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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Last night when Jay McInerney invited the old gang over to his Greenwich Village penthouse for a soirée to celebrate The Carrie Diaries, Candace Bushnell's new novel about Carrie Bradshaw's life as a teenager, we asked McInerney if he kept in touch with another blonde who kisses and tells: Rielle Hunter, a friend of McInerney's from the early eighties, whom he immortalized in his novel, Story of My Life. 'Yeah, I still talk to her,' McInerney said, adding that he hasn't spoken with Hunter since her Oprah appearance. But: 'She called me the morning after she slept with Edwards,' he said. 'She said, 'You'll never believe who I slept with.' Wait, really? She just came right out and told him what was supposed to be a huge secret? 'Well, she didn't tell me at first,' he said. 'I kind of bugged her. She was like, 'I met this amazing guy, we're so in love, he's the love of my life,' whatever. She did believe that." (NYMag)



"Naomi Campbell is a lucky girl. Her billionaire lover, Vladimir Doronin, flew in the Black Eyed Peas and booked Grace Jones to surprise the supermodel at her $1 million 40th birthday bash tonight. Doronin, who's dated the fiery beauty for two years, has meticulously planned the big bash at the uber-exclusive Hotel du Cap in Antibes with a series of musical guests. A source said, 'The party will be in the same tent at the hotel used for the amFAR Awards. Performances will include the Peas and Grace Jones, while DJ Cassidy will be spinning late into the night.' Expected are Donatella Versace, Kate Moss, Giorgio Armani and Doronin's fellow Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. And to kick off the festivities, Doronin took Campbell on a romantic private boat trip to St. Tropez yesterday, along with Jennifer Lopez and hubby Marc Anthony. Campbell has been sparking rumors by wearing an enormous emerald ring, but her reps deny an engagement while Doronin remains married to his estranged wife, Katia." (NYPost)



"This week was the networks' annual upfront presentations when they tell potential advertisers (and the world) what is in store for fall. There were shows picked up, shows canceled, and lots of parties. Here's the breakdown. We've been keeping you apprised of the situation all week, but here is a nice summary of all the shows canceled and the new programs coming at you once the summer is but a vague memory filled with reruns and reality programming. Despite the fact that some of these shows are already in trouble based on sluggish ad sales, they're at least going to get a shot come September. Let's just hope that some of those stupid lawyer shows get canned. (The Live Feed has a handy chart with the whole fall season if you like a graph.)" (Gawker)



"The big news in an art heist is usually the technique of the thieves, not the art that was stolen—except when highlighting its monetary value. Movie-watchers all, we've been trained by Thomas Crown and his ilk to view art heists as feats, not assaults on our human heritage. Among what seems like an increasingly small number of visual art lovers in the world, of course, heists are an assault—a loss. Gore Vidal once called 'the creation of a work of art ... our one small 'yes' at the center of a vast 'no'; art thieves remove the record of that yes from the public eye. There is, though, a third way of looking at these robberies: as an affirmation of the art's value. Reading of the five paintings stolen from Paris's Museum of Modern Art earlier this week, I couldn't help but have flashbacks to college economics classes. If thieves are stealing something, it's because it has market value. Those of us who care deeply about any form of art are all too conscious of the market's ability to undervalue what to us is as sacred as a piece of the True Cross. The free market each year has orchestras across the country cutting Brahms performances and replacing them with a half-show of cheesy Christmas tunes—if they offer any replacement at all. In such an environment, I admit to a perverse sense of comfort that someone, somewhere, risked incarceration to steal some Cubist paintings. If paintings are valuable enough to steal then society must be putting a pretty high market value on them. If that's the case, society's doing something right." (TheAtlantic)



"The festival hasn’t officially ended – but heading into its closing weekend, almost every one of the 19 films in the main competition has already screened.(The two that haven’t are 'Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project,' and the expensive Russian production 'Burnt by the Sun 2,' which was not well-received when it opened in its home country, and does not figure to be a factor in the competition.) If you take stock in critics, the hard-to-please batch that contribute their verdicts to indieWIRE’s criticWIRE poll rank three films at the top of the class: Mike Leigh’s 'Another Year,' Abbas Kiarostami’s 'Certified Copy' and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 'Uncle Boomnee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.' Or if it’s buzz you follow, then you’ll have to reluctantly bypass the five-and-a-half hour 'Carlos,' because it screened out of competition, and go for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 'Biutiful,' or maybe 'Another Year.' But neither of those are very reliable ways to pick a winner at Cannes. Cannes’ prizes, after all, are not easy to predict. The decisions are made not by the critics, and not by a large electorate with clearly defined tastes. Instead, decisions fall to a group of nine jurors." (TheWrap)



"Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has canceled his scheduled appearance on NBC's 'Meet The Press' this Sunday. MTP's executive producer Betsy Fischer tells The Huffington Post's Sam Stein: 'We booked him on Wednesday. Everything was set and then his press person emailed this afternoon that he was very sorry but he wants to cancel the interview. We tried appealing to the press person to not much avail,' Fischer said. Paul, who has been a hot topic in the national news this week after an interview on 'The Rachel Maddow Show' went viral, would be only the third person in the program's history to have canceled at the last minute, according to HuffPost. The others? Louis Farrakhan and Saudi Arabian prince Bandar bin Khaled al-Faisal." (TVNewser)



"You may have heard about this new thing the kids–white males in their 20s, mostly–are doing? DRINKING SMIRNOFF ICE, AGAINST THEIR WILL, AT RIDICULOUSLY INOPPORTUNE TIMES. Seriously. The rules are simple: hand a Smirnoff Ice (the warmer/more disgusting the flavor, the better) to a friend (your 'bro'), and he must get down on one knee and chug the malt beverage, regardless of location and situational appropriateness. HOWEVER. If said friend happens to have a Smirnoff Ice on his person, then the bro who initiated the battle has to chug BOTH Ices. This is known as an Ice Block. The obvious questions: WHERE DID THIS START?" (TheAwl)



"After mulling this over, I venture: 'Are you buying a lot of art?' This is not the conversational non sequitur it may seem. Thanks to accessory-designing collaborations with artists including Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince, Jacobs almost single-handedly made Vuitton the luxury brand most closely linked with the art world. Both company and designer have embraced this arty identity: Vuitton’s new London flagship store, which opens next week, will display work by Murakami and Gilbert & George, while Jacobs owns pieces by Ed Ruscha, Elizabeth Peyton, Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Georges Braque. In the past, he has gone into debt to fund his passion. Maybe, I think, he has gone on a spending spree in place of his weightlifting regime. 'Actually, I haven’t bought anything for a long time,' he says as we sit side by side on our banquette. 'The other day I bought a little 1962 Ellsworth Kelly at the Christie’s auction, but that’s it. It was a funny thing for me to buy, too.' Why? I ask. 'It’s just a white square with a yellow curve. Usually I like more figurative work – this is the sort of thing I’d look at and admire but not want to buy. But I just like it ... it makes me happy.' Marc Jacobs, it turns out, is entering his mellow yellow period." (FT)



"On Tuesday, I showed a chart of National Debt by President. Several readers said a more informative chart would include control of Congress. Enter Doug Short — he directed me towards that exact chart — including party control of Congress. My only disagreement with Doug is he blames 'spending.' I think that is half right — anything that is unfunded — spending, tax cuts, wars, entitlements — should be blamed for the Debt. You can allocate government revenues however you like — but allocating for any usage beyond revenues is how you create debt. Regardless, the chart is quite fascinating .." (Ritholtz)



"When dozens of wild American bison wandered out of Yellowstone National Park in search of greener grass and wound up five years later sheltered on a giant ranch owned by Ted Turner, media mogul and bison meat kingpin, the species reached what many believe could be a turning point. Mr. Turner, under an unusual custodial contract with the state of Montana, offered to shepherd the animals for the next five years as part of an experimental program. It will grant him a sizable portion of their offspring in exchange, much to the chagrin of environmentalists who sued the state, saying the bison belong to the public. Mr. Turner is not restrained from using the bison for commercial breeding or sale. The 'Yellowstone 87' are a kind of Noah’s ark of their kind. Genetically, these bison still carry the shaggy swagger of their Ice Age forebears that lived alongside saber-toothed cats and woolly mammoths." (NYTimes)



