a ratings recount.

The Sunday night premiere of its much-discussed original movie covering the 2000 presidential election fiasco was seen by modest number of viewers when compared to the network's other high-profile projects.

"Recount" was seen by 1 million HBO subscribers, which is on par with the network's last film, February's lesser-known Susan Sarandon telepic "Bernard and Doris."

***Google's YouTube is now seen as "the biggest television station on the planet," attracting some 1 billion views per day.

The video-sharing site is expected to generate $200 million this year.

Also: Republican presidential contender John McCain is "taking a serious drubbing" on YouTube.

***Jane Clark, a 12-year veteran of Fox News, says she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being bitten by bedbugs at work.

Clark is filing a lawsuit against the owner of the Manhattan office tower where she works, claiming the building was not treated for months.

***The next generation of workers will demand access to tools such as social networks and instant messaging, according to a study by market intelligence firm IDC.

The younger generation is increasingly "hyper-connected" and expects to use a variety of communication platforms.

***After years of losses, TV Guide is returning to profitability, according to publisher Scott Crystal.

The title, transformed from a digest-sized guide to a full-sized entertainment magazine, is seeing a boost in advertising pages

"I don't think anybody has ever done this before," he boasts.

***Former Details and Star editor Joe Dolce and former MSNBC editorial director Davidson Goldin are teaming up to launch a media-strategy firm called DolceGoldin.

The firm aims to help businesses and others make sure "the attention they are getting is the attention they want."


Unfortunately, it appears he's joking. Running Time: 1:35


***Susan Saradon, who appeared in three films last year and won kudos for her TV movie "Bernard and Doris," is still not a contented soul.

She says if John McCain gets elected, she will move to Italy or Canada.

She adds, "It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people."

***No wonder Sharon Stone was apologizing yesterday for her suggestion that the earthquake in China was "karma" for the occupation of Tibet.

Christian Dior was pulling ads down from stores across China that feature the star.

***Kate Hudson and Lance Armstrong are already glued at the hip.

Hudson, who's filming "Bride Wars" all around Manhattan, must have missed her beau Wednesday, because she called Armstrong and invited him to come watch her work as she shot a late-night scene at the Plaza in NYC.

***Alica Keys will do anything to protect her pipes.

At a recent Seventeen magazine photo shoot in Paris, the songstress refused to speak to anyone because she wanted to save her voice for a concert later that night.

"She did not speak the entire time," said our source.

"She whispered a bit, but while the music was blasting, she'd just move her lips along with the words."

A rep for Keys said, "We had her on strict vocal rest for her performances, which was the right thing to do."

LBN-CURRENTLY READING: Attorney Richard Citron is reading The Shift Age by David Houle.


1. Author Howard Zinn's "populist and perennially popular" A People's History of the United States a definite must read and alternate look into America's people.

2. California Science Center Presents: " Body Worlds Two: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies"it will change your life and maybe even lifestyle.

3. LBN Reader Reminds:
"If you want peace stop fighting. If you want peace with your mind, stop fighting with your thoughts"
-Peter McWilliams.

4. Improve your vocabulary with vocabulary vitamins
6. Author Chris Anderson offers a visionary look at the future of business and common culture in his book "The Long Tail"
The long-tail phenomenon, he argues, will "re-shape our understanding of what people actually want to watch" (or read, etc.).

Friday, May 30, 2008

Slim eye for the beefy guy

Shooting (of the camera kind) recently began for Fox Searchlight's Biggie Smalls biopic "Notorious", slated for release in 2009 with actor/rapper Jamal Woolard (a.k.a. Gravy) playing the lead.

Biggie—along with Winston Churchill, Al Capone and Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley (pictured)—was one of the few stout gentlemen who had truly figured out his style.

But in a fashion climate that favors puny Dior Homme pretty boys, many Leviathan guys are still struggling to avoid the saggy, baggy t-shirt look.

Thankfully, help is at hand.

I talked to New York celebrity stylist Rachel Johnson, who styles size 15 basketball player Lebron James (yes, she styled *that* Vogue/Annie Leibowitz shoot), and asked her to share some of her sartorial secrets for bigger boys.

1. It's all about the get a tailor.

"My number one thing with my big guys is fit.

Whether it comes from a thrift store or from your grandfathers closet, it needs to fit your body properly, meaning your jeans can't be dragging on the floor, and your blazers should be well-tailored.

Which brings me to the next point—all guys, especially big guys, need to have a tailor.

He could be the man at the dry cleaner, whatever it takes—but that's the only way you're going to get your clothes to fit properly."

2. Get good shoes...and a matching belt.

"This is a must.

You may not want to spend money on shoes, but it makes a huge difference.

If you're not sure where to start, go to Salvatore Ferragamo, because they have a really good range, whether you're wearing a tuxedo or looking for a great loafer to wear with your jeans and button-up shirt.

While you're there, make sure you buy the corresponding makes you look so polished."

3. Buy good quality shirts

"Turnbull and Asser are my absolute favorite shirtmakers, we use them for Lebron.

If you have never had a shirt made and tailored for your body, try it.

You will see an amazing difference in how your jackets fit.

And then when you wear the shirt by itself, you'll notice that crisp, tailored feel.

Lebron did a cover for ESPN magazine wearing a tailored shirt and the magaizne got a bunch of calls from people asking where they could find it...what they didn't realize was, it's all in the tailoring!

For something less expensive, go to Macy's and get a Kenneth Cole shirt, then take it to your tailor so it contours your body a litle bit.

"Rachel Johnson's website is

in case you've been living in a style-free bubble, New Line's "Sex And The City" movie is being released Wednesday.

And even though Variety's esteemed critics have given it a half-hearted "eh" in their reviews, frankly we don't give a damn.

Why? Because, lest you forget, costume designer Patricia Field (with a little help from Sarah Jessica Parker) have commandeered threads from some of the biggest names in fashion for this movie, making "SATC" a 3-D skip-through some of yummiest, most voguiesh looks of the last year.

