Originally created 08/19/04

People in the News

TORONTO -- "Trauma," a twisting flick starring Colin Firth, is one of several movies to open next month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In the Marc Evans film, Firth awakens from a coma after a car crash to learn his wife was killed. Or was she?

Other films to make their world or North American premieres at the Sept. 9-18 festival include German director Hendrik Holzeman's "Off Beat," about a melancholy young man who meets the woman who has been appearing in his dreams.

From the United States comes Michael Skolnick's "On the Outs," about a trio of Latino teens from New Jersey whose lives intersect in juvenile detention.

Pete Travis' British-Irish production "Omagh" examines the 1998 IRA bombing of the small Irish town.

Michael Winterbottom of Britain brings his "9 Songs," which alternates between live music performances and a London couple's explicit sexcapades.

In an exploration of digital filmmaking, the festival will screen Lynn Marie Kirby's "St. Ignatius Church Exposure: Lenten Light Conversions," an experiment in which 16mm film is manipulated through a film-to-digital transfer machine.

Organizers hope to schedule more than 300 films from 50 countries on 21 screens during the two-week event.

The world premiere of Istvan Szabo's "Being Julia," starring Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons, will open the festival. Bening plays a stage actress in London's West End seeking revenge on a manipulative lover in the film, adapted from Somerset Maugham's novel "Theatre."

A special festival category, "South Africa: 10 Years Later," will focus on films from the country, which held its first free elections in 1994 after the collapse of apartheid.

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NEW YORK -- Fans of "Finding Nemo" will be able to find the little clownfish this winter - on ice.

The Disney/Pixar film about a fish's oceanic adventure is getting the Disney on Ice treatment with elaborate costumes and choreographed routines inspired by the popular animated film.

"Finding Nemo" begins its 13-city tour in Lakeland, Fla., on Sept. 3. Other stops include Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; Atlanta; and East Rutherford, N.J. The final stop is scheduled Dec. 8-12 in Raleigh, N.C.

"This is completely unlike any other show," costumer designer Scott Lane told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Lane, who also designed costumes for 2003's "Monsters Inc." live-action production, turned the film's underwater computer-generated characters into an above water 145-piece costume extravaganza featuring fish, sharks, jellyfish, pelicans and turtles.

Creating the sea creature costumes proved to be a fishy endeavor for Lane.

"Fish are more horizontal," said Lane. "People stand up. Fish don't have a ground, they live on many levels."

For several of the costumes, which take nearly a year to create, Lane incorporated the legs of the performers so "the fish is as much of the performer as the performer is as much of the fish."

Because "Finding Nemo" is set underwater, Lane promises more movement on the ice and undulating costume elements.

His favorite part of the show? A ballet in which 24 performers become an array of jellyfish.

"There's a lot more good old-fashioned ice skating," said Lane.

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NEW YORK -- PBS has moved up the premiere of a one-hour documentary on Julia Child that had been set to air next year. The 6-foot-2 kitchen icon, who shared her delight of French cuisine through her TV show and cookbooks, died Friday, just two days before her 92nd birthday.

"Julia! America's Favorite Chef," part of PBS' "American Masters" series, will air Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EDT (check local listings), except in New York City and in several small markets, where it will air Thursday night, PBS said. At the conclusion of the film, a remembrance card will mark Child's death.

Child, who had suffered from liver failure, died at her home in an assisted-living center in Monticito, Calif.

"It is truly the loss of a national treasure," filmmaker Marilyn Mellowes told The Associated Press Tuesday. "None of us are immortal - not even Julia."

Detailing Child's life from her upper-class childhood in California to the success of her PBS cooking show, "The French Chef," the documentary also includes family photos and an unseen interview with Child.

Mellowes told the AP that she interviewed Child for over two hours in November 2001 in her fabled Cambridge, Mass., kitchen, before Child's move to California. "It is really the centerpiece of the film," she said.

PBS member station WETA-TV in Washington said it would air a 30-minute documentary "Cooking for Julia" immediately following the broadcast of Mellowes' film.

"Cooking for Julia" highlights the thrills and spills of hosting a dinner for Child on her 90th birthday. The Stove Boat Productions film was shot predominantly at the landmark 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown.

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NEW YORK -- Transport Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor" to post-Civil War Texas, add Gary Sandy of the vintage television sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" as well as the Red Clay Ramblers and you will get "Lone Star Love," a new off-Broadway musical, opening in December.

The 58-year-old Sandy portrays Frank Ford, a husband of one of those merry wives, it was announced Tuesday.

"Lone Star Love" has been loosely adapted from the Bard by John L. Haber, with music and lyrics by Jack Herrick. Michael Bogdanov (the show's director), Bland Simpson and Tommy Thompson also have made contributions.

"Lone Star Love" opens Dec. 8 at a new off-Broadway space, the Cooper Cohen Amas Musical Theatre. Preview performances begin Nov. 21.

Sandy portrayed Andy Travis in "WKRP in Cincinnati" in the late 1970s and early '80s. Most recently, he toured the country in a revival of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," starring Ann-Margret.

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MEXICO CITY -- Tom Cruise says he respects the right of entertainers to participate in political campaigning, but his vote in the upcoming presidential election will remain private.

During a news conference in Mexico's capital Monday to promote the local release of "Collateral," Cruise was asked his preference when it comes to President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry.

"Politics is something that is very personal to me," Cruise said. "I am not going to comment publicly (about) who I'm going to vote for. ... I don't want what I say to become a political football."

But when asked how he feels about other performers lobbying for their favorite candidate, Cruise signaled his approval.

"It's their right to do that and I respect that," said Cruise, appearing next to posters of the gray and grizzled hit man he plays in "Collateral."

"But I do believe and I encourage people to go out and study the issues, get beyond the propaganda," he said.


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