Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oprah Is A Roman Empress

(image via photoshoppix)

The Oprah is quite astonishing. Her ability to anoint -- Twitter, The Reader, Obama -- truly boggles the imagination and confounds all reason. Oprah, quite simply, doesn't lose (Except, perhaps in the California primary against The Clintons).

All that victory can go to ones head. Hugh Jackman told Howard Stern today an interesting story about dining with The Oprah. From

"Asked about the gay rumors that have plagued his career, Hugh shrugged: 'I think it means you've finally made it, right? You can't be in this business without [that] rumor.' Hugh also laughed about an odd scene at one of Oprah's recent dinner parties - after a brief exchange with his host, Oprah turned to the rest of the diners and shouted: 'Everybody stop! We're having the most interesting conversation at the table! Hugh, tell everyone what we're talking about.'"

This is exactly the sort of thing that could just as easily have been uttered by Livia Drusilla in Suetonius' Vita Divi Claudii.
A Little of The Old In And Out

In: Hulu. Hulu's quest for world domination continues apace (The site is the third most popular on the web). Just last week we were talking to Michaels' General Manager Steve Millington about Hulu's excellence (Steve's kids like to watch cartoons on the site), and, quite frankly, almost everyone we know drops by the site at least once a week. Their content library, already delicious, is now increasing. From Paidcontent:

"The serious talks between The Walt Disney Company and Hulu we first reported a month ago finally have resulted in a deal making the company a partner with News Corp., NBC Universal and Providence Equity Partners in the video portal and distributor. The deal, which has yet to close, adds ABC’s prime time shows to Hulu as well as its daytime soaps and programming from ABC Family, Disney Channel and SOAPnet.

"For Hulu, this is about more than getting ABC and Disney cable programming. To get ABC Disney on board, paidContent was told News Corp. and NBCU—whose exclusive deals with the JV were set to expire late this year—agreed to a two-year extension that matches Disney’s term and gives Hulu some breathing space as it continues to build out.

"Disney gets three seats on the Hulu board that will be filled by Bob Iger; Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group; and Kevin Mayer, executive vice president, Corporate Strategy, Business Development & Technology."

More here.

(image via FT)

Out: The Chrystler LLC Lenders, Hedge Funds It is rare when President Obama seems truly peeved. There was that episode with Vice President Joe Biden's straying off message. And there was today's presser when the President seemed genuinely rankled by the investors and hedge funders who nearly put the kibosh on the Fiat-Chrystler alliance that will save an iconic brand and American jobs across the heartland. From Bloomberg:

"'I don’t stand with those who held out when everyone else is making sacrifices,' Obama said today in Washington where he announced that Chrysler would proceed with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to reorganize into a more viable carmaker in a partnership with Italy’s Fiat SpA.

Obama said that while many of the stakeholders worked constructively, others did not. 'In particular, a group of investment firms and hedge funds decided to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout,' he said.

"'They were hoping that everybody else would make sacrifices and they would have to make none,' Obama said. 'Some demanded twice the return that other lenders were getting.'

"A dissident group of 20 investment firms and other lenders turned down administration loan reduction proposals, leading to a breakdown in talks last night. The firms include OppenheimerFunds Inc., Perella Weinberg Capital Management LP and Stairway Capital Advisors, a person representing the group said, asking not to be identified. The companies were part of a steering group that led Chrysler restructuring negotiations with the Treasury Department.

"Dan Arbess, a spokesman for New York-based Perella, didn’t return calls for comment. Jack Brown, a spokesman for New York- based Oppenheimer, declined to comment. Stairway spokesman John Rijo said the Uniondale, New York-based fund would be issuing a statement later today."

Also: a source tells Reuters that the U.S. House Financial Services Committee plans to hold a hearing to examine the regulation of the $1.3 trillion hedge fund industry.

In: Ms. Natalie Portman was mentioned in today's Page Six as one of Sean Penn's flings, but she also has a new site out that gets some favorable mention from EW:

"The site is still brand new, so it isn't exactly overflowing with content. But what it does have -- a chat with Ron Howard about Angels & Demons, a discussion with Whatever Works casting director Juliet Taylor -- is impressively in-depth. And unlike many star-centric sites, Portman's presence here is minimal, save for a company bio and an interview under the 'Actors' heading."
Carnival Night In Rio Party

Just getting over a massive hangover from the Carnaval night in Rio in the Tribeca Skyline Studios penthouse. The blogging will be slow today as we recover. It was the best party this blogger has attended all year. The space was cavernous, the location perfectly out-of-the-way, the drinks were endless, there was dancing, well-spaced hors d'oeuvres and a playful, pretty crowd. The penthouse view of the Hudson River on a gorgeous spring night was spectacular. How can one fault a party where models are jumping on trampolines and there is an impromptu capoeira demonstration. End-of-Empire decadence in a troubled economy? Probably. But also goddam fun from which we are still recovering.

Profoto footed the bill for this fantastical party? Pictures here.
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(Penn and Petra Nemcova via dailymail)

"THE misery is over for Robin Wright, the long-suffering wife of Sean Penn. The two-time Oscar-winner is divorcing the mother of his two children, Dylan and Hopper Jack. 'Extra' reports he filed for legal separation last Friday. This comes as no surprise to Petra Nemcova, Helena Christensen, Ines Misan, Naomi Campbell and Natalie Portman, who all befriended Penn during his 13-year marriage to Wright. The couple filed for separation in December 2007 but reconciled five months later, and Wright stoically attended the Academy Awards with Penn, where he snubbed her during his acceptance speech." (PageSix)

"I just talked to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell about his new Democratic colleague, and he sheds some additional light on Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties: Specter, Rendell says, had been looking for ways to survive politically without switching parties. One move he considered is the reverse of something that worked well for Rendell in the 2002 gubernatorial primary against Bob Casey: Appealing to Democrats to switch their registration temporarily so that they could vote in the GOP primary .. Another idea that Specter considered, according to the Governor, was appealing to Republicans in the state Senate to change the rules and allow independents to vote in the GOP primary .. While Rendell had long been wheedling Specter to switch parties, he says that he was completely surprised when the Senator actually did so--and, indeed, didn't learn about it until Barack Obama called with the news. (The Governor noted, as an aside, that Specter and Obama had become friendly back in the days when they shared neighborhing offices in the Hart Senate Office Building.)" (Karen Tumulty/Time)

