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Outstanding Directorial Achievement Winners at 66th Annual DGA Awards 2014:

Feature Film: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Dramatic Series: Vince Gilligan – Breaking Bad, <<Felina>>

Movies For Television And Mini-Series: Steven Soderbergh – Behind The Candelabra

Comedy Series: Beth McCarthy-Miller – 30 Rock, <<Hogcock!/Last Lunch>>

Gravity film-maker Alfonso Cuaron has picked up the top film honor from the Directors Guild of America

Gravity film-maker Alfonso Cuaron has picked up the top film honor from the Directors Guild of America

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Series: Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live, <<Saturday Night Live With Host Justin Timberlake>>

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials: Glenn Weiss – The 67th Annual Tony Awards

Reality Programs: Neil P. DeGroot – 72 Hours, <<The Lost Coast>>

Children’s Programs: Amy Schatz – An Apology To Elephants

Documentary: Jehane Noujaim – The Square

Commercials: Martin de Thurah – Epoch Films

Robert B. Aldrich Award: Steven Soderbergh

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Scott Thorson revealed his life as the toyboy lover of flamboyant pianist Liberace, describing it as a whirlwind of extravagance and excess.

Their outrageous lifestyle, captured in new film Behind The Candelabra, makes the latest breed of bling-loving celebrities look tasteful and understated.

But after five dazzling, rhinestone-encrusted years together, Scott Thorson claimed he was dumped like “a piece of trash”.

Scott Thorson lost it all and began a downward spiral into d**gs, crime and the odd spell behind bars.

The tattooed 54-year-old, who is battling colon cancer, was in jail in Reno, Nevada, for burglary when the acclaimed film – based on his book of the same name – was shown on US TV last month.

Director Steven Soderbergh revealed that the movie was rejected as “too gay” by every major American studio, before being snapped up by cable channel HBO – which is why it went straight to TV in the US and did not get a cinema release there.

Of casting Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Steven Soderbergh joked: “I needed to see Jason Bourne on top of Gordon Gekko.”

Scott Thorson was just 17 when he met 58-year-old Liberace backstage after one of his Las Vegas shows in 1977.

He soon moved in with the musician in his lavish, custom-built Las Vegas palace.

On the bedroom ceiling was a reproduction of the fresco in Rome’s Sistine Chapel – but the cherubs all had Liberace’s face.

At the peak of his powers, Liberace was the world’s best-paid entertainer and owned 39 pianos, 32 cars and 26 dogs.

Scott Thorson says: “He built a 70,000 sq ft palace in Las Vegas for me, filled with the world’s most expensive treasure – $25million worth of antiques.

“A well-known artist spent a year painting the Sistine Chapel fresco on the ceiling.

“Even the Queen and the Queen Mother were big fans of his.

“When he played the London Palladium I went into the Royal Box to use the toilet, just so I could say I had used the Queen’s bathroom. They sent us lots of gifts – including a Welsh Corgi.”

Scott Thorson was even given a minor role in TV’s The Liberace Show, driving the pianist on stage in a jewel-encrusted Rolls-Royce while wearing a white chauffeur’s outfit.

His relationship with Liberace was bizarre to say the least.

Scott Thorson revealed his life as the toyboy lover of flamboyant pianist Liberace

Scott Thorson revealed his life as the toyboy lover of flamboyant pianist Liberace

The world-famous showman got a plastic surgeon to make Scott Thorson look more like his son, and put him on a cocktail of diet pills.

Scott Thorson reveals: “He had to throw the Press off, so he <<adopted>> me, changed my face so I looked more like him.

“He didn’t want people to realize I was his lover – he wanted them to think I was his son.

“I was given cheek implants and a new chin so I would resemble him.

“He took me to this plastic surgeon and he wanted me to lose weight. The doctor put me on the Hollywood diet. It contained pharmaceutical c***ine and Demerol to bring me down. Liberace agreed to all this.

“Then, when I became addicted and he was worried I was out of control and would tarnish his image, he threw me out like I was a piece of trash.

“In the movie it says he offered me rehab, but he didn’t.

