Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Daily mail

...According to a report Angelina had purchased two 18-karat gold bracelets worth $260 in total.




Thanks to Pride&Joy for the links below

Gulf News

Qumra 2017: Rithy Panh on films, Angelina Jolie

Cambodian-French filmmaker talks about transposing personal histories to the screen

 on day four of Qumra, the third edition of the industry event by the Doha Film Institute dedicated to the development of emerging filmmakers on March 6, 2017 in Doha, Qatar.

Cambodian-French filmmaker Rithy Panh’s films are rooted in his first-hand experience of living in a remote labour camp under the Khmer Rouge regime, where he experienced personal losses, including witnessing his family die of starvation and exhaustion. Also a writer and producer, Panh most recently produced Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father, a biographical film of Loung Ung’s memoir.
Panh, who is best known for his films such as The Rice People; Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell; and the 2014 Oscar nominated The Missing Picture, which masterfully combined archival footage of Cambodian films and Khmer Rouge propaganda with painstakingly handcrafted miniature clay figurines.
He trained as a filmmaker in France, where he managed to escape to as a 13-year-old. Currently based in Cambodia, where he is dedicated to build and develop the country’s film industry, Panh, a Qumra Master opens up to Gulf News tabloid! on transposing personal histories to the screen, the urgency for documenting and of course, his association with one of the world’s biggest celebrities.
The Missing Picture draws on your own personal history of irreparable and indescribable loss. How challenging was it to transpose your story on to the screen?
It’s difficult because a story like this one is a long journey and the difficult part is to find a good form. Of course, content is very important, but if you have good content and it is not adapted to the right form, you can’t make a good film.
To me, form is not something that you can plan beforehand, especially for a documentary. You can’t write it or sketch it. It requires a confrontation with reality, with history, with ethics and morals. After identifying good content you have to find the right form to express that content.
The Missing Picture came together slowly, after much provocation and by refusing different forms, until I finally found the right form.
How long did it take you to zero in on incorporating the clay figurines?
We had already shot for more than one year before the clay figurines were brought in. I only used one sculptor, as I only wanted one hand. I didn’t want a factory. I directed him like you direct an actor. So as he was sculpting I directed the emotions on the figurines sad or happy.
What made the clay figurines the right form for you?
The most interesting point about the clay figures is that clay is an element from nature. We just use clay, water and the sun. We didn’t cook them or burn them. I know that the figurine can’t last for a long time — maybe two to three months before they return to earth. I preferred to let them do their work and return to nature.
In my mind, I am constantly debating on why we don’t let nature take its course. For example, do we have to repaint and preserve the S21 Centre [the Khmer Rouge prison that was the site of the Cambodian genocide] to maintain it like a memorial or should we let time do its work. Changing the window and repainting it is not keeping the original, it introduces new elements. Why don’t we let nature do its work? Should we let nature do its work?
Maybe it’s a good way to turn the page? To move on?
Have you moved on?
No. But I cannot. Maybe for the next generation or the one after that. I’m not sure what is the right way. It’s a question I constantly struggle with.
I left Cambodia when I was 12 or 13. I didn’t really escape, but I needed to go away. And now I’m back but for the new generation I think it’s important to tell the stories of the dead people so they know about humanity. When you tell these stories maybe the next generation can feel stronger and free.
As a filmmaker, do you think there’s a danger in a horrific period of history defining an entire body of work?
I don’t think so. I have only one life and I can’t do all. If I do one thing well I’m happy. I’m already very lucky to have the possibility to make these films about these memories. I was the only one in Cambodia to start producing films on this point of view. Maybe today, if one screens these films in Syria, people will relate to it.
What about Cambodian audiences, especially the younger ones? How do they relate to their country’s past?
The young will prefer to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s normal, but documentaries are educational. If you want your people to disappear then don’t show them anything from their past.
People who have the power to control images and sounds control the world.
I fight to keep my identity and to keep my dignity. Everyone manipulates images. It is good to have entertainment, but when we are taught to read a book why aren’t we taught how to watch film? We need to know what is real, fake and manipulated.
We also now have Angelina Jolie’s perspective on Cambodia through her new film First They Killed My Father, which you’ve produced. How would you describe your involvement in the film?
We are exposed to a lot of Angelina Jolie through the magazines, but she’s a really nice person. She’s a very good activist and has a very good conscience and consciousness about how people live and fight. She’s smart and she wanted to make a film about the country of her adopted son. Cambodia changed her life in a certain way. When she asked me to help her to produce the film I said OK and we talked about it.
When I make a film maybe 10 people will watch it. When Angelina makes a film thousands will watch it and maybe they will be more curious and they will read the book or watch my film or something else.
Hollywood makes films, but Angelina has good intentions — she made a film with us and not about us. Some people come to us and just take the story and make the film. It’s not how she made the film in Cambodia. She was very respectful, involved the local community.
We discussed a lot about the history and the topic, but it’s her film. When I’m a producer I am only there to support what the director needs from me. But in the end, it’s the director’s film.

