Going for ‘Broke’: LEO critics predict who’ll ‘Crash’ the Oscar podium

PAUL KOPASZLike a good horse race, the 2006 Oscars is shaping up to be quite an interesting contest. The pre-emptive favorite for best picture and best director, “Brokeback Mountain” (which I did not like, and for which my negative opinion elicited a number of accusations of homophobia) seems to have a certain momentum working against it. “Capote” or “Crash” could sweep in out of nowhere and screw up all the conventional Oscar odds. Maybe it will happen this way: “Munich,” “Capote” and “Brokeback” split the vote among the vast majority of Academy voters, and the dark-horse candidate “Crash” coasts to an unlikely victory. No doubt “Brokeback” will pick up some awards, but I can sense a “Brokeback” backlash already taking shape.

Meat and greet: At American Film Market, you want to hear buy, buy, not bye-bye


SANTA MONICA, Calif.—I’ve been in the film business full time since 1998 and directed four films between 1998 and 2002. But it had been nearly three years since I went to the American Film Market with a film to market, so it was especially exciting late last fall to attend the event with “The Devoured,” a low-budget horror film my company co-produced with Louisville-based KDM.

Elevating art in Louisville: Museum Plaza has big goals for art in Louisville — and beyond

Imagine Louisville hosting work by Cristo and Jeanne-Claude, the artistic duo who mounted The Gates last year, filling New York’s Central Park with large, billowing orange canopies. Or our city chosen as the site for a powerful and socially ambitious artwork such as Kyzysztof Wodiczko’s “Hiroshima Projection.”

Rumblings From the World of Sports

The truth. This year’s U of L Cardinals are simply a very mediocre basketball team. Whether it’s injuries (hey, a lot of teams are hurting), youth (hmmm, Kansas starts all first- and second-year guys), chemistry (this team couldn’t distinguish H20 from CO2), hoops savvy (quotient: nada) or recruiting (paging Chris Lofton), these Cards just don’t got it. And, as the season grinds on, the worser it gets. Plus, The Rick has done a lousy job discovering the team’s key. If there is one. What is that locksmith’s number?The antidote. Watch a tape of last season’s regional final. See the Cards’ snatch victory in a game they had no reason to win, through guile, grit and guts. Remember this, the game’s take charge guy — Larry O’Bannon — was so chained in The Rick’s doghouse after his sophomore season that he didn’t even make the traveling squad to the sub-regional in Birmingham. Which is to say, there is hope, as long as The Rick doesn’t go Roderick Rhodes on the newcomers who didn’t immediately meet his expectations and the kids are willing to stay the course and do the work.Arrivederci, Rajon. I’m told the “superstar” is gone, no matter what.

Cruel and unusual?

It’s hard to say who in their right mind would actually want to read every column LEO founder John Yarmuth has written since 1990, but the LEO office has recently had at least one potentially sadomasochistic visitor asking for them.

Staff Picks

<THEATER>Thursday, March 2Two-man improv theater Improv is the jazz of theater. It taps years of experience to bring something from nothing. Premeditation is uncouth. Self-destruction is possible. It’s loose and tense within the same 10 seconds. For the most part, it’s just random. Combined, Louisville actors Mike Slaton and Dennis Frymire have around 15 years of experience on stage and screen. “Decent Exposure,” their new project debuting tomorrow at Lisa’s Oak St. Lounge, is long-form freestyle improvisation, on the order of the famed Second City troupe of Chicago. Slaton says he envisions the show as more like a band playing than a stage performance. They picked a good venue for that. —Stephen GeorgeLisa’s Oak St. Lounge1004 E. Oak St. 637-9315$5; 9 p.m.21+

A little Q&A with a Louisville whiz kid: Stephen Gaghan passed on an HBO blockbuster. But he’s made out all right

Stephen Gaghan is a man with more talent and life experience than most of the rest of us could ever hope to understand. Our city his sent forth some fine artists, but so far only one — Gaghan — has won an Oscar (screenwriting for “Traffic,” in 2001). The signal fact of his success as a storyteller is that his ability to write and move people emotionally was forged in the crisis of drug addiction. And his ability was not destroyed by that addiction. The specter of dope, and dependency in general, hangs heavily over his best works (“Traffic,” “Syriana”), and his best works are as good as anything American cinema has seen since the glory days of the Ashby-Hopper-Coppola-Altman-Scorsese 1970s.

I’m sorry, it’s store policy

There is no Kentucky law governing a pharmacist’s right to refuse to dispense medication based on personal beliefs, which leaves it up to individual pharmacies whether to fill prescriptions for drugs like Plan B. Here are some of the policies of Louisville’s major chain pharmacies, as well as Planned Parenthood.

What a Week

Unmitigated gall
Gov. Fletcher briefly transferred his powers to Lt. Gov. Pence so the governor could have his gall bladder removed. The gall bladder — the body’s metaphorical repository for repressed anger — had been shot full of lead by vice president Dick Cheney. (In Cheney’s defense, it’s hard to draw a bead on Fletcher and not hit gall.) Left with a nasty bloodstream infection, Fletcher and gall, sans bladder, recuperated in a Lexington hospital, where he pardoned several hospital employees.

Live and help live

A bill in the general assembly would allow for the creation of a localized Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Here’s why that’s essential.