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Cyber Digest

From Anna Nicole Smith’s website to Leonardo DiCaprio’s film festival, a weekly spin on the web

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WIDOW’S PIQUE
Lots has been said — much of it not very flattering — about model-actress-widow Anna Nicole Smith. She’s a woman of big ambition, sizable bones, and, it seems, bottomless chutzpah. Last we looked, her website (annanicolesmith.com), which features several come-hither photos of the onetime Playboy centerfold but very little else, was accessible only by subscription — at $3.95 per 30 days (conveniently deducted from your credit card every cycle). In view of last month’s court ruling that Smith is owed $450 million from the estate of her late husband (J. Howard Marshall II, who died in 1995 at age 90), we respectfully suggest that Smith reconsider her site’s business model. The monthly fee hardly seems necessary at this point, even if the AnnaCam — which the site teases as a future feature — is eventually turned on.

ALL HAIL LEO
Speaking of chutzpah (we are, after all, in the high season of Sen. Joe Lieberman), Leonardo DiCaprio’s immodestly titled LeoFest 2000 online short-film festival (leofest.com) is… well, it ain’t what it used to be. Or where it used to be. Retitled The Savage Sideshow, the fest has moved to AtomFilms (www.savagesideshow. atomfilms.com). If you’ve got a submission, act quickly. The competition is slated to begin some time in November.

CRITICAL MESS
When film critic Roger Ebert recently selected his Chicago Sun-Times colleague Richard Roeper to replace the late Gene Siskel on the long-running Siskel & Ebert TV show, one of those seemingly most peeved was Michael Wilmington, the movie critic at the Chicago Tribune, where Siskel had worked. ”It’s clear in certain areas that [Roeper] is talking about things he doesn’t know about,” he’s quoted as saying at Chicago Magazine‘s website (www. chicagomag.com). Responded Roeper in the same story: ”I’ve probably seen as many movies as anybody who hasn’t been a full-time film critic over the last 20 years.”

THE SIMPSONS, EH?
D’oh! What a Coincidence Department: Half of the executive producers and plenty of other creative contributors who’ve worked on the Emmy-winning Fox animated show have deals with Icebox.com, an original-content website. Mmmmm… new economy.

THE BINKS JOB
Ifilm.com has posted a short film titled Jar Jar Binks: E! True Hollywood Story, a spirited spoof that purports to finally get the goods on the Star Wars character (www.ifilm.com/ifilm/skeletons/film_detail/0,1263,430452,00.html). The filmlet, a companion piece to Web hit George Lucas in Love, describes the creature as a drunken druggie. Ouch. Good thing Jar Jar doesn’t have a real-world Hollywood publicist.

THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE…
No surprise that the John Travolta bomb Battlefield Earth was voted Worst Picture in the latest Internet Movie Awards balloting (www.the-trades.com/ima), or that Gladiator was a triple winner (including Best Picture and Best Actor Russell Crowe). But IMA webmaster Raul Burriel reports lots of interest in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, starring Forest Whitaker. The near-invisible Jim Jarmusch pic just missed making it into the final round. ”It just shows how worldly our contributors are,” says Burriel.

NOTE THIS DATE: OCTOBER 17, 2000
eYada.com sponsors a Gossip Summit in New York City (www.eyada.com). Panelists include gossip reporters from E! Online, USA Today, and MSNBC.