— Vinita Bharadwaj is a UAE-based writer.

The Diplomat

Hollywood Comes to Cambodia

SIEM REAPNearly 1,000 moviegoers turned out here in the shadow of the temples of Angkor for the world premiere of First They Killed My Father, the adaptation of Loung Ungs Khmer Rouge-era memoir directed by Angelina Jolie and set to screen on Netflix in September. The movie is the first of its scale to be filmed in Cambodia with local actors and released in the Khmer language.

Those seated in the back rows squealed and stood to catch a glimpse of the actor, director, and activist as Jolie introduced her film. For a fleeting moment, a speck of Hollywood stardust had come to Cambodia.

The outdoor screening was a rare cinematic spectacle for a country with a population of nearly 16 million and just six modern movie theaters. But the films productionwhich took place in the northern towns of Siem Reap and Battambang over the course of five monthshad mobilized a cast and crew of at least 2,000, according to local reports.

The towns were transformed: residents were hired as extras, and many of the technicians, production assistants, and designers were young Cambodians. In sleepy Battambang, the six days of filming closed many of the citys streets in the midst of the Lunar New Year, causing barbers and convenience store owners to complain about lost business.

Some in the audience hoped that a large-scale production with such global exposure could put the local film industry on the map. We didnt make the film for Cambodian people. We made the film with Cambodian people,said Rithy Panh, the movies co-producer. Panh, considered to be the countrys pre-eminent director, saw his own Khmer Rouge film, The Missing Picture, nominated for an Academy Award in 2014a first for Cambodia.

He said First They Killed My Father sets a precedent, perhaps for future foreign investment. The cinema likes stability. Cinema will go to the place that has stability,Panh said. Thats why when you shoot a film like this one, with Angelina Jolie[others] can invest in Cambodia.” 

Cambodian cinema has an illustrious history. Between 1960 and 1975, the local film industry thrived. More than 350 movies were produced, often featuring traditional Khmer legends that sometimes drew crowds abroad. Phnom Penh was dotted with at least 33 movie theaters. (One that still stands, the Cinema Luxe, appears in an early scene in Jolies film, when the Khmer Rouge roll into the capitals streets on April 17, 1975.)

The Khmer Rouge regime decimated the cinema. Actors, directors, and producers disappeared. But in the intervening decades, enterprising filmmakers have ushered in its resurgence, often on small budgets. Short films have received top prizes at regional award ceremonies. This week, the seventh Cambodia International Film Festivalwhich claims Jolie as its patron — will feature two Cannes selections, Panhs Exile and young French-Cambodian director Davy Chous Diamond Island.
Speaking in Phnom Penh late last year, Lord David Puttnamwho produced the last foreign feature about the Khmer Rouge regime, The Killing Fields, in Thailand in 1984pointed out that there is still plenty of room for foreign intervention in film in Cambodia. You can build the industry off the back of an enormous [amount] of expat help,he said. 

The country was in fact well-equipped to host a Hollywood crew, Panh pointed out. Many of the Cambodians on set had picked up their skills through his Bophana Center, which holds much of the countrys audiovisual archives, and the Cambodia Film Commission (CFC). We were prepared for it for years,he said. Through the CFC, we had trained 300 technicians already.
But none had ever worked on a Hollywood-scale production. When you spend five or six months on a big set like that, you learn a lot,Panh said. 

Kim Sothea Thangdy, 29, is a drama producer at local television network PNN and had previously trained with Bophana. She dropped everything when she was offered a temporary position as an assistant to a line producer on First They Killed My Father. I didnt want to quit my job, but I decided to leave because I just wanted to do the Angelina Jolie project,she said with a bubbly laugh. I wanted to work with Hollywood people.” 

Thangdy said her peers on set were inspired by the experience, including the artistic and technical demands of Jolie. I am a filmmaker, and [Jolie] is my role model. I am sure other filmmakers feel the same way,she said. I want to make films like her, like that.” 

