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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Taking Madonna out for dinner always ends the same way - at a kabbalah meeting. Just one day after the singer was spotted dining with a mystery man, she took him to the London kabbalah Centre near Bond Street to teach him about her faith. He emerged from their second date last night clutching a book on kabbalah. On Tuesday night he was seen taking her home, leaving at 1am. Madonna, 50, is known for introducing men to kabbalah, of which she has been a follower since the nineties. Just weeks into her relationship with Brazilian toyboy Jesus Luz she had converted him to the faith. The two started attending the new York kabbalah Centre every week. Last month she took him to a fancy dress party to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim. and in the midst of her split from exhusband Guy Ritchie she formed a close friendship with new York Yankees star alex Rodriguez, bonding over the faith. Madonna and Ritchie were said to have become estranged as he cooled on kabbalah." (Thisislondon)

"It's the job many consider the most important one outside of the presidential cabinet. Who will be U.S. ambassador to Beijing? Sources tell The Cable that several people have turned the job down, including Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator, and John Podesta, the Center for American Progress president and Obama-Biden transition chief (neither responded immediately to queries). 'Some people think ambassador jobs are beneath them,' one Washington foreign policy hand explained. 'Others think the process to get confirmed is too big a pain in the ass. Some people don't want to move to China.' One recently discussed candidate is Bill Owens, a retired admiral. Owens, who was appointed as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by former President Bill Clinton, was more recently president of defense contractor SAIC (he couldn't immediately be reached). Another name to watch is former Rep. Jim Leach, the Iowa Republican who broke party ranks early on to endorse Obama's presidential candidacy. Leach, recently named as director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics, has also been mentioned as a possible USAID administrator." (TheCable)

"KANYE West is finally finding closure. Dr. Jan Adams, the plastic surgeon who operated on West's 58-year-old mother, Donda, the day before she died in 2007, has surrendered his medical license. 'A series of complaints were filed against Mr. Adams, but he chose to surrender his license instead of contest them,' a Medical Board of California spokesperson said in a statement. Four malpractice suits were filed against Adams between 2001 and 2007." (PageSix)



"Richard Prince and Larry Gagosian have-- for the most part-- been silent about Patrick Cariou’s allegations-- until now. Gagosian’s lawyers have responded to Cariou’s lawsuit. The Gagosian legal team suggests that Prince’s use of Cariou’s photographs are protected under 'fair use.' They suggest that the collages are acceptable due to the fact that Cariou’s photographs of Rastafarians in their native environments are 'factually based.' Gagosian’s legal team goes on to suggest that the exhibition of the collages was not 'commercially exploitative' and that the collages were created with a 'genuine creative rationale' in good faith. Richard Prince-- who is considered to be a pioneer of appropriation art and is often cited by copyright infringers-- has stated that Patrick Cariou’s photographs are not 'strikingly original' or 'distinctive in nature' and that his collages are 'sanctioned under fair use.' Prince has also suggested that his use of Cariou’s photographs 'poses no harm' to the value of Cariou’s work and that his use has instead increased the value of Cariou’s photographs." (MYArtspace)

"THAT President Obama's pick to be ambassador to France -- a plum post previously held by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Pamela Harriman and Felix Rohatyn -- will be Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state now teaching at Georgetown University" (PageSix)

"Kids on Easter break fed $17 million into 'Hannah Montana the Movie's' coffers. According to Media By Numbers, 'Hannah' could close out the weekend with $35 million -- even more than her 2008 concert movie 'Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour,' made during its debut. A $35 million take would make "Hannah" the second biggest opening for a film on Easter weekend. 'Hannah' just might have a shot at unseating 'Fast & Furious' in No. 1. If the action pic drops 50 percent it will still rake in $35 million." (TheWrap)



"Last night before the madness that was PAPER's Beautiful People Party I stopped by Half Gallery to say hello to my Trini friend Che Lovelace. Che is an artist, surfer and an all-around awesome guy from Trinadad and Tobago, and I was thrilled to see his very first solo show in New York. His paintings looked great and it's always a treat to have him here. The night before Studio Museum in Harlem's Thelma Golden sat down with Che at 192 Books in Chelsea and talked about his new monograph which unfortunately I missed. Che also runs a free community movie house called StudioFilmClub in Port of Spain with his friend artist Peter Doig. If you ever go to Trinidad -- and you should because it's so beautiful and fun there -- you have to put this on your "things to do" list." (Papermag)

"Ken Brecher, Executive Director of the Sundance Institute, has resigned. 'I have completed my work in building an outstanding leadership team,' Brecher said in a statement. 'I could not be more confident that the Institute is now poised for the next phase of its innovative work in supporting independent artists.' Wally Weisman, Chair of the Board of the Sundance Institute, announced his resignation today, noting that it will be effective April 30, 2009 ... Brecher was recruited by Robert Redford in 1996, and his primary responsibility has been the Institute’s core programs. Under his leadership, among other activities, the Feature Film Program began its work in the Middle East supporting regional film artists. Brecher was also a key participant in establishing the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Fund .. This news comes after a series of changes at Sundance, from Sundance Film Festival director Geoff Gilmore’s departure to John Cooper, former Director of Creative Development for the Sundance Institute and Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, being promoted to Gilmore’s old position." (IndieWIRE)



"PASTOR DANIEL AJAYI-ADENIRAN is coming for your soul. It doesn’t matter if you are black or white, rich or poor, speak English or Spanish or Cantonese. He is on a mission to save you from eternal damnation. He realizes you may be skeptical, put off by his exotic name — he’s from Nigeria — or confused by his accent, the way he stretches his vowels and trills his R’s, giving his sermons a certain chain-saw rhythm. He suspects you may have some unfortunate preconceptions about Nigerians. But he is not deterred. He believes the Holy Spirit is working through him — aided by the awesome earthly power of demographics. The Redeemed In the United States, members of the church, which practices a vigorous brand of Pentecostalism, are for the most part African immigrants — although church leaders are hoping for more diverse congregations. Above, the Chapel of Restoration in the Bronx. Africa is the world’s fastest-growing continent, and Ajayi-Adeniran belongs to one of its most vigorously expansionary religious movements, a homegrown Pentecostal denomination that is crusading to become a global faith." (NYTimesmagazine)

"In a surprising move, Showtime on Friday passed on Tim Robbins' well-regarded pharmaceutical drama pilot 'Possible Side Effects.' That makes it 0-4 for the premium cable network, which originally ordered four pilots in this go-round, including 'Side Effects.' In the past week, Showtime passed on the other three pilots, the 'L Word' spinoff starring Leisha Hailey, the Matthew Perry/Peter Tolan comedy 'The End of Steve' and the comedy 'Ronna and Beverly,' from Jessica Chaffin, Jamie Denbo and Jenji Kohan. The dismissal of "Side Effects" is noteworthy because the project was penned and directed by Oscar winner Robbins and attracted top talent, including Ellen Burstyn, Josh Lucas and Tim Blake Nelson. It is said to have tested very high, and with the other three pilots out of contention, it was considered a shoo-in for a series order. Industry observers on Friday were scratching their heads over Showtime's decision, with some pointing to the show's subject matter as a potential reason. 'Side Effect' takes a scathing look at the pharmaceutical drug industry, focusing on a dysfunctional family behind a major drug concern." (TheHollywoodReporter)

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