The Arts Diary: Art that comes from the heart

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The friends of the graffiti artist Rowdy, whose house/studio recently burnt down leaving him homeless and without possessions, are clubbing together to save him from destitution. Several artists have donated work (Banksy has produced a special piece) in a fundraising effort dubbed the Rooftop Burner Fund. He recently walked out of his house, which also served as his studio, and when he returned half an hour later, everything had burned to the ground – clothes, personal possessions, art, the lot. Other artists including Paul Insect and Sickboy have donated works to be sold at auction through eBay from 17 to 27 June.

Strike film in gear

The British producer and director Stephen Woolley has just put the finishing touches to Made in Dagenham, a film dramatising the true story of women working at a Ford plant in 1968 who fought for equal pay. Sally Hawkins stars, while Nigel Cole directs and Woolley produces. Woolley says the film has not yet been seen by the three women on which it is based but that the singer Sandie Shaw, who has contributed to the score and who was raised in Dagenham, was so moved at one screening that she cried for two hours afterwards. The final song in the film is by Billy Bragg and David Arnold, Woolley tells me.

Sex and the cinemas

Everyman Cinemas, that bastion of indie films, appears to have lost its head. The cinema chain is, according to its PR, pulling out the stops to bring its intelligent audience "the ultimate viewing experience" for the release of Sex and the City 2. From today, each Everyman venue will be turned into a setting in which the four "girls" from Manhattan would feel at home. Attractions include "high heels adorning the ceiling, stunning shoe displays, oversized golden cosmos, flower shows, photography exhibitions, towers of cocktail glasses filled with luminous concoctions, and of course a red carpet for the guests to enter," screams the press release. "Cinema audiences will also be able to enjoy delicious bespoke cupcakes... with champagne and cosmos for the duration of the film."

Stars fight over the sights of the city, all for a good cause

Joan Collins has chosen the Houses of Parliament as her favourite view of London for the charity Fight for Sight's photographic competition. Dave Haye, the WBA Heavyweight, has plumped for the South Bank: "Having grown up in Bermondsey, the South Bank has always been one of my favourite views of London," he says. "This stretch along the Albert Embankment is away from the hustle and bustle and has amazing views of the river. When I'm training, it's a great place to go for a run in the early morning." The art dealer Philip Mould prefers the bluebells in Hyde Park and the Coronation Street actress Tupele Dorgu selects "the view from the balcony in my new [east London] flat". The public can submit their own view to the competition and the closing date is 11 June 2010. See

Putting a name to the face

Elia Suleiman, the Palestinian-Israeli film director and actor known for featuring in his movies, proved what a sport he was after he was mistaken as "that actor" who starred in "that recent Elia Suleiman film", by me, when he turned up to the Cannes Film Festival after-party for Takeshi Kitano's new film, Outrage. Sure that I had seen him in The Time That Remains, Suleiman's latest film, which opens today, I said, "Aren't you the actor that plays Suleiman in his latest film?" "Yes, I am," he said, without pause, "and let me tell you that Suleiman has still not paid me for my performance." It took a while for the penny to drop. He told me this was not the first instance of mistaken identity – he was at a film festival watching one of his own films in which he stars, when the man next to Suleiman told him he was bored. The two men went outside for a cigarette and, standing in the light, Suleiman reckoned this man might realise he was talking to the lead actor and director of the film he had walked out of. "He never did," said Suleiman, laughing.