- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Legendary dispute

Hey, who you callin’ legend?

Screen veteran Lauren Bacall got irritated during an interview on Britain’s “GMTV” yesterday when Nicole Kidman was described as “a legend.”

“She’s not a legend,” Miss Bacall said, cutting off interviewer Jenni Falconer in midsentence.

“She’s a beginner. What is this ‘legend’? She can’t be a legend at whatever age she is. She can’t be a legend; you have to be older.” Miss Kidman is 37.

The two actresses were in Venice, Italy, to promote their new film, “Birth,” in which 79-year-old Miss Bacall plays Miss Kidman’s mother.

At a joint interview, reporters peppered Miss Kidman with questions about the “legend” issue and, embarrassed, she finally suggested that they direct their questions elsewhere.

Spike the slugger

Spike Lee isn’t holding any grudges.

The acclaimed director rejected speculation that he could use his position on the jury of the Venice Film Festival to take revenge on Wim Wenders for denying “Do the Right Thing” the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

“That was 1989; it’s history,” Mr. Lee told Reuters News Agency.

However, industry insiders have a good reason for asking.

After the Cannes jury headed by Mr. Wenders awarded Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies and Videotape” the top prize that year, Mr. Lee accused the judges of bigotry.

He reportedly joked, “Somewhere in my closet, I have a Louisville Slugger with [Mr. Wenders’] name on it.”

This time around, Mr. Wenders is competing at Venice with “Land of Plenty,” a critical look at post-September 11 America, while Mr. Lee sits on the jury bench.

Asked if he would be influenced by that history when “Land of Plenty” premieres, Mr. Lee said, “Not at all.”

Fatal ride

Authorities say it was a “miracle” that rapper Twista escaped death in a horrific van crash this week. His bodyguard wasn’t so lucky.

According to an E! Online report, the Chicago hip-hop star was treated and released from an Erie, Pa. hospital after his touring van veered off Interstate 90 just after 4 a.m. Monday and slammed into the median.

Arthur Dixon, a member of the 30-year-old rapper’s security staff, died of his injuries at the hospital.

Five other members of Twista’s entourage were involved in the crash but weren’t seriously hurt, police said.

Hot as Mercury

Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand, whose self-titled debut album has been hailed by critics, won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

The Glasgow, Scotland-based quartet was the favorite among the acts on the shortlist to take home the award, Associated Press reports.

The $35,600 prize, in its 13th year, honors the best album of the year by a British or Irish band. It is judged on talent and innovation rather than commercial sales, and the winner usually can expect a surge in sales and publicity.

Among the acts Franz Ferdinand beat for the prize were two-time nominee the Streets, aka rapper Mike Skinner; young soul sensation Joss Stone; urban singer Jamelia; and the guitarless rock band Keane.

Nick of time

Julianne Moore wants to give children more time for their imaginations — and she’s doing it one watch at a time.

According to AP, the 43-year-old actress will appear in a public service campaign bearing the slogan, “Time is precious: Use it wisely.” She seeks to highlight the declining resources available for children’s arts-education programs in hopes of reversing the trend.

With each purchase of a Montblanc watch or pen, the luxury accessory brand will make a contribution to the National Arts Education Initiative, an arm of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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