William J. « Willem » Dafoe (born July 22, 1955) is an American actor. A member of the experimental theater company The Wooster Group, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Platoon (1986) and Shadow of the Vampire (2000). His other film appearances include The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The English Patient (1996) and The Spider-Man trilogy (2002–07). He has also had voice-roles in Finding Nemo (2003) and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), as well as two episodes of The Simpsons.
Dafoe began his film career in 1981, when he was cast in Heaven’s Gate only to see his role removed from the film during editing. In the mid-1980s, he was cast by William Friedkin to star in To Live and Die In L.A., in which Dafoe portrays counterfeiter Rick Masters. A year later he starred as the leader of a motorcycle gang in The Loveless, having played a similar role in Streets of Fire. He became « very conscious » that he might be typecast as a villain.
Dafoe would go on to gain his widest exposure up to that point playing the compassionate Sergeant Elias in Oliver Stone’s Platoon. He enjoyed the opportunity to play a heroic role, and said the film gave him a chance to display his versatility.
He has chosen projects for diversity of roles and opportunities to work with strong directors. He has worked in the films of Wes Anderson (La vie aquatique (2004), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)), Martin Scorsese (Aviator (2004), La dernière tentation du Christ (1988)), Spike Lee (Inside Man – L’homme de l’intérieur (2006)), Julian Schnabel (Miral (2010), Basquiat (1996)), Paul Schrader (Auto Focus (2002), Affliction (1997), Light Sleeper (1992), The Walker (2007), Adam Resurrected (2008)), David Cronenberg (_Existenz_), Abel Ferrara (4h44 Dernier jour sur terre (2011), Go Go Tales (2007), New Rose Hotel (1998)), David Lynch (Sailor & Lula (1990)), William Friedkin (Police fédérale, Los Angeles (1985)), Werner Herzog (Dans l’oeil d’un tueur (2009)), Oliver Stone (Né un quatre juillet (1989), Platoon (1986)), Giada Colagrande (A Woman (2010) and Black Widow (2005)) and Lars von Trier (Antichrist (2009) and Manderlay (2005)).
He was nominated twice for the Academy Award (Platoon (1986) and L’ombre du vampire (2000)) and once for the Golden Globe. Among other nominations and awards, he received an LA Film Critics Award and an Independent Spirit Award. Upcoming films include Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest hotel (2014), Anton Corbjin’s Un homme très recherché (2014), Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac – Volume 1 (2013).
Charlotte Rampling, OBE (born 5 February 1946) is an English actress, model, and fashion icon, known for her work in European arthouse films in three languages, English, French, and Italian.
Rampling is an icon of the Swinging Sixties. She began her career as a model and later became a fashion icon and muse. She was cast in the role of Meredith in the acclaimed 1966 film Georgy Girl starring Lynn Redgrave. She soon began making French and Italian arthouse films, most notably during this time in Luchino Visconti’s The Damned (1969) and Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974). She went on to star in Zardoz (1974), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories (1980), opposite Paul Newman in The Verdict (1982), Long Live Life (1984), Max, Mon Amour (1986), Angel Heart (1987) and The Wings of the Dove (1997). In 2002, she released an album of recordings in the style of cabaret titled As A Woman.
In the 2000s, she became the muse of French director François Ozon, appearing in his films Under the Sand (2000), Swimming Pool (2003) and Angel (2007). On television, she is known for her role as Evelyn Vogel in Dexter (2013). In 2012, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in the miniseries Restless. Other television roles include the 2015 dramas Broadchurch and London Spy. For her performance in the 2015 film 45 Years, she won the Berlin Film Festival Award for Best Actress, the European Film Award for Best Actress, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
A four-time César Award nominee, she received an Honorary César in 2001 and France’s Legion of Honour in 2002. She was made an OBE in 2000 for her services to the arts, and received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Film Awards. In 2015, she released her autobiography in French, titled Who I Am.
Michael Lonsdale (born 24 May 1931) is a French actor who has appeared in over 180 films and television shows.
Lonsdale was born in Paris and brought up by a French mother and an English father, initially on the island of Guernsey, then in London in 1935, and later, during the Second World War, in Casablanca, Morocco. He returned to Paris to study painting in 1947 but was drawn into the world of acting instead, first appearing on stage at the age of 24.
Lonsdale is bilingual and has appeared in both English and French language productions. He is best known in the English-speaking world for his roles as the villainous Sir Hugo Drax in the 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker, the detective Lebel in The Day of the Jackal, and M. Dupont d’Ivry in The Remains of the Day.
On 25 February 2011, he won a César Award, his first, as a Best Supporting Actor in Of Gods and Men.
