Thursday, May 20, 2004

Cannes Couture : Nicole Miller dressed Daryl Hannah for the Premiere of “Ladykillers” at the Cannes Film Festival. Hannah chose a stunning navy double face silk side drape gown and is from Ms. Miller’s Fall 2004 collection.

Dad’s Day TV: PATERNAL INSTINCT chronicles two years in the life of two New York men on their journey to become fathers when the Cinemax Reel Life documentary debuts Sunday, June 20, 2004 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Mark, a computer engineer, and Erik, a land conservationist, choose to pursue parenthood through surrogacy, a process increasingly considered by gay couples as an alternative to adoption.

The documentary is followed by “I Used to be a Filmmaker,” a documentary that features vignettes of Jay Rosenblatt's baby daughter Ella during the first two years of her life, from diaper changes to "DaDa" to baby's first steps, punctuated by tongue-in-cheek setup cards drawn from the filmmaker's vernacular, such as "Establishing Shot," "Soft Focus," "Hand-Held" and "Flashback."

Houston, Honey? : If you happen to be traveling to Houston this summer, consider staying at the Hotel Derek: Since opening in 2002 Hotel Derek. Gwyneth Paltrow, James Gandolfini, Cher, Beyonce Knowles and Andy Roddick have all stayed at the Derek. The principal designer of the hotel, Dayna Lee, designed the hotel with the needs of traveling celebrities in mind. Lee is co-founder and principal designer for Powerstrip, a multidisciplinary design studio headquartered in Hollywood, Calif. (they also designed the W Los Angeles Hotel). Lee’s work includes designing sets for Hollywood motion pictures and, given her experience with the exacting needs and tastes of traveling celebrities made her think about the ideal hotel guestroom.

Atomic Spies: On June 19, 1953, "Atom Spies" Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by the U.S. government for "conspiracy to commit espionage." Today the Rosenbergs remain political icons, hailed as heroes or vilified as traitors. But who were the real people behind the controversy? Combining previously unseen family memorabilia, archival footage and modern-day interviews with those who remember them, “Heir to an Execution: A Granddaughter’s Story” follows the quest of Ivy Meeropol to understand her grandparents and the difficult choices they made when it debuts Monday, June 14, 2004 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on HBO. The poignant and revealing America Undercover documentary was a selection of this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Renaissance Man: 26-year-old soul singer Ricky Fanté makes a cameo appearance as a 1920's nightclub singer in "Their Eyes Were Watching God," an adaptation of the literary classic by Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston. The film, the latest project from Harpo Films' "Oprah Winfrey Presents" franchise, stars Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry, and airs on ABC Television Network during the 2004-05 season. Fanté¹s debut album “Rewind” (July 13, 2004, Virgin Records) is a tribute to the sounds of classic Motown and Stax records. Fanté, who recently performed on the CBS Saturday Early Show and The Wayne Brady Show, can next be seen on Soul Train on May 22nd.

Check out Bob: It’s nice when you stumble onto a new television show that catches your attention (and with all those digital cable channels, it has to be pretty compelling!).

We’ve discovered “On the Record” with Bob Costas. Not being sports fans, we were familiar with his name, but not much more. He’s insightful, energetic, game and full of tons of trivia. He has organized the show well, as it includes sit down interviews (we were certainly surprised to hear that countculture icon Dennis Hopper is an avid Bush supporter now), his version of a “rant,” and “9 in 90” in which a mystery guest comes in to surprise him with nine questions which he tries to answer in 90 minutes.

Actress Kate Hudson, tennis great and TV commentator John McEnroe and musician Alanis Morissette head the guest list on this week's edition which debuts Friday, May 21, 2004, at 11 p.m. and repeats often throughout the week.

