tilhalfhour (tilhalfhour) wrote in george_news,
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George News: June 19, 2006

Finally have some time to update here :) As I'm playing catch-up with the George news, I'm only going back to June 1st.

CLOONEY TO WIN CINEMATHEQUE AWARD
From PR Inside: Academy Award winner GEORGE CLOONEY will pick up the 21st American Cinematheque Award in October (06).

The honour is given each year to a film artist "who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion picture." Cinematheque board chairman RICK NICITA has hailed the new recipient, insisting, "George Clooney is truly a Renaissance man.

"In a relatively short time he has proven his talents as an actor, director, writer and producer.
"He has managed to blend entertainment with political commentary as well as combining charm, eloquence and good old-fashioned movie star charisma.

"His personal commitment to trying to make the world a better place is reflected both onscreen and in his off-screen social activism." The prize-giving will take place at a star-studded gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, California.

THE GOOD GERMAN TIDBIT
From an article about Beau Bridges: "Spinning Into Butter" was just one of several projects Bridges was able to take on during his hiatus from "Stargate SG-1." Another was George Clooney's "The Good German" feature, which "takes place at the fall of Berlin in World War II and right after, when the U.S., Russia, England and France were occupying Germany. I play the guy who served as governor of Berlin."

CLOONEY'S POLITICAL ROLE
From Female First: George Clooney should play Gordon Brown in a movie about his life - according to the British politician's wife.

The chancellor - who is the frontrunner to replace British Prime Minister Tony Blair when he steps down - revealed his spouse, Sarah's, casting choice in an interview with Britain's New Woman magazine.

YEN TO STAR IN SAMURAI
From The Standard: Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen is set for a lead role in the Hollywood remake of Japanese classic The Seven Samurai, alongside George Clooney and Chinese star Zhang Ziyi, a film company said Monday.

Yen met Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein during the recent Cannes film festival to discuss the remake of the 1954 action film directed by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa.

Weinstein has invited Yen to play one of the seven sword heroes in the film, according to Mandarin Films, which represents the actor.

"Donnie has met Harvey Weinstein in Cannes to discuss the project," a spokeswoman for Mandarin Films said. "We don't know more details as it is still at an early stage."

She said Weinstein had also invited Clooney and Zhang to lead the film.

The Seven Samurai tells the story of seven Samurai warriors who fight 40 bandits threatening a small village.

It was the model for the Western film, The Magnificent Seven.

GEORGE CLOONEY STEALS ACTION THRILLER FROM TOM CRUISE
From Fox News: Sources say that a hot studio property, an action thriller that Cruise desperately wanted to make in the coming year, has been taken away from him. For the first time ever, in fact, Cruise has not gotten first dibs on a Hollywood project. Instead, the movie will probably be offered to George Clooney if it hasn’t been already.

CLOONEY AND PITT CLOSE DOWN LAS RAMBLAS
From PR Inside: GEORGE CLOONEY and BRAD PITT's Las Vegas, Nevada dream is over - their ambitious Las Ramblas hotel complex is dead.

Ten months after its much-publicised launch and following multiple rumours about its demise, the Las Ramblas sales office has been closed and the 25-acre plot of land the hotels, casinos and play areas were to stand on has been sold to the developers of the neighbouring W Hotel, Casino & Residences for a whopping $202 million (£112.2 million).

The news has been confirmed by Dan Klores Communications, the New York-based publicity firm representing Las Ramblas.

A spokesman says, "We are no longer dealing with that account as I understand the Las Ramblas project is no longer going ahead." Vegas insiders claim rising construction costs are behind the decision to shut down the Las Ramblas venture - a project backed financially by Clooney and CINDY CRAWFORD's restaurateur husband RANDE GERBER, and supported by new dad Pitt.

Pitt and Clooney were signed onto a boutique project rumoured to involve Gerber and Station Casinos on the plot of land currently housing the Wild, Wild West Casino.

When the project details were unveiled in 2004, they included 4,400 rooms and 11 high-rise towers.

Sin City property watchers now believe Clooney and Gerber will collaborate on a smaller Las Vegas hotel and casino property designed, in part, by architecture fan Pitt.

GEORGE, NICK CLOONEY AND THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE AID STRUGGLING SUDANESE VILLAGE
From US Newswire: In an aid project funded by George Clooney and his father Nick, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) delivered 12 tons of emergency supplies to an impoverished village in Southern Sudan hosting displaced families from Darfur and thousands of other war-impacted people.

George Clooney says the donation of shelter materials and other urgent supplies was in keeping with a promise he and his father made to the village when they traveled there in late April with the IRC.

