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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Taymor’

Mark Your Calendars: The New York Times’ Arts & Leisure Weekend Is Coming In January

Break out your 2011 calendars, people. The New York Times is set to hold its 10th annual Arts & Leisure Weekend from January 6th through the 9th. The event will include TimesTalks interviews with big names across a variety of fields, conducted by New York Times journalists.

Some of the guests slated to participate include CBS anchor Katie Couric, who will be interviewed by Gail Collins; Food Network star Ina Garten, interviewed by Alex Witchel; James Levine, music director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, interviewed by Daniel Wakin; Terence Winter, the co-creator of “Boardwalk Empire,” will be interviewed by Charles McGrath along with actors Steve Buscemi and Paz de la Huerta. Additional interviews will be conducted with pianist Lang Lang; Annie Proulx, author of Brokeback Mountain; actor/director Robert Redford; actor/director/producer Kevin Spacey; and film and stage director Julie Taymor.

The weekend will also include performances by the likes of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and American Idiot director/co-writer Michael Mayer, who will be interviewed by Patrick Healy. There will be a salute to the music of Tim Rice (aka the writer of nearly every Disney song you’ve sung into a hairbrush) and a performance by Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright.

So save the date. But, please, leave your hairbrushes at home.

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Lunch: James Cameron’s Oscar Campaign Comes to Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was Hollywood on the Hudson at Michael’s today as Peggy Siegal hosted one of her legendary lunches right smack in the middle of the dining room. Today’s guest of honor was James Cameron. Looks like Peggy pulled out all the stops, rounding up quite an eclectic collection of actors, directors, and entertainment A-listers to celebrate the Avatar auteur’s nine Oscar nominations and, no doubt, drum up a few votes. Ballots are due March 2! In case you haven’t heard, Cameron is up against some stiff competition in the best picture and director categories. His ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, has been nabbing plenty of statuettes this award season for helming The Hurt Locker, and everyone in Hollywood is waiting to see who comes out on top on Oscar night.

I was squeezed into the bar with Redbook‘s editor-in-chief Stacy Morrison and Hearst’s director of public relations Alexandra Carlin. Stacy is about to publish her first book, Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce (Simon & Schuster) next month and it’s a real page turner. After spending a year “trying not to write the book,” Stacy decided to chronicle her painful but ultimately life-affirming journey from jilted wife of a year-old baby to happy single mother. The memoir, which seems destined for the big screen, took two years of writing and rewriting on weekends to finish. “I wanted to make people think differently about divorce,” Stacy told me. After tiring of deflecting people’s inappropriate questions about the split, Stacy says she ultimately thought: ‘If you want to see the real story, here it is.’ And she doesn’t hold anything back. From the nights spent sobbing on her kitchen floor to the painful conversations with her soon-to-be ex, it’s all there.

I asked Stacy if she had any misgivings about exposing so much about her personal life in the book, given her high-profile position as a relationship ‘expert.’ (She got her boss Cathie Black‘s blessing to write it.) On the contrary, she told me. “The book is a resilience road map,” says Stacy. Miraculously, she and her ex-husband have managed to remain friends (really!) and have a co-parenting strategy that works for the couple and their young son. Stacy even dedicated the book to the man who left her because, she says, “I couldn’t have written it without him in more ways than one.”

The book is getting plenty of good buzz and even earned high praise from none other than Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote of her own reawakening after divorce in Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert “loved the tone” of the book, calling it “real, without the slightest hint of self-pity.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Just an intimate lunch for 38 including James Cameron and pals Bob Balaban, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn (looking absolutely ageless), Avatar villain Stephen Lang, indie It girl Parker Posey, documentarian Ken Burns and director Julie Taymor, Jean Doumanian and Warner Music’s Lyor Cohen. Also in attendance: Les Moonves, John Stossel, Felicia Taylor, and “Mayor” Joe Armstrong. Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar odds-maker Dave Karger was also on hand taking it all in.

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Nearly Everyone’s a Winner with RADAR’s Charles Kaiser

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RADAR posts their Winners and Sinners list but Charles Kaiser sounds more like a gushing fanboy than any sharp media critic. He squashes some low-hanging fruit, like Deborah “Didn’t I Ask That?” Solomon, but practically wets himself in praising the unwatchable mess made by director Julie Taymor:

Winner: Julie Taymor for Across the Universe, a charming musical starring adorable newcomer Jim Sturgess. The movie uses more than 30 Beatles songs to propel us through a story that touches all the stations of the ’60s cross. One bad creative decision: Revolution Studios head Joe Roth tried to shorten the movie by 30 minutes. Taymor went berserk and got it all put back. At 133 minutes, the movie is exactly half an hour longer than it should have been.

Most of his praise is reserved for household names, like Carl Bernstein, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, Lara Logan, Jeffrey Toobin, and most of the New York Times. Really, it’s like he’s superpoking his Facebook roster, should one exist.

Elle’s Honorees Fleshed Out

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Elle’s Women In Hollywood honorees list needs a little fleshing out, we think. The press release prose is a little purple.

