Andy Tennant may be the director of the ballyhooed film "Anna and the King," but don't call Sharon Johnson-Tennant a Hollywood wife.
"I'm very strong and independent," she told us. "I haven't let myself fall into the trappings of being a Hollywood wife."
While her husband filmed in Malaysia, Johnson-Tennant, mother of 4-year-old triplets and a 2-year-old, used her time there to photograph the country and its people. Her beautiful, painterly shots are on view through Thursday at Cruz L.A. Gallery in Venice.
Although she had been to Asia when she was a designer for Krizia and other fashion lines, Johnson-Tennant admitted she had to look at an atlas to find out where Malaysia was. "But from the minute I arrived," she said, "I was bowled over.
"The country is so untraveled and untouristy, so culturally rich. It got to the point where I wouldn't walk out the front door without a camera. The range of people and the religious imagery are so different from what we have in L.A. Even going to the grocery store was amazing. I'd go to the 'wet market' [the local store], and they would be selling pythons!"
Johnson-Tennant describes the photographs--images of rural communities and religious rituals--as "tight glimpses of the world."
Now that she has a taste for life on film, would she consider a foray into the movie biz?
"I don't think so," she said. "But my husband has joked that if I became a director, I would probably be the more successful one."
A presidential pooch and a courageous kitty have been named Top Dog and Top Cat of the 20th century in an online survey. Paws down, the favorite canine of the 20th century is Fala, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's trusted companion. Participants agreed that Scarlett, the New York City kitty who saved her kittens from a fire in 1996, is definitely the cat's meow.
Fala, the black Scottish Terrier who was FDR's constant companion, even rode in the limousine on the way to the president's 1941 inauguration. The dog is immortalized in marble, seated at the president's feet in the FDR memorial in Washington, D.C.
Scarlett, a brave cat from Brooklyn, N.Y., captured the heart of the nation when she rescued her five kittens from a burning building, carrying them across the street one by one. Scarlett, named for the burns she suffered, and her four surviving kittens were adopted by three different families soon after the fire.
Cat and dog lovers chose the winners on the Web site of the pet food company Iams (http://www.iams.com). Nominees included both fictional and real animals and were restricted to the already famous.
At this point, we would like to mention our own cats, Toast and Gracie. Oh, sure, they've never done anything heroic like saving a life . . . but lying around and looking cute should count for something.
Online fashion mag Hint (http://www.hintmag.com) is reporting that Austrian fashion designer Helmut Lang is offending sensibilities across the globe.
He incurred the wrath of Japan's Jewish community for a line of Army surplus-inspired designs he sells there that bear the phrase "Helmut Lang-Summer Camp 1998," along with swastikas and a concentration-camp serial number.
Then came news that Christians were insulted by a photograph of a Jesus figure wearing a Helmut Lang T-shirt, part of a Berlin art exhibition.
Hint's hilarious Horacio Silva and Ben Widdicombe write, "All Lang needs to do is whip up a swimwear line for Islamic women and he should be able to [upset] the rest of the world's population by New Year's."
Booth Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.