While fans sat tight for almost a year waiting for production to start, knowing it was scheduled for the spring of 2013, they would make casting predictions and fan art all over social networks like Tumblr, Deviant Art, Facebook and Twitter. In early March at Toronto ComiCon, it was announced that Canadian actress Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted) had been cast as Bitten's strong and independent protagonist Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf. Shortly after, additional casting updates were released for the show's male leads with Greg Bryk (A History Of Violence, Rookie Blue) as Pack Alpha Jeremy Danvers and Greyston Holt (Alcatraz, Durham County) as Clayton Danvers, Elena's ex-fiancé and Jeremy's second-in-command. Paul Greene (The Client List, Wicked Wicked Games) is to play Torontonian Philip McAdams, an ad exec and Elena's current beau. Yes, this is a show with werewolves, romance (a possible love triangle?) and action. When you put it that way, it sounds like something a bit similar to Twilight - but for those who aren't already a fan of the series, this summary should clear up any misunderstood similarities between the two:
A foster child, Elena thought she finally found her "happily ever after" with her new love Clayton, but with one small bite, her life was changed forever and she was forced to survive life with the Pack as a werewolf. Years later, Elena has found refuge in Toronto, working as a photographer and dating a new man. But when bodies turn up in the backwoods of Stonehaven, the rural mansion that has served as a werewolf sanctuary for generations, the perfect life Elena has constructed begins to crumble. With the Pack threatened by an unknown predator, they turn to Elena for help. Caught between two worlds and two loves, Elena returns to Stonehaven out of duty, but once back in the fold she realizes that when push comes to shove, like any true alpha female, she'll stop at nothing to defend her family.
Shooting began last month in studio and on location in Hespeler (Cambridge), Toronto and Hamilton Ontario, and is scheduled to finish sometime later on this summer, with a series premiere scheduled for January 2014. Fans aren't being told much in the early stages, other than the occasional twitter updates from the cast and crew. That all changed when Space released the first official photos from the set.
In the books #jeremydanvers is maternally Asian, in the series #Bitten I am not. The gentle spirit of the character is carefully honoured.Okay, so seeing set photos are one thing, but last Monday SPACE's flagship show InnerSPACE took it even further when they went on set to Stonehaven to interview the main cast and executive producer J.B. Sugar, to talk about the set of Stonehaven, the characters and the inevitable steamy sex scenes the show is bound to have. (Although, we did suspect they would stay true to the book's graphic and intimate moments when Greyston Holt changed his twitter picture a couple of weeks ago).
As filming continues, fans patiently await any casting news for remaining werewolves Daniel Santos, Karl Marsten and Zachary Cain, assuming they will, in fact, be included in the TV adaptation - Although Greyston's tweet from early this morning certainly makes it sound promising that our trio of havoc-wreaking mutts will indeed be on our TV screens in January.
If you are as excited for Bitten as I am, keep checking back for new articles as there is bound to be more exciting news to come!
* wished that was Laura naked in the pic.
Surprising Celebrity Cheerleaders
These famous women have all taken their turns shaking pom-poms.
Ray Donovan - Katherine Moennig as Lena
* Now that's a surprise. Moennig in a lesbian role. More likely to remove any unnecessary sexual tension between her and boss Ray from equation. It's recycled to death in too many series.
Hot Trailer: ‘As Cool As I Am’
* What a lame trailer. You know the movie will suck big time when there are lots of hugs involved. It's the same old crap. Mom is immature and teen daughter wise beyond her years. Why can't they do something totally different or think out of the box for that matter?
If I wrote and directed the movie....In this scenario I'm a billionaire (with film-making as a hobby) who forked out millions to entice both Claire Danes and Sarah Bolger into doing their first nude scenes:
The opening scene has Claire the mom bringing home a dude to indulge in some fiesta. The cam pans in as Claire and the guy strip each other naked, the duo grappling their way from the hallway to the bedroom before the cam moves away in uninterrupted shot to another room - slowly transposing over the locked door - to another couple in bed. Teen lovers. The lens centers home on Sarah astride her BF - naked and topless. She turns and looks straight at the cam but actually listening to her mom growing moans from another room. Resentment can be seen on those pretty face. We get to see the whole of Sarah upper torso - her small breasts drenched in sweat. Fades away to the next morning...........
Here is another clip of Sarah Bolger in a PG-13 love scene from the movie Crush.
House Sitter by Richard Kern
22-years old Kiwi model Danielle Hayes (winner of cycle 2 of the series New Zealand's Next Top Model, Cycle 2 in 2010): by Zoe Economides
Love hurts for Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
The actors revisit their beloved characters Jesse and Celine in 'Before Midnight.'
NEW YORK — Sex scenes are strange and uncomfortable at the best of times, when it's two strangers groping and fondling on camera.
It doesn't get any easier when the staged intimacy takes place between friends who have known each other almost two decades, as is the case with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.
"It makes it weirder. You feel a little bit like brother and sister," says Hawke, 42. "It's a strange thing to act with someone. I don't have to imagine what it was like when she was 23 and to be with her. I remember. We did kiss on the Ferris wheel in Vienna in 1994. We did do that! And a lot of the humor of the movies is built out of our humor, the way we like to tease each other."
The actors revisit the characters of Jesse and Celine, whom they first played in 1995's Before Sunrise and reprised in the sequel, 2004's Before Sunset, and the third installment of the series, Before Midnight, in select cities Friday. This time, the two are the parents of twin girls and are dealing with all the realities of a relationship that's stale and romantic and passionate and acrimonious and ardent all at the same time.
Filming the movie's pivotal love scene was an out-of-body experience for both actors, says Delpy, 43. "(I'm thinking), 'Ethan is touching me!' The good thing is that we love each other. It's not like, 'Ugh.' It's more like it's really uncomfortable. We have to disconnect ourselves entirely from who we are."
Yet when you're with them, what you feel is an authentic connection.
There's an ease, an unforced sense of comfort between Hawke and Delpy. He teases her about her foul mouth. She tells him how adorable his youngest child is. She likens her attention span to that of a cat, and he admonishes her to focus and pay attention. When, in the midst of a photo shoot, the photographer comments that the two seem to genuinely like each other as they banter and tease, Hawke retorts: "You should see us naked."
In fact, the two bare all emotionally — and, for Delpy in one extended scene, physically — in Before Midnight. As with the film's predecessors, Hawke and Delpy co-wrote the script with director Richard Linklater. And their efforts showcase what a real relationship looks like, full of wrinkles and jealousies and grudges and ill-timed arguments.