The goal of the Clooneys' trip was to meet people who fled the violence in Darfur and to record and retell their stories to put a needed spotlight on the crisis.

Their first stop was the remote village of Jaac, where the IRC provides medical services for a destitute community that struggles to care for its own and has little means to provide for more than 500 people from Darfur who recently sought refuge there.

Sitting under the trees that serve as shelter for many of the vulnerable families, the Clooneys spent a day listening to stories of attacks on loved ones, the separation of families, the pillaging of farms and the relief of having found a place where there is calm. But they also heard cries for help from a community with virtually nothing.

The Clooneys told the villagers they would do everything they could to help, and asked if the IRC could make it happen.

Within a week, IRC aid workers carried out a survey of priority needs and created a $100,000 rapid response project which the Clooneys immediately offered to fund. Soon supplies were procured, air and ground transportation was arranged and local assistance was recruited.

The onset of rainy season turned dirt roads into rivers of mud, but trucks carrying the materials eventually made it to Jaac late last week. The IRC's David Hirst, coordinator of the effort, arranged a meeting with chiefs of the various community groups to organize the distribution.

"The chiefs were really surprised when we told them that the two American guys who visited them a month ago, George and Nick Clooney, had donated all the emergency goods," Hirst said. "They were so excited and appreciative. These people see themselves as being forgotten."
Over the next three days, IRC teams distributed the emergency items to 6,000 people. The materials included heavy tarps for shelter, blankets, soap, cooking equipment, water containers and other crucial items.

The Clooneys' donation will also pay for expanding and upgrading the IRC's small overburdened health facility in Jaac, where more than 120 people, mostly women and children suffering from malaria and pneumonia, line up daily for care.

"All we did was keep a promise that we made to the people in Jaac," said George Clooney.
But for Mariam Abakaria, 52, who trekked with her children for months before settling in the village, that promise and those supplies fill her with hope.

"My community has never received such supplies before and we are so happy," she said, sitting in a tent-like structure that she and her children erected with their new tarp and a set of wooden poles.

"We are were warm and dry for the first time since I can remember and my kitchen set is 100 percent good for cooking," Mariam added. "If I have a covering, I have a home."

Patty Swahn, regional director for East Africa, said the IRC is heartened by the Clooneys' generosity in coming to the aid of the families in Jaac and for all the awareness-raising they have done so far on the Darfur issue.

"We're very pleased that the Clooneys' experience in Sudan inspired them to take further action," Swahn said.

Said Nick Clooney of their experience, "It was a privilege for George and me to meet these people on their perilous journey. What we gave them pales in comparison to what they gave us."

After their trip to Sudan, the Clooneys traveled with the International Rescue Committee to northeastern Chad where they visited an IRC-managed camp for 30,000 refugees from Darfur.

ACTOR CLOONEY'S FATHER OPENS DARFUR EXHIBIT AT FREEDOM CENTER
From Kentucky.com: Actor George Clooney's father, Nick, introduced an exhibit of dramatic images taken during the pair's trip to Darfur by imploring his audience to help stop the violence in the war-torn region of Sudan.

"I want your will, your effort and your determination to push for a stop to the genocide," the elder Clooney, a former TV anchorman in Cincinnati, told about 300 people at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where the exhibit will run through July 15.

"This is 'bad stuff,' as George has said, and you can help," Clooney said, asking the crowd to write their representatives in Congress and urge them to support legislation for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid to Darfur.

Clooney and his son spent five days in Darfur in April, gathering personal stories of the death and suffering that has ravaged the African region. They were accompanied by a cameraman who helped them document the horrible conditions in the Sudanese refugee camps. Both Clooneys have continued working since their return to publicize the plight of the 2 million refugees.

The audience gave Clooney a standing ovation Wednesday night.

"The exhibit is striking, and it commands attention," said Sharon Herndon, 43, of Cincinnati, who said it made her want to do something to stop the suffering.

Kathryn Pierce, 68, of New York City, came with friends from Cincinnati and said she was impressed with Clooney's depiction of the victims' plight and with the exhibit, which includes the video, photos of refugees and panels with their words and Nick Clooney's commentary.
"The graphics show what is going on, and the concise, descriptive words that go with it are powerful," Pierce said.

A U.N. Security Council delegation wrapped up its Africa trip Monday and highlighted the urgent need to find ways to bring peace to Darfur.

The conflict began in 2003, when rebels of ethnic African tribes took up arms against the Arab-dominated government, complaining of discrimination and mistreatment. The government responded with a brutal counterinsurgency led by Arab militias. At least 180,000 people have died, mainly of hunger and disease, and two million are homeless.