"Hugh Jackman stopped by to promote 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' and told the crew he landed the role after Dougray Scott, the actor originally cast as Wolverine, was delayed on the set of 'Mission Impossible 2.' Hugh said the only remaining obstacle was his height, as Wolverine - in the comic - was 5'3.'Howard asked Hugh how he managed to bulk up so much for the role, so Hugh confessed that he had to eat huge meals every three hours and hit the gym a lot: 'I do an hour and a half in the morning when I was really trying to bulk up and then another half hour in the afternoon...I was eating 5000 calories a day.' Hugh said he would bench as much as 300lbs - but only for three or four reps at a time .. Hugh told the crew a story about the three days it took to film Halle Berry's nude scene on the set of Swordfish: 'I was there for her. I'm an off-camera guy.' Later, during a scene in which Halle wore only underwear, John Travolta entered on cue - but instead of saying his line, took in the view and exclaimed: 'Holy shit! Look at the body on that girl!'" (HowardStern)

(image via thepeepdiaries)

"One person leaving a comment (on Emily Gould's blog) had the good manners to sign his name. It was Glenn Kenny, a veteran film writer, formerly of Premiere magazine, who is known for his encyclopedic knowledge: 'Um, not to put too fine a point on it—and believe me, I know this is going to sound mean, but there’s just no way around it—but could you do the rest of humanity the favor of, like, throwing yourself in front of a bus or something? Thanks.' That comment went up July 3. On July 6, Kenny was back, with this remark: 'I want to apologize for my above comment.… I am sorry, and shall not trouble your comments again.' Asked why he had ventured into the comments section of Gould’s blog that way, Kenny no longer sounded so apologetic. 'Her whole trick was the idea that the whole world revolved around her,' he tells me in a phone interview, 'and she was not a particularly clever writer, not a particularly clever thinker. So I, rather unfortunately, got caught up in that eddy. I’m not interested in kneecapping her career, but there’s a certain amount of bullshit you want to call a person on, and she happens to manufacture quite a bit of it.'" (Vanity Fair)

"Contemporary artist and U.N. Goodwill Abassador, Ross Bleckner attended a party in his honor Tuesday night at New York City’s Moschino which will sponsor Welcome to Gulu, the artisit’s latest exhibition of 200 paintings made by children from Uganda where Bleckner recently traveled to help with the rehabilitation of former child soldiers and abducted girls through art therapy. Guests including Douglas Friedman, Sandra Bernhard, Dani Stahl, Daniel Benedict, Andrew Saffir, Claiborne Swanson, Veronica Swanson Beard, Glenn O’Brien, and Sylvana Soto-Ward attended to support the cause and view the exhibition." (Guestofaguest)

"As head of his party’s congressional campaign committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland helped elect 34 new Democrats to the 111th Congress. In his new role as an assistant to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., he’s trying to help them keep their jobs in 2010. To protect the freshman class of 2008 — the fledgling lawmakers who are Pelosi’s 'majority enhancers' — Van Hollen has pushed back against liberal demands for showdown votes with partisan themes. Instead, he has urged a tight focus on the health care overhaul and 'core economic issues' and argued against moving some controversial measures that face roadblocks in the Senate. For example, Van Hollen pushed to shelve a plan for using reconciliation to advance a proposed cap-and-trade system for carbon emission allowances, a proposal that is controversial in heavily industrial states. Instead, he has called for fallback energy initiatives if an all-in-one energy bill loses traction. More recently, he suggested that leaders could delay consideration of climate change legislation until next year." (CQPOlitics)

"I went to lunch at Michael’s with W. Randall (Randy) Jones to talk about his new book, 'The Richest Man In Town; The Twelve Commandments of Wealth.' Randy is a well known figure in the media business in New York. When he was 29, he was publisher of Esquire which was later sold to Hearst. In 1992, he launched Worth which grew its circulation to more than a half million in three years time. He has since written books as well as acquired publications. He and his wife Connie, whom he’s known since boyhood in Carrollton, Georgia, their hometown, are frequent hosts at their spectacular duplex apartment on 57th Street near Sutton Place, as well as raising their three sons in Bronxvile." (NYSocialDiary)

"Seven years after the end of the war, Sierra Leone is thriving and the tourists are starting to come back. For the time being, it is more a trickle than a flood. But speaking to the entrepreneurs on Lumley Beach in Freetown, I was struck by the ambition of their plans and their optimism about the future. New hotels and facilities are being built in anticipation of the increase in visitors they expect in years to come. With industry leaders starting to sit up and take notice of Sierra Leone once again, they will not have to wait for long. Lonely Planet recently named Sierra Leone one of its top 10 countries to visit in 2009. Bradt Travel is bringing out the first guidebook dedicated solely to Sierra Leone. And you can now fly direct to Sierra Leone from Europe in six hours." (Tony Blair/TheDailyBeast)

(image via uiuc)

"The historic gap between blacks and whites in voter participation evaporated in last year’s presidential race, according to an analysis released today, with black, Hispanic and Asian voters comprising nearly a quarter of the electorate, setting a record. The analysis, by the Pew Research Center, also found that for the first time, black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group .. The Pew analysis found that whites constituted 76.3 percent of the record 131 million Americans who voted last November. Blacks accounted for 12.1 percent, Hispanic voters for 7.4 percent and Asians for 2.5 percent. Together, black, Hispanic and Asian voters made up nearly 24 percent of the voters, compared with about 12 percent in 1988." (NyTimes)

"The preferred caterer of Manhattan high society, Sean Driscoll, described his longtime client, the late philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor, as a scotch-on the-rocks kind of gal who spent her 100th birthday dining with the likes of Kofi Annan and Barbara Walters. Taking the witness stand on Thursday, April 30, Mr. Driscoll also recalled how the centenarian society maven had seemed confused at a lunch in 2003, insisting on paying for her meal with a credit card, as if she were in a restaurant. She was not. She was actually attending a private event in her honor at Mr. Driscoll's company's headquarters." (Observer)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Obsessed Movie Drinking Game

The Corsair would like to propose the *Obsessed* movie drinking game:

-- 1 drink every time “bitch” is said, as in:

"Derek Charles: Breathe, Bitch!
[after Derek finds Lisa unconscious]"

-- 2 drinks for each time a character on-screen calls someone “crazy," as in:

"Beth Charles: I'ma show you crazy!"