“I was living in the penthouse in LA and they hired guards to throw all my personal belongings off the balcony and discard me.”

In 1982 Scott Thorson took Liberace to court in a bitter “palimony” suit. Later he settled for $93,000, some jewellery, custody of two dogs and a gold-plated Rolls-Royce he had been given as a 21st birthday gift.

But the split plunged him from the dizzy showbiz heights to the depths of despair.

Scott Thorson, who survived being shot five times during a robbery in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1991, even accuses the team behind the film – including its stars – of neglecting his cries for help during his most recent spell behind bars.

Instead Dennis Hof, who owns the infamous Bunny Ranch br***el, last week posted bail for Scott Thorson.

Scott Thorson says: “Hollywood turned its back on me. Matt Damon or Michael Douglas would not bail me out, even though I offered to talk to them about the film.

“I need to put money back into my pocket. I didn’t make much out of the movie. I own a small percentage of the film but Hollywood is notorious for padding the bill so it shows no profit.”

Biopic Behind the Candelabra was a big hit when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It pulled in 2.4million viewers when it aired in the US on HBO – the largest audience for an original movie on the channel in almost a decade. It opens in cinemas across Europe today.

Scott Thorson says: “It has been a big success, all these European companies have picked it up. So for the filmmakers to say they haven’t made a dime would be a big mistake – especially with my mouth.

“I went after Liberace, so I’m not scared.

“I was whisked out of jail when Dennis Hof paid my bail. He turned up with five Bunny Girls to pick me up in this big limousine.

“The first night we went up to Dennis’s private residence in the ranch and I watched the film for the first time. I was blown away.

“Matt Damon did a great job playing me. And he did a great job in bed with Douglas, too.”

The film ends when the pair are reunited on Liberace’s deathbed just before he passed away from pneumonia caused by AIDS in 1987.

Scott Thorson’s life has had some twists and turns that are not in the film. For starters, he claims he had a romance with Michael Jackson.

He said: “Liberace introduced me and Michael in the late 1970s. It was right around the time Thriller was coming out and Michael and I became lovers.

“Our relationship went on for six or seven years. Michael was very generous too. He treated me well.

“Liberace and I had both undergone plastic surgery around the same time Michael underwent a nose job because he didn’t think he was handsome. We all healed together at the Liberace compound in Palm Springs.”

Also in his eventful life, Scott Thorson was put in witness protection after testifying against his d**g dealer Eddie Nash in 1981, changing his name to Jesse Marlow.

He said: “I’ve survived being shot five times, overdoses, and I’ve tried to commit suicide. But I’ve survived to tell my story.”

Life for Scott Thorson at the moment, at the Bunny Ranch, is the most exotic it has been for years.

He said: “There are 22 acres with stables, a gymnasium, a personal trainer, Jacuzzi, swimming pool and lots of beautiful people.

“They have built a great team around me and I am drug free for the first time in many years. It’s been about 110 days.

“There are so many beautiful women here. I’m having lots of Bunny Ranch therapy.

“These girls are so gorgeous I could end up turning straight.

“I haven’t lived the dream like this since I lived with Liberace.

“I feel right at home.”

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Michael Douglas reportedly snubbed Scott Thorson, the terminally ill for­mer lover of piano legend Liberace – even though he’s starring in a movie based on a book written by the dying man.

Scott Thorson, who was diag­nosed with advanced anal cancer in August 2012, was Liberace’s lover from 1976 to 1982.

His book, Be­hind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace, is the ba­sis of the new HBO film that stars Michael Douglas as the flam­boyant performer.

But even though Michael Douglas is a fellow cancer sufferer, sources say he rebuffed Scott Thor­son’s request to visit him on the set before being jailed in February 2103.

All I wanted do was meet Michael and talk to him about my cancer,” Scott Thor­son, 54, explained to The National Enquirer.

“But I was bluntly told it would be im­possible. That really hurt.”

Scott Thorson’s six-year ro­mance with Liberace be­gan when he was just 18 and the entertainer was 57.

He revealed he was showered with lavish gifts, expensive vacations and promises by Liberace to adopt and care for him.

