Aquamarine And Chocolate Diamond Ring The Ultimate Eye Candy

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 11-02-2016

Aquamarine and Chocolate Diamond Ring The Ultimate Eye Candy

by

Johnn Smith

Both dazzling wonders of nature, the aquamarine, birthstone for March, and the diamond, birthstone for April, pair delightfully in an aquamarine and chocolate diamond ring. The clear icy blue tones of the aquamarine are in ideal contrast to the luscious warmth of the chocolate diamond, the juxtaposition like a dazzling marriage of opposite personalities. Just as people often make a great couple when entirely different, these two jewels are a match made in heaven.

In the grand scheme of things, the earth creates diamonds by subjecting carbon to high pressure and great temperature, eventually causing the formation of diamond crystals. By happenstance and an especially breathtaking quirk of fate, sometimes the pressure is so extreme as to compress the diamond crystals creating red, pink, and brown hued diamonds.

Chocolate diamonds, while rare, are obviously occurring fancy colored diamonds. The charming natural diamond palette includes brown, red, green, yellow, blue, pink lavender, gray blue, and black diamonds.

Infused with more character, individuality, and color than colorless diamonds, chocolate diamonds in all their appetizing shades are one of the most common of the fancy colors and favored by designers for their inherent depth and substantial warmth, particularly when paired up with aquamarine and other light colored gemstones in rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and pins. Depending on the precise brown shade, chocolate diamonds may also be called champagne, cognac, or smoky diamonds.

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White diamonds have been the diamonds of option for wedding and engagement rings for years. Nowadays, fancy chocolate diamonds and other colored diamonds have become a sign of love and eternity just as much as their colorless cousins.

Aquamarine is loved the world over for its unexpected beauty. Its intense blue color nuances are acclaimed by women and complement most complexions and eye colors. Designers are also enraptured with this mesmerizing gemstone perhaps more than any other, and it is paired with white and fancy colored diamonds in many designer jewelry collections. It is predominantly stunning accented with smoldering dark chocolate diamonds.

The word aquamarine is derived from the Latin aqua (water) and mare (sea). Capturing the lucid blue freshness of the oceans, aquamarine is the stone of harmony and friendship making it a fitting choice for an engagement, wedding, or anniversary ring. Wearing aquamarine is said to promise a happy marriage and joy and prosperity to the woman who wears it.

Aquamarine paired with chocolate diamonds is a admired designer look for rings and other jewelry, but this color combination can be challenging to find. Trendy styles for aquamarine and chocolate diamond ring designs include:

A central aquamarine surrounded by a sparkling band of chocolate and white diamonds.

Aquamarine gems and chocolate diamonds harmonizing with other birthstones in multi-colored fashion rings.

Three stone engagement rings that pair a rich chocolate diamond with aquamarine accents.

For a decadent, appetizing diamond ring, couples are turning to unique combinations of daring gems. An aquamarine and chocolate diamond ring is a luxurious choice for any couple with discerning tastes for beautiful and distinctive jewelry.

Johnn Smith is an Expert author for

Engagement Rings

. He has written many articles like “Princess Diamond Engagement Rings”. For information visit our site

Wedding Ring

.

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Zimbabwe government allocates US$10 million for relocation of thousands of families near diamond field

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 10-02-2016

Saturday, November 14, 2009 

The Zimbabwean government has allocated US$10 million worth of funds for the relocation of thousands of families living near the Chiadzwa diamond fields in the Manicaland province.

Murisi Zwizwai, the Deputy Mines Minister, said that the funds would be used to build houses for the residents in the area, and for developments in . “I can confirm that US$10 million has been set aside for the relocation. The relocation may take place after they have harvested their crops,” he said in an interview, as quoted by the New Zimbabwe news agency.

Zwizwai also added that “the money would be used to build new houses, clinics among others.” According to him, the residents would not be relocated until the 2009–10 agricultural season.

In a 100-day plan, the Zimbabwean coalition government noted that diamonds in the area might be a large source of funds and finance for the country, and could help revive the economy.

Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 10-02-2016

Sunday, September 6, 2009 

24-year-old Aman Kassaye, of no fixed abode, is to face a charge of attempted murder for his alleged role in an armed robbery that netted £40 million ($65 million) worth of jewelry from a London store.

Kassaye is the seventh man to be charged, and is also facing prosecution for conspiracy to rob the Graff store in New Bond Street, false imprisonment, and using a handgun to resist arrest. He will appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on Monday.