-- 3 drinks, with gusto, for every “skinny ass” comment conjured, as in:

"Beth Charles: I'm-a wipe the floor wit yo skinny ass."

-- And a deep hearty chug when any combination of these expletives are used, as in:

"Beth Charles: [on the phone] You know who this is. You came into my house, you touched my child. You think you're crazy? I'll show you crazy. Try me, bitch."
Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...

Friends don't let friends pop their collars. (image via thecobrasnake)

Wigga, please. (image via thecobrasnake)

3 out of 5 proctologists recommend you keep on walking, hombre.. (image via thecobrasnake)

Accepting lower level occupational roles is how one ascends the "vertical mosaic" of club culture. (image via thecobrasnake)

Thank you very much o, Mr. Roboto ..(image via thecobrasnake)

"Snacks" -- for that's what we called her -- was not promiscuous per se, we prefer to regard to her as generous. (image via thecobrasnake)
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Tuesday night Focus Features hosted a special New York screening of new film 'The Limits of Control' at LES spot Shang. Guests included the film’s actors and actresses, such as Tilda Swinton, Paz de La Huerta, Gael Garcia Bernal, the film’s director Jim Jarmusch, lead Isaach De Bankole and Bill Murray, sporting a red golf visor with frosted tips at various points during the evening (is an explanation even necessary?)." (Guestofaguest)

"The first thing that tipped me off that Jim Jarmusch's The Limits of Control premiere was going to be a hot one, was when a TV reporter asked me if I had seen the movie. When I said, 'not yet!' she said, 'Paz de la Huerta doesn't have a stitch of clothing on through most of it -- you have to give her credit for pulling that off!' When the magnificent Tilda Swinton swept by her in her ferociously different Giambattista Valli outfit, we all gasped a little..." (Caroline Torem-Craig/Papermag)

"One of politics’ unlikeliest figures has come to Hollywood, looking to change his stripes. Frank Luntz, the arch-conservative pollster known as the research hammer by which the Gingrich revolution came down hard on President Bill Clinton, wants to take over research for the entertainment industry. And you thought Arianna Huffington did a quick-switch job? 'I want to replace Joe Farrell,' said Luntz, wandering the halls of the Milken Institute conference on Monday in Beverly Hills, where he was a featured speaker. Luntz clearly has a lot to learn in Hollywood -- including the fact that Farrell of National Research Group retired a number of years ago. But the pollster and Fox News analyst is serious about making his play. He's bought a home in Santa Monica and is already doing survey work for Universal’s marketing chief Adam Fogelson and speaking to producers about other projects." (TheWrap)

"In one of his last acts as CEO of Bear Stearns, James Cayne made a payment of around $2 million to a woman who was poised to file sexual harassment charges against its legendary chairman, Alan 'Ace' Greenberg, The Daily Beast has learned. The allegations, which centered around 'inappropriate touching,' according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, didn't result in a lawsuit. Instead, reeling from the bad press of the firm's role in the burgeoning financial crisis, Cayne settled the matter with the woman, a much younger employee who worked in sales capacity, and who had initially demanded a much higher payment." (Charlie Gasparino/TheDailyBeast)

(image via socialitelife)

"I went down to Michael’s to have a birthday lunch with my old friend Beth DeWoody who is just back from her tenth trip to Cuba. Talking about our mutual acquaintances, the de Lesseps of Housewives fame, Beth reminded me that Alex, the now estranged husband of Countess LuAnn has an interest in a resort hotel in Havana where the beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. Michael’s was its crowded self and the star in the room was Evander Holyfield, who looks more like a movie star than the world heavyweight champion that he is: handsome, very tall and impeccably turned out in what was a bespoke leisure suit. At the table next to ours was the irrepressible and (always leave em laughing) Joan Rivers, also looking like a movie star, in from the Coast for a few days before she returns to edit her new TV show. Also hosting tables were Kathy Lee Gifford, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Jonathan Tisch, Neil Sedaka." (NYSocialDiary)

(image via guestofaguest)

"Marisa Noel Brown, the daughter of disgraced Fairfield Greenwich Group founder Walter Noel, and her husband Matt, are officially putting their townhouse at 12 East 78th Street on the market. The Indiana limestone–faced manse, which the couple bought for $13.5 million in 2008 and then spent millions renovating, will be listed with Stribling's Patricia Farman-Farmaian for a mere $11.5 million. " (Cityfile)

"First Independent Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to 2009 Sundance entry 'Big Fan,' the directing debut of 'The Wrestler' screenwriter Robert Siegel. First Independent will release the film in 'late summer to early fall.' The film stars Patton Oswalt in his first dramatic-lead performance, playing Paul Aufiero, an obsessive New York Giants fan whose chance encounter with his hero unexpectedly ends in violence. 'Fan' also stars Kevin Corrigan and Michael Rapaport, and was lensed by 'Goodbye Solo' cinematographer Michael Simmonds. Eric Kohn reviewed the film for indieWIRE during Sundance, calling it 'an engaging portrait of obsession.'" (IndieWIRE)

"I learned today via Felix Salmon, and FT Alphaville's Paul Murphy of the sudden and very sad passing of Greg Newton, the former Metal Bulletin and MAR-guru, and prescient satirist of Naked Shorts. As Felix highlighted, Greg was not only one of the earliest must-read on-line commentators but he was probably the originator of the genre of on-line Financial Satire, a platform he employed to great effect in the lampooning of contrapreneurs, scamsters, hubris and simple outright financial stupidity - more often than not BEFORE its discovery by authorities, investors and mainstream financial journalists." (NihonCassandra)

"kmaverickWHYYYY would I need an invite to A Small World?" (Kristen Maverick/Twitter)

