In 1963, the conservative British government was shaken to its foundations by the Profumo Scandal. The central character in this disastrous affair was John Profumo, Britain's minister of war, who had become sexually involved with call-girl Christine Keeler, whose "sponsor" was high-priced osteopath Dr. Stephen Ward. Fancying himself a dashing international adventurer, Ward had also offered Christine to alleged Soviet spy Eugene Ivanov. Another of Ward's stable, Mandy Rice-Davies, allegedly had slept with numerous British and American luminaries. The whole sordid story, which ended with Ward's suicide and Profumo's public disgrace, was recounted with relish in director Michael Caton-Jones's Scandal, which featured John Hurt as Stephen Ward, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer as Christine Keeler, Ian McKellan as Profumo, Bridget Fonda as Mandy Rice-Davies, and Jeroen Krabbe as Ivanov. In its original form, the film was ripe enough to court an X-rating; post-production trimming enabled it to squeak by with an R.
Spanish actor Jose Antonio Ceinos stars as a down-and-out sculptor, whose inspiration returns with the strange appearance of a beautiful, mysterious black muse.
In Zola's Paris, an ingenue arrives at a tony bordello: she's Nana, guileless, but quickly learning to use her erotic innocence to get what she wants. She's an actress for a soft-core filmmaker and soon is the most popular courtesan in Paris, parlaying this into a house, bought for her by a wealthy banker. She tosses him and takes up with her neighbor, a count of impeccable rectitude, and with the count's impressionable son. The count is soon fetching sticks like a dog and mortgaging his lands to satisfy her whims. She bankrupts him, arranges the debauching of his wife, and seduces his son on his wedding day. What else can she accomplish before she leaves Paris airborne?
Magnificently packaged in a CD-sized hardcover book filled with personal artwork, lyrics, and photos, Damien Rice's debut full-length, O, is nothing less than a work of genius, a perfect cross between Ryan Adams and David Gray and a true contender for one of the best albums of 2003. This Irish singer/songwriter works with impassioned folk songs that move from stripped-down to grandly orchestrated in a heartbeat. The production is reminiscent of Songs of Leonard Cohen – simple guitars, vocals, and then those swelling strings, all of which sound like they were recorded right in the same room. Rice is master of what critic/ranter Richard Meltzer called "the unknown tongue" – basically the musical equivalent of the "punctum" in photos, it's that thing that grabs a hold of you, the detail that makes it happen. After wooing critics in 2003 with his stunning debut album, O, Damien Rice built upon his growing success with this quaint B-sides collection. This EP features seven previously unreleased songs that are soul-stirringly classic of the Irish singer/songwriter.