Brad Pitt Ads Insult Malaysia

Malaysia Calls Brad Pitt Ads Insulting

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Brad Pitt is sought after for magazine covers and posters worldwide, but the Malaysian government believes the Hollywood star’s appearance in a recent series of car advertisements in this region was “an insult to Asians.”

Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said Monday that ads featuring models and personalities who don’t look Asian would “plant a sense of inferiority among Asians,” the national news agency Bernama reported.

“Why must we use their faces in our advertisements?” Zainuddin was quoted as saying. “Aren’t our own people handsome enough?”

Zainuddin said the government recently pulled the plug on advertisements for Toyota Altis cars featuring Pitt. The campaign ran for at least several weeks in mid-2002 in newspapers and on television in Malaysia and many other Asian countries.

“We canceled the ads because they were considered an insult to Asians,” he said.

2002-12-16 19:03:45 GMT

Celebrity Photographer Herb Ritts Dies

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Photographer Herb Ritts, whose access to celebrities, even at their most fragile moments, gave him an edge in a competitive field, died Thursday of complications of pneumonia, his publicist said. He was 50.

Ritts — whose stylish, mostly black-and-white portraits helped define the image-conscious 1980s and ’90s — died at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, publicist Stephen Huvane said.

Ritts gained entree to celebrities’ lives even at unglamorous moments. He photographed Christopher Reeve, wired up and immobile in a high-tech wheelchair. In another photograph, Elizabeth Taylor sported a crew cut and the scar resulting from her brain surgery.

“He could get people to do things that they were reluctant to do, because in the end it would make a great photograph,” said David Fahey, Ritts’ gallery representative.

Edward Norton, one of Ritts’ subjects, once told the Los Angeles Times: “I feel like Herb really does see everything as beautiful. … It’s almost as if he can’t help but see it in its idealized form.”

Ritts was born in Los Angeles in 1952, and the family furniture business provided a comfortable life for him and three siblings. He moved to the East Coast to attend New York’s Bard College, studying economics and art history.

After graduation he returned to California and took a job as a salesman in the family business.

Taking pictures started as a hobby for Ritts, and chance and connections propelled him into the world of celebrity photography in the ’70s. He got to know Richard Gere through someone who was dating the actor at the time.

A drive in the desert led to a flat tire and an impromptu photo session in a service station. The result was a photo of a steamy Gere in a white vest, his arms over his head and a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

“I can’t remember whether I told Richard to put his arms over his head or whether I just clicked when he stretched. And he really smoked a lot. He was like that, a handsome kid and very sexy,” Ritts said in an interview for a catalog that accompanied a show at Paris’ Fondation Cartier in 2000.

At the time, Gere was an unknown. A year later he was a star, and Ritts’ photos were being used as publicity shots.

Ritts shot celebrities from Madonna to Michelle Pfeiffer to Dizzy Gillespie for top fashion and culture magazines — Interview, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle. When Taylor married construction worker Larry Fortensky in 1991, Ritts had exclusive rights to photograph her eighth trip down the aisle.

He showed Madonna grabbing her crotch, Cindy Crawford dressed as a man, Annette Bening pregnant and lounging on a couch.
Ritts believed his pictures would endure, even as his subjects faded from public awareness.

“Fifty or 60 years from now, if someone sees a portrait of Madonna, they really won’t care that it was Madonna or they won’t know” who she was, he told the Los Angeles Times. “But it’ll hold up as a portrait of an interesting woman you want to know. You feel her. There’s something coming from it.”

His subjects ranged far beyond pop culture — Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking and the Dalai Lama all went before his lens.

Ritts published at least eight books of photographs and did work for top fashion designers including Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Revlon and Giorgio Armani. He took pictures for album covers and directed music videos.

In 1991 two of his videos won MTV Awards: best female video, with Janet Jackson, and best male video, with Chris Isaak.

His work was displayed at studios and museums, including a major retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1996-’97. The show attracted more than 253,000 people, including some critics who dismissed Ritts’ work as pop art.

Ritts also helped raise charity funds, often for AIDS groups.

He is survived by his mother, Shirley Ritts; a brother, Rory; a sister, Christy; and his partner, Erik Hyman.

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The Sweetest Thing

I know this didn’t get a good review here, but I wanted to see it anyway because I like the leads.

What the hell was Cameron Diaz thinking ? I laughed once. ONCE!

The commentary is full of fart noises and belching. Selma Blair has a few amusing comments, but on the whole it’s pointless.