But the relationship end­ed in 1982, when Scott Thorson says he was dumped for a teenager.

Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Da¬mon as Scott Thorson in Steven Soderbergh’s Behind The Candelabra

Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Da¬mon as Scott Thorson in Steven Soderbergh’s Behind The Candelabra

Although Behind the Candelabra was published in 1988, a year after Liberace died of AIDS, Scott Thorson says he didn’t find out until 2008 that pro­ducer Jerry Weintraub wanted to make a movie out of the book.

At the time, Scott Thorson was serving time behind bars on a drug-related robbery and desper­ately needed money. He admits he got “a little up-front money and a small percentage” of the film sales.

While Scott Thorson did his time, Jerry Weintraub assembled his team: Michael Douglas as Liberace, Matt Da­mon as Scott Thorson and director Steven Soderbergh.

In August 2010, Michael Douglas was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer and the movie was put on hold.

Thankfully, Michael Douglas beat the cancer, and production began in the summer of 2012 in Los Ange­les, Las Vegas and Palm Springs. But Scott Thorson says he was left out in the cold.

“I thought it was very strange that I was never contacted,” he said.

“Then, about three months ago, I got one phone call from Jerry Weintraub when he found out that I had cancer. He said, <<I’m very sorry that you’re going through cancer>>. And that was it.”

Scott Thorson revealed he was immediate­ly cut off when he asked if he could reach out to both Michael Douglas and Matt Da­mon. He said the indication was that Michael Douglas – whose son Cam­eron is also in jail on d**g charges – didn’t want him on the set, even as a consultant.

“It was clear that I wasn’t wel­come,” Scott Thorson said.

“My heart sank. These people were portraying me but I was a persona non grata. I’m angry.”

Scott Thorson has undergone radia­tion and chemotherapy treatments, but the tumor remains.

“Right now, I’m very scared,” Scott Thorson admitted.

“I’ve already run through the money I got for the movie and I’ve got nothing left.

“I don’t know if I’ll make it to the premiere in May…or if I’m even invited.”

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The TV premiere of Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as flamboyant pianist Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, was seen by 2.4 million people in the US.

The Nielsen Company said it was the HBO network’s biggest audience for one of its original movies since medical drama Something the Lord Made in 2004.

A further 1.1 million people tuned in for a repeat of the film that aired immediately after Sunday’s premiere.

The TV premiere of Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as flamboyant pianist Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, was seen by 2.4 million people in the US

The TV premiere of Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as flamboyant pianist Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, was seen by 2.4 million people in the US

Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh’s film, will be released in UK cinemas on June 7.

Based on Scott Thorson’s memoir Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace, the film charts the life of the American pianist and the secret affair he had with the author, played by Matt Damon.

The drama received its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars remains the most-watched programme on US television with around 15 million viewers last week.

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Steven Soderbergh’s new HBO movie Behind the Candelabra stars Michael Douglas as Liberace, and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, whose memoir Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace is the film’s source material.

The film suggests a focus on Scott Thorson, not Liberace.

Scott Thorson was a 16-year-old trainee veterinarian when he met Liberace. One of Liberace’s pet dogs was suffering from an eye infection, and Scott Thorson was called out to attend. Scott Thorson had been installed as live-in houseboy and not only commanded the Liberace estate by day, but featured nightly in Liberace’s Vegas stage act, driving the star on stage in a rhinestone encrusted limousine, tidying the train of Liberace’s fur gown, and being introduced to the audience by name.

Scott Thorson and Liberace lived together for five years, a period which demands a new word for “decadence”. When Scott Thorson said he loved Liberace’s gold-plated Rolls Royce, for example, Liberace wrapped the car in an enormous red bow and gave it to him, and Thorson was never seen without his ghastly gold-plated Zippo lighter, another gift from Lee, on a gold chain around his neck.

Scott Thorson claims he had plastic surgery to look more like Liberace, including a nose job and a chin implant. In a 2002 interview with Larry King, Scott Thorson said that after he put on weight during a trip with Liberace to Paris, Liberace introduced him to Priscilla Presley’s plastic surgeon. Scott Thorson said that Liberace accompanied him to his first consultation, instructing the surgeon to “make him look like my son”. But, the operations weren’t satisfactory, and Scott Thorson later had the chin implant removed.

