- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Jude and Vic

Academy Award-nominated actor Jude Law is on a mission to save the Young Vic, the London theater where he first aspired to an acting career.

Yesterday, Mr. Law helped kick off a campaign to raise $4.5 million to renovate the decaying, 34-year-old venue, according to Associated Press.

“I remember coming here 15 years ago to see a production of ‘Othello’ and being so moved at the experience of being in such close proximity to the actors,” he told reporters.

“It was a really important part of the dream that I had to become an actor,” he said. “To see a performance of such extraordinary theater so close at hand taught me how enjoyable it could be, not only to be an audience member, but to be a performer.”

Oscar and Costello

For a guy who once treated television like a substitute teacher, Elvis Costello is warming up to the medium.

The recently married Mr. Costello is nominated for an Academy Award for his song “Scarlet Tide” from the film “Cold Mountain,” and he will perform it at the televised Feb. 29 ceremony along with singer Alison Krauss and the Sacred Harp Singers.

“I’m delighted to be there and delighted to be a part of it,” Mr. Costello told Associated Press. “Some part of you hopes a song endures and has a life beyond the way it sits in the film. I know I’ll sing it for the rest of my days.”

Back in 1977, Mr. Costello was less inclined to the camera. As a last-minute replacement for the Sex Pistols on “Saturday Night Live,” he began, as planned, with the song “Less Than Zero.” Then he stopped his band and began playing “Radio Radio,” which was unreleased at the time.

Producer Lorne Michaels reportedly was so angry he banned Mr. Costello from the show until 1989.

Fightin’ words

Whatever you do, don’t call it a sequel.

At the Berlin Film Festival yesterday, director Richard Linklater (“Dazed and Confused”) was touting “Before Sunset,” a “continuation” of his 1995 film “Before Sunrise.”

“The term ‘sequel’ has weird connotations,” Mr. Linklater told reporters, according to Reuters News Agency. “‘Sequel’ means ‘economic interest,’ and are often done a year or two after the original.

“This obviously wasn’t the case,” he added. “We did it for personal reasons. We had been talking about it since wrapping up ‘Before Sunrise.’ We finally got serious three or four years ago. It was only a matter of when and how.”

“Sunset” catches up with stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Paris as they rekindle the improbable romance they began and quickly ended in the Vienna of “Sunrise.”

U2 in gear

U2 fans, rejoice.

After months of rumors, Bono and company are set to begin work next week on a new album that will see them reunite with their original producer, Steve Lillywhite.

“It’s the first time I’ll have gone in to actually start a record with them in 20 years,” Mr. Lillywhite told Billboard magazine.

“I worked on ‘The Joshua Tree,’ ‘Achtung Baby’ and ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind,’ but this will be the first time I’ve really set up the mikes and done everything for a long time.”

Mr. Lillywhite’s relationship with the band dates to its first two albums, 1980’s “Boy” and 1981’s “October.” On later efforts, his duties were limited to mixing and, on 2000’s “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” a cryptic “additional production” credit.

Plea for ‘Passion’

Mel Gibson spoke to a live audience of 3,800 invited guests at Azusa Pacific University in California last weekend, beaming via satellite to gatherings across the country to encourage ministers and churchgoers to support his controversial movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which opens a week from today.

According to reports in newspapers from Arizona to Mississippi, Mr. Gibson stressed that the movie is about redemption and forgiveness — despite widespread concerns that it will spark anti-Semitic feelings in its viewers.

“It’s absolutely not about the blame game,” Mr. Gibson said. “Christ doesn’t want it to be about that.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from wire and Web reports.

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