I Put a Spell on You, Because You’re Mine

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1929-2000) may well have been a man born ahead of his time. His best known song, I Put A Spell On You, recorded in 1956 when he was drunk and in a blackout, sold more than a million copies. This is the perfect theme song for the second term of the Pop-Culture President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama:

I put a spell on you
’cause you’re mine

You better stop the things you do
I ain’t lyin’
No I ain’t lyin’

Screamin Barack Hussein Obama

Screamin Barack Hussein Obama

When Barack Obama first ran for President in 2008, unlike Screamin Jay Hawkins, he was a man without a record. Now, of course, he has a record. It’s an abysmal one. But for some reason, a majority of voters decided to give this man another shot. (And you gotta love the way Barack Hussein Obama pronounces the word “shot” with his Chicago accent. He was fond of electioneering on the basis that he was the One who would give everyone a “fair shot.” Unless of course you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, an investor, a Medicare recipient, a Christian, an hourly wage earner, a coal miner…. Well, maybe it’s not exactly fair, but you do get a shot if you are in certain labor unions, or if you want someone else to pay for your birth control and abortions. That’s not just me talking. No. It’s that straw man. You know. The one over there.)

Speaking of the straw man, there is another character from The Wizard of Oz who bears a striking resemblance to the leader of the Free World. It’s not just me saying it:

Apologies to Margaret Hamilton

Witch is the Real Obama?

Does this man look angry a lot? Other people have noticed. Haven’t you? And how’s this for a coincidence? The Leader of the Western World and the Wicked Witch of the West are in practically the same pose. What are the odds?

And here they go again:

Wicked Witch of the West & Leader of the Western World

Wicked Witch of the West & Leader of the Western World

I don’t know about you, but so far this week I have watched a lot less Fox News and a whole lot more reruns of The Big Bang Theory.

No one is recommending that you stay drunk and in a blackout for the next four years. But maybe listening to that great recording by Screamin Jay Hawkins will lift your spirits, if only for a couple of minutes.

Have a nice day.


Zeffirelli and Bocelli Pay Tribute to Rome

Franco Zeffirelli’s Omaggio a Roma (Tribute to Rome) premieres this week at the 4th Rome International Film Festival.

In the 20-minute film, Monica Bellucci performs the role of Tosca and Andrea Bocelli is featured in the role of Mario Cavaradossi.

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October 16, 2009: Franco Zeffirelli and Andrea Bocelli at press conference for Omaggio a Roma

American movies in the film festival lineup include the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man, Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, and James Ivory’s The City of Your Final Destination.

Sulkin, Soccer & Cyrus: Let the Games Begin

British actor Gregg Sulkin, 17, is not only the teen-dream boyfriend of superstar Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana; he is also a terrific soccer player. He is in Israel competing in the 2009 Maccabiah Games as a member of the British soccer team.

This is Gregg Sulkin’s second trip to Israel. His first trip to the country was for his bar mitzvah, which was held at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. He told the Jerusalem Post, “I love how united Israel is as a country, as a family,” joking that “the weather here is so much better than in London.”

After the games, Mr. Sulkin will go to Los Angeles to pursue acting, his other passion. The young man has appeared on television and in the film Sixty Six, with Helena Bonham Carter. An autobiographical film, it is based on the real-life bar mitzvah of the film’s director Paul Weiland. It is about a boy (played by Gregg Sulkin), about to have his bar mitzvah in London in 1966, against the backdrop of the World Cup finals. That was the year that England hosted the games, achieving their first and only win.

See Also:
Miley Cyrus’s boyfriend: Maccabiah, then Hollywood [Jerusalem Post; July 20, 2009]
How do you say Hannah Montana in Hebrew? [21c Israelity Blog; July 21, 2009]

Hollywood Walk of Fame 2010

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce released the names of the 28 celebrities who will be honored with a pink terrazzo five-pointed star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010, the Walk’s 50th anniversary.

