Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via mcraeclan)

In: Lions Gate. There's a lot of media love for Lions Gate Films, which is being described, lovingly, as "small," and "scrappy." Awww: The little studio that could. It just doesn't get any hotter than Lion's Gate Films. According to TheReeler:

"Last weekend's stunning $30.5 million opening for Saw II has the film world chattering again about red-hot indie Lions Gate Film--in particular, about the unparalleled prowess the indie demonstrates in just about everything it tries these days. From green-lighting to acquisitions to marketing, writes the L.A Times Patrick Goldstein, LGF is stomping on convention and beating heavyweights like the MPAA and, most famously, Disney (rememeber Fahrenheit 9/11?) at their own games.

"... after scoring about a 550 percent profit on Saw II, LGF's bank statements are finally outvoicing its press statements."


The Trousersnake, yesterday, at Marqee. (image via hello!magazine/Rex)

Out: Justin Timberlake. Egos are a difficult thing to navigate generally -- it is so much more so in Hollywood, the world's capitol of egotism, than anywhere else. Just resign, Justin Trousersnake -- Resign! (The Corsair pours himself a glass of the black wine of Cahors, elixir of Popes) According to RadarOnline (link via Defamer):

"We hear that DreamWorks employees working on the third installment of the hugely profitable franchise are frightened that Cameron Diaz�s pop-star boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, is ruining the movie.

"The trouble began when DreamWorks execs asked Diaz�the voice of Fiona�if she had any ideas for the role of the Princess�s long-lost relative King Arthur, whom Shrek teaches to be a monarch. Before they could say 'Just kidding!,' the actress immediately pushed for Timberlake�a suggestion the studio didn�t think it could refuse, we�re told."

(A considerable pause) Jesus. Can you just see where this is heading?

�'The problem is that the plot of the movie basically rides on the back of this Artie character [the young King Arthur], and DreamWorks was having a helluva time casting it, trying to find the right young actor with the right voice,' says a source close to the studio. 'But after they made the mistake of mentioning it to Cameron, they were backed into a corner­. They needed her, so to keep her happy, they had to go with Justin. But when he came in to record he was just awful. Every other time they�ve brought on a new character�like Antonio Banderas or Rupert Everett�they�ve added to the mix. Timberlake is just a liability.'"

Reason number 7,673 why The Corsair doesn't invest in Hollywood studios (The other 7,000-odd involve the lack of funds), where hundred-million dollar-plus management decisions can be held hostage to .. fragile celebrity egos.


(image via infoimagination)

In: Arianna Huffington Versus Tim Russert. "Beat the Press?" Ceding the broken, fetid carcass that was once Judith Miller's journalistic career to Maureen Dowd, Arianna Huffington has moved on to juicier prey, namely, that alpha-male of the Washington press corps, one: Tim Russert. According to HuffPo (link via Romenesko):

"After reading today's New York Times story on Tim Russert, I had to go back and check the byline to make sure that the piece had really been written by Todd Purdum and not the NBC publicity department.

"Ostensibly a story about Russert's role in Plamegate, the piece is more hagiography than reportage.

"Purdum paints a number of different portraits of Russert. All of them glowing.

"We get the High Priest of Journalism, who 'now wields as much influence as any single working journalist in Washington' -- and to whom 'the cream of Washington officialdom presents itself for confession.'

"We get the two-fisted truth seeker, a 'newshound' 'who may be the capital's most intimidating interlocutor outside a courtroom or Congress.'

"We get the devout and self-sacrificing Choir Boy-Monk, who 'never goes out on Saturday nights, preferring to attend the 4 p.m. Catholic Mass at Georgetown University Hospital chapel before preparing for his program.'

"... What we don't learn is whether anyone has been critical of the way Russert has handled the Plamegate story."

-- Oh, it's on ... it's on like Gray Poupon. Story here.


Out: Neocons Verus Realists.We've finally gotten around to Jeffrey Goldberg's magnificent New Yorker piece on Brent Scowcroft and his estrangement from Bush 43 (Essentially, a largo variation on the air "Realists-versus-the-Neocons"). The liberal internationalism -- in the form of Richard Holbrooke -- makes a late, ancillary and essentially meaningless appearance in the piece (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment), not unlike the role of liberal internationalism in our present existential-geopolitical predicament (Averted Gaze).

This reminds The Corsair of an unheralded but delicious post we did a while ago called "Realpolitik World." It was one of our finest hours, but one that went by unnoticed. Here's a taste:

"This is the true story of seven strangers, picked to live in a house and have their lives taped, and find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting REAL. The RealPolitik World (TM)!"

"Scouting For Rooms

"William Kristol (in the confessional): The detention center where we all elected to reside was ... a less than tasteful affair (huffily). And, at the outset, I was kind of apprehensive about living with some real calculating Machiavellian Realists -- me being a Neocon and all -- but, hell, I did graduate studies in the social sciences at Harvard, so, well, how much worse could it be?

"Charles Krauthammer: I found the idea of Neocons living with Realists in full view of the cameras to be a novel idea, a theatrical production clearly cognizant of American willpower. How it would all turn out? Who would have predicted ...

"Francis Fukuyama: It was like eating pineapples on the Moon. (Cracked laughter)

"The members of the entire household avert their gaze from Fukuyama."

More here.


Diana Kamalova, Justin Portman, and Natalia Vodianova. (image via fashionweekdaily/Patrick McMullen)

In: Justin Portman's Avian Bird Flu Costume. (sotto Voce) Genius. We were going to do the rounds of Halloween parties as The Avian Bird Flu, but, as creative as we are, we had no fucking clue as to how to construe such a costume (We went as a Corsair instead). Further, it seemed unsanitary. Justin Portman did, however, manage to put something together, so you've got to give him some love. According to Fashionweekdaily:

"The former Cunard ship building downtown was transformed into a Roman palazzo complete with lemon trees, Cyprus woven pillars, lavish Roman bedroom settings, and custom built terraces and tented lounges. 'I like that it�s rock disco,' noted Tommy Hilfiger as he reveled in the VIP section along with Silas and Celia Chou, Natalia Vodianova and Justin Portman, Joan Juliet Buck, and Lynn Yaeger.

"And it wouldn�t be a Halloween party without a bevy of PYTs, all dressed up for a night out on the town. Fabiola Beracasa was a cigarette girl, her wooden tray holding actual packs of stogies. 'I�ve already sold two packs,' she laughed. Rachel Peters, meanwhile, had a harder time convincing her friends she was a teacher�s pet. �Ok, ok, I�m a sexy secretary now,� she said later, having changed her mind, as she joined Tinsley Mortimer (Rainbow Brite), Dori Cooperman (a devil), Alex Kramer (a sexy referee), and Martina Basabe, whose fur, which she wore as part of her Great Gatsby ensemble, was received by a pan of boos from PETA, which staged a brief protest outside.

"Channeling the current state of affairs was Justin Portman. The other half of Natalia Vodianova came dressed as the bird flu, 'to be of the moment,' he said."

The man has chic. The full party report here.

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