- The Washington Times - Monday, December 5, 2005

Turning up the heat

Denzel Washington ponied up $25,000 for a program that helps the needy in Rocky Mount, N.C., pay their heating bills.

The gift by the 50-year-old actor, announced Sunday at an event at North Carolina Wesleyan College, is believed to be the largest gift in the 19-year history of the Winter Assistance for Rocky Mount program, according to Associated Press.

Officials said the donation resulted from Mr. Washington’s friendship with Rocky Mount native Herman Boone, whom Mr. Washington played in the 2000 movie “Remember the Titans,” based on Mr. Boone’s experience as the football coach of newlyintegrated T.C. Williams High School.

‘Munich’ musings

Steven Spielberg has big hopes for his latest film “Munich,” which centers on the aftermath of the killings of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Germany.

“I don’t think any movie or any book or any work of art can solve the stalemate in the Middle East today,” Mr. Spielberg tells Time magazine in its Dec. 12 issue. “But it’s certainly worth a try.”

In “Munich,” Eric Bana (“Troy”) stars as a Mossad agent who leads a secret Israeli squad assigned to assassinate 11 Palestinians suspected of planning the killings.

“We don’t demonize our targets,” Mr. Spielberg insists. “They’re individuals. They have families. Although what happened in Munich, I condemn.”

Mr. Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner would not reveal the identity of the man Mr. Bana portrays, whom they interviewed at length.

“There is something about killing people at close range that is excruciating,” Mr. Spielberg says. “It’s bound to try a man’s soul.”

Civil ceremony

Singer Elton John will “wed” longtime partner David Furnish at the same venue where Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles in April in the royal town of Windsor.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead announced yesterday that the celebrity couple would formalize their 12-year relationship through a civil partnership ceremony Dec. 21 at the Guildhall, Windsor, according to Reuters news agency.

Yesterday was the first day same-sex couples could register their partnership in Britain and take advantage of a law giving them legal status, although they must wait two weeks for it to take effect.

Maestro moving on

Riccardo Muti, who resigned as music director of Milan’s La Scala opera house amid a personnel dispute in April, said he’s not angry and has “closed that page of my life,” the Italian newspaper La Stampa reported.

“I don’t want to bother them and ruin the party they are preparing so carefully at La Scala,” Mr. Muti told the newspaper.

When Daniel Harding conducts Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” it will be the first time in 19 years the house will open without Mr. Muti, according to the opera house’s Web site.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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