The other six men have already been remanded in custody until October 23, when they will appear at Kingston Crown Court. All are facing charges of conspiracy to rob, and two of them are also charged with a firearms offense.

43 diamond rings, watches, and bracelets were taken from the store. The theft occurred when two armed and suited men walked in and took an employee hostage. It has been reported they used prosthetic masks made from liquid latex but police have not confirmed this. Amateur footage also shows a shot was fired. No-one was injured.

The robbery is one of the biggest the United Kingdom has seen. After the crime a string of getaway vehicles was used, with police believing several more offenders assisted with this stage of the plan. Although The Telegraph claims no stolen property has yet been recovered, this is also unconfirmed by police.

Always Comparison Shop For Your Mortgage Interest Rates

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 03-10-2015

By David Faulkner

Every smart shopper knows that the best way to save money is to do comparison shopping. And shopping for a mortgage is no different. Do not decide to purchase a home without having spent an adequate amount of time on shopping for your mortgage, by getting quotes from several different lenders. You can then use the lowest quote as a bargaining chip in your mortgage negotiations.

Even though your search for the best mortgage interest rates will probably take some time, you should not rush the process. A single point either way in your mortgage interest rates can mean thousands of dollars saved or lost over the duration of your home loan, and the work you do locking in the best rate will be some of the most financially rewarding of your life.

Start Looking

You can begin your search for the best mortgage interest rates either online or by looking through your local newspapers. Both banks and other commercial lenders will regularly advertise their latest loan options in the area newspapers, so just thumb through the financial and real estate sections each day and make a note of the best offers.

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But you don’t need to limit your search for the most favorable mortgage interest rates to your area papers; the Internet will let you access offers from lenders around the country. If you already have Internet access, finding mortgage interest rates online can also save you the cost of frequent newspaper purchases. Simply run a search on your city’s name followed by “lowest mortgage interest rates.”

While entering these terms will almost certainly provide you with several links to sites of lenders who offer home mortgages in your area, if they don’t, you simply need to repeat the search with a variety of keywords. Sooner or alter you will be rewarded with information on lenders either in your area, or national lenders who carry mortgages across the country.

Use Your Bargaining Chip

Review as many sites as you can, printing out their various mortgage programs, and include not only the information on mortgage interest rates, but the duration of the loans, and the down payments required for each. You also should look into prepayment penalties, which can erase the benefits of having lower mortgage interest rates if you choose to pay your loan off early. For more info see

mortgagerefinanceloanhelp.com/If_You_are_Swimming_in_Debt

on Swimming in Debt.

When you have found the best mortgage package for you, you can then use it to negotiate directly with the lenders in your area, and if they are unwilling to match its terms, simply apply online to several lenders!

In some instants is just doesn’t make sense to refinance your current mortgage. The biggest reason why you don’t want to is if you won’t be living there long enough to recoup the closing costs involved in the refinance process. In that type of situation you may be able to make more money by simply investing that money in another area that will yield a higher return. Take your time and shop around for the best lender with the best fees. You will be surprised at the differences in the costs that you can find.

About the Author: You can also find more info on

Consider Loan Refinance

and

Considering a House Refinance

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 02-10-2015

Thursday, July 3, 2014 

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

South African prosecutors charge ANC leader Jacob Zuma with corruption

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 02-10-2015

Saturday, December 29, 2007 

File:JacobZuma.jpg

Corruption-related charges have been brought against Jacob Zuma, the newly-elected leader of the African National Congress (ANC), according to his lawyer. A trial is scheduled to begin on August 14, 2008.

The charges stem from an arms deal with a French company, which is alleged to have involved bribes and fraud. Zuma’s financial adviser at the time, Schabir Shaik, was convicted in 2005 of attempting to solicit a bribe of US$72,500 per year from the arms company on Zuma’s behalf and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Zuma was fired as deputy president in 2005 by South African President Thabo Mbeki due to the scandal.

Two-term ANC leader Mbeki recently lost an ANC leadership contest to Jacob Zuma, who garnered about 60 percent of delegate votes in his win.

Zuma had been charged with corruption in 2005, but the case was dismissed on procedural grounds. Michael Hulley, Zuma’s defence lawyer, indicated that they will strongly contest the new charges in court. Hulley also suggested that the South African government’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its anti-organised crime division known as The Scorpions, have carried out a smear campaign against Zuma.

