American films influence Almodovar

GOOD MORNING: Where will you next see clips of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Double Indemnity”? In “Bad Education,” the next film from director Pedro Almodovar, which will star Gael Garcia Bernal (“Y tu mama tambien”). The influence of American movies on the life and films of Almodovar was evident in his “Talk to Her” (“The Night of the Hunter”) and “All About My Mother” (“All About Eve” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”). And he continues in his next. While Spain did not submit Almodovar’s “Talk to Her” as its entry in the foreign-language Oscar race (Fernando Leon’s “Mondays in the Sun” is Spain’s contender), “Talk,” which won the Golden Globe’ foreign-lingo prize, is definitely eligible in Oscar’s picture and director categories. The film has won five European Film Awards. I asked Almodovar about not having received his country’s Oscar entry nod; he admitted, “It is a difficult question for me.”

NICOLAS CAGE, WHO PLAYED TWINS in “Adaptation” tells me, “It’s time for me to discover and enjoy my own company.” Since filming the arduous dual role in “Adaptation,” he has starred in “Matchstick Men,” produced “The Life of David Gale” and directed James Franco in “Sonny,” which Cage calls “a labor of love.” All during a time in his life when he was undergoing personal drama — the breakup of his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley. “I’m single and I’m in the place where I can find my own spiritual self and not be weighed down,” he said. He’s not dating anyone and has not skedded his next film project. He says he’d never tackle a dual role again. How’d he do it? “Playing to a tennis ball with an ‘x’ marked on it and listening to an earpiece — but it was five times as much dialogue.” I asked him which twin he preferred playing? “I connected with ‘Charlie’ but others preferred ‘Donald.'” But put them together and he’s received many awards for playing both.

THE TALENTED, ARTISTIC HAND of Al Hirschfeld was to have been lensed drawing an impression of Bob Hope. Gary Smith who is exec producing NBC’s two-hour special “100 Years of Hope and Humor,” had been set to meet with Hirschfeld in N.Y. today, and the new drawing would have opened up the special with a collage of the many impressions of Hope drawn by Hirschfeld over the decades. Hirschfeld would have been 100 on June 21 and Hope will be 100 May 29. Dann Netter and Steve Feld produce the special… Today Lorne Michaels and the “Saturday Night Live” writers are readying Sunday’s NBC answer to the Super Bowl’s halftime show (on ABC, natch). The 24½ minute NBC’er, “Weekend Update,” live from “SNL’s” Studio 8H promptly at halftime, is “definitely a challenge,” Michaels admits. When I asked if might contain references to the game itself, he laughingly said, “Well, we’ll be watching it, you can be sure.” And if the game turns out to be a laugher by halftime? … On Feb. 3 Michaels will be honored by Amfar at Cipriani’s 42nd Street. “SNL’S” Tina Fey will host … Super Bowl fever has spread to North San Diego’s Legoland, where today an eight-foot-tall replica — made entirely of Legos — of the Vince Lombardi Trophy will be unveiled. It weighs 400 pounds and is made of 30,000 Lego pieces. Celebs expected to attend include Charlie Sheen, Brooke Burke, Estella Warren, Joely Fisher, Chris Tucker, Renee Taylor and their families. And a lineup of football greats … Add sports note: Kevin James, Sony Pictures TV’s Steve Mosko, Revolution Studios’ Rob Moore and Tom Sherak plus pro golfer Cory Pavin finished first in the (rain-shortened) Sony Open Pro-Am Golf Tourney in Honolulu.

“I PLAY HIS MO-MO-MO-THER.” Michele Lee could barely get the word out of her mouth when she told me she is co-starring in an untitled Universal feature, playing Ben Stiller’s mother. John Hamburg directs the pic, which also stars Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing, Hank Azaria and Bob Dishy as Lee’s husband … Kirk Douglas is not slowing down — he starts the new year by starring in “The Illusion” for Entitled Entertainment. Michael Goorjian debut-directs … Johnny Grant will be partied on his 80th birthday May 10 at the Hollywood & Highland grand ballroom by the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. The museum will stage a “Hollywood Salutes the Troops” exhibit for the night toasting Grant whose record of bringing entertainers (and entertainment) to the troops is unmatched over a half-century.

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