Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Papal boost

The death of Pope John Paul II is doing wonders for one of the Catholic Church’s least favorite novelists, “The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown.

Mr. Brown’s “Angels and Demons,” a thriller that includes purported details on the conclave — the secret gathering of cardinals that picks the next pope — has seen a “significant” increase in sales, according to publisher Simon & Schuster.

The conclave to choose John Paul II’s successor is scheduled to begin Monday.

“We attribute the increased sales to interest in the cardinals’ conclave,” Simon & Schuster spokesman Adam Rothberg told Associated Press.

Pope in song

In more papal news, Washington National Opera General Director Placido Domingo wants to sing poetry written by the recently deceased pontiff, which is of “great literary value,” he told Spanish daily ABC yesterday.

“I’ve asked my son Placido, who is a composer, to write a musical score for lyrics based on the verse of John Paul II,” he said.

“I hope we will be able to make use of [the poems] very soon,” the superstar tenor added.

Mr. Domingo said he was a great admirer of the late pontiff, for whom he performed three times.

Cowboy Kiefer

“24” star Kiefer Sutherland says that after he made 1994’s “The Cowboy Way,” roping herds of livestock and competing in rodeos was virtually all he did.

“I needed to take time off. I was doing awful films, and I just needed to stop,” Mr. Sutherland told Cowboys and Indians magazine for its June issue.

“I’d been roping since I was 20, since ‘Young Guns.’ I had learned enough to be on the cusp of knowing that if I pushed it a little further, I could really do it.”

According to the magazine, Mr. Sutherland owns a herd of 500 cow-calf pairs.

The bright side

Hayden Christensen isn’t worried he’ll get typecast the way Darth Vader’s two children did.

“I haven’t had that problem so far,” Mr. Christensen told AP. Since being cast as Anakin Skywalker, the future Vader, he has starred in two smaller character pieces, “Life as a House” and “Shattered Glass,” and an upcoming adaptation of Boccaccio’s “The Decameron.”

Mr. Christensen figures times have changed since the original “Star Wars” trilogy, which hampered the careers of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher because they were so inextricably associated with the movie villain’s children, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

“The whole typecast thing” is “dated,” he said.

“I think 20 years ago, 30 years ago, there was only one blockbuster that came out every few years, and so audiences got such a strong association with the actor and the role in the film. Now, there’s four or five a summer.”

Documenting Marty

Oscar-cursed director Martin Scorsese was in Durham, N.C., last weekend for the Full Frame Film Festival, which paid tribute to Italian documentary filmmaker Vittorio De Seta.

During a Q&A with festivalgoers, Mr. Scorsese revealed details of upcoming work of his own.

The director said he plans to make a documentary film about Bob Dylan and the commercialization of folk music.

Also, in two weeks he will begin production on his next feature movie, “The Departed,” starring (surprise) Leonardo DiCaprio as a Boston police officer who infiltrates Irish-American gangs.

“This is the first present-day film I’ve made in 20 years,” Mr. Scorsese told AP.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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