(Spoiler alert) Vivienne Westwood has designed the pièce de resistance, Carrie's wedding dress, winning out despite some stiff competition from a Zac Posen gown.

In the end Patricia Field, who was gunning for the "more unusual" Posen number, was overruled and the "princessy" Westwood dress was chosen.

Fred Leighton provided Carrie's pricey jewlery and Manolo Blahnik reigns supreme in the shoe stakes (no love for Louboutin?), designing a shoe specifically for SJP.

There are an estimated 300 costume changes in the movie, of which Carrie Bradshaw has 81.

(No sign of Bitten, Sarah Jessica Parker's clothing line?)

Regardless of any plot and/or script deficiencies, the SATC movie is destined to delight us because, dear readers—this is the kind of product placement we approve of.



Prominent theatrical agent Jeremy Zimmer, along with 284,000 other "influencers," worldwide.


First it was the film and the book.
Now the next stop for Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" is opera.

La Scala officials say the Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli has been commissioned to produce an opera on the international multiformat hit for the 2011 season at the Milan opera house.

The composer is currently artistic director of the Arena in Verona.


***A new ABC unscripted series will take an unprecedented look behind the scenes at the government's fight against terrorism.

The network has ordered 11 hours of "Border Security USA" from executive producer Arnold Shapiro ("Big Brother").

Shot on location throughout the United States, the series will focus on the efforts of border protection agencies to halt illegal smuggling and immigration.

A typical episode might jump from a border patrol in Texas to security screeners at a New York airport to a Coast Guard boat off Puerto Rico.


LBN-SEE IT.....George Clooney and his squeeze of one year, Sarah Larson, broke up this week.....


***It was announced today that fashion pioneer, Jimmy Au, will be honored with the 2008 Wells Fargo Bank and US Pan Asian-American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) Asian Business Leadership Award.

Jimmy Au was selected from a nationwide pool of the most impressive Asian business leaders in the United States for his innovation, financial success and service to his community.

The prestigious award will be presented to Jimmy Au at USPAACC's 23rd annual Asian-American business conference and be held on May 27th through May 29, 2008.

*** Bear Stearns Cos. shareholders on Thursday approved JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s $2.2 billion buyout of the investment bank whose wagers on subprime mortgages made it the largest corporate casualty of the global credit crisis.

*** Oil prices fell sharply Thursday after the Energy Department reported unexpected declines in crude oil and gasoline supplies last week, but said the drop in crude inventories was due to temporary delays in unloading oil tankers along the Gulf Coast.

A stronger dollar and concerns about gas demand also weighed on prices


News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday predicted a Democratic landslide in the U.S. presidential election against a gloomy economic backdrop over the next 18 months.

Murdoch has yet to endorse a U.S. presidential candidate but considers Barack Obama very promising, the media magnate said in an interview by two Wall Street Journal reporters at an annual conference for high-tech industry insiders.


***CAA agent Jeremy Plager having lunch yesterday at The Grille in Beverly Hills.

***Matt and Annette Lauer with their children, buying T-shirts after a performance of the show "Jump" at the Union Square Theatre in NYC.

***Harrison Ford mobbed by fans as he left his Seventh Avenue penthouse in NYC flanked by two burly bodyguards.

***Kirsten Dunst trying on black flats at Steven, the Steve Madden store on Ludlow Street in NYC.

***BE AN LBN CORRESPONDENT - send your celeb sightings to


New Line Cinema and Radio City Music Hall are blaming each other for the fiasco at Tuesday night's "Sex and the City" premiere, when more than 1,000 ticket-holders who'd come from all over the country were turned away.

"The movie studio gave out way more promotional tickets than could fit in the orchestra," said one insider.

"Radio City managers told the New Line people, 'You can solve this by opening up the mezzanines, which have 2,700 more seats - but they wouldn't do it."

However, a New Line source countered, "It was Radio City Music Hall making that decision.

They took control of the fan line. They turned the fans away."


The photo of Irving "Swifty" Lazar which ran yesterday was mislabeled. The photo is of literary agent Alan Nevins.

LBN-QUOTE: "[L.A. has] an underground Republican party!" - John McCain supporter, Angie Harmon, said to Nancy Reagan recently in Beverly Hills.

LBN-HISTORY: One May 29, 1917, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was born in Brookline, Mass.

LBN Reader Comment

"Your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you."

- Jordan Metzer, Portland, ME.

LBN Reader Comment:

"Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different."

- Aiden Black, Rutland, VT.

LBN Reader Comment:

"You should always leave loved ones with loving words.

It may be the last time you see them."

- Sally Wegley, Palm Harbor, FL


The latest circulation numbers show that this LBN E-Lert now has about 285,000 readers per day, a rise of nearly 5,000 people in the last month.


Hillary Clinton aboard her campaign plane


Today show anchor Matt Lauer announced this morning that former Today show, and current CBS Evening News anchor, Katie Couric, will be back on the program tomorrow morning to make a, "major announcement."

"Permanently?" asked anchor Meredith Vieira. Lauer laughed:

"No, you're not sick again tomorrow are you?"

Let the speculation begin.


Actress and Women in Film Foundation Chair, Sharon Lawrence, and President of Levine Communications Office and recently announced WIFF Board Member, Dawn Miller, toast to Hara Marano, Editor of Psychology Today, at an intimate cocktail reception celebrating the release of Marano's book - A Nation of Wimps.

The reception was hosted by entertainment mogul, Peter Guber, at his private estate in Bel Air.


***Borders is jumping back into online retailing with a redesigned Web site that aims to evoke the feeling of browsing at a neighborhood bookstore.
But after seven years paired with, analysts say it will be a challenge for to step out of the Web retailer's shadow.
***NBC, the first broadcast network to announce its prime-time slate for next fall, is also the first broadcast network to announce changes.
Four "Saturday Night Live" election specials will be added to the Thursday 9:30 p.m. time slot. The specials will be called "Thursday Night Live."
***Times are "a little tough" for U.S. daily newspapers, admits Al Neuharth, founder of Gannett's USA Today.
"But most still have profit margins well above most other businesses."
Under new owner Rupert Murdoch, the Wall Street Journal is "the most improved newspaper in the country."
***Len Downie, the longtime executive editor of the Washington Post, is expected to retire amid the newspaper's latest round of buyouts.
New publisher Katharine Weymouth is beginning a search for his successor.
Newsweek editor Jon Meacham is said to be under consideration.

