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Top 10 Rap Songs for February 26, 2010

A countdown of this week’s best new hip-hop songs

What’s new in hip-hop this week? Our Top 10 Rap Songs list highlights some sizzling cuts from Jadakiss, Lupe Fiasco, Freddie Gibbs and others.

10. The Game – “Shake”

The Game drops absurd boasts and witty rhymes atop Cool & Dre’s slick production. “Shake” appears on Game’s upcoming R.E.D. album.

9. Lupe Fiasco – “What You Want”

This new leak from Lupe’s Lasers finds the Chicago whiz kid experimenting with a sing-song, Kid Cudi-esque flow.

8. Jadakiss (Feat. Sheek Louch) – “Searchin'”

Sheek and Kiss trade rhymes about trudging on in the face of adversity: “And they said I won’t rise to the top, make one hit and stop (But I’m a keep on searchin’).”

7. Ludacris – “Hey Ho” (Feat. Lil Kim and Lil Fate)

Don’t be quick to judge this one by its title. Contrary to what you may think, Luda seizes the opportunity to address double standards in gender relations.

6. Fat Joe – “Ha Ha (Slow Down, Son)” (Feat. Young Jeezy)

You know it’s a good day in hip-hop when Joey Crack is rhyming like it’s 92 all over again: “Got a 9 Milli in my pants in case these n—as wanna dance/Leave a motherf—er shakin’ like Harlem.”

5. Statik Selektah – “So Close So Far” (Ft. Bun B, Wale, Colin Munroe)

Is it unusual that Bun B and Wale are rapping about personal responsibility and economic recession when “Pop Champagne” is the order of the day? Yes. Beautifully so.

4. Joell Ortiz & Novel – “Ghetto Pt. 1”

Joell Ortiz, arguable the most improved MC of 2009, brags about riding around with glocks the size of 50 Cent on this Novel-assisted cut. This is taken from Joell and Novel’s Defying The Predictablemixtape.

3. Freddie Gibbs – “Do Wrong” (Feat. Pill)

Pill’s southern drawl meets Freddie Gibbs’ scathing drone.

2. Nas & Damian Marley – “As We Enter”

Nas and Damian Marley

Nas spews a torrent of fiery rhymes on this triumphant buzz single from Distant Relatives, while Damian Marley rides shotgun.

1. Reflection Eternal – “Just Begun” (Ft. Mos Def, J Cole and Jay Electronica)

It’s four the hard way as Mos & Kweli split airtime with two of the most promising new rappers in the game.


February 27, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Lemon Balm – Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb often used to treat anxiety and stress. A member of the mint family, lemon balm contains terpenes (chemicals thought to produce a relaxing effect).

Uses for Lemon Balm

Common health claims for lemon balm include the treatment and/or prevention of these conditions:

Benefits of Lemon Balm

To date, few scientific studies have focused on the health effects of lemon balm. However, findings from available research suggest that the herb shows promise in treatment of the following:

1) Cold Sores

Shown to possess antiviral properties, lemon balm has been found to promote the healing of cold sores (small, painful blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus-1) in several studies. In treatment of cold sores, lemon balm is typically applied topically (in the form of a cream or ointment).

Preliminary research indicates that topical application of lemon balm may also be useful in treatment of genital herpes (a condition caused by the herpes simplex virus-2).

2) Alzheimer’s Disease

Lemon balm may benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2003 study. For four months, 42 older adults with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease took a daily dose of lemon balm or a placebo. At the end of the treatment period, those taking lemon balm showed a significantly better outcome on cognitive function. In addition, agitation (a problem prevalent among Alzheimer’s patients) was found to be less common in the lemon balm group.

3) Anxiety

In a 2006 study of 24 healthy volunteers, scientists discovered that taking a combination of lemon balm and valerian helped reduce participants’ anxiety levels during a stress-inducing lab experiment.

4) Insomnia

In a research review published in 2005, investigators found that lemon balm “may have some effect on sleep” but cautioned that “reports are too scanty to form any opinion about this.”

