News Archive: July 2006 - December 2006

Greetings Kenites, a quickie before the end of the year. There isn't much news, thankfully, since my brain is hanging on the Christmas tree, refusing to work. But UK fans have a treat to start the New Year: Kenneth Branagh Films The Magic Flute, a documentary about the making of the film will be shown on channel Five at 7 pm on New Year's Day. You can get a bit of info about the documentary on the website of the company that made it, Illuminations Media. This documentary will also be shown in France on France 5 on New Year's Day at 5.51 am (it was previously shown on 28 December, and I apologise for not getting that info up here on time).

There are a few other snips but I'll need to replace my brain first - very soon though. Happy New Year to all!
(31 December 2006, thanks Catherine, Isabelle)

Hello Branaghnauts - it's mostly about The Magic Flute this time, but first... tomorrow is December 10th - so, Happy Birthday to Kenneth Branagh!

There are a plethora of goodies on the French site for The Magic Flute, which opens in France on 13 December. You can see a bunch of video clips from the film, and - oh so much fun - three making of clips (which the site has aptly misspelt as "making off", which is what we might all want to do with the director and those deliciously lovely singers :-) ). You can see Stephen Fry cracking up Kenneth and lots of other fun moments (my favourite being KB waxing really eloquent before a seemingly imperturbable chorus of singers, who may have been seething with passion inside, but were not giving it up!).

There is also a spiffy Dossier de presse (press kit) with lots of photos and an interview with Kenneth. You can read a translation of the interview here.

Still in The Magic Flute goody bag, you can watch a short video of Ken promoting the French release of the film and wishing Paris Première happy birthday, in French. He also sings a short French drinking song - hahahahaha, so we know he's got one of the essential bases covered. (The recording of The Diary of Samuel Pepys hints that he's got a grip on another one as well, heh heh). Click on and do a search with 'branagh'.

The line-up of lovely young actresses who want to work with Mr. Branagh continues to lengthen... in The Independent, 16 November, Henry Deeds writes:

Whilst female audiences have been agog at the British actor Daniel Craig's hulking performance in the latest Bond film, his sultry co-star Caterina Murino is willing to trade him in for an older model.

"Daniel is a great human being, but if I could work with any English actor out there it would have to be Kenneth Branagh," she tells me at the film's Royal premiere on Tuesday night. "I just think he's terrific. Do you think you could get the message through to him for me?"

Branagh's effect on young Hollywood beauties is starting to become mildly irritating. Just three months ago, Bryce Dallas Howard opened her heart to Pandora and began gushing that the Branster, who directed her as Rosalind in As You Like It was "just the most amazing person".

Oh come on, Henry, lighten up - look at how the Daily Express wrote this up...
Ken's got Himself a Big Fan

Good news for Kenneth Branagh. Caterina Murino, Dame Jude and Daniel Craig's striking co-star who plays Bond's love interest Solange, wants her next on-screen outing to be with the British thesp known for his Shakespearean adaptations.

"I'd love to work with Kenneth," she purred. "Can you put in a word in?"

They're way more fun, and I bet KB's ear would be more likely to hear a purred request, heh heh heh.

Good Works Department...
1) Culinary notes: Kenneth has contributed a recipe for Spicy Bean Curd Salad to a celebrity cookbook published to raise money for the Papworth Hospital Charitable Foundation in Cambridge, England. You can read about the project here.

2) Art notes: Kenneth has contributed a pen & ink drawing of his dog Suzie to "Dogs for the Disabled". The drawing was on show at the Kennel Club in Piccadilly and was auctioned on eBay, fetching £52. Here's the eBay blurb: Best known for his big screen roles in some very memorable Shakespeare productions such as 'Henry V' and 'Much Ado About Nothing', Kenneth Branagh has received critical acclaim for his skills on both sides of the camera. This picture for Dogs for the Disabled’s 'Paint a Pet' campaign certainly shows a talent for drawing as well. This pen and ink picture it features his own dog Suzie, lying on the kitchen sofa. You can see the oeuvre here.

More kudos... Kenneth has won the 2006 Vittorio de Sica Award for European Cinema (it was fun to see an old favourite, Gigi Proietti, winning in the Italian category). Bravo Kenneth!

DVD notes: There will be 40 minutes of extras on the Medusa Home Video release of As You Like It (mentioned in the 12 November news below).