Craigslist is said to be under siege by spammers who are using new tech tools to circumvent the online classified site's defenses.
Some categories on Craigslist are reported to be more than 90% spam.
Spammers are "taking over" the site.
"It could be toast for the success story of Craigslist."

The hard sell worked.
"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," pushed by one of the biggest marketing campaigns in Hollywood history, sold an estimated $151.1 million in tickets in North American theaters over the five-day holiday weekend.
The box office gross, generated between Thursday and Monday, put to rest questions about whether one of moviedom's most popular characters could strike a cultural chord after a 19-year hiatus from the big screen.
Overseas the movie, which generated mixed reviews from critics, sold an estimated $143 million in tickets between Thursday and Sunday;
Monday estimates were unavailable.

Thursday, May 29, 2008



Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences along with approximately 284,000 other "influencers" in all 50 of the United States and 23 foreign countries.



Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked for an audience next week with Pope Benedict which would be the first meeting between the two leaders, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

Ahmadinejad is among the heads of state expected to visit Rome to attend a June 3-5 United Nations summit on global food security, hosted by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.



A Memoir, the story of a Mormon wife and mother who risked losing her eternal salvation by leaving the Church and starting a new life for herself and her children, sold to SterlingHouse Publishers, in a nice deal, by Krista Goering at the Krista Goering Literary Agency.

***Alan Nevins, the heir to the agency and legacy of the original super-agent, Irving "Swifty" Lazar, is following in his mentor's footsteps, throwing a true tinsel town dinner this Friday at 208 Rodeo in Beverly Hills for the 'crème de la crème' of attendees at this week's Book Expo America.

Dinner guests include Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles (Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001);

Heidi Murkoff, the author of the international mega selling pregnancy series What to Expect When You're Expecting;

Hollywood royalty, Tony Curtis, whose new memoir, American Prince, is being published this coming fall;
Ruben "Doc" Cavazos, the President of the notorious Mongols motorcycle club;
Tim Storey, the savior and life coach to much of Hollywood (Utmost Living: Creating and Savoring Your Best Life Now);

Bruce Hulse, one of the world's top 5 male models (Sex, Love and Fashion: A Memoir of a Male Model);

Fieldy, founding member of the rock band Korn;

the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler, and Lin Oliver, the co-creators and writers of the best-selling children's series, Hank Zipzer Series: The World's Greatest Underachiever;

and Marc Eliot, the best selling author of many books, including the upcoming Ronald Reagan: The Hollywood Years.

Not unlike Swifty's Oscar night bash of years ago, many are pressing the Nevins office for an invite.

***Psychologists (whose work has been discussed by Malcolm Gladwell and taught by Stephen Pinker and others) Christopher Chabris and DanielSimons' THE INVISIBLE GORILLA: How Everyday Illusions Distort Our Thoughts About the World and Ourselves, a thought-provoking look at misperception and misunderstanding, explaining how we often fail to recognize the evidence that lies right in front of us, sold to Rick Horgan atCrown, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in late 2009 or early 2010, by James Levine at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (NA).



Professors at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Dartmouth, UCLA, Duke, USC, Princeton, NYU along with approximately 284,000 other "influencers".

Smart people understand that information if power and the LBN E-Lert is a power tool.



Imagine for a minute, just a minute, that someone running for president was able to actually tell the truth, the real truth, to the American people about what would be the best

-- I mean really the best -- energy policy for the long-term economic health and security of our country.

I realize this is a fantasy, but play along with me for a minute.

What would this mythical, totally imaginary, truth-telling candidate say?

For starters, he or she would explain that there is no short-term fix for gasoline prices.

Prices are what they are as a result of rising global oil demand from India, China and a rapidly growing Middle East on top of our own increasing consumption, a shortage of "sweet" crude that is used for the diesel fuel that Europe is highly dependent upon and our own neglect of effective energy policy for 30 years.

Cynical ideas, like the McCain-Clinton summertime gas-tax holiday, would only make the problem worse, and reckless initiatives like the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep offer to subsidize gasoline for three years for people who buy its gas guzzlers are the moral equivalent of tobacco companies offering discounted cigarettes to teenagers.

*I can't say it better than my friend Tim Shriver, the chairman of Special Olympics, did in a Memorial Day essay in The Washington Post:

"So Dodge wants to sell you a car you don't really want to buy, that is not fuel-efficient, will further damage our environment, and will further subsidize oil states, some of which are on the other side of the wars we're currently fighting. ...

The planet be damned, the troops be forgotten, the economy be ignored: buy a Dodge."


I think he (Sydney Pollack) always had it on his mind he would like to be a producer.

I think that in his later years, he went in that direction because perhaps he got more tired of directing.

I think that the best times that he and I had were when the film industry was a different business.

It was mainly because, in more of the films he and I did during the time we worked together, we were going against the grain.

The business has so drastically changed now, it's just a completely different business than it was.

And I don't know that we could ever produce the fun he and I had during the '60s, '70s and '80s, when we were constantly trying to forge projects that were going to be hard to get the studios to go with and working against those odds.

A lot of the appeal was it was great fun. Success I think kind of changed that.


Matthew McConaughey last night holding court at the bar at Onyx in L.A. hefting a martini with three ladies holding onto every word.

***Grammy winner Patti Austin dining with acclaimed filmmaker and author Sandi Bachom and PR person Tom Estey at Norma's at the Parker Meridien in Manhattan.

***Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton window-shopping with his wife on Memorial Day at the new outdoor mall, The Americana, in Glendale.

***BE AN LBN-CORRESPONDENT - send your celeb sightings to


***Media and entertainment companies are likely to feel a pinch from a sluggish U.S. economy all year long, based on the results of the just-ended quarterly earnings season.

