I happened upon an article on yesterday’s AP wire by Anthony McCartney. It seems that Anheuser-Busch is upset because in the new blockbuster film “Flight,” pilot Denzel Washington is shown drinking their beer. A lot of it. And then behaving irresponsibly. Hmm. A-B wants the filmmakers to “obscure” or otherwise remove the obvious “Budweiser” label as shown. There is a lot of talk about whether or not Paramount Pictures should comply and the possibly hypocritical position of the brewer when they defend their image.
None of this matters much to me. We all know that product placement is rampant in the movie & TV industry. In fact, the competing action-packed Bond flick “Skyfall” is touting the fact that 007 is now seen drinking Heineken instead of his signature martini—a fact that Heineken paid dearly for.
But here’s my deal: AP asked a legal expert, Daniel Nazer, a resident fellow at Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project, for an opinion on the subject. His response? “Trademark laws ‘don’t exist to give companies the right to control and censor movies and TV shows that might happen to include real-world items’,” Nazer told the Associated Press.
If you’re an author and reading this, you might have the same question I had: if Nazer is correct, then why is it okay to display a can of Bud in “Flight” but I can’t have my hero drinking it—by name—in my next book? Clearly, for Matt Farralone in Cape Seduction, Budweiser is a real-world item.
Hard to believe she’s been gone that long. But whether you believe that Marilyn Monroe took her own life–the “official” record–or was murdered, there’s no doubt that she affected us all in some profound way. Us being those who grew up on the peripheral of her stunning life. All seem to agree on one unsettling fact: her life was tragically short and unfulfilled.
I’m reminded, here, of Elton John’s emotionally astute lyrics. She was, indeed, much like a “candle in the wind.” How utterly sad that she was so loved by her fans, and yet that love wasn’t enough to save her. As if it was just slightly out of reach, just beyond her ability to grasp.
If all the collective prayers and adoration could reach her now, she would be comforted by the knowledge that her life held purpose.
Bless you, Norma Jean.
Born today, in 1913, was film and television star Loretta Young. As a child, I adored this beautiful, versatile actress, and faithfully watched her program, “The Loretta Young Show” (1953 – 1961). Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, as Gretchen Young, Loretta (later named so by the studio for which she worked) was first a child extra at the age of four. By fourteen, she had a contract with what would later become Warner Bros., and a year later she made her first credited film, The Whip Woman.
Loretta made headlines when, in 1930 at age seventeen, she eloped with her co-star Grant Withers from The Second Floor Murder. Withers was nine years her senior, and the marriage was soon annulled. Apparently, some quick thinking moguls at the studio re-titled the starring pair’s soon-to-be-released film Too Young to Marry.
Overall, Loretta Young made something like 100 films, working with such Hollywood heavyweights as Frank Capra, Cecil B. DeMille, and Orson Welles. She was a beloved leading lady who appeared with Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracey, Charles Boyer, Ronald Coleman, and Robert Taylor, to name some of the many popular actors of the day. Her Oscar nod came with a Best Actress win for 1947′s The Farmer’s Daughter, beating out favorite Rosalind Russell for the coveted award. I recounted this scene in the beginning chapters of CAPE SEDUCTION, as my characters dine at the Brown Derby and remark about Loretta’s shocking upset. Nothing like real-life drama to bring a sense of authenticity to a novel’s era!
Loretta went on to receive an Emmy (1953) for her dramatic television series, the first actress to earn both the Emmy and the Academy Award. All in all, she won three Emmys, two Golden Globes and one Oscar, and snagged many nominations. Possibly one of the most interesting stories about her concerns daughter Judy Lewis, known to the public as adopted during Young’s marriage to second husband Thomas Lewis. In her 1994 autobiography, Lewis claimed that she was actually Young’s biological daughter with actor Clark Gable, Loretta’s co-star in 1935′s Call of the Wild. The claim was ultimately confirmed by Loretta herself in a biography published after her death in 2000 from ovarian cancer.
She is attributed to saying, on strategy: “The trick to life, I can say now in my advanced age, is to stop trying to make it so important.”
March Madness! We love March. March is…
- Small press month
- Women’s history month
- National Nutrition Month
- National Kidney Month
- American Red Cross Month.
See anything interesting yet? Maybe you’re not up to a whole month of anything, so consider this: it’s Read an ebook week! Yes, those annoying tree-huggers are back, admonishing you for still reading paper books! I’ll admit to reading both, although I prefer the “e” variety and have for many years. Do I have a dedicated ereader? Yes, and no. My ereader is the granddaddy of all ebook reading devices, the Rocket eBook, and it’s like 8 years old already. Heavy, clunky, but adorable.
On Monday, I noticed the woman on the next treadmill was jogging while reading a Kindle, placed on the magazine deck of her machine. She had to reach up every few seconds to press the spot that would turn the page as she ran. Very jazzy. Poor me, trying to read about Johnny Depp in Entertainment Weekly, while the overhead fan kept blowing the magazine’s leaves. Hrmph.
To celebrate REBW, my niece and I went to B & N yesterday and she scraped up $280 in cold, hard-earned cash (she’s 18) for a nook™ ereader. (Yes, it’s lower case. Go figure.) We were both so excited and spent quite a while playing with it later. While I am enamored with the upcoming Apple iPad, I am so not enamored with the $500+ price tag. So I’m going to wait a bit, get the feedback from my niece on the nook and see if I get a chance to test drive the iPad when it comes out. In the meantime, I’ll play with her nook. Say, look what she’s reading!
POINT SURRENDER is available for your nook, your Kindle, your Sony reader and even your Rocket eBook. Read it on your computer, your iPhone, your MACBook. Your Pocket PC, your Blackberry, your Palm Pilot. And even (shhh! – don’t tell everyone) available in dead-tree version! (On sale at B&N.com for $11.69!)
Thanks to New England Lighthouses for finding this little chuckle!