Technorati Tags: Alan Zweibel, Alec Baldwin, Bea Francko, Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley, Colin Cowie, David Burke, Dayle Reyfel, Debbie Reynolds, Dick Cavett, Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, Eugene Pack, George Plimpton, Hall & Oates, Jack Kerouac, Jennifer Tilly, Michael Milken, Mike Todd, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Ralph Macchio, Richard Burton
By the time we got there, the tent at Gardiner’s Farm was chockablock with browsers and book buyers, especially at one table where Gwyneth Paltrow signed copies of her It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great. Oglers snapped shots of her and Apple and Moses and Chris Martin. Nearby Robert A. Caro sat behind a pile of his now classic The Power Broker and newer biographies of Lyndon Johnson, Eric Fishl signed his autobiography, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas, and Clive Davis autographed The Soundtrack of My Life, excited for the book party to follow at Larry Gagosian’s. Kitty Pilgrim and Kitty Kelley had books, as did Philippe Petit and Nile Rodgers, although by the time we got to them, they had sold out. On the far side, Dr. Ruth in orange print had an assortment of her sexual how-to guides. Overheard: a fan said she looked like sherbet. He could eat her with a spoon. Not missing a beat, the pint-sized sex therapist replied: I’d like that.
Technorati Tags: Alec Baldwin, Barbara Goldsmith, Chris Martin. Eric Fishl, Clive Davis, Dr. Ruth, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Soffer, Kitty Kelley, Kitty Pilgrim, Larry Gagosian, Michael Braverman, Nile Rodgers, Padma Lakshmi, Philippe Petit, Robert A. Caro, Suzanne Corso
As emcee at the Nantucket Film Festival’s Tribute ceremony, at a former casino in Siasconset, on the island’s far end, mild mannered Brian Williams brought down the house riffing on an unfortunate white Buick Enclave rental, local produce like urine cheese, and pervasive V necked cashmere. Such was the truth-telling, even preppie WASPs lost control of their reticence on family secrets. Maybe Nantucket’s signature fog and rain contributed to the mood swings: count the suicides. Williams went dark, confessing he had an Irish uncle who died of drink. Who knew?
And so crazy got even crazier at last week’s film fest where a restored theater called Dreamland is the main venue, rife for celluloid induced mental states. There, Barbara Kopple, honored for best non-fiction storytelling screened her new documentary, Running from Crazy, tells the Hemingway family story through a focus on Mariel Hemingway’s activism on a family problem that affected her grandfather Ernest, sister Margaux, and several other family members, suicide.
Technorati Tags: Andrea Nix Fine, Barbara Kopple, Ben Stiller, Brian Williams, Bring Change to Mind, Chris Matthews, David O. Russell, Ernest Hemingway, Glenn Close, Joe Biden, Lake Bell, Life According to Sam, Margaux Hemingway, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Ian Black, Mike Myers, Nantucket Film Festival, Running from Crazy, Sean Fine, Seth Meyers
For those of us who remember the thrilling violence enacted by James Chance & the Contortions, the muted manifestations of “punk” at the Metropolitan Museum are outrage mediated, excitement without menace, and a study of how revolution passes into history. The crafted looks of Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang, Dolce & Gabbana, and others, including Guido Palau’s bubbled fur head pieces are amusing, and unlike Costume Institute events of the past, such as the exceptional 2011 Alexander McQueen show, where art transcended function, these are not looks I recognize from that era. Maybe that’s the point: a head trip, the Met “Punk” show offers many fascinations beyond the displayed facsimile of CBGB’s latrine, but punk vibe isn’t one of them.
Technorati Tags: Andrea Miller, Debbie Harry, Deborah Scott, Dolce & Gabbana, Ed Sanders, Fug, Gillian McCain, Guido Palau, Helmut Lang, James Chance & the Contortions, Legs McNeil, Malcom McLaren, Mandy Lyons, Met “Punk” show, New York Women in Film and Television Designing Women, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, The Ramones, Vivienne Westwood
At B. B. King’s on Sunday night, at the Writers Guild of America Award ceremony, amidst a lot of foul-mouthed laughs and sober minded speeches, writer/ director Nora Ephron was remembered. As a young novelist, Meg Wolitzer attested, she received a most important recognition when Nora Ephron called to say she wanted to adapt her book, This is Your Life (1988), for film. Ephron, who died last summer of cancer, was a champion of young talent. When Lena Dunham got up to receive her prize for new series, she too spoke about Ephron seeking her out. The Girls originator and star also told a story when at 15 her mom took her to Caroline’s Comedy Club to hear Lisa Lampanelli.