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch puts it most bluntly:

"There's no doubt the consumer economy is stressed."

***CBS and NBC will air a simultaneous one-hour fundraiser for cancer research in prime-time on Sept. 5.

The "Stand Up to Cancer" broadcast will feature musical performances and celebrity appeals.

The American Association for Cancer Research will distribute the money raised.

***New York Times Magazine's cover story this Sunday focuses on efforts by former model Tyra Banks to turn herself into a brand.

The host of "America's Next Top Model" and "The Tyra Banks Show" aims to become "like her hero, Martha Stewart," according to the profile.

***The median age of magazine readers is creeping up, now to 45, according to media expert and author Michael Levine.

LBN-SEE IT..... Producer Robert Evans and Ali MacGraw attend the AMPAS salute to Robert Evans.


***The family of "The Lord of the Rings" creator J.R.R. Tolkien is trying to stop New Line Cinema from making "The Hobbit." Tolkien's son, Christopher, 83, claims the studio owes the family $160 million in profits from the "Rings" trilogy.

On June 6, he'll ask an LA judge to back his claim that he has the right to terminate film rights to "The Hobbit," set to shoot this year.

In 1969, the elder Tolkien reluctantly sold screen rights for 7.5 percent of any profit to pay a tax bill.

***The major studios and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have signed a primetime deal that will ease -- but not eliminate -- the town's fears of an actors strike.

Following nine consecutive days of negotiations, AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers reached a tentative three-year agreement early Wednesday at AMPTP headquarters in Encino.

***After more than 20 years at 20th Century Fox TV, David E. Kelley has jumped ship to Warner Bros. TV.

Today's trades report that WBTV has finalized a three-year overall development and production deal with the prolific Emmy winner.


***He's not a lawyer, he just played one on TV - but now Dylan McDermott is representing himself. McDermott, who played Bobby Donnell on "The Practice" for seven years, has filed for divorce from his wife, Shiva Rose, the mother of his two daughters, citing irreconcilable differences.

E! News reports McDermott is handling the case "in propria persona," as his own lawyer.


***Looks like the Chinese will have to live without Sharon Stone's "Sliver" for a while:

The biggest movie chain in China says it's banning her flicks from its screens after she called the horrific earthquakes there "karma" for past abuses.

Ng See-Yuen, head of the UME Cineplex chain, tells the Hollywood Reporter that Stone's ridiculous remarks were "inappropriate" and that actors should bring personal politics to such a disaster that's killed thousands and left 5 million homeless.

***One book to watch for this fall is Running Press' You Must Remember This:

The Warner Bros. Story written by Time Magazine's senior film critic Richard Schickel and former London Times film critic, George Perry.

Eighty-five years of screen icons, legendary films, and history-making achievements are detailed in this comprehensive, photo-filled treasure trove with many never-before-seen pictures culled from the Warner vault and fully authorized by the studio.

The companion volume to a 5-part documentary narrated by Clint Eastwood and airing on PBS this September, You Must Remember This will be in stores September 9.

***Kirsten Dunst is hard at work shooting her next movie, All Good Things, on New York's Upper West Side.

But she's decided to focus on something else today--opening up to dispel rumors and tabloid reports that she sought help earlier this year at Cirque Lodge treatment center in Utah due to alcoholism and substance abuse.

"I didn't go to Cirque Lodge for alcohol abuse or drug abuse," Dunst reveals during a lunch break on All Good Things. "I went there for depression."

LBN-QUOTE: "Barack Obama is about to get the Democratic nomination. It'll be the first time in history that a black man beat a white woman and didn't go to jail for it" - comic Eddie Griffin.

LBN Reader Comment

"I've learned that it takes years to build trust, and only suspicion, not proof, to destroy it."

Sharon Wallick, Longmont, DE.

LBN Reader Comment:

"Even the smallest candle burns brighter in the dark." -

Jude Isaman, Galveston, TX.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008



Please forward this LBN E-Lert to all of your friends and family.

They will thank you. Information is power and the LBN E-Lert is a power tool.



Speculators are largely responsible for driving crude prices to their peaks in recent weeks and the record oil price now looks like a bubble, George Soros has warned.

The billionaire investor's comments came only days after the oil price soared to a record high of $135 a barrel amid speculation that crude could soon be catapulted towards the $200 mark.


***Francis Bean Cobain - the 15-year-old daughter of rockers Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain - would have been aborted in the womb if Love's handlers had had their way, an upcoming book claims.

In "Bumping Into Geniuses," a memoir about the music business, Danny Goldberg, former CEO of Warner Bros. Records who also managed Kurt's band Nirvana, reveals how he and a group of Love's inner circle - worried about her heroin use during pregnancy - plotted an intervention.


***Browser developer Mozilla will soon release Firefox 3.0, which will feature a few tricks that could change the way people organize and find the Web sites they visit most frequently.


***The most recent Indiana Jones film more than recouped its big budget with an estimated $311 million in global box office sales through the long weekend, according to studio estimates Monday.

Families went in droves to catch "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," a PG-13 adventure starring Harrison Ford as the whip-cracking archaeologist who took 19 years to return to the big screen.

***Warner Brothers Entertainment is trying to boost DVD sagging sales by releasing companion projects to its films exclusively on DVD.

***At the closing ceremony of the 61st Cannes Film Festival, the red carpet was overrun by teenagers when the French film "The Class" ("Entre les Murs") won the Palme d'Or.

***New releases from Usher, 3 Doors Down, Esperanza Spalding, Cyndi Lauper and the Ting Tings.


Women are the fastest-growing group of veterans, yet the Department of Veterans Affairs lacks the staff to deal with sexual assaults, let alone assault combined with trauma.


The first grandchild of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born Sunday in Atlanta.

The girl, named Yolanda Renee King, is the daughter of Martin Luther King III and his wife, Arndrea Waters King, the family said in a statement.


Prominent UTA agent Jeremy Zimmer, along with approximately 280,000 other "influencers" in all 50 states and 23 foreign countries.


Oprah Winfrey is still the queen of all media, but her crown is beginning to look a bit tarnished.

