- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2005

Disturbing ‘Days’

Gus Van Sant thinks Courtney Love should think twice before seeing his film “Last Days,” a fictional reflection on her rocker husband Kurt Cobain’s life.

“I’m not positive how she’d react,” Mr. Van Sant told Reuters News Agency. “I think it might be too close. She has lived the story, so it might be too difficult. I don’t think it would be entertainment for her or an interesting subject. But she has asked about the film. She’s curious about it.”

Grating Dane

Danish director Lars von Trier is afraid of flying, so he has never been to the United States, but that hasn’t stopped him from making severely critical films about life here.

His latest, “Manderlay,” an alternative history in which slavery still exists in the U.S. in 1933, won thunderous cheers after its premiere at the Cannes film festival.

“We are all under the influence — and it’s a very bad influence — from America,” the 49-year-old director told Associated Press. “In my country, everything has to do with America. America is kind of sitting on the world.

“America has to do with 60 percent of my brain and all things I experience in my life, and I’m not happy about that,” Mr. von Trier continued. “I’d say 60 percent of my life is American, so I am in fact an ‘American,’ too. But I can’t go there and vote or change anything there. That is why I make films about America.”

Buried treasure

A trove of 32 previously unknown works by abstract art icon Jackson Pollock has been discovered by a family friend, who said he would like them to tour internationally and be studied by art historians.

Alex Matter, a filmmaker who knew Mr. Pollock from childhood, told Reuters the collection was among the possessions of his late parents, who were long associated with Mr. Pollock and wife Lee Krasner.

Mr. Matter said that when he stumbled on the soot-covered artworks two years ago, they had been wrapped in brown paper since 1958.

Their first home was a Manhattan boiler room. For nearly 30 years after that, they lay in a warehouse in East Hampton, Long Island, not far from where Mr. Pollock kept a studio and was killed in a car crash in 1956.

The works included 22 of the artist’s drip paintings and two enamels on paper, Mr. Matter said. The rest, all on board, are unfinished and experimental works.

Lucas strikes back

Those who fear that the latest “Star Wars” installment, “Revenge of the Sith,” is, in part, an anti-Bush allegory, have what appears to be confirmation from the man himself.

Writer-director George Lucas reminded reporters at Cannes that the original “Star Wars” was written at the end of the Nixon presidency and the Vietnam War, an era that, Mr. Lucas believes, seems to be repeating itself.

“The issue was, how does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship?” he said, according to the English-language Web site Japan Today.

“When I wrote it, [the controversy over the war in] Iraq didn’t exist … but the parallels of what we did in Vietnam and Iraq are unbelievable.”

He fears the United States is going the way of his fictional republic — toward empire.

“As you go through history, I didn’t think it was going to get this close,” he said. “I hope this doesn’t come true in our country.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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