Eye gives kids Holocaust lesson

GOOD MORNING: “There’s no such thing as too much of this material,” said producer-director Mark Gordon of his “Children Remember the Holocaust.” He got Keanu Reeves to appear, setting the scenes for the prewar, ghetto, death camp and liberation segments of the Dec. 19 CBS “Schoolbreak Special,” and youngstars Kirsten Dunst, Cynthia Nixon, Gabriel Olds, Casey Siemaszko and Nina Siemaszko as voices for the real children in those sequences. The Holocaust children’s words are from their writings –“nothing at all made up,” Gordon insists of scenes from 1933-1945 … Reeves, from Gordon’s “Speed” (and, hopefully, in “Speed 2”), “is a very caring human being,” says Gordon. “I just called him up and he said yes. I was also enormously impressed by CBS. They didn’t ask to take out anything, even scenes in the crematoriums. They were very responsible. Judy Price of ‘Schoolbreak Specials’ was a powerful force as well. The Wiesenthal Center and National Holocaust Museum were invaluable. We want everyone — children and adults — to realize man’s inhumanity to man is still going on, in places like Bosnia.” He has plans for this one-hour docu to be shown internationally, perhaps theatrically, and in schools everywhere. This is Gordon’s first directorial outing in 14 years, since he did promos for MTV. One of his bosses was Frank Doelger — who exec produces “Children Remember the Holocaust” with Howard Meltzer. Yes, Gordon forewarns, during some scenes you’ll want to avert your eyes — but never erase them from your memory … Gordon returns to the bigscreen with a romantic comedy, “Moonbeams in a Jar” (as in “Would you like to swing on a star/Carry …”) for Douglas/Reuther, with Jonathan Feldman (“Swing Kids” ) scripting.

WHAT DO ADOLPH ZUKOR, Michael Curtiz, Bela Lugosi, George Cukor, Andy Vajna, Joe Eszterhas, Goldie Hawn and Debra Winger have in common? They are of Hungarian descent and are soon to be honored at a “Global Festival of Hungarians in Film.” The Oct. 27-29 event will be held in Budapest with ministers of culture from 35 countries of the Council of Europe participating. Visiting L.A. is Sandor Simon, director general of Hungary’s Office for Intl. Relations. Event culminates with a gala in Budapest’s National Opera House … Among Lana Turner items to be auctioned today at Christie’s in N.Y., the “confession” letter from “The Postman Always Rings Twice”; it was actually signed for the scene by Lana, as Cora Smith. Also to be auctioned, a 14-karat “slave bracelet” given Lana by Frank Sinatra. Daughter Cheryl Crane says there’s a warehouse full of Lana’s stuff (“she kept everything”) and more auctions will be upcoming. She has an idea for some of the things — a mini-museum — on the site of Schwab’s drugstore on Sunset and Crescent Heights where legend had it Lana was discovered; it’s now a Virgin Megastore and multiplex. I asked Cheryl about (hairdresseer) Eric Root’s upcoming book, “The Private Diary of Lana Turner” (Dove) and she claimed ignorance, but added, “I’m not concerned and I really don’t care”… Debbie Reynolds and Peter White, who plays her boyfriend in Albert Brooks’ “Mother,” have some “sexually active and imaginative scenes,” sez White. “But (Albert’s character) is always getting in our way!” White also plays Ellen DeGeneres’ father in “Mr. Wrong” and Anthony Edwards’ attorney in “E.R.”… Alison Anders is now editing “Grace of My Heart,” exec produced by Martin Scorsese; he says, “I can relate to her methods and am excited to be working with her. As a director, she brings a personal intensity to her portrayals of modern women that I find gutsy, honest and wise”… Mary Lambert, who directed “Pet Sematary” and its first sequel, directs her first vidpic, CBS’ “Face of Evil” for Larry Thompson.

“THE CHRISTMAS SONG” by Mel Torme and Bob Wells is celebrating its 50th anni and MTV airs it in heavy rotation today … Sally Marr, the late Lenny Bruce’s mom, undergoes bypass surgery today at Cedars-Sinai … Walter Matthau, recuping at home after his surgery, was unable to attend the preem party of “Grumpier Old Men,” but was phoned congrats from co-stars Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret, Sophia Loren and Buzz Meredith, there along with Kevin Pollak and Daryl Hannah, director Howard Deutch and (very-attentive-to-Matthau) producer John Davis. Davis’ parents, Barbara and Marvin, of course attended the preem and party at Chasen’s, reopened for the night for Along Came Mary’s Italian cuisine … Charlton Heston was back at the commissary of his alma mater, Paramount, autographing 400 copies (a sellout) of his book, “In the Arena” (Simon & Schuster) … The Laugh Factory’s Jamie Masada hosts his 17th free Christmas dinner for “lonely/struggling” members of the showbiz community — as he had at Thanksgiving.

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