Top Story: Montreal Film Fest Short on Hollywood Pics
The 27th annual Montreal World Film Festival, which runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7, unveiled a slate rich in art-house and fringe movies but short on Hollywood studio films. This year's festival will pay tribute to Martin Scorsese, but besides the American filmmaker, officials declined to name the list of actors and directors expected at the festival. According to Reuters, festival president Serge Losique told a crowded news conference Tuesday, "Judge by the quality of the films. The names mean nothing." This year's festival features the newly created Cinema of the Americas, which will showcase 10 features including Salma Hayek's feature directorial debut The Maldonado Miracle; Michael Pressman's Frankie and Johnny Are Married; Mark Rucker's Die Mommie Die; and Jim Hershleder's shot-on-video Ash Tuesday. The festival will kick off with the French-Canadian movie Gas Bar Blues, directed by Louis Belanger, and close with Les Marins Perdus, one of the last films by the late French actress Marie Trintignant, who was allegedly killed her boyfriend, French rock star Bertrand Cantat, earlier this month. The festival, which overlaps with almost all of the Venice fest and the first weekend of the Toronto fest following a divisive date change, will present 439 movies from 68 countries, with 115 as world premieres.
Would You Eat There?
Rocco DiSpirito's new Italian eatery, which is the subject of NBC's reality series The Restaurant, has been cited by the health department for "evidence of live flies" and greasy spoons during an unplanned health department inspection July 29, the AP reports. The show follows restaurateur DiSpirito and his staff through the trials and tribulations of opening a Manhattan restaurant. The restaurant was also cited for having three "moist wiping" cloths "soiled with old food particles and not stored in sanitizing solution." The citation also said an employee toilet facility wasn't equipped with the required "self-closing door." A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 22.
Boston Radio Station Plans "I Survived Gigli" Bash
Boston radio station WBCN will be giving away "I survived Gigli" T-shirts to moviegoers left in their seats when the lights come up after the final screening of the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez film at a Boston theater this Thursday, Reuters reports. "We're doing this because the movie's been such a bomb," WBCN's creative services director Chachi Loprete told Reuters Tuesday. The station will be giving away free tickets to 130 "lucky" listeners before Gigli vanishes from U.S. movie theaters following miserable ticket sales. The film cost $55 million to make and brought in less than $6 million during its first 10 days at the box office.
Robert Conrad Denies Drunk Driving
Actor Robert Conrad, best known for his roles in the TV series Baa Baa, Black Sheep and The Wild Wild West, pleaded innocent Tuesday to two felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, The Associated Press reports. His blood-alcohol level was 0.22 percent when he crashed head-on into another vehicle, injuring the driver, on March 31 near the Sierra foothills town of Arnold, about 100 miles southeast of Sacramento, Calif. A judge ordered the actor not to drink alcohol and said he was not to drive his vehicle more than 6 miles from his Bear Valley home. A preliminary hearing has been set for Nov. 18.
NBC Reruns Gregory Hines' Law & Order Episode
NBC will rerun an episode of its hit series Law & Order Wednesday night in which late actor Gregory Hines guest starred as a Johnny Cochran-like lawyer. Hines died on Saturday from cancer. "We are all saddened by the loss of Gregory Hines, one of the most versatile performers of his generation," the show's executive producer Dick Wolf said. "This episode showcases his often unheralded talent as a dramatic actor. He overwhelms the courtroom with his energy and sharp wit and is a very potent force opposite (show star) Sam Waterston." The episode, one of Hines' last TV performances, first aired March 26.
More Christina Aguilera /Justin Timberlake Shows Postponed
Promoters of the Christina Aguilera /Justin Timberlake tour postponed three more concerts, scheduled for Monday in Albany, N.Y., Wednesday in East Rutherford, and Thursday in Hartford, Conn., after three stagehands were injured Saturday when a lighting grid above the stage at Boardwalk Hall collapsed. "All I can say is that it's under investigation. It's much too early to know what happened," said James Evans, president of Mountain Productions, which assembled and installed the grid. "There's a laundry list of things that could have gone wrong. I can't even guess." The postponements have been confirmed but no plans to reschedule the shows have been announced.