The average audience for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has fallen nearly 7 percent this year, according to Nielsen Media Research -- its third straight year of decline.

"Oprah's Big Give," an ABC philanthropic reality show, beat every program on television except "American Idol" in its premiere week this winter, but steadily lost nearly one-third of its audience during the rest of its eight-week run, according to Nielsen.

The circulation of "O," The Oprah Magazine, has fallen by more than 10 percent in the last three years, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and the magazine is now seeking a new editor in chief after the announced retirement of its longtime steward, Amy Gross.


***Scott Dixon won the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, but he said that on his final laps he was worried about everything that could go wrong with his racecar.


***Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer have been together longer than they're letting on.

It seemed odd that Aniston was so public with her affection for Mayer so fast, but a source says they were quietly dating for three months prior to coming out earlier this month as a couple in Miami.

***Paul McCartney received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Yale University this afternoon.


***From 1939 to 1942, there was an undersea post office in the Bahamas.

***Levan, Utah, got its name from "navel" -- levan spelled backwards.

It was named this because it is in the center of the state.

***The Hollywood sign, first erected in 1923, was originally "Hollywoodland."

***The Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota is so big that it can hold 24,336 school buses.

***The Sears Tower in Chicago contains enough steel to build 50,000 automobiles.


"The question is, should we persevere and go forward or simply hide in our offices and duck our heads.

No way is the Mexican government going to back down in such a fight."

--FELIPE CALDERÓN, president of Mexico, on his campaign against drug traffickers.


On May 26, 1868, the Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal as the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction.

Grooving at the sea of Galilee

Grooving at the Sea of GalileeBy Brian Blum

May 26, 2008

From its humble beginnings 32 years ago as a modest folk music festival geared primarily to the English speaking community in Israel, Jacob's Ladder has evolved into a three-day bluegrass, country, blues and world music extravaganza that appeals to thousands of both Anglos and Israelis, from teenagers to 60+ old timers.

The latest edition of Jacob's Ladder was held last weekend at its permanent home of Kibbutz Nof Ginosar along the Sea of Galilee just north of Tiberias.

The musical line up featured a number of international acts including last year's headliners, The Abrams Brothers, one of the country music scene's preeminent banjo and fiddle-playing bluegrass acts.

The Canadian-born Abrams Brothers - consisting of dad, two brothers, a cousin and two world-class banjo players from the US - had the younger set swooning.

Other star performers who came from overseas to perform at this year's festival included Pete Morton, a British ex-punk rocker who turned to raucous guitar driven folk after hearing a Buffy Sainte-Marie record some 30 years ago;

North Carolina-based "quirky folk singer and poet" Utah Greene; singer songwriter Sonia Rutstein, who goes by the stage name of SONiA (yes, correct spelling) and blends world music, folk, pop and Middle Eastern rhythms in English, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew;

and TRiAD, a rather weak three piece who performed oddly arranged interpretations of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Locally grown talent at Jacob's Ladder included Avital Raz, who studied Indian classical music in Varanasi for five years and performs an eclectic mix of folk pop with Indian undertones;

Sandy Cash, whose humorous ditties always make us smile (the song about a truck that accidentally dumps a load of Viagra in the local water supply is an all-time classic);

Tal Koreneberg's Bodhran band, perhaps Israel's only double bagpipe jammers playing Irish, Celtic and Scottish folk tunes;

and my personal favorite, Iyam who got the crowd dancing to a mix of Hebrew and English reggae and rap.

Jacob's Ladder is more than just music, however.

There are tai chi sessions, a clown workshop for the kids, a chai zulafor the cool set to chill out;

and lots of country, line and square dancing.

My wife Jody has been going to a monthly "contra" dancing in Jerusalem to which I've steadfastly refused to attend, on the grounds that I "don't like anything with steps."

Jody dragged me into the first session at Jacob's Ladder and before long I was hooked.

What fun! Despite a crowd in the thousands, Jacob's Ladder never feels oppressive.

There are three main stages and, other than Friday night when everyone spreads a sheet on the grass and grooves to the main acts, activities are pretty loose.

Some people take a dip in the pool, others browse the arts and crafts area.

The lobby of the hotel is always happening with impromptu jam sessions into the wee hours of the night.

Politeness and honesty are an unspoken rule of thumb.

You can leave your stuff anywhere and no one will take it.

If someone sits in your chair, there are no arguments when you return.

Smoking is the exception rather than the rule.

There is a laid back, free flowing feeling to the whole event that serves as an antidote, however brief, to the stresses of day to day living in Israel.

In short, we love it.

Over the years, Jacob's Ladder has become less Anglo and more Israeli.

That's in part due to the Israeli-born children of the original attendees who have grown up at Jacob's Ladder and seem to know all the Israeli and Irish dances by heart (the mosh pit to the side of the main stage was grooving big time Friday night - even I plunged into the midst of the "scene").

There is also a fair representation of Israeli adults who enjoy the music and casual scene.

The overwhelming secular nature of Jacob's Ladder has also changed in recent years.

An increasing number of Orthodox families now attend the festival.

The kippa-wearing crowd has its own minyan by the lake Friday night and seems to find no contradiction between Shabbat observance and listening to great music.

Attendees can buy "scrip" in advance so that food purchases can be made without spending real shekels over the weekend.

We ate a "proper" Shabbat dinner in the Nof Ginosar dining hall which has one of the better buffets I've eaten at a kibbutz hotel.

Our friends call us a bit spoiled.

While nearly everyone camps - the grounds of the kibbutz guest house are covered by a sea of tents - we booked a simple but functional room in the pundak, a country style inn with nice pinewood furniture, where we could sleep on a real bed and take a real shower.

Despite several derisive comments on our refusal to rough it, that didn't stop our friends from using our bathroom and fridge.

At the end of the weekend, as the music died down and the afternoon sun began to wane, we wandered down to the Kinneret, pulled a couple of plastic chairs down to the rocky beach and dangled our feet in the cool water.

It was a perfect end to a fabulous weekend.

Will we be back?


We've already booked our room for 2009...


