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Posts Tagged ‘David Foster Wallace’

A Conversation with Robert De Niro’s Film Archivist | New Dish on Gone With The Wind

LunchAtMichaelsI was joined today by my good friend ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong who I first met (where else?) in this very dining room seven years ago. Joe has introduced me to countless interesting folks over the years including Carl Bernstein, Elton John and the late Elizabeth Edwards. He’s had a long and storied career in journalism having been at the top of the masthead of Rolling Stone and New York Magazine as publisher and has served as a trusted advisor to ABC News. These days when he’s not holding court here at Michael’s or dispensing invaluable advice to his faithful friends in the media biz, he’s a tireless champion of many worthwhile causes and institutions including the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin where he sits of the board of directors. Back in the day, Joe was editor in chief of the Texas Law Forum at the University of Texas School of Law. (Harry Ransom was his beloved mother’s English teacher — “Everything comes full circle!”) Today, he invited me to join the Center’s film curator Steve Wilson,  Alicia Dietrich, public affairs representative and  Jennifer Tisdale director of public affairs who dazzled me with fascinating stories about the Center’s extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia among many other types of cultural and literary artifacts — just in time for the upcoming Oscars.

At Table One: Front (from left) Steve Wilson, Diane Clehane, Jennifer Tisdale; Back: Alicia Dietrich and Joe Armstrong

At Table 1: Front (from left) Steve Wilson, Diane Clehane and Jennifer Tisdale; Back: Alicia Dietrich and Joe Armstrong

The gang was in town to meet with various news outlets to discuss the Center’s upcoming ’The Making of Gone With the Wind” exhibition, timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of one of the most iconic movies of all time. The exhibition will run from Sept. 9 through Jan. 4, 2015 and is a must-see for film buffs. Gone With the Wind was the most nominated film of 1939, scoring 13 Academy Award nominations, including a nod for Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to be nominated and win for Best Supporting Actress. No small feat since that year was truly one of Hollywood’s best with Wuthering Heights and The Wizard of Oz also competing for little gold men that year. Among the 300 items drawn from the Center’s collection from David O. Selznick‘s archives that will be on view: rare audition footage, storyboards from the film and three original gowns worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, including the famous “green curtain” dress, marking the first time these costumes were on view together in 25 years. A gloriously illustrated exhibition catalog of the same title was published by the Center and University of Texas Press last fall with a foreword written by Turner Classic Movie host and film historian Robert Osborne.

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Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Journalist Pays Tribute to ‘Happy Foot/Sad Foot Sign’

Salon co-founder Laura Miller has an entertaining look today at the unlikely impact of the so-called “Happy Foot/Sad Foot Sign”, a two-sided rotating call for business that sits atop the Foot Clinic at 2711 West Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Never mind that local residents with a view of the sign take the first side they see as a potential harbinger of the day ahead. Banner respect has now moved to the pages of several impressive works of fiction:

The Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign became better known to readers outside the Los Angeles area when it appeared in Jonathan Lethem‘s 2007 novel, You Don’t Love Me Yet… The sign also appears to have inspired a passage in The Pale King, the final, unfinished novel by the late David Foster Wallace, published last month.

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Henry Rollins, Megan Mullally, Josh Radnor and More Perform The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

When David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008, he left behind legions of grieving fans, a gaping hole in the literary world, and an unfinished novel about agents of the Internal Revenue Service in Peoria, Illinois. That book, pieced together and published posthumously, will be brought to life this coming Thursday by a handful of Hollywood notables.

THE PALE KING: MONOLOGUES FROM THE UNFINISHED NOVEL BY DAVID FOSTER WALLACE will take place at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on April 28. Performers include Henry Rollins, Rosemarie DeWitt, Adam Scott, Rob Delaney, René Auberjonois, and more. The event is being hosted by LA Times book critic, David L. Ulin, and sponsored by PEN Center USA.

Tickets for the event go for $25 and $65 and are available from both the Saban Theatre box office and Ticketmaster. The latter will gouge you on fees.

Brooklyn ‘Mascot’ Jonathan Lethem Likes Life in SoCal

A lot of people found it odd when Brooklyn novelist Jonathan Lethem decided to uproot last year and head to SoCal to take David Foster Wallace‘s former teaching position at Pomona College. After all, there weren’t too many writers more closely associated with a location than Lethem was with Brooklyn. But in what looks to be a Sunday LA Times story, posted early online, Lethem says the move was much needed, and is working out well.

“Brooklyn is repulsive with novelists, it’s cancerous with novelists,” Lethem says, of why he needed to get out. “I do love New York, but it’s also unbearable to me in some ways, and I compulsively leave it behind.”

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