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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"'My events have always a soul, emotion and social responsibility,' the Frenchman Richard Attias said Saturday morning, May 1, sitting on a couch in the Gramercy Park Hotel's rooftop garden. 'It's very important. Because we cannot be superficial; it is nonsense to be superficial. You have to deliver a message.' Mr. Attias, who used to produce the World Economic Forum in Davos, was wearing a white button-down with Dunhill cuff links shaped like steering wheels. The enormously beautiful morning's huge sunlight streamed directly down onto his plate of sliced fruit and decaf cappuccino. 'Come on, we are on earth for something. So we should be, what, useless? It is nonsense.' Next month, searching for a post-crisis model for how business chiefs will think, talk, create and lead, Mr. Attias is holding a 36-hour midtown gathering that he'll call the New York Forum. It will be Manhattan's own Davos, only smaller and obsessed with the future of the business world. 'This is an idea-an opportunity,' a man wearing a blazer a few feet away said into his cell phone. He was talking about something else, and he didn't have Mr. Attias' momentous sparkle. The Moroccan-born, French-educated 50-year-old, whose wife, Cécilia, left President Nicolas Sarkozy to marry him, is the kind of man around whom important people seem to congregate. A few days earlier, he and his wife sat at a table at the Four Seasons Hotel with the musicians Carly Simon and John Forté. There was chamomile tea and talk about Hobbesian pathology." (TheObserver)



(amy irving via sohoweeklynews)

"Howard (Stern) asked Willie (Nelson) about dating Amy Irving who married Steven Spielberg. Willie said he did date her. Howard heard that Spielberg stole her away. Willie said he was married at the time so it wasn't a decision for him to make. Howard heard that Willie cried when she was stolen away. Willie said he did love her but she's happy now and he's happy now too. Howard asked if he felt guilty when he was cheating on his wife. Willie said of course he did. Howard asked Willie about smoking weed and Willie told Howard that he's been using a vaporizer lately so it's not as damaging to his lungs ...Howard talked to Willie about the movie 'Crazy Heart' and how similar it was to what he saw going on in the music industry. Willie said it was funny to him actually. Howard said he must be high. Willie was high and said that he had smoked before he came there. Willie was surprised that Howard hadn't smoked. Howard asked how high he was. Willie asked on a scale of what? Willie said that he would like to be at a 10 on a scale of 10. Howard asked if he doesn't want to be normal. Willie said he smokes to get normal while most people smoke to get high. Howard asked Willie if he can quit. Willie said he has before and he can do that .. A caller asked Willie about the kind of pot he smokes. Willie said that the legal stuff is good. He said he's tried some of that in various states. He said that it's the same growers and they know what they're doing. He said the Humboldt County stuff is still very good. He said the stuff in this country is very good. Willie said the stuff in Amsterdam is good too." (Marksfriggin)



"Egypt hasn't generated many international headlines in recent years. It's been some time since its government played much of a leadership role in the region, and Egypt didn't suffer as much damage from the global economic slowdown as most other emerging markets. Things have been pretty quiet. But underneath the surface, the transition toward a post-Hosni Mubarak era is starting to get interesting. President Mubarak's son Gamal has been steadily building a case to become Egypt's next president with both his father and the country's military leadership. Despite hesitation from both, authorities pushed through constitutional changes in 2007 that smoothed Gamal's path to power. For the past two years, he has worked to persuade the military brass--Egypt's real powerbrokers--that his ambitious economic reform plans will not undermine their financial interests or political influence. But over the past few months, two developments have created genuine uncertainty about what comes next." (ForeignPolicy)



"Quentin Tarantino will head the competition jury of the Venice Film Festival, which has already secured several hot titles. Tarantino, praised by fest topper Marco Mueller as 'one of the most startling directors in cinema today,' and also a 'studied and imitated 'point of reference',' is a Venice aficionado. While none of his films have screened on the Lido, Tarantino has been the 'godfather' of two important Venice sidebars, the Italian Kings of the B's retro in 2004, and the Spaghetti Westerns retro in 2007. As for films launching from the Lido this year, Sofia Coppola's 'Somewhere,' which was partly shot in Italy; Monte Hellman's noir 'Road to Nowhere,' also partly shot in Italy; Julian Schnabel's 'Miral,' starring Freida Pinto ('Slumdog Millionaire') as a refugee camp teacher in postwar Jerusalem; and Francois Ozon's 'Potiche,' are all tipped for a slot in the official selection." (Variety)



"In 2007, when Random House tried to hire Jon Meacham for its top job, the genteel editor politely declined, opting to keep his post at the helm of Newsweek, where he’d worked for more than a decade. 'They’ll have to blow me out of here,' Meacham said at the time. It looks like they’re about to. On Wednesday morning, Washington Post Co. President Donald Graham said that after years of saintly patience, he was going to try to sell Meacham’s home out from under him—if anyone’s even in the market for loss-leading newsmagazines these days. Cold business calculations finally won out over familial sentimentality: Fabled Newsweek, which now loses more than half a million dollars a week, would have to go. 'I’m exploring every possibility,' Meacham told The Daily Beast, suggesting that a buyer might be found who would agree to pay little or nothing for the magazine in exchange for assuming its substantial losses—the same dynamic that allowed Bloomberg to take over BusinessWeek in October." (TheDailyBeast)



(image via sojones)

