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Tonight!

Yay!!! Tonight is the Los Angeles premiere of Milk!!! Bill and I will be there! I will do my best to take some pictures but in LA these premieres are always more strict and most of the times cameras are not allowed. I will tell you everything about the event tomorrow anyway!

Have a great day my friend!!
Elsita :)

World Premiere of MILK.

Hello my dear friend!

I am so glad to be back with you today! I can't wait to tell you everything about our short trip to San Francisco for the world premiere of Milk. IT WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!

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We left Los Angeles on Tuesday in the afternoon and even before I had time to process the fact that I was going to be away from the kids, Bill and I found ourselves in this hotel room, in the beautiful city of San Francisco. After landing in this room everything was like a race! Literally, let's keep reading and you will understand :)

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Here is Bill doing some e-mail work while I was getting organized. As you can see, he looks like he is taking care of a very serious matter :o We only had a little time available before leaving the hotel for the premiere so we took advantage of it and went out for a walk around the hotel.

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This is a photo taken from our window, very nice view.


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We were so lucky to find this retrospective of Joan Miro's work, all for sell! I didn't expect to see something so special, the collection was really beautiful! And then I had a dream: how wonderful it would be to have one of Joan Miro's engravings in out home! Just a dream :) So to measure exactly how far this dream was from being a reality I asked the lady in charge about the price for the tiniest piece in the whole show. And she responded: really affordable, one of these pieces is about $19,500.00. That's when Bill and I run away as fast as we could back to our hotel!!!!!!!!!!! :0 :0

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So here we are right after recovering from the Joan Miro scare, ready to go to the premiere. Regarding the type of outfit for the event, the invitation said: business attire. So here we are in our business outfits which means: something on the boring side of fashion street with a focus on comfort. I would say that we did a pretty good job. I wore my little papercut girl pin, a red purse and an orange scarf to add about 0.1% of excitement to the general look.

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And a few minutes later here I am (Bill is behind the camera as you can imagine) we were just steps away from the CASTRO theater in the Castro District. The atmosphere was amazing, LOOOOOTSSS of people everywhere.

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But then, as we walked closer and closer to the crowd I couldn't contain my tears. I experienced something really powerful. Hundreds of people from the gay community in San Francisco came to celebrate the movie and most importantly, they came to make an statement against the Proposition 8 and to honor the legacy of Harvey Milk. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The movie Milk is about him and about his short and amazing life. Harvey Milk had a strong feeling that he was going to be killed for being who he was and that's exactly what happened. You really need to se this movie, it is an important piece of history, a true story that we all should be familiar with.

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Here is a photo of the theater, minutes before the movie started. The Castro theater is a jewel, such a beautiful space.

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And here is a photo of some wonderful character that came to the premiere. He was all decorated with little flashing lights. Even his glasses had little lights!!! He made me want to wear something similar. I think that he made a great accessory choice :) This is something that I really enjoyed about the premiere: Harvey Milk's sense of humor, which was an important part of who he was and how he connected to everybody, was very present in the event. 


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Here is Bruna Papandrea , myself and my whole set of teeth in a happy photo. Bruna, who is also an executive producer in the movie, is such a wonderful person. She is from Australia and we love her very much!

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And after the movie ended (with the most amazing and long ovation ever) we were taken to this amazing place in big buses. This is the San Francisco City Hall the place where Harvey Milk came to work every morning trying to defend the rights of gay people and the place where he was killed.

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It was a surreal and wonderful experience being in this place right after watching the movie. Harvey Milk's death was something extremely painful when it happened, the movie brought all those feelings to the audience and then minutes later we were in the very same place where he died, celebrating his life and legacy. I am sure that the ghost of Harvey Milk was somewhere in the City Hall watching all of us and having a great time too.

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And I want to end this post with the only photo of Sean Penn that I was able to take by the end of the night. He was so quick, I only saw him for a few seconds. Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk in the movie and I have to say that this could be the most remarkable performance of his whole career and we all know what a brilliant career he has. He was absolutely amazing, deep, real, you just forget about Sean Penn completely because he becomes 100% Harvey Milk. He absolutely deserves a nomination for the Oscars. Everybody is predicting his Oscar nomination.

Now my friend, I invite you to visit Bill's blog to see his own post about the premiere of Milk. Over there you will find more pictures but also you will have the pleasure to read the beautiful words that Bill wrote about this event.

