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Wes Bentley in 'Hunger Games' trailer.


Bookgeeks rejoice: The trailer for "The Hunger Games" film debuted recently, and includes a few quick clips of Arkie Wes Bentley, who plays the diabolical Seneca Crane. You might remember Bentley from his role as the beautifully sensitive, brooding loner Ricky Fitts in the 1999 film "American Beauty."

"The Hunger Games" is based on a trilogy of novels set in a dystopian future in which teens are chosen to be trained to fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses. The books have been a phenomenon with readers, and it looks like they pulled out all the stops for the film version. Definitely looks like one to watch. The trailer features Woody Harrelson in an Edgar Winter wig, and Bentley sporting what might be the weirdest beard ever committed to film.

Late last month, the Little Rock-born jazz pianist, teacher and author Walter Norris died in Germany, where he had lived for the last 34 years.

Norris started playing professionally with The Howard Williams Band in Little Rock while he was still in high school, and he toured briefly with Mose Allison shortly after graduating. After a two-year stint in the Air Force, Norris moved to Houston and then Los Angeles. He performed on the legendary Ornette Coleman's first album, 1958's "Something Else," and on Jack Sheldon's first album, "Quartet & Quintet." He also played on Chet Baker's last concert recording, in 1988.

He relocated to New York in the '60s and was the music director at The Playboy Club for several years. He played in the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band and in 1976 he joined the band led by mercurial genius Charles Mingus. In 1977, he moved to Berlin, where he lived until his death, on Oct. 29.

Hot Springs musician and artist Chuck Dodson made a documentary about Norris, available at www.thegallery404b.com.


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