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Posts Tagged ‘Jason Robards’

Ben Affleck’s Nod to Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee

A different kind of conversation flow is possible when a fellow filmmaker rather than a journalist interviews a Hollywood director. Witness the Interview magazine Q&A between Ben Affleck, whose critically hailed Argo opens tomorrow, and Gus Van Sant, the man who guided him through 1997′s Good Will Hunting.

Affleck admits he watched a number of classic American movies for stylistic research purposes. Cassavetes was instrumental for the California scenes, while 1982′s Missing greatly helped inform the Iran sequences. As far as the cloak and dagger stuff, he told Van Sant he reached back to arguably the best film ever made about American print journalism:

“I wanted the CIA stuff to feel like All the President’s Men (1976) – not the sexy CIA, but the CIA where papers are piled up on desks and there’s cigarette smoke everywhere. Bryan Cranston’s character in Argo is also a bit like the Ben Bradlee role played by Jason Robards in All the President’s Men. I thought that if what we did reminded people of movies from that era that were in the collective consciousness, then the subconscious would believe that our movie was actually taking place in the 1970s.”

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Tom Brokaw, Trudie Styler, Joan Rivers & Happy Birthday, Jon Meacham!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

If you were wondering why the streets of midtown seemed a bit quiet today it was because everyone — well, almost everyone — was at Michael’s today. I could barely keep up as the A-listers filed in one after another (Tom Brokaw! Jon Meacham!) and random celebs (Trudie Styler, Joan Rivers) drifted by.

And to think I was worried I missed all the action when Gabriel Byrne and Chelsea Clinton made appearances last Thursday. If it’s Wednesday, you can pretty much always count on a head-spinning lunchtime scene at 55th and Fifth.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Joan Rivers, presiding over a table full of folks including John Miller and some execs from WEtv. We’re guessing the group was feting Joan over the ratings success of the first season of her reality show, Mother Knows Best. (Glasses of white wine were being raised.) The compulsively watchable series starring Joan and Melissa Rivers chronicled the roller coaster ride of their mother-daughter relationship. When it wasn’t making me laugh out loud, it had me in tears. I should have expected as much since Joan put it all out there in A Piece of Work, the documentary which chronicled her fascinating life on and off stage.

Before she made her way to her table, I grabbed her for a chat and asked if she’d attended the royal wedding, since she’s been a guest of Prince Charles at many a dinner party at Highgrove. “I didn’t go,” she told me. “I’m a friend of Camilla‘s and none of her friends were invited.” Even so, she gave the wedding party high marks in the fashion department. (Much to their relief, I’m sure.) “Everybody looked fabulous!”

2. Stephen Swid with two gents that looked like they stepped right out of the pages of a Judith Krantz novel

3. Trudie Styler and two scholarly looking gents. (One was toting a folder from a school whose name we just couldn’t make out from afar) I’m thinking the fellows were from the Child Mind Institute at Hunter College where Trudie gave a well-received talk yesterday on her own childhood struggles with ADHD and dyslexia. Thanks to my pal blogger Beth Arky for giving me the heads up on this one.

4. Sony Television head Steve Mosko and Jerry Stiller (Yes, Ben‘s dad.)

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