And talking about Bill, as soon as we got back home, he got sick, that's why I had to go for my friend Gingerino to help him. I hope that he can recover very soon! 

I also want to tell each one of my dear readers that got in touch with me about the possibility of meeting me in San Francisco, that I am so extremely sorry that this trip was just so short. Next time when we go to this beautiful city for an extra day I will organize some nice lunch or dinner party so we can see each other and talk and have a great time! I told Bill that since San Francisco is so close to LA (by plane) we should go back for two or three days as soon as we have a chance, for a little vacation :)

Now I wish you a wonderful day!
And I will be back tomorrow!
Elsita :)

How I met Ben :)

Buenos Dias my friend,
Today I wanted to share something nice with you, which is that I met this Ben the other night. Bill and I went to some special event and he was there. If you see him in person you wouldn't think that he is a celebrity. What a super natural man he is and sweet and easy-going. We talked about different things related to Africa. He has been doing some humanitarian work over there and it was very interesting listening to him. The event that we were attending was not a fancy thing at all. It was something very low-key at a private home and the whole idea behind the event was to raise some money to finish a school in Sudan.
The star of the event was some of the most inspiring young men that I have ever met and his name is Valentino Achak Deng he is from Sudan. Here you can check his web-site and see what he does. Maybe you have seen this book before, well, this book tells the amazing story of Valentino, a real surviver and a beautiful soul that has inspired so many people. This is a book that everybody should read. I highly recommend it to you.
The person who wrote this book is one of my favorite writers and his name is Dave Eggers he was there too and it was a pleasure talking with him. He is such a smart person, he has been to Cuba so we had a conversation about that. I had such a great time, that's the part of Hollywood that I enjoy the most, when people get together far away from paparazzi to help those who are struggling in the world.

It is sad that events like that are kind of invisible to the public. But you should know that lots of people in Hollywood do care about making of the world a better place and they do lots of concrete things to make this happen. For example, this school that Valentino is building in Sudan will mean everything to lots of young Sudanese who live in that area. They won't have to leave their homes to pursue their education far away from their families. Valentino has been struggling so much to build that school and the money raised that night will be extremely important for finishing the project. They showed a documentary about the process of building the school and it is heart braking, you see everybody, including children, working hard with their very hands to make of this school a reality.
The very first thing that we all want for our children is a good education and this is almost an impossible dream in many parts of Africa, but little by little, step by step, this could change. It is beautiful when you see people gathering in a place with the only intention of helping those who really need help. It gives me hope and it makes me want to be a better person.
The school should be ready to open in April of 2009, I can't wait to see this dream come true.

HERE you can see a video of Valentino talking. If you ever meet this young man in person you are going to adore him, he is unique.
Have you ever heard about The Lost Boys of Sudan? Valentino is one of those boys and Here you can watch a trailer about the documentary with the same title (The Lost Boys of Sudan)

See you tomorrow!
Elsita :)


Do you know who has a new blog?

Today I want to share something so exciting with you and that is: My hubby has his own blog now! Yay!!!! It took me over a year to convince him to start a blog, I never thought that it was going to happen since he is so extremely busy everyday but a miracle has happened and now you can visit www.williamhorberg.typepad.com and enjoy one of the most special blogs out there.

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We designed the banner together and it represents all the things that are connected to Bill's life: family, movies, books, traveling, Cuba, Chicago, fantasy, music, Autism, creativity, past, present...

Bill is not only a wonderful human being (this shows through all the posts that he has already written) but he is also some kind of living encyclopedia, he knows so much about so many different subjects, I learn more from him than from any other source. I thought that by opening a blog he could share all his stories with us and at the same time it would be a great way for our children to enjoy his father's writing in the future.

A blog is definitely something positive in anybody's life if we use it in a constructive and positive way. It is a space where you can express yourself and become more aware of your own interests and passions. Through a blog we can develop ourselves and grow in unexpected ways. Bill is a Film Producer and this means that he is basically a creative person. Producing movies is a whole complex career that requires for you to understand so many things; from music to history, politics, economy, cultures... movies capture all areas of life and the more areas of interest you have the better movies you will make.

