Germans Elect Dracula!
POTSDAM, Germany October 27, 2003 (AFP) - Voters in a district southeast of Berlin chose a self-proclaimed descendant of Count Dracula Sunday to represent them in a local council, election officials said Monday.
Ottomar Berbig, known as Ottomar Rodolphe Vlad Dracula Prince Kretzulesco, won 726 votes in the Dahme-Spreewald local elections, standing for the liberal Free Democrats. His name appeared as Vlad Dracula Kretzulesco on the ballot.
Kretzulesco is not a blood relative of the infamous fictional Romanian noble but was adopted by a direct descendant of Transylvania-born Vlad the Impaler in 1987.
Vlad was notorious for impaling Turkish prisoners on wooden stakes and was the inspiration for author Bram Stoker's villain Count Dracula.
Last year, Berbig, a former Berlin pastry-chef and antiques dealer, made headlines when he tried to establish an independent principality in Germany -- in the name of his blood-sucking "ancestor" -- to block his village's forced merger with another town.
Berbig's adopted ancestry has allowed him to draw about 100,000 Dracula fans a year to his castle in Schenkendorf.
The stronghold is complete with a stone gate, watchtower and medieval restaurant furnished with coffins. It hosts blood donor parties on behalf of the German Red Cross.
By Stephen Khan
London October 26, 2003 (Observer UK) - Blood from a slit in his victim's throat trickled into a small cup. Allan Menzies raised the vessel to his lips. Convinced he was on the brink of immortality, the 22-year-old killer was attempting to fulfill a sick dream: to become a vampire.
The chilling murder of Thomas McKendrick in a small Scottish village was brutal and ritualistic. He was sacrificed to satisfy a lust for blood and an obsession with the occult. Yet his killer's fixation with bloodsuckers is far from unusual. Vampirism is a rapidly growing youth cult and its followers are increasing in numbers.
Vampire films and magazines are thriving, while specialist shops meet the outlandish clothing requirements of those who fantasize about being Dracula. In cities throughout the UK, vampire societies meet on a weekly basis and act out scenes from their favorite movies.
Films such as Underworld, starring Kate Beckinsale as a vampire warrior, become box-office smashes, while the horror studio Hammer Films is back in production for the first time in 30 years.
The next Blade film, in which Wesley Snipes battles against powerful vampires with ambitions of taking over the world, starts filming this autumn.
Meanwhile, thousands of websites have sprung up on which vampire fans can trade material and chat about matters occult.
Stirling University's Dr Glenice Byron lectures on the UK's only postgraduate course in Gothic imagination.
She said: 'We are moving towards another high point in vampirism. I don't think the general public are aware of the extent to which it permeates our culture. On the internet it's an entire culture: people write their own vampire stories as hobbies'
But for some it is not enough merely to fantasize. Menzies, from the village of Fauldhouse, near Edinburgh, claimed the character Akasha from the movie Queen of the Damned - starring the late US singer Aaliyah - had visited him and promised immortality if he murdered someone.
And on the pages of a Gothic novel Menzies wrote: 'I have chosen to become a vampire. The blood is the life. I have drunk the blood and it shall be mine, for I have seen the horror.'
Yet the real horror awaited the mother of Thomas McKendrick. Sandra French was shopping in her local supermarket last December when Menzies - the man she thought had been her son's lifelong friend - approached her and asked if she knew how to remove bloodstains. The chilling query only made sense three weeks later when the butchered remains of her son were discovered.
Forensic tests revealed that he had been stabbed 42 times and suffered 10 hammer blows to the head. Menzies ate part of his friend's head, before placing the lifeless body on its side so he could perform the blood-draining ritual.
A year earlier, the remains of a Welsh pensioner, Mabel Leyshon, were found mutilated at her home on Anglesey. She had been stabbed 22 times before her heart was removed and placed in a saucepan on a silver platter next to her body. Pokers were placed at her feet in the shape of a cross. Last week the killer, Matthew Hardman, was refused right to appeal his conviction. Aged just 17, he was obsessed with vampires and drank his victim's blood in a quest for immortality.
The Edinburgh-based forensic psychologist Ian Stephen, whom the television drama Cracker was based on, said such obsessions can be difficult to detect. 'So many teenagers become obsessed with parts of culture like this young man. It's very difficult for parents to pick up these changes from normal interests to something that can become quite scary.
