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Morning Report

Arts And Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services And The Nation's Press.

April 10, 2002|Elaine Dutka

TELEVISION

HBO Picks Up Film About Bush Campaign

"Journeys With George," Alexandra Pelosi's movie of her yearlong road trip on the campaign trail with George W. Bush, will be seen on HBO this year after screenings at a number of film festivals. A specific date has not yet been set.

The 76-minute film, in which the Republican candidate is shown clowning with reporters and guzzling nonalcoholic beer, has generated concern among Bush advisers that the footage might undermine the strong, no-nonsense image of the president during a time of national crisis. Still, most of them opted not to speak out against the film for fear it would fuel public interest.

Pelosi, the daughter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), minority whip of the House, insists that the movie is not a hatchet job but an inside look into the political system and what HBO calls "W unplugged--an all-access pass to the closest and most controversial presidential election in history."

When covering the campaign for NBC, Pelosi's initial goal was to create a video diary--with or without Bush's participation. Distant at first, the future president warmed up and allowed filming of informal moments.

"What it reveals is how we elect our presidents, and George Bush is just one of the many great characters on the road trip," she says. "I certainly would not have been able to pull this off if I were covering Al Gore."

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Security Tight on Fox's '24' Season Finale

Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine Entertainment are taking precautions to ensure no one leaks specifics about the May 21 finale of their critically acclaimed series "24," due to start shooting April 18.

Variety reports that everyone on the production team will have to sign a confidentiality agreement, vowing that they won't "disseminate, permit access to, duplicate, display, publish, state or in any other manner disclose" information about the production. Those violating the contract can be sued by the studio for damages.

To tighten the screws, all copies of the final script will be numbered and printed on red paper that is virtually impossible to copy. The set will be closed to anyone deemed nonessential.

"It's like the ending of 'The Sixth Sense,'" said Joel Surnow, executive producer of the series about efforts over the course of a single day to foil a political assassination. "You don't want to blow it for fans."

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MTV Revisits Scene of Los Angeles Riots

Ten years ago, in the wake of the riots over the Rodney King verdict, MTV turned its cameras on the center of the disturbance in South-Central Los Angeles, showing a news report called "Straight From the Hood."

And now, it's going back--examining what progress, if any, has been made in the neighborhood. "Back to the Hood," a one-hour documentary that can be seen April 24, will feature interviews with Snoop Dogg, telling why he and his friends left Long Beach to join the chaos; R&B singer Tyrese, who admits to looting stores; and rap artist Jurassic Five, who lived a block from the intersection of Florence and Normandie and witnessed the beating of truck driver Reginald Denny.

The special also zooms in on twentysomethings throughout South-Central, Crenshaw, Watts and Koreatown, who share their memories of the riots.

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MOVIES

Allen's Cannes Visit: A Snub to Venice?

Woody Allen is famous for avoiding film festivals and awards shows. But, fresh on the heels of his surprise Oscar appearance, he's announced that he'll introduce his new film, "Hollywood Ending," at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival in May. It's his first visit to the Croisette, say organizers of the event, which screened Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo" in 1985 and "Hannah and Her Sisters" the following year.

"Hollywood Ending," in which the director stars with Tea Leoni, Mark Rydell and Treat Williams, will be presented in Cannes' Out of Competition category. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the announcement didn't sit well in Italy, whose Venice International Film Festival premiered Allen's previous eight films. Still, if Moritz de Hadeln, the Venice festival's newly appointed director, was disappointed, he took the high road.

"This choice in no way penalizes Venice," he said. "Allen will be back another time. The doors are always open for him."

A different note was sounded by Italy's culture undersecretary, who is engaged in a power struggle with the management of the foundation overseeing the film festival. "I hope other people follow Woody Allen's example, and that Venice is a failure," he said.

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