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Category: VES

Gold Derby nuggets: Grammys salute John Lennon | 'Caves of Forgotten Dreams' sneak peek | Lady Gaga leftovers

September 23, 2010 |  6:59 am

John Lennon • In celebration of the 70th birthday of John Lennon, the Grammy Museum is paying tribute to the late singer-songwriter with an extensive exhibit opening Oct. 4.  Among the highlights: Lennon's album of the year for "Double Fantasy"; his "Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band" costume; the typewriter he used to write lyrics early in his career; handwritten song lyrics, including "Imagine" and "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"; and a pair of his signature round, wire-framed eyeglasses. Both as part of the Beatles and during his solo career, Lennon won seven Grammys. In a statement, museum Executive Director Robert Santelli said: "We are privileged and honored to open our newest exhibit, 'John Lennon, Songwriter,' in commemoration of one of the most prolific and profound songwriters of our time. Lennon's songs are as insightful and empowering as ever, and they continue to inspire and change the world. We are grateful to Yoko Ono for choosing the Grammy Museum as a temporary home to display some of these memorable and important pieces that illustrate the breadth of her late husband's extraordinary career." GRAMMY MUSEUM

Lou Lumenick makes this wry observation about the Facebook outage Wednesday: "At one point in 'The Social Network,' Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg proclaims that it would be a disaster if the social networking site he co-founded ever went down. Well, today Center Networks and various other tech and news sites are reporting that Facebook is apparently currently down, at least for many users in the United States and other parts of the world. Maybe it's a PR stunt by Sony -- or maybe Facebook is scrubbing status updates quoting my rave review today." Lou concludes, "Apparently the outage lasted somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours." NEW YORK POST

• Looks like a rematch between "Lost" rivals Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn is set to happen. Josef Adalian reports that NBC has committed to a pilot for a comedic drama that has the pair of Emmy champs playing former black-ops agents. "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams and frequent collaborators Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec ('Alias,' 'Mission: Impossible 4') pitched the idea to the peacock. VULTURE

• In anticipation of the December release of the comedy-drama "I Love You, Phillip Morris," Sasha Stone says the following: "One wonders what Jim Carrey will have to finally do to get an Oscar nomination. Comedic actors have a particularly hard time being taken seriously, though many believe Carrey deserved a nod for 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' or 'The Truman Show.'" AWARDS DAILY

Herzog-cave-tiffPatrick Goldstein reports on the one-week Oscar qualifying run of the 3-D documentary "Caves of Forgotten Dreams" in L.A. last week. As he admits, "I have no idea why docs have to be released so much earlier for Oscar consideration than feature films. But since most academy members aren't thinking Oscar buzz in August, if you want your documentary to qualify for Oscar consideration -- and you aren't ready to release it commercially at that time -- you end up staging a stealth qualifying run, hoping to stay under the media radar until you're ready to have a real commercial release for your film." THE BIG PICTURE

• With his new film "Darling Companion," Lawrence Kasdan is set to complete the trilogy he began with best picture nominee "The Big Chill" in 1983 and continued with "Grand Canyon" in 1991. The director wrote the script with his wife Meg Kasdan (they shared an Oscar nom for "Grand Canyon") and the cast includes Oscar champs Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline. "The film’s storyline follows a woman (Keaton) who takes in a stray dog as a companion to fill the void left by her distracted husband (Kline), only to see him lose the mutt after a wedding at their vacation home in the Rockies. A search for the animal includes several guests and a mysterious young woman." RISKY BUSINESS

Brad Brevet surveys the playing field and says, "It's surprising the number of major Oscar contenders [that] have been seen and with Oscar pundits picking horses a bit too early in this race I think it gives films such as 'Somewhere,' 'True Grit' and 'The Fighter' a lot to look forward to." However, he allows, "As for my pick, right now, I see Tom Hooper's 'The King's Speech' as the one film that's right up the Academy's alley and not only that, it's a great film. In my mind it's the clear front-runner and it still has until December before the Weinstein Co. releases it to theaters. It has Colin Firth coming off a strong performance in last year's 'A Single Man,' a performance I believe should have earned him an Oscar, and one that finds me placing him as my current front-runner for Best Actor. To go along with that, co-star Geoffrey Rush is my Best Supporting Actor front-runner at the moment and David Speidler's script has a good shot at Best Original Screenplay." ROPE OF SILICON

