Monday, May 16, 2011

Ann-Marie Slaughter Interviewed on Role of Development in U.S. Foreign Policy

Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton, was interviewed recently at the Council on Foreign Relations as part of a series on "Women and Development." She also addressed current events in the Middle East. The interview and a synopsis of its content can be found here. The article says,

During our interview, I could not help asking Slaughter about U.S. policy in the Middle East. She has been a vocal advocate of intervention in Libya to bolster those trying to oust Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi. As she put it in our interview, “Our goal across the Middle East has to be to stand for peaceful change, the right of citizens to demand basic services from their governments.” However, she added that the U.S. role should be to support citizens who are battling oppressive regimes, not to take on the fight itself. “We have to help people as we can,” she said, “but it’s their fight. It’s the Libyans who have to ultimately change their government.” Turning to Syria, Slaughter called the situation there “heartbreaking” and said, “it looks like this government might get away with the same kind of brutality that we saw 20 years ago.” Nonetheless, she argued that the United States is not in a position to use force.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Robert Klitzman Writes NY Times Op-Ed About Bin Laden's Death

Robert Klitzman wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in the New York Times on May 3, two days after the killings of Osama bin Laden by Navy Seals. Robert's sister Karen was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2011. In the essay, titled, "My Sister, My Grief," he writes,

Bin Laden’s death was cathartic — his terrorist attacks traumatized all of us — but in large part it is only a symbolic victory. Al Qaeda may even have more cells and members than it did 10 years ago, though no one knows. Certainly, Islamic extremists are vowing to avenge his death. “An eye for an eye” perpetuates a never-ending cycle of destruction. Dangers continue.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Steve Hughes Works on Award-Winning Animated Film in Spain, "The Missing Lynx"

Steve Hughes sends along this report on his work on an award-winning film, "The Missing Lynx," in Spain:

I collaborated closely with the director and co-scriptwriter of The Missing Lynx, Manuel Sicilia. As a fellow Andalusian, Antonio Banderas was happy to get involved in the production and promotion of the film, although he didn't do any of the voices in the film, since none really suited him. It's a fun film with great detail about Andalusian wildlife, with an ecological message.

Anyway, I adapted the script into English, cast the original English voices, directed the recordings and revoicings, and voice-acted in the film. Despite being the child of the Spanish production company Kandor Graphics, located in Granada, the original version – the one recorded first to animate the mouths in high-quality animation – was recorded in Madrid but in English because the English-speaking markets are the biggest and most lucrative. We recorded all the voices with only 7 very versatile actors. I recorded Gus the chameleon, Newmann the evil white hunter, Diogenes the vulture, all the wolves, and the henchmen-soldiers, among others. They liked my interpretation of Newmann – the lone American among all British voices – so much that they asked me to repeat the part when the film was dubbed into Spanish, again with an American accent.

Anyway, last year The Missing Lynx was nominated for the Goya award, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars, for Best Animated Feature Film and won. Although it did get onto the big screen on numerous European countries apparently, The Missing Lynx was never released in theaters in the US, unfortunately, although it was released on DVD. The DVD was reviewed in Variety in October, 2009, and one of my proudest moments as a voice artist came when I read the reviewer's comment that Newmann was "voiced with delicious richness by Hughes". Working way over here in Spain, it meant a lot to get a pat on the back from a Variety reviewer.