Friday, May 23, 2008

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

Madonna at Cannes

Madonna seems to have borrowed Mary-Kate Olsen's hair-do for the Cannes premiere of her Malawi documetary "I Am Because We Are", about the plight of Malawi's one million AIDS orphans.

Wearing spangly Chanel, Madonna looked blonder and more beautiful than ever, with sun-kissed tendrils framing her high-cheeked visage, à la Mary-Kate at the Met's Costume Institute Gala.

We fully approve—this is a much better look for Madonna than the overplayed Farah Fawcett flick she has sported for the last few years.

PS: Remember Madonna's awesome pointy-bra'd Jean Paul Gaultier look from Cannes 1991?

Cameron Diaz goes bald

Natalie Portman rocked a mean bald head in "V for Vendetta".

Demi Moore was hot as a butch egghead in "G.I. Jane".

And we longed to stroke Sigourney Weaver's stubbly scalp in "Alien 3".

Cameron Diaz, however, is not a natural-born Hare Krishna.

Just take a look at this photo from the set of "My Wednesday's Keeper", in which she plays a mother who shaves her head as a gesture of support toward her daughter who has leukemia.

I haven't seen such a disconcerting conehead since, well, "Coneheads".

Thankfully though, this is a bald cap, entirely temporary.

Something Britney should have considered before reaching for the clippers.



Israel and Syria announced on Wednesday that they were engaged in negotiations for a comprehensive peace treaty through Turkish mediators, a sign that Israel is hoping to halt the growing influence of Iran, Syria's most important ally, which sponsors the anti-Israel groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

Senior Israeli officials from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office and their Syrian counterparts were in Istanbul on Wednesday, where both groups had been staying separately, at undisclosed locations, since Monday.

The mediators shuttled between the two. Syria and Israel have not negotiated this seriously in eight years.


BE (VERY) INDEPENDENT: The LBN E-Lert doesn't tell you what to think, it tells you what to think about. Seven days a week but never weakly.



Rocker/word-geek David Cook won "American Idol," trouncing presumed winner little David Archuleta by 12 million votes, host Ryan Seacrest announced on last night's two-hour finale.

A record 97.5 million votes were cast -- the same, Seacrest says, as if every single person in Canada, Spain, Ireland and Australia had cast one vote.



Jewish voters are vital to Barack Obama's hopes, but among many older Jews, he has become a conduit for anxiety about Israel, Iran, anti-Semitism and race.



***Being deprived of sleep even for one night makes the brain unstable and prone to sudden shutdowns akin to a power failure - brief lapses that hover between sleep and wakefulness, according to researchers.



"My clients have begun to dread my phone calls." The talent agent who told me this wore a rueful expression because he understands that the dialogue between client and agent is a staple of life in Hollywood, like a steady background hum.

But here's the portent that neither side likes to admit:

The dialogue of gain has become a dialogue of pain.

"When I make a new deal for a client, the rule has always been, 'How much of a bump do I get?'"

one agent told me. "The numbers always go north.

That's a law of nature.

" Talk to agents around town and you soon learn the revised law:

The numbers are heading south.

The writer who got $500,000 for his last script will now be offered $300,000.

The star who was accustomed to 10% of the gross is now settling for 2%.

If this is the new reality, no one finds it welcome.

"My shrink tells me he can't remember a time when so many patients needed anti-anxiety medication," says the chief of one agency.

Of course, shrinks don't have to convey bad news.

They're just paid to listen.

It's the agents -- the princes of hype -- who find themselves in the uncomfortable position of telling clients they're going to be making less money next year (and the year after).

I've been asking veteran agents lately how they do it.

How do you break the news to talent that they must lower their expectations?



***Wall Street Journal Online is launching a new section that focuses exclusively on women in business.

"Journal Women" is described as "a place where ambitious professional women can come together to read and share ideas on work, family and the intersection of the two."


***Total revenue at Barnes & Noble inched up 1.1% in the first quarter ended May 3, to $1.16 billion, and the retailer's net loss increased to $2.2 million from $1.7 million in the comparable period last year.

Sales through B&N's stores increased 1.1%, to $1.0 billion, due entirely to contributions from new stores as sales for stores opened at least one year fell 1.5% in the quarter.

Barnes &, however, continued to show solid gains, with comp sales up 7.2%, to $99.6 million.

***Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart's memoir, about his days as a studio executive at Paramount during its heyday, where he played a key role in developing and supervising classic films such as The Godfather, Rosemary's Baby, Paper Moon, Harold and Maude, and True Grit, sold to Weinstein Books, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group (World).

***This past week, the History Channel continued their successful Gangland series with a one hour report on Southern California's very own "Mongol Nation".

The International President of the Mongols MC (motorcycle club), Ruben "Doc" Cavazos, will finally get his own say in a stunning, never-before-told story being published by William Morrow June 3rd under the title Honor Few, Fear None.

The Mongols, a tightly knit band of brothers, are considered by the FBI as one of the most ruthless gangs in the country and when they wanted to find a book deal and manager, they strolled into the office of Alan Nevins of The Firm.

***Publisher's Weekly gave a rave review this week of the upcoming revised edition of the best-selling P.R. book of all-time "Guerrilla P.R. 2.0" (Harper/Collins), adding tremendous interest to its release in August of 2008.



Renown Hollywood CAA agent Rick Nicita along with approximately 280,000 other "influencers."



***HBO has enlisted New York Times columnist Frank Rich as a creative consultant.

The media today reports that Rich, who will keep his day job, will contribute to the network's original programming development.


Beverly Hills' hair stylist to the stars, for 25 years - Janis Bueller. Call (310) 887-1891 for select appointments.



There's plenty of frantic energy in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," lots of noise and money too, but what's absent is any sense of rediscovery.



***The five-year-old daughter of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman was killed last night when a car apparently driven by one of her older brothers hit her in the Chapman family's driveway.

***Unless something drastic happens in the next week or so, Wesley Snipes is going to be moving into the big house by June 3.

Always bet on black and white stripes.

Yesterday in a filing, Snipes' lawyers said that if he doesn't get bail to appeal his tax evasion convictions, he's going to have to check into Hotel Graybar sometime in the next couple weeks.

They're trying to appeal on the grounds that the trial judge effed up in various ways the first time around.

***Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, 60, has checked himself into Las Encinas Hospital drug rehabilitation clinic -- the place where Dr. Drew practices -- in Pasadena, Calif.

It's the same facility where the reality show "Celebrity Rehab" was filmed.

Tyler is getting treatment for substance abuse.

***Spike Lee is slamming Clint Eastwood over his two recent Iwo Jima movies, saying the filmmaker overlooked the role of black soldiers during World War II.

LBN-QUOTE: "When the coyotes are attacking, killing and eating the cats in our barn, I personally don't know anyone of intellect or decency that would be so insane as to declaw the cats." - rock star Ted Nugent on his right to bear arms.

LBN Reader Comment:

"A conscious does not prevent sin, it only prevents you from enjoying it."

- Lither Poley, Milwaukee, WI


Mr Buffett's shopping trip

Warren Buffett visited Frankfurt, Lausanne, Madrid and Milan to assess the investment possibilities of Europe's big family-owned businesses.

He said he was not perturbed by the strong euro. Mr Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has so far made very limited investments outside the United States.


Millionaires factory

Macquarie Group, an Australian investment company specialising in infrastructure deals, reported a 23% rise in annual post-tax profit.

It forecast a tough year ahead, but not for its chief executive, who is retiring with an A$80m ($77m) pay package.

A consortium led by Abertis and including Citigroup won the bidding to take over the 75-year lease on Pennsylvania's turnpike, the state's main toll road.

At $12.8 billion, the deal is one of the biggest privatisation initiatives in America's infrastructure sector.

Abertis operates toll roads in Spain and France and has other assets in transport.


Bertelsmann named Markus Dohle as chief executive of Random House.

Mr Dohle, an outsider to the publishing industry, runs the German conglomerate's printing unit and is expected to shake up Random, which has seen sluggish sales of late.

Peter Olson, Random's boss, is moving into academia.

The book world has been rife with rumours that he fell out with his bosses in Germany.


The euro strengthened against the dollar and other leading currencies partly because of an unexpected rise in an index of German business confidence compiled by Ifo, a think-tank based in Munich.


Mr Buffett's shopping trip :

Warren Buffett visited Frankfurt, Lausanne, Madrid and Milan to assess the investment possibilities of Europe's big family-owned businesses.

He said he was not perturbed by the strong euro. Mr Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has so far made very limited investments outside the United States.


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