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MORNING REPORT

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

June 05, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW

MOVIES

Outfest Slate: Outfest '96: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, taking place July 11-21 at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood, will open with a gala premiere screening of Nigel Finch's "Stonewall," detailing New York's infamous Stonewall pub incident in 1969. The festival lineup offers 26 feature films and 175 documentaries, including "Bound," starring Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly; "johns," starring Lukas Haas and David Arquette; "Red Ribbon Blues," a Robin Hood tale with Paul Mercurio, Debi Mazar and RuPaul; and the Sundance Film Festival hit "Late Bloomers," which will close the festival. Scheduled premieres include Richard Natale's "Green Plaid Shirt," Rachel Reichman's "Work" and Cheryl Dunye's "Watermelon Woman." More than 20,000 attendees are expected at the festival, which plans 15 more screenings than were offered last year. Festival organizers hope to create an increased awareness of the crossover potential of gay- and lesbian-themed films.

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Powerful Pair: It looks as if good friends and fellow Oscar winners Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks will team up for the first time on a World War II drama called "Saving Private Ryan." Although a spokesperson for director Spielberg's studio, DreamWorks SKG, refused to confirm or deny the pairing, sources confirmed reports that the two are in serious negotiations to do the picture, in which Hanks would play a soldier in the early days of the Allied invasion of Europe. Filming would begin after Spielberg completes work on "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."

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Posters Vanishing: Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," which opens in theaters June 21, is apparently prompting some very un-Disney-like activities--namely, theft. The studio put up 261 47-by-60-inch bus shelter posters heralding the movie throughout Los Angeles, but nearly a third of them have been stolen (no simple feat, since thieves had to break the huge glass plate covering the images to remove them). A studio spokesperson noted that the thefts gave "Hunchback" "a record of sorts," surpassing the spate of images of the Bat logo that were taken from bus shelters when the first "Batman" film opened. Disney plans to replace the missing oversized ads, which feature animated gargoyles and the Quasimodo character.

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Hoffman Goes to Court: Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Castle Rock Productions and movie director Harold Becker ("City Hall," "Misery"), claiming that he was forced out of a supporting role in an unnamed 1995 film. Hoffman says he had an oral contract to appear in the film and that he provided Becker with improvements for the screenplay. A Castle Rock spokesman declined comment on the suit.

TELEVISION

Planning Early: The fall 1996 TV season is still a few months away, but the Warner Bros. Network has already picked up two new series for midseason replacements, a family comedy about a child prodigy called "Smart Guy" and the teenage vampire drama "Slayer." The latter stars "All My Children's" Sarah Michelle Geller and is executive-produced by Joss Whedon, who received an Academy Award nomination for the "Toy Story" screenplay. In even more distant news, the WB Network on Tuesday also announced a series for fall 1997: an animated half-hour prime-time drama called "Invasion: America," based on a concept by Steven Spielberg, who will also executive-produce the "serialized epic."

ART

Getty Beginning to Move: This summer marks the first phase of the J. Paul Getty Trust's move to the new Getty Center in Brentwood, which will open to the public in the fall of 1997. The Getty Conservation Institute, which has been lodged in Marina del Rey, will be the first branch of the trust to relocate, in the last week of July. The Getty Center for Education in the Arts, the Getty Grant Program and the trust's administrative staff--all currently housed in Santa Monica--will follow in mid-August, bringing the total daily working population on the hill to about 250. The Getty's new museum, the Getty Art History Information Program and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities will make their moves after the first of the year.

STAGE

A Stage by Any Other Name . . . : The Los Angeles Civic Light Opera is getting a new name: Broadway/L.A. The 58-year-old organization will expand its offerings next season to six shows--four of them at the Pantages Theatre and two at the Wilshire. Besides the previously announced "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" in September, the other shows are "Damn Yankees" with Jerry Lewis (October), the Irish song and dance presentation "Riverdance" (November), "Grease" (March, at the Wilshire), "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (June 1997, at the Wilshire) and "The Phantom of the Opera" (October 1997).

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