“These charges will be vigorously defended, in the context of the belief that the Scorpions (NPA) have acted wrongly and with improper motive calculated to discredit Mr. Zuma and ensure that he play no leadership role in the political future of our country,” said Michael Hulley in a statement.

Given that the ANC has been the governing party in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, it is likely that Jacob Zuma could become the next president after general elections in 2009. Zuma has said, however, that he would resign if he was found guilty by the courts.

Vodafone Leading Towards Success

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 07-07-2015

Submitted by: Rehash Morkey

Vodafone is leading towards India s top most telecom company. Vodafone is not only a national brand but has spread its business and loyalty throughout the world. It has it headquarters in United kingdoms. It is second largest company for having millions of subscribers all over the world. In term of revenue earned Vodafone is the largest telecom company in the world. It operates its business within more than 30 countries. Vodafone with its smart marketing strategies, new and innovative ideas and services for its customers makes a move towards world s largest telecom company in terms of subscribers.

When we think about the most innovative marketing strategy, all we can think is about Vodafone. Zoo zoos the unforgettable character of marketing world. To make people more

] aware about Vodafone services what can be best than smart and sweet zoo zoos character. The Zoo zoos characters have been successful in establishing and make over of Vodafone. Next the most effect tool of marketing used by Vodafone through Indian premier league 2(IPL2). Cricket is follow by 80% of Indian. India is full of cricket lovers. In that case what is best platform than IPL2 in promoting their brand (Vodafone) among people? Giving zoo zoos ads between the matches and telling the people new and funny stories about zoo zoos in which it often tell people about Vodafone new services.

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Vodafone beat almost every single company of India in terms of marketing by not using the small old way of marketing like films stars, politicians, sport person but an animated character. No one can ever believe that this animated character can win the hearts of people more than famous personalities. On seeing the popularity of zoo zoos character, Vodafone promises that soon it will launch zoo zoos t-shirts for its subscribers.

Next the most effect tool of marketing used by Vodafone through Indian premier league 2(IPL2). Cricket is follow by 80% of Indian. India is full of cricket lovers. In that case what is best platform than IPL2 in promoting their brand (Vodafone) among people?

One can subscribe the Vodafone in both postpaid and prepaid connection. For both the postpaid as well as prepaid connection Vodafone has very special and valuable offers for its customers. For its users, Vodafone has many existing offers at affordable price. The offers includes night pack at Rs.25 with the validity of 1 month, you can to any Vodafone number with the charges of 30 paisa per minute. It also includes group offers in which you can call within a group. You can make ISD call by just paying Rs.3.99 for a minute. Also you can enjoy SMS packs that to limited and unlimited one according to your use by recharging your cell with Rs.35 and Rs.89.

Moreover you can enjoy many value added services in Vodafone like internet facilities and now 3g also, caller tunes, missed call alert, horoscope, cricket and sports, news, fun and entertainment in which various games are include and many more. All you can say Vodafone make your life full entertaining, enjoyable and adds comforts to it.

About the Author: Looking for Vodafone Online Recharge ? Visit

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Numerology How Numbers Can Change The Destiny Of Your Life

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 04-05-2015

Numerology How Numbers Can Change The Destiny of Your Life

by

Blair.Gorman

In today s modern world, the concept of numerology is popular due to its widespread use by great Christian scholars like St. Augustine. Numerology is a number system in which there is a magical relationship between the numbers and humans.

Numerologists believe that the nine core numbers from 1 to 9 correspond to nine cycles of development of someone s life. An astrological explanation of these numbers help in predicting the meaning of each number associated. Numbers like a birth date number, our name all these numbers help in predicting our destiny. With the help of the numbers associated with us we can know more about a persons personality, his behavior, his life path, what he likes and what he does not like. Numbers have no real or physical significance. It is a symbol only. Using these symbols all mysteries of nature can be revealed.

Numerology revolves around nine numbers; each person is assigned a particular numbers calculated from this birth date number. This number is called the life path number which influences the life as it has relation with the harmony, vibration and materialistic side of life. Heart number describes the wishes a person has, like the things he desires to have.

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While the maturity numbers reflects the intellect of the person, how is he in taking his decisions?

Even in match making or finding a soul mate, numbers can play very important part?

By seeing the compatibility between the birth chart numbers of two individuals, one can predict the type of relation ship they will have. By this, you can know about the personality traits of each other and the strength of that union in future. So numerology plays a vital part in making your relationship a success.

