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Archive for Monday, February 18, 2008

People in the news

February 18, 2008

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County rethinking investment in film

Scranton, Pa. - First-time director Paul Sorvino doesn't understand why his investors are so jittery.

More than two years ago, Lackawanna County agreed to partner with Sorvino on "The Trouble with Cali," an independent film the "GoodFellas" star is producing and directing in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Shot in the Scranton area in 2006, the low-budget movie has yet to hit theaters, prompting the cash-strapped county to ask Sorvino what he has done with its $500,000 investment.

Sorvino says he's happy to provide a full accounting of the money. But, he adds, elected officials don't necessarily have a good understanding of the movie business. And he resents any implication that he has been less than forthright.

"To have my honesty impugned has never happened in my life," the burly character actor said in a phone interview. "The record of how the money was spent was always available, to the penny."

Singer, 104, who sang for Hitler draws protesters

Amsterdam, Netherlands - Several dozen people protested outside a theater Saturday where a 104-year-old singer who once performed for Adolf Hitler took the stage in the Netherlands for the first time in four decades.

Johannes Heesters was never accused of being a propagandist or anything other than an actor who was willing to perform for the Nazis, and the Allies allowed him to continue his career after the war. But in his native country he is viewed by some as irredeemable.

"He kept singing for the Nazi regime, for the Wehrmacht, and he earned millions," said Piet Schouten, representative of a committee formed to protest Heesters' performance at De Flint theater in Amersfoort.

In 1964, Heesters was booed off the stage in Amsterdam when he tried to appear as Nazi-hating Captain von Trapp in "The Sound of Music."

No disturbances were reported during Saturday's concert in Amersfoort. Heesters, who lives in Germany, has been a popular figure in German-language cabaret since the 1930s.

Around 50 demonstrators gathered outside. A handful of neo-Nazis also turned up - uninvited - to support Heesters, and several were detained by police after throwing eggs at the demonstrators.

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