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Friday, January 28, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The protests rocking the Arab world this week have one thread uniting them: Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite channel whose aggressive coverage has helped propel insurgent emotions from one capital to the next.  Al Jazeera has been widely hailed for helping enable the revolt in Tunisia with its galvanizing early reports, even as Western-aligned political factions in Lebanon and the West Bank attacked and burned the channel’s offices and vans this week, accusing it of incitement against them.  In many ways, it is Al Jazeera’s moment — not only because of the role it has played, but also because the channel has helped to shape a narrative of popular rage against oppressive American-backed Arab governments (and against Israel) ever since its founding 15 years ago." (NYTimes)


"Perhaps the snow storm on the East Coast will make matters even better. Industry folks hoping to get back to New York City were stranded at Sundance. In fact, I chatted with one buyer who flew halfway to New York yesterday, only to return to Salt Lake City because of the big storm in NYC. He headed back to Park City last night to hang out at an impromptu IFC Films gathering at a Main St. pub. Buyers and sellers were buzzing at the bar last night, bolstered by the boost in sales that has reportedly seen more than two dozen deals according another Tweet. I’m not tracking pacts this year being that I’ve left the daily biz beat, but hanging out with industry folks last night the buzz about the buying was hard to ignore. IFC Films, Sony Classics and Magnolia have been the big buyers at fests in recent years, but now deals are coming from the big guys again. Fox Searchlight made a number of deals for indies that might have gone to a smaller company just last year, including 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' and 'Another Earth.' Paramount even got in on the action, quickly nabbing a Sundance movie. Meanwhile, Magnolia has been active, besting other buyers to get popular doc, 'Page One.' Last year’s breakthrough docs from Sundance were the Joan Rivers movie from IFC Films and Banksy’s 'Exit Through The Gift Shop,' which was self-released by seller John Sloss. This year it’s 'Page One' with rock star journo David Carr in the spotlight. The New York Observer has already branded him this year’s Sundance ingenue, handing him the mantle carried for a year by 'Winter’s Bone' star Jennifer Lawrence." (IndieWIRE)



"About fifteen years ago I received a very polite letter from Belgium asking me to list three of the most pompous and self-important people in the UK. It came with a self-addressed return envelope and stamp. The writer was known as l’entarteur, a man who would approach the pompous and vainglorious and shove a pie in their face. He would never insult the victims nor use foul language—in fact, he always remained silent—and he assured me in his letter that he used only the finest ingredients and freshest milk in his pies. The first potential target who came to my mind was Edward Heath, but I immediately took his name off the list. Heath was too bloated, his face too red, and the last thing I wished was for him to have a stroke while covered in a lemon-meringue pie. L’entarteur agreed, and we started a lively correspondence. One of the candidates I submitted was not a Brit, but Algerian-born Frog Bernard-Henri Lévy, whom my Belgian buddy had already pelted with pies on at least three occasions. Four is a good round number, suggested yours truly. One month later at the airport in Nice Lévy got blasted by l’entarteur like never before. The pie was giant size, and the cream made him look like a Yeti while he fumbled around and screamed bloody murder. Then les gendarmes interfered and arrested my friend, who offered no resistance. One thing the onlookers noticed was that the fuzz had trouble making the arrest because they were laughing so hard." (Taki)



"It was one of those nights in Paris when a body was spoiled for choice. The first stops on the itinerary: drinks with Van Cleef & Arpels early in the evening, then a celebration of Gucci's remodeled store on the Rue Royale. Beauties galore turned out to support the Italian house's creative director, Frida Giannini: Diane Kruger, Jessica Alba, Laetitia Casta, Tali Lennox, and the stupendous Gemma Arterton, who wants all of you to watch her movie, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, because it is quite possibly the most powerful film no one has ever seen ...While Carine Roitfeld was hosting Giannini and co. at the Italian embassy, Ella Krasner and "cultural diplomacy festival organization" Liberatum were busy honoring a decade of Another Magazine. Le Stresa provided the backdrop, and as it's a restaurant with a lot of happy memories for a lot of people, the evening was awash with good vibes. Proof that Another's Jefferson Hack effortlessly straddles worlds could be found in a guest list that included Daphne Guinness, Rick Owens, Stephen Jones, Riccardo Tisci, Amanda Eliasch, and late arrival Marianne Faithfull. Even later came Kate Moss, delivered safely by Suzy Menkes after the Gucci dinner." (Style)



"Mary Erdoes has a good point about the World Economic Forum at Davos's rule about upping the number of females in attendance. Erdoes, Jamie Dimon's superstar head of JPMorgan's Asset Management team, is at Davos with the CEO and both spoke to CNBC about the economy and the rule about women at Davos this morning. The rule says that any company that buys 5 tickets has to buy one of them for a woman. So if you're JPMorgan and you buy 10 tickets, at least 2 people have to be women." (Businessinsider)


"Last night. I went down to Le Cirque to dine with Margo Howard who is in from Boston or Florida and doing something on GMA. Margo, the progeny of Eppie Lederer, known to the world as Ann Landers, has an advice column in WOWOWOW.com. It’s a chip off the old block and fun but interesting. Margo lives in Cambridge now, married to her third husband (her second was actor Ken Howard). She grew up in Chicago but came out this way to go to Brandeis. This is a kind of return to her old stomping ground. She’s also lived in Malibu, in Washington and in New York and she likes people, so she knows a lot of them. Her mother was like that. I saw her many times at dinner at Edie Goetz’s in Holmby Hills. I was surprised to learn how connected Eppie Lederer was. There is a 'strata' of this world I write about where the Degree of Separation is brief – one or two degrees. Truman Capote once estimated that there are about 5000 people who all know each other or knows someone who knows each other. And with not a few show business and other professional types added in. Most of these people are famous only to each other although fame is always intriguing and some people use their fame very shrewdly. Eppie Lederer was one of those, which is surprising considering the nature of her journalistic work which seemed 'light.'" (NYSocialDiary)

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