The series of films on Great Composers, made by the BBC and narrated by Kenneth Branagh, are now available on Region 1 DVD. The DVD for each composer (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tschaikovsky, Mahler, Wagner and Puccini)is sold separately. Since there is another Great Composer series on the market be sure to check for BBC on the cover.

I have probably forgotten stuff, but what's left of the pre-Christmas brain has shut down, so for now that's all folks!
(9 December, thanks Pierpaolo, Isabelle, Leanna, Lyn, Jude, Catherine, Eva)

Just a quickie: the UK National Library for the Blind has launched a fundraising campaign during Right to Read week. Kenneth Branagh is participating and so can you (to get something from him :-) ). Click here to find out more - ends Sunday 19 November!

(16 November, thanks Emma)

Hey gang! Fewer words and more pictures this time, but the words come first...

The Magic Flute was shown at the Sevilla Festival de Cine on November 4, and on November 8 it was shown at the Cinemania film festival in Serbia. So perhaps it will continue to travel and we may all get the chance to see it.

Meanwhile, Medusa Home Video in Italy has announced the DVD release of As You Like It for 23-24 January 2007. This region 2 DVD will include English and Italian versions.

From the Sunday Express, 1 October 2006. This is excerpted from a column called "My Favourite Photograph" in which Frances Barber writes:

"The photo was taken in 1984 in the Boxtree Restuarant, Stratford, which was part of the Memorial Theatre where I was appearing as Ophelia in Hamlet. [...] From left to right there's Roger Rees, who was playing Hamlet, Nick Farrell, Kenneth Branagh, myself and Brian Blessed. [...] I have a very vague memory of it being taken by John Sessions, who was a friend of Ken's and had come to see the show.

"Ken always had a huge mop of hair, as you can see from this photo. Very 80s! As a person he hasn't changed at all - he's still one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. He's delightful, fun and clever, and totally dedicated to his work, but not in a pompous way. We are old, old friends and hopefully we will be forever. It's true we were romantically involved many, many moons ago, but now we're just great friends."

So the lovely Lindsay can put the rolling pin back into the kitchen drawer, ha ha. You can see the photo in question here.

And we continue with the photo fest... a couple of updates back we mentioned a feature in The Times on "The Brit Pack". You can now see the three photos which accompanied the article here. It's basically one photo of Kenneth (looking not entirely happy and like he's just spent the night in his car ;-) ) composited three times.

And from the Sevilla Festival de Cine, at which KB was awarded the Giraldillo de Oro for his oeuvre to date, lots of fab photos! The first set, many of which were taken by our Ken-Friend Isabel, are from the photo call and press conference: you can see them here. The second set are from the Gala, at which the prize was awarded, and include one with Lindsay: you can see them here.

And with those visions dancing before your eyes, I leave you till the next time.
(12 November [Happy Birthday Rai!], thanks Aleksandra, Pierpaolo, Catherine, Lyn, Isabel, Patricia)

Apologies for this too late heads up, but As You Like It is having its UK premiere at the the Bath Film Festival, 25th and 29th October. I hope some of our UK friends can make it!
(26 October, thanks Antoinette)

Hello Branaghians - yikes, it's been a month! Things calmed down muchly after the excitement of Venice, though I imagine no grass is growing under you-know-who's feet. Next up, early in the new year, Kenneth will be directing Sleuth. You can read a short article here and another one here.

Course, KB won't have any of that laying about and doing nothing in the meantime... here's what he's been up to...

The Fifth Anniversary Gala and Awards Dinner of the Jacob Burns Film Center was held on September 16. This year’s honorees included Colin Callender, President, HBO Films; Nancy Kohlberg, founding member, JBFC Board of Directors; and Janet Maslin, New York Times critic, founding member, and President, JBFC Board of Directors.
You can see photos of the other attendee here.

And from my favourite Eddie McIlwaine, who never forgets ro report on the native son:

Our Ken Looks Back at City of His Childhood

The Belfast Telegraph, 30 September 2006 By Eddie McIlwaine

Ken Branagh will never forget lying on the couch at home in Mountcollyer Street, Belfast, watching the epic movie 'A Tale of Two Cities'. "It was one of the big pictures that inspired me to make a career in the film business," he said.

But now Branagh, distinguished film star and director, is to narrate a different Tale of Two Cities altogether - two BBC documentaries on the subject of a forgotten chapter in the history of the city of his birth.