"Standing in the sculpture court in the south wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a recent Friday morning, Alexandra Kotur, the style director of Vogue, was craning her neck up this way and then that way toward the soaring glass ceiling, studying the natural light. On Monday, May 4, the museum will swell with celebrities, socialites and fashion flotsam for its feverishly anticipated Costume Institute Gala, this year with the purist theme 'the Model as Muse.' Ms. Kotur is leading the advance team, making sure that no floral arrangement blocks that perfect shot of this sweeping couture gown flowing up the main staircase along with the starlet of the moment, or that felicitous collision of Diane von Furstenberg with Justin Timberlake. She is also in charge of a fashion shoot for the magazine right before the ball, during which the photographer Arthur Elgort will snap models graciously leaping through the museum like gazelles, expensive fabric billowing behind them." (Observer)

"Williamburg became a hot nabe largely because most struggling artists couldn't afford to live in Manhattan anymore, so all the boho types in funny vests and thrift store glasses moved over the bridge to create a relaxed community of creativity and free verse. But now Manhattan rents are falling faster than Donatella Versace's rack, which means all those bedraggled artists might be able to come back here and live like human beings again! I'm guessing this will spell an end to Billyburg's specialness, and I'm actually thrilled about it. As someone who spent his entire early life trying to get out of Brooklyn, I am completely fed up with people screeching, 'You have to go to Brooklyn! It's amazing!'" (Musto)

"The stars came out last night to celebrate British designer Mathew Williamson’s new collection with H&M .. And last night celebrity guests boarded a yacht down by the South Street Seaport to celebrate his new collection. Guests included Adrien Brody, Mary Kate Olsen, Selita Ebanks, Oliva Palermo, Helena Christensen, Erin Featherston, And Lucy Liu! To top it off there was a special performance by the legendary and eccentric Grace Jones. The event featured the coveted full open bar, and guests were given gift bags with a belt. Noticeably was Selita Ebanks dancing up a storm on the dance floor, while Adrien Brody kept it low key sporting a t-shirt and Hawaiian beach shorts." (SociallySuperlative)

(image via guestofaguest)

"In a career that's spanned over 30 years, Grace Jones has played everywhere from Studio 54 to Wembley Arena, and at just about all of her gigs, her audience has sat wondering if the queen was even going to show up. Why should her Tuesday night show at a party hosted to celebrate Matthew Williamson's new clothing with H&M be any different? On a boat on the South Street Seaport, a crowd — that included Susanne Bartsch, Patricia Field, Ellen von Unwerth, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and Gilles Bensimon — showed up to see the diva perform. 'She's one of the world's finest,' said Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes, who was one of a handful of celebs mingling in the VIP area, along with David Schwimmer and Lucy Liu. 'They don't make them with style like that anymore.'" (WWD)

"What will the world look like when the present emergency has passed? The safest prediction is that the post-crisis financial sector will be downsized and more heavily regulated, nationally and internationally. The financial sector as a whole, which peaked at 40 percent of corporate profits in the United States in 2006, may shrink as much as 50 percent in the aftermath of the emergency. We can also comfortably wager that government subsidies will rule the day. State capitalism, in one form or another, has always existed in Europe and the industrial nations of East Asia. Now, state capitalism with American characteristics may emerge from the de facto nationalization of the U.S. automobile industry and perhaps other sectors that need to be rescued as the wave of deleveraging works its way through the economy. A generation hence, global industry is likely to be as heavily subsidized as global agriculture. In the 20th century, the agricultural subsidies of the United States and European Union inspired by memories of the Great Depression produced lakes of milk and mountains of butter. In our day, the industrial subsidies of the industrial great powers of North America, Europe, and Asia inspired by memories of the Great Recession will produce cascades of cars and avalanches of aircraft. The glut of subsidized manufactured goods will grow worse over time, as 21st-century manufacturing, like 20th-century agriculture, becomes ever more productive and capital-intensive. Next up: the unexpected triumph of the classic modern welfare state. Before last September, it was widely assumed in developed countries that public pensions, universal healthcare, and other forms of social insurance were doomed by their costs in a world of graying populations or by their inefficiency compared with privatized alternatives. What a difference the collapse of the world economy can make." (ForeignPolicy)
Shia LeBoef To Star In Wall Street 2

We are not big fans of bloated Boomer filmmaker Oliver Stone. He rarely gets "moral outrage" right -- perhaps because he himself is fundamentally an amoral, gelatanous slice of beef (Dry cough suggesting feigned detachment)? And yet he persists in making movies in which he, the director, lectures us, the viewers, on his moral outrage at the trajectory of our society. That having been said, Stone's Wall Street was a near-perfect movie. It captured the thumotic excesses and materialistic filthiness of the 80s in a way that only perhaps Less Than Zero matches. He's revisiting the story to parallel the present age and we couldn't be happier. From Variety:

"After weeks of rumors, 20th Century Fox has set Oliver Stone to return as helmer of the sequel to his 1987 hit 'Wall Street.' Shia LaBeouf is also in the mix for 'Wall Street 2.'

"LaBeouf is negotiating to join Michael Douglas, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in the original pic. The sequel will once again involve a young Wall Street trader, and the recent economic meltdown spurred by rampant greed and corruption will fit prominently into the plot.

"Allan Loeb will write the script. Edward R. Pressman is back as producer."

Does Gekko use the time in the pokey to do good? We look forward to see how the pseudo-Alexandrian Stone, a Boomer ruling class chronicler, continues that prescient story, 22 years later.
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(image via mit)

"DITA Von Teese has a new romance with a French aristocrat 11 years younger. The ex-Mrs. Marilyn Manson, 36, is dating Count Louis-Marie de Castelbajac, 25, the actor-son of fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and his stunning ex-wife Catherine de Castelbajac, who dated Bill Koch and the late Ron Silver. Dita and her new beau were recently spotted at the Coachella Music Festival. 'We're all shocked they're together,' a pal of Castelbajac told us. 'She's really robbing the cradle." Von Teese's rep didn't get back to us." (PageSix)

(image via Hermann/NYDailyNews)

"Henry Kissinger. Annette de la Renta. Louis Auchincloss. Sir William Astor, over from London. Barbara Walters, even. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kirke Bartley's courtroomwill look like lunchtime at Swifty's ..Their job, he said, will be to testify about whether Marshall, 84, and co-defendant Francis Morrissey played three-card monte with Marshall's mom, Brooke Astor, after she got Alzheimer's ..On Monday, prosecutor Elizabeth Loewy described times when Astor, once the grande dame of New York society, had been reduced to "looking at animal picture books and singing 'How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?'" with her nurse ..In the years after Astor's Alzheimer's diagnosis, she signed will updates that gave her son the mansion in Maine, sent $5 million to Charlene and ordered her estate and Park Ave. duplex sold while she was alive to save money on estate taxes. If jurors believe that each time she signed them was a good day, Marshall goes home. If they think it was a bad day, well, Sing Sing does have a river view." (Joanna Molloy/NYDailyNews)

