The new moral Oscars...
The new TV Week Logie Awards voting...
And a new home for Alex...? (Aussie pride made me post this)
A conservative US filmmaker, angered by the awards success of films such as the gay drama Brokeback Mountain, launched today a rival cinema prize to honour American "moral" values.
In a year where films starring homosexual or transgender characters or those dealing with thorny political issues such as US oil interests in the Persian Gulf are dominating Hollywood's awards season, right-wing film industry figures are hitting back at what they say is a vacuum of morality in Tinseltown.
Former dot-com entrepreneur turned movie producer Michael Class is calling on conservative media groups to support his American Values Awards for Movies and Television.
"I want media leaders with a sense of patriotism and respect for family to join with me to turn the American Values Awards into a high-profile event," he said.
This year's Oscars race is led by Brokeback and also features Capote, the story of gay US author Truman Capote, and Transamerica, about a man in the process of undergoing a sex change.
In addition, two politically-charged dramas starring George Clooney are also competing for awards gold.
Good Night, And Good Luck, the Clooney-directed story of US newsman Ed Murrow's fight against the right-wing communist witch-hunt of the 1950s, and Syriana, about US oil interests in the Middle East.
"Skip Syriana, Munich, and Brokeback Mountain unless your only criterion for seeing a movie is aesthetic merit," said Class, referring also to Steven Spielberg's contentious Middle East violence thriller Munich.
"They are morally confused -- I don't want my kids seeing them," Class added.
"Syriana blames America for terrorism. Munich confuses justice with vengeance. Brokeback Mountain? What's positive about a film whose main character's sexual behaviour destroys a family?," he said.
Instead of the awards frontrunners, Class, head of a tiny independent studio called Magic Picture Frame Studio, applauded the values of films including Cinderella Man, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Star Wars: Episode III and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Also honoured by the new awards were The Great Raid, the story of US heroism during World War II, End of the Spear, about religion and the British film Millions, about a family that ends up doing the right thing after finding stolen loot.
Cinderella Man, starring Russell Crowe, is the saga of a depression-era US boxer overcoming adversity, while Harry Potter and Star Wars are tales about good versus evil, according to Class.
FOR the first time in the Logie Awards' 48-year history, the Gold Logie winner will be decided not just by TV Week readers, but by the general public.
After the nominees are announced in April, people will be able to vote for the most popular Australian personality on TV via SMS or 1900 number - without having to buy TV Week - right up until Logies night, which is on May 7.
Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos To Move To Sydney?
Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos spent some time in Sydney last week, and said he enjoyed his stay in the inner east suburb of Darlinghurst so much that he'd consider living there. Alex, who hit town ahead of his band's national tour as part of the Big Day Out juggernaut, also hopped on a bike to check out some of Sydney's beaches, and hung out with fruit bats at the Botanical Gardens.
"Staying (in Darlinghurst) made me want to live there, to have a veranda full of prehistoric looking plants, to pop out each morning for a Flat White and a copy of the Sydney Morning Herald, to sit back in the evening and watch the wild cockatoos and fruit bats fly overhead," wrote the Scottish star in his online blog.
"Australia and New Zealand do seem to have taken a lot of the better elements of UK and US life and shifted them around the globe. As you walk around, it feels that the general quality of life is higher - the fruit seems juicier, the sun seems shinier, there's an unobtrusive positivity about the place."
Describing Darlinghurst as a "vibrant and exciting area", Alex also explored the rest of the city on a bike he picked up from a second hand store, and hit Tamarama, Bronte and Bondi beaches - not without a little pain for his efforts though. The backs of his hands got so sunburned that they looked like "shanks of Parma Ham"!
Check out what else Alex, Paul, Bob and Nick have been up to while on tour in their online blog at franzferdinand.co.uk.
The men of Franz kicked off the Australian leg of their tour in style on the weekend, with a stellar performance at the Gold Coast Big Day Out that saw them rip out tracks from both their debut self-titled album and newie 'You Could Have It So Much Better'. Last year's JJJ Hottest 100 winner 'Take Me Out' would have raised the roof if there was one, and 'Michael' was awesome. Highlights from 'YCHISMB' included 'Walk Away', and this year's Hottest 100 contender, 'Do You Want To'.