'SOMETIMES WE DIE': CLOONEYS LEARN FIRSTHAND OF DARFUR'S MISERIES
From Kentucky.com: When Nick Clooney and his son, George Clooney, offered supplies to the people plagued with disease and poverty in a small village in Sudan, an elder requested plastic tarps for shelter before the rain season started.

Nick Clooney, a former Cincinnati television anchorman, then asked the villagers what might happen if they didn't receive the tarps.

"They shrugged and said, 'Sometimes we die,' " Nick Clooney said. "George and I just kind of looked at each other."

The Clooneys recently gave much more than plastic tarps to the Sudanese village of Jaac after their five-day April visit. They donated about $100,000 for 12 tons of supplies that were delivered by the International Rescue Committee.

Last week, the 72-year-old father of one of America's favorite movie stars learned that the supplies had reached the village, a refuge for people who have fled the war-torn region of Darfur. The two visited the African village in April to interview residents and assess their needs firsthand.

Now, Nick Clooney is scheduled to speak about his experience at several events this summer. He spoke last week at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, where some of the images they captured will be on display through July 15.

"You find yourself not as a reporter but as an advocate," he said of his experience. "We thought, here's a chance maybe for the people of the world to see this genocide and stop it."

Nick Clooney admits he approached the trip with the skepticism of a journalist. Afterward, though, the Augusta resident, who worked as a journalist for 55 years, said he felt that he was finally embarking upon the greatest story of his life.

The elder Clooney said he was shocked to hear the stories of families who lost their property and their loved ones in the conflict between the Arabs and Africans in Darfur. Refugees fled to the village to find a place of peace, regardless of the harsh living conditions. The United Nations estimated that more than 250,000 people have been killed in the conflict and about 2 million have fled their homes.

"What I was looking at was people with no country, no home, no hope," he said. "Everything had been swept out from under them in the last few years."

The father and son started planning the trip last November. Nick Clooney said his son decided to finalize the trip after he won a Golden Globe for Best Director in February. The two traveled with representatives of the International Rescue Committee; David Herron, a photographer; and Mike Pressman, a relative and lawyer who had previously visited the area. They were in Sudan and Chad for a week, and spent a day talking to the villagers of Jaac.

Melissa Winkler, emergency communications coordinator for the IRC, said the Clooneys' contribution enabled the IRC to expand its Jaac health clinic, which serves more than 120 patients a day with only about five workers. The Clooneys asked the IRC to create a list of the villagers' needs and draft a proposal. The Clooneys funded the $100,000 project, which included the transportation and cost of the supplies.

Winkler said the Clooneys' money also provided mosquito netting, pots and pans and medical supplies for the village of 6,000.

"I think they were humbled by what they saw," she said. "Immediately they said they wanted to do something to help these people."

The Clooneys received word from the IRC that the supplies successfully reached the families living in Jaac last week.

"They are not flourishing but are at least in a survival mode now," Nick Clooney said. "They are brave, dignified, remarkable folks."

WARNER CLEARED BY PARIS COURT OF PLAGIARISM CLAIM ON `SYRIANA'
From Bloomberg: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and production company Section Eight didn't plagiarize the work of French writer Stephanie Vergniault to produce the film ``Syriana,'' a Paris court ruled.

"The supposed similarities don't stand up to serious examination,'' Judge Louis-Marie Raingeard de la Bletiere wrote in a ruling published June 12. "Conflict in the Middle East and what stems from it -- oil, Islamism, the role of the U.S., CIA fiascos - - are regularly in the news, as they stand as major concerns of western public opinion since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.''

Syriana, a political thriller written by Stephen Gaghan that earned George Clooney an Academy Award for best supporting actor, features characters including a CIA agent played by Clooney, an oil broker played by Matt Damon, an idealistic Gulf prince, a corporate lawyer and Pakistani teenagers, whose actions are intertwined.

The Paris-born Vergniault claimed that at least 15 scenes in "Syriana'' are copied from "Oversight,'' a script she wrote between 1997 and 2002. Vergniault sued the Time Warner Inc. unit and Section Eight, founded by Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh, in April.

"We are obviously delighted by the court's ruling,'' Scott Rowe, a spokesman for Warner, said in an e-mail.

The French playwright, who has lived in the Middle East for almost 10 years, had sought 2 million euros ($2.5 million) in damages under a fast-track procedure. In a parallel, standard lawsuit, which hasn't been ruled upon yet, Vergniault is claiming 35 percent of the revenue generated by the movie.