"Irreverent, smart, sometimes crude and often hilarious, Chelsea Lately is breaking up the boys’ club of late-night, but that’s the least of it. She’s doing for pop culture what Jon Stewart’s Daily Show does for—or to—the news. She sends up the idiocy of our obsession with Lohans and Kardashians while indulging our endless fascination with them, the way Stewart mocks the media’s lunacy while giving us some updates we can really use. (Handler’s timeslot is directly opposite Stewart’s, one more reason to love your DVR.)Although her show is steadily gaining popularity, Handler, an actress and stand-up comedian, may still be best known for her books of comic essays, My Horizontal Life and Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea (still on the Times bestseller list after nine months). Her strategy in these wickedly funny autobiographical pieces, mostly about her drinking and dating and sleeping around, is to co-opt an attitude no one would blink at if she were a man, as if she were a smart-ass frat boy in a hot blonde’s body. She’s carried that persona to television, where it’s morphed into a contemporary version of a 1930s broad: sharp-witted, blunt about sex, refusing to fade into the background (fart jokes and all)." (Caryn James/TheDailyBeast)

"Senate Republicans will find it harder to block President Obama’s judicial nominations now that Arlen Specter is switching parties. The Pennsylvania senator is likely to be no less independent than he has been as a Republican when it comes to confirmation votes on such nominees. But assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn into the open Minnesota seat, Specter’s switch will give Democrats enough votes in their own caucus to cut off a filibuster. 'It clearly limits — and maybe even eliminates — the Republicans’ ability to filibuster judicial nominations,' said Michael J. Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law." (CQPolitics)

"In late February, I was walking down the dusty road that winds through Nyabiando, a town deep in the forests of eastern Congo, when ... A mile-long column of Rwandan soldiers was marching past on their way home to Rwanda the Rwandan Defense Forces marched their way through village after village of wide-eyed, uneasy Congolese in January and February, there was very little fighting. They paid for their food and slept under the stars. In Pinga, I saw them take children on joy rides in the back of a truck; in Nyabiando, they flirted with women at the vegetable market. Operation Umoja Wetu (Our Unity, in Swahili) was less a military campaign than a public-relations operation meant to erase suspicion after years of war." (ForeignAffairs)

"TNT had the NBA playoffs, ESPN had the NFL Draft and ABC Family had the most-watched original movie. But once again, USA took the month. The NBC Universal network finished first in primetime for the fourth straight time this year in total viewers and all the major adult demographics, thanks to 'WWE Monday Night Raw' and the return of two scripted series. In fact, USA had the best month in ad-supported cable history in total viewers and adults 18-49 and 25-54 in April, becoming the first-ever network to average more than 3 million total viewers in a month and outdrawing the CW in all three categories. Across most of the demographics, it wasn’t even close. USA averaged 3.075 million primetime viewers in April, according to Nielsen, up 11 percent over last year and more than 700,000 better than the second-place network, Fox News Channel, itself up 43 percent over last year." (Medialifemagazine)

"For Roger Viver’s party to preview the Spring/Summer Cut Up: A Unique and Personalized Bag last night, a wide range of fashion participants arrived at the designer’s New York store where the event was being held. Everyone from Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley to fashion icon Lee Radziwell to reality star (sorta?) Kelly Bensimon showed up in honor of Roger Viver’s latest creation .. Other fashionistas included Ines de la Fressange, Samantha Boardman Rosen, Marjorie Gubelmann, Allison Aston, Alexandra Lebenthal and Dani Stahl." (Guestofaguest)

"The move of Pennsylvania Republican Specter also leaves only two self-described moderate senators from the Northeast in the Republican caucus: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. 'The party has become more of a private club centered in the South and rural areas,' said former Representative Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican. 'It’s not a hospitable place at this point.' Other moderate lawmakers 'look at this and wonder, What are we doing here? .. The greater concern for the Republican Party is one of diminishing numbers. An average of 36 percent of Americans identified themselves as Democrats and 28 percent as Republicans in 2008, the largest advantage for Democrats since 1988, according to a Gallup poll in January. There are 18 states where Republicans have lost in five consecutive elections. In Pennsylvania alone, 130,000 Republicans switched parties before the primary elections last year. The party lost 54 House seats in the 2006 and 2008 elections, leaving a smaller base of more conservative members representing largely Southern and Western states." (Bloomberg)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Spector Switches Pitches ..

Arlen Spector, who recently appeared on the Howard Stern Show (and not for the first time), is leaving the Republican Party to run for his Senate Seat as a Democrat. Spector, a moderate Republican, caught most of Washington off guard. He supports abortion rights -- a tough sell in Pennsylvania's exurbs -- and was one of 3 Senate Republicans (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of moderate Maine) that supported President Obama's stimulus package. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who has known Spector for years and works with him on the Judiciary Committee, compared the decision to Jim Jeffords of Vermont's 2001 decision to switch parties. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader in the Senate, made this statement today:

"'I have known Senator Specter for more than a quarter-century. He has always been a man of honor and integrity, and a fine public servant.

"Senator Specter and I have had a long dialogue about his place in an evolving Republican Party. We have not always agreed on every issue, but Senator Specter has shown a willingness to work in a bipartisan manner, put people over party, and do what is right for Pennsylvanians and all Americans.

"I welcome Senator Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus, and to continuing our open and honest debate about the best way to make life better for the American people.'"

The northeast is rapidly becoming a Republican graveyard. In 2008, Democrats captured five Republican Congressional seats in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (ousting even Centrist Republican Chris Shays). It is almost symbolic that Pat and William F. Buckley's palatial apartment -- the stuff of many a northeast Republican dinner party -- was sold by their son Christo after their deaths (Georgette Mosbacher will have to carry that dwindling torch). Is there any room, one wonders for a Northeast moderate in the Republican party?