This 'Tale of Two Cities' (BBC1, Monday, and the following Monday, 10.35 pm) tells the story of the tumultuous 12 months a century ago which saw the opening of the city hall, the symbol of a dawning golden age when Belfast rivalled Dublin as the second city of the Empire, and a revolution among the city's poor whose blood, sweat and tears made the erection of the unique building possible.

Branagh was as impressed by this story of Belfast, the city he left as a nine-year-old in 1970, as he was with the movie directed by Ralph Thomas in 1958 from the original Charles Dickens classic about the French Revolution and starring Dirk Bogarde, Dorothy Tutin and Ian Bannen.

"I used to watch movies in the afternoon waiting for my mum Frances to come home to make the dinner," he recalls. "There's no doubt it was as a little boy in Mountcollyer Street that I developed my love of the movies."

He was working on his multi-million pound film of Mozart's 'Magic Flute' when the the Beeb came up with the offer to narrate the documentaries. "I leaped at the chance," he said. "It was a wonderful chance to explore a period of Belfast which isn't widely known. "Mountcollyer Street in north Belfast was special to me. When I was little I used to play in the street and I remember mum standing on the doorstep calling me in at bedtime."

There is some Hamlet DVD news, though not the news you want to hear (which would be that you could buy it for Christmas...). It seems that we will not be seeing this long-long-long-awaited DVD until 2007. You can visit Mark Cassello's website to read a letter from Warner Brothers. Mark has been indefatigable in working to bring this masterpiece to DVD and we are all grateful!

The Times of London of Saturday October 14 published a feature on "The Brit Pack" for the special film issue of its magazine. KB is in the group photo on both the front of the newspaper and the magazine where the feature appears. I don't have those photos but you can see another photo of Kenneth on a website feature related to the article. You can also see the photo here. The blurb on the website reads:
Quite simply one of our best actors and film-makers. He is remaking 'Sleuth' and filming 'The Magic Flute', and his film adaptation of 'As You Like It', as if we needed reminding, that from Olivier onwards, Britain's film industry has drawn from Stratford as much as it has from Pinewood.

A couple of photos to end with: KB on the set of The Magic Flute, and, going back a bit, with a gang after The Play What I Wrote in New York.

That's all for now!
(21 October, thanks Gina, Jude, Paula, Mark, Catherine, Arlynn, Renie)

Hey, 2B-eans, no news today, but I finally got some photos organised - you can see a set from the interview conducted at the Venice Film Festival here, and a set from the Magic Flute photocall here.

That's it for today, more soon I hope!
(21 September, thanks Renie and Lena)

Hey Kenites - more Magic Flute! You can read four new articles: 1, 2, 3 and 4. These are also linked from the Magic Flute page. You can watch a video version of the fourth article here.

Here is the bit about The Magic Flute from a longer article by Stephanie Zacharek, in

Kenneth Branagh's "The Magic Flute" is a lavish, bizarre picture that occasionally frustrated me, and sometimes bored me. And I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Branagh has reimagined and retooled Mozart's opera, setting it during World War I and changing the language from German to English. (Stephen Fry adapted the libretto.) Many of Branagh's ideas are just plain nutty, and yet somehow, they work: When Papageno dreams of kissing his true love, he puckers up and drifts toward a set of puffy red pop-art lips that float in space as if they'd been lifted from a Dali painting. Branagh turns stacks of sandbags into a weird chorus line of singing, blinking narrators -- they look something like the Rock People from the old Flash Gordon serials.

There were about 120 people in the theater as the movie began, and only about 100 of us were left by the end. Some snuck out quietly; others fled as if the devil himself were on their tail. Branagh has so many wild ideas that I suppose I can see how people might feel assaulted by them, particularly if they were expecting a more conventional "Magic Flute." (Let's forget for a moment that weird Masonic imagery isn't the stuff of everyday life for most people.) But even though there were moments in "The Magic Flute" when I wondered if Branagh hadn't truly gone off his rocker, I found its audacity exhilarating. Has Branagh become the Mad King Ludwig of filmmaking, building ever-bigger, more elaborate palaces for his not-inconsiderable ego? Maybe. But that's fine by me, as long as he remembers to leave a key under the doormat.

Make of that what you will, these yes-no-no-yes reviews leave me a bit dizzy.

More showings: The Magic Flute will open the Sevilla Festival de Cine in November. Kenneth Branagh will be given a special award celebrating his career and will be attending.

There is another article about the Sleuth remake here. It features a paragraph on The Magic Flute.

