Hollywood looks bad in Iranian suit

ASSOCIATED PRESS Thanks to Steven Van Zandt, the famed rock group the Young Rascals are re-forming for a major, innovative Broadway gig.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Thanks to Steven Van Zandt, the famed rock group the Young Rascals are re-forming for a major, innovative Broadway gig.
Posted: March 14, 2013

MOVIE STUDIOS get sued a lot.

They get sued by disgruntled writers ("Hey, you stole my idea!), P.O.'d producers ("Where are my residuals?")Hollywood looks bad in Iranian suit and angry actresses ("My contract says you have to provide private electrolysis for my bikini line!"), but, to the best of our knowledge, a studio has never been sued by a country.

Although the Duchy of Grand Fenwick was furious about its portrayal in "The Mouse That Roared."

Now comes word that Iran is planning to sue Hollywood over the Oscar-winning "Argo" because of the movie's allegedly "unrealistic portrayal" of the country.

We have no idea how anyone sues "Hollywood," but we bet this will make it much tougher for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to get a star on the "Walk of Fame."

Several news outlets, however, including the pro-reform Shargh daily, said that French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre is in Iran for talks over how and where to file the suit. She is also the lawyer for (and reportedly also the fiancee of) notorious Venezuelan-born terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal.

He sued a French production over a documentary about his life, not the makers of "The Day of the Jackal."

As for "Argo": Following the 1979 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, but six embassy staffers were sheltered by the Canadian ambassador. Their escape, using a fake film production as a cover story, is recounted in the movie.

But, after its Oscar win, Iranian officials dismissed "Argo" as pro-CIA, anti-Iran propaganda.

Coutant-Peyre told the semiofficial Mehr news agency that she will start a campaign to show that "Argo" is a lie, while pressing to stop distribution of the movie.

Though the movie isn't showing in any Iranian theaters, many Iranians have seen it on bootleg DVDs.

The decision on the suit came after a group of Iranian cultural officials and movie critics screened the film in a Tehran theater late Monday.

The gathering was titled "The Hoax of Hollywood."

Those in attendance dismissed "Argo" as a "violation of international cultural norms." A statement said that "awarding an anti-Iran movie is a propaganda attack against our nation and entire humanity."

And the award for best hyperbole goes to . . .

Long live rock!

* The first live concert that Little Steven Van Zandt ever saw was in 1965, in Keyport, N.J., and the headliner was the Young Rascals.

Tickets were $2.50.

"I'll never forget it. It was the most exciting night ever," Van Zandt told the Associated Press. "They were phenomenal live, really quite different than anybody else. And very, very influential to this day."

Now Van Zandt has found a way to repay the Rascals by taking the original four-man band - singer Eddie Brigati, keyboardist Felix Cavaliere, guitarist Gene Cornish and drummer Dino Danelli - to Broadway.

The reunited band will play 15 performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre beginning April 15, a show combining live performance, video re-enactments, archival concert and news footage, op-art backdrops and psychedelic lighting.

Van Zandt calls the show a "bio concert" and thinks it could be the wave of the future. "This could be a new form and a new industry," he said. "We got 'Jersey Boys' with the Four Seasonsin it."

Bob Dylan has become the first rock star voted into the elite, century-old American Academy of Arts and Letters, where artists range from Philip Roth to Jasper Johns. According to executive director Virginia Dajani, officials couldn't decide whether Dylan belonged for his words or for his music, so they settled on making him an honorary member, joining such previous choices as Meryl Streep, Woody Allen and a filmmaker who has made a documentary about Dylan: Martin Scorsese.

Excluding honorary picks, the academy consists of 250 artists, musicians and writers. Openings occur upon a member's death, with current inductees nominating and voting in new ones. Members have no real responsibilities beyond agreeing to join, although some become active in the academy, which awards prizes worth as much as $200,000.

A Dylan admirer and 2012 inductee, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, will give the keynote address at the May ceremony. The title will be "Rock 'n' Roll."

TATTBITS

* Holy "Law & Order!"

Lt. Van Buren ( S. Epatha Merkerson) and Detective Green ( Jesse L. Martin) are reuniting in a movie about Marvin Gaye.

"Sexual Healing" begins shooting in Luxembourg this month.

The film focuses on Gaye in the 1980s, when he battled drug abuse and depression.

Martin plays Marvin, Merkerson his mom.

* Cannes Film Festival organi-

zers said Tuesday that "The Great Gatsby," with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role and directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann, will open this year's Cannes festival - in 3-D.

Breaking with precedent, it opens in the U.S. five days earlier.

Kelly Osbourne is resting at

home after being hospitalized for five days following a seizure.

A Kelly spokesman says that doctors gave her "a clean bill of health," finding no conclusive results explaining why she collapsed on the set of E!'s "Fashion

Police" last week.

Publicist Marcel Pariseau tells E! News that Kelly was "looking forward to returning to 'Fashion Police' this week and getting back to business and life as usual."

Rihanna canceled Tuesday

night's Baltimore stop on her

"Diamonds World Tour" because of the flu and laryngitis.

She's scheduled to play Philadelphia on Thursday.

Don't sit too close.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.


Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5678

On Twitter: @DNTattle

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