IN BRIEF: Crash clash at TIFF; British troupe to tackle Bard's complete canon; more

Quick arts hits: Different film, same title irks original makers of Crash; Pricey Cash auction; more.

Different film, same title irks original makers of Crash

A new film screening at the Toronto film festival has invoked the ire of celebrated Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg and producers Robert Lantos and Victor Loewy.

Crash is the feature film directorial debut of ex-pat Canadian Paul Haggis. Distributor Lions Gate Films recently picked it up for $4 million US.

However, Crash is also the name of the controversial 1996 film by Cronenberg, Lantos and Loewy.

Haggis, who left London, Ont., about 30 years ago and became a successful Hollywood TV writer, told a film fest audience that he owned Cronenberg an apology, "but I couldn't think of another title."

He argued that many films have had the same title: Bad Boys was a 1983 film starring Sean Penn as well as a 1995 one starring Will Smith, and The Patriot was the title of a film released in 1986, a 1998 Steven Seagal movie and a 2000 Mel Gibson flick.

Cronenberg told the Canadian Press he wished Haggis "would call his movie something else.

"It's self-defeating if they use the same title, and will just lead to a lot of confusion and marketing problems," he said – for example, when both films are available on DVD.

However, the director has left any legal action up to Loewy, president of the distribution wing of Alliance Atlantis, who is sending the producers of Haggis's film a letter claiming rights to the title.

NEW YORK - Cash auction gets off to pricey start

The long-awaited auction of items from the estates of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash made more than $1 million US Tuesday, the first day of the three-day event hosted by Sotheby's.

Collectors reportedly paid as much as 15 times the expected amount for items belonging to the late country music icons.

The highest-selling item was an acoustic guitar custom-made in the 1960s for Johnny Cash. Sharon Graves, who inherited an extensive collection of memorabilia when her husband – a longtime Cash fan – died last year, bought the guitar for $131,200 US.

The guitar was one of almost 800 items to be auctioned. In addition to musical instruments, a selection of the couple's stage outfits, gold records, Grammy Awards, handwritten lyrics, jewellery, furniture, art and guns were scheduled to cross the auction block.

Over the years, Cash and his wife had themselves initiated auctions of their possessions, in order to share memorabilia with their fans.

LONDON - British troupe to tackle Bard's complete canon

A British theatre group announced Tuesday plans to perform all the written works of William Shakespeare in one season.

The Royal Shakespeare Company said that, in addition to all his well-known plays, their seven-month-long Complete Works of Shakespeare Festival would include performances of the Bard's poetry and sonnets.

"It is the first time that Shakespeare's entire canon has ever been performed together at the same event," the company said in a statement.

The festival is scheduled to begin in April 2006 and will feature theatre companies from around the world. Performances will take place at Royal Shakespeare Company theatres and around the Bard's hometown of Stratford upon Avon.