Arlen Spector, an Aquarius, was true to his astrological sun sign. Unpredictable. In a party that rewards conservatism and predictability, Spector ran into sharp elbows. Spector has been a bete noir of National Review, nemesis of the Club for Growth and conservatives, ran Pat Toomey against him in a primary squeaker in 2004. Former Representative Pat Tommey, who narrowly lost the primary battle in 2004, announced that he would run against Spector again on Tax Day. Spector in his presser that just ended hinted that he probably could not win a Pennsylvania Republican primary against Tommey, because of his vote for President Obama's stimulus package. "I am not prepared to have my 29 year career decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate," the Senior Senator from Pennsylvania said.
The First Lady of France, The Philosopher And Highly Intimate Images

Frankly, Carla Bruni is tres cool. She is a drop-dead gorgeous, terminally chic, sexually liberated ex model and tire manufacturing heiress who has dated philosophers, moguls and rock stars and is, at present, the First Lady of France. Unfortunately, Carla Bruni's sexually liberated past may come back and politically embarrass her husband. From TheDailyMail via TheAwl:

"Hundreds of ‘highly intimate’ images of Carla Bruni and an ex-lover have been stolen during a burglary in Paris.

Police fear they could now be made public, overshadowing the French First Lady’ s official trip to Spain with her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"The photographs and videos were taken during 41-year-old Miss Bruni’s affair with philosopher Raphaël Enthoven – the father of her child, Aurélien, eight.

"Thieves broke into the flat of actor Julien Enthoven, who is Raphaël’s younger brother.

"Raphaël is believed to have entrusted the pictures to his 27-year-old brother because he did not want them to embarrass his new partner - or Mr Sarkozy, said a detective working on the case.

"'The thieves appeared to know exactly what they were looking for – taking highly intimate prints, a camera full of further images, videos, and numerous computer files,' said the source.

"They broke into Mr Enthoven’s flat in Rue Dauphine, in the sixth arrondissement, on Sunday night, smashing a window in the sitting room which looks out on to the courtyard.

"'Nobody was at home at the time, and nothing else was taken.'

"Police now fear that thieves could take advantage of Miss Bruni’s status as an international sex symbol by selling the pictures for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
They could be posted on the web so as to cause maximum embarrassment to Mr Sarkozy, who is only too well aware of his third wife’s colourful past."

If these images -- and quite possibly videos -- become public, it will be the biggest porn story since former Italian parliamentarian La Ciccolina and Jeff Koons bustup.
A Little Of The Old In And Out

In: Arlen Spector. Whether or not one agrees or disagrees with Senator Arlen Spector's decision to switch parties, he has captured the news cycle and genuinely surprised even the in-the-know Washington chattering class, who prides itself upon its insider's knowledge. Spector now puts Al Franken -- if he ever gets seated -- as the filibuster-proof 60th Democrat vote.

Spector, who was always a wild card, has been even more so since his recurring battle with Hodgkin's disease. His upcoming votes on health care -- and how his struggle with Hodgkins affects it -- will be closely watched.

(image via fretbase)

Out: Guitar Hero? Although the numbers speak in GH's favor, the economic situation and the online buzz suggests that Guitar hero backlash is just around the cdorner. From Paidcontent:

"The company has had tremendous success with Guitar Hero: the Metallica installment nearly cracked NPD’s top-10 best-seller list for March, despite only being available for the last week of the month, and Guitar Hero III topped the $1 billion sales mark in January. But judging from some negative gamer reactions around the web (and slower growth in music game sales overall), the franchise may be losing some of its luster: 'That list of bands that should never get Guitar Hero games is coming true. Next, it’ll be Guitar Hero: Coldplay. God help us all,' wrote one Kotaku reader. And on Joystiq: 'Ugggg I am so sick of these band games. Just release a f—ing download. I don’t need a whole game.'"

In: WME Entertainment. The WMA-Endeavor Merger is the talk of Hollywood. The 111-year-old William Morris Agency has agreed to join the 14-year-old Endeavor agency, cofounded by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel's brother, Ari. Endeavor, with its history, represents established names (Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington and John Travolta) across all industries of entertainment, while Endeavor, the brash upstart, trafficks in the hip up-and-comers (Javier Bardem, Sacha Baron Cohen, Larry David, and Josh Schwartz of "Chuck." From DeadlineHollywoodDaily's Nikki Finke:

"6 PM: Three of the Endeavor partners who will sit on the new WME Entertainment board -- Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell, and Adam Venit -- are at William Morris offices right now introducing themselves to and shaking hands with the WMA agents and staff. 'It's eerily quiet,' one insider tells me. Earlier, Morris boss Jim Wiatt went to Endeavor and introduced himself ... WMA had been obstinate when it cames to the two agencies' discussions about who should stay and who should go if and when the two tenpercenteries merge. Endeavor's Ari Emanuel, for instance, was screaming at Wiatt, and battles broke out among some of their subordinates. Eventually, that too was worked out."

Layoffs, in this lousy economy are expected, but the combined entity could have yearly revenues in the range of $250 million to $300 million.
Don Johnson To Play Porn Director

Don Johnson has always been drawn, almost magnetically, to life's dark material. He played Metro-Dade undercover Police detective Sonny Crockett for five seasons in Michal Mann's Miami Vice. Don Johnson and his first wife Melanie Griffith started dating when he was 22 and she was 14. He once suggested to legendary control freak Barbara Streisand that they "embark on a non-monogamous open marriage (she said no)." And, worst of all, he recorded the obnoxiously earnest "Heartbeat." In keeping with those traditions of mining the depths of the human experience, Johnson stars next in a film which features Johnson. From TheHollywoodReporter:

"Don Johnson continues his comedy streak with a turn as a mustachioed porn director in 'Born to Be a Star,' the Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo-produced pic being released by Sony.

"Nick Swardson is starring as a small-town nerd who learns his quiet and demure parents were famous porn stars in the 1970s. This motivates him to leave northern Iowa for Hollywood, hoping to follow in their footsteps and fulfill his destiny as the biggest adult-film star in the world.

"Johnson plays a down-on-his-luck director who discovers Swardson and gives him a shot.

"The cast also includes Christina Ricci as Swardson's innocent girlfriend and Stephen Dorff as adult film star Dick Shadow, as well as Edward Herrmann and Tyler Spindel."