Rich Keller catches up with the players on four-time Emmy drama series champ "The West Wing." As he observes, "The cast members of the award-winning NBC drama, which premiered 11 years ago on Sept. 22, 1999, can't seem to let each other go -- they've often paired up on other shows since the series ended in 2006. Interestingly, many of these pairings have taken place in shows on the USA network. Maybe it's due to the drama's huge cast of regulars and recurring characters, the stranglehold NBC Universal had on these actors, or the fact that they all liked working with each other." TV SQUAD

Lady Gaga MTV VMAsLady Gaga certainly turned heads at the recent MTV VMAs as she strutted on stage with cuts of beef draped over her frame to accept one of her eight awards. Now, word comes that this fashion and political statement could be turned into a tasty treat. The designer, Franc Fernandez, shared the fate of the meat dress with Leslie Gornstein: "The dress will go through a process where it becomes a sort of 'jerky' and will be archived." E ONLINE

• The Emerging Cinematographers Guild Awards take place Sunday at the Directors Guild Theater and will feature a screening of the short films being honored. Honorees include Tod Campbell ("The Big Bends"), Cameron Duncan ("Mr Marceau"), Stephanie Dufford ("The Fantastic Magnifico"), Patrick Jones ("Android Love"), Rodney Lamborn ("Meridian"), Jacob Pinger ("The Cycle"), John Snedden ("Brite Eyes") and Brian Udoff ("Les Mouches"). ECA

• The Visual Effects Society has named stop-motion model animator Ray Harryhausen ("The 7th Voyage of Sinbad") as the recipient of the lifetime achievement award to be presented at the ninth annual kudos on Jan. 28. Said VES Chair Jeffrey A. Okun, "Ray has long been the light that we have followed into this business. His artistic vision and ability to use the art and science of storytelling of fantastic tales has been done in a manner that has drawn not just the audience into his magical worlds, but all of us into this business. I cannot stress strongly enough the beacon he is to all of us who aspire to tell stories using visual effects to create the world in which the story is told. Ray is simply an amazing individual who is also so giving of his time, secrets and enthusiasm. We are honored to be able to shine that light back on him!" VES

Top photo: John Lennon in 1974. Credit: Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times.

Middle photo: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" promotional still. Credit: IFC Films.

Bottom photo: Lady Gaga at the MTV VMAs. Credit: MTV.

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'Avatar' sweeps VES Awards

March 1, 2010 |  6:11 am

Avatar Poster "Avatar" won six of the seven races in which it was contending at the eighth annual Visual Effects Society awards fest Sunday, including the VES equivalent of a best picture race -- visual effects in a visual-effects-driven feature motion picture. That haul ties "Avatar" with "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" for second place while "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" still reigns supreme with seven awards.

"Avatar" won five of its six other categories, including one of its three bids in creative environment in a feature, one of its two noms for visual effect of the year and its single entries for animated character in a live-action feature, matte paintings in a feature, and models and miniatures in a feature. "Avatar" lost both bids in compositing in a feature category to "District 9."

In the top race, "Avatar" edged out its visual-effects Oscar competitors "District 9" and "Star Trek" as well as "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "2012." Last year, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" won the top prize with both the VES and the Oscars. However, in 2007, top VES winner "Transformers" lost the visual-effects Oscar to "The Golden Compass." Over the first five years of the VES kudos, the winners matched four times -- in 2006 ("Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"), 2005 ("King Kong"), 2003 ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King") and 2002 ("The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"). In 2004, the VES chose "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," and the Oscar went to "Spider-Man 2."

"Avatar" director James Cameron was feted with a lifetime achievement award during the ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. The awards will air March 5 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on Reelz Channel. For the full list of winners, visit the VES website.

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Image: "Avatar" poster. Credit: Fox

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