When Bill is not producing a movie directly he is developing a new project and whenever he has a little free time he does something creative like making a comic book with his own stories and drawings, playing the flute or the piano, taking great photographs and most important: observing. He is like a sponge that captures everything around him. His personality is quiet and you may even think that his mind is somewhere else but he is really very present listening to you and noticing everything around you. He is also a great story teller and a wonderful writer as you will see. And also let me tell you that he has a great sense of humor and whenever he is around my face looks like this :) or mostly like this :D

At this point of this post I want to say that if you are still there :0 I would like to invite you to stop by Bill's blog and say hi to him. Let's welcome Billy to blogland and let's enjoy his internet presence! I already signed up as his fan number one as you can imagine :)

See you there!
Elsita :)


Elsita Reporting :)

You won't believe it!
Following the idea of my previous post: Yesterday in the afternoon Bill called me from his office to say that the premiere that we were supposed to attend was in August! (there was a mistake with the invitation) but we still had the option to go to the promotional screening of TROPIC THUNDER and I said LET'S GO FOR IT! I have to tell you, we laughed until our stomachs hurt. This will be the biggest comedy hit of the summer, directed by Ben Stiller and produced by Stuart Cornfeld. If you want to laugh and have a fun time don't miss this movie but be ready because it is outrageous! The casting is great and the biggest surprise in my opinion was Tom Cruise. I had no idea that he was going to be in this movie and then he suddenly appears playing this hilarious character that you could never imagine him playing.

And after this Hollywood experience we are ready for a little vacation with the family. We are going to disconnect from our daily routine for a week, no therapies for Diego (for the first time in 10 months) no work for Bill and I and no school for Natalie. We are going to the Moon in our magic rocket. Natalie will be attending an intergalactic art camp and Diego will take a brake from his busy life to do whatever he wants to do and this will more likely include lots or running all over the places with me chasing him. Bill will play his flute and I will try to relax whenever Diego is taking a nap.

I am tired my friend, to be honest, I need this brake a lot and I know that once I am back I will have lots of new energy to keep going. I have different exciting projects to finish (I will tell you about everything when I return) but before I take care of them I need to take care of myself and give my brain and body a little brake. I am planning to listen to the birds, sit down and do nothing, go for a walk, dance, sing...

I wish you many good things in the next days. I hope that you can also find a little space for relaxing and recharging the batteries :) I will be back here with you on Monday, July 28!!!!

Lots of love!
Elsita :)


Tonight!

Good morning my friend, just two lines to report that tonight Bill and I are going to the circus!!!!!
Or as they call it over here: A MOVIE PREMIERE :O I am so sorry about the irony, I must be punished by the Hollywood commission :() Bill got invited to this premiere where some famous people will show up and I will try to take a couple of pictures for you if I am allowed to. If not I will give you a report about the experience tomorrow anyway. I am sure that it's going to be fun :)
I don't know what I will be wearing yet but one thing is for sure: I won't leave the house without a handmade pin on and also I am planning to hide a camera in my big hair. JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!

I will be back tomorrow!
Elsita :)


The Cannes Film Festival and Bill

And today I am back with a little report about the Cannes Film Festival! This year Bill attended the event representing a wonderful movie called: Synecdoche. This was a hard word to pronounce at the festival and there is even a little video about it here. The director of the movie is Charlie Kaufman. I am happy to say that the Time magazine classified Synecdoche as an "Instant Cannes Classic". This is an unusual movie narrated in an unusual way, it is hard to tell you what the story is about but for sure I can say that it is great and it makes you think a lot about life. I went to a small screening here in Los Angeles and I left the place thinking and thinking about so many things. The casting is wonderful too! This movie is not out yet but it will be very soon.


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In this picture you see Bill with Michelle Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman who are part of the wonderful cast of the movie. Bill said that all the paparazzi had their eyes on Michelle Williams. I have never met her in person but Bill says that he is so impressed by how mature she is for her age, she is only 27, a single Mother and as we know she has gone through a lot. Bill said that in person she is the most normal and down-to-earth girl. On the other hand she is an amazing actress, one of my very favorite. Philip Seymour Hoffman is also an amazing person. I was lucky to meet him for the first time in Romania during the making of Cold Mountain. He was there with his partner Mimi. They have two children together and they are a wonderful couple. Mimi is the sweetest girl ever! Bill and I were so happy when Philip won his Academy Award for Capote, a very well deserved award!

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Here is Bill again (the one with the camera) with friends, ready to walk on the red carpet.

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In these two pictures you can see some other members of the movie. The girl with the beautiful pink dress is Samantha Morton who had a baby not so long ago (she brought her baby to Cannes). Bill thinks that she is a very special person so do I. I love her in the movie! And the girl with the long hair is Catherine Keener who I have seen in a couple of events and she always has a big smile on her face. I love the purple dress that Michelle Williams is wearing! What a great color!

