Jackson to record song to aid hurricane victims
Jackson to record songto aid hurricane victims
NEW YORK -- Michael Jackson has written a song to help raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and will soon record it. Tentatively titled "From the Bottom of My Heart," the singer plans to ask other musicians to join him in recording it, his spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, said. Jackson hopes to record the song within two weeks in the style of "We Are the World," which he co-wrote and produced in 1985 to raise money for famine relief efforts in Africa. "It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf region of my country," Jackson, 47, said in a statement. "I will be reaching out to others within the music industry to join me in helping to bring relief and hope to these resilient people who have lost everything." Jackson has been mostly reclusive since he was acquitted of child molestation charges in California on June 13. He has been spending much of his time in Bahrain as the guest of Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, whose label, 2 Seas Records, will produce the single.
College president aimsto teach Leno a lesson
ARCHBOLD, Ohio -- The president of Northwest State Community College is taking her Harley to Hollywood, hoping to teach Jay Leno a lesson about education. President Betty Young will set out on a cross-country motorcycle trip on Sept. 19, and her goal is to promote two-year schools and maybe even meet with the "The Tonight Show" host who has made community college students a target of jokes. "If we do and that happens, that's great," Young said. "The goal is to raise the profile of what we do in community colleges by transforming peoples' lives." Young sent a letter to Leno in May, challenging him to a motorcycle ride with hopes of putting a stop to his jokes. Now she's decided to ride to California. Her ride, which will include at least five stops at other community colleges, will end Sept. 27 at Leno's offices. Young will ride her own Harley-Davidson motorcycle on part of the trip and will put it in a trailer at other times. The American Association of Community Colleges is helping to organize the tour. "The motorcycle is simply a tool to get people thinking," she said. "This is really an opportunity for us to have a grass-roots, national campaign with a fairly low budget." Northwest State Community College is about 50 miles west of Toledo.
Dillon to receive award
NEW YORK -- Matt Dillon, who starred in the Los Angeles crime drama "Crash" earlier this year, will be honored with a Gotham Award on Nov. 30. Past recipients include Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, John Turturro, Meryl Streep and Don Cheadle. The 15th annual Gotham Awards, which celebrate independent and New York-set films, also will present six jury-decided awards, including movie of the year. Dillon, 41, began his film career as a teen star, generally in streetwise, "troubled youth" roles. "We've all watched Matt grow up on camera, but I don't know how many of us have really stopped and taken a long look at the tremendously accomplished body of work that he continues to build," Michelle Byrd, executive director of the Independent Feature Project, which awards the Gothams, said in a recent statement. Dillon, who lives in New York, stars in "Factotum," set for release early next year. His screen credits also include this year's Lindsay Lohan vehicle, "Herbie: Fully Loaded," "Malcolm X," "Beautiful Girls," "Singles" and "The Outsiders."
Chinese film will staygrounded, director says
SHANGHAI, China -- Hold the guide wires, John Woo says. Woo is dipping into the popular Chinese historical genre with his latest project, "The War of the Red Cliff," but won't be zinging his actors around the screen on cables as in recent kung fu productions such as Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." "It would be a joke to film it like some sort of kung fu epic," Woo was quoted as saying in an interview with Web site Sina.com. The director said he had little interest in movies that propel their stars into the sky during fight scenes. "Red Cliff" tells the story of an epic naval battle between powerful dynastic rivals as told in the historical novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms." Now in preproduction, it will reportedly feature Hong Kong star Chow Yun-Fat. Filming is expected to begin in China by the end of the year. Woo was interviewed at the Venice Film Festival in Italy where he is helping promote "All the Invisible Children." He was one of eight directors, including Emir Kusturica, Ridley Scott and Spike Lee, who worked on the film, which consists of seven shorts telling the plight of children in different parts of the world, including child soldiers and street urchins.
Comedian Sid Caesar is 83. Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 65. Actor Alan Feinstein is 64. Author Ann Beattie is 58. Musician Will Lee ("Late Show with David Letterman") is 53. Actress Heather Thomas is 48. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 41. Actor Martin Freeman is 34. Actor Henry Thomas is 34. Actor David Arquette is 34. Actor Larenz Tate is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pink is 26. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 24.