Snoop Dogg Sued For Girls Gone Wild Video
Two Louisiana women are suing Snoop Dogg, claiming the rapper offered them drugs during Mardi Gras 2002 to flash their breasts for pictures that later appeared on a cover of the video series Girls Gone Wild. One of the women was 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident. The suit also names Joseph R. Francis, the owner of Mantra Films Inc., which produces the series of mail-order videos. According to the AP, Francis was arrested April 2 during Spring Break in Panama City, Fla., and faces 22 charges including racketeering, procuring minors for sexual acts, filming minors engaged in sexual performances and conspiracy. Attorneys for Francis and Snoop Dogg, who was host of the video, have both denied the allegations in court filings, saying that any pictures taken were done with voluntary consent.
Role Call: Murphy in Talks for Daddy Day Camp
Eddie Murphy is in talks to reprise his role in a sequel to Daddy Day Care. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Revolution Studios has hired Toy Story scribes Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow to pen the script, titled Daddy Day Camp. The film would see Murphy's character, Charlie Hinton, in charge of a summer day camp. No deal is yet in place for the actor.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who has not given a sit-down TV interview since 1997, had a one-on-one with Barbara Walters in an interview set to air Friday on 20/20. DiCaprio has two high-profile films coming out next month, including Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York and Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can--and shares the interview with Spielberg and his Catch Me co-star Tom Hanks. According to People.com, Walters asked DiCaprio what early stardom had taught him about success, to which the heartthrob replied, "Not much," then explained: "I think ultimately success is good. Failure not so good…" He griped to Walters about how the media sometimes portrays him and added, "But on that same token, I'm not going to sit here and say that I am not completely grateful and feel completely blessed for everything that's happened in my career." That's the spirit, Leo.
Guess she can't have her cake and eat it, too. Madonna borrowed money from strangers in a London restaurant to buy a piece of cake for her son, Reuters reports. Madonna was in the restaurant with her husband, Guy Ritchie, their son Rocco and her daughter Lourdes when she told two sisters that she had forgotten her purse. The women did not recognize the singer but gave her a two-pound coin to help cover the tab. Reps for Madonna said the sisters would be sent CDs and a check to cover the loan.
Danny Glover has started a three-day visit to Trinidad to film an upcoming TV program on HIV-AIDS and children, a U.N. spokeswoman told The Associated Press. The 55-year-old actor will host the first of 10 episodes of the Hot Spot series, slated to begin airing in January on the Showtime cable network.
The live-action/computer-animated feature version of Garfield has sunk its claws into a director. Peter Hewitt, who most recently directed the children's pic Thunderpants, will helm the project, with scribes Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow penning the screen adaptation, Variety reports.
The Jodie Foster-helmed Flora Plum is being dusted off after being shelved two years ago, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Set in the 1930's, the film revolves around a circus "freak" who takes pity on a penniless waif and sets her on the course to stardom, but finds himself falling in love with her. Ewan McGregor, Meryl Streep and Claire Danes will star in the project, with production set to begin in either fall 2003 or January 2004.
Speaking of Leo, DiCaprio will star in The Good Shepherd, Robert De Niro's second turn as director, Variety reports. The film, written by Forrest Gump scribe Eric Roth, charts the history of the CIA through the Cold War. DiCaprio will play James Wilson, a character modeled in part on former CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton.
Primetime reality romance has proven more attractive to audiences than ladies in scanty panties. The AP reports ABC's The Bachelor trounced CBS's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in the ratings last night as some 26 million viewers tuned in to find out which lucky lady Aaron picked in the two-hour Bachelor finale, versus an unexpectedly low 10.5 million for the lingerie show--which came in third even behind The West Wing. No doubt NOW is happy to hear it.
MTV is planning a Snoop Dogg variety show. According to the AP, the pilot for Snoop's half-hour program, title Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, will mix sketch comedy with music and man-on-the-street bits. The show is scheduled to air Monday at 10:30 p.m. EST.
Bill Maher has found a new home on cable. AP reports that starting Feb. 21, Maher will host a yet-to-be-titled late-night talk show on HBO airing once a week for 20 episodes. Maher's last show, Politically Incorrect, ran on ABC from 1997 until it was canceled last May.