- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Cease and desist

Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party will continue to play the Rolling Stones song “Angie” on leader Angela Merkel’s campaign trail despite complaints from the band and requests from a record company to stop.

“The song will be played tonight at a rally in Hamburg,” reports Agence France-Presse, quoting a spokeswoman for Miss Merkel, who is tipped to win September’s elections — thereby paving the way for her to become Germany’s first female chancellor. The spokeswoman also says party leaders were assured by the German music copyright group GEMA that they were allowed to use the Stones’ 1973 hit.

On Monday, the European edition of Time magazine reported that the legendary rock band thinks Miss Merkel should have sought its permission to use the bittersweet love song but would have refused if she had done so.

“We did not grant permission. We are surprised that permission was not requested. If it had been requested we would have said ‘no,’” the magazine quotes a spokesman for the Stones as saying.

The CDU has regularly played “Angie” at Miss Merkel’s rallies, ignoring the irony of such lyrics as: “Will all our dreams go up in smoke?” The CDU did so again Monday night when Miss Merkel addressed a crowd in Warnemuende in northeastern Germany.

Full frontal flap

“Where the Truth Lies,” the provocative new thriller starring Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth, has been tagged with the dreaded NC-17 rating — a decision that will limit young moviegoers’ access to it, says its producer, ThinkFilm.

The matter, however, is far from closed, with the Canadian-based company vowing to seek an appeal of the rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

“The film has not encountered this kind of restrictive rating anywhere else in the free world. Only in America will many be deprived of access to it,” says ThinkFilm Chairman Robert Lantos — who is also the film’s producer.

Based on the Rupert Holmes novel of the same name, “Truth” had its world premiere in May at the Cannes Film Festival. It will be screened at the Toronto Film Festival next month and is slated for an October release in the United States. The movie follows the death of a young girl after a menage-a-trois — an explicit scene that reportedly led to the NC-17 rating, which prohibits admission to those under age 17.

“It remains more than a bit absurd to me that this scene would garner an R if shot exactly the same but from just torso up — but becomes an NC-17 because the master shot reveals full bodies,” Mr. Lantos says.

50 seeks pay for name

50 Cent is suing a car dealer over advertisements that he says used his trademarked name without permission.

The rapper — born Curtis James Jackson III — describes himself in the lawsuit as “a hugely popular and extremely successful hip-hop music artist … known for his good looks, ‘gangsta’ image and hard knocks success story.”

The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court, seeks more than $1 million from Gary Barbera Enterprises, which used the slogan “Just Like 50 Says!” and the 29-year-old rap artist’s picture in a print advertisement for a Dodge Magnum, according to Associated Press.

Barbera marketing director Eric Gerstein says 50 Cent had recorded a radio station spot promoting the station’s giveaway of a Barbera Magnum. The print ad paraphrased the radio spot, Mr. Gerstein says, adding that the dealership explained its position in a call with the rapper’s representatives in May and thought the matter was settled.

Close call

Scarlett Johansson, star of such films as “The Island” and “Lost in Translation,” was involved in an auto accident last week while trying to duck photographers who had tracked her to a Disneyland parking lot, her publicist says.

The actress wasn’t hurt in Thursday’s accident in Anaheim, Calif., according to Marcel Pariseau.

Miss Johansson, 20, was with two friends when she noticed four sport utility vehicles following her after she left her Hollywood home, Mr. Pariseau told Associated Press. The actress tried to get away from the vehicles and swerved, clipping the right side of a car carrying a woman and her two daughters, Mr. Pariseau says.

Arnold Cousart, co-owner of JFX Direct photo agency, said two of his photographers had been following Miss Johansson for four days and had tracked her to Disneyland, along with at least one other photographer from a rival agency. He also says his photographers had nothing to do with the collision.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web , staff and wire reports.

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