Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 13 News List

PLANET POP

AGENCIES

The famously reclusive funkster Sly Stone let it all hang out at as he returned to the stage.

PHOTO: AP

Paris Hilton arrives in China. Clearly, the celebutante has seen the writing on the wall, and realizes that she will have to export her neuron-obliterating "product" to this exploding market if she is to survive.

From one brainwashed populace to another, as Paris Hilton docks in China, throwing the Sino-American balance of lobotomized heiresses into chaos, and suggesting that the US are now openly asking to be overtaken economically. Also: madam has a new sex tape out!

Production-wise, this new release has a pared-down quality - One Night in Paris fans will note the absence of night vision scenes - and there's an interesting metatext in which Paris discusses her previous sex tapes ... I'm sorry, this is taking too long. In summary: it's a bit less trampy than her last one. But isn't it just so sad when our celebrity sex tape stars become all knowing? Let's see a smashing of the form and return to unscripted dialogue, low budgets and super-long, humpy tracking shots - a bit like the French new wave, only led by a relapsing Lohan and Baywatch stars gone bad.

And so to China. Hang on, what became of Paris's previously announced trip to Rwandaland? Look … it got cancelled. Stuff came up. She had to judge Miss Japan last week, OK? Hot Tokyo beauty queens need help just as much as Rwandalanians, and it's not like the Chinese leg of the tour isn't brave in its way.

After all, Mia Farrow is currently condemning entertainment personages for being involved in Chinese affairs, because of the People's Republic's role in Darfur.

Why, even this week the erstwhile Mrs Woody Allen renewed her attack on Steven Spielberg, who she is convinced wields vast influence with Chinese President Hu Jintao on account of he's directing the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics next year.

Anyway, Farrow has asked: "Does Mr Spielberg really want to go down as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games?"

Oh Mia, Mia, Mia ... What a thoughtful comparison! And yet, while both directors made films about German Olympic Games, you have to think Leni's dragged a little less in the third act.

Fortunately, Paris's take on modern China - "It looks like the future" - is way less touchy.

Much like Rupert Murdoch, in fact, who would form close ties with a panda if it looked like a way of securing 1.3 billion downtrodden people a vote. In Chinese Idol.

For entertainment of a more aural, as the horns blare with a syncopated rhythm and singers call to the crowd of about 1,000 to dance, a hunched man hidden in the wings of the stage smiles broadly, watching his band like a proud father. After decades away from the spotlight, Sly Stone has returned to the stage with his band Sly and The Family Stone, performing in Europe this summer and this week making his first New York appearance in 32 years.

Meanwhile in the UK, about 200 music fans were treated to an impromptu set by U2 stars Bono and The Edge at a small London venue on Friday. Watched by fellow band member Adam Clayton, the two Irish rockers delivered a 20-minute acoustic set at the Union Chapel in north London, in a gig for Mencap as part of the charity's Little Noise Sessions.

The wife of professional wrestling and reality TV star Hulk Hogan has filed for divorce, the St Petersburg Times reported yesterday. Linda Bollea filed the divorce papers in Pinellas County court on Nov. 20 against Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, the newspaper said.

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