04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
The lion roared in Venice last night, when Clint Eastwood accepted a Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement award at the Venice Film Festival. The star, 70, used the opportunity to state his thoughts about Hollywood's current infatuation with kids and youth-oriented pictures. By contrast, Eastwood's current "Space Cowboys," which he produced, directed and stars in, is a summer hit, despite the fact that the cumulative age of its top four names -- Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, James Garner and Tommy Lee Jones -- is close to 250. "Ageism is the buzzword," the crowd was told by Eastwood, referring to an industry that is "generally enamored with the teeny-bopper movie." Hollywood, he added, "is a very faddist community" and lacks new imagination. But he won't pander, he said. "You get a little older, and they want you to play roles 20 years younger . . . They want you to play a 40-year-old guy, (and) you don't want to play a 40-year-old guy anymore."