- - Sunday, October 7, 2012

It’ll be springtime for Mel Brooks when the American Film Institute presents him with its highest honor, the Life Achievement Award.

The writer and director of comedy classics including “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” and “History of the World: Part I” will receive the award at a gala tribute next June, AFI announced Friday.

The 86-year-old Mr. Brooks is the 41st recipient of the honor, which has gone to Hollywood legends including Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Morgan Freeman. He’s one of only 14 people to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

The AFI ceremony will air in late June on TNT and Turner Classic Movies.

Railroad Revival Tour featuring Nelson canceled

The Railroad Revival Tour has run off the tracks.

The cross-country tour featuring Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Band of Horses and John C. Reilly has been canceled by organizers.

A note on the tour’s website says “certain complications would not permit us to host the shows in the manner intended,” but gave no further details.

The eight-stop tour in vintage railcars was expected to start Oct. 20 in Duluth, Ga., and conclude Oct. 28 in Oakland, Calif. Full ticket refunds are being given.

Emails sent to organizers were not immediately answered.

This would have been the second Railroad Revival Tour. The first, featuring Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, was chronicled in the documentary “Big Easy Express.”

Garth Brooks to end 3-year run in Las Vegas

Garth Brooks is ending his run in Las Vegas.

The country music superstar will play six more dates this fall at Wynn Las Vegas, concluding the three-year run Nov. 16-17.

Mr. Brooks slipped out of retirement to take the gig in 2009. It came with the gift of a jet from Steve Wynn.

The 50-year-old performer says in a news release he “thoroughly enjoyed” the shows and called Mr. Wynn “the easiest and best boss I have ever worked for.” The news release says he plans to film the one-man show next summer.

Mr. Brooks will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Oct. 21 in Nashville, Tenn.

‘Sopranos’ creator Chase premieres ‘Not Fade Away’

David Chase has returned with his first work since “The Sopranos” went black.

The director premiered his debut film, “Not Fade Away,” at the New York Film Festival on Friday ahead of its red carpet gala Saturday. The ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll drama is his long-awaited follow-up to the venerated HBO mob drama he created and produced for six seasons.

The film is set around a suburban teenager (John Magaro) in New Jersey whose garage band aspires to be the next Rolling Stones, an ambition at odds with his traditional Italian father (former “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini).

In a news conference at Lincoln Center, Mr. Chase called the film, soundtracked by his favorite rock songs, “a compilation album.”

“In ‘The Sopranos,’ one of my favorite parts of that — or maybe my favorite part of that whole thing — was putting the picture and the sound together, putting the music in,” Mr. Chase said. “I wanted to continue that. I missed that once I was gone.”

The film, which Paramount Vantage will release on Dec. 21, is about the revolutionary advent of rock ‘n’ roll, told not through its famous players but, as Mr. Chase said, from “the backstage” perspective — the regular suburban children inspired and moved by its spirit.

“I don’t want to get into this thing, like I’m bragging about the ‘60s,” he said. “But the one thing I have to say: The music was great. … Music was, at the time, a way into everything, at least for me and for a lot of people I knew, too. That’s the way I first learned about art and poetry and fashion, humor, film. It all came from there.”

The 67-year-old Mr. Chase has long aspired to make a feature film. His “Sopranos,” which concluded in 2007, was imbued with movielike storytelling that significantly raised the bar for television drama. “Not Fade Away,” while of very different and more tender substance, shares many unmistakable elements of “The Sopranos,” particularly the familiar swirl of family tension, pop culture, philosophy and suburban life.

Though Mr. Chase said the film is very personal to him, he insisted it wasn’t autobiographical.

Compiled from wire reports

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