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Monday, October 05, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Sony knocked out its competition this weekend with a one-two punch as 'Zombieland' took $25 million at 3,036 and 3D toon 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' dropped to the second spot in its third frame with $16.7 million at 2,977 playdates. Disney's 3D double-bill release of 'Toy Story' and 'Toy Story 2' was third at the B.O. with $12.5 million at 1,745. At $7.4 million, Warner Bros. comedy 'The Invention of Lying,' starring Ricky Gervais, narrowly inched out the second week of Disney's 'Surrogates,' which grossed $7.3 million. Drew Barrymore's directing debut 'Whip It' disappointed with $4.85 million, tying with Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story.'" (Variety)



"Nat Rothschild, son of Lord Rothschild, threw a bash last year in his luxurious Greenwich Village townhouse in Saif Qaddafi’s honor. Qaddafi was dressed like a pimp, with a Hollywood-like two-day growth and a manner to match. My first and only question was, 'Are you for Abbas or Hamas?' 'Hamas,' he said and then walked imperiously away. The sons all live like billionaires. They fly in very large private jets, hire large yachts for their Mediterranean holidays, and are always guarded by battalions of security men who stop traffic when the boys decide to take in the sights. Which are mainly nightclubs flush with Eastern European hookers. Although Qaddafi remains mercurial, menacing, and murderous, people such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have embraced him of late thanks to—yes, you guessed it—Libya’s untapped oil reserves. Big Oil has declared Qaddafi a good guy, and when the oil companies speak, politicians are all ears." (Takimag)



"'You cannot take pictures of Lindsay!' So commanded Lohan's bodyguard Saturday night at Le Baron, where Chrissie Miller hosted a party for her Sophmore line that, coincidentally or not, drew pretty much everyone in town. Yes, Lohan was here--but what the bodyguard didn't know was that the woman avec the cell phone was merely showing a friend photos of her baby." (FashionweekDaily)



"For those familiar with Brazil's athletic history, today's decision seems only natural. The country breathes sports -- everything from Nascar racing, to volleyball, to soccer, to martial arts. And more importantly, perhaps, to the International Olympic Committee, the country has a long history of hosting international sporting events. In 1963, for example, Brazil hosted the Fourth Pan American games in São Paulo, drawing in thousands of competitors and spectators. The Pan American Games were once again hosted in 2007 in Rio, providing even more recent evidence of Brazil's commitment and ability to host international games. Wisely, however, Lula did not rely on this culture and history alone to propel his bid. In recent years, the president seems to have been taking notes on how other countries have increased their odds. Among the lessons he garnered was the importance of physically attending the presentation and vote to stake his claim." (ForeignPolicy)



"On the eve of the Democratic Party’s greatest triumph—when, after decades of pangs and false alarms, universal health care has finally crowned—a coterie of powerful liberals go ahead and hand a real bullet to Republicans who have otherwise been firing blanks. The limousine liberal, that Democrat who puts privilege before principle and the status in status quo, is back, with a cocktail of issues (pedophilia, Hollywood, France) so volatile that Roger Ailes could not have scripted it better himself. As the Democratic Party makes its final push for a health-care overhaul, some of its members are reminding Middle America why sometimes it’s so easy to hate the left. For this, we can thank Roman Polanski. You could pave a boulevard in Los Angeles with the names of his apologists: Whoopi Goldberg, Harvey Weinstein, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen, among others. Journalists joined in—Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, Nation editor Katrina van den Heuvel (who backed off a bit when called on her stand by Katha Pollitt)—as did big-name authors like Salman Rushdie and Paul Auster. Even Washington advocates got into the act: “My personal thoughts are let the guy go,' said Peg Yorkin, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation." (TheDailyBeast)



"Joel and Ethan Coen’s 'A Serious Man' found itself high atop the specialty box office this weekend, scoring the year’s third best limited debut. According to weekend estimates, the highly acclaimed 'Man' grossed $251,510 from just six theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, averaging $41,918. Those numbers put the Focus Features release behind only 'Sunshine Cleaning' and 'Capitalism: A Love Story' in terms of ‘09 debuts, and places it in line the debuts of some of the Coens’ most financially successful films. While last year’s 'Burn After Reading' debuted incomparably (and potently) on 2,651 screens, both 2007’s 'No Country For Old Men' and 2000’s 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' had limited debuts, the former averaging $43,797 on 28 screens and the latter $39,020 from 5 screens." (IndieWIRE)



"President Obama is a foreign policy realist with a dash of idealism. He campaigned as a politician willing to talk to our enemies. Any one who doubts the president's use of "smart power" need only look to how he reversed American policy of the European missile shield to the delight of the often obstructionist Russia. Obama's brand of realism is a corrective to the neoconservatism that prevailed for the last eight years. Still, it is surprising that a Democrat President is pushing to postpone a meeting with the Dalai Lama until after his summit with Hu Jintao." (Ron Mwangaguhunga/AirAmerica)



"I had a boyfriend, Steve Gerbson, who was a really good cameraman, DP, producer, director. He said, How much money do you have? I had exactly $30,000 -- no credit cards, nothing else. He said, 'Okay, we'll do a special.' I said, "These specials are like hundreds of thousands of dollars." He said, 'Don't worry, we'll do a really good special, but you'll have to learn to produce and direct and edit because we can't afford extra people.' Andy had just died at that time, and I was feeling fearless. I said, 'Let's go, let's do it' ... I knew Cosby a little bit from standup. This was his year -- his new show was number one, cover of Time magazine. My friends thought I was insane, but he said yes. And then Letterman and Dr. Ruth and all these great people agreed to be on it. My good friend Tom Waits gave me a song. I had the greatest opening. And I had an act that had been honed for 13 years. You know, that's like a diamond cutter who takes 12 years to cut every facet on one bracelet. It's as good as you can make it .. We put together the best show ever; I took it up to both HBO and Showtime in L.A., and they both said no. I had always said to Steve, 'They don't like women, and they certainly don't like me.' And he always said, 'You're just crazy.' But when I came home and told him what happened, he said, "You're right, I believe you now. It's women, and it's personal. What do you want to do now?' I said, 'I'm done.' I wanted to go on the road for one more year to earn enough to pay everyone who had worked on the special, and that was gonna be it ... I was on the road for 10 months. My special was collecting dust on my living room shelf next to a copy of 'When Bad Things Happen to Good People.' And then Steve heard that Showtime had a regime change. We always knew if younger hipper guys came in, they'd get me. The new head of programming was Peter Chernin." (Elayne Boosler/TheWrap)

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