Both she and Yean Reaksmey, a 20-something artist who worked as an assistant in the costume department, recalled the long hours on setan image conjured when they saw the film onscreen for the first time, Reaksmey said. All the memories come back: when you get up at 4 or 5 in the morning to catch the van to go to the set,he said. 

Reaksmey had never before worked on a film with so many departments, and said the sheer scale of the production provided lessons for building an industry here in Cambodia. Here to be on set with a big crew was something different,he said. It was a kind of workshop for everyone to understand: from the camera crew to the costume department to production assistants.” 

At a press conference a few hours before the premiere, Jolie said she had been taken with the young people on set. I didnt know which actors we would find, and I didnt know what to expect,she said. I have been surprised every step of the wayThis is a country of great artists. And Im sitting next to many of them right now.” 

When a Cambodian reporter asked how young filmmakers might capitalize on their experience on set, Jolie was quick to respond. I think I would start by letting them answer the questions,she quipped, to applause.

Over 30 years after The Killing Fields, Jolie and Loungwho co-wrote the scriptsought to bring the story back to Cambodia, to let Cambodians tell it. To Youk Chhang, a child survivor of the Khmer Rouge sitting in the audience, their mission was a resounding success. 

The Cambodian identity is there immediately. That was my first impression,said Chhang, who directs the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), the countrys foremost genocide research center. Even the colors, the afternoon golden light. [Jolie] captured the beauty of the country.” 

And in that fading light in Siem Reap, hundreds like him thronged toward the screenpassed the red carpetas the air buzzed with excitement. If a measure of a fledgling industrys success is its potential to bring in an audience, the local turnout for First They Killed My Father sets a high bar.
These are people who dont go to the cinema,said the young artist Reaksmey. And they were there.” 

Audrey Wilson is a freelance journalist based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

What happened at the Mon Guerlain perfume launch?

The 1st of March marked the launch of Mon Guerlain, the epic beauty brand’s latest perfume, I felt very lucky to be invited down to John Lewis with a couple of my blogging buddies to have a sneak peek of this fabulous perfume. It was a very early start for me having to be out in public looking half decent at 8.30 in the morning but luckily I managed it.

I’ll be very honest, until Wednesday I didn’t know much about the french brand, it’s alway dangerous for me to learn about a new brand because I end up wanting to buy everything they make.
It was so interesting to learn about this fantastic history of a perfumer, the brand has been around since the early 1800’s but became popular in 1853 with the creation of Eau de Cologne Impériale which was made especially for Napoleon’s wife. Guerlain later became the royal perfumer, he created a perfume for royalty across the world and then focused on making his scents accessible for the general public. They still sell Eau de Cologne Impériale in store today and it smells like lemon and happiness

But let’s get back to the main event, guy! Stop getting me so distracted! Mon Guerlain, ugh it’s gorgeous. It was created for their gorgeous muse, Miss Angelina Jolie. Angelina really wanted this perfume to be accessible for all, so for her the lowered their prices so us mere muggle can smell like her too. This is the first campaign that Angelina has done like this before, as she feels a very personal connection with Guerlain. You may not know this but Angelina’s mum is actually french and had always used Guerlain products that young miss Jolie admired while growing up.

The perfume itself smells like falling in love. It’s gorgeous, sweet but not sickly, strong but not overpowering. It’s a concoction of Carla Lavender, VanillaTahitensis, Sambac Jasmine and Album Sandalwood, it is just so perfectly balanced. Which is beautiful for the spring and summer, it’s ideal for everyday use but it would even be lovely for an evening out!

The bottle matches the beauty of the scent inside, its light, beautiful and pink. The lip is a clover Esq mould, wearing a gold necklace. It’s truly beautiful, I think this perfume will become a hit! I love it and I’m sure you will do too!