Finally, we cannot fail to note that Don Johnson dated the woman -- Jodi O'Keefe -- who played his daughter on the hit show "Nash Bridges." The mathematical question that that union conjured was: How many times does 59 go into 30?
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(image via michellerafter)

"It always baffled me why so many on the sidelines rooted so eagerly for Portfolio to fail. Its editor, Joanne Lipman, who was already a star at The Wall Street Journal, came out of the launch gate in April 2007 with a self-assured, smart competitor in the suit segment of boring business books. She ran some first-class narrative journalism such as Lloyd Grove on Sumner Redstone as King Lear and 'Boomtown, Iraq' by Denis Johnson and reinvented Michael Lewis as the most influential commentator on the current economic meltdown. I remember being especially impressed by Robert Priest’s art direction. When I was flailing around at the start of Talk magazine six years before, it took me about 10 issues to get layouts that looked as crisp as the ones in Portfolio’s first issue. I think I was one of the few media snobs who liked the first Portfolio cover , an arty photograph of the New York skyline by Scott Peterman. Even though experience told me it was not the kind of cover that would exactly leap off the newsstand, it showed vitality and sophistication. Love it or hate it, at least it wasn’t the usual portrait of some spruced-up suit peering over a high-concept prop that tends to be the solution of choice in publications aimed at the boys’ club sector." (Tina Brown/TheDailyBeast)

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"(B)y accident or design -- I'm guessing accident – 'Obsessed' carries the most social-political wallop entertainment's had to offer since the Obama and Clinton stand-ins got into a tussle on WWE. First, Elba and Knowles play a middle-class, happy-but-bored married couple who are feeling the stress of raising their first child ... And they just happen to be black. What? How'd all that get past the fake liberal studio execs who rarely if ever portray middle-class black families in lead roles in films? And the black man's got a white person working for him. And she's a she. And she's hot for the black man, all of which is a flip on a grip of social fears that have been pervasive on film going back to 'Birth of a Nation.' And to protect her family, the black wife of the black man -- SPOILER ALERT … unless you've seen the trailer -- kicks the crazy white woman's pale backside. That makes the film the biggest black woman's wish fulfillment revenge fantasy that doesn't star Tyler Perry in drag ever!" (John Ridley/TheWrap)

"The wooden dhows docked along the Dubai Creek sail trade routes that are centuries old, connecting this small city-state on the Persian Gulf with the outside world. But the boats have served a double purpose in Dubai's history. A symbol of Dubai's vibrant shipping industry, the dhows have also been used by generations of smugglers exploiting Dubai's strategic position between East and West to move contraband back and forth across the Arabian Sea. Now, despite Dubai's recent rebranding as an international hub for finance and education, it remains a hub for the darker side of the global economy, with modern-day smugglers using Dubai as a base for everything from property-based money laundering and illegal banking to the Afghan opium trade. Dubai's struggles during the global financial crisis will only strengthen its underworld, according to Christopher Davidson, a lecturer in Middle East politics at Durham University and the author of Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success. "As Dubai's efforts to fully liberalize its economy come undone and its attractiveness to foreign investors declines further, the international spotlight will eventually move away and it may become more attractive than ever to human traffickers, gunrunners, and money launderers," he says. Dubai's new smugglers may be Indian mobsters or Chechen strongmen instead of dhow sailors, but the old dual structure of legitimate and illegitimate business remains robust." (ForeignAffairs)

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"RENÉE Zellweger rang in her 40th birthday Saturday night at the Core Club with some singles, ex-boyfriend Dan Abrams, Hugh Grant and Bradley Cooper, but mostly Couples, Cheryl and Ron Howard, Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi, Neil Patrick Harris and boyfriend David Burtka, Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, and Madonna and boy toy Jesus Luz, whose dirty dancing was the talk of the party. Renée was serenaded by Harry Connick Jr." (PageSix)

(image via gothamist via nypost)

"Astor Trial Begins Today, Boldface Names to Follow | The trial of Brooke Astor's son kicked off this morning with prosecutors arguing that Anthony Marshall was a liar and a thief who'd conspired to steal $200 million from his ailing mother. More importantly, the prosecution indicated that some 60 witnesses could be called to testify—including Barbara Walters, Henry Kissinger, Annette de la Renta, David Rockefeller, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, New York Public Library head Paul LeClerc, and former Met chief Philippe de Montebello .." (CityFile)

"At the end of the 19th century, the Astor family were the biggest landlords in New York. They owned hundreds of acres all over Manhattan, especially focusing on land on or adjacent to Broadway, running all the way up to 150th Street. The first John Jacob Astor, born in Germany, came to this country in the late 18th century, selling musical instruments. From that he expanded into fur-trading, selling much of his merchandise to the Chinese. With the profits he started buy land in Manhattan. At that time, uptown was Greenwich Village. The only roadway that existed farther up island was Broadway which was originally an native Indian trail that ran in just about the same direction it runs today, being the only street that was not altered when the grid was installed in the early 19th century." (NYSocialDiary)

"This weekend was my birthday. I therefore did what any intelligent person would do. I went to Iguazu Falls. It's in Argentina .. Due to the fact that we were to gift-wrap the day of my nativity, my friend Barbara Walters came along .. Speaking of arriving in Buenos Aires, as LAN taxied in, we went right by a Boeing 707 bearing the Qantas logo, but with a US tail number. Sitting on the tarmac ready for takeoff. John Travolta's VOP. Very Own Plane. What he was doing here, I don't know, but I was told it was a private family visit." (CindyAdams)

(image via fishbowlny)

"Condé Nast folds Portfolio even as it starts Wired in print in the U.K. So which are we to take as the harbinger for the future of magazines? I hate to be calling doom for yet another medium, but I fear that Portfolio is the better indicator. We’ll see magazines fold and it’s going to be a lot riskier to start new ones to replace them — riskier because, just as on TV and in movies and music, it’s harder to create a blockbuster and consumer magazines depend on the blockbuster economy. Magazines don’t make money until they hit magic numbers of circulation (which comes only after renewals reduce marketing costs) and advertising (which is sold at heavy premiums and that market is bound to suffer both in a recession and against unlimited competition from online). In the U.S. market, subscriptions are so heavily discounted ($1 per issue for a product that can cost $5 or more to print and distribute) and marketing costs are so high (subscriber acquisition can hit $20 or $30) that the risk is only greater. Entertainment Weekly, my baby, went through an astounding $200 million before becoming profitable. No one is going to invest that kind of money again. If anybody would, it was Condé. Oh, well, so much for that." (JeffJarvis)