"ON MAY 9th soldiers from NATO countries, including America, Britain and Poland, marched across Red Square in Russia’s Victory Day parade. Beethoven’s 'Ode to Joy', the anthem of the European Union, was played along with the Soviet-era national anthem. Military parades are symbolic and the Kremlin has long put Russia’s wartime victory at the centre of its post-Soviet identity. But this parade was meant to project the image of a self-confident, powerful country seeking better relations with the West. A year ago it symbolised Russia’s victory over Georgia and its American backers. These days Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, talks of common values and the trustworthiness of America. And Radek Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, praises the openness of the Kremlin in investigating the Smolensk air crash and says Poland is an ally. Russia’s foreign policy has changed—and the change goes beyond rhetoric. After 40 years of tedious talks, Russia has signed a maritime border agreement with Norway. It is using soft power in Ukraine. Perhaps most significant is the improvement in relations with Poland, a centuries-old irritant. After years of exploiting differences between old and new members of the European Union, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, has realised that EU solidarity is more than mere rhetoric." (ForeignPolicy)



"George Clooney has chimed in, and said that he was the victim on the Ocean's Twelve set with Brad Pitt circulating an Italian language note to local crew from Clooney asking he be addressed by his character's name. In his newly published book Paul and Me, author A.E. Hotchner reminesces about his pal Paul Newman's fondness for mischief that made the author unable to resist becoming wingman to the actor on all his pranks. Newman had the same effect on co-workers, especially because of his penchant for knocking down directors a few pegs with schemes that only a big star like him could get away with. 'Paul so enjoyed life, and never acted like a superstar,' Hotchner tells me. 'Whether he was pulling pranks on a movie set, or mixing the first batch of Newman’s Own salad dressing with a canoe paddle, he was a maverick who did what he wanted. He never would have turned in those performances if he wasn’t a person who took risks and had fun.'" (Deadline)



(image via style)

"... at the seventeenth annual AmfAR dinner in Cannes ... One of the few who looked both gorgeous and at ease was Elizabeth Banks, wearing an eye-popping ruby and diamond necklace with matching earrings. I was so entranced by the jewels that I almost walked into the man standing discreetly behind her who, when the staff tried to move him along, refused to budge, clarifying his role as private security by stating firmly, 'I am with the earrings.' Tom Ford and Kenneth Cole looked as striking as one would assume, and I heard one woman note that both Gerard Butler and Benicio Del Toro looked better in person than on the screen. Russell Crowe and the director Paul Haggis were deep in conversation and both men skipped the after party at Eden Roc in favor of heading back into Cannes for the Artists for Peace and Justice fundraiser for Haiti that didn’t even start until 12:30. Once inside, the auction that is the heart of the evening took over before the appetizers were served. A day with Bill Clinton went for 220,000 euros and a private sitting for a portrait by Karl Lagerfeld for close to 700,000. Then there was the behind-the-scenes trip to Milan’s Fashion week for 100,000 euros and the bidding for a series of tickets to Oscar parties was stuck at 50,000 euros until Butler stressed that this was the only way to enter 'the impossible to get into Vanity Fair post Oscar party,' and that boosted the price to 70,000 euros." (VanityFair)



"Courtney Love just can’t stop talking. After claiming she had an affair with Gwen Stefani’s husband Gavin, the singer now says she also slept with Kate Moss. It was 'fun and whatever' back in Milan in the ‘90s. We’re surprised she can even remember that long ago .. Two of the big winners this week: Fergie and her daughter Princess Beatrice, who attended a fundraising ball. Princess Beatrice looked stunning in a purple gown and got the best of critics who poked fun at her weight two years ago. She’s been training for the London marathon and it shows." ("Binky Mortimer")



"Former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey has been tapped to be the next chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, TheWrap has learned. Kerrey has won approval from the heads of the movie companies that make up the powerful Hollywood lobby, though no deal has yet been signed, according to three people familiar with the process. The job was described as 'his to lose' by one such person. A moderate Democrat with long-standing ties to the Hollywood establishment, Kerrey has been a Vietnam hero, a governor, a U.S. Senator from Nebraska and a Democratic presidential candidate (in 1992). He is currently president of the New School University in New York City, a position he has held for nine years that will end in June. He’s being tapped to replace Dan Glickman in the more than $1.3 million a year role as chairman-CEO of the MPAA." (TheWrap)

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