Lee gets life achievement prize
Dallas — Filmmaker Spike Lee received a lifetime achievement award and a key to the city at the Fourth Annual Lyrical Underground, an event celebrating Black Music Month.
“He is an inspiration and an innovative filmmaker who is not afraid to think out of the box,” City Councilman Leo V. Chaney said.
The Privilege Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes “individuals who have provided hope, inspiration, joy and motivation to people around the world,” said Noel Hankin, a spokesman for Schieffelin & Somerset, parent company of Hennessy, which sponsored the award presented Friday.
Past recipients include Magic Johnson and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Lee’s films include “Malcolm X,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Bamboozled” and “He Got Game.”
Lithgow lends hand to theater
Conrad, Mont. — Two-time Tony award winner John Lithgow plans to return to his wife’s hometown next month for a benefit to help restore a local theater.
Lithgow, who starred in the TV series “Third Rock from the Sun,” is scheduled to perform July 2 as part of a benefit to help pay the $250,000 price tag for restoration of the Orpheum Theatre-Wiegand Auditorium.
The nonprofit Pondera Arts Council purchased the facility in 2001. Council president Helen Eliot said Lithgow planned to tailor his show to children ages 3-8.
Lithgow’s wife, Mary Yeager Lithgow, is a UCLA professor from Conrad.
Russia welcomes film celebrities
Moscow — Russia rolled out a blue carpet for movie industry celebrities, including director Quentin Tarantino, at the start of the 26th Moscow International Film Festival.
Film figures including Tarantino, whose “Kill Bill — Vol. 2” opened the festival Friday, walked along a carpet stretched outside a theater on the square named for Russian cultural legend Alexander Pushkin.
Also at the festival opening were Uma Thurman and David Carradine, who co-star in Tarantino’s film.
Actresses Meryl Streep and Isabelle Adjani and Bosnian director Emir Kusturica also are expected to appear at the festival, which ends June 27.
Actress likes license to ‘poke fun’
New York — Actress Jena Malone says she doesn’t feel bad about the way her new film, ‘Saved,’ lampoons Christians.
“I think it’s important to poke fun at things we find really serious,” Malone, 19, said in an interview with AP Radio. “I think if we applied that to things in our own lives we’d be able to take things much better.”
“Saved!” co-starring Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin, is a sharp satire of religion which takes place at the fictional American Eagle Christian High School. Malone’s character, Mary, believes her figure-skater boyfriend is gay and becomes pregnant with his child to “convert” him to heterosexuality.
“Saved!” is currently in theaters.