"I'm not scared of making my character unlikable, and Ethan is the same," Delpy says.
Her Celine is impetuous and at times irrational. Hawke's Jesse is self-absorbed and pedantic. And yet, together they create on-screen marital magic. Given the ardent, intricate wordplay between the two, it would be easy, but wrong, to simply think they're playing themselves. They're not. And it's a disservice to the intricate script to think that anything that's said is off the cuff. In fact, every single wanton, mean, loving, conflicted word Celine and Jesse utter is scripted.
Cautions Hawke: "This is not a portrait of me. It's their dynamic. Every couple has a dynamic."
The key to their appeal, Linklater says, is that they're almost like the rest of us.
"They are heightened normal. There's nothing extraordinary about them. They're not heroic," he says. "They are relatable. They don't feel like they're that far from yourself. They can put into words what all of us bumble through with in life. They're hyper-articulate."
In real life as well. The two admit to being leery of tinkering with the series and creating a third film that wouldn't be as timeless and loved as the first two. They started throwing around ideas a few years ago and, finally, during an intense 10-week period, sequestered themselves in Greece, where they wrote the script and shot the film in 15 days.
"It's been one of the great joys of my life to get to know them for 19 years. The people they were then was quite impressive to me. Both were kind of amazing. To see them grow and follow their careers — Ethan paints and writes novels and directs theater, and I see Julie, and she's getting a guitar lesson and, eight months later, is finishing an album with songs she wrote. They're such artists," Linklater says.
So much has changed since the two relative newcomers shot Sunrise in 1994. Los Angeles-based Delpy is the mom of Leo, 4, with film score composer Marc Streitenfeld. Hawke, who lives in New York, is married to his second wife, Ryan, and is the father of Indiana, 2, Clementine, 5, Levon, 11, and Maya, 15 (the last two from his first marriage to Uma Thurman). To both actors, their trilogy is something of an on-screen scrapbook.
"One of my favorite memories of my life is Julie and Rick picking me up from the airport in Austin. It was when the airport was tiny," Hawke says of shooting the first movie. "It felt like Austin was this remote little town. I walked out, and the first thing I said was, 'Let's go make a (expletive) movie.' And then we went and shot pool, and Julie was insanely competitive with me. She's so competitive. It was on."
They holed up in a motel and Linklater's office and developed the script. "We were younger then, so we had a lot to prove. Julie was 23, and she had already worked with (Jean-Luc) Godard and Volker Schlöndorff. This was an extremely intense young woman, and she was not overly impressed with me," Hawke says.
Not so, Delpy says. "I liked him. I'd seen Reality Bites and thought he was cute. I was not blasé or anything. Maybe my attitude seemed that way."
What goes through their minds when they see Before Sunrise?
"I think how much my son looks like me. Oh, my God, he's my spitting image," Delpy says. "I also think how miserable I was as a person. Young, suffering, every boyfriend that broke up with me. I was devastated for months and years. I was a mess."
"What went through my mind is how much the world has changed. That scene of Jesse and Celine in the listening booth and how romantic and old-fashioned that feels now," Hawke says.
And yes, they'd be open to doing a fourth one, if it made sense. For now, Hawke is busy with theater and plans to spend the summer with his kids, and Delpy just finished a French script. They talk and see each other when they can, but the camaraderie between them is real and, seemingly, enduring, despite the physical distance between them.
"There's a genuine affection there. It's legit. They're two very complex people, but the baseline of it all is that they have a real respect and love," Linklater says. "It's like a long-term relationship."
This Is Vanity - Short Filmfrom Oliver Goodrum
‘This Is Vanity’ is the dark and tragic tale of a tiring mother who struggles to protect both herself and her disabled teenage daughter from the continual attacks of local adolescents. Repeatedly rebuffed and frustrated by the authorities, she ultimately turns to a far greater power than can be found on her failing human plane.Winner of Best Drama at Magnolia and Audience Choice at Bermuda. Nominated Best Short Film at Fingal and Official Selection at London, Brooklyn, Hoboken, Rochester and Emmentaler.
Tumblr Is Full of Porn, Just as We Suspected
By Josh Wolford
But just how much porn is on Tumblr? A lot. We know that. But until now, we’ve never had any real figures. Data from SimilarGroup, obtained by TechCrunch, suggests that more than 11% of Tumblr’s top 200,000 domains are very NSFW.
The analysis looked at the 200,000 most-popular blogs on Tumblr and found that 22,775 would be considered “adult.” That works out to 11.4%.
Yes, Marissa Mayer just bought a network that’s more than 1/10th porn.
Tumblr has a porn empire. Is that going to be a problem for Yahoo?
Maybe, but Mayer isn’t suggesting that quite yet.
“The width and breadth of content on Tumblr is what’s exciting and has allowed it to reach more users,” said Mayer this morning when asked about Tumblr’s “not-brand-safe” content (read: porn).
In order to deal with it, Mayer said that Yahoo would need to have good targeting for ads. Maybe that will be the strategy going forward – smart ad targeting that will make sure that the porny bits stay away from the non-porny bits. But this study proves that adult content isn’t just a fringe element of Tumblr’s massive blog network – it’s a big part of it.
* The definition of 'porn' is quite broad among mainstream media. Nude models/modeling, NSFW clips from movies/shows and artsy pics are in danger being lumped together into that category.
Mara Lopez, Alex in a daring movie(The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - Finally showing in cinemas tomorrow, May 22, is Ato Bautista’s award-winning erotic thriller Palitan.
Set in the gritty corners of Raon, Quiapo, Palitan shows that in desperate times, bargains are made in exchange for heavy sacrifices.
The leads are played by showbiz scions Mara Lopez and Alex Medina. Mara is the daughter of beauty queen-turned-actress Maria Isabel Lopez and a darling of local independent films. While Alex is the son of veteran actor Pen Medina and a mainstay of the top-rating ABS-CBN teleserye Ina, Kapatid, Anak where he plays the character of Diego.
The script of Palitan required both young performers to do sensitive scenes. “My character is my polar opposite. The film took a lot from me. It was truly the most challenging role I had to portray not just physically but emotionally,” said Mara. “It was my first time to go bold or daring. And it was harder than I thought,” Alex admitted. In spite of the challenges, both did extremely well in the film. Mara and Alex won Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2012.
The story begins with Nestor (Alex) who is heavily in debt to his boss Ramiro (Mon Confiado), owner of an electronics shop. One of Ramiro’s dangerous cravings is aimed at Nestor’s young, lovely common-law wife, Luisa (Mara). The love-starved and porn-tired Ramiro proposes a deal with Nestor: Secretly shoot Luisa’s naked body as she bathes and give the footage to him. If Nestor complies, his debt would supposedly disappear. Palitan is a film that pushes the characters into the limits of power play, love, lust, deceit, jealousy and pride.
