GOOD MORNING: The U.S. Department of Justice (per the FBI) will show “One Day in September” to its SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team assigned to the Olympic Village in Salt Lake City as “an excellent training tool.” In a letter to Arthur Cohn, producer of the Oscar-winning docu, SWAT coordinator Craig Arnold said he’d seen the film last year and at that time, noted the potential value of showing the film to the Olympics overseers. He said he will “be using the film to brief the members of the (SWAT) team prior to our deployment.” He also commended Cohn for producing “such an excellent documentary.” The film, following its theatrical distribution and honors, aired on HBO on Sept. 11 — 2000 — exactly one year before this year’s terrorist tragedies, and on the anniversary of the Sept. 5, 1972 Palestinian terrorist murders of Israeli Olympic athletes at the Munich Olympic Village — just six miles from Dachau, site of one of the Nazi death machines. The docu captured on camera one surviving Palestinian terrorist, again back in Africa, having originally been sent by Arafat to be trained in Libya with the other seven Palestinian terrorists. This story of terrorism had been shown theatrically around the world prior to its HBO airing and Daily Variety‘s reviewer noted “It should spark interest and debate for years to come.” But obviously not enough action on how to respond to terrorism … Miramax (domestically) and Buena Vista (most countries overseas) will distribute Cohn’s new film, “Behind the Sun,” directed by Walter Salles of Cohn’s “Central Station.” Filmed in never-before locationed Brazilian badlands, it is the story of a feud between two families and their resolution. “Behind the Sun” world-preems Nov. 27 at the Academy, with invitations from the AFI, which also preemed his “Central Station,” “Garden of the Finzi-Contini,” “Black and White in Color,” “Dangerous Moves,” and “One Day in September.”
IT TOOK THE UNITED NATIONS to gain Rip Torn the right to use his Internet site, namely riptorn.com. The domain name had been previously registered by Nathan Freedman of Ontario, Canada. Torn admitted to me, “I’ve always been the most private person, but now I’ll put pictures (on the site) and five minute movies and — ?” He is re-creating his role of Agent Zed in “Men In Black II” and admits to me that some scenes had to be re-written in the story of saving New York City from aliens — like a scene with the Statue of Liberty, he noted. He also completed “Rolling Kansas” a comedy for actor-turned-director Thomas Hayden Church, also his rancher-neighbor in Texas. And happily, Torn will be seen again in his role of Artie, Garry Shandling’s boss in HBO’s terrif “Larry Sanders Show” which is to air again — in syndication reruns … Along with its auction of a Charlie Chaplin cane and two locks of Napoleon’s hair, a signed copy of President Bush’s Sept. 20 speech before the joint sessions of Congress will be among items to be auctioned by Butterfield’s Nov. 6. No Oscars, Emmys or other award statuettes at this sale … The Sunday night crowd at Matteo’s is accustomed to being blase about celebs putting away the pasta there — but on Sunday there was a crush of the curious at one table when “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh arrived. You recall it was at the request of the FBI that Walsh hosted a special seg of the series Oct. 13, which they screened the 22 “most wanted” terrorists who were revealed by President Bush two days earlier.
FAMILY NIGHT AT THE OPERA: there were Domingos in front of us — Placido conducting the wonderful L.A. Opera in Verdi’s “La Traviata”; director Marta Domingo, backstage, directing the production which received repeated ovations from the audience. And behind us, the talented Domingo sons, filmmakers Alvaro and Pepe Domingo, often lending their voices to cheer for the singers, the scenery, the costumes — even though our reviewer thought otherwise. As Livingston and Evans wrote, “To Each His Own.” And also a celebration for Placido Domingo Jr. and wife Samantha who welcomed a son that very night in Florida. It was more of a celebration after the performance at the Hispanics for Los Angeles Opera gala fifth annual Plalcido Domingo Award dinner in the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Winners this year are: Ana Maria Martinez, who stars as Violetta in “La Traviata,” Marta Domingo, director, and philanthropist Alberto Vilar. Among those celebrating the night were: Charlize Theron, Angela Bassett, Hector Elizondo, Angelica Huston and Robert Graham, Betty and Fred Hayman, Barbara and Wolfgang Puck … Hershey Felder and James Barbour star in the world preem of “Back From Broadway,” Nov. 24 at the Tiffany Theater on Sunset. Joel Zwick directs. The show next heads to West Palm Beach, Fla. … Norm Crosby , who has completed his treatments, was at El Caballero Country Club Monday to cheer on golfers playing in the 14th annual Norm Crosby/Apparel Industry Golf tourney benefiting the City of Hope. Norm is in his 18th year as the cancer center’s national goodwill ambassador … The National Association of Theater Owners, the Academy, Technicolor and others will present “Hollywood Celebrates the Spirit of America,” a five-minute montage of values and virtues of our country. Created by Oscar-winning filmmaker Chuck Workman and FilmClips, it will be shown in theaters during the Christmas holiday and given free to educators.