The Residents are an American art collective best known for avant-garde music and multimedia works. Since their first official release, Meet the Residents (1974), the group has released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, three CD-ROM projects, and ten DVDs. They have undertaken seven major world tours and scored multiple films. Pioneers in exploring the potential of CD-ROM and similar technologies, the Residents have won several awards for their multimedia projects. Ralph Records, a record label focusing on avant-garde music, was started by the band.
Throughout the group’s existence, the individual members have ostensibly attempted to operate under anonymity, preferring instead to have attention focused on their art output. Much outside speculation and rumor has focused on this aspect of the group. In public, the group appears silent and costumed, often wearing eyeball helmets, top hats and tuxedos—a long-lasting costume now recognized as its signature iconography.
Its albums generally fall into two categories: deconstructions of Western popular music; and complex conceptual pieces, composed around a theme, theory or plot. The group is noted for surrealistic lyrics and sound, disregard for conventional music composition, and the over-the-top theatrical spectacle of their live performances.
Pascal Greggory started his acting career in the mid-1970s, first on stage then on screen, after attending the Jean Périmony drama school and the National Drama School in Paris (Conservatoire de Paris), the latter as an unregistered student. He was offered his first major role in 1979 as Branwell Brontë in the film The Brontë Sisters directed by André Téchiné. In 1983, he was cast as one of the main characters in Pauline à la plage by Eric Rohmer, although he then decided to dedicate himself to the theatre.
From the 1990s, Pascal Greggory’s film career took on a new lease of life with parts in Eric Rohmer’s L’Arbre, le Maire et la Médiathèque or Patrice Chéreau’s La Reine Margot. From then on, he played many leading roles on screen while still busy on stage. He notably received great critical acclaim for his performance in Patrice Chéreau’s production of the play Dans la solitude des champs de coton by Bernard-Marie Koltès.
In 1999, he was named ‘étoile d’or’ (golden star) as male revelation of the year and received the César for best actor for his part in the film Ceux qui m’aiment prendront le train. He was awarded another César for best actor in 2001 for his part in La Confusion des genres as well as a César for best supporting actor in La Môme (2008).
Abel Ferrara (born July 19, 1951) is an American film screenwriter and director. He is best known as an independent filmmaker of such films as The Driller Killer (1979), Ms. 45 (1981), King of New York (1990), Bad Lieutenant (1992) and The Funeral (1996).
Ferrara first drew a cult audience with his grindhouse movie The Driller Killer (1979), an urban slasher in the mold of Taxi Driver (1976), about an artist who goes on a killing spree with a drill in hand. He followed it with Ms. 45 (1981), a « rape revenge » film starring Zoë Tamerlis. Ferrara was next hired to direct Fear City (1984), starring Tom Berenger, Melanie Griffith, Billy Dee Williams, Rae Dawn Chong and María Conchita Alonso. True to form, it depicted a seedy Times Square strip club, where a « kung fu slasher » stalks and murders the girls after work. Berenger portrayed a disgraced boxer who has to use his fighting skills to defeat the killer.
Next, Ferrara created one of his most well-known films, King of New York (1990), starring Christopher Walken as gangster Frank White, who runs a group of black drug dealers, including one played by Laurence Fishburne. The cast included Wesley Snipes and David Caruso. As with most of Ferrara’s films, the screenplay was written by Nicholas St. John.
Ferrara next directed Harvey Keitel in an acclaimed performance as the titular Bad Lieutenant (1992). Despite its controversial content, the film was lauded by critics. Director Martin Scorsese also named it one of his top 10 films of the 1990s.
Ferrara was then hired for two Hollywood studio films: a second remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, titled Body Snatchers (1993), for Warner Bros.; and Dangerous Game (1993), starring Keitel and Madonna, for MGM.
After making The Blackout (1997) with Matthew Modine and Dennis Hopper, he contributed to the omnibus HBO–television movie Subway Stories. Ferrara then made New Rose Hotel (1998), which reunited him with Christopher Walken.
Ferrara returned three years later with ‘R Xmas (2001), which starred Drea de Matteo and Ice-T. After recording two commentaries for Driller Killer and King of New York, he made Mary (2005), the religious-themed film starring Forest Whitaker, Marion Cotillard, Juliette Binoche, Heather Graham, Stefania Rocca and Matthew Modine. In 2007, he directed a comedy with Modine, Bob Hoskins and Willem Dafoe, Go Go Tales. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was either highly acclaimed or vehemently disliked.
