You'll find many a statue outside of football grounds in London. My beloved Chelsea FC added a Peter Osgood statue earlier this season. Fulham just got a new statue outside of Craven Cottage, but it's not of a player, or an owner, or anything related to football really. No, their new statue is of...Michael Jackson. And, according to the owner, fans who don't like it can "go to hell."
One of baseball's all-time great pitchers, Bob Feller, died this morning. He was also one of my favorite players ever, an amazing athlete who went straight to the big leagues at age 17, won 107 games by 22, then volunteered for WWII the day after Pearl Harbor and served in combat during what would have been the four peak years of his career. He probably would have won 100 games and thrown a couple no-hitters during those years, but he said winning the war was more important. He was also vigorous and sharp as a tack until the end - a great interview and constant presence at Cleveland Indians games. Simply one of a kind. RIP.
Update: Very good interview with Bob Feller, conducted not too long ago.
Unfortunately no, the actor Leslie Nielsen died yesterday. But stop calling me Shirely...
Not to be disrepectful, but I think he would have wanted it this way. He never seemed to take life too seriously. He was primarily a TV actor until he landed roles in several Abrahams-Zucker late 70s- early 80s movies, which showed he was a master of deadpan humor. My favorite remains the short-lived Police Squad! TV series, which later morphed into the Naked Gun movies. RIP.
What a strange experience...my weekly Movie Update e-mail from the New York Times brings the news that Director George Hickenlooperdied a few days ago. I went to high school with George and, while we weren't really friends, we knew and were cordial with each other, and I followed his film career with interest. He directed a mix of documentaries and features. His best-regarded film was the 1991 documentary Hearts of Darkness, about the making of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. It is an outstanding movie (it was first shown on Showtime, and won an Emmy) , with much more drama than your typical documentary. A couple years later, he directed the short "Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade," from a script written by his friend, the then-unknown actor Billy Bob Thorton. Thorton of course starred in the feature adaptation of this short, which launched him into stardom, but apparently cut Hickenlooper out of any role in the full-length movie.
One interesting thing about Hickenlooper's work was the occassional focus on music. He directed Mayor of the Sunset Strip, a strange-than-fiction documentary about the life of uber-music fan Rodney Bingenheimer. If you love music and haven't seen it, put it on your Netflix queue - it's terrific. He also directed Factory Girl, a fictionalized portrait of Edie Sedgwick and her involvement in Andy Warhol's "Factory" scene. The movie was almost universally panned, and it wasn't stellar, but I still enjoyed the way it portrayed the rivalry between Warhol and Bob Dylan. Another interesting tidbit about George is that he made a documentary about his cousin John, who was then the Mayor of Denver and now the Governor of Colorado.
In sum, an interesting and eclectic figure, and one of the few directors to make a career switching between documentaries and feature films. RIP.