While Google eyes Ormat, Microsoft becomes more Israeli

By Karin Kloosterman and Nicky Blackburn May 25, 2008

The kind of energy that spouts out of Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park, could be powering the world's most famous Internet search engine, Google, and homes across America.

Israel's geothermal company Ormat Technologies, the biggest of its kind in the world to harness the heat energy from the earth, may get financial backing from Google to bring alternative energy to the mainstream in America.

"We have not made any announcement related to Google," wrote Dita Bronicki, the CEO of Ormat, by email to ISRAEL21c last Thursday, but media reports suggest the deal is well on the way.

Ormat, which has been in the cleantech business for more than four decades - even before cleantech became part of our lexicon - harnesses "clean" energy from heat emitted by the earth.

Working in other areas including biodiesel, Ormat could help America achieve energy independence from oil and coal.

In Israel for President Shimon Peres' presidential conference "Facing Tomorrow," Google co-founder Sergey Brin told TheMarker that the company plans on investing in Israeli alternative energy companies and Ormat, the world leader in geothermal energy, is expected to be one of them.

The publicly traded NASDAQ company founded by the Bronicki family, is just one of the companies Google is looking at Brin said.

Calling Ormat an incredible company, he also said there were a lot of Israeli companies working in interesting areas of renewable and alternative energy, and electric cars.

According to news reports, senior Google execs have met with Ormat executives at two conferences; and Larry Page, who is the other co-founder of Google, has visited an Ormat plant in Nevada.

Page said: "Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal.

We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades.

" Google's long-range objectives, of which Israeli companies could play a part, are to help develop electricity from non-polluting renewable energy sources.

Its focus now is on solar thermal power, wind power technologies, geothermal systems and other clean technologies.

Any new investments would be handled through the company's philanthropic activities,

And as proof of its faith in alternative energy, Google's headquarters use solar panels to generate 1.6 megawatts of energy.

Ormat and Google, it is reported, are already working together to push ahead the legislation to secure geothermal development budgets from the US government.

Ormat today operates a number of geothermal energy collection sites in the US.

This past February the company said it was testing an "Enhanced Geothermal Systems" technology in cooperation with America's Department of Energy.

Google has other business interests in Israel.

In 2006, the company set up an R&D center in Haifa, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

So far dozens of new Google applications have been built in Israel, including Google Trends and Google Suggest.

It's not the only American super-power expressing faith and interest in Israeli capabilities.

On a visit to Israel this week, Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer said that the American software giant is as much Israeli as it is American.

His comments came at the inauguration ceremony of Microsoft's new research and development center in Herzliya in a ceremony attended by President Shimon Peres and Israeli high-tech leaders.

"Microsoft is as much an Israeli company as an American company," Ballmer told assembled guests.

He added that the proportion of Microsoft employees per capita in Israel was similar to that in the United States.

Microsoft has been active in Israel for many years and has two R&D centers in Haifa, which employ 600 people.

In the last two years, Microsoft purchased five companies in Israel.

The new R&D campus in Herzliya has two buildings that stretch over 13,000 square meters.

In the coming year, Microsoft plans to bring on a further 150 employees.

At the ceremony, Ballmer noted that the IT sector in Israel is very advanced, and described Tel Aviv as similar to Silicon Valley.

"I know very few places around the world that offer such a variety of start-up opportunities, and we intend to continue to invest in Israel," he said.

Honored guests and businesspeople to Israel say time and time again, how important Israel innovation is for helping fulfill corporate and government goals, in areas such as cleantech, and high-tech.

This month with a dizzying number of prominent guests such as Google and Microsoft executives, and political leaders like Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and Al Gore, it would seem that Israel's "tomorrow" is just as important to the future of Europe and America, as it is to Israel.


Strumming a different tune [VIDEO]By Daniel Ben-Tal May 20, 2008

It may sound like a joke, but Ukuleles for Peace is succeeding where the politicians fail.

"Words seem only to divide," says Paul Moore, the one-man band behind the project, "but music unites us all in harmony."

And what better way to bring Jews and Arabs together, than seeing their children play this small, easy-to-learn four-string Hawaiian guitar?

English-born Moore holds weekly Ukulele classes in schools in neighboring Jewish and Arab towns, bringing the children together for regular rehearsals and performances as a combined orchestra of ukuleles, kazoos and other fun instruments, singing in Hebrew, Arabic and English in old people's homes, music festivals and peace events.

He launched the initiative four years ago, with weekly classes in the Hod Hasharon Democratic Elementary School and the El Najach elementary school in nearby Tira, a Sunni Muslim town of 22,000.

"It's slowly building as I bring the younger kids up to performance level, to join the older ones who have been performing since the beginning," 58-year-old Moore tells ISRAEL21c.

The Ukuleles for Peace project will feature in a new full-length documentary by Canadian filmmaker Tony Coleman called The Mighty Uke, about the instrument's worldwide resurgence.

For three decades, Moore has been an eclectic professional musician, performing and recording as a traditional one-man skiffle band unique to Israel.

He also has his own jazz band.

Originally from Romford, Essex, he never intended to live here.

Having ditched a lucrative career in the London Stock Exchange, the classic sixties dropout became a "wandering busker of no fixed abode," arriving in Israel in 1978 as a kibbutz volunteer.

He fell in love with the country, married an Israeli woman, had children and became an Israeli citizen.

On September 11th 2001, Moore was visiting New York having just attended an international ukulele convention in New Jersey.

"I was sitting in a Manhattan bar," he recalls, "and people were coming in from downtown, covered in dust, telling their horror stories.

It made me aware how international terror has become.

For me, it was a sign that the time had come to do something.

" Back in Israel, the second intifada was raging.

"People were being blown up every day.

It reached the stage where I'd had enough of living here.

All the dreams of peace were disappearing," explains Moore.

"I realized that I might as well leave, or do something about the situation - it was no use pulling my hair out.

The day it hit me was when my nine-year-old son Alon cursed the Arabs.

He was picking up on the emotional frustration surrounding him.

" The solution, he thought, lay in the humble 'uke.'

