Eastwood lashes out at Lee

An ugly row has broken out between two of the nation's top film directors - a row whose real victim can only be cinema itself.

It began last month at Cannes when Do the Right Thing and 4 Little Girls auteur Spike Lee criticized Clint Eastwood for not featuring any black actors in his WWII sagas, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. "Many . . . African Americans who survived that war are upset," Lee said.

On Friday, Eastwood told London's Guardian that Lee "should shut his face." Flags, he said, is about "the famous flag-raising" photo taken at Iwo Jima, which doesn't show any black soldiers. "If I go ahead and put an African American actor in there, people'd go: 'This guy's lost his mind,' " Eastwood said.

In a counterpunch, Lee told ABCNews.com that Eastwood "sounds like an angry old man."

"If he wishes, I could assemble African American men who fought at Iwo Jima," he said.

Hopper joins TV's 'Crash'

Famed cinematic weirdo

Dennis Hopper

will costar with

Clare Carey

and

Luis Chavez

on cabler Starz Entertainment's series

Crash

. Based on the critically acclaimed 2004 film,

Crash

will "explore the complexities of social tolerance in contemporary America." Look for an October premiere.

Liv goes back to work

Liv Tyler

, who has finished filming

The Strangers

and

The Incredible Hulk

back to back, tells Entertainment Weekly she took a long maternity leave to spend real time with her 3-year-old son,

Milo

.

"I had a child because I wanted to be a mother and not because I wanted an accessory," she says. Asked whom she turns to for advice about the baby, Liv says she reaches out to Gwyneth Paltrow every time. "It's always 911-Gwyneth," she says. So what's her dream movie project? A musical, she says: "I wanna sing! I wanna dance!"

Keira as Eliza Doolittle?

Speaking of musicals, the lovely (and the talented, and the clever)

Keira Knightley

is about to take the biggest risk of her life - at least, as far as

Audrey Hepburn

devotees are concerned. The

Pirates of the Caribbean

wenchette is in talks to star in a remake of

Lerner and Loewe

's beloved musical

My Fair Lady

, which was first filmed in '64 by

George Cukor

.

Fiddy Val

Big stars often give little tokens of appreciation to their costars - say, a nice watch. In Touch Weekly says rapper

50 Cent

has really taken that tradition to heart, gifting his

Streets of Blood

costar

Val Kilmer

with a 1965 Chevy Impala worth . . . $100,000.

CBS signs SLJ

E!Online says

Samuel L. Jackson

has just signed an impressive, prestigious first-look deal with CBS-TV, which will have the thesp developing and exec-producing CBS shows through his Uppity Films company. Best, SLJ will also make guest appearances on CBS shows.

Policing public television

The Police

say they will end their reunion tour with an Aug. 7 show at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden to benefit New York PBS stations Thirteen/WNET and WLIW21. Fans can get tickets only by making a pledge to either station on Saturday.

Carmen feels the heat

Celebrities get wedding jitters just like normal folk. But it's so much harder on the dears, who typically go through three or four spouses a lifetime. Take twice-divorced

Carmen Electra

, who says she's sick of being asked if she and her guitarstud,

Rob Patterson

, have set a wedding date. "If it was up to everybody else, we'd be married and divorced already," Carmen says.

VF rebuffs Gershon

Vanity Fair says it stands by its story about

Bill Clinton

despite

Gina Gershon

's demands the story be retracted because of insinuations it makes about her relationship with the former president. A rep for the mag tells TMZ.com the story "does not indicate" there has been an "improper relationship."

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.
This column contains information from Inquirer wire services and from Web sites.