Courthouse News Service

Brad Pitt’s Nonprofit Facing Tribal Housing Lawsuit

MISSOULA, Mont. (CN) – Poor management and financial trouble plaguing a nonprofit organization started by actor Brad Pitt have resulted in unpaid bills and budget woes for Montana tribes, according to a lawsuit filed by a modular home installer.
Washington state-based Method Homes sued Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation Missoula County court this past week, on claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and failure to abide by an arbitration agreement. Pitt is not named as a defendant.
Method Homes says it helped Pitt’s nonprofit build 20 energy-efficient modular houses on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. After five years and several missteps and delays, the homes are finally finished, but the New Orleans-based Make It Right Foundation and its subsidiaries have refused to pay Method Homes for a third of the $430,000 project, according to the lawsuit.
After partnering with the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of Fort Peck in 2011, Pitt’s foundation hired Method Homes to provide architectural designs and engineering permits for 10 houses in 2014. Based on a New Orleans project built after Hurricane Katrina, the houses were billed as being inexpensive and sustainable, constructed of recycled materials, well insulated and solar powered.
According to the lawsuit, even though the foundation had yet pay the $7,400 design bill, it then asked Method Homes at the start of 2015 to manufacture pieces for 20 modular homes. Later, Method Homes’ attorney Dana Hupp questioned why defendant Samuel Whitt, an attorney, signed the agreement as manager of “MIR Montana LLC,” because he has been chairman of the Make It Right board since 2008. She also learned that MIR Montana is not registered as a business with any state, let alone Montana.
In 2015, the foundation assigned employee Tim Duggan to deal with Method Homes. After requesting changes to the plans that included redesigning the houses to use natural gas, Duggan approved the final manufacturing cost of more than $37,000, which also wasn’t paid, according to the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, MIR Montana had hired a local company – Integrated Solutions, owned by former tribal councilman Thomas Anketell – to install the homes, the first of which were delivered in June 2015.
Pitt’s foundation was under pressure to complete all 20 houses by December 2016 in order to qualify for a federal low-income housing tax credit. When it became clear that Integrated Solutions probably wouldn’t meet that deadline, Duggan asked Method Homes’ subsidiary Method Contracting to install the rest of the houses, the lawsuit says.
Integrated Solutions spokeswoman Deb Madison did not return calls for comment.
During construction in late 2015 and early 2016, Duggan had several discussions with Method Homes, haggling over payment of the $386,000 total and requesting extended credit, according to the lawsuit. At the start of 2016, the foundation still owed Method Homes more than $138,000.
Then in spring 2016, Pitt’s foundation appeared to be falling apart.
In May 2016, Duggan left the foundation and now works as an architect for Kansas City-based Phronesis. Duggan refuses to comment on the foundation. Around the same time, a majority of the foundation’s board of directors left, along with longtime CEO Tom Darden, according to the Kansas City Star. Darden and Whitt were the ones who approached Pitt about creating the foundation in 2007.
After Duggan left the foundation, its finance executive manager Darrah Caplan was assigned to work on the Fort Peck account but refused to meet with Method Homes. Method Homes finally resorted to arbitration, which the foundation has so far refused to be a part of, according to the lawsuit. This past November, Caplan left the foundation after seven years to work as an accountant for the University of New Orleans.
Duggan might have landed in Kansas City because that’s where the foundation had planned to start a similar housing project in May 2015. But the Manheim Park project had yet to start construction in July 2016, when foundation COO James Mazzuto cancelled an interview with the Kansas City Star about the project. The Kansas City Star reports that Mazzuto still refuses to comment.
Back in Montana, the Fort Peck project ended up costing the tribes a lot more than they expected for low-income housing.
After Anketell was voted off the tribal council in late 2013, he went Washington, leaving Fort Peck in the dark as to what he had agreed to. The tribes were forced to put up $600,000 as a good-faith deposit on the houses. Then they learned they would have to develop the subdivision for the houses, laying foundations and installing water and sewer pipes at a cost of $2.6 million, according to MTN News.
Now that the houses are up, qualifying families receive subsidized loans or rent to own the houses, which cost $283,000 – the going rate for Make It Right homes – in an area where the average home value is $50,000. The 1,400-square-foot homes Pitt’s foundation built in New Orleans between 2008 and 2010 cost about $315,000 each, for which the foundation got a $3.8 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Such homes should be problem-free, but after three years, New Orleans residents started complaining that stairs and decks built with specially treated wood were rotting away. As a result, the foundation sued South Carolina-based Timber Treatment Technologies in 2015, claiming the company intentionally sold a defective product.
Even with all the difficulties, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum awarded the foundation its Directors Award in 2016, for “design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world,” according to the Cooper Hewitt website.
Make It Right Foundation didn’t return a request for comment by deadline, as it had a former spokeswoman (Taylor Royle)  listed on its website. The foundation’s new spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, is a top New York publicist famous for helping rehabilitate the image of stars in trouble – including U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, NBA star Tony Parker, singer Justin Bieber and actor Alec Baldwin.
Method Homes attorney Dana Hupp declined to comment.

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