There is, of course, something incongruous about spending the day posting about film festivals and the hunky celebrities who frequent them, when here at Cinematical Headquarters we're quite distracted by CNN's wallpaper footage from the center of New Orleans, where it seems like conditions are worsening by the hour. Here, then, is a look at the various places where the two interests converge:
- Morgan Freeman is organizing an auction in partnership with CharityFolks.com. Running through September 16, items for sale include tickets to the premiere of Freeman starrer An Unfinished Life. Jay Leno has also announced that he'll auction off one of his Harleys, to be covered with celebrity signatures.
- The next few days are filling up with star-studded benefits. We told you already about NBC's Concert for Hurricane Relief, planned for tomorrow and also featuring Leonardo DiCaprio; Master P and Russell Simmons are working with BET to plan a telethon tentatively scheduled for Spetember 9; Born-again activists Green Day will join Usher, Dave Matthews Band, Alicia Keys and others at a concert on September 10. Ellen DeGeneres has also made vague statements indicating that she's like to do a benefit of some sort.
- Diddy and Jay-Z are personally donating a combined $1 million to the American Red Cross. The two made a somewhat surprisingly bullshit-free statement, alluding to the fact that most of the affected parties are black: "We, as African-American men and leaders of our community, felt it was a necessity to join forces and help," said Jay-Z. "Diddy and I are committed to supporting our people in whichever way we can." Diddy added, "We can't stand around waiting for these people to be taken care of — we have to take care of them ourselves...these are communities that I know, communities that have always supported me. Now it's my turn to support them."
- "There are times when you wonder if certain somebodies aren’t pushing their way into the charitable spotlight because it’s the thing to do, and they want to feel they belong among A-list philanthropists," writes Michael Ventre on MSNBC. But, if the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio or Bono at a telethon is enough to bring out massive donations, does the celebrity's own motives make any difference?