There are photos to post, but that will have to be another day (soon!).
(13 September, thanks Jane, Lyn, Virginia V., Jude)

It's raining Ken, hallelujah! Just a quick update...

The Magic Flute opened triumphantly at La Fenice in Venice yesterday evening, and in Toronto as well. Who better to tell us about it than Kenneth Branagh himself! You can hear him talk about the film and its premiere on the BBC show In Tune, hosted by Sean Rafferty. Click on the link and either listen to the whole show or skip forward until 20:45 - the intervew begins shortly thereafter. This program will be up for a week - click on the September 8 episode to hear it.

You can watch a substantial clip of The Magic Flute on an Italian site: click here.

The Venice International Film Festival has a web-tv site. Click here and search for magic flute in the box on the right entitled "Cerca film". Then click on Photocall for amusing videos of the cast and director being photographed by a million people, and on TVcall to see an interview with Kenneth and the cast (with Italian translation overlaid).

And... you can see three photos from the premiere here, including two of Ken and his lovely Lindsay (and I suspect that only in Italy could they be cajoled into a public smooch - viva l'Italia!).

And because it really is raining Ken, there is other news:

Branagh Helming Sleuth
One Hamlet Plus Two Alfies Equals Remake
by Stax, FilmForce, 7 September 2006

Actor-filmmaker Kenneth Branagh has come aboard to direct Castle Rock's remake of Sleuth. Jude Law and Michael Caine, both of whom took turns playing Alfie, will star. Harold Pinter wrote the screenplay.

Caine starred in the Oscar-nominated 1972 original film directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. 'Sleuth', based on Anthony Shaffer's play, follows wealthy mystery novelist Andrew Wyke who confronts hairdresser Milo Tindle, his wife's lover. A deadly cat-and-mouse game ensues after Andrew makes Milo a sinister proposition whereby both men could profit.

As Variety reminds us, Caine played the hairdresser in the 1972 version to Laurence Olivier's vengeful writer. This time Caine will play Wyke and Law will portray Milo. Jude Law will also produce 'Sleuth' via his Riff Raff Prods. shingle. Shooting reportedly begins this January at Twickenham Studios in London.

Caine is also expected to reprise his role as Alfred the butler for 'The Dark Knight', the sequel to Batman Begins, which will start filming in early 2007.

And you can read a short article about this same news here.

More to come (must fall into bed now).
(8 September, thanks Pierpaolo, Jude, Catherine)

Hey gang, me voilà, labouring on Labour Day (for those not in North America, this has nothing to do with Tony Blair). So let's start with the kind of "let me stick him with the needle while I pin on the award" snippet we have read only too often before:

The Independent, 14 August 2006 Much Ado About Kenneth
By Oliver Duff

Kenneth Branagh has a track record with young Hollywood starlets that would make Colin Farrell blush.

Our foremost Shakespearean has previously been linked to such beauties as Alicia Silverstone, Darryl Hannah and Courtney Cox. The latest belle to fall for the Branster's charms, albeit professionally, is Bryce Dallas Howard, who he recently directed in a forthcoming film version of "As You Like It".

"Kenneth is just the most amazing person to work with," she gushes. "His understanding of Shakespeare is incredible, and he also made it so much fun to do as well."

Is that a sick bag I see before me?

Is that a lazy, lightweight "journalist" I see in the article before me? (and might he just be envious?)

Moving on... the schedules for the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival are up. The Magic Flute will be shown in Venice three times: 6 September at 8:30 am for the "press, industry, professional" audience and again on the same day at 8:30 pm at La Fenice Theatre for the "invited". It's also being again on 7 September at 8:30 am, this time for the public. The schedule has changed (originally there were two screenings on the 7th, but by invitation only, which did seem odd. So I hope this info is correct!).

At the Toronto International Film Festival The Magic Flute will be showing at 2 pm on 7 September and again on 15 September at 8:30 pm. So presumably we shall see Mr. B in the press this week.

Here's a blurb from Contact Music:

Branagh to Unleash Opera Movie in Venice

Director Kenneth Branagh is set to startle audiences at the Venice Film Festival in Italy next week (07SEP06), when he unveils his new movie adaptation of famous opera THE MAGIC FLUTE. Branagh admits he initially found making the film, based on the opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, hard-going as he preferred pop music. But, with the help of screenwriter Stephen Fry, Branagh soon fell in love with opera. He says, "I've never tried opera. I was raised on pop music. It's a whole new medium for me. Stephen, of course, is an opera buff and was a natural choice. "I come from a words tradition. But after two-and-a-half years making the film, my enthusiasm has never waned."

