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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Nichols’

It’s Time to Admit It: Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin are a Classic Comedy Duo

The medium of television and the sensibilities of comedy are vastly different today than they were during the runs of such gold-standard bearers as Mike Nichols and Elaine May, George Burns and Gracie Allen or Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. So just to preface this for comedy purists; we would never suggest that a 21st century couple, atop today’s fractured media landscape, could ever lay claim to that kind of titanic yucks aura.

GriffinCooperNYEHowever… As a sign of just how much we have come to love the NYE shenanigans of one Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, FishbowlNY has no trouble admitting that we DVR-ed the entire thing December 31 and watched the entire thing January 1. And enjoyed every minute of it.

This year’s seventh go-round (by Cooper’s count) or eighth (by Griffin’s) ranks as the best so far. Largely because, after a couple of borderline years, Griffin seems to have finally read the contractual fine print and figured out more nimbly than ever how to straddle the Times Square barrier.

One of the highlights of Cooper-Griffin 2013 was when she launched into the first of several recurring bits mocking her co-host’s banal tweets and starved-for-attention Twitter M.O. Cooper was literally doubled over with laughter as Griffin put on her therapist party hat:

“Why do you read every single [reply] tweet?”

“I know the hurt little boy who lives inside the model body. He’s five-years-old. Mommy’s missing, she’s at Studio 54. His soup is cold… And all he wants is love. So he’s reading every, single tweet…”

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How William Friedkin Gunned His Way to The Exorcist

One of the most enjoyable anecdotal aspects of William Friedkin’s new autobiography The Friedkin Connection involves the late Blake Edwards. In 1966, when Friedkin was just getting started as a director on the TV side, he had the privilege of being asked to read the script for a planned feature film version of Edwards’ earlier TV series Peter Gunn. But it’s what happened at a subsequent Monday morning breakfast meeting that really made the difference:

“So what do you think?” Edwards asked.
I chose my words carefully, but I had to say what I felt and accept the consequences. “Blake, I think the script is a piece of sh*t.”
He looked up in shock, his English muffin poised in midair. “What?” He set his muffin down and looked at me directly, not so much mad as confused. “What did you just say?” A bitter smile crossed his lips.

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Kathryn Bigelow Joins Rarefied TIME Cover Group

At the recent Golden Globes, Kathryn Bigelow and Jodie Foster commingled on stage and off; Bigelow as a Best Director nominee, Foster as the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.

By gracing the cover of the February 4 issue of TIME magazine, Bigelow joins Foster once again, this time as only the second female film director to adorn the publication. Foster did so back in October 1991.

The cover shot was taken by Paola Kudacki, the accompanying interview-profile conducted by Jessica Winter with help from Lily Rothman. Female power all around for this one.

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The Film Elizabeth Taylor Wants To Be Remembered For

Barbara Walters, who was in contact with Elizabeth Taylor right up to the death of the beloved 79-year-old icon in Los Angeles early this morning, told Good Morning America that the actress wanted to be remembered above all for her work in the 1966 film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

That’s no surprise. Of the nearly dozen film collaborations Taylor made with the love of her life, Richard Burton, this searing adaptation of the Edward Albee play stands as the pair’s best. It won Taylor one of her two Best Actress Oscars and presented the UK born stunner in a far different light, partly because she was willing to gain 30 pounds to play middle-aged Martha. (Haskell Wexler, who took home the Oscar for Best Cinematography that year, was brought on as a last minute replacement to help “beautify” the actress, but that idea thankfully quickly went out the window.)

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Mamet, Rudin, Nichols And Their Egos To Take On Kurosawa

Screenwriter David Mametmamet2.jpg, producer Scott Rudinrudin.jpg
and director Mike Nichols may well end up not just remaking another Kurosawa epic “High and Low” for Miramax Films, but becoming the subjects. The storage-closet egos of this trio are likely to take center stage.

Talk about “Rashomon” revisited.

And don’t forget Martin Scorsese, who originally commissioned Mamet to write the script back in 1999 and will likely stay on as executive producer, according to Varietynichols.jpg.

Kurosawa’s 1963 detective thriller starring Toshiro Mifune was based on the Ed McBain novel “King’s Ransom,” about a businessman who is ruined when he honorably pays ransom to kidnappers who mistakenly nabbed his driver’s son.

Several Kurosawa films have been remade by Hollywood, most notably “The Seven Samurai” (“The Magnificent Seven”) and “Rashomon” (“The Outrage”). Steven Spielberg is developing a remake of “Ikiru” at DreamWorks, possibly to direct. And the Weinstein Co. has been developing another “Seven Samurai” remake.

Angelina Jolie’s Esquire Profile ‘Worst Ever’? Not That Bad, Actually

Over at Slate, Ron Rosenbaum went all medieval on a Tom Junod-penned profile of Angelina Jolie in Esquire and panned it as the worst celebrity profile ever written. Interestingly, Rosenbaum didn’t mention Junod’s name in the piece once. Junod is a respected writer whose profiles of Mr. Rogers and Mike Tyson have become standard fare for college journalism classes, and he’s written about everything from Ecuadorian kidnappings to iconic 9/11 photographs. Then again, he’s also responsible for a puff piece or two. But the challenging thing is that in Rosenbaum’s screed, he treats Junow’s article like something special. He namedrops Yale University in calling it a “fallacy of imitative form” and calls the Jolie profile the worst out of “a wasteland of celebrity profiles.”

The wasteland part we can see. But the worst?

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