Scott Thorson claims he had plastic surgery to look more like Liberace, including a nose job and a chin implant

Scott Thorson claims he had plastic surgery to look more like Liberace, including a nose job and a chin implant

Apparently, Liberace and his plastic surgeon drank bottles of vodka together before general anaesthetic was administered and cosmetic procedures were carried out at Liberace’s home. Robert Goulet, Charo, Phyllis Diller and Debbie Reynolds were routine houseguests. While Scott Thorson confessed to a daily diet of “co***ne, quaaludes, Biphetamine, demerol”, Lee only drank, and snorted amyl nitrate like a demon.

In 1982, after they’d broken up, Scott Thorson’s lawyers launched a $100 million palimony lawsuit. They finally settled in 1986 for $95,000, two dogs (including the one that originally had the infected eye) and the gold Rolls Royce. It was a smaller settlement than what the London tabloid the Daily Mirror demanded in 1987 once it was revealed that Liberace’s sudden weight loss was not in fact due to what his people had told everyone was the result of a watermelon diet – a refund of the half a million pounds it had been forced to pay him 30 years earlier when he sued them for implying he was homos***al without any proof when one of their journalists said this about him: They say that this deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love has had the biggest reception and impact on London since Charlie Chaplin arrived at the same station, Waterloo, on September 12,1921.

“This appalling man – and I use the word appalling in no other than its true sense of terrifying – has hit this country in a way that is as violent as Churchill receiving the cheers on V-E Day.
“He reeks with emetic language that can only make grown men long for a quiet corner, an aspidistra, a handkerchief, and the old heave-ho. Without doubt, he is the biggest sentimental vomit of all time. Slobbering over his mother, winking at his brother, and counting the cash at every second, this superb piece of calculating candy-floss has an answer for every situation.
“There must be something wrong with us that our teenagers longing for s** and our middle-aged matrons fed up with s** alike should fall for such a sugary mountain of jingling claptrap wrapped up in such a preposterous clown.”

Around that time, Scott Thorson allegedly made statements like this to the world’s press: “I know three young men now that are dead because of AIDS because of him.”

But other reports are that when Liberace was on his deathbed, Scott Thorson was there, at Liberace’s request. After Liberace died, Scott Thorson stated that the conflicts between he and Lee had been exaggerated, and that it was his lawyers who were out for the money and he personally was primarily concerned about who was going to take care of the dogs.

Then, allegedly, Scott Thorson had an affair with Michael Jackson.

All that would be enough adventure for most people and it covers the action in Behind the Candelabra it’s just the beginning of Scott Thorson’s story.

The Wonderland murders, otherwise known as the Lauren Canyon killings, occurred on the night of 1 July 1981, while Scott Thorson was still living with Liberace. A few days later, John Holmes broke into the home of Eddie Nash, owner of West Hollywood clubs such as the Kit Kat and the Starwood. John Holmes was casing the joint for the Wonderland gang, who lived at 8763 Wonderland Avenue and traded drugs. The gang broke in the next day, tying up Eddie Nash and his bodyguard and stealing a bunch of stuff.

Later, Scott Thorson was over at Eddie Nash’s house picking up some deals when right in front of his eyes, Nash’s heavies dragged John Holmes in and knocked him around with knuckle dusters until he coughed up the address of the Wonderland gang, who were all soon shot dead. Scott Thorson agreed to testify against Eddie Nash, on the proviso he go straight into witness protection.

After several years in Alaska, Scott Thorson was transferred to Jacksonville, Florida and exited from the witness protection program due to his ongoing use of dr**s. According to his memoirs, he was watching a Pat Boone documentary on TV one night when d**g dealers broke into his motel room and shot him five times. Scott Thorson insists he had no prior dealings with his assailants and that the attack was not ordered by Eddie Nash who, incidentally, now owns the gold Rolls Royce after Thorson exchanged it for co***ne.