Director Ato’s treatment is fearless. He said, “I always dare myself to do new things every time I make a film. For Palitan, I sought to shoot the longest and most steamy bed scene that I could.”
The Art Scene: Mara Lopez talks about her nude sceneDesperate times call for desperate measures. But when a man who's heavy into debt is offered the prospect of writing out his dues in exchange for a heavy sacrifice, he gets himself into a bargain that tests his own limitations. Joining us on Mornings are independent filmmaker Director Ato Bautista and showbiz scion Mara Lopez to talk about the award-winning erotic psychological drama thriller "Palitan."
She’s the daughter of famous beauty queen-actress Maria Isabel Lopez.
A student from De La Salle University.
But acting is her passion….
Now, her biggest acting break came via the movie “Palitan”, one of the film entries in this coming Cinema One Originals Film Festival (though she has appeared in other indie film productions, we could say that her acting challenge in the movie “Palitan”, tested her great passion for acting).
Her mom could have been so proud.
The daughter is now creating a name of her own-
|mara isabella studies her script lines in the movie “Palitan”.|
Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac' to feature 'groundbreaking' sex scenesLars von Trier's Nymphomaniac project will reportedly feature "groundbreaking" sex scenes.
The upcoming two-part erotic film is to feature graphic sex scenes between cast members, producer Louise Vesth told The Hollywood Reporter.
However, the real hardcore scenes will be filmed using body doubles, who will then be combined with the stars' non-explicit acts using digital technology, she explained.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LeBeouf, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Christian Slater and Jamie Bell are among the film's cast.
"We shot the actors pretending to have sex and then had the body doubles, who really did have sex, and in post we will digital-impose the two," Vesth said.
"So above the waist it will be the star and below the waist it will be the doubles."
The post-production work on the project is said to be the reason why it was not available to be screened at Cannes this week.
|Charlotte Gainsbourg in Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'.|
One distributor who saw early footage of the film described it as "groundbreaking...like nothing [they've] ever seen".
Vesth added that she hopes von Trier will end his self-imposed ban on promotion, following his infamous Nazi remarks two years ago.
"Lars has thrown everything in this one," she said. "It's about religion, about God, about philosophy. There's so much to talk about with this movie. I hope he changes his mind and starts giving interviews again."
The world premiere will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark this December.
Mia Wasikowska and More Join David Cronenberg's 'Maps To The Stars,' Some Story Details Revealed
While plot details have pretty much been kept secret, THR does reveal that "Bird will play a troubled, drug-addicted child star, while Williams will play his manipulative mother, and Wasikowska his disfigured, schizophrenic, fame-obsessed sister." Drugs, disfigurement, manipulation? Yep, that's Cronenberg.
eOne will distribute the film in the U.S., Canada, UK and Australia/New Zealand with the movie showing its wares at Cannes next week, where we presume more details will be revealed.
So we have Mia Wasikowska as Agatha, Olivia Williams as Cristina, Evan Bird as Benjie.
And just to recap, we already have………..
John Cusack as Sanford , Robert Pattinson as Jerome, Julianne Moore as Havana and Sarah Gadon as Clarice
How to Star on a TV Show in a Social Media WorldBy Mark Peikert
“Banshee” has a pretty impressive cast of unknowns. Was that conscious?
We never went down the road of seeking an established American TV star. Frankly, for the money an established TV actor costs, I can get three, four great new faces bringing something fresh to the table.
You’re well-known for being on the cutting edge of social media. Did that influence your work on “Banshee”?
When I took this job in 2011, I had to imagine how people would be watching TV in 2013 and 2014. And the best way to do that was build a team of people who were game. The conversation was not only about taking the job but also here’s what is expected to keep the show relevant and to keep our audience engaged. If we build it from the beginning into our DNA, then we’ll be in great shape.
And you were apparently successful in that!
[The cast members] compete to be in our “Banshee” [online] backstories! Every time, the cast says, “I’m so excited to get to do this!” And we make it part of our work flow. It sends the message out there that the series we’re making, while a large part, is still a part of the picture. We’re ahead of the game in that regard, but we’re not settling for that.
What extra content do you have in store for Season 2?
We’re coming back with a lot of additional content, and we want the people watching to have a really rich experience. We’ve had a really great experience with the fan base. It’s a rowdy fan base, but our cast is kind of a rowdy bunch. And the great thing is we got to enjoy the spoils all together when we had “Banshee” parties and gatherings and watched the episode and put a meal around it.
And the cast is composed of a lot of international actors, right?
The international nature of our cast also is not an accident. The themes that “Banshee” deals with—anybody who has issues with this need not apply! My take as a filmmaker was very much influenced by European films, which was to witness these things and not editorialize sexuality. I find traditionally that a lot of American actors have more issue with sexuality than I’d find in most of the European actors. Not that anything we do is gratuitous!
'Dexter' Season 8 Spoilers: Deborah To Use Drugs, Booze and Sex To Cope With LaGuerta's Death
The upcoming installment kicks off roughly six months after Captain LaGuerta's (Lauren Velez) death, and the latest video footage gives loyalists an inside look into Season 8.
Although Dex (Michael C. Hall) shows no guilt over what's transpired, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) takes it pretty bad, as she was the one who shot LaGuerta.
Primetime reported that Deb will resort to boozing, drugs and sex in order to cope with her pain.
In a voiceover, Dexter narrates the following message regarding his urges to kill again:
"Tonight's the night, and it's going to happen again, and again. It has to happen."
Hall spoke to the site about his initial take on the Dexter character and what his feelings were toward it.
"I decided it was a character unlike any I'd ever seen and I jumped at it. The final season is about a sense of legacy. It'll blow your mind," he explained.
"The season picks up about six months later. We find Dexter on the one hand telling himself that things are good, but there are a lot of problems," Hall adds.
Showtime's Dexter is set to make its return on Sunday, June 30 at 9/8 p.m. Central.
* MEW possess a sexy sultry voice. The type that belongs in late 60's and early 70's jazzy breathy songs. Range is questionable though. Crack appears when she stretches a note. Make sure to listen twice and you're hooked.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Got a Girl's 'You and Me' - Listen Now!
The 28-year-old actress paired with hip-hop producer Dan the Automator for their new endeavor, which they named Got a Girl, to record and release new music!
“So…in honor of our new twitter followers, we wrote and recorded a song last night especially for you. Coming imminently!” the Got a Girl Twitter account updated just before releasing the song – check it out below!