Vergniault, who set "Oversight'' in Afghanistan and Paris, submitted her doctoral thesis on Central Asia in 1997. Speaking in an interview after a hearing in May, Vergniault said she has worked as an electoral consultant in the region for the European Commission and the United Nations.
Gaghan, who took inspiration from a book by former CIA agent Robert Baer, went on extensive trips in Asia and Europe in 2002 to interview former secret agents, politicians and executives from oil companies to collect notes for "Syriana,'' his lawyer, Latham & Watkins's Natacha Levine, told the court in May.

SPIELBERG WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A GN&GL
From The Guardian: Spielberg praises recent lower budget releases by leading US specialty distributors like Focus Features and Fox Searchlight and the independent studio Lionsgate, adding: "I would love to go off and make a picture like Capote or George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck."

GEORGE ALMOST IN A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION
From an article about A Prairie Home Companion : Even the cast was ever-changing. Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney were all potential participants who didn't work out for one reason or another. At one point in pre-production, the Keillor role was possibly going to be played by Clooney.

And from a second article: "Casting came earlier than usual. Meryl Streep was interested in the project from the very beginning. Not too surprisingly, Meryl does a really good Minnesota accent to add to her repertoire of great accents," says Keillor. When it came to G.K., I had intentionally written the part small - assuming I would play it. Although I thought George Clooney could also very easily have played the role."

GEORGE EMULATING SINATRA?
From the Huffington Post: Many actors, including George Clooney, are beginning to look like Sinatra circa 1959, when he stood up for Sammy, supported civil rights, and at the peak of his artistic powers, rallied artists to the cause of JFK. I believe we have entered a new era of activism and engagement in the entertainment industry with artists standing for good causes, studios green-lighting motion pictures about big themes and issues, and songwriters performing stories and creating new anthems for our times.

From Brokeback Mountain to Clooney's film about Murrow to Al Gore's documentary about global warming, the revival of activism by talent is paralleled by important product touching great issues.

GEORGE LUSTING AFTER BRAD
From an honest review of O12 a review of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang : But this is a movie about the chemistry between male movie stars, in much the way that Oceans 12 was about George Clooney lusting after Brad Pitt.

GEORGE MENTION
From an article about Jason Reitman and Daniel Dubiecki: 'At film festivals, only a small number are comedies but they're always a hot ticket. The world could use more.' So are they going to be the George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh of comedy?

'Good looking and genius?' he says. 'Wow. Absolutely.'

GEORGE MENTION #2
From an interview with William H Macy: "The one thing about these award ceremonies, let's be honest, is [they're there] to sell tickets. It's all about marketing. And the actors pay the price for that. They put us in a little contest. I think George Clooney said it best: 'How are you going to decide which of these five is the best unless all of us put on a batsuit? Then you can decide.'


GEORGE MENTION #3
From an interview with Jon Tenney: The prolific actor is the veteran of eight different television series. But until now, he had not been fortunate enough to be a part of a break-out hit.
"I'm up there or maybe even tied with George Clooney before he got 'ER' " Tenney says, laughing.


RANDOM GEORGE QUOTE
From the
LA Times: In addition to drawing poor reviews and generating weak word-of-mouth, the studio's 1997 summer release "Batman & Robin" was criticized for having too much homoerotic appeal, including nipples on Batman's suit. George Clooney, the film's star, has joked, "I could have played him straight but I didn't. I made him gay."


50 WAYS TO AVOID THE WORLD CUP
I think the Scots should just support England *g* From Scotsman: 31 Reclaim your TV to watch the DVD of George Clooney's Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck, released on 26 June.

POLL #1
From Forbes: Asked which famous man they'd invite to dinner, 37 percent picked "Tonight" host Jay Leno. Bill Clinton placed second, trailed by George Clooney and President Bush.

POLL #2
From NW Source: George Clooney is the man most women would like to see up close and personal, says a Lifetime Television Pulse Poll. Compared to him, younger stars aren't in the room, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Orlando Bloom and Nick Lachey.

THE CLOONEY FAN SITES
Same with the news, here's what the Clooney sites have updated with in June:

ClooneyFan.org has added some Livejournal icons. The site also has a new pretty layout, and it seems that they’re looking for staff (in case anyone reading this in interested in helping them out :P)

ClooneyNetwork has added the July 2006 issue of Vanity Fair featuring an article called ‘It’s Not Easy being George’, scans of Avantoure and People, clips from Welcome to Collinwood and Bodies of Evidence, clip of Nick Clooney interviewing George and clip of George on Sexiest Southern Men. Chris is also giving away Darfur bands to anyone who would like to support the cause :)

ClooneyStudio has added Solaris clip (that scene), clips from ER, Murder, She Wrote and Full Tilt Boogie, deleted scene from Out of Sight and clip of Teri Hatcher talking about George.

And it seems that IntolerableGeorge is back online but now at GeoClooney.com. :)
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