Seeking Mexico's help in fighting movie piracy, Motion Picture Association of America chief Dan Glickman visited with President Vicente Fox and other officials in Mexico City last week. But before the meeting, he stopped by a teeming open-air market to see for himself the vast array of just-released U.S. movies being sold as DVDs.
"I'm walking and all of a sudden I see 'The Pacifier,' " Glickman told us. The sleeve was labeled "El Pacifista," but it was obviously the Vin Diesel comedy that opened just the week before. Among its producers: Jonathan Glickman, who happens to be Glickman's Hollywood-based son.
MPAA chief Dan Glickman brought home the problem of movie piracy with a bootleg Mexican copy of his son's recent film "The Pacifier."
(Jim Ruymen - Reuters)
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"It was striking: Here's my son's movie. It hit close to home," Glickman says. He bought a copy and later showed it to Fox.
"This is not a surprise in a sense," says Glickman, who lobbies for the movie biz in Washington. Most films these days are quickly pirated by audience members using camcorders. He notes, "Congress is now working on a bill to make it a federal crime to camcord movies."
Glickman told us he didn't watch the bootlegged "Pacifier" but instead turned it over for a lab analysis that may determine the DVD's origins. And although he can't read Spanish, Glickman noticed these words on the back cover: No a la pirateria.
"I assume that means 'Do not pirate,' " he said, laughing. Actually it's closer to "Say no to piracy," but the irony is the same no matter how you translate it.
They Like Ike, to the Tune of $700
The kindness of strangers: After a Chicago pub-rock band called the Ike Reilly Assassination got into a squabble Saturday night over its place on the bill at the Velvet Lounge on U Street, the management told the musicians to hit the road before showtime. But as frontman Ike Reilly, his mates and road crew were about to leave unhappy and unpaid, two fans who witnessed the bum's rush went over and introduced themselves. They gave the band $500 to make up for the lost gig fee, Reilly said, and treated the seven ejectees to a $200 dinner in Bethesda.
Introducing themselves only as "Paul" and "Matt," the good Samaritans kept saying, "Don't give up on punk rock in D.C.," Reilly recalled yesterday to Post special correspondent Dave McKenna. Asked if he would ever bring the band back to the Velvet Lounge, the rocker said: "If I can go there again and not play and make $700, I guarantee I'll book it."
We Knew There Was Something Funny About That Joke
All hat, no cattle? A joke President Bush told recently in Montana struck several readers as very familiar when it was recounted in yesterday's Style section. In Bush's telling, the joke involved a city slicker asking for directions in Livingston and being told to look for two "cattle guards." Now, everyone in cowboy country knows a cattle guard is a metal grate that keeps livestock from straying. But this fellow is so clueless, he asks: "Hey, what color uniforms do those cattle guards have on?"
In 1978, when Dubya was running for Congress in Texas, the very same joke was on him. His Democratic opponent, Kent Hance, used that punch line to portray the 31-year-old Republican as a carpetbagging easterner. At a candidate forum, Hance got laughs by recounting how he'd given a lost motorist directions to a ranch, telling him to turn after seeing a cattle guard. And the man asks: "What color uniform will that cattle guard be wearing?"
In Hance's version, the city slicker was driving a Mercedes with Connecticut plates. The Connecticut-born Bush, who lost that race, didn't enjoy being the butt of the joke. But clearly he never lost his love for Texas cowboy humor.
Singer Cyndi Lauper moved a Washington audience to tears Saturday with an a cappella snippet of her '80s hit "True Colors." But it wasn't a concert: Lauper was here to pick up the annual Spotlight Award from the D.C. chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. More than 800 people attended PFLAG's gala at the Hyatt Regency, including Elen Lauper, Cyndi's lesbian sister. Robert York of Whitman-Walker Clinic, who arranged their appearance, told us: "Cyndi and Elen are truly an inspiration to all families."
And, speaking of gay pride: Is Rep. Barney Frank an irresistible sex symbol? On last week's "Real Time With Bill Maher," the Massachusetts Dem jokingly confided: "I try very hard to be a responsible citizen and as a gay man I try very hard to keep track of the marriages I have destroyed, and there really aren't that many. I may have some secret admirers out there and I may have wreaked more havoc than I realize, but they haven't called." (Frank's office number, folks, is 202-225 -- oh, never mind.)