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Quick Takes

April 01, 2011
  • Billy Joel
Billy Joel (Peter Kramer, Associated…)

'Avatar 2' as innovator

James Cameron plans another innovation for his next "Avatar" installment: shooting at double or more the film speed that has been Hollywood's standard since the 1920s, a move he says will greatly improve 3-D images.

Cameron, whose 2009 sci-fi blockbuster raised the bar for digital imagery and put the 3-D craze on the fast track, told movie exhibitors in Las Vegas on Thursday that "Avatar 2" would be shot at 48 or 60 frames a second to reduce an effect called "strobing" that can blur moving images, particularly those in 3-D. For more than 80 years, the norm has been 24 frames a second.

Cameron has no definite timetable for his two planned sequels.

"I'm still just writing the script, so I'm a minimum of 18 months out of having to shoot something," Cameron said. "I've got a bit of time to get this sorted out."

—Associated Press

5 Browns' dad gets prison time

The father of the renowned piano group the 5 Browns was sentenced in Utah on Thursday to serve at least 10 years in prison on charges that he sexually abused his three daughters when they were children.

Keith S. Brown, 55, pleaded guilty in February to one felony count of sodomy of a child and two felony counts of sexual abuse of a child.

Brown's three daughters — Desirae, 32, Deondra, 30, and Melody, 26 — and two sons make up the 5 Browns, whose albums have topped the classical music charts and who have appeared

on "Oprah" and "60 Minutes."

Keith Brown once served as manager of his children's group, but they severed their professional relationship with him in 2008. The Brown sisters reported the abuse to police last year after learning that their father planned to begin working with other young musicians.

—Associated Press

De Zurbaran works are sold

Jonathan Ruffer, a wealthy investor, has bought a series of Francisco de Zurbaran paintings from the Anglican church in England for $24 million in an unusual arrangement that will allow the works to remain on public display.

The paintings of the Old Testament figure of Jacob and his sons have been kept at the bishop's palace in Durham, northeast England, since 1756. But earlier this year, the church opted to sell them to fund its ministry in poor areas.

Thousands of people petitioned to keep the paintings at the castle.

—Associated Press

Billy Joel won't write memoir

The Piano Man is deciding to stay silent: Billy Joel has canceled his planned memoir.

"The Book of Joel" was scheduled for publication in June. The HarperCollins book was billed as an "emotional ride" that would detail the music legend's failed marriages, including his union with Christie Brinkley, as well as his battles with substance abuse.

But in a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday, Joel, 61, said he had changed his mind.

"It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I'm not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music," he said.

HarperCollins confirmed that the deal had been canceled.

—Associated Press

Finally

Turner on stage: Kathleen Turner will star in "Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins," a one-woman show about the late Texas newspaper reporter and columnist, at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood in January or February.

New gig: Starting Sunday at 7 p.m., Grammy-winning saxophonist Kenny G will host a two-hour weekly music show on jazz station KKJZ-FM (88.1).

Replacement: Brooke Shields will replace Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia in the Broadway musical "The Addams Family" beginning June 26.

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