The Pulp Fiction director will be the focus of the organisation's annual 'roast' later this year (10), which sees honourees ridiculed in mocking tributes.
Friars Club President Freddie Roman hopes the moviemaker takes the mockery in good humour, telling New York Post gossip column PageSix, "Having seen Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, I pray that he understands that we only roast the ones we love."
The ceremony will take place at the New York Hilton on 1 October (10).
Top Story: Jackson's Entourage Won't Plea Bargain
A lawyer for two men possibly named as co-conspirators in the Michael Jackson child molestation case said Friday his clients will not cut a deal with prosecutors if they are charged. According to an indictment unsealed last week, Jackson and multiple co-conspirators are charged with plotting to commit abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. New York attorney Joseph Tacopina believes prosecutors will accuse 23-year-old Frank Tyson, Jackson's former personal assistant, of threatening to kill the younger brother of Jackson's alleged victim if he told authorities Jackson had given the boy alcohol, and 24-year-old Vince Amen, who worked for Jackson's production company, with holding the family at Jackson's Neverland estate against their will. Tacopina said Tyson and Amen were invited to testify before the grand jury that heard evidence against Jackson last month, but he declined to have them appear because they hadn't done anything wrong. "If someone made the mistake of charging these guys with a crime, we would absolutely be going to trial," Tacopina added. "There would be no pleas." According to legal experts, prosecutors might seek to charge Jackson's associates in order to offer them a deal if they agreed to testify against the singer, The Associated Press reports.
The Donald Gets Roasted
Real estate mogul and TV reality star Donald Trump will be the subject of the annual New York Friars Club roast Oct. 15, where comedians will do their best to cut the real estate mogul down to size, AP reports. "I am so proud that during our centennial year the name of Donald Trump gets added to the Friars' illustrious list of roastees," Friars Club dean Freddie Roman said in a recent statement. "Considering how hot Donald is, in every aspect of the word, this promises to be one of the largest, if not THE largest roast in our hundred-year history."
Sony Axes Plans for Spidey Logo on Baseball Bases
Sony's plan to promote its upcoming actioner Spider-Man 2 by placing the film's logo on in-field bases in 15 Major League ballparks during the weekend of June 11-13 was thrown out after fans cried foul. Geoffrey Ammer, Worldwide Marketing President for Columbia Pictures, told Variety that an online poll conducted by AOL showed 71 percent opposed the idea of bases-as-logos marketing and an ESPN poll showed 81 percent were against the idea. "The fans reacted in a way that we had no idea they would, and so we decided it best to respect their wishes," Ammer said. But while the bases will now be logo-free, ballparks will still feature in-park and on-field signage for Spider-Man 2, which hits theaters June 30.
Fahrenheit 911 Finds British Distributor
Director Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 911, which Disney has barred its Miramax Films unit from releasing in the United States, will be shown in British cinemas this summer through independent distributor Optimum Releasing. "Fahrenheit 911 is the cornerstone of our 2004 slate," Optimum Releasing's head of distribution, Danny Perkins, told the Financial Times Friday. "It is important that artists and commentators are always free to express their opinions." The doc focuses on post Sept. 11 America and traces links between the Bush family and prominent Saudis, including that of Osama bin Laden. On Thursday, Moore said Disney barred the film's releasing because it might jeopardize tax incentives Disney receives for its Walt Disney theme park in Florida. Disney, meanwhile, has accused Moore of staging a publicity stunt ahead of the film's premiere at the Cannes film festival in France this month.
French Actors' Union Threatens Cannes
The Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 12-23, may highlight more than films this year, if protesters have their way. According to Reuters, 600 riot police will shield the festival from protests by part-time French actors angered by planned cuts to their welfare benefits. But while unions representing some 60,000 to 100,000 part-time actors and technicians affected by the benefit cuts have vowed to disrupt Cannes, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has refused demands to defer the cuts and warned that protesters could not hold the festival hostage. Festival organizers, on the other hand, are trying to work with unions to give them a platform to express themselves peacefully without disrupting the event.
Bowie Cancels Miami Concert After Death of Stagehand
David Bowie canceled a concert in Miami Thursday after a local stagehand was killed in a fall before the show began, Reuters reports. Neither details of the accident at the James L. Knight Center nor the stagehand's identity were disclosed, but the statement by Bowie's publicist said police were investigating. "A statement was read to the audience after the accident, informing them that refund or postponement information would be available shortly," the news release said, adding that Bowie and his tour personnel were deeply saddened by the accident. Bowie is on the second North American leg of his A Reality concert tour, which ends June 5 in New Jersey.
