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FLASHES

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PLEASE, MR. JONES: These days, it isn’t just journalists who are getting the cold shoulder from the ever-caustic and press-shy Tommy Lee Jones. While filming Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers in Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Ill., Jones had no time for cell-side chatter with the convicts. Instead, says Ron Verkuilen of the Illinois Film Office, when asked by an inmate, ”Hey, Tommy, are you the bad guy or the good guy in this movie?” Jones replied, curtly: ”Pay $7 and find out yourself.” P.S. It’s neither-he’s the warden. -Casey Davidson BRIEF ENCOUNTER: Gay activists are once again coming between Marky Mark and his Calvins. The rapper, who allegedly hurled an antigay epithet and slugged an executive at Maverick Records, is now under fire from an ad hoc group calling itself ”Boycott Calvin!” Its manifesto urges citizens to ”Shred your Calvins and send them to the homophobe himself”; then it prints Mark’s Braintree, Mass., address. A Mark spokesman denies that any ripped garments have arrived in the mail. Calvin Klein says the boycott will have no impact on the long-running campaign or Mark’s impending contract renewal. His re- signing, says a Klein spokeswoman, depends on whether ”we continue with this concept.” -Nisid Hajari

LOOKING OUT FOR NO. 1: Although Robert Altman’s Short Cuts features considerable female nudity as well as a scene of Huey Lewis urinating, the film will open in October with an R rating. How did the director avoid a skirmish with the Motion Picture Association of America? ”The nudity wasn’t meant to provoke or to titillate, it was just there,” says Cuts producer Cary Brokaw. Lewis’ scene, however, was a little more calculating. ”If female genitalia was shown,” says Brokaw, ”Bob felt that male genitalia should get equal time. That was part of the decision to have the urinating scene.” Was it necessary to show that on screen? ”People do that,” argues Brokaw, ”and it’s time it was on camera.” -James Greenberg

THE CRYING GAME: It might as well be called The Joy Luck Tub. To hype the tearjerker The Joy Luck Club, the film adaptation of Amy Tan’s best-selling novel, Disney has been distributing tissues outside screenings in New York and Los Angeles. ”It was just out of consideration of people in the audience,” says a Disney spokeswoman. But Tan, who also cowrote the script, was embarrassed by the flagrant marketing move: ”I think it’s a little forceful. What do you think? A little tacky?” And the giveaway may not have had the effect Disney desired. ”I don’t know whether people were taking tissues because they were really crying,” says an usher, ”or because they were free.” -Jessica Shaw

DEAD RECKONING: So much for the best-laid plans of actor Joe Pantoliano, who plays Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive. In the Harrison Ford blockbuster, Pantoliano was supposed to bite the dust in a final confrontation with Dr. Kimble, but he begged for a stay of execution. ”I went to director Andy Davis and said, ”I don’t wanna die!” says Pantoliano. Was the actor trying to add to the plot’s development? ”No,” says Pantoliano, ”I wanted to be in the sequel.” As it turns out, Pantoliano’s appeal might have been for naught. ”Harrison already told me, ‘Joe, if there’s a sequel, I won’t do it.’ I told him, ‘They’ll just get another guy who wants to make $10 million to run around in the woods.”’ Is Bambi available? -Cindy Pearlman