WHAT DO YOU THINK of Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s new song “You and Me”???
Eliza Cummings is a scarlet woman, in a film by Ruth Hogben and Katie Shillingford
Les Salauds (Bastards) – first look review
|Vincent Lindon and Chiara Mastroianni in Les Salauds|
The mood of foreboding is established right away, as 80s electronica squalls on the soundtrack and Lola Creton picks her way, naked, through the dark streets of Paris. The family factory is in crisis, the patriarch is dead and the finger of blame points at Edouard Laporte (Michel Subor), a sulphurous little businessman who resides nearby. But the way ahead is fraught with shadows, secrets and shifting sands. Students of Chekhov should also take note of the gun on the mantelpiece.
If there is such a thing as a hero in this murky, compromised world, it comes in the rumpled form of brother Marco (strongly played by Vincent Lindon), who quits his job on the oil tanker to keep tabs on Laporte. Marco keeps insisting that he would rather not get involved. But each time he says it, the sand sucks him down further. He's embroiled with the factory and he fears for his niece (Creton). Worst of all, he's involved with Mrs Laporte (Chiara Mastroianni), a trophy wife who appears to hate her husband almost as much as he does.
The film opens with impressionistic glimpses, in that slow-slow-quick-quick-slow rhythm we’re used to from Denis, of what we later piece together is the suicide of Jacques, father of Justine (Lola Creton, from “Something in the Air”) and husband to bitter, recriminatory Sandra (Julie Bataille). Sandra’s brother Marco (Vincent Lindon), who was formerly very close to Jacques, leaves the tanker on which he was captain and returns to exact revenge on the people he believes responsible for Justine’s horrific sexual abuse, and therefore her self-harm and ultimately her father’s suicide.
Part of his plan involves moving into the apartment above the ringleader, successful business Edouard Laporte (Michel Subor), where he strikes up an intense sexual relationship with Laporte’s girlfriend, and the mother of his son, Joseph. To go any further would be to risk major spoilers for what happens later on, (or rather for the sense that later can be made of it all), but suffice to say there are revelations and car crashes and guns and a lot more sex and death, along with what are probably the most sinister corn cobs ever committed to film.
The women are shrewish, or weak and sexually manipulated too, meaning the film has more of a misanthropic than a misandrist slant, and that’s before we even take on the troubling suggestion that a certain victim may have been complicit in her own violation. Ultimately, the incredibly steep downward trajectory of the storyline and the increasingly seedy revelations that mean our various sympathies for the various characters, one by one, drop like flies, leaving a film that, in contrast to the sometimes truthful despair of other Denis outings, instead feels a little like empty nihilism.
“The Bastards” is a strange and certainly not wholly successful hybrid -- there are tones and textures that remind us of everything from Refn (perhaps it’s the blue lighting and the initially spartan synth score that later thrums into an insistent Tindersticks track that plays over the whole end portion), to Jean Luc-Godard, while the couple who run the “sex den” feel like characters straight out of a David Lynch movie, and some of the thriller-ish, generic elements feel ever so slightly, well, Adrian Lyne at times. And very few of the above are names we ever expected to reference in a Claire Denis review.
We’re not in the “ban this sick filth” brigade, but from such a usually nuanced and thought-provoking auteur, it’s hard not to see the film as a minor entry. “The Bastards” feels like what happens when an undeniably great filmmaker stoops to sensationalism -- it’s a smarter, odder film than someone else would make with the same material, but it’s still smart, odd sensationalism.
Claire Denis' The Bastards (Les Salaudes) may actually have a decent story, but she has muddled up the narrative to the point it's confusing as all hell. Even once the pieces start to come together, the film comes to a head-scratching conclusion of sex with corncobs and a close-up of a guy stroking his penis.
Let's begin with the plot details I gathered after the opening moments and see where we get...
It's raining very hard. A man has killed himself. A girl is walking naked in the streets. A man named Marco (Vincent Lindon) works aboard a container ship and receives a phone call with a family emergency and heads home immediately. Upon arrival he moves into an apartment without any furnishings. Here he makes eyes at the woman living downstairs and helps fix the chain on her son's bicycle.
Following the film's opening minutes, those were the things I knew. I don't know if Denis thought everything was all clear after that information was revealed, but as it turns out we are still missing a lot of important details that would help it all make a lot more sense. Let's take a look again with all the information in place.
The film begins with a man killing himself and a woman walking naked in the rain. Marco is called back to Paris by his sister, Sandra (Julie Bataille), because her husband (Laurent Grevill) -- whom Marco is good friends with -- has just commit suicide and her daughter, Justine (Lola Creton), has been admitted into a hospital as a victim of abuse and rape that has damaged her vagina to the point it may require surgery. Justine is also the woman we saw walking naked in the rain.
The woman Marco sees in his apartment turns out to be a woman by the name of Raphaëlle (Chiara Mastroianni), a single mother with a young son, and mistress to Edouard Laporte (Michel Subor), a man that contributed money to Sandra's family business and she is convinced he had something to do with her daughter's current state. Marco's goal is to get at Edouard through Raphaëlle.
Like I said, a lot of information is hidden from the audience for reasons entirely unknown to me. And the details mentioned above are just the beginning.
Walking out of the screening a couple critics I talked to actually thought Raphaëlle was married to Edouard, not his mistress. It took me forever to learn Marco was Sandra's brother and not her husband, or just a friend of her dead husband or both. It's never made clear he's her sister until they blatantly come out and say it. Even then, where is Marco's wife? We learn he has a daughter, but the rest is a mystery. It's also about 15 minutes into the movie before we learn who the naked girl walking in the middle of the street was and even further into the film before we learn Marco didn't just leave his job, he quit and is having to sell his property and car to make sure he has any money.
I know what you may be thinking, "But isn't a bit of ambiguity better? No one wants everything spelled out for them." Yes, but not when the film doesn't seem to be presenting these things as if there is any question. All throughout I felt I just wasn't getting it, and who knows, maybe I wasn't, though some others appeared to be just as confused as I was.
It would appear Denis meant the film be revealed in layers, but I can't believe she meant for it to be this confusing. Granted, the answers to some of the questions I ask above may be in the film and I simply missed them, but all I know is that I kept running through one scenario after another, trying to figure who everyone was and in what capacity they were related to the people in the film and the story altogether. I walked away with the impression Denis forgot the audience didn't know these people the way she and co-writer Jean-Pol Fargeau did and didn't realize the details she was gave us only confused matters rather than actually helped.
