Top Story: The Passion DVD Due in August
Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is set to be released on DVD Aug. 31 courtesy of 20th Century Fox home video distribution, The Associated Press reports. Even though Fox originally passed on the theatrical distribution of the film, AP asked Steve Feldstein, a spokesman for Fox Home Entertainment, if the movie's box office success motivated Fox's interest in the DVD release. "We enjoy a strong relationship with Mel Gibson and everybody at [Gibson's production company] Icon," Feldstein replied. Passion is this year's biggest blockbuster so far, earning a place among the top 10 highest-grossing movies of all time with more than $368 million at the North American box office.
Sizemore's in Trouble Again
Prosecutors filed documents on Monday accusing actor Tom Sizemore of violating his three-year probation resulting from his conviction last October of beating and threatening ex-girlfriend Heidi Fleiss, Reuters reports. Sizemore allegedly violated his probation by recently phoning and showing up at Fleiss' home as well as testing positive for crystal methamphetamine. The former madam also recently filed a lawsuit against the actor, seeking unspecified damages for medical bills, emotional suffering, lawyers' fees and compensation. Prosecutors are expected to ask the judge in the case to order a hearing on whether to revoke Sizemore's probation and send him back to jail or to drug treatment, a City Attorney's spokesman told Reuters.
Johnson Isn't Paying His Bills
An Aspen, Colo., grocery store has accused actor Don Johnson of leaving an unpaid bill of $5,470, AP reports, according to court records. Other Aspen businesses also are suing the actor for outstanding bills, including $7,345 from Aspen Valley Hospital, $1,228 from Isberian Rug Co., $1,688 from Holy Cross Energy and $2,787 from Garfield & Hecht law firm. Johnson, 54, filed for bankruptcy protection last month to secure his Woody Creek, Colo., ranch and stave off a lender's attempt to auction his home.
Glen Campbell Admits to Drunk Driving
Country music singer Glen Campbell pleaded guilty on Monday to "extreme" drunken driving and leaving an accident scene in connection with a collision near his Phoenix, Az., home last November, court officials told Reuters. Campbell, 68, entered the plea to the two misdemeanor charges as part of a deal with prosecutors in which the singer would serve 10 days in jail and be eligible for work furlough after 48 hours as well as perform 75 hours of community service. "Don't drink and drive," Campbell told reporters outside the courthouse in downtown Phoenix. "Don't drink period. I don't think it's good for you."
Kate Beckinsale Weds Underworld Director
Actress Kate Beckinsale wed Underworld director Len Wiseman in a small ceremony Sunday at the Hotel Bel-Air is Los Angeles, The Associated Press reports. It is the first marriage for both. Publicist Troy Nankin said Beckinsale wore a Vera Wang gown and described the ceremony as " intimate" but released no other details. Wiseman, a music video director for En Vogue and Megadeth, made his feature-film debut with Underworld and is currently working on an untitled sequel with Beckinsale in the starring role.
Mold Leaves Bianca Jagger Homeless
At a hearing in state Supreme Court in Manhattan yesterday, Bianca Jagger, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger's first wife, said she has been living out of suitcases at friends' homes for almost three years because her four-room, $4,600-a-month Park Avenue apartment is infested with mold. Reuters reports Jagger, 59, is suing her landlord and contractors for breach of contract, negligence and fraud. Meanwhile, her landlord is seeking to have Jagger, who stopped paying rent in April 2003, evicted. Judge Leland De Grasser consolidated her $20 million suit with the non-payment proceedings the landlord filed and set June 7 for the next hearing date. Bianca and Mick were married in 1971 and have a daughter, Jade. They got divorced in 1979.
Minorities Oppose Nielsen's "People Meters"
Nielsen Media Research is facing opposition for its "people meters," which the TV ratings company plans to use to electronically measure viewership in Los Angeles. Latino and black groups say the meters, which track daily TV viewing patterns according to age, gender and ethnicity, undercount minorities. Nielsen argues it has corrected early problems with local sampling and accused Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Ltd. of stirring up minority opposition because its Fox stations in Los Angeles and New York stand to lose ratings under the new system. "Fox came to us and said, 'If you roll out people meters in local markets, we'll destroy you,'" Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus told Reuters. "And then they went out and hired a whole bunch of.... organizers to agitate."
Role Call: Altman, Trudeau Plan Sequel to Tanner '88
Director Robert Altman and Pulitzer Prize-winning Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau will create a sequel to their limited 1988 TV series Tanner '88. The original show was shot in a satirical faux-documentary style and followed fictional Democratic presidential candidate Jack Tanner against the backdrop of the actual 1988 presidential race. The new three-episode project, which will reunite original cast members Michael Murphy, Pamela Reed, Cynthia Nixon and Matt Malloy, is set to air before the November election on the Sundance Channel.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.
