- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Fear and grieving

Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, who both portrayed Hunter S. Thompson on-screen, joined Sean Penn, Jack Nicholson and others over the weekend. to remember the “gonzo” journalist at a private memorial in Aspen, Colo.

Mr. Depp read a passage from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” in which Mr. Thompson rued the end of the 1960s, according to a Rocky Mountain News reporter who was granted permission to attend the service by Mr. Thompson’s family.

Neighbor and actor Don Johnson remembered asking Mr. Thompson, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Mr. Thompson responded by slapping Mr. Johnson across the face.

Pulp ‘Friday’

Quentin Tarantino may direct a new installment in the long-running “Friday the 13th” horror film series.

The “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” filmmaker is scheduled to meet this week with New Line Cinema executives, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

New Line tried to make a sequel to “Freddy vs. Jason” involving the “Evil Dead” character Ash, but it couldn’t reach a deal with “Dead” rights holder Sam Raimi.

According to those familiar with the discussions, Mr. Tarantino is intrigued with the idea of toying with one of cinema’s classic horror villains. If the project takes off, it would be the first movie Mr. Tarantino has directed outside Miramax Films.

Be mobile

John Travolta provided his own definition of cool by hopping the pond in his private jet to attend the London premiere of his new movie, “Be Cool.”

“Yesterday, we left the house, kissed the kids goodbye, then we went into the back yard, got in a jet and flew to London. That was pretty cool,” Mr. Travolta told Associated Press. He was accompanied by his wife, Kelly Preston.

Mr. Travolta plays mobster-turned-movie-producer Chili Palmer in the film, the sequel to 1995’s “Get Shorty.”

Conspiracy theory

Actor Russell Crowe may have wound up in a real-life “Proof of Life.” He says he was targeted by al Qaeda in a kidnapping plot designed to destabilize the United States culturally.

The New Zealand-born “Gladiator” star was first contacted by the FBI in 2001, he told GQ magazine. “That was the first time I’d ever heard the phrase ‘al Qaeda,’” he said.

“It was about — and here’s another little touch of irony — taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as sort of a cultural-destabilization plot.”

Mr. Crowe received FBI protection on later film shoots and at public events.

“I never fully understood what … was going on,” he said.

“Suddenly, it looks like I think I’m … Elvis Presley, because everywhere I go, there are all these FBI guys.”

House-rent blues

A New York homelessness charity has the heebie-jeebies for CBGB.

The legendary rock club CBGB, which helped break seminal punk and new-wave acts such as the Ramones and Blondie, will face the guillotine if it fails to resolve a dispute over unpaid rent with the homelessness charity that owns the building.

“The real thing is they don’t want me back,” club owner Hilly Kristal told Reuters News Agency.

“I am not going to subsidize CBGB at the expense of homeless people,” Muzzy Rosenblatt, executive director of the Bowery Residents’ Committee, told the New York Times.

MTV’s Web site quoted him as saying CBGB had not met its obligations on safety.

Mr. Kristal, who founded the club in 1973, converting what had been a Hell’s Angels hangout into one of the most famous venues for live music in the city, said he would fight closure of what he called a New York City institution.

“We’ve established something here. … This is a kind of symbol of helping young musicians and new artists,” he said, recalling early gigs by the likes of Pearl Jam.

“I think we do a nice thing for a lot of people; maybe it’s not quite as wonderful as helping the homeless, but it has its benefits,” he said.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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