In 2008 Scott Thorson was sentenced to four years in prison on d**g and burglary offences and now lives with his wife in New England.

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This year’s Cannes Film Festival will see in competition Only God Forgives, the second film from Drive partnership Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn and Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra.

Other films in the running for the coveted Palme d’Or include Roman Polanski’s Venus In Fur and Inside Llewyn Davis by Joel and Ethan Coen.

Steven Spielberg is the head of this year film festival’s jury.

Cannes Film Festival 2013 runs from 15th to 26th of May.

Ryan Gosling, currently starring in Beyond The Pines at the UK box office and Nicolas Winding Refn, who directed the controversial biopic of the “UK’s most violent prisoner” Charles Bronson, unveiled their previous film Drive at the film festival in 2011.

The violent thriller was nominated for the Palme d’Or but lost out to Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life. However, the film landed Nicolas Winding Refn the best director trophy.

Steven Soderbergh, who won Cannes’ top prize in 1989 for his film Sex, Lies and Videotape, is back in competition with his eagerly-awaited film Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as the flamboyant entertainer Liberace, who masked his homosexuality from public view.

Matt Damon plays his gay lover in the film, made for cable channel HBO.

James Gray’s film The Immigrant, about a young woman tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville, stars Jeremy Renner, Joaquin Phoenix and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.

Inside Llewyn Davis is the upcoming film written and directed by the Coen brothers. Set in the 1960s, the film about a young folk singer, stars British actress Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake.

Alexander Payne, who sat on last year’s Palme d’Or jury, is in competition this year with his film Nebraska, about a father and son trekking from the state of Montana to Nebraska to claim some prize money.

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, who directed Sean Penn as a faded rock star in This Must Be The Place, is in the running with his film The Great Beauty.

Controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike’s Straw Shield is a crime-thriller set in modern day politics while Iranian director, Asghar Farhadi – who won an Oscar for his film A Separation – directs The Artist actress Berenice Bejo in his new film The Past.

With other films in competition from Chad, China and Mexico, Cannes president Gilles Jacob said this year’s competition reflected “an attitude which, decade in decade out, guarantees the continuing existence of this institution. The idea is one I particularly like, and it sees the festival as a shelter for endangered artists”.

Outside of the films screening in competition are a number of other sections.

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson stars in The Bling Ring, the latest film from Sofia Coppola – based on the real-life robberies of celebrity homes in Malibu.

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatbsy, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will open this year’s Cannes Film Festival

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatbsy, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will open this year’s Cannes Film Festival

The film will screen in the Un Certain Regard event, as will James Franco’s latest directorial effort As I Lay Dying.

The film is based on William Faulkner’s 1930 stream of consciousness novel, which is narrated by 15 different characters.

Baz Luhrmann’s anticipated The Great Gatbsy, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will open the festival and the closing film is Zulu, a South African cop thriller starring Orlando Bloom and Forest Whittaker.

Jerry Lewis, the comedy star of the 1950s and 60s, who later poured his efforts into raising money for muscular dystrophy research, will get a special tribute at this year’s event.


Cannes 2013: Films in competition

Only God Forgives, director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Borgman, director: Alex Van Warmerdam

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), director: Paolo Sorrentino

Behind the Candelabra, director: Steven Soderbergh

Venus in Fur (La Venua a la Fourrure), director: Roman Polanski

Nebraska, director: Alexander Payne

Just 17 (Jeune & Jolie), director: Francois Ozon

Straw Shield (Wara No Tate), director: Takashi Miike

La Vie D’Adele, director: Abdellatif Kechiche

Like Father Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru), director: Kore-Eda Hirokazu

Tian Zhu Ding, director: Zhangke Jia

Grisgris, director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

The Immigrant, director: James Gray

The Past (Le Passe), director: Asghar Farhadi

Heli, director: Amat Escalante

Jimmy P (Un Indien des Plaines), director: Arnaud Desplechin

Michael Kohlhaas, director: Arnaud des Pallières

Inside Llewyn Davis, director: Joel and Ethan Coen

Un Chateau en Italie, director: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi

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