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Academy Award® Nominated: Inglourious Basterds

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Inglourious Basterds
In the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to perform swift, shocking acts of retribution. Later known to their enemy as “the basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquis, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own. Employing pulp and propaganda in equal measure, Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS weaves together the infamous, oppressed, real and larger-than-life stories of WWII.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quentin Tarantino
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quentin Tarantino
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lawrence Bender
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Erica Steinberg and Lloyd Phillips
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein
Co-Producers . . . . . Henning Molfenter, Carl L. Woebcken, and Christoph Fisser
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pilar Savone
Special Makeup Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert Richardson, ASC
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Wasco
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sally Menke, A.C.E.
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anna B. Sheppard
Visual Effects Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Dykstra

The cast includes: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido, B.J. Novak, Omar Doom, August Diehl, Sylvester Groth, Martin Wuttke, Mike Myers, Julie Dreyfus, Samm Levine, Paul Rust, and Michael Bacall

Reviews

IMDB member from England
Inglorious Basterds makes no apologies, asks for no forgiveness, it’s a no holds barred assault on the senses. Tarantino doesn’t care if he offends, if he steps all over stereotypes and clichés, this is film making at it purest. It’s great to see a film maker whose work clearly isn’t interfeared with by the powers that be. Tarantino is a master of effortlessly cranking up immense tension and suddenly mixing it with laugh out loud moments; you’re not sure if you should be looking away in disgust or rolling around laughing, either way it’s a roller coaster and one not to be missed! It’s not for everyone and I’m unsure how Germans will take the film, certainly if you’re not a fan of Tarantino’s style, this may be a little hard to swallow, but never-the-less, it is a film which simply has to be seen. No self respecting film fan should miss this. And the performance of Christoph Waltz… Oscar don’t you dare ignore him!!”

Did You Know?

Quentin Tarantino intended for this to be as much a war film as a spaghetti western, and considered titling the movie “Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France“. He gave that title instead to the first chapter of the film.

When asked about the misspelled title, director Quentin Tarantino gave the following answer: “Here’s the thing. I’m never going to explain that. You do an artistic flourish like that, and to explain it would just take the piss out of it and invalidate the whole stroke in the first place.”

Eli Roth’s character, Sgt. Donnie Donowitz, is part of the Tarantino-verse, sharing the last name of the film producer character, Lee Donowitz, in the Tarantino-written True Romance (1993). The Lee Donowitz character also produced a war film “Comin’ Home in a Body Bag“.

The name of Brad Pitt’s character, Lt. Aldo Raine, is an homage to both the actor and WWII veteran Aldo Ray and a character from Rolling Thunder (1977), Charles Rane (played by William Devane). One of the casting directors, Johanna Ray, is Aldo Ray’s ex-wife.

Eight Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Supporting Actor ~ Christoph Waltz
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best in Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing

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We Are The World 25 For Haiti

Join our community. Be part of the solution.

We Are the World

The recording of ‘We Are The World 25 For Haiti’ embodies the same enthusiasm, sense of purpose and generosity as the original recording 25 years ago. Through the contributions of the new voices to this rendition of ‘We Are The World,’ and with the help of our partners, the We Are The World Foundation will be committed to transparency and will help further the spirit of activism that was at the heart of the original song and movement.

We are developing mechanisms to permit our donors and members of the community to monitor the funds raised, the expenses paid, and the charitable grants funded by the We Are The World Foundation, a newly created not-for-profit organization founded by Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie who have invited Wyclef Jean, Paul Haggis, Randy Phillips, Peter Tortorici and Ambassador Luis Moreno of the Inter-American Development Bank to join them on the board. The Foundation is dedicated to raising money and to making grants to charitable organizations with meaningful and efficient relief and development programs that are responding to the continuing crisis in Haiti.

Please visit the website, to learn more…

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TRMS Explores Literacy Tests in Our Nations Voting History

Posted by: Audiegrl

Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reviews the history of how “literacy tests” were used to prevent Black people from voting in America and why Tom Tancredo’s opening speech to the Tea Party convention calling for the return of those tests is so abhorrent. Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree shares his insights on racism in the United States.

This clip caught my attention, because as Rachel pointed out, this is not ancient history, the Voting Rights bill was passed in 1965, when I was three years old. The topic also reminded me of a story my parents told me. But a little background first. Although, they came to Northern Illinois in 1942, the first election they were ‘allowed’ to vote in, was for President John F. Kennedy. Seriously… They were not in the Southern states that Rachel mentioned, but in the North. I’m not sure all the literacy tests they were given, except for one. My mother was given the task to name all of Shakespere’s sonnets. She didn’t pass that test, so she was not allowed to vote.