Learn about other natural sleep aids.

How to Use Lemon Balm

Although lemon balm is generally considered safe, the herb may interact with sedatives and thyroid medications.

Given the lack of scientific support for lemon balm’s health effects, it’s important to consult your physician before using this herb in treatment of any health condition.

Lemon Balm Tea

Available in capsule and tincture form, lemon balm can also be consumed as a tea. When brewing lemon balm tea, make sure to keep the teapot or cup covered at all times in order to hold in the steam (thought to contain the herb’s therapeutic aromatic oils).


Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, Ohadinia S, Jamshidi AH, Khani M. “Melissa officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003 74(7):863-6.

Gaby AR. “Natural remedies for Herpes simplex.” Altern Med Rev. 2006 11(2):93-101.

Kennedy DO, Little W, Haskell CF, Scholey AB. “Anxiolytic effects of a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis during laboratory induced stress.” Phytother Res. 2006 20(2):96-102.

Mazzanti G, Battinelli L, Pompeo C, Serrilli AM, Rossi R, Sauzullo I, Mengoni F, Vullo V. “Inhibitory activity of Melissa officinalis L. extract on Herpes simplex virus type 2 replication.” Nat Prod Res. 2008;22(16):1433-40.

Schnitzler P, Schuhmacher A, Astani A, Reichling J. “Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses.” Phytomedicine. 2008 15(9):734-40.

Wheatley D. “Medicinal plants for insomnia: a review of their pharmacology, efficacy and tolerability.” J Psychopharmacol. 2005 19(4):414-21.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Drug Information Update – Ongoing safety review of Invirase (saquinavir) and possible association with abnormal heart rhythms

 FDA’s analysis of these data is ongoing. However, healthcare professionals should be aware of this potential risk for changes to the electrical activity of the heart. Invirase and Norvir should not be used in patients already taking medications known to cause QT interval prolongation such as Class IA (such as quinidine,) or Class III (such as amiodarone) antiarrhythmic drugs; or in patients with a history of QT interval prolongation.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Top 10 Breakup Songs for Men

Everyone likes a happy ending, they say, and the relentlessly upbeat nature of rock and roll, especially during its first flowering in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, tends to bear that out. But love also means heartbreak, and so every once in a while, the great pop music machines of America cranked out songs designed to mourn — and in rare cases, celebrate — the death of a relationship. Men: looking to feel good about the woman (or man) who did you wrong? This chronological list assembles the best best-known “kiss-off” songs of rock’s first generation. Got a suggestion for the list? E-mail me!

1. “I Hear You Knockin’,” Smiley Lewis (1955)

Rock and roll’s didn’t steal everything it knew from the blues, but it certainly took its breakup attitude straight from the one-four-five, as evidenced by this New Orleans vet’s 1955 boogie-woogie stroll. “Go back where you been,” growls Smiley, upset at his girl’s fickle nature, a classic case of a woman who’s made one mistake too many. Although he did tell her “way back in ’52” that he’d never go with her, leaving us to wonder why he begged her not to leave in the first place. Hmm. Still, the sentiment is strong enough to have survived a pop cover by Gale Storm and a Fifties-revival take by Dave Edmunds.

2. “It’s Just A Matter Of Time,” Brook Benton (1959)

This classic slow-dance ballad, given even more authority by the rumble of one of rock’s great basso profundos, must be the ultimate essay on karma: you can leave now, but you’ll be back, because “in your search for fortune and fame / what goes up must come down.” More to the point, Brook (and, later, Randy Travis) asserts that the golddigger in question will return simply because of the purity of his love. Although he implies that he’ll be waiting, which makes this a good selection for smart women who make foolish choices — and the men who love them.