"As a musician, most of my work is with kids.

Through music and children, we can create an atmosphere of peace," says Moore.

This year, Moore is coaching over 70 students aged six to 14 from the two schools at three levels: beginners, intermediate and the 20-strong orchestra.

"They are mainly girls - the boys get embarrassed being with all the girls, and drift away.

Alon, who has since left the group, befriended Fahdi from Tira - he just stayed with Fahdi this weekend.

They no longer play the ukulele together, but the aim of this project goes far beyond that," says Moore, noting personal satisfaction at his son's volte-face.

Parents of other Tira children, he points out, have been offended when their offers of hospitality were rebuffed.

"It's not all lovey-dovey.

Relationships take time to build.

The parents are getting to know each other.

It's a long, hard process.

Now I have friends in Tira.

At the beginning, when I'd go for dinner at [Arab] parents' house, we would avoid politics.

Now we can sit down and discuss the situation - we might not agree, but we talk," says Moore.

Two mothers from each community organize regular joint events, with trips including a day at the opera.

The orchestra has held several picnics at which families have begun to interact and get to know one another.

The children and some parents meet regularly to rehearse and travel to performances.

"The children, in particular, have formed friendships that led to birthday party invitations and other social outings," says Moore.

Before the Ukuleles for Peace program was introduced, there were virtually no communal ties between Tira and Hod Hasharon, a rapidly growing Jewish suburb numbering 45,000 a 20-minute drive away.

Yet it remains a small-scale project run on a shoestring budget.

"People in the ukulele community around the world send me occasional donations," he notes, adding that on a good month, donations reach $250.

"Funding is necessary if we want it to grow and expand into other communities," he explains.

The initiative has become a full-time voluntary labor of love for Moore and his partner Daphna, who spends hours coordinating rehearsals and performances.

This summer Moore plans a fundraising trip to the US and Canada and a benefit CD featuring contributions from leading international ukulele players and tracks by the orchestra will soon be released.

"My dream is to create orchestras in several communities and towns, enlarging the circle of real co-existence.

If the situation with the Palestinian Authority is safer, I'd like to form a group there, too," says Moore.

"It's very rewarding.

I know it's only a small drop in the bucket, but local grassroots activities are just as important as peace agreements.

A suspension bridge needs lots of wires to hold it up."


Israeli filmmakers head to Cannes with animated documentary [VIDEO]By Jerrin Zumberg May 20, 2008

A sullen looking animated soldier is Israel's best chance for the central prize, the Palme d'Or, at this year's Cannes International Film Festival.

Waltz with Bashir will compete against 19 other films made by some of the world's most accomplished directors, including Hollywood heavyweights Clint Eastwood and Steven Soderbergh.

The Israeli entry is the only animated nominee, and the first-ever animated documentary to be selected for competition in the 62-year-old festival - one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Applying animation to a documentary format is unheard of in film circles, according to Richard Lormand, the film's publicist and a veteran of the international film circuit.

"It's basically the first animated documentary ever," wrote Lormand in an email to ISRAEL21c.

Set primarily in Beirut, the film weaves in flashbacks of the director and writer, Ari Folman, as a 19-year-old IDF soldier in Lebanon and Israel in the early 1980s.

The documentary focuses on Folman's recent quest to recover lost memories from that time, many of which were erased after the trauma Folman experienced serving during the slaughter of thousands of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by the Phalange Christian militia.

The film's title refers to Bashir Gemayel, commander of the Phalange militia that carried out the massacres 26 years ago.

Israel's controversial alliances with Gemayel still strike a sensitive chord among Israelis today.

The movie is sure to draw interest as its release comes less than two years after Israel fought another war in Lebanon, this time against Hezbollah guerrillas.

According to Folman, Israelis he spoke to were initially less than enthusiastic about his film's subject.

"When I told people I was going to make an animated film on this subject, what did they tell me?

Are you crazy, how many years will it take you to do that, 20?

But look, it only took me four, not so bad," Folman told Israel's Channel 10 News.

But with the help of a multinational team of producers and distributors, the $2 million production has been welcomed internationally, marking the second full length animated Israeli film to enter the industry worldwide.

The first, Joseph the Dreamer came out in 1962.

Waltz with Bashir uses a unique animation style invented by Yoni Goodman at the Bridgit Folman Film Gang studio in Israel.

The technique takes real video, and maps it out so it can be converted into hand drawings and then into traditional animation.

The film was first shot in a sound studio as a 90-minute video and then transferred to a storyboard.

From there 2,300 original illustrations were drawn based on the storyboard, which together formed the actual film scenes using Flash animation, classic animation, and 3D technologies.

Folman saw no other option for telling his personal war story from the 1982 Israeli mission into Lebanon.

"I made an animated film because I couldn't find any other way to tell this story besides through illustrations," Folman told Channel 10.

The film will be accompanied by a forthcoming graphic novel telling the same story, also written by Folman and illustrated by David Polansky, the creative director of the movie.

Waltz with Bashir's official selection at Cannes is just the latest in a series of prestigious festival successes for the Israeli film industry in the past half decade.

These include last year's first prize award by the film Sweet Mud at the Sundance International Film Festival and a best foreign film Oscar nomination for another Lebanon-themed movie, Beaufort.

Last year four feature films and three short films were official selections at Cannes where the directors and writers of the filmJellyfish took home a Camera d'Or award for best first-time filmmakers - the second Camera d'Or for an Israeli filmmaker in the last four years.

Difference between Agents & Managers

I recently got an email (one of dozens I’ve gotten on this subject) asking me if I could -

“explain the difference between an agent and a manager and tell me which would be better for me to sign with – which will be better at getting my career going?”

Here’s my answer:

Dear Friend Talent,

Neither an agent, nor a manager, can help you “get your career going.”

The concept that a powerful man or woman can step in and help you skip all the hard work involved in building an acting career - is a “fairy tale.”

There is no shortcut to the top of show business (or even to the middle, for that matter).

There’s also no Great Pumpkin or Tooth Fairy.

