Monday, February 27, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via utexas)

In: Jordan Levin. The explosion of the "cellphone entertainment" industry has already spawned its own talent agency -- Generate -- targeting the perfect cellphone demographic: tech savvy youths. This will offer the astonishingly brilliant and hard-toiling bloggers and podcasters and content creators out there in the digital wilderness -- the creative gang that get scandalously overlooked by the traditional gatekeepers -- a chance at the brass ring. Fina-fucking-lly! Says Mediaweek:

"Jordan Levin, former CEO and entertainment president of the WB network, has formed a new content development and talent management company with a group of partners, which has signed its first content deal with MTV Networks.

"Generate, Levin�s new company, will develop content and then pitch it to specific MTV cable properties MTV, MTV2, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, TV Land, Spike TV and CMT, among others. The content will either be for cable, or for broadband or mobile distribution channels within MTV Networks.

"Levin�s partners in the new company include Pete Aronson, former president of Regency Television LLC; Mike Karz, a movie and TV programming developer; and talent managers Dave Rath and Kara Walker.

"Levin said there are a few projects already in the works for MTV Nets, based on the partners� input, and that staffing up of the new company will begin this week."

If the brilliant Carolyn Castiglia doesn't get signed as a result of this, then there is no justice in this world. More here.

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(image via NYTimes)

Out: La Rondinaia. We reported, recently, that Gore Vidal's 20-level rambling masterpiece of a villa La Rondinaia was up for sale (and, no-- no reader bought it for The Corsair as a present, as, tongue-in-cheek, was practically begged). Local hotelier Vincenzo Palumbo -- already the name strikes us the wrong way -- plans to turn La Rondinaia into a -- gasp! -- "niche hotel"! (Averted Gaze)

Please: Don't let this happen. For the sake of beauty in the world. According to Hillary Clarke of TheAge:

"THE Italian cliff-top villa that was Gore Vidal's home for 30 years has been sold to a local hotelier for more than $A23.6 million.

"Perched above medieval Ravello on the Amalfi coast with views to Capri, La Rondinaia (Swallow's Nest) has been on the market since the American writer returned to California in 2003. Approachable only by foot, it had become too much for Vidal, now 80, and his life-long partner, Howard Austen, who died more than two years ago after a long illness.

"Built into the cliff over 2.4 hectares, it has 20 levels. The house where Vidal entertained world leaders and Hollywood stars is so famous that the writer's peace was disturbed daily by tour boats 150 metres below his balcony.

"Ravello's Mayor, Secondo Amalfitano, failed to persuade the regional government to buy the property and turn it into a writers' retreat. Now the villa has been sold to local hotel owner Vincenzo Palumbo, who studied there as a boy before it was sold to Vidal.

"Mr Palumbo plans to have the building listed before he turns it into a 'niche' hotel for the wealthy and a museum dedicated to the life and works of the writer and political provocateur.

"Exhibits will include mementoes of his guests, among them Princess Margaret, Graham Greene and Sting. Hillary and Chelsea Clinton left a photo signed: 'Thanks for letting us trespass.'

"There will be other unusual exhibits, including the chair used in the epic movie Cleopatra, which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton."

Sting once expressed interest in buying the crib. He supposedly sulked during a Gore Vidal party and, when approached, wondered aloud if he could throw Vidal off the cliff edge to acquire the propery. We hope he once again expresses interest in earnest to save La Rondinaia from the fate of gauziness. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

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(image via keebler.net)

In: ScarJo. Do you remember, like, when Scarlett Johansson was this starlet doing "unsanitary things" with Benicio del Toro in the Chateau Marmont elevator (eew), and trolling Europe after some Old World status? She was, back then, the Sir Edmund Hillary of social climbers.

Forget those days. We like her now.

In the course of a year, Scarlett Johansson has transformed herself into a serious actress -- Tom Ford VF cover notwithstanding; we all make mistakes -- and now, she's metamorphosed into something of a humanitarian. According to BritishVogue:

"SCARLETT JOHANSSON is the face of Bono's new project, RED; a brand that will invite other companies to contribute products to it and donates a significant percentage of profits to the Global Fund which fights TB, Aids and malaria in Africa. 'It really works,' the actress told Style. 'I mean, I'm a Red American Express cardholder, and I'm putting everything on it now. And the clothing brands involved are so available to everyone: Gap, Converse, Armani � brands that people buy all the time.'"

We like.

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