'The cult of vampirism is to do with power and dominance, using blood to give you energy and immortality. If someone had ridiculed him, he may have needed to compensate for this - something like vampirism may have given him what he was looking for.'
It is a cult that also appears to have consumed two young Hampshire men. They face jail, having been being found guilty last week of religiously harassing a vicar. A judge told Scott Bower, 26, and Ben Lewis, 25, they had displayed 'outrageous and disturbing' behavior towards the Reverend Chris Rowberry, his wife and two children.
During a seven-day trial at Southampton Crown Court a jury was told that the trio targeted the 45-year-old vicar because he represented the Christian faith. Both men believed themselves to be vampires, drinking each other's blood. They also made howling noises in the churchyard late at night, posted obscene material on the parish notice board, let off fireworks and made nuisance telephone calls.
Despite such chilling episodes, vampire-followers argue that their hobby is no more threatening than keeping goldfish or following a football team. 'Any vampire fans I have met are drawn to the creature's immortality. But most just like watching vampire films and maybe read the occasional book,' said Arlene Russo, the editor of Bite Me magazine.
By day 32-year-old Paul McKie is a senior systems IT and finance analyst for a property firm. But by night he sheds the suit and becomes a vamp in the Glasgow Vampire Live Action Role-playing Group, a club combining pool and pints with improvisation.
He said: 'I don't really believe in vampires, although I know some people do. For me this is just a bit of fun and great escapism.'
For Sandra French, though, it is all too real. She cannot escape the world of horror and pain Allan Menzies plunged her into. 'I'll never be able to forgive or forget the horrific things I've heard,' she said, describing the killer's account of her son's murder. 'Why did he have to take my Thomas? Menzies has not shown any remorse. When asked if he wished he could turn back the clock, he said "No". He's wicked. He's an evil man who enjoys inflicting pain and violence on other people.'
Dracula Park to Suck in Vampire Tourists
By Radu Marinas
BUCHAREST October 10, 2003 (Reuters) - Vampire lovers with a thirst for a thrill could soon be Romania-bound after investors said on Thursday a Disneyland-style Dracula theme park was back on track.
Under pressure from UNESCO and other activists, Romania changed its plans to build the horror tourist draw near the historic birthplace in Transylvania of Vlad the Impaler -- said to have been the inspiration for the fictional Dracula.
UNESCO, the culture arm of the United Nations, and others said building the park near Sighisoara would have ruined the 13th century town, a World Heritage Site.
"All I can say is that the Dracula project is going ahead. We're drafting a detailed plan, subject to shareholder approval by the end of this year," Sorin Marica, the chairman of the Dracula Park SA firm which oversees the project told Reuters.
The theme park will now be sited in the Snagov Lake area, north of the capital, and not in Transylvania, which is a region of Romania.
Consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers said Snagov, 17 km (11 miles) from Bucharest airport and 40 km (25 miles) from the center of the capital of 2.5 million people was the most appropriate site.
Marica said horror rides, labyrinths and catacombs were still part of the plan for the park, due to be built on 100 hectares (250 acres) of state land with private funds to try to lure more tourists to the poor ex-communist country.
"We also aim to create a separate area (in the park) to promote the historic truth for Vlad Tepes," Marica said.
The headless body of Vlad Tepes, the real life 15th century Wallachian hero prince who fought off Ottoman invaders and defended Christendom, is believed to be buried at a monastery in the middle of Snagov Lake.
Vlad is believed to have been born in Sighisoara around 1431 to Vlad Dracul or Dragon. The young Vlad was named Dracula -- meaning son of Dracul -- by his father. But in Romanian, the word also means the devil.
The government had trumpeted the plan saying it would draw about one million tourists annually by 2006 -- 20 percent from abroad but appeared to lose interest.
But government spokeswoman Despina Neagoe said on Thursday: "I don't have any information on the Dracula park project."
Man Attempts Underwater Pumpkin Record
MAQUOKETA, Iowa October 27, 2003 (AP) - A scuba diver who also owns a pumpkin patch said he hopes he broke the world record for underwater pumpkin carving with a stunt he successfully completed Sunday.
Mike Frantz wrestled underwater with 1,028-pound pumpkin near this eastern Iowa town in an attempt to break a Guinness World Records title.