If it could be done this way, then agents and managers would simply pick out any talent from of the thousands of headshots they get every week – and turn them into stars.

Hey, presto!

But, it cannot be done this way.

This is the main reason agents and managers are generally so unresponsive to unsolicited submissions.

The good ones are pros and they’re not going to waste their valuable time trying to accomplish what they know cannot be done.

As to the difference between agents and managers: Their businesses are similar - but not the same.

One sells a product.

The agent is a sales person for the product known as YOU. Sales people (agents) judge how well their business is going – by how much money they make.

A really good sales professional likes to make lots of money.

If your product is not saleable (one that people aren’t ready to buy yet) then a sales person won’t make a lot of money selling it (you).

Not surprisingly, agents are coldly business-like about this part.

Until you’ve managed to start your career yourself (making money as an actor) don’t expect any really good sales people to be particularly interested in representing your ‘line.’

Managers are just what the word implies.

The manage things.

Mailings, bookings, transportation, job offers, promotion - the day-to-day business of YOU. (But keep in mind that in most markets, they are precluded, by law, from seeking work for you.)

The top managers are usually the top managers because they manage very successful careers.

In the past two decades the professional manager class has had its own difficulties with an influx of “bottom feeders.”

The worst of these are outright crooks, whose only goal is to separate you from you money or your credit card with no intention of helping you in any way.

Almost as bad are the ineffectual show biz hangers-on who rent offices and go about the business of “signing” practically anyone who walks through their door - then what they do is they send out your pictures to every little thing listed in the Breakdowns.

All they are risking is postage.

Since these folks are generally clueless themselves, they will submit you for stuff you aren’t right for.

This is a good way to get labeled as a clueless actor by the casting people.

Many young actors are fooled into thinking that they must have a manager, any manager - that it’s “good business”.

It usually isn’t.

In reality you are signing an agreement to give someone 15% (or more) of your income after YOU successfully ESTABLISH YOURSELF as an talent who makes money.

Bottom feeders spend a great deal of their business day writing threatening letters to collect money from talents who have realized their mistake and don’t want to pay 15% of their income for someone to do ineffective mailings.

Since the agreement you sign with a manager is often an employment contract – you are the employer and they are the employee – they almost always win in court.

The big boys (and girls) in the management game, are just like agents when it comes to money.

They want to manage a “going concern” and they spend all their time looking for the next “big thing.”

Think about that.

Since professional managers make a boatload of money when they manage to sign on with a Vin Diesel or J-Lo - isn’t it reasonable to assume that they are LOOKING ALL THE TIME.

In fact, they hire people to look - they’ve got part-time, secret lookers on their payroll.

Believe me, If you have what they want - if you are a going concern with a name that you’ve made for yourself - they know their managing skills will take you to a whole new level (making LOTS of money) and they get a big chunk of a LOT - then, believe me, they will seek you out.

Most important point:

As long as you continue to believe that your main job is looking for someone else to help you ‘get your career going’ – you won’t be spending enough time doing the crucial things you need to do yourself, to build your own career.

This is a very bad tactic – which almost always results in frustration, wasted years and, ultimately, failure to achieve what you want.

If you don’t concentrate on doing your part it’s unlikely that you will ever build your business into something big enough to be noticed by a good agent or a good manager.

In other words, by all means keep looking for a sales staff, and a management team - but don’t neglect your business while you’re doing it.

Hope that helps.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Latest- from LBN e lert ( LEVINE BREAKING NEWS- by Michael Levine, one of Hollywoods most influential Publicists


Every week this LBN E-Lert has stories BEFORE......The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Fox News, NBC News, The Washington Post, etc.


***Veteran Hollywood personal manager Joan Hyler.

***Four (4) members of the NFL Commissioner's Office.

***Political commentator and best-selling author Dick Morris.

***Two (2) Nobel Prize winners.

***The mayors of Miami, Denver, Seattle, Buffalo and Chicago - along with approximately 280,000 other "influencers."


To discuss anything less than the death penalty for someone responsible for over 100,000 deaths would on its face seem ludicrous.

But we are dealing with the president of the United States here.


I have regularly criticized Clinton over the course of her campaign, but there is no question that she has forever altered the way women running for president will be viewed.


***Kent Desormeaux, the jockey trying to win the Triple Crown riding Big Brown, dining carefully at Orient Chinese Restaurant in Bethpage, LI.

***John Leguizamo grabbing the mic from Niche Media's Jason Binn at the Hamptons Summer Kick-Off Party, only to mispronounce the name of co-sponsor Cabana Cachaça (ka-sha-sa).

***Alica Keys lingering over a three-hour lunch of sushi, sashimi and oysters at Geisha in NYC.

***Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon taking in a night of theater with Teddy Roosevelt in "The Bully Pulpit" at the Beckett in NYC.

***Vince Neil of Motley Crue fame at Opia in NYC lunching with pals.


While most of the rest of the world tries to insulate judges from the popular will, many judges in the United States are elected.


***Dick Martin, the zany half of the comedy team whose "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" took television by storm in the 1960s, making stars of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and creating such national catch-phrases as "Sock it to me!" has died.

He was 86.

***Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" has dug up an estimated $126 million since its opening at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

That includes an estimated $101 million in Friday-Sunday coin, which followed a first-day Thursday gross of $25 million.

Par also projected a $25 million haul for Monday, which would give the first Indy sequel in 19 years a five-day cume of $151 million.

LBN-BOOK NEWS: ***With an ambitious new novel, Salman Rushdie is hoping to turn the spotlight back to his literary career.


***NAME: Kate Craig




The obvious, Marilyn Monroe

***IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOR A YEAR, WHERE AND WHY? The West End of London while performing "Cabaret" or "Chicago!"

***OCCUPATION: Artist Music Manager


Getting to constantly listen to music and be around extremely creative and talented people


Chopping his balls off :)


I'm sure they just haven't admitted it --hahaha


LBN Reader Comment

"You were born an original, don't die a copy." - Kat Blyant, Cleveland, OH.

The Show Biz Blog is written by an industry veteran and contains lots of great advice and information.