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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The Emperor strikes Manhattan! Valentino's legendary presence dominated VBH last night, as he celebrated the wild success of Valentino: The Last Emperor with a DVD launch party of royal proportions alongside Giancarlo Giammetti and director Matt Tyrnauer. Gwyneth Paltrow and Bruce Hoeksema hosted the affair, and an assembly of friends including Hamish Bowles and Zac Posen ventured out into the rain to honor one of the most illustrious figures in the fashion industry and to extol the power of documentary film. Dust off the red carpet...and hot iron and steam it ... Bowles chatted with Valentino and Paltrow, and later recounted a recent trip to the Greek islands. 'One afternoon in Patmos we were on a speedboat back to the yacht, and all of Valentino's pugs were being lifted ceremoniously into the boat. It was so surreal to see all these pugs and their prim footman who were dressed white, frantically scrubbing their paws before they landed on the yacht. So very Valentino!'" (Fashionweekdaily)



"Paranormal Activity began its otherworldly existence as a little horror flick, made for $11,000 and shot entirely in the director’s house over the course of seven days. Now, thanks to a little help from Steven Spielberg and a savvy world-of-mouth marketing campaign by Paramount, its box office total has reached $62 million and counting. Hollywood is spellbound — and there are even plans for a sequel. But the film has proved positively life-changing for stars Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat, who were originally paid $500 each for their work (and who, like writer-director Oren Peli, will reap some of the film’s profits)." (Popwatch)



"AS we left off yesterday I was auditing an Upper East Side townhouse scene. Oliver Stone directing Shia LaBeouf and Josh Brolin for 'Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.' So, to continue. Lunch was at a nearby church. The crew had co-opted its basement for their wardrobe facility and mess hall ... 'Listen, guys we're dealing with are heavies. Compared to them, Madoff was chickenshit. We're in depth with 15-20 top lawyers, bankers, traders constantly. Going through everything for the facts. When it's too complicated, we have to change the dialogue and remember that this story is not about words, it's about people. About what money does to people. We're talking greed and envy. A shark made $8 million? Not enough. Because now he has to make $120 million!'" (CindyAdams)



(image via NYSD)

"Last night, I missed several more fundraisers going on in New York and went down to the PaceWildenstein, Pace McGill Gallery at 524 West 25th Street (between 10th and 11th) for another opening of David Hockney’s new landscapes of his native Yorkshire. Many of the guests were the painter’s friends, as well as collectors who collect his work, and art world people. Hockney himself is a very pleasant fellow on meeting and although he is now in his early seventies, there is still a quiet boyish quality to his persona. I always get the feeling that this is a happy man, and happy mainly, perhaps, because he can work all the time. Someone told me last night that this past four years have been some of his most productive in his life. He’s also been turning out portraits, digital and otherwise, as well as his iPhone series which he paints on the iPhone very frequently in the morning and then emails them off to close friends to see. The iPhone Hockneys are becoming Collectors items although they are no larger than the iPhone screen and cannot be purchased, obviously. They can be, nevertheless, transferred to the computer screen and printed out." (NYSocialDiary)



"In the end, it doesn't matter much who is cutting the checks for Ahmed Wali Karzai - be it the CIA, as the New York Times reported on its Web site Tuesday night, some other agency in the U.S. government, or no one at all, for that matter. Either way, Washington and this notorious brother of the Afghan president are bound to keep cooperating. And unfortunate as it is, there's little that either side could or would want to do about it. Ahmed Wali Karzai, who controls the drug trade and much else in the bellwether province of Kandahar where he is president of the provincial council, is clearly his own man. Implying that he works for the CIA, would be like calling the late Rep. Thomas P. 'Tip' O'Neill a tool of the Democratic National Committee. That late House speaker lorded over his Cambridge-Somerville, Massachusetts fiefdom for 34 years, doing favors for those who needed them, and expecting the favors to be returned. The resemblance is indeed so striking that, without prompting last month, a former top NATO official in Afghanistan described Wali Karzai to me as 'a Tip O'Neill, a ward heeler,' to whom all outsiders paid tribute." (ForeignPolicy)



"Comedian Wanda Sykes was in (the Howard Stern Show) studio to promote her new talk show today. Howard started off telling Wanda she is a very attractive woman ... Then Howard jumped to Wanda being a lesbian. Wanda is openly gay, and has been with her wife for three years, plus they have two children together. Howard asked if Wanda knew she was gay as a kid. She said, 'I think so, people know early.' But Wanda thought it was wrong, so she didn’t act on it until later ... Wanda’s parents aren’t too thrilled about her coming out, and marrying a woman. In fact, they didn’t even attend her wedding. Neither did anybody else from Wanda’s family. But her wife’s relatives were there, they flew in from France ..Wanda is blissfully married now, saying, 'I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.' And now has two 6 month old babies." (Sternshowblog)



"Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) was a finalist to be President Barack Obama’s vice presidential nominee alongside Joe Biden, according to a new book. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s, excerpted in Time Magazine, reveals he and senior strategist David Axelrod met with Biden, Bayh and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), the three finalists for the job. During those meetings, Plouffe writes, Biden filibustered the two top strategists, alternately explaining why he should be picked and why he did not want the job. Biden 'could not be taught new tricks,' Plouffe writes. 'Bayh’s answers to our questions were substantively close to perfect, if cautiously so,' Plouffe writes. Kaine acknowledged that he was likely on the bottom of the list, and he told Plouffe and Axelrod he would have no hard feelings if he weren't picked." (TheHill)

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