- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Turf war

Robert De Niro, who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival, is said to be steaming mad at David Bowie, who’s curating the upstart High Line Festival, a 10-day “mash-up of music, film, comedy, visual art and performance.” It begins three days after Mr. De Niro’s highly commercial extravaganza ends on May 6, the New York Post reported in yesterday’s editions.

The High Line series is being touted as younger, hipper and edgier.

“I hear it’s driving Robert De Niro crazy,” an insider tells nymag.com, the Web site of New York magazine. “And that’s just great because he’s a big, old wrinkled thug versus these young guys.”

At 63, the two-time Oscar winner is just three years older than rock legend Bowie — but he’s old enough to be the father of High Line producers David Binder, 39, and Josh Wood, 33.

“Ours happens to be a little younger and rougher around the edges and more multidisciplinary than theirs,” Mr. Binder and Mr. Wood boasted to nymag.com.

In five years, Tribeca has become a fat-cat festival. It’s sponsored by American Express, for which Mr. De Niro shills in ads, and this year it will premiere the summer blockbuster “Spider-Man 3.” High Line is backed by budget-fashion giant H&M; and features hot alt bands such as Air and the Polyphonic Spree as well as comic Ricky Gervais.

Some High Liners think Mr. De Niro already has sabotaged them by keeping Tribeca’s public relations team, Rubenstein Communications, from doing press for High Line, the Web site reports. Mr. De Niro’s flack had no comment.

Rubenstein Communications President Steven Rubenstein denies there’s any feud, adding that Mr. Bowie was set to attend Tuesday night’s Tribeca kickoff party sponsored by Vanity Fair.

“I am afraid I have no control over the inexplicable comments from the High Line producers. I think the Tribeca Film Festival is unique and irreplaceable,” Mr. Bowie said.

Headed to rehab

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays King Henry VIII in Showtime Network Inc.’s miniseries “The Tudors,” has entered rehab for alcohol abuse, Associated Press reports.

“After a nonstop succession of filming, Jonathan Rhys Meyers has entered an alcohol treatment program,” his publicist, Meredith O’Sullivan, said yesterday. “He felt a break was needed to maintain his recovery. Jonathan plans to resume his schedule following completion.”

No more details were provided.

Screen credits for the 29-year-old Irish-born actor include “Bend It Like Beckham,” “Match Point” and the upcoming “August Rush” opposite Robin Williams and Terrence Howard.

Valenti exits hospital

Former Hollywood lobbyist Jack Valenti has checked out of Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore, weeks after being treated for a stroke, a hospital official said yesterday.

According to AP, Hopkins spokesman Eric Vohr said Mr. Valenti, 85, who had been at the hospital since March, was discharged Tuesday.

No more information was being released, the spokesman said, and Mr. Valenti’s condition was unknown.

Mr. Valenti is the former president of the Motion Picture Association of America, where he devised the ratings system for films. He also served as an adviser to former President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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

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