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*The 2010 Palme d’Or scramble begins tomorrow! Briefly noted: The Telegraph reestablishes that, yes, it still is “the greatest film festival of them all“; Will the volcano keep the Entourage boys from the Riviera?; Kate Beckinsale & Benicio del Toro among the judges, with Tim Burton presiding; the Wall Street Journal picks “Seven Films to Watch,” which curiously include the Wall Street sequel and less curiously include Charles Ferguson‘s Inside Job; Cinémagine offers “A Festival Virgin’s Guide“; Ridley Scott talks Robin Hood, Winston Churchill [spoiler alert! Richard the Lionheart, we’re told, dies this time…also, spoiled alert: Russell Crowe thinks himself “the greatest actor in the world”]; Xan Brooks offers analysis on the 19 directors in the running for the Palme d’Or; Italian culture minister Sandro Bondi boycotts the festival over the satirical Draquila: Italy Trembles, in which—che schifo!—Berlusconi gets needled…we’ll miss you, Sandro; …aaaaaaand, Jack Black is the new Gulliver. Step aside, Ted Danson!
*Bluegrass pick o’ the day: The Molly Hicks, by whose chicken-pickin’ ministrations I was privileged to have my mind blown last week in Galway. The group’s MySpace page offers teasingly few tracks. But “Wildwood Flower/Blue & Lonesome” gives a nice sense for the vocal partnership between Ruth Dillon and Bernie O’Mahoney. (A banjoista from the Bronx and a sly nylon-string guitarist from Sweden complete the sound quite nicely.)
*Tonight in City Lights: “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment” at the National Museum of American History, of which Maura Judkis writes, “The most fascinating bit of memorabilia is a collection of notecards on which the theater’s owner would take brutally honest notes on the talent”—including the observation that Fats Domino was overpaid, and that Dionne Warwick was “inclined to talk too much.”