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23,000 dolphins slaughtered each year in hidden COVE in Japan. In US? $1500-3500 reward to get the one who killed a dolphin

deep cuts: whalers peel back a layer of fat, or blubber, before harvesting the meat underneath on July 30 in Wada Port

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2009 documentary The Cove.
For nearly 10 years, Ric O'Barry trained dolphins playing "Flipper" on the popular '60s TV show, and, in the process, popularized dolphins as entertainment. For the last 35 years, he's tried to undo all of that. Wherever dolphins are held captive, O'Barry is there -- protesting, cutting nets and getting arrested. He's a longtime critic of Florida attractions that feature captive dolphins, including Key Biscayne's Seaquarium, "like these dolphins volunteered to be in this concrete box."

His biggest splash may be the new documentary The Cove, a nail-biting film about dolphin slaughter in Japan. The movie, opening Friday in South Florida, has snagged a slew of festival awards, including the Sundance Audience Award, and has created Oscar buzz in its wake.

Greenpeace campaigners caught up with Japan’s whaling fleet; inset: Iceland and Norway recently began exporting whale meat for sale in Japan

O'Barry, 69, of Coconut Grove, leads an unusual cast of daredevils to a secluded cove in Taiji on Japan's coast. Here, capturing and killing dolphins is legal. But trespassing isn't.  read more »

Charm of Diplomacy. Remembers trio who ended Afghan war: Joanne Herring, Charlie Wilson, Avrakotos ("Charlie Wilson's War")

Joanne Herring in Afghanistan with the mujahideen

History won’t forget each one who deploys diplomacy rather than weaponry to end war which inevitably imposes tremendous suffering on humanity. History remembers that a team of three once did the impossible, ending the Afghan war, ending misery of refugees due to war. The trio also won "Charlie Wilson's War" (a movie based on the true story stars Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson), Julia Roberts (Joanne Herring) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Gust Avrakotos).

Charlie Wilson's War (2007) starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on George Crile's book Charlie Wilson's War

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Charles Wilson  read more »

Even in DNA age we still believe in Sherlock Holmes, world's most celebrated detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle

John Barrymore as Sherlock Holmes and Roland Young as Dr. Watson in 1922 version

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Last weekend saw the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the world's most celebrated fictional detective. So what's kept him at the top for 122 years?

In 1887, appearing in print for the first time, Sherlock Holmes set out his purpose in life. The declaration in "A Study in Scarlet" would also come to dictate much of the subsequent career of Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle - not always to his pleasure. "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colorless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it." He went on to define the archetype of the brilliant but troubled detective. Even today the character of Holmes defines what we expect of great fictional detectives. We want them to accept that "duty" to do good - but also to be personally flawed.

John Barrymore as Sherlock Holmes and Roland Young as Dr. Watson in 1922 version

The 28 year-old author wasn't the first to spot the narrative potential of an incisive but troubled detective. Conan Doyle himself acknowledged the influence of Edgar Allan Poe's Auguste Dupin and of Lecoq, created by the now largely forgotten Emile Gaboriau. But almost every fictional detective stands in Holmes' shadow - from Kurt Wallander back to Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe. Chandler once wrote: "Sherlock Holmes is mostly an attitude and a few dozen lines of unforgettable dialogue." This may or may not have been a compliment.  read more »

"Up" by Disney/Pixar becomes the first animated movie ever to open the Cannes Film Festival (2009)

The 62nd Cannes International Film Festival runs May 13 through May 25. The Disney/Pixar film ‘Up' is the first animated film ever chosen to open the festival

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The tenth Pixar movie, "Up", has the honor of being the first animated picture ever to open a Cannes festival. Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) is a 78-year-old widower who has always longed to visit the mythical lost worlds of South America. When developers conspire to pack him off to a nursing home, he ties up thousands of balloons to the roof of his house and flies away to fulfill that dream. Alongside him, rather unexpectedly, is an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai), a peppy naïf who offsets his grousier temperament.

It's utterly delightful, certain to appeal to audiences young, old and all points in between. Cannes audiences are notoriously vocal. They'll whistle if they're unhappy -- a French version of a boo -- and a movie that doesn't meet the audience's high standards will be treated to the repeated "whop" sounds of theater seats banging shut as patrons leave. "Up," on the other hand, received little but cheers.

the 10th Pixar feature - Up - is the first animated movie to open the Cannes Film Festival  read more »

More than just child's play at New York International Children's Film Festival: movies where kids call the shots

This year's edition of the New York International Children's Film Festival, which runs from February 27-March 15, demonstrates that the most interesting movies for children are not necessarily always children's movies. Opening the festival is the French and Italian animated feature Mia and the Migoo, directed by Jacques-Remy Girerd

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Sometimes the most interesting movie for children isn’t necessarily a children’s movie. That seeming contradiction lies at the heart of the New York International Children’s Film Festival, which this Friday begins three weekends of screenings, filmmaker visits and voting, culminating in a juvenile version of the Oscars: a prize ceremony and reception on March 15. While the festival’s 100 films from 30 countries offer plenty of animation and fantasy, they also delve into real-world conflicts that affect children’s lives. “With a great many of these films, the filmmaker would say, ‘That’s not a kids’ movie,’ ” Eric Beckman, who founded the festival in 1997 with his wife, Emily Shapiro, said in an interview.

Sita Sings the Blues screens at the New York International Children's Film Festival  read more »

Song & dance, euphoria & sobriety, and a few moving moments at the 81st annual Academy Awards

crowds watched the fashion spectacle as stars walked the red carpets before the 81st Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles

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A year after its worst television ratings, the Academy Awards ceremony has been reinvented with a fresh, vibrant yet intimate atmosphere, a welcome change of pace that suited this year's runaway success, Slumdog Millionaire. The Indian rags-to-riches story was snubbed initially by the Hollywood studios but has captured the imagination of the world's cinema-going public, and yesterday it swept an astonishing eight Oscars, including the best picture and best director.

Hugh Jackman hosted the 81st annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood

Slumdog's Oscar-winning scriptwriter, Simon Beaufoy, said the award had come at an interesting time in international affairs. "The financial markets are crashing around the world and a film comes out (that) is ostensibly about being a millionaire, (but) it's a film that says there's more important things than money: love, faith and family, and that struck a chord with people," he said.

razzle dazzle ... Oscar host Hugh Jackman performs with Beyonce during the 81st Academy Awards  read more »

10 questions for Viggo Mortensen, Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated actor and renaissance man

Viggo Mortensen is a Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated American actor

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You've explored poetry, painting, photography and music in addition to acting. Which is your favorite? Arielle Davis, NEW YORK CITY

I don't really separate them. To be an artist, you don't have to compose music or paint or be in the movies or write books. It's just a way of living. It has to do with paying attention, remembering, filtering what you see and answering back, participating in life.

You're famous for your multilingual talents. Which language are you most comfortable with? A. Patrick Watts MARYVILLE, TENN.

I was raised speaking English and Spanish. And I also speak Danish. And I can get by in French and Italian. I've acted in Spanish and English, but when something has to do with emotions, sometimes I feel I can get to the heart of the matter better in Spanish.

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in the movie Lord of the Rings – Return of the King

You're quite a renaissance man. Do you see a little of yourself in Frank Hopkins?  read more »

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