One can take the help of numerology to know their interest areas, the kind of jobs which can bring prosperity and satisfaction in their life. Every number has its own significance relating to human character, behavior and his actions. Each number has its own good and bad effect associated with it. Every person has his own numbers depicting his past, present and future. Only one thing which is required is the proper guidance.

Blair Gorman uses numerology a science of numbers combined with his 26 years of experience in studying and practicing numerology to help individuals get solutions to their problems. He believes in sharing his knowledge with others.

A knowledgeable numerologist can guide you on how numbers related to you, plays an important role in your life. Even a name change or addition of an alphabet to it can bring a difference in our life in a positive way.

Blair Gorman

is a man who is practicing numerology since 26 years. He is a master numerologist and NLP master practitioner.

Blair Gorman

believes in sharing his knowledge with others. Know more about

Blair Gorman

and his knowledge about numbers which can bring a difference in your life.

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Numerology How Numbers Can Change The Destiny of Your Life

Motion Picture Association of America film rating system

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 04-05-2015

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system is used in the United States and its territories to rate a film’s suitability for certain audiences, based on its content. The MPAA rating system is a voluntary scheme that is not enforced by law; films can be exhibited without a rating, though many theaters refuse to exhibit non-rated or NC-17 rated films. Non-members of MPAA may also submit films for rating.[1] Other media (such as television programs and video games) may be rated by other entities. The MPAA rating system is one of various motion picture rating systems that are used to help parents decide what films are appropriate for their children.

The MPAA’s rating system is administered by the Classification & Ratings Administration (CARA), an independent agency.

Since the late 1990s, the MPAA film ratings have been as follows:[2]

If a film has not been submitted for a rating or is an uncut version of a film that was submitted, the labels Not Rated (NR) or Unrated (UR) are often used. Uncut/extended versions of films that are labeled “Unrated” also contain warnings saying that the uncut version of the film contains content that differs from the theatrical release and may not be suitable for minors.

If a film has not yet been assigned a final rating, the label This Film Is Not Yet Rated are used in trailers and television commercials.

The MPAA also rates film trailers, print advertising, posters, and other media used to promote a film. Green, yellow, or red title cards displayed before the start of a trailer indicate the trailer’s rating.

In 1989 Tennessee enacted a law whereby patrons of an R-rated motion picture were not admitted unless they were at least 18 years old or accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.[5]

Jack Valenti, who had become president of the Motion Picture Association of America in May 1966, deemed the Motion Picture Production Code – in place since 1930 and rigorously enforced since 1934 – as out of date and bearing “the odious smell of censorship”. Filmmakers were pushing at the boundaries of the Code, and Valenti cited examples such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which contained the expressions “screw” and “hump the hostess”; and Blow-Up, which was denied Code approval due to nudity, resulting in the MPAA member studio releasing it through a subsidiary. He revised the Code to include the “SMA” (Suggested for Mature Audiences) advisory as a stopgap measure. To accommodate “the irresistible force of creators determined to make ‘their films'”, and to avoid “the possible intrusion of government into the movie arena”, he developed a set of advisory ratings which could be applied after a film was completed. On November 1, 1968, the voluntary MPAA film rating system took effect, with three organizations serving as its monitoring and guiding groups: the MPAA, the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), and the International Film Importers & Distributors of America (IFIDA).[6]

The ratings used from 1968 to 1970 were:[7]

This content classification system originally was to have three ratings, with the intention of allowing parents to take their children to any film they chose. However, the National Association of Theater Owners urged the creation of an adults-only category, fearful of possible legal problems in local jurisdictions. The “X” rating was not an MPAA trademark and would not receive the MPAA seal; any producer not submitting a film for MPAA rating could self-apply the “X” rating (or any other symbol or description that was not an MPAA trademark).[6]

With the introduction of the MPAA’s rating system, the U.S. was a latecomer as far as film classification was concerned. Countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom had begun this practice earlier in the 20th century.[8]

In 1970 the ages for “R” and “X” were raised from 16 to 17. Also, due to confusion over whether “M” rated film were suitable for children, “M” was renamed to “GP” (parental guidance suggested), and in 1971 the MPAA added the content advisory “Some material not generally suitable for pre-teenagers”. In 1972 “GP” was revised to “PG”.[9][10]

The ratings used from 1970 to 1972 were:

The ratings used from 1972 to 1984 were:

