Fri, Sep 09, 2005 - Page 17 News List

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AGENCIES

Gwyneth Paltrow was left holding the baby instead of backing her film in Venice after she had problems with her flight.

PHOTO: AP

This week several filmstars and directors took time out from ma-king their millions to help the vicitms of Hurricane Katrina. Hollywood director Steven Spielberg said he and his family were donating US$1.5 million "to help address the immediate and long term needs resulting from Hurricane Katrina." Spielberg said in a statement that the donation will be split equally between the American Red Cross for immediate relief and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund for long term recovery efforts.

"Although the Spielbergs generally make their donations anonymously, they are making these public to further encourage others to make donations of any amount," the statement said.

Taking a more action-packed approach actor John Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, flew in their own private jet to deliver 5 tonnes of food for the hurricane victims. Travolta, an experienced pilot, flew the supplies to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, then toured the flooded city of New Orleans and visited rescue workers and shelters for evacuees. The two movie stars also brought along 400 doses of tetanus vaccines for rescuers.

Gwyneth Paltrow could have asked Travolta for a helping hand as she missed out on this year's Venice Film Festival and was forced to address a scheduled press conference by telephone after her flight from New York failed to reach Italy due to unspecified, technical problems. The 33-year-old blonde was expected in the lagoon for the media presentation of Proof, a movie competing for the coveted Golden Lion award. Technical problems, however, forced her plane to land back in New York shortly after take-off. "I had an extraordinarily unpleasant evening last night trying to get there. I had all kinds of plane problems," she said by phone.

Meanwhile, parent problems have been affecting the 13-year-old daughter of the late grunge rock legend Kurt Cobain and actress-singer Courtney Love. Frances Bean Cobain is rebelling against her parents by wearing cute girlie clothes and brushing her hair, according to her first media interview. Frances Bean Cobain told Teen Vogue magazine that she struggles to step out of the shadow of her famous parents. "I'm a different person," she said. "I don't want to be titled as Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain's daughter. I want to be thought of as Frances Cobain." The interview was accompanied by a series of photos showing the teenager looking very feminine. "I love feminine pieces," she said.

Judging by her current style she would certainly shun the original cloak worn by Alec Guinness in the blockbuster film Star Wars that turned up in a British fancy dress shop, where it had been hired out as part of a monk's outfit, the owner said Tuesday. The legendary British actor donned the famous brown robe for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 1977 George Lucas movie, one of the most successful films ever made. Once filming finished, costumes from the movie were stored by London costume firm Angels and Bermans. The cloak was thrown in with hundreds of monks' robes and later rented out to customers, also being worn by an extra in 1999 film The Mummy.

An Angels and Bermans spokeswoman said that the original Star Wars costume designer verified that the cloak was the one worn by Guinness. Company boss Tim Angel said the cloak was only discovered during a routine stock check. "One of the guys was sorting through this pile of monks' robes and saw this brown one with an odd-shaped hood," he said. "He put it on and the manager said, `Oh my God, it's Alec Guinness' cloak from Star Wars.' It's unmistakable, an iconic piece.

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