"The social circuit starts early for some city kids. Andrew Warren, the teenage son of Michael and Marcy Warren, is hosting a benefit tomorrow at Espace for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, Denise Rich's charity. On the committee are Elizabeth (daughter of Tommy) Hilfiger, Gaia Matisse (Henri Matisse's great-granddaughter), Sophie Curtis (Jill Stuart's daughter), Reya Benitez (the daughter of Jellybean and Caroline Benitez) and Julianna Hatkoff (Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff's daughter). The event, sponsored by Rocawear, will feature surprise musical performances." (PageSix)



"Not long ago, my friends over at the Cook Political Report moved the Illinois Senate race from Tossup to Leans Republican, a significant development in my eyes. Shortly after that development, my newsletter moved the New Hampshire Senate race from Tossup to Narrow Advantage for the incumbent party (my version of Leans Republican). But I did not move Illinois out of my Tossup category. Why? It’s probably important to note, right off the bat, that I am not on all that different a page from the Cook folks. Right now, I think the Republicans are positioned to win both Senate races. So it’s really a question of how comfortable each handicapper is about moving a particular race. In spite of what Granite State voters have done over the past two cycles, New Hampshire remains a competitive state. Recent Democratic gains there present an exaggerated picture of the state’s partisan bent, so it won’t be surprising if Republicans stage a comeback later this year." (CQPolitics)



"All celebs are not created equal. Prince was more equal than the other Time 100 luminaries honored Tuesday night at the Time Warner Center. While Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Judd Apatow mingled during the cocktail hour with the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the fuchsia-favoring funkster sequestered himself offstage. Prince also declined to take his seat at Table 5 for lobster salad and filet mignon, missing Bill Clinton's downer speech about our 'unequal, unstable and unsustainable' planet, and -- in a quick gear shift --Taylor Swift's song about the anguish of finding a date for the prom ...Prince, having avoided the celebs uptown, turned up later at the packed Village Underground on West Third Street. In a corner, sipping an orange juice with ice, the superstar wouldn't eat anything that wasn't in Saran Wrap. Fortunately for him, lentil soup and Israeli salad from the Olive Tree restaurant nearby were wrapped appropriately. Joining his band onstage, he sang along to 'Controversy' but kept his back to the crowd to avoid fans trying for a photo. 'We're usually kind of jaded,' club owner Noam Dworman told The Post's Mandy Stadtmiller. 'But nights like this remind us why we do this in the first place. I've never seen anybody electrify a room like that, even with his back to the crowd.'" (PageSix)



(image via NYSD)

"Yesterday was a very warm, very sunny Spring day in New York. It was a perfect day for the biggest social event in New York's Spring season – the 28th annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon in the Conservatory Garden of Central Park at 105th Street and Fifth Avenue. This luncheon, also known as 'the Central Park Conservancy luncheon,' or more frequently these days as the Hat Luncheon, was the biggest in its now long history – 1236 guests, and from it they raised $2,450,000 – possibly a record. It is staged by the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy and the monies raised go to the Conservancy, which is a private-not-for-profit organization founded in 1980 to restore Central Park to its former splendor. Thanks to the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and the City, the Conservancy has invested more than $530 million into the Park. Today the Conservancy provides 85% of Central Park’s annual $26 million operating budget, and it is responsible for all basic care of the Park." (NYSocialDiary)



"What will the neighbors think? The Diane von Furstenberg studio may soon outshine the Boom Boom next door as the hottest spot on Washington, as last night the designer hosted her fourth bash in four days in the space—with one more on the way tonight. Last night’s occasion? The Independent Filmmakers Project, close to von Furstenberg’s heart because of daughter Tatiana’s forthcoming film debut, Tanner Hall. 'Today is for my daughter, tomorrow is for my son!' Diane laughed, referring to tonight’s Whitney celebration honoring Alex von Furstenberg. 'I know, I know—it’s been a big week! I don’t drink, so it’s easy.' (Perhaps the Red Bull being served alongside the requisite champagne was meant to counter the party fatigue.) The guests, which included Alexis Bledel, Blythe Danner, Ed Burns, Tara Subkoff, and Yigal Azrouel, had no problem getting into the spirit. Olivier Zahm arrived on the arm of Paz de la Huerta, but (comme toujours) juggled his women around (DvF compris), camera in hand all the while." (Fashionweekdaily)



(Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg via style)

"... Before dinner, Tatiana von Furstenberg accepted special recognition for her debut feature, Tanner Hall, which will hit theaters in August. She's currently in post-production on a triptych of short films shot at a forties-era Tyrolean resort. 'It's a very scary process,' the younger von Furstenberg said of filmmaking. 'I went from having zero people in my employment to leading a team of 75 overnight.' Purple editor Olivier Zahm led a team of one—Paz de la Huerta—on an impromptu photo shoot before dinner, where the pair was joined by the likes of Uma Thurman, Mira Nair, and Precious screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher. Also spotted: Byrdie Bell, whose stint on Israeli Big Brother has made her a hit abroad, and model/actress Kiera Chaplin, who had an update: 'I'm not acting anymore. I'm writing a book.' But just about everyone else had a new movie in the pipeline, from Zachary Quinto, who's producing and acting in one about the financial collapse, to Clarkson, who's starring as Tallulah Bankhead in a biopic that starts shooting this fall. 'We just got the script today, and it's extraordinary,' she said." (Style)

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