3. “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” The Four Seasons (1962)

Not everyone can feel Frankie Valli and his high-octane, high-octave voice, a freaky falsetto for the ages. But here, the group’s singsong delivery works, mainly because this is a truly nasty Top 40 taunt. And the plot’s unusual, too. Seems Frankie (or you, or whoever) utilized the “advance break-up” strategy, which failed when his girl failed to fall apart like mush. Or did she? Apparently he’s got friends on the grapevine who told him otherwise, which means in this twisted little game of romantic chicken, he’s one up on her. Can this relationship survive? Uh, most probably not.

4. “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better,” The Byrds (1965)

Okay, it was only a b-side (to “All I Really Want To Do,” Columbia 43332), and it does hedge its title bet with recurring use of the word “probably.” But the chiming, sunshine nature of their already-trademark sound — the ultimate in jangle-pop — suggests a clear decision has been made, and that brighter days are, by inference, close at hand. What’s good about this breakup song is that it refuses to identify just how the singer’s been hurt, making it a good selection for you whether the problem is generic infidelity or something more, oh, Bobbitesque.

5. “Under My Thumb,” The Rolling Stones (1966)

This was the first song to incur the wrath of the burgeoning women’s rights movement when it came to the Stones. And you can hardly blame them, what with the relentless mean-spiritedness of the lyrics: Mick alternately calls his significant other a “squirmin’ dog” and a “siamese cat,” pointedly implies that she’s his pet now, and describes how he gets to play around now, even though she can’t. A classic case of power struggle and submission, this is, but there’s no rule that says you ladies can’t sing this one about your man (or, for that matter, your woman). Sick, yes, but also sadly realistic for many folks.

6. “Little Girl,” Syndicate Of Sound (1966)

These one-hit wonders from San Jose came out with a wicked little psych-garage classic in ’66; lead singer Don Baskin sounds positively gleeful at finding out the truth about his wayward girlfriend. He’s actually laughing around lines like “too bad, little girl, it’s all over for you.” Which is even more odd considering that at least two of the song’s five verses hint that this is something he’s actually used to. So why isn’t he more upset? Does he just not care about women that much, or is this the first sign of some sort of oncoming madness? Best to just enjoy the rolling rhythms of this frathouse favorite.

7. “96 Tears,” ? And The Mysterians (1966)

The garage-band revolution of the mid-Sixties was raunchy and raw enough to produce loads of kiss-offs to the fairer sex — no pining lovelorn ballads here. And yet “96 Tears” has to sit atop the bunch as the greatest of them all, not just for its droning, bargain-basement psych but for the sheer poetic sense of revenge that pulsates throughout the song. Lead singer ? (a/k/a Rudy Martinez) wants his little girl to know exactly how many tears he’s cried over her, and how he’s gonna make her pay for every single one when he gets back “on top… and you’ll be right down there, looking up.”

8. “I Can See For Miles,” The Who (1967)

This may be perhaps the greatest “gotcha” in rock history, a chaotic high-water mark of the Who’s Mod Years that matches its lyrical revelations with a storm of sonic malevolence. “Here’s a poke at you / you’re gonna choke on it, too,” snarls Roger Daltrey, who also extrapolates his new information into something more personal and profound: “The Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower are mine to see on clearer days,” he declares. Seems like this is about something more than just a cheating girlfriend. But oh, does it ever work on that level, too.

9. “Take A Letter Maria,” R.B. Greaves (1969)

Here’s a fascinating song-story: man gets home, finds his wife in bed with someone else, heads back to the office to disown her entirely, then decides to hit on his secretary. Ah, the male ego, indomitable and yet constantly hungering for food. This turn of the decade hit speaks ill of its time, assuming that his beloved Girl Friday will jump at the chance to move into his Number One spot. Then again, the wife/secretary triangle goes back to the invention of the office, so maybe this isn’t just one man’s flight of fantasy. Admit it — you’ve thought about it, right?

