- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2005

Staying on message

Any artist planning to use the upcoming Live 8 concerts as forums for Bush-bashing apparently will have Bob Geldof to contend with.

Internet reporter Matt Drudge quotes an anonymous artist-manager as hearing the following from Mr. Geldof, organizer of the concerts to fight poverty in Africa:

“Please remember, absolutely no ranting and raving about Bush or Blair and the Iraq war. This is not why you have been invited to appear. … We want to bring Mr. Bush in, not run him away.”

“Bob wants no attention on global warming or the war,” the manager said. “He is very determined. He does not want to lose control of the message.”

Mr. Geldof’s warning, however, may go unheeded.

“We have the most unpopular American president since Nixon; soldiers are dying. … You are going to see some righteous anger onstage,” the manager said.

15 minutes in China

Beijing’s art lovers will get a chance to study Andy Warhol’s work up close and personal when the city begins its second Biennale of modern art this fall.

Agence France-Presse reports the Chinese capital will host the Biennale for one month beginning Sept. 20. About 500 works will be displayed — including Mr. Warhol’s as well as those of Germany’s Gerhard Richter and Spain’s Lopez Garcia — under the unifying theme “contemporary art and humanist concerns.”

“We will emphasize painting and sculpture, traditional forms of art that have not exhausted their potential,” said Jin Shangyi, chairman of the China Artists Association.

Dry paint, wet eyes

Robert De Niro choked up Saturday while attending an exhibit of paintings by his father in northeastern France.

“This is a magnificent exhibit,” said Mr. De Niro, whose father, Robert De Niro, Sr., passed away more than a decade ago.

“I’m sad that my father is not here,” the Oscar-winning actor said.

According to Associated Press, the 56-painting exhibit in the recently opened La Piscine Museum in Roubaix, is the first European retrospective of the elder Mr. De Niro’s paintings.

Call the role

Actor John Leguizamo said he has become disillusioned with the stereotypical handyman and gang-member roles Hollywood offers to Latino actors.

“We have to tell the whole plethora of our stories,” Mr. Leguizamo said Friday during the 23rd annual National Association of Hispanic Journalists Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, AP reports. “We have the whole spectrum … in our culture.”

In the upcoming movie “Cronicas,” Mr. Leguizamo stars as a tabloid TV reporter covering a string of serial killings in Ecuador. The film, written and directed by Sebastian Cordero, hits theaters July 8.

It’s the Colombian-born actor’s first Spanish-language role.

“My grammar and my vocabulary is third grade when I’m supposed to be college educated. I watched a lot of Univision and Telemundo,” Mr. Leguizamo joked.

Star assaults

It’s getting dangerous for celebrities out there.

Tom Cruise, in London Sunday for the premiere of “War of the Worlds,” was squirted in the face by a practical joker posing as a TV reporter.

The man and three accomplices — the quartet was filming a sketch for a British TV show — were arrested and may be charged with assault.

Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio was treated at a hospital for stitches to close a cut in his head after a woman hit him with a beer bottle at a Hollywood Hills party, according to media reports over the weekend.

The “Aviator” actor required about a dozen stitches, People magazine online and Los Angeles television station CBS2 reported.

Mr. DiCaprio had been attending a party Friday at the home of Rick Salomon, an ex-boyfriend of Paris Hilton’s and a Hollywood restaurant owner.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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