The 28-year-old Walcott man squeezed into scuba gear and carved the mammoth pumpkin under 17 feet of water at a rock quarry. Frantz thinks he broke the current record, which he said was set when a 955-pound pumpkin was carved underwater last year. There was one glitch, however. The pumpkin's newly carved jack-o'-lantern face caved in when it emerged from the water.
"It's kinda ugly looking," Frantz said. "The pumpkin was so far destroyed it went back in the water for the fish to eat."
But he still thinks he made the record.
"As far as I'm concerned it was completed and completely carved underwater," he said.
Frantz, who owns Mike's Giant Pumpkin Patch, got the idea from the Internet.
"I kind of heard through the pumpkin vine there that someone had attempted this last year," he said. "Being a scuba diver, I thought that if I could get a hold of a bigger pumpkin I would try it myself."
He did get his hands on a colossal pumpkin, which was donated by Dan Carlson of Clinton.
Frantz said it took about 18 men to haul the pumpkin onto a trailer at Carlson's farm and take it to the quarry. He had a crew of seven people to help with Sunday's attempt. About three dozen people came to watch, said Frantz, an assistant manager at a steel plant in Montpelier.
The pumpkin carver had one break in his attempt: the seeds in the pumpkin were removed before it was plunged into the 58 degree water. Because it was buoyant, it had to filled with a half-dozen sandbags to keep it underwater, he said.
Using sharp knives and saws, Frantz said he created the design - two triangle eyes, a circle nose and a grin with one tooth.
Guinness Book World Records officials will be given a videotape of the underwater stunt.
Guinness World Records: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com
Punkin Chunkin Champ to Defend Title
HOWELL MI October 29, 2003 (AP) - Most people prefer them baked in pies or decoratively carved. But for Bruce Bradford, the preferred method of serving up pumpkin is to have it shot out of an air cannon. That is, after all, how he became the world champion of Punkin Chunkin — a sport where winning is a matter of distance, not taste.
This Halloween, Bradford will defend his title at the Punkin Chunkin World Championship in Delaware's Sussex County. His team triumphed in the air cannon division last year after the pumpkin they shot out of their cannon sailed 4,594 feet.
"It's something to do," Bradford told The Daily Oakland Press. "It looked interesting. It was a challenge."
The sport began in the late 1990s in Delaware. The objective is to see who can shoot, propel or fling a pumpkin weighing between seven to 10 pounds the farthest.
Bradford, who is president of S&G Erectors in Howell, became interested in Punkin Chunkin in 1998 after reading a magazine article about the sport. That year, he and a few friends went to watch the competition in Sussex County.
"We couldn't see the shots and they wouldn't let us in the pits," he said. "We told them we were reporters...and they gave us press passes."
They came back the following year, armed with the aptly named Second Amendment — an 18,000 pound compressed air cannon which Bradford built. It sports a 100-foot long barrel. Their first year in the competition, the group took fifth. In 2000 and 2001, they finished third.
The big win came in the 2002 championship, which was televised as part of a Discovery Channel documentary. But the win was not without controversy. One of their pumpkins overshot the field and the judges refused to count it. It was a decision Bradford dismisses as politics since most punkin chunkers are from Delaware and weren't eager to be shown up by a group from Michigan.
"They'll drink beer with you and compete with you, but they don't want you winning."
In preparation for this year's championship, Bradford and his team have been making adjustments to the cannon. To fine-tune it, they fired 15 pumpkins at a dilapidated van about 150 yards away.
"We did a number on a van," said Bradford.
Tru Calling and Various Other Bits
Hollywood October 29, 2003 (eXoNews) - Variety critic Brian Lowry turned in a lukewarm review of Tru Calling, the new series from Fox with Eliza Dushku (Buffy, Angel) debuting Thursday October 30th at 8PM /7c.
"Although fraught with silliness, the familiar premise does yield a modicum of suspense and appears destined to go about as far as Eliza Dushku's adorableness can take it..."
"With her whiskey voice and sultry features, it's hard to believe Dushku was that same little girl seen clinging to a plane in 'True Lies.' She certainly possesses star quality, though the material initially places more emphasis on her wardrobe (tight, low-cut) than character (pouty, angry).
"The second episode does give her acting chops a bit more of a workout, involving a handsome fireman and young girl killed in an arson blaze.