10. “Evil Woman,” Electric Light Orchestra (1975)

ELO may have been fey pop-rockers who dabbled in classical motifs, but leader Jeff Lynne also took a lot from ancient blues belters like Bessie Smith, which means while he sings this proto-disco slice of cool like a torch song, it’s really a caustic goodbye — complete with literal laughter (“HA, HA!”) being tossed into his ex’s face once per verse (and with the help of two female backup singers, at that!). “It’s so good that you’re feeling pain,” he coos, “but you better get your face on board the very next train.” Ouch! Someone’s hurting. Albeit a little less than he used to be.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Drug Information Update: Ongoing review of Avandia (rosiglitazone) and cardiovascular safety

FDA/CDER/Division of Drug Information (DDI)

The Division of Drug Information (DDI) is CDER’s focal point for public inquiries. We serve the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation by FDA.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing data, submitted in August 2009, from a large, long-term clinical study on possible risks with the diabetes drug, Avandia (rosiglitazone). The clinical study, called the Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiovascular Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes or RECORD study was designed to evaluate the cardiovascular safety of rosiglitazone, a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.

In addition to the RECORD study, a number of observational studies of the cardiovascular safety of rosiglitazone have been published. FDA has been reviewing these on an ongoing basis.

FDA is now reviewing the primary data from the completed RECORD study, conducting follow-up audits, and reviewing additional studies. This work is ongoing and no new conclusions or recommendations about the use of rosiglitazone in the treatment of type 2 diabetes have been made at this time.

Once FDA completes its review of the data from the RECORD study, the agency will present the totality of new and existing cardiovascular safety data on rosiglitazone at a joint public meeting of the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committees in July 2010. At that meeting, the Advisory Committee will provide an updated assessment of the risks and benefits of rosiglitazone in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. 

For more information please visit:  Avandia

February 27, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Top 100 Love Songs(10)

Love songs are central to pop music. This is a list of 100 of the greatest romantic classics of all time.

100. Tears for Fears – Head Over Heels (1985)

Tears for Fears - Courtesy Mercury Records

This is probably the most straightforward romantic song ever recorded by new wave pop duo Tears for Fears.

99. Christina Aguilera – Ain’t No Other Man (2006)

Christina AguileraCourtesy RCA

If this song is any indication, marriage has been a very good thing for Christina Aguilera.

98. Rupert Holmes – Escape (The Pina Colada Song) (1979)

Rupert Holmes - Courtesy Infinity Records

Best known as a songwriter and stage composer, Rupert Holmes became an unlikely pop star with this clever tale of love and personal ads.

97. Amy Grant – Baby Baby (1991)

Amy Grant - Courtesy A&M Records

Amy Grant’s effervescent, ebullient expression of love became a #1 pop smash.

96. Anne Murray – You Needed Me (1978)

Anne Murray - Courtesy Capitol Records

This powerful expression of romantic appreciation is Anne Murray’s only #1 pop hit in the US.

95. Barbra Streisand – Love Theme From ‘A Star Is Born’ (Evergreen) (1976)

Barbra Streisand - Courtesy Columbia Records

Barbra Streisand took home both an Academy Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture and Grammy Award for Song of the Year for this record.

94. Melanie – Brand New Key (1971)

Melanie - Courtesy Neighborhood Records

Folk-pop singer Melanie hit #1 on the pop singles chart with this clever romance. Some radio stations banned it claiming sexual implications in the lyrics.

93. Savage Garden – Truly, Madly, Deeply (1997)

Savage Garden - Courtesy Columbia Records

This was the first #1 hit, an unabashedly romantic song, for Australian pop duo Savage Garden.

92. Orleans – Still the One (1976)

Orleans - Courtesy Asylum Records

This expression of appreciation for long-term relationships became the subject of controversy when George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign began using the song without seeking permission from the band, including future Democratic congressman John Hall.

91. Tina Turner – The Best (1989)

Tina Turner - Courtesy Capitol Records

Tina Turner’s hit single is used frequently in both romantic and sports contexts.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Warm Weather Rock

The sun, the beach, convertibles with their tops down, lazy days and crazy nights. Spring and summer have been depicted, dissected, wished for, worshiped, and honored as much as any musical subject (with the possible exceptions of sex and drugs).Here’s a look at some of the rock songs that best depict the (mostly) bright side of the warm weather days of misspent youth.