The 2010 Hollywood Walk of Fame recipients are:

  • Motion Pictures:
    James Cameron, Russell Crowe, John Cusack, Colin Firth, Gale Anne Hurd, Alan Menken, Randy Newman, Adam Sandler, Emma Thompson and Mark Wahlberg
  • Television:
    Chris Berman, Jon Cryer, Peter Graves, Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Maher, and Sam Waterston
  • Recording:
    Bryan Adams, The Funk Brothers, Alan Jackson, Chaka Khan, Van Morrison, Marco Antonio Solis, Ringo Starr, ZZ Top and posthumously Roy Orbison
  • Live Performance/Theatre:
    Andrea Bocelli and Cirque Du Soleil/Guy Laliberte

Cannes Snubs Ken Loach

The headline of a May 25, 2009, BBC News report about the Cannes Film Festival is: Violence dominates at Cannes. The article makes note that the award-winning films this year graphically portray rape, torture and gore. In fact Charlotte Gainsbourg won the prize for best actress for her role in Danish director Lars von Trier’s Antichrist. In that film, there is an explicit portrayal of genital mutilation. It is reported that the shocking scene will be excised prior to the movie’s commercial release.

One movie snubbed by the jurors is Looking for Eric by British director Ken Loach. Mr. Loach is a pro-Palestinian activist who recently called for the boycott of the Edinburgh Film Festival in Scotland because of a grant from the Israeli Embassy. The festival organizers returned the money to the Israelis. The grant money was to be used to defray the travel expenses of Israeli film director Tali Shalom-Ezer.

Mr. Loach has defended anti-Semitism as “not surprising” and “understandable.” Ms. Shalom-Ezer accused Mr. Loach of “racism.”

Generalizing all citizens of Israel as warmongers and racists is racism and outrageous, and as members of the peace camp we are personally hurt by it,” said Ms. Shalom-Ezer.

Ron Prosor, the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, said, “Rather than encourage an open dialogue through cultural exchange, the festival is promoting bigotry by denying the British public the opportunity to hear all points of view.”

See Also:
Edinburgh Film Festival Snubs Israeli Grant [Art2u Art.Right.; May 22, 2009]
UK festival rejects Israeli funding after pro-Palestinian pressure [Jerusalem Post; May 21, 2009]

Edinburgh Film Festival Snubs Israeli Grant

A £300 grant from the Israeli embassy was returned by the Endinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) in response to pressure from prominent anti-Israel British film director Ken Loach, who urged “all who might consider visiting the festival to show their support for the Palestinian nation and stay away.” The grant was to be used to pay the travel expenses from Israel to Scotland for Tali Shalom-Ezer, a graduate of Tel Aviv University, whose film is scheduled to be screened at the event.

“By banning the Israeli Embassy from supporting a filmmaker, the festival is helping to exclude Israelis from British cultural life, something that is clearly unfair,” said Lord Janner of Braunstone, a Labour party member of the House of Lords. Lord Janner is the former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body of British Jewry. He is also the Founder and President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council and the Inter-Parliamentary Council Against Antisemitism.

Sir Jeremy Isaacs, former CEO of Channel Four, said, “I have admired the Edinburgh International Film Festival for many years and would like to think that this appalling decision will be rescinded.”

When the United Arab Emirates refused a visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer, preventing her participation in Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, the Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon took a stand and refused to broadcast the event. “This is an easy decision to come by, based on what is right and wrong,” he said. “Sports are about merit, absent of background, class, race, creed, color or religion. They are simply about talent. This is a classic case, not about what country did what to another country. If the state of Israel were barring a citizen of an Arab nation, we would have made the same decision.”

While movies often have political themes, Ms. Shalom-Ezer’s film, Surrogate, does not. It is a romance set in a sex clinic. Like Mr. Solomon, the board members of the EIFF should have taken a position against a bullying manifestation of bigotry.

At least they are making a proper gesture. A spokesman for the EIFF said that the festival will pay Ms. Shalom-Ezer’s travel expenses.

See Also:
The Edinburgh Bigotry Festival [Spectator.co.uk; Melanie Phillips; May 21, 2009]
Edinburgh film festival bows to pressure from Ken Loach over Israeli boycott [Times Online; May 20, 2009]