Then we get to scenes with bloody corncobs covered in tons of pubic hair and semen-stained, red oval couches with camera hookups in the ceiling. Yet, as more details are revealed, more go unanswered.
As the credits started to roll, the loudest question I had was, "What the hell was that all about?" It's one thing to play tricks with your narrative, but Denis has got to know this film just doesn't add up as we're left to walk out of the theater after watching a homemade rape film and as another piece of electronica plays over the credits.
Visually, the film is quite dark. Denis and her DP, Agnes Godard, shot in digital and definitely went for a darker, more atmospheric look and the score from Tindersticks started to grate on me as one scene bleeds into another about midway through the film as the sound of a ticking clock played underneath a throbbing single electric tone, which could be heard through much of the film.
Like I said, this story may have worked had it not been so cluttered up into meaningless mess of mumbo-jumbo. The performances are solid, Lindon and Mastroianni are particularly impressive and I have nothing at all wrong with the dark material, but the way it was presented just all seemed so meaningless that it felt like a film that was presented incomplete.
Although the concept is intriguing on paper, this tragic-comic tale of a track star’s arduous sexual awakening feels too thin both narratively and cinematically, struggling with a belabored storyline as it heads towards the final lap. Still, the film dishes out a few memorably bittersweet moments, and lead Sophie Desmarais’ well-tuned performance is definitely worth catching. Fests and small-scale theatrical should follow a Cannes Un Certain Regard premiere.
“I want to run,” is what 20-year-old Sarah (Desmarais) says to everyone, including her highly doubtful mom (Helene Florent), when they ask her what she wants out of life. And so, after excelling on her Quebec City track squad, Sarah decides to pack up her stuff and move, along with local boy Antoine (Jean-Sebastien Courchesne), to Montreal, where she’ll be training for the big leagues as a member of the McGill Athletics Team.
If such a set-up seems like your typical triumph-over-tears sports story, Robichaud definitely has something else in mind, and once the two friends arrive in town, the story shifts to focus on Sarah’s shaky personal life, including her burgeoning attraction to fellow teammate Zoey (Genevieve Boivin-Roussy). But that only happens after she and Antoine decide to get married for financial aid purposes—a decision that Sarah never takes seriously, while Antoine grows more and more attracted to his wife/roommate.
The film was shown in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, which is part of the Official Selection but is a sidebar to the Official Competition.
Radio-Canada Television journalist Tanya Lapointe said that Sarah prefere la course “is a very nice film, well acted and smartly directed.”
The film, which opens in Quebec June 7, focuses on a young runner from Quebec City – played by Sophie Desmarais – who agrees to marry Antoine (Jean-Sébastien Courchesne) in order to be eligible for grants to pursue her love of running by joining the best university athletics club in the province.
Le Soleil’s Moreault was not totally enthused in his review of the film.
Writes Moreault: “In terms of drama, the film suffers from the introverted personality of the main character. Sarah lives for the race, which is real obsession. It’s difficult for the viewer to really get attached to this woman who turns out to be a veritable misanthrope.”
But he goes on to praise Desmarais’s performance, noting that “she does very well with a nearly silent role, conveying the anxiety and shyness of the character, mostly through her eyes.”
'True Blood' Beginnings: Everything You Need to Know About Jessica Hamby
As the premiere date of True Blood's sixth season draws closer, you may find yourself wondering what the heck else could happen to these characters? It's getting to a 24-esque realm where you think, seriously, how many bad days can Jack Bauer have? So just to catch you up on all the ridiculousness that has transpired during the first five wonderful seasons, we're recapping the astounding journeys taken by nine main characters in a series called True Blood: Beginnings. Up next is Jessica Hamby, Bill Compton's vampire progeny.
Jessica first appeared midway through season 1, and she has since blossomed from an immature teenager to a sexy vamp vixen who frequently rocks naughty lingerie and goes after who and what she wants. But she wouldn't even be if not for Bill's actions at Fangtasia earlier in the season. He killed the vampire bartender Longshadow after he attacked Sookie because she discovered he was stealing from the bar. The punishment for staking a vampire is usually the true death, but Bill is instead sentenced to create another vampire, and Jessica 2.0 is born.
Jessica Hamby's Rebirth
Jess was a church-going youth group member who just happened to be out that night for her first party. Bill bites her, digs a grave and buries himself next to her for the night, but she comes up screaming, asking for help. At first, she's distraught over not being able to go home, but once she realizes no more homeschooling, belts, clarinets or rules, she's thrilled.
She instantly becomes a pouty brat, thinking she can kill anyone she wants, whining, complaining about Tru Blood and calling Bill the worst maker ever. He pawns her off to Eric, who bosses her effectively, but eventually returns her to Bill for being too out of control.
When Sookie tries to bond with her, Jessica convinces her to help pay a visit to her old family. She then attacks her father when he yells at her for disappearing and threatens to kill him for all the times he beat her. Bill cleans up Sookie's mess by glamouring everyone. Soon after that, Jessica meets Hoyt, and the two begin to develop feelings for each other. Bill and Sookie walk in on them making out, Bill tosses Hoyt out and Jessica whines some more, so they decide to bring her with them to Dallas as they search for Godric inside the Fellowship of the Sun.
You Can't Stake "True" Love
As soon as they reach the vampire hotel in Dallas, Bill reprimands Jessica for ordering a human off the menu. So she calls Hoyt and they talk all night. He drives all the way to Dallas to be with her, and they both divulge that they're virgins and decide to be each other's first. Unfortunately, they realize during round two that Jessica's lady parts have healed, meaning (dun dun DUNNNN) she'll be a virgin forever. So no matter how many times they do it, Jessica's cherry will always be, uh, flowered, which is clearly every teen's worst nightmare. But Hoyt doesn't care, and their love flourishes.
She meets Hoyt's mom, cries bloody tears after Maxine Fortenberry is mean to her, then bites Maxine during continued taunting while under Maryann's spell. That prompts Hoyt to chastise her and leave. She tells Bill she's going to apologize, but instead she heads to a gas station and feeds on an unsuspecting truck driver. Ahhh, kids!
The First Bite is (Accidentally) the Deepest
Jessica drinks a little too much and kills the truck driver, so she stashes the body in Bill's basement while she figures out what to do amid the horrific stench. Thankfully for her, he's been kidnapped and isn't at home. Sookie asks for help finding him, so the pair takes a trip to Fangtasia where Jessica probes Pam about vampire life and how to properly feed and dispose of bodies. She considers buying a chainsaw, but when she returns from a trip to the store, the body is gone (stolen by the vampire Franklin, who was in the house searching for a file on Sookie).