“Summer In the City” – Lovin’ Spoonful

Buddha Records
“Hot town, summer in the city …” was the anthem for hot July nights in the summer of 1966 when it was a #1 single from the album Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful. It makes the back of my neck feel dirty and gritty just thinking about it.
Geffen Records
“Fish are jumping and the cotton is high …” suggests a “summer in the country” counterpoint to the Lovin’ Spoonful’s homage to hot weather. Billy Stewart’s rendition — the album version with more scat and a hot sax not heard on the radio single — is the best. Nothing says summer quite like “Brrrrrrrrrrrr-up-ch-chuck-chuck-chooka-chuck-chuck…hooh!”

“In the Summertime” – Mungo Jerry

Pop Records
Billy Stewart didn’t have anything on these guys when it came to making vocal sound effects. Their first #1 single was imminently sing-alongable with lyrics like “Da da da dee da doo dee da dee da dee da da.” They also had a solid list of great ways to waste your time“when the weather is fine … “ like swimming in the sea, driving fast, drinking, and having “women on your mind.”

“Summertime Blues” – Blue Cheer

Island Def Jam
Quick. Name a band or artist who hasn’t covered this classic that originated with Eddie Cochran in 1958. Blue Cheer’s hard rock version is one of the best (with T Rex and The Who in a tie for second).

“Hot Fun in the Summertime” – Sly and the Family Stone

Epic / Legacy
The best version of this often-covered summer song about a “county fair in the country sun” is the one recorded by Sly and the Family Stone shortly after their performance at Woodstock in 1969. The fact that “them summer days” caused English teachers to cringe just made it that much more popular with a generation of rebellious youngsters.

“All Summer Long” – Beach Boys

Capitol Records
No self-respecting list of songs about summer would be complete without at least one song by the Beach Boys, for whom summer provided the basis for a musical genre unto itself. It’s summer summarized: “T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs … we’ve been having fun all summer long.”

“Summer (Can’t Last Too Long)” – Asia

Geffen Records
Remember how we couldn’t wait for summer, and how quickly it zipped by once it finally arrived? “I’ll be making the most of summertime, crazy nights and lazy days …” sums it up pretty well.

“The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley

Geffen Records
The theme is a little bit melancholy, but the summertime imagery is quite vivid, as in “Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun, you got that top pulled down and that radio on …”. An electronic sound like a sea gull completes the imagery.

“Summer of ’69” – Bryan Adams

Geffen Records
That summer seemed to last forever … those were the best days of my life.” Evenings at the drive-in and hours spent in a high school rock band give “Summer of ’69” its charm.

“Daisy Summer Piper” – Joni Mitchell

This is easily the best song about summer that you’ve never heard. Joni Mitchell wrote, but never recorded it, nor, as far as I can tell, has anyone else. It may be obscure, but the imagery is memorable:

Daisy summer pipers come to town
Piping people out of doors 
To see the magic all around 
Listen now you’ll hear his sound
Stare into a mirror pool
And laugh so princely vain
The skies become kaleidoscopes
With no two turns the same

February 26, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Natural Treatment for Chemotherapy Side Effects

Chemotherapy side effects are a common concern among people with cancer. Although chemotherapy aims to destroy cancer cells and stop them from multiplying, it can also damage healthy cells. When healthy cells are damaged, a number of adverse effects may occur.

Learn more about chemotherapy side effects.

Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Side effects and their severity vary from patient to patient and depend heavily on the type of dose of chemotherapy. Some common chemotherapy side effects include:

  • anemia
  • fatigue
  • hair loss
  • increased risk for bruising, bleeding, and infection
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • intestinal and stomach problems
  • appetite and weight changes
  • sore mouth, gums, and throat
  • nerve and muscle problems
  • dry and/or discolored skin
  • kidney and bladder irritation
  • sexual and fertility issues

Treatment for Chemotherapy Side Effects

The National Cancer Institute urges people undergoing chemotherapy to talk with their doctors about their side effects and how best to manage them.