Ricky Martin Sued by Former Manager
Ricky Martin's former manager, Angelo Medina, has filed a $63.5 million lawsuit against the singer for breach of contract, AP reports. Medina claims the 32-year-old pop star failed to live up to terms agreed upon when they ended their contract in September, in which he would have continued managing Martin's career in Puerto Rico but not internationally. As well, Medina is responding to the $2.5 million lawsuit Martin filed against him in New York, in which the singer is demanding that Medina return advance payments for services allegedly not given. The next hearing in Medina's lawsuit is Aug. 13.
Actress Bardot Defends Racist Charges
Former French screen siren Brigitte Bardot spoke up in court Thursday on charges she incited racial hatred in her best-selling book A Cry in the Silence, which speaks out against people of mixed race and the "Islamicization of France," AP reports. Two anti-racism groups filed the complaint against Bardot for her book, which topped French nonfiction best-seller lists last year. In it, she addresses issues such as interracial relationships, immigration, the role of women in politics, and Islam. "I never knowingly wanted to hurt anybody. It is not in my character. If I did hurt someone, I'm sorry," Bardot said at the Paris hearing. Bardot, who could face a maximum o
Tired of Oscar-worthy dramas? In the mood for (hey!) a teen flick? Your time is here (again).
"Down to You," a Generation Y romance starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles, leads the pack of new releases this week, presumably to the delight of the nation's mall rats.
Elsewhere, a host of critically acclaimed (or in teenspeak: boring and long) films previously in limited engagements will add screens. That list includes: "Angela's Ashes," "A Map of the World" and "Titus".
Here's a complete list of films opening this week:
"Angela's Ashes" (Paramount) -- Adapted from Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, this film documents the author's childhood in Ireland during the 1930s and '40s. Emily Watson ("Hilary & Jackie") and Robert Carlyle ("Trainspotting") co-star as Frank's working-class parents. Directed by Alan Parker. (Expanded release)
"Diamonds" (Miramax) -- In an effort to bond with estranged son Dan Aykroyd, former prizefighter Kirk Douglas takes his son and grandson on a road trip to Reno in search of 13 stolen diamonds, stashed away years ago. Lauren Bacall co-stars. (Expanded release)
"Down to You" (Miramax) -- Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles play a young college couple whose precarious romance is blighted by the pull and tug between true love and the temptation to wander astray from commitment. (Wide release)
"A Map of the World" (First Look) -- Based on the novel by Jane Hamilton, this drama casts Sigourney Weaver as a married woman whose tranquil life in rural Wisconsin is shattered after the accidental drowning of a friend's daughter. Julianne Moore, Chloe Sevigny and David Strathairn co-star. (Expanded release)
"Play It to the Bone" (Buena Vista) -- Out-of-work boxing rivals (and friends) Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas get the chance of their lifetimes to work together in Las Vegas. Directed by "Bull Durham's" Ron Shelton. (Expanded release)
"Rear Window" (USA) -- A restored version of the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock classic starring Jimmy Stewart as a housebound magazine photographer whose voyeuristic pastime unwittingly unravels a murder in the apartment facing his rear window. (Limited release)
"Titus" (Fox Searchlight) -- In Shakespeare's epic tale of revenge, Anthony Hopkins stars as Titus Andronicus, the Roman general who sows the seeds of vengeance when he executes the son of the enemy queen, played by Jessica Lange. Alan Cumming co-stars. (Expanded release)
"Topsy-Turvy" (USA) -- Acclaimed director Mike Leigh's tale of operetta composers Gilbert and Sullivan. The film traces the duo's bumpy collaboration. Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner co-star. (Expanded release)
One thing remains clear after tonight's 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards: There was a definite lack of a dominant film on the block. Though certain sure bets did come out victorious, no single film was able to sweep the Globes, leaving the upcoming Oscar race as wide open as it was before.
Heavy contenders "Traffic," "Almost Famous," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Gladiator" all took home two Globes apiece at the annual star-studded event.
As expected, Julia Roberts won the award for best actress in a movie (drama) for her work in "Erin Brockovich". However, she was visibly surprised when "Brockovich" director Steven Soderbergh went home empty-handed.
"I was shocked, actually," Roberts said backstage. "I suppose when I presented the best director and Steven [Soderbergh] didn't win for either film ["Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich"], I thought to myself that the film ["Erin Brockovich"] was not a family kind of thing."
Tom Hanks' win over Russell Crowe ("Gladiator") for best actor in "Cast Away" also added to the evening's biggest upsets.
"The whole season is a wild, wild ride," Hanks told reporters after picking up his award.
When asked what he would miss the most if he were stranded on a deserted island like his character in "Cast Away," he jokingly answered, "Oh gosh, my TV."
There's always a little bit of the unexpected at award shows, and this year's Golden Globe Awards was apparently no different.
Renee Zellweger pulled a Christine Lahti by temporarily being unavailable when her name was called as the winner for the best actress (comedy) award. The "Nurse Betty" star was in the restroom at the time.
"I was in the bathroom. Bad timing. I had something in my teeth and I just went to make sure," Zellweger told reporters backstage.