Kate Bosworth:
In a town that worships lanky young blonds, Kate Bosworth could have had it easy. Instead, she dodged the expected and chose to rely on her intensity and range, proving this bombshell is built to last.

Built to last, if you believe that all that limited calorie diet bull.

Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly managed to do the impossible: graduate from child actor to leading lady, without rehab or going commando. Meet the savviest woman in Hollywood.

Take that, Lindsay Lohan!

Diane Lane
In Hollywood there are the young, the younger, and the barely legal. Then there’s Diane Lane, an alluring forty-something whose stunning turn as an adulteress soccer mom reaffirms why reinvention is the best revenge.

Adulteress soccer mom? Wasn’t that a couple of movies ago? Or maybe not.

Amy Adams
Amy Adams kick-started her career by slaying one supporting role after another. But now Hollywood’s most promising breakout is finally ready to take the lead.

Slaying? Is this a Buffy reference? She’s got good buzz for Enchanted.

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor has tackled theatre, opera, and now Across The Universe—the most inventive film of the year. It’s just the kind of breadth that might just make the wildly nimble filmmaker the director of our generation.

Inventive is another word for stinkbomb, and you’re not talkin’ ’bout my generation, fool on a hill.

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Lauren Bacall
For more than six decades, Lauren Bacall has crafted the kind of characters women want to emulate and actresses only dream about playing.

Bacall’s great, but writers created those characters, and Howard Hawks created Bacall.

Elle’s Women in Hollywood Roundtable

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Salon’s Rebecca Traister sits in on Elle’s Women in Hollywood round table discussion on the state of show biz, why there aren’t more women directors, and so on. The group wonders why women don’t go to opening weekends, forgetting that people watch movies lots of other ways than at the multiplex, not than any of them ever see films with the public. While distinguished and credible, the ten are sort of randomly chosen. At the table are:

Moderator/producer Lynda Obst (called one of Tinseltown’s great brains, which is a frightening thought)
Claims Kate Hudson has same power as Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon in getting girly movies green-lit. Because the audience is clamoring for more.

Writer/director Nora Ephron
Thinks Transformers had a great emotional theme, sucks up to Spielberg. Claims to meet only timid girls at film schools. Ever wonder if she still takes calls from Meg Ryan?

Writer/producer Laura Ziskin
Discussing the lack of female directors, drops a bomb,

Our children watched their mothers and said, “Oh, no thank you. I don’t want my life to be like that.”

Writer/director Callie Khouri
Claims she wanted to make a NASCAR movie. So she directed Ya-Ya Sisterhood instead? Just made indie movie with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes and wonders why no studio wanted it. Then complains about the lack of wish fulfillment in Judd Apatow movies.

Writer/director Patty Jenkins
Liked Spiderman. Admits to concentrating on personal life after making Monster.

Producer Cathy Konrad
Has small child, married to business partner Jim Mangold, admits to scaling back work for family.

Writer/director/producer Kimberly Piece
Loves blowing things up, just made second film.

Writer/producer Andrea Berloff
Has little kid, wonders why more women aren’t in film biz. But she’s fairly new to the business, as World Trade Center was her first produced script.

Writer/producer Margaret Nagle
Breaks away from approved party line by believing babe/nerd hookup in Knocked Up.

Universal president of production Donna Langley (called “that rarest of Hollywood breeds, a female studio head”, as Amy Pascal, wasn’t in the room.)
Points out that despite Jodie Foster’s tiny cameo, lots of women went to see Inside Man starring Denzel Washington. See Queen Latifah, wish fulfillment above.

The discussion was held in August, so Jeff Robinov’s foot hadn’t entered his mouth yet.

These women don’t pay attention to the few women working as TV directors and that reality TV could be a training ground for women (who are usually credited as field producers). Michael Apted started in documentary, after all.

But there’s a big snob factor in features, and never underestimate the insularity of Hollywood. Directors who came from TV, like Dennie Gordon, Betty Thomas, and Mimi Leder, and those who go back and forth, like Nicole Holofcener tend to not get called for big tentpole pictures.

Nikki Finke picks out some high points, but think how lively the discussion could have been, had she sat at the table.

Elle hosts the 14th annual Women in Hollywood Tribute at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on Oct. 15, when it will honor actresses Lauren Bacall, Scarlett Johansson, Diane Lane, Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Connelly, Amy Adams and director Julie Taymor.

Elle Picks Up Premiere’s Party

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Premiere Magazine is gone for good, but one of the mag’s main interests in Hollywood will live on thanks to sister publication Elle Magazine.

Elle has taken on toplining duties for the 14th annual Women In Hollywood tribute, which honors womens’ work on the big-screen. The mag has set Oct. 15 to dole out awards at the Four Seasons Bevery Hills Hotel for the annual fete and zeroed in on Scarlett Johansson, Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Connelly, Amy Adams, Lauren Bacall, Diane Lane and helmer Julie Taymor to receive awards.

In a statement regarding their newfound involvement, Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers said. “Elle is proud to continue the tradition of celebrating the remarkable contributions of women in Hollywood. In addition to being extraordinarily talented, these women are great role models in every sense.”

- CHRIS GARDNER