Tuesday, February 17, 2009

khmer rouge tribunal: finally started.

I've posted about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal before. The first trial just started. It seems like they're only dealing with procedural issues now, with the substantive legal issues to follow next month. Here are a couple of articles to check out + where to find the official site:

Reuters UK -- http://uk.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUKLNE51F03H20090216

New York Times -- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/world/asia/17cambodia.html?ref=world

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia -- http://www.eccc.gov.kh/english/default.aspx

Needless to say, I'll be keeping a close watch on this one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

my first movie premiere: the international

Nick and I were lucky to be invited to Monday's U.S. premiere (and after-party) for The International, a thriller-action movie starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. We are huge movie junkies, and although we've had the opportunity to attend a number of fun events, this marked our first movie premiere!
After our civilian arrival at the Lincoln Square AMC via the 2 train, we arrived to pandemonium outside. Clive Owen had just walked on to the first (of three) red carpets. There were piles of camera folks + regular folks huddled around the red carpet to catch a glimpse of the celebrities.
Yes, friends and family, Clive Owen is even better looking in person. It is actually possible. Even while we observed him munching on popcorn while waiting for his own movie to start.
Naomi Watts also looked lovely last night. Seeing her reminded me that I'm dying to get a form-fitting menswear inspired suit to wear to nice evening events. If only some vintage YSL could find its way to my closet! Also -- I had a funny run-in with one of her bodyguards inside the theater -- but that's a story for another day.

Other notables on the red carpet include Spike Lee, Salman Rushdie (for you Top Chef fans, he's the ex-Mr. Padma Lakshmi), Michael Stipe, a couple of folks from Law & Order, Olivia Palermo (of The City) and Nicole Miller. There were many models there + other actors too. Quite a crowd! Also, Katrina Bowden (of 30 Rock --- btw, last week's episode was hilarious!) was there -- we had a short conversation that night. I think Nick was most excited about seeing some ESPN anchorperson. I was really pumped about seeing Mr. Rushdie in person (although I still don't think I'll ever fully comprehend The Satanic Verses).
Nick and I couldn't resist and also got our pictures taken. We are clearly amateurs because we didn't bother to take off our heavy winter coats (it was super cold outside!). Yes, Mr. Owen and Ms. Watts are admittedly better at working the carpet than we are. But it's because they have lots of extra practice! : )
At least Spike Lee and Tanya Lewis Lee also wore their coats. Makes me feel less like an amateur. : )

My favorite part was the after-party at the Guggenheim. The best scene of the movie takes place in the museum (albeit a re-created one), and it was fitting to open the place to a private party afterward. There was another red carpet set-up outside of the event, where there were lots of photographers and other folks again. Once we walked inside, we saw piles of goody bags from Thierry Mugler (Naomi Watts is the spokesmodel for one of the house's fragrances), previews of the movie and commercials for the perfume projected on the walls, a great open bar, and many servers with the *best* hors d'oeuvres ever.
The coolest part was the museum itself. The only people in the entire facility were there for the after-party, and they let us all wander freely around the museum.
Nick and I wandered all the way to the top and walked our way down, checking out the art on display. To be honest, I usually don't like much of what I see at the Guggenheim (I'm not much of a modern art gal), but the facility itself is worth the trip.
I did sneak in one picture of a piece (sans flash, of course), largely for Stacey, since she's such a tree-lover! : ) The piece was actually pretty neat. In addition to the pictures above, there was a display of samples taken from the forest in rows of small glass bottles.

Nick and I unintentionally placed ourselves in the area where the director of the movie (Tom Tykwer of Run Lola Run acclaim), as well as the movie's stars were hanging out (honestly, it was only because we had no pretenses of being half as fabulous as others there, so we parked it near where all of the food was exiting the kitchen!). Even though we were close enough that we could hear bits and pieces of their conversations, I wasn't comfortable with approaching them or taking their picture. There were people falling all over themselves to get a picture or somehow catch their attention, and I found all of their efforts really aggressive and annoying. It's one thing to take a picture where folks are on a red carpet, or to do so without getting in someone's face --- it's another thing to push people around and invade someone else's personal space. Made me really think about what famous folks have to deal with 24/7. I know it comes with their territory, but it still makes me feel for them.

We had such a wonderful time. I hope we're invited to attend another one of these things again.

The International opens nationwide this Friday, February 13. It's worth checking out if you like action/thriller type movies. Just spend your money on anything other than that "He's Just Not That Into You" crap!

Update: A friend just called me to tell me to check out these cute interviews that Clive Owen and Naomi Watts did yesterday prior to the premiere. They both focus on family and parenting and are pretty charming! Click on their names to see.

more music: kings of leon, kasey anderson.

Just a quick post I meant to do awhile ago, but never had enough time. I saw a FANTASTIC concert in late January at Madison Square Garden: Kings of Leon. I was apprehensive about seeing them at MSG, since they've never performed at such a large venue in NYC --- they defied my doubts and simply rocked the sold-out venue.
Here's the set-list. A good mix of their older and new stuff:
My Party
Molly's Chambers
Four Kicks
Wasted Time
Sex on Fire
Slow Light So Long
The Bucket
Black Thumbnail
On Call
Use Somebody
Cold Desert

Knocked Up
Charmer I've been an off-and-on listener of KoL for the past few years and really liked only a handful of their songs, but their most recent album ("Only by the Night") is nothing short of amazing. They just pulled together such a sharp, classic rock album. I love it from start to finish. This album, unlike earlier ones, is just much more pulled-together with great hooks. I can't help it: I like a good melody and the latest KoL album is full of 'em.

While I'm on the music front, I'd be amiss to fail to mention Kasey Anderson. He's a friend of mine, and also a very talented musician. He was in town last week to finish up his latest album, "Nowhere Nights" (to be released in the Spring -- don't worry, I'll remind you to buy it when spring rolls around!). Nick and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Kasey and his dad at the ever-so-delicious Corner Bistro (the Bistro Burger is supposed to be great, and I love the McSorley's ale), and also caught Kasey performing at Googie's Lounge (above the Living Room, in the LES).
Unfortunately, my camera doesn't do so well with super-dark rooms! : )

For those of you haven't checked out Kasey's music yet, please do. When you visit his website, you can sample some of his stuff for free. You can also purchase his albums through his website, iTunes, etc., etc. I recommend 'em all, but if you're gonna start with just one, I'd go with "Dead Roses." It's my favorite.