"For network executives, there's doubtless inherent appeal in the fantasy of turning back time and preventing things from dying prematurely, as they have a habit of doing right before the November sweeps. That said, if this mildly entertaining series faces the executioner's ax, it wouldn't be the kind of unnatural death that merits Tru's heroic measures."
[We'll decide for ourselves, won't we fans? Got this excerpt and the unauthorized pix from TruCalling.net. Watch the show and form your own opinion. Ed.]
Official Tru Calling site - http://www.fox.com/trucalling
TruCalling Fans check out http://www.trucalling.net
Speaking of Faith, Joss Whedon will appear at the LA Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention on December 21, 2003 to talk about Firefly and sign copies of the new DVD release. The LACBSFC website says some Firefly actors and writers may also be there.
LA Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention http://www.comicbookscifi.com
For Firefly freaks who need to know, here is a listing of what will be included in the DVD set (available December 9th) - http://forums.prospero.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=foxfirefly&msg=10710.1
Angel Mag Arrives!
Angel Magazine Issue #1 is out on the newsstands.
The first issue offers an interview with David Boreanaz, an exclusive live on the set report, and an "Ultimate Guide to Angel". Executive producer Jeff Bell will also answer fan questions each issue.
The address to ask what David eats for lunch is email@example.com ("please put ‘Question for Jeff Bell’ in your subject header.")
You can also snail mail at ‘Question for Jeff Bell’, Angel Magazine, PMB #1-296, 8205 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90046-5977.
For more info about Angel Magazine visit www.titanmagazines.com
Vote for yer Angel favorites, get Angel weekly ratings, our own Ultimate Fan Site List and more - eXoNews Angel Fan Poll
Elvis Is Top-Earning Dead Celebrity
NEW YORK October 28, 2003 (AP) - Elvis Presley is No. 1 on Forbes.com's list of top-earning deceased celebrities for the third consecutive year, earning an estimated $40 million.
"Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz is No. 2, earning $32 million, followed by writer J.R.R. Tolkien, $22 million; former Beatle John Lennon, $19 million; and former Beatle George Harrison, $16 million.
The third annual list, edited by Forbes.com senior editor Lisa DiCarlo, is based on estate earnings, the Web site said Friday.
Rounding out the top 10: children's book author Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, $16 million; race car driver Dale Earnhardt, $15 million; rapper Tupac Shakur, $12 million; reggae star Bob Marley, $9 million; and movie star Marilyn Monroe, $8 million.
UK's Soldier, Soldier and UFO Head for Hollywood
By Steve Brennan
London October 28, 2003 (Hollywood Reporter) - Two popular British TV dramas, "Soldier, Soldier" and the sci-fi series "UFO," might be headed Stateside as new U.S.-produced series.
Carlton America, the U.S.-based television arm of the United Kingdom's Carlton International Media Group, has partnered with leading U.S. producers to develop the drama formats for the States.
Carlton has teamed with writer-producer-director John Sacret Young ("The West Wing," "China Beach") on "Soldier, Soldier".
Pen Densham, Neil Kaplan and John Watson of Trilogy Entertainment Group ("The Outer Limits," "The Twilight Zone") will work on "UFO."
Carlton America president and CEO Stephen Davis said Monday in announcing the deal that both dramas are being offered as formats to the major U.S. networks and talks are "actively under way."
Soldier, Soldier is described by by Carlton as "Soldiers, wives and girlfriends learn to live with the highs and lows of mixing military and domestic life in this compelling series." This show ran for years in the UK.
UFO was a live-action series by Gerry Anderson and Reg Hill (Thunderbirds) that aired in 1970 and was set in 1985.
Gerry Anderson's UFO DVD web site - http://www.ufo-dvd.com
NASA Opens Kecksburg Docs
Pasadena October 24, 2003 (Sci Fi Wire) - NASA has agreed to turn over documents relating to the alleged crash of a UFO in Kecksburg, Pa., in 1965, the SCI FI Channel announced. The news comes a day after SCI FI said it would pursue legal action against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to release its records on the incident.
NASA informed Lee Helfrich, attorney for the Channel-sponsored Coalition for Freedom of Information, that it is releasing 36 pages of documents, the Channel said.
The release comes after 10 months of pursuing the records through the Freedom of Information Act. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Army have yet to release any records under similar requests, the Channel said.