When they voted for President Kennedy, they went as a group from the American Legion, because my father served honorably in World War II. My Great-Uncle also went with him that day, he served honorably in World War I. Amazingly although both were veterans, this was the first vote for both of them, and they sure were proud. 🙂

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Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” Video highlights

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of great music and a show of support for the people of Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl

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President Obama Signs Legislation

President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions January 22, 2010.

President Obama Is Making It Easier for Americans to Support Haiti
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In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.


Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
Yéle Haiti

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Noel Coward’s Star Quality to Light Up Academy Gallery

Posted by: Audiegrl

Noel Coward by Edward Sorel

Noel Coward by Edward Sorel

Star Quality: I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got it,” said Noel Coward in his inimitable style, cigarette in hand and a twinkle in his eye. The life and career of playwright, composer, director and actor Noel Coward will be celebrated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a new touring exhibition, “Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” opening on Saturday, January 23, in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.

Coward is well known as the creator of such stage classics as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Cavalcade, Design for Living and Blithe Spirit, many of which were adapted for film, and as the composer of such timeless songs as “I’ll See You Again,” “Mad About the Boy” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” “Star Quality” will be the first exhibition to show the full extent of Coward’s talents as a director of plays and movies, a stage and film actor, songwriter, cabaret artist, wartime patriot, painter and patron of charitable causes.

Noel Coward and stage partner Gertrude Lawrence 1936

Noel Coward and stage partner Gertrude Lawrence 1936

With unparalleled access to the Coward Archives, and drawing on public and private collections in Europe and the U.S. as well as the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, the exhibition brings together dozens of rare photographs, drawings, paintings, original manuscripts, letters, sheet music, posters, playbills, set and costume designs, personal memorabilia, audio and video clips, and original costumes, including several of the silk dressing gowns that became Coward’s trademark. Coward’s friendships with many of the 20th century’s leading artists and film personalities also are documented throughout the exhibition, as are his contributions to the film world through his on-screen appearances and the numerous film adaptations of his stage work.

Noel Coward and Judy Garland 1951

Noel Coward and Judy Garland 1951

Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” is presented in association with the Noël Coward Foundation and the Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco. The Academy’s installation has been guest curated by Brad Rosenstein and Rosy Runciman; the original exhibition was conceived and developed at Ten Chimneys by Erika Kent. Rosenstein will lead a public gallery talk at the Academy on Saturday, January 23, at 3 p.m. No reservations are required.

Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward” will be on display through Sunday, April 18. The Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit http://www.oscars.org.

Stephen Fry, Michael York and Pat York attend the opening of the exhibition Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward presented by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Academys Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills on Friday, January 22, 2010

Stephen Fry, Michael York and Pat York attend the opening of the exhibition Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward presented by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Academys Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills on Friday, January 22, 2010

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BBC Airing Guantánamo Guard/Detainee Reunion

Posted by: Audiegrl

“He would say, ‘you ever listen to Eminem or Dr Dre’ and… I thought how could it be somebody is here who’s doing the same stuff that I do when I’m back home”~~Former Guard Brandon Neely

Brandon Neely, center, was a Guantánamo Bay guard, and Ruhal Ahmed, left, and Shafiq Rasul were prisoners.

Brandon Neely, center, was a Guantánamo Bay guard, and Ruhal Ahmed, left, and Shafiq Rasul were prisoners.

Why would a former Guantanamo Bay prison guard track down two of his former captives – two British men – and agree to fly to London to meet them?

BBC News/Gavin Lee~~”You look different without a cap.”

You look different without the jump suits.”

With those words, an extraordinary reunion gets under way.

The journey of reconciliation began almost a year ago in Huntsville, Texas. Mr Neely, 29, had left the US military in 2005 to become a police officer and was still struggling to come to terms with his time as a guard at Guantanamo.

He felt anger at a number of incidents of abuse he says he witnessed, and guilt over one in particular.

Highly controversial since it opened in 2002, Guantanamo prison was set up by President George Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to house suspected “terrorists“. But it has been heavily divisive and President Barack Obama has said it has “damaged [America’s] national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda“.

Mr Neely recalls only the good publicity in the US media.

The news would always try to make Guantanamo into this great place,” he says, “like ‘they [prisoners] were treated so great’. No it wasn’t. You know here I was basically just putting innocent people in cages.”

The prisoners arriving on planes, in goggles and jump suits, from Afghanistan were termed by then US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as the “worst of the worst“. But after getting to know some of the English-speaking detainees, Mr Neely started to have doubts all of them were fanatical terrorists.

Mr Neely was 22 when he worked at the camp and left after six months to serve in Iraq. But after quitting the military his doubts about Guantanamo began to crystallize. This led to a spontaneous decision last year to reach out to his former prisoners on Facebook.