In April 2011, Ferrara began shooting his first feature in four years, 4:44 – Last Day on Earth, starring Willem Dafoe and Ferrara’s longtime companion Shanyn Leigh. The film was shot in one location, an apartment, set during the course of the last 24 hours before the biblical apocalypse. In April 2013, Ferrara began shooting a fictionalized version of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case titled Welcome to New York. It stars Gérard Depardieu in the role of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Jacqueline Bisset as Anne Sinclair.
He recently finished shooting a biographical film titled Pasolini about the acclaimed Italian director, poet, journalist and intellectual who was murdered in 1975. The film stars Willem Dafoe in the title role.
Claude Parent (February 26, 1923 – February 27, 2016) is an iconic French architect known for his work on the Oblique Function with Paul Virilio. Both men taught at the ESA (Special School of Architecture) in Paris where they trained in their studio a number of notable French contemporary architects including Jean Nouvel.
Claude Parent had collaborated with Yves Klein in the early 1960s, when the artist was developing projects around air and space architecture.
From the early 1960s, Claude Parent imposed a sudden change on himself by challenging the formalist perspective of spatial continuity. The first appearance of discontinuity within his architectural language led him to develop a new architectural vocabulary. By replanning his own apartment, Claude Parent, through personal commitment, gave a demonstration of a space – where he himself lived – which he designed in accordance with his oblique plans and theories.
Throughout the following years, he pursued his graphic design research and continued to develop an ever richer spatial vocabulary as shown in his works « Colères et envahissements », « Habitat oblique » (1973) and « Cascades et tombes » (1974). Concurrently with his experiments in graphic design, Claude Parent seeked to integrate the oblique function in a concrete way in much more tangible programs (Plateau Beaubourg competition (1970), Project: oblique city La Colline (1971), EDF offices, Libreville, Gabon (1973), Montceau-les-Mines Townhall, 1973).
He was awarded the grand prix national de l’architecture in 1979 and appointed president of l’Académie d’architecture as well as member of l’Académie des beaux-arts in 2005, taking over the seat previously occupied by Jean Balladur. On March 15th 2016, he was elected member of the French Academy (l’Académie française) where he joined his colleague Roger Taillibert.
Priestess Miriam Chamani ( Jackson, Mississippi, 1943) is the Mambo (Mother/Priestess) and co-founder of the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple.
Raised in Mississippi, Chamani says she has had visions and mystical experiences since childhood. She became a Christian at age eleven, and would often go off by herself to pray and talk to the spirits. In 1975, after living in New York and then Chicago she became interested in the Spiritual church, and left the Baptist faith in which she’d been raised. During this time, she also worked as an operating room technician in a Chicago hospital.
In 1982 Chamani was ordained a bishop in the « Angel Angel All Nations Spiritual Church ». In 1989 she met Oswan Chamani; they were married in 1990, and would go on to found the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple together. After his death on March 6, 1995, Miriam Chamani continued her husband’s Belizan Vodou and herbalism traditions, in addition to her own spiritualist practices. She also continues many of the inclusive trends of Black Christian Spiritualism, seeking to serve all peoples regardless of race or belief.
Chamani has been featured in numerous documentaries and articles. She has been appeared in The New York Times in articles about Voodoo and events in New Orleans, as well as features in Spin Magazine, in movies, and on PBS and commercial TV in America, England and Japan. She was invited by actor Nicolas Cage to perform a blessing ceremony during his wedding to Lisa Marie Presley, after hiring her as a consultant for his directorial debut film Sonny. On Halloween, 1999, a local radio station asked her to perform a ceremony outside the Superdome to help the New Orleans Saints win against the Cleveland Browns (which was interrupted by harassment from a Browns fan dressed as a dog). She claims to have had better results helping the Spurs win the NBA championship in 2004.
The Temple was established in 1990 by Priest Oswan Chamani and Miriam Chamani. It is located in the French Quarter next to Congo Square, and its rituals are directly connected to those performed on Congo Square by Marie Laveau and Doctor John. It is the only formally established Spiritual Temple with a focus on traditional West African spiritual and herbal healing practices currently existing in New Orleans.
Betty Catroux (born Betty Saint in 1945) is a former Chanel model, and fashion icon. She has been cited as a muse by both Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford.
Saint Laurent has called her his twin sister and referred to her as his female incarnation. Tom Ford was so inspired by her that he dedicated his debut YSL Rive Gauche collection to her. When asked about her fashion sense, Catroux said that she has “dressed the same way practically since I was born. I don’t dress as a woman. I’m not interested in fashion at all.”
Catroux is famed for her long white-blond hair, lanky body, gaunt features, and androgynous appearance. Catroux and Saint Laurent had a friendly relationship until his death. Reminiscing on their friendship, Catroux said: « I had a fairytale life with him. »