Monday, February 10, 2003


First, from the world of film...

Hollywood fights death penalty at Berlin film fest

Duh.. Opponents of capital punishment have won support from Hollywood with the release of "The Life of David Gale," a thriller starring Kevin Spacey.

The Plot: (Warning: Credibility Suspension Needed) Spacey plays Gale, a renowned Texas philosophy professor and campaigner against the death penalty who is himself sentenced to death for allegedly raping and murdering a young fellow-campaigner.

Just three days before the lethal injection, he invites ambitious magazine journalist Bitsey Bloom, played by Kate Winslet for an interview and asks her to help him prove his innocence. What follows is a series of flashbacks and a frantic search for the truth with last-minute twists adding to the tension as the clock ticks.

The Artists Speaks....British director Alan Parker, whose past films include Angel Heart, Mississippi Burning and The Commitments, said he expects the film to stir fresh discussion about capital punishment in the United States when it opens there on February 21.

"We know the film will probably provoke a debate which will be helpful to the issue," Parker told a news conference on the second day of the 53rd Berlinale.

...Spacey said statistics showing the death penalty was not an effective deterrent to murder spoke for themselves. "But I've never had my sister murdered and I have no idea what that must be like, to have one's life and family torn apart," he said.

Let's Ask McVeigh....Spacey said relatives of people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing who had watched Timothy McVeigh's execution had "the biggest, strangest anti-climax because he was put to sleep. Is it really a penalty? Does it work?"