While some alternative therapies may benefit people undergoing chemotherapy, others may interfere with standard treatment or cause harm when combined with chemotherapy. Therefore, if you’re considering the use of alternative medicine in treatment of chemotherapy side effects, it’s extremely important to consult your health-care providers.

Alternative Medicine and Chemotherapy Side Effects

Research suggests that the following natural remedies and alternative therapies may have some benefit for individuals looking to treat chemotherapy side effects:

1) Acupuncture

At the National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference in 1997, a panel of experts said they considered acupuncture (a needle-based therapy commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine) to be effective in managing chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. More recently, for a research review published in 2005, researchers sized up 11 clinical trials and found that acupuncture reduced post-chemotherapy vomiting and lessened the severity of post-chemotherapy nausea.

Another study, published in 2007, found that chemotherapy patients receiving acupuncture had significant improvements in general fatigue, physical fatigue, activity, and motivation.

Learn more about acupuncture and cancer treatment.

2) Massage Therapy

Massage may help relieve pain and anxiety and improve sleep among people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, according to a 2002 study of 41 people.

Another study, published in 2007, examined the effects of five 20-minute massage sessions on 39 women undergoing chemotherapy. Results indicated that massage may significantly reduce nausea, as well as improve mood.

Learn more about massage therapy and cancer.

3) Herbs

A number of studies have shown that ginger may help alleviate stomach upset among people undergoing chemotherapy. In a 2009 study of 644 cancer patients, for instance, those taking a ginger supplement (in addition to standard anti-vomiting medication) three days prior to chemotherapy and three days following their treatment had at least a 40 percent reduction in nausea.

A small study published in 2010 suggests that milk thistle (an herb often used to treat liver problems) may help fight liver inflammation in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.


Billhult A, Bergbom I, Stener-Victorin E. “Massage relieves nausea in women with breast cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy.” J Altern Complement Med. 2007 13(1):53-7.

Ezzo J, Vickers A, Richardson MA, Allen C, Dibble SL, Issell B, Lao L, Pearl M, Ramirez G, Roscoe JA, Shen J, Shivnan J, Streitberger K, Treish I, Zhang G. “Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.” J Clin Oncol. 2005 1;23(28):7188-98.

L. Ryan, C. Heckler, S. R. Dakhil, J. Kirshner, P. J. Flynn, J. T. Hickok, G. R. Morrow. “Ginger for chemotherapy-related nausea in cancer patients: A URCC CCOP randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 644 cancer patients.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 2009 27:15s.

Ladas EJ, Kroll DJ, Oberlies NH, Cheng B, Ndao DH, Rheingold SR, Kelly KM. “A randomized, controlled, double-blind, pilot study of milk thistle for the treatment of hepatotoxicity in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).” Cancer. 2010 15;116(2):506-13.

Molassiotis A, Sylt P, Diggins H. “The management of cancer-related fatigue after chemotherapy with acupuncture and acupressure: a randomised controlled trial.” Complement Ther Med. 2007 15(4):228-37.

Smith MC, Kemp J, Hemphill L, Vojir CP. “Outcomes of therapeutic massage for hospitalized cancer patients.” Journal of Nursing Scholarship 2002;34(3):257-62.

February 26, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Kristen Stewart Talks About ‘The Yellow Handkerchief’

Kristen Stewart in 'The Yellow Handkerchief.'

Kristen Stewart in ‘The Yellow Handkerchief.’

© Samuel Goldwyn Films

Feb 22, 2010 – Before Kristen Stewart became ‘Bella Swan’ of Twilight fame, she’d already built up a decent acting resumé. Now, one of her pre-Twilight films is getting a boost – and a run in theaters – thanks in large part to the success of the vampire love story and Stewart’s popularity with Twilight fans. The Yellow Handkerchief finds Stewart playing Martine, a troubled teenager who embarks on a road trip in order to escape her life.