And here is a cute story about one of the singers in the film:
Leeds Today: Evening Post, 21 August 2006

Wanted: A Posh Frock for Magical Night
An opera singer from Leeds starring in Kenneth Branagh's new £15m blockbuster movie is desperately seeking a posh frock.

It's like a scene from a rags to riches fairytale for mum-of-three Kim-Marie Woodhouse, who will be at the world premiere of 'The Magic Flute' in Venice on September 7. But she still doesn't have a dress to wear.

The film she stars in is a feature length version of Mozart's classic opera, with a newly adapted English script written by Stephen Fry and Kenneth Branagh, who also directs.

Kim-Marie, 36, said: "I am just so busy at the moment. We have the builders in at home, I am teaching a lot, I am in the middle of a national tour with 'Cosi Fan Tutti' as well as rehearsing for a new operatic role in September. "With the three kids, I do not seem to have a spare moment to buy a posh frock for the premiere. If anyone can help me find a dress, it would be appreciated."

Kim-Marie, 36, of Calverley, is a former Opera North Star, and says her biggest role to date has been "like a childhood dream come true." She has worked for almost 20 years to become a star in the world of opera. Mezzo soprano singer Kim-Marie, who usually performs on stage instead of a camera, said: "The audition process was extremely nerve-racking. At first I just sent off photographs and my CV. "Next thing I was called to London and met Kenneth Branagh. I had to sing right into the camera and perform with other singers to see how we worked together. "It was like a dream from childhood. Kenneth Branagh was really lovely, ever so charismatic. Then a while later I got the call to say I had the part. "It's my biggest role to date and the most high-profile."

Kim-Marie is one of the five main female characters in the movie. The film has been updated to the eve of the First World War. It tells the story of a young soldier waiting for the command to go to battle is transported into a twilight world between dream and nightmare.

Kim-Marie is married to Opera North chorus singer Dominic Burns. They live in Calverley, Leeds with children Isabella, nine, Else-Maria, five and Nancy, four. In 1993 she won the Mary Garden International Singing Competition, was runner–up in the National Mozart Competition and was also awarded a Sir Geraint Evans scholarship.
* If you can help Kim Marie to find or borrow a posh frock for her premiere get in touch with Alison Bellamy at the YEP on 0113 238 8277.

Speaking of magical, you can see a few new stills from the film here. There are also some larger versions of photos previously seen: The Magic Flute 1 and The Magic Flute 2.

And finally, peeking hopefully into the future, the author C. J. Sansom, when asked at the of an interview on BBC 4 about a film version of "Dissolution", replied that 'they' were in talks with Kenneth Branagh to play Matthew Shardlake in a film adaptation. Dare we hope?

That's it for today - stay tuned for Venice and Toronto news!
(4 September, thanks Jude, Pierpaolo)

Branaghians...the new news is that As You Like It will be opening in 100 cinemas in Italy tomorrow! The distributor, Medusa Films, has decided to launch the film in tandem with Kenneth's presence in Italy at the Venice Film Festival (where he is premiering his other film, The Magic Flute). Medusa has done us all the big favour of offering 42 stills from the film on its website. Feast your eyes!

And... ('coz when it finally rains in the desert it's more than one drop) you can see the first trailer (for Italy) at the site. Further feasting for the eyes!

There is also Magic Flute news but I will be back with it in a day or two (real life keeps making demands - such cheek!).
(31 August, thanks Jude, Pierpaolo)

Hey B-eans! After working around the pathetic Yahoo non-service (what kind of "customer service" doesn't answer 20+ emails enquiring what happened to the 8 year old, 500+ member strong Ken-list, not devoted to commerce, or over-18 subjects, or political no-nos?), the new Kenlist (sans hyphen because the Yahoo machinery still seems to see the original list even though no one else can) is up and running, alive and well. Please join us for early heads-up news regarding Kenneth Branagh and simpatico exchanges with great people.

It has been a bit quiet in Kenland, though I don't think KB has been lying in a hammock or floating on a mattress on a lake - The Magic Flute is premiering at both the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Rumour has it there will be a satellite link, presumably so the glam cast and director can be present on both sides of the Atlantic at once. One might guess that the City by the Lagoon has a siren call and they won't be sidling into the theatre in Toronto (sigh). Not to mention that the film is supposedly going to be shown at the restored La Fenice theatre, which has literally risen like a phoenix from the ashes. It will be sooo fabulous!