Actor George Clooney also emerged as the winner in the best actor (comedy) column for his work in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Clooney beat out John Cusack, Robert De Niro and Mel Gibson for the prize.
Benicio Del Toro
Early on, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was caught up in "Traffic" -- and liking it. Benicio Del Toro picked up his first award in the best supporting actor category for his role in "Traffic" to kick off the show.
The actor edged out the likes of Willem Dafoe, Jeff Bridges, Albert Finney and Joaquin Phoenix, all of whom were nominated in the category.
"I got lucky," Del Toro said during his acceptance speech. "If they [the other nominees] want a recount, they can talk to my lawyer. It's just great to be recognized for what you love to do," the actor later told reporters backstage.
"Traffic" also earn its scribe, Stephen Gaghan, the Golden Globe for best screenplay.
But the border-crossing drug film -- which was nominated in five categories -- soon lost momentum, most notably with director Soderbergh's loss in the best director category to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" helmer Ang Lee. The martial arts film was also named the best foreign film at tonight's event.
"Everything is great," the Taiwanese director told reporters backstage. "The best thing was meeting Julia Roberts."
Ridley Scott's Roman bloodbath "Gladiator" remained quiet most of the evening and seemed to have fallen by the wayside of the HFPA's top list, with a mere mention for best original score despite having tied "Traffic" with two awards apiece.
"Gladiator" finally proved otherwise by picking up the best picture (drama) nod -- decidedly one of the night's most important awards.
The best picture (comedy) award went to Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous," which also earned ingenue Kate Hudson the best supporting actress win. The Goldie Hawn scion edged out veterans Judi Dench and Frances McDormand for the prize.
"This is so intense," Hudson said in her speech. Hudson also thanked Crowe and her husband, Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson.
"I felt so in love with Cameron and his vision," Hudson said backstage. "The script is so amazing."
But an amazing night it wasn't for the films "Chocolat," and "Billy Elliot". The two acclaimed pictures both went into the night's race with four noms each but came out empty-handed.
And multiple-nominee "Wonder Boys" only walked off with one award, a best original song for Bob Dylan's "Things Have Changed."
The race for the Globe on the TV front was just as even with "The West Wing" and "Sex and the City" leading the pack of winners with two statuettes each.
The HBO comedy was named best TV comedy for a second consecutive year, and series star Sarah Jessica Parker earned her second best actress in a TV comedy for the second year in a row.
"We had various scenarios laid out for best comedy," Parker said. "None of which included us."
NBC's political series "The West Wing" got both the best TV drama series and a best actor in a TV series (drama) for actor Martin Sheen -- beating out last year's winner James Gandolfini ("The Sopranos"), among others, in both categories.
"I'm quite certain there has been a big mistake," Sheen -- a loyal Democrat -- joked, keeping very much to the political theme of his series. "But I'm going to wait for the recount to finish."
Sarah Michelle Gellar & Freddie Prinze Jr.
Kelsey Grammer nabbed the best actor in a TV comedy award for "Frasier." And "Once and Again" actress Sela Ward took the best actress in a TV series (drama) award for her role in the ABC series, beating first-time nominees Jessica Alba of Fox's "Dark Angel" and Sarah Michelle Gellar of the WB's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Of note was oft-troubled actor Robert Downey Jr.'s win in the best supporting actor in a TV comedy category for his stint on Fox's "Ally McBeal."
Downey -- who is currently facing drug possession charges -- got right to the point during his acceptance speech, simply thanking people he had worked with on the show.
"It just means a lot to me when people just come up to me on the streets and tell me that they are rooting for me," Downey told producer Dick Clark afterward.
And unlike other winners, Downey opted to read a prepared statement rather than doing Q&A with reporters backstage.
"I just want to share this with my fellow parolees, I mean, nominees," quipped Downey. "This really means a lot, and it's been great working on the show."
Vanessa Redgrave, the actor's female counterpart in the same category, won for her work in HBO's "If These Walls Could Talk 2."
Best TV miniseries or motion picture went to Showtime's original movie "Dirty Pictures," which chronicled the censorship controversy over photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's works.
Continuing on the tube front, though Dench lost out to Hudson in the best supporting actress (drama) category, Dench -- who was unable to attend the bash -- walked away with a best actress in a miniseries or TV movie for her role in HBO's "Last of the Blonde Bombshells." Best actor in the same category went to Brian Dennehy for Showtime's "Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman."
The night's most interesting moment, perhaps, came at the very end of the show, when best picture (drama) presenter Elizabeth Taylor opened the winner's envelope before running down the list of nominees, causing Clark to come on stage to instruct the legendary actress on what to do.
The annual Cecil B. DeMille Award was presented to big-screen veteran Al Pacino by "American Beauty" Oscar winner Kevin Spacey.