At the LA press day for the romantic drama, Stewart confessed she’s not really an expert on road trips. “The only road trip that I’ve ever taken was back from Portland when I was up there doing Twilight. I bought a little truck and drove home. It wasn’t like the most transformative experience, but it was fun. It gave me a sense of freedom and going away from something that was a rather intense experience.”

Of course it wasn’t the road trip aspect or the fact that the film was going to be shot in and around New Orleans that drew Stewart to The Yellow Handkerchief. “I could relate to her in that she’s so sort of the typical girl that really wants to be out there and smiling and totally in the middle of whatever is going on, but has been sort of embarrassed one too many times and has just gone, ‘I can’t do that anymore.’ I feel like she’s also isolated herself in terms of she’s put herself above everyone else,” explained Stewart when asked what attracted her to the part of Martine. “It’s like she can’t talk to people because they’ve let her down too many times and so she’s suddenly…in reaction to that, you sort of make yourself better than them. She realizes through this journey, which is a really cool thing to see such a young person go through, to go, ‘Oh God, I never looked at you and now I’m opening my eyes and I can see you and I was wrong.’ So I liked that.”

When it comes to selecting roles in general, Stewart said, “As much as you can say I’d like to do this because it’s different from what I’ve done before, I can’t really plan things out like that. Because despite whether or not a character sort of fits my description and the script is good, what actually drives me to do something like this, which is a really bizarre thing if you think about it: to play a part in a film and for more reason than just, ‘Oh, I get to be in a movie.’ It’s like, ‘No, I want to live out this life.’ It’s like, ‘Why?’ So it has to speak to me in some way and that’s always hard to describe, so I don’t know what I want to do. This is the first time I haven’t had one of my next jobs lined up, so I have a totally clean horizon. That’s actually pretty exciting.”

Even though she’s filmed a couple of movies – including Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse – since working on The Yellow Handkerchief, Stewart doesn’t think she would have done things differently. Stewart still believes she would have made the same choice to star in The Yellow Handkerchief, given the combination of the film’s script, her co-stars, the director, and the fact her Panic Room co-star Jodie Foster personally suggested to producer Arthur Cohn that she would be perfect for the part.

“I guess because I don’t hold the reins…really I follow, to put it absolutely lamely, my heart, I don’t think I would have made a different [choice],” said Stewart. “It would be really a shame if just because I did one movie – and I know it’s four or five or whatever, but it is one story, it’s one project for me. It’s the same character. It’s not like that changes… So if something like that would then affect choices, I don’t have this scheme of how people are going to receive my movies in the order that I do them and why I do scary movies and why I do movies about disaffected teens, which I get all the time. They’re just people I really wanted to play. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’m just playing parts that speak to me.”

And Stewart’s The Yellow Handkerchief co-star William Hurt, who plays an ex-con who joins Stewart on the road trip, taught the young but veteran actress a thing or two about preparing for a role and analyzing characters. “[…]I had had roles in movies before that I took really seriously that I really liked. I guess I learned that I was a fairly impulsive actor that didn’t really necessarily need to – or I wasn’t aware of the fact that if I felt something, I didn’t need to sit down and go, ‘Okay, this is why, this is why, this is why.’ It helps so much. I understand the story so much more because of William.”

Stewart added, “The thing is about the whole rehearsal process, it’s not like we stood up and did the scenes and tried to get them right. It was just about understanding. He never stops. He never stops trying to acquire more knowledge. So much is not said. It’s not like there are a whole lot of events happening within the plot. The really dynamic changes in the story happen with – a lot of people might not be into that type of movie – but this is just that movie [where] it is very much within the glances and not really screen direction.”

At this point in her career, Stewart’s not necessarily able to have her pick of any project she wants, but she is getting a lot more opportunities to take on interesting roles than she might have been without Twilight on her resumé.