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Here you see a photo of the most rewarding moment: a big standing ovation after the projection of the movie. What a wonderful gift for everyone who worked so hard in the making of this film!

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So, what are these two last pictures about? Well, they illustrate what a Hollywood Film Producer (Bill in particular) does when he goes to the Cannes Film Festival. He takes the train and goes away to a quiet place in Italy where he can play his flute and call his family and tell them how much he would love to be home! That's the real part behind all the red carpet thing and the lights and the photographers. Bill is a wonderful father and when he is traveling he calls home all the time to make sure that we are all fine. Then when he comes back he always brings little toys for the kids and they love it! And of course he also brings a little present for the wife :)

And now my friend I should go but I will be back tomorrow!
Have a beautiful day!
Elsita :)


Sydney Pollack Dies at 73.

Today is another sad day for Bill and I since one of the most remarkable human beings that we ever met had just passed away. Sydney Pollack died yesterday of cancer.

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Sydney Pollack and Bill (photo above) were partners for over ten years and together they produced some great movies. Sydney has been Bill's most important Mentor and some kind of Father figure since his beginnings in Hollywood, that's why this loss is one of the most painful that Bill ever experienced.

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I met Sydney for the first time in 2001 in Vietnam when he was producing The Quiet American with Bill. I admired Sydney Pollack since I was a teenager and I loved his movies but I never thought that I was going to meet him in person, even less could I imagine that one day I was going to fly with him and Bill from Los Angeles to New York and that Sydney was going to be the Pilot. I couldn't believe that such a unique Artist could also be a real Pilot. During the whole fly I was just wondering if Sydney was a real person or someone from another planet (above you can see the single picture that I took that day in order to remember such an extraordinary experience). Sydney was a man of many talents, he was extremely smart, articulated, but most of all he was a beautiful human being, a family man and an extraordinary person who was curious about everything. Very deep Sydney Pollack was like a little boy plus he had one of the sweetest smiles that I ever saw. I remember that he told me a whole joke about a little chicken in Spanish, the pronunciation was perfect but he didn't understand a word about what he was saying, he said that he had learned the joke many years ago because he really liked how it sounded, I never heard anything like it, he was some kind of genius.

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In this photo Pollack directs Robert Redford in "The Electric Horseman" in 1979, one of seven movies the two would ultimately collaborate on. And below you can see a selection of photos of Sydney with some Actors and Directors that he worked with over the years.

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Sydney also experienced some devastating traumas during his life like the death of his son in a plain accident. Imagine how painful something like this was for such a family oriented man. But Sydney always knew how to turn his pain into creative energy and I can say that personally that's one of the things that I most admire about him. When he found out about his terminal cancer some months ago he told Bill about it. Bill said that his tone of voice was not sentimental or weak at all, but firm and even positive. He said that he had nothing to complain about because he was very happy about the life that he had and that it was OK to die. Bill was extremely affected by this news then and by his death yesterday but as we look at Sydney's legacy we realize that he will always be alive through the amazing body of work that he left to the world.

Here you can see a list of some of his movies:

FILMOGRAPHY: (DIRECTOR)
The Interpreter (2005)
Random Hearts (1999)
Sabrina (1995)
The Firm (1993)
Havana (1990)
Out of Africa (1985)
Tootsie (1982)
Absence of Malice (1981)
The Electric Horseman (1979)
Bobby Deerfield (1977)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
The Yakuza (1975)
The Way We Were (1973)
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
The Swimmer (1968, Co-Director)
The Scalphunters (1968)
This Property is Condemned (1966)
The Slender Thread (1965)

FILMOGRAPHY: (ACTOR)
Made of Honor (2008)
Michael Clayton (2007)
Fauteuils d'orchestre (2006)
The Interpreter (2005)
Changing Lanes (2002)
The Majestic (2001) (voice)
Random Hearts (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
A Civil Action (1998)
Husbands and Wives (1992)
Death Becomes Her (1992)
The Player (1992)
War Hunt (1962)

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Dear Sydney, we love you very much and you will always have a very special place in our hearts. We don't want to say Good-Bye to you because you are and you will always be here with us in so many ways!
Here it goes a huge hug from Bill and Elsita to you!


A Flower in the Darkness.