Sam hires her as a hostess at Merlotte's, where she runs into a former classmate who recognizes her. He becomes her first glamour, and she finds enjoyment in the work and in her skill at making humans do what she wants. She even gets on Arlene's good side by glamouring an unruly customer into finishing up and leaving a huge tip. Then Jessica lures the customer into the ladies' room, where she feeds off her.
Don't Turn Around ('Cause You're Gonna See My Heart Not Beating)
After Bill is rescued from Russell's mansion and reunited with Jessica, she admits that she missed him. He lashes out, saying he can't take care of her and releasing her as his progeny. She is steadfast in not leaving, and she begins to sob, saying she doesn't want to be alone.
He comforts her, and they bond about their failing relationships (as a starved Bill has just attacked Sookie in the back of a van). He teaches her how to spar, and she uses her newfound skills on werewolves at Sookie's house. She chases them outside, where Russell catches and bites her, only letting her go when Bill insults him. She runs off, chased by another werewolf that she kills while covered in blood in full sight of Hoyt.
Hoyt later admits he still loves her, but Tommy gets in the way by trying to kiss Jessica. She rejects him, Hoyt punches him, and then he attacks Hoyt while in pit bull form. Jessica comes to his rescue and forces him to drink her blood to heal his injuries. And just like that, the couple is back together again. After she admits she'll never stop drinking blood, Hoyt offers his own and she chows down.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Hoyt and Jessica move in together, but they're having some domestic troubles. They fight over human food vs. blood, and Jessica has urges she can't control. Pam tells her not to resist her vampire "hunter" nature, but she insists she loves Hoyt. After he gets pummeled in a fight while defending her honor (and she can't step in because someone is recording it with a cell phone camera) and refuses her blood, she flees back to Fangtasia and feasts on a handsome fangbanger in the bathroom. She feels guilty and confesses to Hoyt, who is angry, so she glamours him and he forgets anything happened.
Later, Hoyt and Jessica stumble across Jason after he was gang-raped by the werepanthers (yup, you read that right), and she feeds him her blood to save his life. But, uh oh, now she's got a special connection with a sexpot too. Hoyt thanks her for saving his best friend and tries to kiss her, but she's cold in a human way, not just a vampire way.
The Sun! Mom! We Want It Now!
All the vampires have to chain themselves down before dawn, since Marnie/Antonia's spell will make them walk outside during daylight hours. Jessica escapes her silver, kills a guard, steals his keys and crawls out into the sun. She's about to (literally) melt when Jason saves her, kisses her and carries her back to a crying Bill. Then she breaks up with a distraught Hoyt, who says he deserves someone better who can have children and won't be a lousy virgin for the rest of her (thousands of years-long) life. He rescinds his invitation, and out she goes.
She heads right to Jason's and tells him she and Hoyt are done, which upsets him because Hoyt is his best friend. So he also takes back his invitation, and poor Jessica can't stop uncontrollably flying out of houses.
He brings her a box filled with her things, from Hoyt, and she invites him inside. He says it's probably not a good idea, so they have sex in the back of his pickup truck instead. Cause it's not wrong if it's not in the house. Jason then tells her to glamour his guilt away, but she refuses.
A Moon Goddess Battle and More Vampire Love
Jessica joins up with Bill, Eric and Pam in their assault on the Moon Goddess Emporium, where Marnie/Antonia is barricaded with all the witches. They're about to blow it up, even though Lafayette, Sookie, Tara and Holly are among those inside, but a force field protects them.
While fighting with Marnie/Antonia-controlled vampires outside, Pam fires a rocket into the force field that severely burns Jason, and Jessica is forced to save him again with her blood. After the battle is over, they admit they can't stop thinking about each other and bang again. She says she doesn't want to be his girlfriend because she doesn't want to hurt him, so they agree to keep it totally caj.
Rescues and Parties
Jessica senses Jason is in trouble and rescues him from the clutches of newly-outed gay vampire American Steve Newlin, and they do the nasty again. Then she throws a party with a bunch of college kids, complete with Guitar Hero, and Jason crashes, sees a frat guy hit on her and leaves with a chick named Cammy. At her next party, Steve Newlin shows up and offers her $10,000 for Jason. She declines and ridicules him, and he attacks her. But she's stronger, so she kicks out Steve and the rest of the party.
While shopping, she meets a man whose smell she can't resist, and she tries to turn her lust into more Jason sex. But he refuses, saying he's had an epiphany and will no longer be treated as a piece of meat. She puts on sweats and promises they can be friends, then overhears Sookie confessing that she murdered Debbie after Tara was shot in the head and turned into a vampire. After Debbie's parents find out she's dead and call off the investigation, Andy refuses and Jessica glamours him into forgetting about the case.
Bonding and Bickering
Jessica and Bill search his office for listening devices, and he finds a marijuana roach in the couch. She admits to having people over, but promises that no one was eaten or drained, and he says she can take care of herself and that the weed is low quality. Whoa there, cool dad. She reaffirms that Bill and Sookie are different than Sookie and anyone else, and he proclaims that he has done well as a maker.
Jessica also bonds with Tara at Fangtasia about the struggles of being a newly-turned vampire and how to control urges. She tells Tara she should really look forward to feeding on human while having sex with them because that, well, that feeling is just amazing. But the sentiment doesn't last very long after Tara feeds on Hoyt in the bathroom, all while Jess is drinking a chick in the next stall over. As soon as Hoyt is distressed, Jessica jumps in and a bathroom brawl ensues until Pam breaks it up.
Jessica has to deal with more pathetic behavior from Hoyt, who again professes his love. Later, Jason stops by while she's feeding on some dude and tells her he just found out his parents were killed by a vampire. They kiss, he tastes blood and gets angry, she bites him, he shoots her in the head, everyone heals and they angrily part company.
Abduction and Redemption
Jessica leaves Fantasia with a stranger, who kidnaps her and takes her a remote compound where Hoyt is hanging out with some new redneck buddies. They offer Hoyt the chance to kill her for revenge, but he can't because he still loves her. He asks why she stopped, and she said she didn't want to and even prayed that the feelings would return, but they never did. He fires a shot into the air, and when the guard comes in to see what Hoyt's done, Jessica snaps his neck. Sam, Luna and Andy take care of the rest of the folks at the compound.
Later, Hoyt summons Jason and Jessica to Merlotte's, where he tells them his intention to move to Alaska to work on an oil rig. His final request is that she glamour away any memory he has of either her or Jason, so he can make a fresh start. They are both devastated by the finality of his request, but Jessica obliges him and tenderly imbues with him hope for a carefree life and a new, better first love.
