While hyping his new film about jazz artists, Mo" Better Blues, director SPIKE LEE recently criticized Bird, CLINT EASTWOOD'S 1988 homage to jazz legend Charlie Parker, for being a narrow treatment of a black artist by a white filmmaker. Asked about Lee's remarks at the premiere of his new movie, White Hunter, Black Heart, at Minneapolis's Walker Art Center, Eastwood said, "I have never [promoted] a film by criticizing other films, and I don't intend to start now. I've never seen Mr. Lee's movies, but I have never heard of a director [promoting] his film by taking on films made in the past. I would analyze that in myself as not being too confident in my product. [My] being white and doing a story about black people [or vice versa] has no bearing. Mr. Lee is certainly welcome to do a story on Beethoven, and it might be brilliant."
At a press conference at the Deauville Film Festival in France, TV miniseries king RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN, 55, was asked which French film director he would most like to work with in the future. "[FRANçOIS] TRUFFAUT," said Chamberlain. After an embarrassed moment of silence, the French press informed him that the great filmmaker had been dead for nearly six years. "I'm sorry, I didn't know," replied a mildly chagrined Chamberlain. "Well, everyone is entitled to one gaffe at a press conference."
PULLING HER WEIGHT
After NBC programming whiz BRANDON TARTIKOFF saw the pilot for Bates, Fox's new sitcom about three overweight sisters, he was widely quoted as calling it insulting to women. "I have to be honest with you," says LESLEY BOONE, 22, one of Babes's hefty stars. "When I first saw the script I was tentative myself. I thought, 'Do I want to put myself out there in the public this way as this overweight person?' And I thought about it and said, 'Of course I do.' 5o, Brandon, thanks. Bad publicity is still publicity." The 5'5" Boone weighs less than 200 lbs. but says, "For most of my adult life I've been hearing, 'You have such a pretty face. Why don't you lose weight?' That drives me nuts. I've learned to take it as a compliment—but it isn't really."
A DOOR'S EXIT
Nineteen years after the death of Doors lead singer JIM MORRISON at age 27 from a heart attack, new generations are still discovering his records, and a major movie about him, The Doors, is scheduled to open next year. Now, adding to the seemingly endless supply of Doors data, former Doors drummer JOHN DENSMORE (below, left) has published a memoir, Riders on the Storm. "When the news [of Morrison's death] came, ROBBY (KRIEGER, the Doors's guitarist] said, 'Whew, he's finally at peace'—kind of relieved in a way," says Densmore, 44. "Jim had some demons going on there. I, of course, was greatly saddened but relieved for him because toward the end he was going down and nobody could stop him. He was an alcoholic, which I didn't know at the time. I went to a bar that [we frequented] maybe 10 years after he died and told the bartender, 'You know, Morrison used to come in here,' and the bartender said, 'I have never seen anybody drink as much as him.' "