DePalma on Iraq: “Pictures are what will stop the war.” So said filmmaker Brian DePalma at the Venice Film Festival, where the Scarface director is showing his new film, Redacted, which focuses on the 2006 rape of a 14-year old Iraqi girl and the murder of her and her family by US troops. “All the images we have of our war are completely constructed — whitewashed, redacted,” said De Palma adding that “one only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to get their congressmen to vote against the war.” Packing “an extraordinary emotional punch,” the film was shot with a cast of little known actors in Jordan and tells the story through blogs, YouTube posts, videoblog entries and the video diary one soldier is shooting.
The Art of Advertising: As members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company announce that they “wear Puma” in a new ad campaign in fall issues of fashion magazines, Wong Kar Wai unveils a long-format commercial — er, “short film” — for Philips new Aurea flat-screen TV (which gets a listing in the “starring” credits).
Oliver Sacks, Artist: Famed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks is heading to Columbia University to become a professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry, but he’ll be getting another title as well — artist. The author of 10 books on everything from encephalitic lethargica (sleeping sickness) to music and the brain, he’ll be teaching in both the school’s creative writing department and medical program.
Pantoned Coffee: The Color Matching Guide Mug lets the design-obsessed match creme content with a handy series of color chips printed on the inside lip of a coffee mug.
Oscar Sale! An heir to silent-screen actor Mary Pickford is trying to sell of her twin Oscars, one for $500,000, but the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences is asking a judge to stop the sale. Academy bylaws give the organization the first option to buy back the gold statuettes if actors wish to sell — for a cool ten dollars apiece.