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Good morning my friend!
And here is my dress for the Oscars and the accessories that will go with it! I could write a lot about how I made this dress but instead I would like to point that the little floral embroidery on the belt (made with silk ribbon, thread, crystals and an antique purple cabochon) is what brings this whole piece to life, like a flower blooming in the darkness. This dress is entirely dedicated to my hubby Bill who, in my opinion, is like a rare flower blooming in the middle of the dark and difficult landscape that Hollywood is.

Bill, as I have said before, is one of the most inspiring creative people that I have ever meet in my life and through him I have learned so many amazing things. Through Bill I have learned how to appreciate artistic quality, I have learned how to enjoy movies and how to become a better person thought the lessons that they teach to me. Today from my little position in this modest blog I want to invite you to think about the film world and the Oscars in a completely different way.

Through movies we learn about other cultures and about ourselves. Movies make us think and cry and smile and laugh and experience the most amazing feelings. Films can change who we are, they are like open doors to worlds and things that we wouldn’t know about otherwise. On Sunday I invite you to enjoy what really matters behind the Oscars, which is talent, imagination and creativity. I invite you to think that behind all the illusion that glamour and gold and fame is there are lots of real people like Bill that deeply believe in creating meaningful films that have something important to say to the rest of us. Let’s celebrate movies and let’s give them the place that they deserve in our lives.

I am so excited about attending this event on Sunday.
I will be celebrating with Bill and our friends and I will be sharing everything with you afterwards!
Please join me in this adventure!!

Elsita :)


The Dress is Finished! :o :)

Good Morning! And good news! My dress for the Oscars is finished!
I will show you a photo of it tomorrow plus a little drawing of how it looks from the back. The design of this dress is simple that's why it looks better on the "model" but tomorrow you will have a general idea of how it looks like. Then I will make sure that Bill takes a picture of me on Sunday so you can see it better later. And here are a few interesting details about the the event on Sunday:

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Jon Stewart will be host, I'm sure that he will be funny :).

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In this picture you can have a general idea about the "anatomy" of the red carpet. First there is a line of official photographers doing their job. Next there is the red carpet which is exclusive for the nominees and the celebrities that have been invited to the event. Then, behind the red carpet there is another carpet for the rest of the people connected to the movies, members of the Academy, relatives etc. Look for Bill and I over there in that group. And then there is a stage with a number of fans asking for autographs (that's a great group because they will really be having fun, the rest of the people are mostly working, including the stars).
Two of Bill's movies got nominations this year:
The Kite Runner: Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score. Alberto Iglesias)
Lars and the Real Girl: Original Screenplay (Nancy Oliver)
So Alberto Iglesias (Go Spain!) and Nancy Oliver will be walking on the red carpet.

Did you know that the nomination for Best Motion Picture or Best Film is the most important one and it goes to the Film Producer? It's always the last award of the night. I had no idea about this before I met Bill. You can learn more about it here.

And next we have the list of the presenters that you will see on Sunday:

Amy Adams
Jessica Alba
Cate Blanchett
Josh Brolin
Steve Carel
George Clooney
Penelope Cruz
Miley Cyrus
Patrick Dempsey
Cameron Diaz
Colin Farrell
Harrison Ford
Jennifer Garner
Tom Hanks
Anne Hathaway
Katherine Heigl
Jonah Hill
Dwayne Johnson
Nicole Kidman
James McAvoy
Queen Latifah
Seth Rogen
Martin Scorsese
Hilary Swank
John Travolta
Denzel Washington
Renee Zellweger
Alan Arkin
Jennifer Hudson
Helen Mirren
Forest Whitaker

Take a look at the nominees.

And here is the list of international broadcasters.

One of our closest friends in Hollywood and (in my opinion) one of the most remarkable Art Directors ever has been nominated (again!!) for an Oscar and I am sure that we will spend most of the time with him and his wife Francesca who I adore. When the four of us get together there is for sure lots of laughter and fun! They are both from Italy (go Italia!). Our friend's name is Dante Ferretti and he was the Art Director of Sweeney Todd. We already told him that bloody films are not our number one thing but there is no doubt that the whole visual job that he did for this movie is truly remarkable. One day I will be talking more about the important role of an Art Director in films.
This is a photo of Dante and I (Watch for him! I hope that he wins!!!!)


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And now I am going back with the "kiddies"!
Have a wonderful day!
And see you tomorrow!
Elsita :)