In the early 1980s, there were complaints about violence and gore in films such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins, both of which received PG ratings.[11] Steven Spielberg, the director of Temple of Doom and executive producer of Gremlins, suggested a new intermediate rating between “PG” and “R”.[12] The “PG-13” rating was introduced in July 1984, with the advisory “Parents Are Strongly Cautioned to Give Special Guidance for Attendance of Children Under 13 – Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Young Children”; in 1986, the wording was simplified to “Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13”. Around the same time, the MPAA won a trademark infringement lawsuit against the producers and distributors of I Spit on Your Grave over a fraudulent application of its R rating to the uncut version of the film,[13] and forced its member studios and several other home video distributors to put MPAA ratings on the packaging of MPAA-rated films via a settlement that would come into effect by fall that year.[14]

The ratings used from 1984 to 1990 were:

In the rating system’s early years, “X”-rated films such as Midnight Cowboy (1969), A Clockwork Orange (1971), the animated Fritz the Cat (1972), and Last Tango in Paris (1973) were understood to be unsuitable for children, but non-pornographic and intended for the general public. However, pornographic films often self-applied the non-trademarked “X” rating, and it soon became synonymous with pornography in American culture.[15] In late 1989 and early 1990, two critically acclaimed art films featuring strong adult content, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, were released. Neither film was approved for an MPAA rating, thus limiting their commercial distribution, and prompting criticism of the rating system’s lack of a designation for such films.[16][17]

In September 1990, the MPAA introduced the rating “NC-17” (“No Children Under 17 Admitted”).[18] Henry & June – previously to be assigned an “X” rating – was the first film to receive the “NC-17” rating instead.[18][19] Although films with an “NC-17” rating had more mainstream distribution opportunities than “X”-rated films, many cinemas refused to screen them, most entertainment media did not accept advertising for them, and many large video outlets refused to stock them.[20] In 1996,[21] the minimum age for “NC-17” films was raised to 18, by rewording it to “No One 17 and Under Admitted”.[22]

The current ratings used since 1990 are:[2]

Since September 1990, the MPAA has included brief explanations of why each film received an “R” rating, allowing parents to know what type of content the film contained. For example, some films’ explanations may read “Strong Brutal Violence, Pervasive Language, Some Strong Sexual Content, and Drug Material”. Around the late 1990s, the MPAA began applying rating explanations for “PG”, “PG-13”, and “NC-17” films as well.[23]

Depictions of violence are generally restricted to PG and above. The violence in a PG rated film will not be intense, while violence that is both intense and persistent will generally require at least an R rating. Violence is not prohibited in G rated films, but if present will be minimal.[24]

Profanity is restricted to PG and above, although G rated films are permitted to use words that are deemed impolite. Use of one of the harsher sexually-derived expletives will automatically incur at least a PG-13 rating, while multiple occurrences will usually incur an R rating. Usage of such an expletive in a sexual context will also generally garner an R rating; nevertheless, the ratings board may still award a PG-13 rating passed by a two-thirds majority if they believe the language is justified by the context or by the manner in which the words are used.[24]

There are at least five known exceptions to the guidelines in which PG-13 rated films contain multiple occurrences of the word fuck: Adventures in Babysitting, where the word is used twice in the same scene;[25] The Hip Hop Project, which has seventeen uses;[26] Gunner Palace, a documentary of soldiers in the Second Gulf War, which has 42 uses of the word with two used sexually;[27] Bully, a 2011 documentary about bullying;[28] Philomena, released in November 2013, which has two uses of the word.[29]

Drug use content is restricted to PG-13 and above.[24] An example of an otherwise PG film being assigned a PG-13 rating for a drug reference (momentary, along with brief language) is Whale Rider. The film contained only mild profanity, but was rated PG-13 because of a scene where drug paraphernalia were briefly visible. Critic Roger Ebert criticized the MPAA for the rating and called it “a wild overreaction”.[30]

In May 2007, the MPAA announced that depictions of cigarette smoking would be considered in a film’s rating.[31][32] The 2011 Nickelodeon-animated film Rango caused some controversy over its PG rating among anti-smoking advocates. It was argued that the film showed over 60 depictions of characters smoking in the film, and that because of this, the child-friendly PG rating was inappropriate.[33]

Nudity is restricted to PG and above, although only brief nudity is permitted in a PG rated film. Nudity that is sexually oriented will generally require an R rating.[24] As of 2010, the MPAA has added a descriptor of “male nudity” to films featuring said content.[34]

