The release of Diana, the movie about the last two years of Princess Diana’s life, coincides with the dramatic news that British police have received fresh information about the August 1997 car crash deaths of the Princess and Dodi Fayed.
The announcement that detectives are looking into whether the deaths were ” a criminal act” is sure to boost interest in the movie, which stars Naomi Watts as the Princess and Naveen Andrews as her secret lover, Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnet Khan.
The allegation was passed to detectives through the parents-in-law of a former soldier who claims Diana and Dodi were killed by a member of the British SAS.
Although the movie concentrates on the Princess’s romance with Hasnet Khan, it also depicts her affair with Dodi Fayed and shows them leaving the Ritz hotel in Paris just before the black Mercedes in which they were passengers crashed in the Pont de l’alma Tunnel.
Dodi’s father, Mohammed Al-Fayed, has always claimed that they were murdered by the British establishment.
Naomi Watts, who talked with HFPA members about the movie and the difficulties in portraying somebody as well-known as the late Princess, said of Diana’s brief romance with Fayed: “It was very sad that it just ended up in such tragedy. My heart goes out to the Fayed family as well. From the research I did, although they knew each other and met in the early ’80s, their relationship—and it was definitely a romance—was very short-lived.”
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The HFPA gave away a record $1.6 million in charitable grants during a light-hearted, star-studded luncheon of laughter and goodwill. The annual Grants and Installation lunch was a huge hit with everyone—–the audience in the Beverly Hilton Ballroom, the organizations on the receiving end of the donations and those who watched the live streaming of the event on the HFPA website.
The audience applauded a four-minute video which opened the proceedings showing the work of some of the organizations benefiting from the HFPA’s grants and a “thank you” from Martin Scorsese.
A host of stars were on hand to present the donations, led by Nicole Kidman who presented a check for $350,000 to the Film Foundation for the restoration of classic films.
She said that over the past 17 years the HFPA had contributed almost four million dollars to save more than 80 feature films from disappearing forever. This year’s donation will go towards restoring Salvatore Giuliano, Francesco Rosi’s masterpiece based on the story of the Sicilian bandit, and Stanton Kaye’s work of cinema verite, Brandy in the Wilderness.
“The HFPA has been a true friend and champion of the Foundation’s efforts to save our cinematic heritage,” she said.
Said HFPA president Theo Kingma: “While scholarships support future filmmakers, some of the best lessons can be learned from our past. The HFPA cares deeply about preserving our history.”
Eva Longoria, who acted as host for the event, introduced the many stars who helped hand out the checks. They included Colin Farrell, Diane Kruger, Demian Bechir, David O. Russell, Amber Heard, Liam Hemsworth, Vin Diesel, Tab Hunter, Marsha Hunt, Julie Delpy, Blair Underwood, Dermot Mulroney, Piper Perabo, Jonah Hill, Olivia Wilde and Jason Bateman
New father Vince Vaughn, whose wife gave birth to a baby boy three days earlier, was on the receiving end of a surprise gift when Olivia Wilde presented him with a video camera and Kingma telling him: “Once you come home you can start documenting the most important film of your life……..without Owen Wilson.”
Vin Diesel, pointing out that today was his son’s birthday, gave the audience an impromptu story of his beginnings in showbusiness and how his first feature fijm, Strays, which he wrote and directed, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. He accepted a check for $100,000 for Sundance.
Jonah Hill drew laughs when, referring to difficulties some of the presenters had with the teleprompter, commented: “It makes me realize that some of Hollywood can’t read.”
Kingma thanked the studio representatives, publicists and agents in the room for their support, adding: “Though the Golden Globe awards are known as the ultimate party of the year our daily focus is on journalistic work.
“It is because of you we are able to cover Hollywood for millions of readers around the globe and it is because of you we view exceptional television or leave a movie theater in awe.”
Then he added, to laughter: “Or we look at our watch thinking, ‘How much longer?’
On a more serious note, he pointed out: “While today is not about the Golden Globes, in a way we are here because of them. Because of the success of the Golden Globes we are able today to donate a record $1.6 million in grants and scholarships, bringing the total to over $18 million, including 925 scholarships and 82 restored classic films.
“Today we proudly continue that tradition.”
The Film Foundation will receive the largest amount—$350,000—for the preservation of historically important films while the Sundance Institute will receive $100,000.
Other recipients include FilmAid International, which is to receive $50,000 for screenings and filmmaker training in Kenyan refugee camps; American Cinematheque ($40,000), L.A.C.M.A ( $75,000) and UCLA ($90,000).
Kingma introduced the HFPA’s new officers and board members: Vice President, Lorenzo Soria; Treasurer, Meher Tatna; Executive Secretary, Lily Lui; Board: Yoram Kahana, Vera Anderson, Luca, Celada, Helen Hoehne, Aida Takla-O’Reilly and Jack Tewksbury.
The afternoon ended with a surprise as Kingma announced that instead of the usual gift bag, a donation was being made to Jeff Bridges‘s No Kid Hungry charity.Read More »
Naomi Watts talks with the HFPA about the challenge of tackling her role as Princess of Wales in the new film Diana.Read More »
Hollywood’s top stars will be packing the Beverly Hilton ballroom on Tuesday to help the HFPA give away a record $1.6 million to worthy causes.
The association’s Grants and Installation Lunch will be the biggest gathering of talent and beauty the hotel has seen since the Golden Globes in January. “It is really gratifying that so many stars are giving up their time to join us in presenting the donations at our annual lunch,” said HFPA president Theo Kingma.
Other stars taking part will include Liam Hemsworth, Colin Farrell, Olivia Wilde, Piper Perabo, Jonah Hill, Diane Kruger, Jason Bateman, Amber Heard, Vince Vaughn, Damien Bechir, Dermot Mulroney, Julie Delpy, Vin Diesel and more. The lunch will be streamed live on the HFPA website at www.Goldenglobes.org
This year’s donations bring the amount given away by the HFPA to more than $18 million, which as well as providing grants and support for film-related causes, has gone towards establishing 925 scholarships and restoring 82 classic films.Read More »
Two time Golden Globe winner Karen Black has died after a long battle with cancer. She was 74.
The actress won her Globes for Best Supporting Actress in 1970′s Five Easy Pieces and for The Great Gatsby, in which she played Mabel, in 1974. She was also nominated for a Grammy for writing the songs “Memphis” and “Rolling Stone” which she performed in character in Robert Altman’s Nashville.
Her first major film role came in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1966 “You’re a Big Boy Now,” and she also appeared in TV shows including “Adam 12” and “Mannix.”
Among her other roles were Nancy Pryor, the stewardess who is forced to fly the plane in 1974′s “Airport 1975,” as an actress in John Schlesinger’s “The Day of the Locust” and as a kidnapper in Alfred Hitchcock’s last film “Family Plot.”
Associated with several iconic films and directors of the 1970s, she talked to Paper magazine recently about the era, “We were just doing our thing. I happen to have an acting style that is very spontaneous and very unselfconscious, and it went with the movies of the ’70s. It was a great time, it was a very beautiful time.”
Born Karen Blanche Ziegler in Park Ridge, Ill., she took the name Black from her first husband, Charles Black. She was also married briefly to actor Robert Burton and to screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, with whom she had a son, Hunter Carson. She married Stephen Eckleberry in 1987, with whom she adopted a daughter, Celine.Read More »