Hello from Atlanta! I’ve been visiting the set of the Allegiant movie, the third installment in the Divergent series…
* Sad news came with the death of Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina…
She was found unresponsive in the bathtub of her home here in Georgia, 6 months ago, and never fully regained consciousness. The 22-year-old was the only daughter of the late Whitney Houston and had begun starting to find her own voice as an aspiring singer and actress. A funeral will be held for her in Atlanta this weekend – and then she’ll be laid to rest next to her mother at a Fairview Cemetery in New Jersey. It’s been a sad and controversial death – Bobbi Kristina was found in similar circumstances to her mother – in a bathtub, although you may remember Whitney Houston’s death was caused by accidental drowning and also a heart attack involving the use of cocaine. Preliminary autopsy results showed no significant injuries, but full results won’t be available for weeks.
* Major film festivals announced their lineups – including the Toronto Film Festival…
In the first wave of films announced for TIFF 2015 – 15 galas and 34 special presentations were revealed. There should be around 300 films in total that will be announced before the fest kicks off in September. It will open withDemolition, the new one by Jean-Marc Vallee, who gave us the excellent Dallas Buyers Club and most recently Wild. Films that will be making their world premiere there – and surely attract some kind of Oscar buzz include, Freeheld with Steve Carell and Julianne Moore, whose Academy Award-winning performance in Still Alice sold at TIFF last year. Ridley Scott’s The Martian, with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, the Lance Armstrong biopic The Program made by Stephen Frears with Ben Foster in the title role, the Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith – which I saw some preview footage of in Cancun in June and it looks good – and then Bryan Cranston in another biopic called Trumbo. The Danish Girl with a transgender turn from Eddie Redmayne, who also started his Oscar-race at last year’s TIFF, with Theory of Everything, is most certainly another one to watch. And South African director Gavin Hood will premiere his latest film, called The Eye in the Sky about controversial drones, with Dame Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul. There’s also the chance to see some of the films that ranked high on the critics’ lists at Cannes earlier this year too.
Another Jake Gyllenhaal film will open the Venice Film Festival – this one is the film based on an epic climb, titled Everest.
We also found out that Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender is headlining the New York Film Festival at the end of September, which will open with The Walk, starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt as the French daredevil who walked across a tightrope from one World Trade Centre tower to another, and ending with Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic. Lots to look foreword to!
* Trevor Noah revealed what to expect from the new The Daily Show…
The comedian has been taking part in the annual TCA (TV Critics Association) tour where cast members and TV personalities meet up with press in LA and talk about what’s coming in the Fall (or as we say, Autumn) season when people like to get back in doors to watch the small screen (and in some cases of online streaming, the REALLY small screen). Noah says he’ll be incorporating more accents into the show, less Fox News-bashing and a different view on the stories of the day. Let’s see what he brings come September.
It’s a 3.5 mile route that gives you a great taste of some of Atlanta’s sights, which is a good overview if you, like me, are visiting for the first time.
Starting from the Margaret Mitchell house, where the Pulitzer Prize-winning author wrote the novel Gone with the Wind, which went on to become the classic movie starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. Head north down Peachtree St NE, keep going until you see The Fox Theatre, which used to be a gilded 1920s movie house.
Keep going for another mile and you’ll hit Baker st, turn right and enjoy the hill going down because you’ll have to push going up it on the way back! You’ll see the World of Coca-Cola and the Atlanta Aquarium in front of you and the glorious Centenary Olympic Park to your left. Take in the gorgeous skyline. If you want, make a loop around and see the CNN HQ, the Viewpoint and then head back up Baker to finish the route back the way you came.
Pro-tip – make sure to fill up on Fried Green Tomatoes the night before, or after, at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, which has been cooking southern comfort food since 1945 and feels like sitting inside someone’s (very big) warm home.
PS Piedmont Park is not to be missed either! Head over there to do anything from 3-6 miles in absolutely incredible surroundings.
The High Museum of Art is worth visiting for the sky light in the centre of it alone.