Released in 2004, after being held for two years, Mr Rasul and Mr Ahmed and another friend from Tipton had been captured in Afghanistan on suspicion of links to the Taliban. The three said they were beaten by US troops although this was disputed by the US government at the time.

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But what were the pair doing in Afghanistan in 2001?

They explain that, being in their late teens and early twenties at the time, they had made a naive, spontaneous decision to travel for free with an aid convoy weeks before a friend’s wedding, due to take place in Pakistan.

Mr Ahmed admits they had a secret agenda for entering Afghanistan, but it wasn’t to join al-Qaeda.

Aid work was like probably 5% of it. Our main reason was just to go and sightsee really and smoke some dope“.

Does their former prison guard believe them? Yes, says Mr Neely, who says he thinks it was a case of “wrong place, wrong time“.

Both sides are beginning to bond, yet towards the end, Mr Neely has a confession of his own. It threatens to destroy the mood of reconciliation.

He is deeply ashamed of an incident in which he “slammed” an elderly prisoner’s head against the floor.

Mr Neely recalls that he thought he had been under attack because the man kept trying to rise to his feet. But weeks later he discovered the prisoner thought he was being placed on his knees to be executed and believed he was fighting for his life.

Mr Ahmed is speechless, then evidently conflicted as he wrestles in his mind with whether or not he can forgive. Eventually, he says he can.

But should Mr Neely be prosecuted for his actions? Mr Ahmed pauses again.

He’s realized what he did was wrong and he’s living with it and suffering with it and as long as that he knows what he did was wrong. That’s the main thing.”

Afterwards, each say they had genuinely found some sort of closure from meeting. The sense of relief in all their faces speaks volumes, and they leave the meeting closer to one another.

Their story will be featured on the documentary Guantanamo Reunited on BBC Radio 5 live on Thursday 14 January at 2200 BST.

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NYT-Guantánamo Reunion, by Way of BBC

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44-D’s Book Diaries: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Posted by: Audiegrl

My husband picked this book up for me this week. In Northern Illinois we are used to very harsh winters, and living less that 20 miles from the Wisconsin border, he thought I’d enjoy this. He was right…Now, I’d like to recommend it to you.

A Reliable Wife: Rural Wisconsin, 1907. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt stands stands alone on the train platform anxiously awaiting the arrival of a visitor. The woman who arrives is not who he expects. This woman, this reliable wife, will decide whether Ralph Truitt lives or dies.

An Interview with Robert Goolrick

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The plotting of A Reliable Wife seems very deliberately crafted, as readers must constantly change their expectations of these characters and their actions. There is one surprise after another as the story unfolds. Did you think about the reader’s experience as you were crafting your storytelling, or did you write the story as you saw it?

I wanted to give readers, first and foremost, a good solid story and a reading experience that is as sensual as it is cerebral. I thought about the story for years before I started writing, then started it several times and stopped, and finally just committed myself to writing down what I had already committed to memory, the story of three figures in a barren landscape. I thought a great deal about the myth of Phaedra, and her entanglements with Theseus and Hyppolitus. So I thought I knew pretty much the whole thing.

But you’re always surprised. I was surprised at Ralph’s reaction to the knowledge that he was being poisoned. I was surprised that the brief encounter with Alice in St. Louis became, for me, the emotional fulcrum of the book. And I was surprised by Catherine’s passion for knowledge, for the comfort she takes in the reading rooms of public libraries.

You’ve mentioned that Michael Lesy’s Wisconsin Death Trip was one of the major inspirations for your novel. Can you talk a little about Lesy’s book and its relationship to your own?

Michael Lesy’s remarkable book is an examination of the lives of ordinary citizens of a small town in northern Wisconsin in 1896. It is a collection of photographs taken by the local photographer and brief newspaper accounts of the surprisingly erratic lives of the men and women who endured a hard life in a poor year in a bleak landscape.

Ralph and Catherine and Antonio are vivid, larger than life. I wanted to plant them very securely in the world, and the world they inhabit is the one depicted by Michael Lesy. It is a world in which no one is safe, in which the roof can always cave in when you least expect it.

I’ve always thought the lives of ordinary people are far more fascinating than the lives of the rich and powerful. An account of a man burying his father is more fascinating to me than a politician’s description of lunch with Henry Kissinger. A snapshot taken at the beach on a summer’s day is more memorable than any fine art photography. They show much more clearly the preciousness and grace of life.

Michael Lesy shows us how fragile life is, how hard it can be to get through the day without running off the rails.

Best-selling Author, Robert Goolrick

Best-selling Author, Robert Goolrick

Robert Goolrick is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir The End of the World as We Know It. This is his first novel. He lives in New York City.
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Download the entire interview
Read an Excerpt of A Reliable Wife
NPR’s ‘Reliable Wife’: Madness And Passion In Wisconsin

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