Bill Goes All "Lilith"
Bill summons Jessica to the Authority Headquarters, where she finds him increasingly religious and questions his fervor. She compares him to her fundamentalist Christian parents, and he implores her to read the vampire bible with an open mind because he believes he is fated to lead their kind into the coming age. Since Russell and Steve are now after Jason, she tricks Bill into letting her leave (with guards) so she can turn him into a vampire and they can be together. She asks Jason to trust her, violently bites him and then has him shoot the two guards with wooden bullets while they are being buried together. She tells Jason if she has to spend eternity with anyone, she wants it to be him.
Jessica pleads for asylum at Fangtasia, and Pam refuses before Jessica says she knows where Bill and Eric are hiding. She patches things up with Tara before she and Pam are captured and taken back to the Authority. There, Bill again tries to convince her to follow Lilith. She calls him crazy, and he slaps her across the room.
The recently-escaped Eric and Nora team up with Sookie, Jason and Tara and storm the facility, killing everyone. Jessica is ecstatic to see Jason again and professes her love, but he rejects her because she is a vampire. Bill drinks Lilith's blood, turns into a demon and sends them all fleeing. Eric, Sookie, Jason, Tara, Nora, Pam and Jessica ride up the elevator, ready to fight their way out of Authority Headquarters.
What's Next for Jessica?
With Hoyt out of the picture and Jason seemingly rejecting her, it's anyone's guess what is in store for Jessica in season 6. My only prediction is that she'll be naked a lot and probably have a lot of sex, which is really all that is required of her. I'm sure she'll continue to grow into an even stronger vampire (and woman!) who will be even more valuable to Bill than in seasons past. And he probably needs the help more, since he's a raving demonic undead lunatic. What challenges do you foresee for Jessica? Do you hope she ends up with Jason?
True Blood season 6 premieres June 16 at 9 pm on HBO.
Video: Ahna O'Reilly on Ex James Franco's "Kindest Gesture" and Cannes Nerves!
Ahna O'Reilly has not one, but two projects at the Cannes Film Festival this year, and we sat down with the actress to talk about this extraordinary experience, the reception to her two movies, and what it was like to work with her ex-boyfriend James Franco as a director. First up for Ahna was Fruitvale Station, which was coming off huge Sundance success before subsequently being picked up by The Weinstein Company. Ahna spoked about reuniting with good friend Octavia Spencer for their surreal Cannes Palais moment. Ahna also revealed how much she doubted that James Franco actually wanted her to star in his adaptation of As I Lay Dying and discussed who, between the two of them, was more nervous for their big premiere. Check our chat, and keep your eye out for lots more from Ahna O'Reilly.
STAY [SHORT FILM]Directed by: Justin Zuckerman
Written by: Justin Zuckerman, Chris Leary, Ryan Brown
Shocking Details of Nairobi's Thriving Porn Industry
By DAVID ODONGO
Police sources say the man based at the Central Bank of Kenya is a major investor in the sex sector while the security chief uses his extensive connections to offer protection. The revelations come as Kenya remains gripped by reports of alleged bestiality, which has since been denied, in Mombasa involving 11 young women purportedly at the behest of Swiss national Christoph Clement Weissenerider. In court, the women have been charged with prostitution while the foreigner is accused of luring them into it. The Twitter hash tag #PornDeDog, has been trending as Kenyans on social media express their wonder and wit.
Coast police have also alleged that the Swiss and a woman accomplice on the run have been running a similar dirty business in Nairobi, mostly to serve fee-paying foreign customers.
American pastorThe last time such an incident created so much public debate was in 2009 when Nairobi-based American pastor, Thomas Kevin Manton of Dominion International church, was accused of recording sexual encounters, purported to involve him and local girls, on DVD for commercial use. The man of God was however acquitted by chief magistrate Uniter Kidula a year later for lack of evidence. The American had pleaded his innocence, saying his accusers wanted to grab his wealth and bring down his ministry.
But as the current debate continues, our investigations indicate that a spacious cybercafe at a building near the junction of Tom Mboya and Ronald Ngala streets is a major hub for recruiting actors in pornographic videos. The facility is also used to edit and duplicate the dirty discs for mass distribution locally and internationally. Financiers, producers, marketers and actors usually meet there, but the shooting of the videos is done in multiple locations in the city centre and residential estates, mostly in the leafy surburbs.
The area of the CBD generally referred to as ‘River Road’ also hosts many smaller outlets for producing the videos. Indeed, it is no longer news that porn movies — many of them of poor quality — perhaps in the spirit of ‘devolution’, have for the last few years been produced in various local languages.
But there are others in the high-end market, who supply well-to-do local and international customers. A porn movie producer, who talked to us on condition of anonymity, said the CBK investigator recently paid Sh150,000 down payment for a new camera as demand has been rising. He reveals that in the last four months he has given the top cop Sh140,000 protection money, but he never regrets it.
“One thing I am sure of is that I can never be raided by the cops. As long as he is around, I am safe. The top cop never comes here, but we meet at a club in Westlands,” says the producer.
He says those involved in the business need protection — which cascades to the vendors.
“No vendor will want to sell your wares if they are arrested,” he says.
The producer, in his late 20s, is well groomed and drinks the finest whiskeys. He drives a modest Toyota Alex and intends to import a Mark II before the year ends. His closest friends do not know what he does for a living. They think he is in the ICT business.
“I am an IT graduate. I started shooting porn for fun in campus, and in 2010 I uploaded some videos online just out of mischief. That got me thinking, why can’t I sell porn? It’s a job like any other job, and when the money comes, the petrol station attendant will still fuel my car irrespective of how I made my money,” he said.
Homosexual moviesThe producer said apart from same-sex scenes, there is a high demand for homosexual movies, which sell at double the price (usually Sh1,000). He is, however, not aware of child pornography, which he said is highly secretive.
So lucrative is the illegal porn film industry that the producer said this year he has had to shift from the ‘jua kali production’ and invest in state-of-the-art equipment. He said the local industry has also attracted international talent with a German producer, based at Karen C, said to be the most prolific.
Our source broke down the cost of shooting a porn video. Crews that do not have cameras hire them at Sh7,000 per day and one has to buy tapes at Sh2,000 each. Lights are on average charged at Sh8,000 per day. The male actors are paid between Sh7,000 and Sh10,000 per scene, while the female actors are paid at least Sh5,000. Our source said the male actors are more difficult to find.
