George Clooney vs. David O. Russell: Despite Clooney’s well-documented conflicts with director Russell, the actor is not the one who put those screamy "Huckabees" videos up on YouTube. His publicist sent the following to Radar and Defamer:
Contrary to popular opinion. neither the sound man, Ed Tise, nor yours truly sent in the David O. Russell tape.
I saw it when we were working on "Ocean’s 12," and there have been quite a few copies traveling around town for the last couple of years.
Any rumor that either of us put it on the internet is simply false.
And I’d offer a million bucks to anyone who would prove otherwise.
Mia Farrow vs. Steven Spielberg: In a Wall Street Journal column entitled "The Genocide Olympics," Farrow writes that the director, who’s serving as a special consultant to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, should call for China to use its leverage over Khartoum to protect civilians in Darfur.
That so many corporate sponsors want the world to look away from that atrocity during the games is bad enough… But equally disappointing is the decision of artists like director Steven Spielberg — who quietly visited China this month as he prepares to help stage the Olympic ceremonies — to sanitize Beijing’s image… Is Mr. Spielberg, who in 1994 founded the Shoah Foundation to record the testimony of survivors of the Holocaust, aware that China is bankrolling Darfur’s genocide? Does Mr. Spielberg really want to go down in history as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games?
Rudy Youngblood vs. David A. Yeagley: The "Apocalypto" star’s Native American ancestry is being called into question by Comanche conservative pundit Yeagley. Robert W. Welkos at the LA Times quotes Yeagley as saying "He has no Indian blood in him that anyone can validate. [Comanche] officials got scooped up in the thrill of claiming a movie star." Youngblood replies "I am Comanche. I’m not going to go into names. My tribe knows it. That is all that needs to be said." Youngblood will be awarded an outstanding new lead actor award by First Americans in the Arts, a group that salutes Native American achievements in entertainment, in April.
Ted Hope vs. Sundance critics: Hope, an executive producer of "The Hawk is Dying," has sent an email around pleading on behalf of the film, which, as we mentioned before, took a beating at Sundance. The theatrical release will be of the revised cut that played at the Directors Fortnight in Cannes, and Hope promises to refund the money of anyone who isn’t satisfied with the film. He also writes:
Ten years ago, this would be a film celebrated by the entire industry, but now that INDIE means something synonymous with the "cinema of quality" that the French New Wave rebelled against so long ago, it gets marginalized precisely because of the wonderful risks it takes — the same very risks that made me and the great team that worked on it want to collaborate with [director] Julian [Goldberger] in the first place. [via Anthony Kaufman]