“To be honest, it’s such a weird thing to talk about in this capacity. You always sort of don’t look at scripts that are very clearly just framework and they just want to put a dollar sign in the picture frame. It’s so obvious. I only want to do work that I find to be moving, and that’s something that I can’t be specific about. So I’m totally lucky and I can’t believe that I am. I’m not saying that I can do anything, but I definitely have more opportunity than I’ve ever had so it’s awesome.”

February 26, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

2010 BAFTA Awards Nominees and Winners

Jeremy Renner in 'The Hurt Locker.'

Jeremy Renner in ‘The Hurt Locker.’

© Summit Entertainment

Avatar, An Education and The Hurt Locker went into the event tied for the most 2010 Orange British Academy Film Awards (usually referred to as the BAFTA Awards) nominations, but when all the winners were revealed it was the character-driven Iraq war story that wound up the year’s big winner. The Hurt Locker earned top honors in six of the eight categories it was nominated in including Best Director, Best Film, and Best Original Screenplay.

2009 Nominees and Winners (Presented in 2010)

Best Film
An Education
Winner: The Hurt Locker
Up in the Air

Outstanding British Film
An Education
Winner: Fish Tank
In the Loop
Nowhere Boy

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock, David Pearson Directors, Producers – Mugabe and the White African
Eran Creevy Writer/Director – Shifty
Stuart Hazeldine Writer/Director – Exam
Winner: Duncan Jones Director – Moon
Sam Taylor-Wood Director – Nowhere Boy

Avatar, James Cameron
District 9, Neill Blomkamp
An Education, Lone Scherfig
Winner: The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow
Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino

Original Screenplay
The Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Winner: The Hurt Locker, Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino
A Serious Man, Joel and Ethan Coen
Up, Bob Peterson and Pete Docter

Adapted Screenplay
District 9, Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
An Education, Nick Hornby
In the Loop, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche
Precious, Geoffrey Fletcher
Winner: Up in the Air, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Film Not in the English Language
Broken Embraces
Coco Before Chanel
Let the Right One In
Winner: A Prophet
The White Ribbon

Animated Film
Fantastic Mr Fox
Winner: Up

Leading Actor
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Winner: Colin Firth, A Single Man
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Andy Serkis, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Leading Actress
Winner: Carey Mulligan, An Education
Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Audrey Tautou, Coco Before Chanel

Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin, It’s Complicated
Christian McKay, Me and Orson Welles
Alfred Molina, An Education
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Winner: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Supporting Actress
Anne-Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Winner: Mo’Nique, Precious
Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy

Avatar, James Horner
Crazy Heart, T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton
Fantastic Mr Fox, Alexandre Desplat
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Chaz Jankel
Winner: Up, Michael Giacchino

Avatar, Mauro Fiore
District 9, Trent Opaloch
Winner: The Hurt Locker, Barry Ackroyd
Inglorious Basterds, Robert Richardson
The Road, Javier Aguirresarobe

Avatar, Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua, and James Cameron
District 9, Julian Clarke
Winner: The Hurt Locker, Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
Inglourious Basterds, Sally Menke
Up in the Air, Dana E Glauberman

Production Design
Winner: Avatar, Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg and Kim Sinclair
District 9, Philip Ivey and Guy Potgieter
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Inglourious Basterds, David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds Wasco

Costume Design
Bright Star, Janet Patterson
Coco Before Chanel, Catherine Leterrier
An Education, Odile Dicks-Mireaux
A Single Man, Arianne Phillips
Winner: The Young Victoria, Sandy Powell

District 9
Winner: The Hurt Locker
Star Trek

Special Visual Effects
Winner: Avatar
District 9
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Star Trek

Make Up & Hair
Coco Before Chanel
An Education
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Winner: The Young Victoria

Short Animation
The Gruffalo
The Happy Duckling
Winner: Mother of Many

Short Film
Winner: I Do Air
Off Season

The Orange Rising Star Award
Jesse Eisenberg
Nicholas Hoult
Carey Mulligan
Tahar Rahim
Winner: Kristen Stewart

The Orange British Academy Film Awards were held on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

February 26, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment