MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the works of director Francis Ford Coppola as the two met for tea at the Kremlin before Coppola received a film award.
"In Russia your works are well known and highly valued," Putin told Coppola during a televised portion of the meeting Saturday. He said he was not just referring to "The Godfather" - which is extremely popular in Russia - but also to films "that so accurately tell of the horrors of war."
Coppola, in turn, lauded Putin's speech marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops, during which Putin said he was ashamed of anti-Semitism's existence in Russia.
"Excellent speech," Coppola said. "But in person you look much younger than you did on TV."
Coppola was in Moscow to receive a Golden Eagle award from Russia's National Academy of Cinematic Arts and Sciences for his contribution to world cinematography.
Coppola gave Putin a DVD of "Lost in Translation," for which his daughter, Sofia Coppola, won an Oscar for best original screenplay in 2004.
Coppola told Putin that both he and his daughter had won their first Oscar at age 32, and the Russian president responded, "Now your granddaughter must do it."
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Former NBA star Dennis Rodman said he has resolved a dispute with an industry group that accused him of using copyrighted music without permission at his California restaurant.
Rodman has agreed to pay licensing fees back to 2002 and has signed a new agreement with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, his publicist, Shannon Barr, told the Los Angeles Times for Saturday's editions.
Rodman said he was unhappy about the ASCAP's rule that commercial establishments must pay fees for the use of any of its eight million copyrighted songs and compositions performed live, played on jukeboxes or piped in from radio stations.
"But hey, what can you do?" said Rodman, who has attracted publicity because of his brief marriage to Carmen Electra, wild partying and brushes with the law.
"We are under new management now, and I have taken every precaution that things like this do not happen again," he said in an e-mail to the Times.
Rodman's, formerly known as Josh Slocum's, was the only California eatery named in a lawsuit filed by the ASCAP. The suit named restaurants in 15 states.
A call to ASCAP Saturday was not immediately returned.
ASCAP represents about 200,000 songwriters and composers who are paid royalties. The agency and Broadcast Music Inc. hold the licensing rights to the majority of popular songs.
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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) - Neo-soul rock band Maroon 5 will perform the opening musical number at next month's Grammy Awards.
"It's going to be awesome," lead singer Adam Levine said Thursday. "We're going to do 'This Love' unless they change it up on us and say, OK, 'Superfreak.'"
Maroon 5 has earned two Grammy nominations for its debut album, "Songs About Jane," which has sold more than eight million copies since its June 2002 release and was the seventh best-selling album in 2004. The Grammies are televised Feb. 13.
The band was also recently announced as the HEAD:r on the 35-city Honda Civic Tour that begins March 11 in Los Angeles. Levine said the environmentally conscious group initially was reluctant to sign on with a corporate sponsor, but became enthusiastic because of the automaker's hybrid car.
"It's really very personal and I don't feel any shame," he said. "We're not going to have to tattoo Honda on our forehead."
Other bands scheduled to appear on the tour include Phantom Planet, the Donnas and the Thrills.
On the Net:
The Grammy Awards: http://www.grammy.com/
Honda Civic Tour: http://www.civictour.com/
PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - A "Hollywood Graffiti" gown signed by more than 350 stars, including Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn, has kicked off the first leg of its world tour at a Michigan museum.
The gown, designed by Randy McLaughlin and Jerry Skeels, was displayed at the Port Huron Museum Saturday and Sunday. The worldwide tour will take it to Trinidad and Tobago, India and Austria for Vienna's Life Ball, one of Europe's largest AIDS fund-raisers.
In two years, the dress will be auctioned off for a minimum bid of $1 million, but McLaughlin said the final offer could be much higher. Proceeds from the gown's sale will be used for AIDS research.
McLaughlin and Skeels run Jeran Design in Los Angeles and have a shop in West Hollywood, Calif. Their work has been featured in magazines such as Esquire and Playboy.
Last June, the pair received the fashion industry's 2004 Golden Needle Humanitarian Award, honoring them for their support of AIDS awareness, education and prevention.
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