Technorati Tags: Bobby Cannavale, Chris Terrio, David Koepp, Fred Armisen, Gina Gershon, Jonathan Ames, Lena Dunham, Lisa Lampanelli, Louis CK, Malik Bendjelloul, Mark Boal, Meg Wolitzer, Meryl Streep, Mike Birbiglia, Nora Ephron, Richard Kind, Tony Mendez, Writers Guild of America Award
Back in the day, the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was all the rage. Paperbacks of A Coney Island of the Mind (1958) could be seen stuffed in jean pockets on college campuses, on subways. Even mainstream readers who were not particularly into poetry loved the surreal imagery of this verse. A decade later, books by Allen Ginsberg were not as popular, and those of Jack Kerouac were mainly out of print. Present at the historic Six Gallery reading where Ginsberg’s reading of Howl galvanized a poetry movement, and Kerouac passed a bottle of tokay, Ferlinghetti took action suggesting he put Ginsberg’s beat epic into print. This was the official dawning of a particularly American avant-garde literary movement: especially as founder of City Lights Books, publishing house and iconic San Francisco store, Ferlinghetti was at the center of The Beat Generation.
Even in the age of terrorism, the terror of the last century’s The Holocaust, has not lost its hold on the artistic imagination. As the victims of The Shoah are remembered at the United Nations and in synagogues worldwide, films continue to shed light on that darkest hour of the twentieth century. The Jewish Film Festival, an annual collaboration between the Film Society at Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum just ended with the New York premiere of Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic of Hannah Arendt, the writer/philosopher/educator, an émigré who covered the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem for The New Yorker magazine, famously coining the phrase, “the banality of evil.”
Technorati Tags: Adolf Eichmann, Art Spiegelman, Barbara Sukowa, Castaways, Clara Kuperberg, Hannah Arendt, Janet McTeer, Joelle Oosterlinck, Margarethe von Trotta, Pamela Katz, Slawomir Grunberg, The Art of Spiegelman, The Jewish Film Festival, Tomasz Wisnieski
Kerouac aficionados will have a fine time teasing out details director Walter Salles and scriptwriter Jose Rivera took from the 1957 On the Road publication vs. the 1951 scroll text, the ur-Road first published in 2007. For example, the first line of the new movie focuses on the father, but then the story flips to the fictional characters familiar to readers since 1957. In a further innovation, viewers will note that Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) talks to his mother (Marie Ginette-Guay) in a curious French, referencing Kerouac’s French Canadian roots. The writer, from an ethnic neighborhood in Lowell, Massachusetts, spoke a dialect called joual.
Interviewing surviving members of the beat generation in their research, the filmmakers spoke to Joyce Johnson, Kerouac’s girlfriend at the time that On the Road was published to become an overnight bestseller. The author of the memoir Minor Characters told them about her own study of Kerouac’s language. Looking for ways to give Sal speech, the filmmakers incorporated this source, reaching outside Kerouac’s text in creating French dialogue between mother and son. Recently published, Joyce Johnson’s new biography,The Voice is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac, traces the development of Kerouac’s prose style, showing how his French freed him to create his famous spontaneous narrative.
En route to L.A. for its West Coast premiere, Director Walter Salles introduced a private screening of his new film, On the Road, last week, pointing out that as a teen in his native Brazil, he was drawn to the characters in Jack Kerouac’s novel; they represented a freedom foreign to his homeland, where writing was censored. “This book about the creative process, this ode to literature, got to me. The characters became my heroes,” he said noting too his current inspirations: poets Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane Di Prima and Gary Snyder. So charming that Peggy Siegal now calls him her new BFF, Salles took on the making of this film, a project that has eluded Francis Ford Coppola for decades. In 2004, after he saw Salles’ Motorcycle Diaries, Coppola asked him to consider the un-filmable beat classic.
Technorati Tags: Alfred Leslie, David Amram, Diane Di Prima, Francis Ford Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola, Garrett Hedlund, Gary Snyder, George Wein, Gustavo Santaolalla, Jack Kerouac, John Sebastian, Jose Rivera, Kristen Stewart, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, On the Road, Paquito D’Rivera, Pete Seege, Peter Yarrow, Robert Frank, Tom Paxton, Walter Salles
If Penny Marshall’s honking nasalese leaps off the pages of her memoir, My Mother was Nuts, it’s not because she wrote the book. Rather, this is the work of a ghost writer, the best in the business, Todd Gold, said Marshall’s literary agent Daniel Strone of this well known secret. If he is writing Ann-Margret, he revealed, he’s playing the piano. If it’s Penny, he’s smoking and sipping martinis. He’s a chameleon. He’s Zelig.
This reporter is not spilling beans, simply separating the literary from the likes of celebrity memoirs, which have to be coaxed, cajoled, and bought into being. If I feared the demise of “the book” for the more ephemeral cyber publishing, Dan Strone assures me, there will always be a demand for celebrity memoirs, and none of their sort will spill their story for free. Whew! At least one book genre is here to stay.
Technorati Tags: Anderson Cooper, Anjelika Huston, Art Garfunkel, Carol Kane, Daniel Strone, Debra Winger, Fran Lebowitz ., Gayle King, Geena Davis, Kyle MacLachlan, Lorne Michaels, Madonna, Mariah Carey, My Mother Was Nuts, Peggy Siegal Company, Penny Marshall, Regis Philbin, Ron Perelman, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Kroft, The Monkey Bar