Barbara Bush goes Rio
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Â With Barbara Bush looking on, sequined hummingbirds and models in body paint gave a glittering kickoff to Rio's two-day samba parade, the centerpiece of Brazil's annual Carnival bash.
Seven samba groups Â each with as many as 6,000 costumed dancers Â paraded until dawn Monday at the "Sambadrome" stadium.
Many in the crowd strained to get a look at Mrs. Bush, who declined a special box equipped with bulletproof glass and watched the parade from the box of a beer company, Brahma.
The former U.S. first lady and mother of the president waved, clapped and snapped photos as the dancers paraded by Â and left after midnight, when the show was just getting warmed up.
Lifetime not over
Berlin Â Robert Altman suspects it may be a bit early for lifetime achievement awards like the one he received at the Berlin Film Festival.
"It's a great honor, but I hope it doesn't mean Â lifetime. I have plans," the director told a news conference Sunday as he received a Silver Bear at the festival.
His latest film, "Gosford Park," is set 60 years ago. The Kansas City, Mo., native said it's not a period piece.
"At my age, the film is contemporary," quipped the 76-year-old, who won a Golden Globe for best director for the movie last month and is seen as a likely best director nominee when Oscar nominations are announced today.
Beyond the music
Ottawa, Canada Â U2's Bono has a powerful fan Â but not necessarily of the singer's music.
At the closing news conference of a meeting of G-7 finance ministers, U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill mentioned that he met Bono last year at the singer's request, adding he initially feared it would be "just another rock star who wants to use me for something."
Instead, the scheduled half-hour session lasted more than 90 minutes as the two discussed issues such as development aid for Africa. "He's a serious person," O'Neill said of Bono. "He cares deeply about these issues, and you know what? He knows a lot about them."
Tights don't make hero
Los Angeles Â "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi doesn't take the superhero film too seriously.
"It's hard for me to make a grand statement of our society, and this movie is not that, it's for entertainment, first and foremost," he told the Los Angeles Times. "But you know, 'hero' is such a sacred word right now. We've seen now what a hero is by watching some among us risk and lose their lives to help others. We all want to pay tribute to those men and women for that."
The guy who's putting on the tights in "Spider-Man" is Tobey Maguire, co-star of "Ride With the Devil," and "Wonder Boys."