Thursday, May 22, 2003

Lighting up sparks furor

Sydney, Australia -- Nicole Kidman's televised cigarette puffing at the Cannes Film Festival has anti-smokers here fuming.

Critics said the sight of the Oscar-winning Australian thespian lighting up in front of the world's media this week while promoting her new film, "Dogville," was free advertising for the tobacco industry.

"Mass media coverage of celebrity smokers, like Nicole Kidman, is priceless for the tobacco industry in their drive to addict new smokers, most of whom are children," said Anne Jones, of the Action on Smoking and Health group in Australia.

At a media briefing, Kidman scammed a cigarette off her co-star, Stellan Skarsgard, only to be admonished by director Lars von Trier in front of the world's press. "Oh, Nicole, don't do that -- you promised," von Trier said. Kidman coolly kept puffing.

Goodall wins Spanish honor

Madrid, Spain -- Jane Goodall, the world's leading expert on chimpanzee behavior and defender of the creature's habitat, was chosen Wednesday for the Prince of Asturias prize for scientific research.

Goodall's work "is a vital contribution to the understanding of the roots of human behavior and culture," the jury said.

The jury praised Goodall's "sincere and committed efforts to bring her findings to all levels of society, especially to the world's youth, and for working to reconcile human development with wildlife protection in Africa."

The Prince of Asturias Awards reward the scientific, cultural and social work conducted at internationally by individuals, groups and institutions whose achievements represent an example for mankind.

Dylan documentary due

Los Angeles -- How many roads must a man walk down before Martin Scorsese makes a movie about him?

The answer, my friend, is in the tentatively titled "Bob Dylan Anthology Project," a biography about the iconic folk singer directed by the "Gangs of New York" filmmaker.

The film, planned for release in 2005, will chronicle Dylan's 1963 breakthrough and the cultural and political influence of his music, Scorsese and his producing partners said Tuesday.

Besides playing in some theaters, the movie also will air on PBS in the United States and the BBC in the United Kingdom.

Dylan also acts and sings in the upcoming film "Masked and Anonymous," set to debut July 25.

Plaintiff claims bad rap

Detroit -- A former schoolmate of Eminem, who's suing the rapper for $1 million, is scheduled to have his case go to trial this month.

DeAngelo Bailey of Roseville sued Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, in 2001. He claimed Eminem's song "Brain Damage," which named Bailey as an abusive bully, damaged his reputation and his ability to launch a music career.

Eminem's mother sued the Roseville school district in 1982, claiming school-day beatings left her son with headaches, nausea and a tendency toward anti-social behavior. The suit was dismissed.