Meanwhile, you can get a bunch of info about what will be shown at the Toronto festival in this article from Showbuzz, and here is a shorter blurb from

Branagh's Film Version Of "The Magic Flute" To Premiere In Toronto
August 12, 2006
Yvonne Lee - All Headline News Staff Reporter

(AHN) - Actor and director Kenneth Branagh willl premiere his movie version of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" at the Toronto Film Festival. Branagh chose to set the film during World War I. Stephen Fry translated the famous score into English.

Branagh's former wife, Emma Thompson, will also be at the festival for the showing of her latest film "Stranger Than Fiction."

The annual festival marked its 30th anniversary last year. It's one of the largest in North America. More than 50 movies will make their world premieres at this year's festival, which runs from September 7 to 16. Other films making their premieres include "For Your Consideration," written by Christopher Guest, and "The Last Kiss," by Crash screenwriter Paul Haggis.

There is another article about The Magic Flute at the Fuji Film site (I love these guys, yeah, yeah, they're promoting their film (as in 'rolls of') but showing most excellent taste in the projects they cover!). You can read it here.

Fundraising notes: as a result of the 2005 Birthday Project the Ken-Friends sent £1826 GBP to Ulster Association of Youth Drama in Northern Ireland. This sum went to bursaries for aspiring young theatre-folk and you can learn who the recipients were here.

DVD news: Universal Horror, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, will be part of both the Frankenstein 75th Anniversary boxed set and the Dracula 75th Anniversary boxed set, region 1, due out 26 September from Universal Studios.

Looking for Richard will be available on region 1 DVD on 17 October, sold by itself and as part of an Al Pacino boxed set.

Literary news: The paperback edition of Mark White's biography of Kenneth Branagh will be released on 11 November in both the UK and America.

A nice photo for today's update: "Kenneth Branagh, star of 2000 [Newport Film Festival] opening night film Love's Labours Lost chats with the media outside the Jane Pickens Theatre".

Just over three weeks till The Magic Flute!
(12 August, thanks Jane, Gina, Jude, Lyn)

Hallo 2B-eans! I am back from touristy jaunts in Italia, capped off by twice seeing my adored and brilliant Rufus Sewell in the wonderful Tom Stoppard play Rock 'n Roll. Well, well, well worth seeing - if you can find a ticket!

Meanwhile, there has not been too much news in Branaghland, probably because that director fella has been cloistered in a studio getting The Magic Flute ready for its debut at the Venice Film Festival in September (in between watching the footie)... regarding Venice here is an announcement:

ROME (Hollywood Reporter/Reuters) - French star Catherine Deneuve, named best actress at 1998's Venice International Film Festival, will head the main competition jury at the 63rd edition of the event, organizers said on Wednesday.

The festival also announced it will host the world premiere of Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," along with a series of screenings celebrating the centennial of the birth of iconic Italian directors Roberto Rossellini, Lucino Visconti and Mario Soldati.

Deneuve has a long association with the Venice fest, which this year runs August 30 through September 9. She made a name for herself at the 1967 edition as the star of Luis Bunuel's Golden Lion winner "Belle de jour." In 1998, she won the Coppa Volpi award for her role as Marianne Malivert in Nicole Garcia's "Place Vendome."

The makeup of the rest of the jury was not announced.

"We are proud that a personality like Catherine Deneuve will preside over the Venice jury," Biennale president Davide Croff and Venice artistic director Marco Mueller said. "Her magical charisma and her knowledge of cinema will give serenity and balance to the jury."

Screenings of classic films will include Rossellini's "Rome, Open City" and 1959 Golden Lion winner "Il Generale della Rovere," Visconti's "Ossessione" and Soldati's "La Provinciale."

Branagh's adaptation of "Flute" will screen September 7 at the La Fenice Opera House.

How perfect it will be in that amazing theatre! Lucky people who can attend! There was also another article about The Magic Flute, which you can read here. And you can see a few new photos here.

Since that's all she wrote for the moment, we've got a few photos to keep our spirits up. There are a few more photos from Warm Springs here. And here are some new ones of Kenneth in many versions of himself: A photo of KB the film-maker; Sitting in a cinema; Elegant in blue and A determined young man.

More news as soon as there is some!
(2 July, thanks Paula, Jude, Susan, Leanna)