David Puttnam was on his best behavior when he received the Second Century award from Eastman Kodak at a Hollywood luncheon thisweek -- which means the former Columbia Pictures chief didn't say anything too nasty about the way business is done in the town that made his brief stint as a studio head such a rocky one.
But then, Puttnam didn't need to be outspoken and controversial when he picked up the award -- which is given to a filmmaker or executive who encourages young talent -- because that role was taken by Roland Joffe', the director who worked on "The Mission" and "The Killing Fields" for then-producer Puttnam. Joffe' used the occasion to spin a fable about a brave man, El Ingles (i.e., "the Englishman," i.e., David Puttnam), who journeyed to a mythical land where an embattled ground called Los Creativos was being set upon by the armies of El Vested Interest. El Ingles, said Joffe', announced to the vile El Packagero (i.e., the powerful talent agents that Puttnam openly criticized) that he and the Atlanta-based Seventh Cavalry (i.e., the power of the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., which owns Columbia) were going to fight for Los Creativos; but when it came time for the battle, the Seventh Cavalry turned on El Ingles and drenched him in Coke.
"I don't know if any of you has ever left your keys in a bottle of Coke overnight," concluded Joffe'. "But one small Englishman had a lot of trouble." The speech, naturally, was a huge hit with the audience, which included top executives from Warner Bros., Universal and Paramount but none of the brass from Columbia, Coke or the Coke-owned Tri-Star.
British Academy Nominees
The big winners among the nominees for the 1987 British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards are "Hope and Glory," "Jean de Florette," "Cry Freedom" and "Radio Days." John Boorman's "Hope and Glory" had the most nominations with 13, while the French "Florette" received 10 and the other two films seven each. "The Untouchables," "Wish You Were Here," "Prick Up Your Ears," "84 Charing Cross Road" and "Platoon" are also up for several of the awards, which never quite correspond with the American Academy Awards because of differences in release dates. Oscar nominations, by the way, will be announced Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time (8:30 Eastern time).
Strong 'Attraction' in Europe
"Fatal Attraction" is apparently as much a cause ce'le`bre overseas as it is in the United States; since its opening in England a month ago and its debut in continental Europe last week, the movie has been breaking box office records. In Great Britain, it broke close to 20 individual house records with what its distributor says was the most successful opening of any film there. In Australia, meanwhile, "Fatal Attraction" had the biggest opening-week total ever for a non-Australian film.
Norman Jewison's first directing assignment after "Moonstruck" will be a movie version of Bobbie Ann Mason's "In Country," a novel about a young girl obsessed with the war in Vietnam, where her father was killed and her uncle exposed to Agent Orange. "Dog Day Afternoon" writer Frank Pierson has written the script, which will start shooting this summer ... Paramount Pictures sent three top executives to Phoenix to attend a U2 concert where much of a tour documentary on the rock band was being shot -- and that move might have helped, because Paramount has reportedly made a deal to distribute the still-untitled film, directed by Steven Spielberg prote'ge' Philip Joanou. It's expected out this fall ... It looks as if the people behind the latest reworking of "A Christmas Carol" have settled on the title "Scrooged." Directed by Richard Donner, the movie features Bill Murray, Buddy Hackett, Robert Mitchum, Karen Allen, Alfre Woodard, Carol Kane and Michael J. Pollard; it's due out, naturally, next Christmas ... And with his career on a hot streak, comedian Jackie Mason has two more films lined up after he finishes filling Rodney Dangerfield's shoes in "Caddyshack II." He'll reportedly play a gynecologist in the Larry Gelbart comedy "Two Plus Two," then a detective in an untitled Warner Bros. film.