The MPAA does not have any explicit criteria for sexual content other than excluding sex scenes from G rated films.[24]

In its initial years of use, few films with the NC-17 rating were profitable. In 1995, United Artists released the big-budget film Showgirls (1995). It became the most widely distributed film with an NC-17 rating (showing in 1,388 cinemas simultaneously), but was a financial failure that grossed only 45% of its $45 million budget.[35] Some modest successes can be found among NC-17 theatrical releases, however. Fox Searchlight Pictures released the original NC-17-rated American edition of the European film The Dreamers (2003) in theaters in the United States, and later released both the original NC-17 and the cut R-rated version on DVD. A Fox Searchlight spokesman said the NC-17 rating did not give them much trouble in releasing this film (they had no problem booking it, and only the Mormon-owned Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News refused to take the film’s ad), and Fox Searchlight was satisfied with this film’s United States box office result.[36] Another notable exception is Bad Education (2004), a NC-17 foreign-language film which grossed $5.2 million in the United States theatrically[37] (a moderate success for a foreign-language film[38]).

As of March 2007, according to Variety, MPAA chairman Dan Glickman had been made aware of the attempts to introduce a new rating, or find ways to reduce the stigma of the NC-17 rating. Film studios have pressured the MPAA to retire the NC-17 rating, because of its likely impact on their film’s box office revenue.[39][40]

During the controversy about the MPAA’s decision to give the film Blue Valentine (2010) an NC-17 rating (The Weinstein Company challenged this decision, and the MPAA ended up awarding the same cut an R rating on appeal), actor Ryan Gosling noted that NC-17 films are not allowed wide advertisement and that, given the refusal of major cinema chains like AMC and Regal to show NC-17 rated movies, many such films will never be accessible to people who live in markets that do not have art house theatres.[citation needed]

Legal scholar Julie Hilden wrote that the MPAA has a “masterpiece exception” that it has made for films that would ordinarily earn an NC-17 rating, if not for the broader artistic masterpiece that requires the violence depicted as a part of its message. She cites Saving Private Ryan, with its bloody depiction of the D-Day landings, as an example. This exception is troubling, Hilden argues, because it ignores context and perspective in evaluating other films and favors conventional films over edgier films that contribute newer and more interesting points to public discourse about violence.[41]

Starting in 2004, GKC Theatres (now Carmike Cinemas) introduced ‘R-Cards,’ which parents could obtain for their teenage children, under the age of 17, to see R-rated films without adult accompaniment. The cards generated much controversy; MPAA president Jack Valenti said in a news article: “I think it distorts and ruptures the intent of this voluntary film ratings system. All R-rated films are not alike.”[42] John Fithian, the president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, also said that the cards can be harmful. He noted in a news article for the Christian Science Monitor that the R rating is “broad enough to include relatively family-friendly fare such as Billy Elliot and Erin Brockovich (which were both rated R for language) along with films that push the extremes of violence, including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.”[43]

The film rating system has had a number of high-profile critics. Film critic Roger Ebert argued that the system places too much emphasis on sex, while allowing the portrayal of massive amounts of gruesome violence. The uneven emphasis on sex versus violence is echoed by other critics, including David Ansen, as well as many filmmakers. Moreover, Ebert argued that the rating system is geared toward looking at trivial aspects of the film (such as the number of times a profane word is used) rather than at the general theme of the film (for example, if the film realistically depicts the consequences of sex and violence). He called for an A (adults only) rating, to indicate films high in violence or mature content that should not be marketed to teenagers, but do not have NC-17 levels of sex. He also called for the NC-17 rating to be removed and have the X rating revived. He felt that everyone understood what X-rated means, while fewer people understood what NC-17 meant. He called for ratings A and X to identify whether an adult film is pornographic or not.[44][45][46][47]

MPAA chairman Dan Glickman has disputed these claims, stating that far more films are initially rated NC-17 for violence than for sex, but that these are later edited by studios to receive an R rating.[48]

Despite this, an internal critic of the early workings of the ratings system is film critic and writer Stephen Farber, who was a CARA intern for six months during 1969 and 1970. In The Movie Ratings Game,[49] he documents a prejudice against sex in relation to violence. This Film Is Not Yet Rated also points out that four times as many films received an NC-17 rating for sex than they did for violence according to the MPAA’s own website, further mentioning a bias against homosexual content compared to heterosexual content, particularly with regards to sex scenes.

