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June 30, 1998 2:00 AM
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Helms Blast "Dear Jesse," The Media, and Gays; DGA Supports National Preservation; Philips To Tackle

National Preservation; Philips To Tackle "Cohen"; and Oscars Moving

Compiled by Aaron Krach and Eugene Hernandez




>> The infamous Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, took time out from
his busy schedule on Friday to blast Tim Kirkman's documentary, "Dear Jesse,"
several newspapers, and gay people in general. Without offering specifics,
Helms told The Congressional Quarterly that "Jesse" crew member misrepresented
himself in order to talk to the Senator. He then launched in to a tirade,
"Those people are intellectually dishonest in just about everything they do
or say. They start by pretending that it is just another form of love. It's
sickening," said Helms. When a reporter told him that the film, which
opened Friday, was being reviewed in the New York Times and the Washington
Post, Helms said, "The New York Times and The Washington Post are both
infested with homosexuals themselves." From San Francisco, where "Dear Jesse"
was screening during San Francisco's Gay/Lesbian Film Fest, Kirkman said, "As a
gay American I am deeply saddened and offended but not surprised by Sen. Helms'
comments. If he saw 'Dear Jesse,' I hope he would realize that I have not done to
him what he continues to do to gay people, artists, African-Americans and many
others -- which is to demonize them."


>> The Director's Guild of America announced yesterday that it will contribute
$50,000 to the National Film Preservation Foundation. The Foundation, created
by Congress two years ago, is focused on preserving newsreels, independent films,
avant-garde work, documentaries and ethnic & public domain material -- or works
that are "not preserved by commercial interests."


>> Doc-maker Todd Philips ("Frat House", "Hated") has signed a pact with New
Line
to direct the Scott Rosenberg ("Con Air") script, "A Leonard Cohen Afterworld".
Set during the weekend of the 1994 vigil for Kurt Cobain, the script is described
as a road movie about two 19-year old friends who are inspired to escape their
lives in Las Vegas. The title for the movie comes from a line in the Nirvana song
"Pennyroyal Tea." Philips' attorney John Sloss worked with ICM and New Line to
broker the deal.


>> The Academy Awards moves from Monday's, beginning next year. Presumably to
capitalize on larger Sunday television viewership, next year's Oscars will be held
on March 21st at 5:30 p.m.

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