The producer we talked to said he makes 80 per cent of his sales online. He also has two websites and one blog where interested buyers send him money through mobile money transfer services. Delivery of the physical DVDs is done by a motorcycle rider while customers upcountry are sent their packages of pleasure through courier.
“I charge Sh500 for normal porn movies, but to have it delivered, you have to send an additional Sh200,” he said.
Porn producers know each other and they usually avoid encroaching on each other’s territory.
“I know about seven other people who do what we do, and we are all competing for the same market. Presently, I have two other producers who use my channels to sell their movies. They are mainly involved in the production and they don’t want to get their hands dirty by engaging in marketing,” he said, but claimed that over the years international porn film producers, mostly on tourist visas, have been making one-off visits to shoot for a few weeks.
On average, he makes up to Sh100,000, after production costs from sales of the movies. In fact, the producer said like a musician who earns royalty, his old movies continue to sustain his profits for years.
Our contacts also led us to some of the porn stars. One of them, nicknamed Karua, who operates in the city centre, has acted in two porn videos. Her housemate, a stripper, has also acted many blue movies.
“I was paid Sh10,000 to act with two men,” she said, adding that she will not mind doing it again, but at a higher rate.
Karua said her stripper housemate was recruited by a white customer for a group sex movie at $200 (Sh16,600)
Weird sex acts“When she came home with the money, the next time she was to go back to the mzungu, I asked if I could come and that was my first movie. Unfortunately, the mzungu was on a short visit and he went back to Europe. I don’t know if he ever sold our videos,” she said.
However, another prostitute in Westlands, who has acted in two porn movies, said some of their white customers have weird demands and usually ask to film sex acts. One of them was a few years ago known to hire prostitutes for his dog at a generous amount — as long as he filmed. Other than prostitutes, university students are also said to be some of the most willing actors of porn films.
As the ongoing case in Mombasa may reveal, Kenya’s connection to the international porn market, be it online or the sale of DVDs offline, appears to be growing.
In August 2011, US authorities indicated that Kenyans were among those involved in an international child pornography syndicate that thrived on the sharing of images over an exclusive members-only internet facility, Dreamboard.
US authorities then described the year long Operation Dalego as one of their biggest moves against child pornography, but the encryption of the site made it impossible to identify all those involved. It is said members shared images of adults sexually abusing children — some of them children.
Nairobi police never opened their own investigations on the syndicate even though the then city police boss Anthony Kibuchi said in August 2011 alone they had arrested at least 10 people over involvement in pornography.
Meanwhile, the sale of Kenyan porn movies appears to have grown from the hawker hiding the discs under less sleazy flicks and showing them to customers selectively, to openly selling them abroad.
Don Ochieng, a Kenyan living in Stuttgart, Germany, said one can rent porn movies supposedly shot in Kenya from adult stores — which are legal in the country.
“Unlike other international blue movies, the camera work is poor and the lighting is bad, but I think people just want to watch what they call ‘native porn’,” he said, adding that producers giving directions to the actors can often be heard speaking in Kiswahili in the background.
Involvement in pornography or the handling of pornographic material is illegal in Kenya. But like prostitution, it continues to thrive.
City porn hotspotsHowever, in the wake of the Mombasa incident, whose connection to the capital have been established, city police have mapped out areas where pornographic activities take place. Our sources indicated that parts of the city centre, Westlands and Hurlingham, host the main spots. So serious is the situation that it came up at a recent security meeting convened by Governor Evans Kidero.
Police say they had information that prominent people frequented brothels where young girls are being exposed to sex, while others are involved in producing pornographic material for commercial use.
“We are organising with the City Inspectorate to raid those brothels. It is something we discussed last week with the Governor, who was concerned,” said Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue.
Police believe some of the residential homes in high-end suburbs have been turned into brothels where unrestrained partying and pornography take place. An officer claimed they are unable to raid such homes for fear of being accused of trespass.
“You need to be armed with a search warrant, which is a tedious process. Unless residents protest, we have no business trying to interfere because you never know who is inside there,” he added.
Know why BCCI loves IPL so much even after the spot-fixing saga
The police grilled the casting director who claimed that he had sent the photographs and profiles of the girls to Sreesanth for an ad film for the cricketer's Hyderabad-based company, S36.
The police, however, are not inclined to believe this story and are probing if the girls were used as conduit to lure players for spot-fixing. They are trying to verify if such e-mails containing photos of models were also sent to other cricketers.
The police are also set to question a Telugu film producer who is said to be Sreesanth's partner in the company.
Sources said a photograph of Sreesanth with bookie Jupiter was also saved in the laptop.
Mumbai's Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Himanshu Roy said: "We have recorded the statement of the casting director who sent e-mails to Sreesanth. The Lokhandwala-based casting director had sent e-mails containing pictures of dozens of wannabe actors-models to Sreesanth."
According to a senior officer of the crime branch, the cricketer's laptop, seized from his hotel room earlier, revealed his e-mail interaction with the casting director.
During questioning, the casting director claimed the photographs were for the purpose of shortlisting the models for advertisements to promote Sreesanth's company.
The company manufactures products such as T-shirts, sports goods and mineral water. It is co-owned by Sreesanth and a well-known Hyderabad-based film producer," said an officer. "The director claimed that he came into contact with the tainted cricketer through the producer and spoke to him only once, on January 1, to wish him for the New Year," the officer added.
The Mumbai crime branch will now summon the film producer to question him on the casting director's claims.
However, many police officers are sceptical if this 'breakthrough' can establish the honeytrap angle in spot-fixing.
"Yes, there are photos of models on Sreesanth's laptop. But that is his life outside the cricket field. Until and unless we can establish a connection with fixing, this information will not be of any use in the larger investigation," said a senior officer, who did not want to be named.
The police on Monday also recorded the statement of the manager of Kerala-based Tamarind Tours and Travels Ltd, which had booked two rooms in a five-star hotel in the BKC area of Mumbai for Sreesanth and his bookie friend Jiju Janardhanan.
Sources said the bookings were made for three days on the instruction of Janardhanan. The total bill amounted to Rs.58,000. The police are yet to verify who paid the bill if it was cleared or whether it still awaiting clearance.
WME Signs Actress Alison Brie
Alison Brie has signed with WME. She was at UTA. Brie currently juggles two series — she is a female lead on NBC’s cult comedy Community, which recently was renewed for a fifth season, and recurs on AMC’s Emmy-winning drama Mad Men. Additionally, Brie stars in the indie Kings Of Summer. She continues to be managed by Scott Fish at Velocity Entertainment Partners and repped by David Weber.
* Guess Alison is finally ready to be a leading lady. Good for her.