Archive for Tuesday, January 21, 2003


January 21, 2003


Spiking 'Barbershop' humor

Lauderhill, Fla. --- There's nothing funny about the comments about Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in last year's film comedy "Barbershop," says Spike Lee. The filmmaker says he's concerned that young moviegoers will form their first impressions of the civil rights icons from a bitter character played by Cedric the Entertainer in the movie.

Lee was the keynote speaker at two events over the weekend honoring King's birthday. At the Lauderhill Boys & Girls Club, he told hundreds of teenagers that he didn't laugh when he heard the character belittle Parks' refusal to move to the back of the bus.

Lee, the maker of films such as "Malcolm X," "Do the Right Thing" and the recently released "25th Hour," also didn't find it funny when the character accused King of being sexually promiscuous.

"To me, some things aren't funny," said Lee, 46. "If our young children grow up thinking this, and that's all they know about (Parks and King), then we're in trouble."

Living memorial for Strummer

London -- Late punk icon Joe Strummer's efforts to counter global warming will live on as a forest in his honor.

Future Forests, a group the Clash singer-songwriter helped found in the 1990s, asked fans for donations to help create the living memorial on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

"Joe said 'Bands must be contributing to global warming by their buses, equipment trucks and the diesel used to power the stages,"' the group's spokesman said.

Strummer decided to plant trees to offset the carbon dioxide created by his work.

Strummer died Dec. 22 at age 50.

The Clash will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.

Scorsese scores top honor

Los Angeles -- The Directors Guild of America will honor director Martin Scorsese with a lifetime achievement award, its highest tribute, during its 55th annual awards ceremony March 1.

Scorsese, 60, has a directing career spanning more than four decades and his work includes: "Taxi Driver," "The Age of Innocence," "Raging Bull," "Casino" and "GoodFellas." On Sunday, he won a best director Golden Globe for "Gangs of New York."

Scorsese will be the 30th director to receive the award. Other winners include Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra and John Ford.

Honorees are selected by present and past guild presidents.

One of the screwy ones

Park City, Utah -- Actor Robert Downey Jr., whose bouts with cocaine addiction have been front-page news the last few years, says he understands the public's curiosity about his travails, admitting that he himself liked to hear about other people's carousing.

"I love it when people go on benders, get arrested, get (messed) up, hit-and-runs, as long as no one gets killed," he said at the Sundance Film Festival. "I just think it's amazing how screwy people are. So that's definitely a big part of my story."

Downey premiered "The Singing Detective," his first movie since completing court-ordered drug rehabilitation in July.

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