Names in the news, Dec. 1

Posted Nov. 30, 2011, at 5:55 p.m.

IFP’s Gotham Independent Films Awards went off Monday in Manhattan with nary a “Dark Knight” rising — though the event counted one evil queen in Charlize Theron. The South African blonde was on hand to accept a career achievement award on a night that saw honors for Brad Pitt’s “Tree of Life,” “Beginners” and actress Felicity Jones. Theron appeared flanked by her “Young Adult” director Jason Reitman, costar Patton Oswalt and gorgeous mom Gerda. Though the award was for Charlize exclusively, backstage she opened up about supporting other actresses. Theron admitted she was busy filming “Snow White and the Huntsman,” but said she needed to catch up on some award-season films featuring her female peers. Departing the Euphoria Calvin Klein lounge, Theron headed back to her table where she enjoyed her whole meal (including the bread and fondue, a Ministry onlooker said) and mingling with the likes of Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Judy Greer and hostess Edie Falco. While “Martha Marcy May Marlene” star Lizzie Olsen lost the breakout award to Jones for “Like Crazy,” she said she was grateful to be invited. … A checklist used by Apollo 13 commander James Lovell to make calculations that helped guide the damaged spacecraft home has been sold at auction for $388,375. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions sold the checklist Wednesday as part of a batch of U.S. space program artifacts being offered during its “Space Signature Auction.” Michael Riley, senior historian at Heritage, says that without the checklist, the crew would not have known their position in space. On April 13, 1970, an oxygen tank exploded as the spaceship was four-fifths of the way to the moon. The crew was forced to scrap the moon mission and focus on getting back to Earth alive.

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