The 2011 documentary Bully received an R rating for the profanity contained within the film. The decision spawned controversy, as the rating would prevent most of the intended audience, middle and high schoolers, from seeing the film.[50] The film’s director, Lee Hirsch, has refused to recut the film, stating, “I feel a responsibility as a filmmaker, as the person entrusted to tell (these kids’) stories, to not water them down.” A petition collected more than 200,000 signatures to change the film’s rating[51] and a version with less profanity was finally given a PG-13 rating.

Many critics of the MPAA system, especially independent distributors, have charged that major studios’ releases often receive more lenient treatment than independent films. The independent film Saints and Soldiers, which contains no nudity, almost no sex (although, there is a scene in which a German soldier is about to rape a French woman), very little profanity, and a minimum of violence, was said to have been rated R for a single clip where a main character is shot and killed, and required modification of just that one scene to receive a PG-13 rating.[52][53] Eric Watson, producer of the independently-distributed, NC-17-rated Requiem for a Dream complained that the studios are paying the budget of the MPAA, which gives the studios leverage over the MPAA’s decisions.[54]

The comedy Scary Movie, released by Dimension Films, at the time a division of The Walt Disney Company, contained “strong crude sexual humor, language, drug use and violence,” including images of ejaculation and an erect penis, but was rated R, to the surprise of many reviewers and audiences; by comparison, the comparatively tame porn spoof Orgazmo, an independent release by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, contained “explicit sexual content and dialogue” and received an NC-17 (the only on-screen penis seen in the film is a dildo). As Parker and Stone did not have the money and the time to edit the film, it retained its NC-17 rating. In contrast, Parker and Stone’s second feature film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, was distributed by a major studio (Paramount Pictures) and, after multiple submissions and notes from the MPAA, received an R rating.[54]

Many critics of the system, both conservative and liberal, would like to see the MPAA ratings unveiled and the standards made public. The MPAA has consistently cited nationwide scientific polls (conducted each year by the Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey), which show that parents find the ratings useful. Critics such as Matt Stone in Kirby Dick’s documentary This Film is not Yet Rated respond this proves only that parents find the ratings more useful than nothing at all.[55] In the film, it is also discussed how the MPAA will not reveal any information about who or why certain decisions are made, and that the association will not even reveal to the filmmaker the specific scenes that need to be cut in order to get alternative rating.

Although there has always been concern about the content of films,[56] the MPAA has, in recent years, been accused of a “ratings creep”, whereby the films that fall into today’s ratings categories now contain more objectionable material than those that appeared in the same categories two decades earlier.[57] A study put forward by the Harvard School of Public Health in 2004 concluded that there had been a significant increase in the level of profanity, sex and violence in films released between 1992 and 2003.[58] Kimberly Thompson, director of the study, stated: “The findings demonstrate that ratings creep has occurred over the last decade and that today’s movies contain significantly more violence, sex, and profanity on average than movies of the same rating a decade ago.”[58]

Slashfilm.com managing editor David Chen wrote on the website: “It’s time for more people to condemn the MPAA and their outrageous antics. We’re heading towards an age when we don’t need a mommy-like organization to dictate what our delicate sensibilities can and can’t be exposed to. I deeply hope that the MPAA’s irrelevance is imminent.” [59]

Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips wrote that the MPAA ratings board “has become foolish and irrelevant, and its members do not have my interests at heart, or yours. They’re too easy on violence yet bizarrely reactionary when it comes to nudity and language.”[60]

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas dies at age 75

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by j87wDX on 04-05-2015

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas died Friday at age 75, after suffering from heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He began the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1978 and taught acting classes there to noted actors including George Clooney and Gene Hackman. Katselas is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Katselas directed an off-Broadway production of Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, and received a Tony Award nomination for his 1969 direction of Butterflies are Free. Actress Blythe Danner won a Tony Award for her role in Butterflies are Free under Katselas’ direction. He moved to California to direct the film version of that play, and went on to direct films and television movies. Actress Eileen Heckart received an Academy Award for her role in the film version of Butterflies are Free.

Katselas directed the San Francisco and Los Angeles productions of the play P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! by playwright James Kirkwood, Jr. In his author’s notes in the publication of the script, Kirkwood acknowledged Katselas, and wrote that the plays were “directed with incredible energy and enthusiasm by Milton Katselas, to whom I am extremely indebted”.