Steven Soderbergh's crime-drama "The Limey" and Alexander Payne's high school satire "Election" led the pack of (relatively) low-budget, high-expectation projects as nominations were announced Wednesday for the 15th Annual Independent Spirit Awards, honoring, yes, indie film.
"The Limey" and "Election" received a field-best five nominations each. Hollywood blockbusters such as "Toy Story 2" and "The Green Mile" received zippo. (They're not indies.)
With the studio heavyweights excluded, a variety of films that failed to garner tremendous box office during the 1999 film season found redemption as the Spirit nominations were handed down. David Lynch's "The Straight Story", a simple yet powerful film about an aging man's trek across country on his lawn mower, earned four nominations. Kimberly Peirce's controversial "Boys Don't Cry" also received four nods -- including ones for best lead actress (Hilary Swank) and best supporting female (Chloe Sevigny).
The five films slated to do battle in the main best-picture event are: Payne's "Election," Soderbergh's "The Limey," Lynch's "The Straight Story," Allison Anders and Kurt Voss' "Sugar Town", and Robert Altman's "Cookie's Fortune".
Awards will be handed out in Santa Monica on March 25 -- the day before the Oscars. The Spirits are sponsored by the Independent Feature Project/West.
The following is the complete list of nominations for the 15th annual IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards:
BEST FEATURE "Election" "The Straight Story" "The Limey" "Cookie's Fortune" "Sugar Town"
BEST FEMALE LEAD Diane Lane, "Walk on the Moon" Janet McTeer, "Tumbleweeds" Hilary Swank, "Boys Don't Cry" Susan Traylor, "Valerie Flake" Reese Witherspoon, "Election"
BEST MALE LEAD John Cusack, "Being John Malkovich" Richard Farnsworth, "The Straight Story" Terence Stamp, "The Limey" David Strathairn, "Limbo" Noble Willingham, "The Corndog Man"
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Barbara Barrie, "Judy Berlin" Vanessa Martinez, "Limbo" Sarah Polley, "Go" Chloe Sevigny, "Boys Don't Cry" Jean Smart, "Guinevere"
BEST SUPPORTING MALE Charles S. Dutton, "Cookie's Fortune" Luis Guzman, "The Limey" Terrence Howard, "The Best Man" Clark Gregg, "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole" Steve Zahn, "Happy, Texas"
BEST DIRECTOR Alexander Payne, "Election" Harmony Korine, "julien donkey-boy" Steven Soderbergh, "The Limey" David Lynch, "The Straight Story" Doug Liman, "Go"
BEST SCREENPLAY Kevin Smith, "Dogma" Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, "Election" Audrey Wells, "Guinevere" Lem Dobbs, "The Limey" James Merendino, "SLC Punk!"
BEST FIRST FEATURE ($500,000-plus budget) "Being John Malkovich" "Three Seasons" "Boys Don't Cry" "Twin Falls Idaho" "Xiu Xiu the Sent Down Girl"
BEST FIRST FEATURE (less than $500,000 budget) "The Blair Witch Project" "La Ciudad" "Compensation" "Judy Berlin" "Treasure Island"
BEST DEBUT PERFORMANCE Kimberly J. Brown, "Tumbleweeds" Jessica Campbell, "Election" Jade Gordon, "Sugar Town" Toby Smith, "Drylongso" Chris Stafford, "Edge of Seventeen"
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Tod Williams, "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole" Charlie Kaufman, "Being John Malkovich" Kimberly Peirce and Andy Bienen, "Boys Don't Cry" Anne Rapp, "Cookie's Fortune" John Roach and Mary Sweeney, "The Straight Story"
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER M. David Mullen, "Twin Falls Idaho" Lisa Rinzler, "Three Seasons" Anthony Dod Mantle, "julien donkey-boy" Jeffrey Seckendorf, "Judy Berlin" Harlan Bosmajian, "La Ciudad"
BEST FOREIGN FILM "All About My Mother" (Spain) "Run Lola Run" (Germany) "My Son the Fanatic" (England) "Topsy-Turvy" (England) "Rosetta" (Belgium-France)
DLJ DIRECT TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD (for documentaries) Owsley Brown, "Night Waltz: The Music of Paul Bowles" Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgan, "On the Ropes" Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson, "Well Founded Fear" Rory Kennedy, "American Hollow"
MOVADO SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD (for new directors) Dan Clark, "The Item" Julian Goldberger, "Trans" Lisanne Skyler, "Getting to Know You" Cauleen Smith, "Drylongso"
MOTOROLA PRODUCERS AWARD Pam Koffler, "I'm Losing You" and "Office Killer" Eva Kolodner, "Boys Don't Cry" and "Hide and Seek" Paul Mezey, "La Ciudad" Christine Walker, "Backroads" and "Homo Heights"