"For more than four months we have received no response from NASA, but one day after John Podesta, President Clinton's former chief of staff and member of the Moynihan Commission, and Bonnie Hammer, president of SCI FI Channel, called on government agencies to make public records that are over 25 years old, lo and behold, NASA responds," Helfrich said in a statement.
"I think it's fair to say that we have truly entered the realm of science fiction in Washington, D.C., when it's fair game to disclose the identity of a clandestine CIA agent, but not the records of an unexplained crash in Kecksburg, Pa., that occurred 38 years ago," Podesta said at a news conference this week.
On Dec. 9, 1965, witnesses described seeing a fireball in the sky, a controlled landing and the systematic military recovery of an object. The incident is the subject of the original SCI FI Channel documentary The New Roswell: Kecksburg Exposed, hosted by Bryant Gumbel, premiered Oct. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Sci Fi's Kecksburg site - http://www.scifi.com/kecksburg
Pamela Anderson - Chickens Have Rights Too!
NEW YORK October 27, 2003 (AP) - Pamela Anderson wants to meet with the chief executive officer of Kentucky Fried Chicken's parent company to discuss what she calls "reasonable, positive changes for KFC's chickens."
The former star of "Baywatch" and "V.I.P." faxed a letter Monday to David Novak of Yum! Brands Inc., asking to talk about animal-welfare guidelines that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is recommending.
Anderson, a spokeswoman for the animal-rights group, called for a boycott of the fast-food chain a few weeks ago.
NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and Paul McCartney also have joined the PETA-led criticism of the company.
"I must admit from the outset that I can't understand why a company that claims to care about animal welfare would continue to allow chickens to be bred and drugged to be so top-heavy that they can barely walk, to be gathered in a manner that breaks their wings and beaks, and to be scalded to death or drowned in feather-removal tanks," she wrote in the letter, which PETA released.
KFC spokeswoman Bonnie Warschauer said Monday that executives with Yum! Brands hadn't seen the letter, and she declined comment on Anderson's request.
Patrick Stewart Meets Kyle MacLachlan in The Caretaker
By Ernio Hernandez
New York October 24, 2003 (Playbill) - Harold Pinter's The Caretaker returns to Broadway, courtesy of The Roundabout Theatre Company, with Patrick Stewart, Kyle MacLachlan and Aiden Gillen starring. The drama starts at the American Airlines Theatre Oct. 24.
The Broadway revival will open Nov. 9 for a limited engagement through Jan. 4, 2004.
Director David Jones who helmed Pinter's No Man's Land for Roundabout in 1994 with Christopher Plummer and Jason Robards directs the work, which explores the changing relationship between two brothers when a vagabond enters their lives.
Stewart, last seen in the "X-Men" sequel "X2," has appeared on the Broadway stage in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and his own solo take on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The veteran thespian known for his television turns in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" more recently appeared in The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Shakespeare Theatre's race-reversed production of Othello and the West End run of the Ibsen drama The Master Builder.
MacLachlan makes his Broadway debut with the play after a turn on the London stage last year opposite Woody Harrelson (The Rainmaker) in On an Average Day at the Comedy Theatre. The actor is known for his big and small screen work in "Sex and the City," "Blue Velvet," "Twin Peaks," "Showgirls," and the 2000 update of "Hamlet" with Ethan Hawke.
Irish-born Gillen broke stateside with a turn in the cable drama "Queer as Folk." The actor who also makes his Broadway debut has appeared on London's Almeida Theatre stage in productions of Platonov, The Tempest and The Playboy of the Western World. He was also seen in the films "Shanghai Knights" and "The Low Down."
The design team for The Caretaker features John Lee Beatty (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Peter Kaczorowski (lights) and Scott Lehrer (sound).
The original Broadway staging of the work opened in 1961 at the Lyceum Theatre starring Alan Bates. In 1986, Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre brought their revival of the play to New York with star Gary Sinise under the direction of John Malkovich.
Tickets to The Caretaker at Roundabout's AA Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street are available by calling (212) 719-1300 or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org
Jinx Canceled, Bond Returns
Hollywood October 27, 2003 (Sci Fi Wire) - Jinx, the proposed James Bond spin-off that was to star Halle Berry, will not go forward, Variety reported.