McEnroe talks to Costas about his house transaction agreement with talk-show legend Johnny Carson. McEnroe: "The deal was -- I overpaid for it, but that's a given in Malibu on the beach -- but he also threw in that I had to give him three tennis lessons, because he was a big tennis fan. I ended up giving him lessons and I tried to get him tired, because I knew he was a smoker, and he would stop after five or ten minutes and take a break because he wanted the full hour. So he was not only great at what he did, but he was smart, too. He took his time."

Fashion Finds

There were plenty of Latina lovelies at the 3rd Annual People En Espanol's "50 Most Beautiful" Gala at Splashlight Studios in NYC. Rosario Dawson chose a gorgeous strapless, a-lined skirt dress with a pink lace overlay. She kept her hair and makeup simple and natural.

Looking very va-va voom was Michelle Rodriguez, who chose a super low cut cowl neck that showed off her décolletage.

Very beautiful in a swirly tangerine and hot pink strapless fitted gown was Daynara Torres, whose husband Marc Antony may or may not be cuddling up (as well as engaged to) Jennifer Lopez. The tall beauty queen’s ex-husband is reportedly sweet, affectionate, but jockey-tiny and very clingy with J-Lo. Meanwhile, Torres looked happy and lovely and slender (and she’s a mum to two!).

We love how youthful – and natural – Mariel Hemingway looks. The mother of two teens was at 16th Annual AFSP Lifesavers Awards Dinner at Cipriani’s in NYC. Her dedication to yoga seems to really be paying off as she looked fantastic in an elegant black silk gown with a simple beaded choker necklace.

Meanwhile, in an equally glam black gala gown, Jerry Hall was at 2004 Cannes Film Festival at the "Bad Santa" and "Motorcycle Diaries" premieres. Hall showed off plenty of bling, including major chandelier earrings and a huge diamond ring.

Beat Poetry BUKOWSKI AT BELLEVUE will be available on DVD July 13, 2004 through Eclectic DVD. In the Spring of 1970, Charles Bukowski, then little known, packed his overnight bag, and took his first plane ride to the state of Washington to read at Bellevue Community College. Bukowski made a career of writing gritty short stories, poems, novels, and the occasional screenplay. This reading (only his fourth ever), laid the groundwork for his future success and was videotaped in black-and-white by students. The film then lay forgotten for 18 years. His favorite subjects: life among the drunken, the destitute, the degraded, and the debauched. After his poems were published in the Los Angeles Free Press in the mid-'50s, Bukowski began to gather a cult following. From there, he hit his most prolific period, producing more than 40 novels, countless poems, and short stories.

While the technical aspect of this film is shaky, the message given in this one-hour reading comes through loud and clear. This is Bukowski, at mid-life and at the beginning of a great career, reading powerfully and with grit and humor. At 60 mins. This retails for a bargain $19.99.

Featured Poems Include:
• Soup, Cosmos And Tears
• Another Academy
• The Lesbian
• A Last Shot on Two Good Horses
• Kaakaa and Other Immolations
• Fire Station (For Jane With Love)
• I Think of the Little Men
• My Father Was...
• The Night I Killed Tommy
• Drawing of a Band Concert on a Matchbox
• I Wanted To Overthrow The Government
• Something For The Touts, The Nuns, The
Grocery Clerks, And You

Saturday Night Soccer Fever: If you missed the theatrical release of “Bend it Like Beckham,” catch it this Saturday (May 22, 2004) on Cinemax at 10 p.m. In this sleeper
hit, the daughter of a traditional Anglo-Indian family challenges her parents and cultural stereotypes to pursue her dream of becoming a soccer player. Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers star in the inspiring coming-of-age comedy. Keira Knightley may have been the breakout star, but Nagra and even the often over-the-top Rhys Meyers are notable and charming.

Adios Angel: The finale of "Angel" was great -- if too short. It's always a good sign when a series leaves you wanting more. The ending was ambiguous, leaving room for the rumored "telefilms" the network is hoping to produce with creator Joss Whedon. Fans are clamoring. We see why.