A lot of folks were puzzled last night on Twitter during the Oscars when the show orchestra, from several miles away at Capitol Records, played off Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o with the song “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s the ditty Gene Wilder intones when his group of visitors first catches a glimpse of the magical candy kingdom.
From California late this morning, The Guardian‘s Hadley Freeman (pictured) has deemed it “The Most Stupid Fight of All Time.” That’s an overstatement, especially when it comes to Hollywood and film awards season.
Still, just ahead of today’s big Oscar ceremony, she is defending herself in the comments of an essay posted to her paper by Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein Company’s Oscar party was last night at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills. But this item concerns a previous Weinstein celebration thrown at The Rosewood London for the BAFTA Awards, and Weinstein’s contention that had Freeman hung around for the later arrivals, his dancing with Oprah and the killer chocolate chip brownies, her review would have been much more positive. From the first of several Freeman comments:
I confess to being somewhat amazed by Mr. Weinstein’s claim that he has “always enjoyed my articles,” considering he banned me from The Weinstein Company’s party during Oscars week in LA two years ago as well as all the parties for every film in which he’d been involved because, as his vice-president for corporate affairs explained to me repeatedly and at some length at the time, he didn’t like a profile of his company that had run in the paper a month or so earlier, written by the Guardian’s film editor Catherine Shoard…
There are all sorts of fascinating group-snippets in the video below, shot by The Hollywood Reporter during a recent gathering of dozens of Academy Award-winning and nominated producers at the home of Robert Evans.
All these years later, Frank Marshall alongside Quincy Jones still can’t get over the fact that the Academy honored The Color Purple with 11 nominations but skipped director Steven Spielberg. Mel Gibson and Alan Ladd Jr. try to remember how they first met. And Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), with father Ivan next to him, details some unusual dynamics:
“I remember the first time I gave a screenplay to my dad – he was basically the first person to read it – he said, ‘Jason, this is a plotless screenplay.’ You can’t be so afraid of plot.’… It’s a very tricky line when your father is your producer and he has to find that moment of when is he being your father and when is he being a producer.”
At age 84, Gene Hackman is happily writing away in Santa Fe. The actor-turned-painter-turned-novelist doesn’t do very many interviews, but Yahoo Entertainment features editor Richard Rushfield was lucky enough to land a recent phoner, in support of Hackman’s latest fall 2013 novel Pursuit.
Hackman explained that it takes him upwards of a year to write each book and that this process encompasses two or three professional edits. The San Bernadino, CA native also touched on the critical collaborative role played by his wife Betsy Arakawa:
“I have a little office, you might call it. It’s just a writing desk and a pretty comfortable chair. I write longhand and I go back and I go over it I don’t know how many times and I hand it to the professor and she types it up. Then we go over it a number of times and get a little bit of a critique from her and like that.”
The only problem with Jimmy Kimmel‘s brilliant proposal last night is that Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres is in absolutely no need of extra cash. But if she were, she might definitely take up her ABC-TV Academy Awards broadcast mate on his crafty idea.
Kimmel told Ellen she is in the perfect position to bet, through an anonymous middleman like Guillermo, on prop wagers like these:
- Will Ellen wear a dress during the show?
- What will be the color of the first suit Ellen wears on stage?
- Will Pink and Bette Midler perform a duet?
The marquee sit-down took place at Musso and Frank, one of the very few remaining vestiges on Hollywood Blvd. of Tinseltown’s Golden Age. However, despite writer Boris Kachka‘s description of Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone as the Oscar blogging realm’s respective Adam and Eve, the professional picture painted seems a far cry from the Garden of Eden. More like a den of inequity.
According to Kachka, for those who make up this “motley and contentious” bunch, “no film buzz is too preliminary or perfunctory.” The writer raises with Pete Hammond a conflict-of-interest that has become fairly entrenched and carries his cheeky Old Testament allegory to the next, illogical level:
If Stone and O’Neil were the Adam and Eve of Oscar blogging, frenemies David Poland and Jeffrey Wells were its Cain and Abel. (Which one was Cain depends on whom you ask.) Poland started Movie City News in 2002 and began broadcasting his jaundiced perspective…
The massive media attention paid during the Sochi Winter Olympics to Bob Costas‘ eye problems and replacement-duty by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira obscured another worthy performance: Billy Bush. The Access Hollywood host was sensationally smooth and entertaining throughout and now, for his Oscar weekend duties, is bringing a piece of the Olympics with him.
Per a report by LA Times film reporter Amy Kaufman, it is thanks to Bush that the post-Oscar episodes of the entertainment news magazine will have a very unlikely additional fashion critic duo – Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski:
Bush was the one who suggested the skating experts move their act from the ice rink to the red carpet. While conducting an interview with Weir in Russia, he suddenly had a stroke of inspiration, said Rob Silverstein, the entertainment show’s executive producer.
This is quite honestly the best thing we’ve read in weeks. It’s also an editorial directive that should compel Alec Baldwin to WOOT! loud enough to be heard in suburbia.
Incoming People magazine editorial director Jess Cagle today explains how he quickly decided after arriving in January that the publication would no longer make use of guerilla-style photos of the young sons and daughters of celebrities. From his Editor’s Letter:
The editors at People have always been careful when dealing with photos of kids, but in the past few months our sensitivity has been significantly heightened, and our editorial practices have changed accordingly. When I took over as editorial director in January, I told our staff that People would not publish photos of celebs’ kids taken against their parents’ wishes, in print or online.
Over the weekend, Bay Area TV news anchor Thuy Vu had both U.S. coasts media-covered. Deservedly. Not only is she a journalist who recently took over on KQED for a local PBS legend (Belva Davis), but the story of how her family sacrificed in order to provide Vu and her siblings with a better life is replete with American Dream detail.
For example, to help make ends meet, Vu as a teenager passed on to her family all monies earned from a summer job soldering components onto motherboards at a San Jose computer company. From this weekend’s San Francisco Chronicle feature-interview by Peter Hartlaub:
Vu’s family fled Vietnam when Saigon fell to the communists in 1975. She was elementary-school-age and the second-youngest of eight children. The family was so large they couldn’t leave together, so some left by plane and others by cargo ship. Their only money was some gold sewn into the lining of her mother’s skirt. Nobody spoke English.
In 2009, not long after historic preservation foundation Landmarks Illinois celebrated former Chicago Tribune messenger boy Harold Ramis along with Cubs great Ernie Banks and Chicago marathon founder Lee Flaherty, the filmmaker spoke with Jake Jarvi for a subsequent article in Sheridan Road magazine. Perusing the interviews conducted over the years by Ramis, who passed away today at age 69, this one stands out not so much for what’s on the page but rather because of the Web version’s inclusion of audio of additional, unpublished conversation snippets.
In the five-minute segment, Ramis repeatedly has Jarvi in stitches, starting with a recollection of how he got his first Hollywood agent and how a Psychology Today article inspired one of his films:
“Travel is not necessarily about relaxing. It can be a real hassle. I did a whole movie about that once, Club Paradise.”