MGM has pulled the plug on the project, which was to be produced by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson at Eon, the trade paper reported.
Jinx, based on Berry's CIA spy character from Die Another Day, was being written by Bond writers Neal Purvis and Rob Wade and was due to be directed by Stephen Frears, the trade paper said.
But last week, MGM told Eon to put the project on ice and instead press ahead with a 21st James Bond movie, due to shoot in 2005.
Bowie and Iman Model Hilfiger
By Carla Hay
NEW YORK October 28, 2003 (Billboard) - David Bowie and his wife Iman have inked a deal with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger for the rock icon and supermodel to appear in their first ad campaign together. The campaign will be for the new H Hilfiger line, to be launched in spring 2004.
The Tommy Hilfiger company describes the new H Hilfiger collection as "sophisticated, sexy and refined" and that it will be a high-end "gold standard among Hilfiger's diverse product offerings."
The ad campaign with Bowie and Iman will debut in American men's and women's magazines in April 2004. Famed photographer Ellen Von Unwerth shot the campaign this month in Amsterdam while Bowie was on a break from his current world tour in support of his latest ISO/Columbia Records album, "Reality."
"I very much admire Tommy's ability to weave so many influences into his work," Bowie said in a statement. "Iman and I are thrilled to be working with him."
Hilfiger noted, "David Bowie and Iman bring everything I'm looking for to represent this brand -- music, style, elegance, creativity, sophistication. Together they communicate the essence of the H Hilfiger lifestyle perfectly, and I'm honored to feature them in my new campaign."
Bowie - http://www.davidbowie.com
Shining Scene Scariest Ever
LONDON October 27, 2003 (Reuters) - Actor Jack Nicholson's cry of "Here's Johnny!" as he axes his way through the bathroom door in "The Shining" has been voted the scariest big screen moment by viewers of Britain's Channel 4 Television.
The terrifying scene from director Stanley Kubrick's 1980 chiller beat Linda Blair's rotating head and projectile vomiting in William Friedkin's 1973 "The Exorcist" into second place.
A severed head popping out of the bottom of an abandoned boat in Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark thriller "Jaws" was third.
Viewers voted over six weeks in an online poll for Channel 4's "The 100 Greatest Scary Moments," which was broadcast over the weekend.
Fourth place went to the moment when a baby alien burst out John Hurt's chest in Ridley Scott's 1979 "Alien," with fifth going to Heather Donahue in tears in the low-budget 1999 horror movie "The Blair Witch Project."
Thelonious Monk in 2004
By Ian Mohr
NEW YORK October 28, 2003 (Hollywood Reporter) - An independent film about jazz legend Thelonious Monk is targeting an early 2004 start date.
The project will be directed by Leon Ichaso, who previously shot "Pinero," a biopic about Latino poet Miguel Pinero, starring Benjamin Bratt.
"(Monk) had the name, the look and the sound," said Ichaso. "(He was) an interesting, uncompromising man, cursed with genius. He invented cool and redefined jazz."
The pianist's longtime manager, Harry Colomby -- whose film production credits include "Breakdown" and "Mr. Mom" -- will serve as a producer.
Growing up in New York, Monk began playing piano at age 5 and ultimately became one of the architects of bebop. In the early 1940s, the pianist played in the house band at venerable Harlem haunt Minton's, where he worked with fellow innovators Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, among others.
Perceived as an eccentric for his avant-garde style and enigmatic demeanor, Monk went on to lead his own bands before finally being recognized as a seminal artist in the 1950s while leading a quartet featuring John Coltrane.
Monk rose to iconic status just as Harlem was in the throes of a postwar surge in creativity and jazz was a burgeoning revolutionary force. The composer of such classic tracks as "Round Midnight" and "Straight No Chaser," Monk abruptly retired in 1973 and spent the later years of his life in seclusion.
Colomby was a 21-year-old high school teacher when he started as Monk's manager.
"I had no idea what lay ahead when I agreed to be his manager," he said. "I still can't fathom to this day why he asked me. I didn't have a clue about managing anybody, let alone this underappreciated genius. I was just a fan. The passion and artistry (Ichaso) brings to all of his work will make this a memorable film -- a film that Thelonious Monk more than deserves."
The film is being produced by GreeneStreet Films, which also made "Pinero."
Cool Monk site - Thelonious Sphere Monk