Katselas directed the television movie Strangers: Story of a Mother and Daughter, and actress Bette Davis received an Emmy Award for her role in the movie. Katselas taught many famous actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Robert Duvall, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Walken, Burt Reynolds, George C. Scott, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Alec Baldwin, and Patrick Swayze. Katselas was credited with being able to nurture actors with raw talent so that they could develop strong Hollywood careers. He utilized innovative techniques in his courses – one course called “Terrorist Theatre” had a simple premise: successfully get an acting role within six weeks or leave the course.

He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who had immigrated from Greece, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon. He studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York at the Actors Studio, and received advice from directors Joshua Logan and Elia Kazan.

Katselas was a prominent Scientologist, and a July 2007 profile on Katselas in The New York Times Magazine observed that some of his students stopped taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse because they felt they had been pressured to join the Church of Scientology. According to the article, Katselas credited Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard “for much of his success in life”, and one of his students works at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre. The article commented that some in Los Angeles view the Beverly Hills Playhouse as “a recruitment center for Scientology”.

Katselas met L. Ron Hubbard after moving to California, and began studying Scientology in 1965. The New York Times Magazine reported that he had reached the level of “Operating Thetan, Level 5, or O.T. V.” in 2007. According to The New York Times Magazine when Scientologists proceed up the “The Bridge to Total Freedom” they learn the story of Xenu, and that: “75 million years ago the evil alien Xenu solved galactic overpopulation by dumping 13.5 trillion beings in volcanoes on Earth, where they were vaporized, scattering their souls.” A Church of Scientology publication, Source, lists Katselas as reaching O.T. V. in 1989.

Though some actors felt pressured to join the Church of Scientology after taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, at least one individual felt Katselas was not active enough with the organization. Actress Jenna Elfman left the Beverly Hills Playhouse because she felt Katselas was not committed enough to Scientology. Katselas had previously directed Elfman in half of Visions and Lovers: Variations on a Theme, two one-act plays about relationships that he had written himself. In 1999 Katselas had planned to adapt the script of Visions and Lovers to a film version, and Elfman was set to reprise her role from the play. In an article in Variety about the project, Elfman commented on her experience working with Katselas: “He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.”

Other prominent Scientologist actors who have studied under Katselas include Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee, and Leah Remini. According to Rolling Stone, Katselas also recruited actress Kelly Preston to Scientology. Actress Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), told Scientology publication Celebrity that Katselas motivated her to get more active in Scientology, and she stated she took the organization’s “Purification Rundown” and her life “took off completely”.

Anne Archer was introduced to Scientology while studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, as was former Scientologist and now outspoken critic actor Jason Beghe. Beghe told Roger Friedman of FOX News in April 2008 that “He [Katselas] gets kickbacks”, and that he was brought to a Scientology center by fellow Beverly Hills Playhouse classmate Bodhi Elfman, Jenna Elfman’s husband. In a 1998 article for Buzz Magazine, Randye Hoder wrote “In his class, Katselas is careful not to label anything as a tenet of Scientology, but there is no question that the church’s influence seeps into the playhouse.”

Anne Archer’s husband and fellow Scientologist, producer Terry Jastrow, commented to The New York Times Magazine that Katselas changed the way he experiences life on a day-to-day basis: “I go out in the world and look at human behavior now. I see a woman or man interacting with a saleslady, and I see the artistry in it. Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.”

Actor Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoke highly of Katselas in a 2002 interview with San Francisco Chronicle: “He’s this wonderfully intuitive teacher and his premise is basically: The only real barriers are the ones we put in front of ourselves. If you say, ‘My character wouldn’t do that’ — bollocks! Ultimately it’s you who wouldn’t say that. Who knows what your character might do.” In the acknowledgements of her 2004 autobiography Are You Hungry, Dear?: Life, Laughs, and Lasagna, actress Doris Roberts wrote: “I thank my friend and acting teacher, the incredible Milton Katselas, for his insights, wisdom, and inspiration, which have helped make me the actress that I am.”

Katselas authored two books: Dreams Into Action: Getting What You Want, first published in 1996 by Dove Books, and Acting Class: Take a Seat, which came out earlier this month. Dreams Into Action, a New York Times Bestseller, sought to modify motivational acting exercises to the field of business.

In an interview in the 2007 book Acting Teachers of America, Katselas commented on his experiences as an acting teacher over the years: “I have very special teachers here at the Beverly Hills Playhouse—some have been with me for over twenty-five years. I believe that to make a difference over the long haul, we need to train teachers. I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.”

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