GOOD MORNING: Why is Phil Alden Robinson “way behind” in his “civil rights project” with co-producer Sean Daniel at Universal? Because Robinson has been totally immersed for almost eight months in the human horrors of Bosnia. He just returned from another trip to Sarajevo, Robinson gets in and out via a U.N. plane and his own adventures would make for another movie — but he’s not interested in that — his only concern is trying to get the U.S. to do something about the state of war over there. “I feel so badly for them — they are people who have no life line. They are articulate, bright, Western people living under siege. They are determined to preserve their democracy and human dignity.” Last November, Robinson visited Yugoslavia with a group from the WGA and showed the footage on ABC’s “Nightline.” This past weekend, he returned with new footage and is again talking to ABC to air. He is desperately trying to bring over a group of 25 performers/musicians who formed themselves in a troupe of “Hair” as their response to the war. “They give free shows whenever they have electricity, when the shelling isn’t too bad,” reports Robinson. “I’d like the people here to get the message from them — more so than by looking at TV or reading the news. They (the group) are made up of Serbs, Croats, Muslims. Just like the population of Sarajevo which is 40% intermarried”… He’s been trying to get the State Dept. to give approval to put the group’s names on manifests of U.N. planes leaving Sarajevo daily (from an airport surrounded by Serbs). “Sixteen-eighteen planes fly in fully loaded with supplies — and depart empty. There are empty seats every day.” Robinson knows first hand. He says local Congressman Howard Berman is being very helpful and “the private sector” has raised $ 150,000 to bring them over. They would perform in the Public Theater of N.Y., the Kennedy Center in D.C., and here in L.A. “to raise public awareness of the Bosnia situation — to tell people what it’s really like.” And yes, they’d also visit U.S. hospitals where Bosnian injured are being treated.
Popular on Variety
LIFE IMITATING ART? “Remember,” the four-hour NBC mini version of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s novel about terrorism and politics, was filming in Dublin during a siege of four IRA bank robberies. In one of the robberies, cast member Claire Bloom’s (and Rod Steiger’s) daughter was held hostage, reports Jonathan Estrin, who exec produces with Shelley List and Robert Bradford. While in Dublin , he says the company “took extra precautions” and the Irish police would not let ’em bring in their prop guns from the previous Holland location and instead issued their own phonies … The mini stars Donna Mills, Stephen Collins, Ian Henderson and Bloom and is directed by John Herzfeld (who also co-wrote). They’re the first American company to take advantage of the Irish tax incentive program, Section 35, to bring movie production over there. Ireland’s H.R. Prods. co-produces with the Estrin/List/NBC group … The location was originally set in England but shifted for the tax break. Ditto was the shift from France locations to Holland as the franc was too high — and a chase was rewritten into the canals. And the Greek location was shifted to Barcelona where the peseta’s more favorable. “It’s financially and artistically more attractive,” said Estrin … The mini airs Oct. 24-25 opposite the World Series. The producers aren’t worried. They say last year their Danielle Steel “Jewels” batted OK against the series … Next year Estrin and List hope to reteam with Donna Mills on Anne River Siddons’ “Hilltown”– which they’ll shoot in Italy where they hope the lira will be favorable. And the producers will team with Ireland’s Morgan O’Sullivan banner and England’s ITV for “Spring & Winter” to shoot at Ireland’s Ardmore Studio.
YOU SHOULDN’T WORRY. Despite Tuesday’s announced cancellation of previous plans to reunion, Menahem Golan and cousin Yoram Golan will be in bizness together again. “We are doing it differently,” Menahem admitted to me yesterday. And they are already negotiating talent for their upcoming projects … Michael Mann will direct the James Dean biopic at WB for producer Marvin Worth. There’s a great role in Israel Horovitz’s Dean script for a thesp to play Jack L. Warner … Spelling Entertainment’s topper Ron Lightstone returned from Venice, where he viewed their (and Fine Line’s) “Short Cuts” by Robert Altman and in London, where he saw their (and Savoy’s) Richard Attenborough-directed Tony Hopkins/Debra Winger-starrer, “Shadowlands,” both of which, he says, are Oscar nominee contenders. Spelling’s talking a reteaming with both Altman and Attenborough. Next for Spelling is foreign distribution of the so-called “Young & Reckless” program of $ 1.5 million remakes by AIP for Showtime/CBSFox Video.