Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Leading ladies dominate Berlin film awards buzz
BERLIN (Reuters) - If older women can't find work in Hollywood they might want to come to Berlin, where this year's film festival has been studded with performances by seasoned actresses that have put them and their movies in the running for top prizes. The 11-day cinema event, centered around the main competition of 19 films but showcasing hundreds more, winds up with an evening awards ceremony on Saturday.
River Phoenix rises again as final movie finished
BERLIN (Reuters) - American actor River Phoenix has returned to the big screen 20 years on from his death after "Dark Blood" director George Sluizer salvaged the footage of his incomplete 1993 film and filled in the gaps with voiceovers. Phoenix was considered one of the most promising performers of his generation before he died suddenly of a suspected drug overdose aged 23, 10 days before shooting on "Dark Blood" was scheduled to finish.
Bosnian Roma family plays itself in stark film
BERLIN (Reuters) - When Bosnian director Danis Tanovic learned about a Roma family refused emergency medical care because they could not pay for it, he not only decided to turn their story into a film but managed to convince the couple to play themselves. The result is "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker", a simple, powerful tale of one man's struggle to provide for his partner and two daughters and of a society where money is apparently more important than human life.
Hollywood actors face new worry as reality commercials rise
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For a recent TV commercial, H&R Block's advertising agency passed on using actors and instead chose Riley Holmes, who works at the tax preparer's Chicago office, to pitch the company's free "second look service" that claims it can find new deductions from prior returns. "People bring in old tax returns and I'm like, 'Who did this to you?'" says Holmes in the 30-second TV commercial.
Irish composer Raymond Deane talks Achill, Alma and ABBA too
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish composer Raymond Deane chafes at what he sees as a lack of recognition in his homeland for classical composers in a country better known for traditional fiddling and rock supergroup U2 than for notes on staves. "Classical music means Mozart and Beethoven and when you say Irish classical music their eyes just widen," Deane, who recently turned 60, told Reuters over lunch at a French-style bistro in Dublin.
Lady Gaga needs hip surgery, cancels remainder of tour
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lady Gaga canceled the remainder of her "Born This Way Ball" concert tour to undergo hip surgery, promoters Live Nation said on Wednesday. The 26-year-old singer announced she was suffering from an inflammation of the joints on Tuesday, but the tour operator said Gaga's injuries were more serious than she realized.
Prince to headline Montreux jazz with three pricey concerts
GENEVA (Reuters) - Prince returns to the Montreux Jazz Festival in July to give three concerts at the 47th edition, the first after the death of founder Claude Nobs, organizers said on Thursday. The American singer and musician is booked to give three shows on July 13, 14 and 15, the Swiss festival said in a statement.
At Bolshoi, show goes on, month after acid horror
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Principal dancer Artem Ovcharenko seems to defy gravity as he glides through the air, then lands silently with a flourish of his arm during a rehearsal at Russia's revered Bolshoi Theater. Other dancers spin through the air behind him, a few warm up at the side and two ballerinas walk on their toes while Viktor Barykin, the repetiteur or dance coach, barks instructions.