Taschen’s Godfather Family Album is selling on Amazon for $686 bucks and change. That’s a lot of money for a book. Selections from photographer Steve Schapiro’s archives of the Godfather shoot, an insider’s view of the making of the legendary trilogy, limited to 1,000 copies, all signed by Schapiro, etc. I’ll go $200, $250 — no higher.
Heading into town to catch a private screening of Gran Torino (finally! last one to see it in my realm!), and then attend a swanky dinner party for Matteo Garrone‘s Gamorrah followed by a big soiree for John Patrick Shanley ‘s Doubt at the Metropolitan Club.
Nothing But The Truth‘s “most striking performance comes from Vera Farmiga, who plays [a] C.I.A. operative called Erica Van Doren,” according to a 12.7 article by N.Y. Times contributor Adam Liptak.
Vera Farmiga (l.), Kate Beckinsale (r.) in Rod Lurie‘s Nothing But The Truth.
“In one scene Van Doren, suspected of leaking her own identity, is given a lie detector test.” So director Rod Lurie, looking to help Farmiga get into the experience, says, ‘We brought in a real polygraphist to polygraph her. [So] he actually connects her up to the machine and asks her, ‘Is your name Erica Van Doren?’ and so on.”
“Lurie thought that would be good for verisimilitude,” Liptak writes. “But it turned out the machine had something to say about the power of Ms. Farmiga’s acting. The polygraph operator, Mr. Lurie recalled, pulled him aside afterward and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this — the machine says she’s telling the truth.'”
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Tom Brokaw‘s book The Greatest Generation, that classic about our parents and their incredible sacrifices during World War II,” N.Y. Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes in today’s edition. “What I’ve been thinking about actually is this: What book will our kids write about us? The Greediest Generation? The Complacent Generation? Or maybe: The Subprime Generation: How My Parents Bailed Themselves Out for Their Excesses by Charging It All on My Visa Card?
“In sum, our kids will remember the Obama stimulus as either the burden of their lifetime or the investment of their lifetime. Let’s hope it’s the latter. I like that book title much better.” — from a 12.7 column called “The Real Generation X.”
Spoiler Whiners Beware: Just to be fair about things, N.Y. Post critic Kyle Smith is calling Seven Pounds the third-best movie of ’08, or at least his choice for same. This Gabrielle Muccino-Will Smith film, he says, is “simple but perfect, so classically structured that, except for the modern technology in it, it’s like a redemption fable handed down from the ancients.”
Smith’s critical colleague Lou Lumenick, already concerned with Smith’s growing grandiosity, feels differently. He says — HERE IT COMES, SPOILER-AVERSE! — that Seven Pounds (Columbia, 12.19) “should be more accurately titled Seven Hundred Pounds of Schmaltz…it’s like Pay It Forward with organ transplants” with Smith portraying “a suicidal savior.”
Uh-oh….I can already hear and feel the reader rage. We work very hard at keeping our heads in the sand, the spoiler whiners are saying, and since we believe that story and subject matter are 90% if not 95% of the game and that how the film is made — the undercurrents, the things that are not said but felt, the tone and pace of it, the emphasis choices, the performances, the music, the editing style, etc. — is strictly an esoteric toss-up that no one can finally gauge the quality of one way or the other, we believe it is out right and our duty to hunt down Lumenick on the streets of New York and let him feel our wrath first-hand.
HE’s Absolute Best Films of 2008 sans distinctions — i.e., features, docs and animated considered equally, numbering 16 for now. Absolute Best, Richest, Most Resonant and Rib-Sticking: Steven Soderbergh‘s Che (and fair warning to anyone planning to perversely name this film as one the year’s worst — i.e., this is an aesthetically untenable viewpoint, and you will be called out on this). First-Runner-up: James Marsh ‘s Man on Wire. Second Runner-up: Sam Mendes‘ Revolutionary Road.
Remaining Best of the Year (numbering 13, and in this order): Tom McCarthy ‘s The Visitor (Overture Films), Andrew Stanton‘s WALL*E; John Patrick Shanley‘s Doubt (Miramax); Nuri Bilge Ceylon‘s Three Monkeys (seen in Cannes), Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight); Rod Lurie‘s Nothing But The Truth (Yari); Chris Nolan‘s The Dark Knight, Gonzalo Arijon‘s Stranded: I’ve Come From A Plane That Crashed on the Mountains (Zeitgeist), Gus Van Sant‘s Milk (Focus Features); David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount/Warner Bros.); Ron Howard‘s Frost/Nixon (Universal); Darren Aronofsky‘s The Wrestler (Fox Searchlight), and Oliver Stone‘s W. (Lionsgate).
I’ll be seeing Clint Eastwood‘s Gran Torino (Warner Bros.) later today so I may slip that one in, depending. I haven’t seen Seven Pounds, so this too is a wait-and-see thing. Nor have I seen Ari Folman‘s Waltz With Bashir…my bad. And I haven’t seen Cadillac Records, either, though not for lack of trying.
A feast of interesting, beautiful, only-in-New-York faces in the grip of intensely focused expressions and dynamic hair styles, surrounded and complemented by intriguing wall art (cowboy Chet Baker, etc.) at the painfully expensive, overlit Cipriani on West Broadway, between Spring and Broome — Saturday, 12.7, 11:20 pm
If your hair is serious, committed and unequivocal, it can be (and probably will be) deduced that you the wearer are serious, committed and unequivocal.