The on the set featurette has all the actors mistakenly praising the directors comedic “flair”.

The other featurette showcases the fantastic stunt of writer Nancy Pimental bending over to kiss *her own* ass , and having others do it too!


“Solaris” is a sci-fi bore. It is a “C” or “D” film :
“C” it rain all the time on earth
“C” the dried blood
“C” George Clooney’s butt ( a couple of times)
“C” actors struggle with dumb roles
“C” the pretty colors and lights (over and over again)
“D” is for dull.
NOTE : Having not read the book or seen the
original movie, do not know if the sources were
as bad. At the preview screening about a dozen
people walked out (and film is barely 90 mins)!

About A Boy Getting Some Recognition!

I am absolutely amazed that one of my favorite films of the year “About A Boy” is actually getting some recognition during award season. It was selected for a Golden Globe for best picture in comedy (I don’t know why the stupid Globe’s separates Comedy and Drama films.) and it was runner up in a couple of Film Society Awards.

I picked it as one of my best picture choices for my WAFCA ballad (Washington Area Film Critics Association) as well.

Interlude 2 The Revenge Chapters 14 -15

Chapter 14

“I don’t like this whole arrangement,� Francis said, pacing as usual. “I will not allow my daughter to be put in such peril.�

“Uncle,� Adrienne asked, “What if I go in my sister’s place?�

Francis looked up at her. He began to protest until Danielle looked over at her. “I don’t think that will work, Adrienne. We don’t quite look the same and Rene could tell us apart.�

Gustave had been looking back and forth at the two of them. “The two of you look enough alike. If I can disguise the Baron de Ghent, I can disguise anyone. Adrienne, it just take a few brushstrokes and it’s done.�

“She has to be well protected though,� Alain chimed in. “We have to be very careful how we respond to his demands. le Fleur knows half the Royal Guardsmen by now and will recognize any of us in a minute. We need to surprise him. We need to send someone in that he doesn’t know, someone that he won’t recognize.�

Danielle looked from one to the other. “I can do it. I can disguise myself as a Guardsman and no one would recognize me.�

There was a long silence until the Queen’s voice answered her.

“We can’t take that chance, Danielle,� she said. “You knew him for such a long time.�

“Which is all the more reason we should,� Gustave said, standing up. “Do you realize how well Danielle can handle a sword? I think that she’s just as good as any man.� He looked at Danielle closely now. “Yes, I am sure I will be able to alter her appearance just a bit. No one will know recognize her when I have finished with her. And we will have to crop off some of that hair to make it all that more convincing.�

“Do you really think that this will work?� Francois said, looking at his wife.

“If Gustave thinks he can do it, then I all for it,� Adrienne said. “I don’t think that Rene would even guess who I am.�

“Then it is all settled,� Francis said. He turned to both Danielle and Adrienne who were standing next to each other.

“Just be careful the both of you,� he said.

Chapter 15

“Look at you, Danielle,� Gustave said, “If I didn’t know that it was you…�

Danielle stood looking at herself in the mirror. Gustave had done a fine job, she wouldn’t have recognized even herself. “You are a wonderful painter, Gustave,� she said, turning toward him. “Now we need someone to test this on.�

At that moment, the door opened. Adrienne entered with Francois by her side.

“Well, this is it, Gustave,� she said, showing off in one of Danielle’s gowns. “How do I look?�

“A lot like me, dear sister. Gustave did a fine job on both of us.�

Adrienne looked up and turned to the man standing by the mirror. “Danielle?� she gasped.

Danielle bowed. “At your service, Adrienne.�

Adrienne smiled. “I didn’t even recognize you. Look at you, just like a Guardsman.� She turned to Gustave. “You have done a fine job, cousin. All we have to do now,� she said, looking back at her sister, “is to convince Rene le Fleur and his henchmen.�

“I think that we will be able to,� Danielle said. “But we need others, Adrienne. We need someone to distract his men, keep him occupied, so to speak.�

“Hello,� a voice came from the doorway, “is anyone here? The door was open and I just thought that…�

“Marguerite,� Danielle said, smiling, walking over to meet her. “We have not seen each other in a long time. How have you been faring?�

Marguerite looked at this man. “A little confused, milord. I am wondering how you know my name, for I know not yours.�

Danielle smiled. “I am Guardsman Emil du Pres, at your service. I knew someone who had admired you. His name is Marc le Fleur and I wondered what has happened to him.�

“I am right here, du Pres,� another voice boomed from the door, “but you have greatly changed since I saw you last.�

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