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"Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, recruited by his friend Warren Buffett to join the board at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said he’s committed to the firm for the rest of his life. Gates and fellow Berkshire board member Don Keough, the former president of Coca-Cola Co., said in separate interviews with Bloomberg Television that their role with Omaha, Nebraska- based Berkshire is to protect the company’s culture and values after Buffett, 78, steps down. Buffett has pledged the majority of his Berkshire shares to Gates’s charitable foundation. 'I’ve got a commitment to stay involved with Berkshire as a lifelong thing,' Gates, 53, said in an interview scheduled to be broadcast today. 'We always have to think about what might happen and make sure Berkshire is not just great now, but forever.'" (Bloomberg)

(image via kejda)

"Two very different Democrats are angling to take on Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) next year, and an issue that promises to divide them in the primary could prove a major talking point in the general election. As energy and climate issues generate big headlines in Washington, those who make their living off coal mining still play a major role in Bluegrass State politics. Congress will soon take up cap-and-trade legislation that, at the moment, appears unlikely to pass, but the EPA on Monday reversed a Bush administration proposal to allow disposal of waste from mountaintop mining, a process by which land is leveled from above in the search for coal. Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo (D), who hails from Eastern Kentucky mining country, is a mountaintop mining proponent. His primary foe, Attorney General Jack Conway (D), takes a much more nuanced view. In November, Conway added his name to a letter some state officials sent to then-President Bush arguing against the administration’s proposal to legalize dumping waste from mountaintop mining near rivers and streams. Both positions could have serious impact on a state hard-hit by the economic crisis. 'Coal is big, and it’s important, and it’s a lot of jobs and a lot of people,' said Jim Cauley, a former chief of staff to Gov. Steve Beshear (D) and a veteran Democratic campaign operative." (TheHill)

"US pharmaceutical companies continue to withstand the global downturn, with first quarter results from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer beating earnings estimates. The figures from BMS and Pfizer follow a run of better-than-expected results from other pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly, Schering Plough and Johnson & Johnson. Pharmaceuticals have also been among the few industries to continue with large-scale mergers even as the financial crisis took hold, with at least five acquisitions exceeding $5bn taking place over the last year. Most recently, Pfizer bought Wyeth for $68bn in January." (

(Sanaa Lathan via fashionweekdaily via patrickmcmullen)

"With New York playing host to the Tribeca Film Festival as we write, the city can't rid the movies from its collective unconscious. The chic set capped off a gorgeous weekend with an al fresco cocktail fête at the Cooper Square Hotel Sunday night, courtesy of the Independent Filmmaker Project. The group, chaired by Hunter Gray and Anthony Bregman, celebrated its 30th anniversary with the Swarovski-sponsored event hosted by the ever-stylish Katie Holmes, and the balcony at the top of the downtown hotel was teeming with partygoers like Sanaa Lathan taking in the gorgeous views and enjoying the first real weekend of summer-worthy temperatures. Paul Sevigny and Harley Viera-Newton provided the tunes; guests danced along to the Proclaimers and Dolly Parton while sampling from the caviar bar and sipping ChamBull (that's Moët & Chandon topped off with Red Bull, natch) .." (Fashionweekdaily)

"I watched this documentary film over the weekend thinking that I could fall asleep to it but instead I got a second wind and was totally engaged. It was so interesting to see the 'freedom' lives of the Amish youth once they’ve turned the age of 16… This documentary follows 4 teenagers in 'Rumspringa' (Pensylvania Dutch word: running around), which they are allowed to leave the Amish Community to explore the 'English World' experimenting with partying, drinking, drugs, sex, wearing 'normal' clothes, driving a vehicle, going to the malls, watching the television and so on… It shows their reactions and expriences trying to adjust in the 'English World' and as well as the pressure in the 'Amish World.' After they had a taste of the outside world (rumspringa), the teenagers are expected to join the Amish church (according to the film, which 90% of them do) to become baptised for life… or they would leave the Amish community forever and in that case, they would be shunned out by the entire community, including their friends and families ..The Amish teens in Rumspringa also have crazy wild parties… pretty much every night, where other Amish youths from different states would attend." (Suprememanagement)

(image via patrickmcmullen)

"Last night’s Lincoln Center Film Society Gala honoring Tom Hanks was a star-studded event filled with glamour, glitz and lots of people saying 'fuck' on stage ..Once inside, it was evident that the dinner that had been taking place was not totally over.. I saw Jeff Zucker and Lorne Michaels, John Leguizamo ..The tribute itself was even more star-studded than the atrium, featuring colorful tributes from the likes of Mike Nichols, Sally Field, Robert Zemeckis, John Patrick Shanley (f-bomb count: 4), Ron Howard, Jonathan Demme, and Steven Spielberg. Aaron Ruehl performed a jazzed-up version of chopsticks in honor of Hanks’ podiatric musical stylings in Big, and Bruce Springsteen performed a stripped down 'Streets Of Philadelphia' ..The moment of the night, however, went to Julia Roberts who came out on stage, announced that she was paying her babysitter overtime, had to pee, and was wearing the same dress as Hanks’ publicist. Decrying 'Tom Hanks, what the fuck?' and revealing that 'that movie where you walked around the airport, that was a pass for me'" (Guestofaguest)

(image via fashionweekdaily via patrickmcmullen)

"'I feel like it's my birthday!' cried Julia Roberts, entering Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on Monday evening to a hail of cheers from onlookers. And though the superfans cheered and snapped photos of all the impressive figures arriving for the night, the man of the hour was clear. Tom Hanks was honored with the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 36th annual Chaplin Award--named after the organization's first honoree, Charlie Chaplin .. Between Christy Turlington and Ed Burns reminiscing about Burns' turn in Saving Private Ryan with Hanks, Nora Ephron remembering her time working with him in Sleepless in Seattle, and Ron Howard pinpointing exactly where he met Hanks ('It was at this softball game, on the bus,' he said. 'I was going with the Happy Days team to play at a celebrity softball game!'), stars like Sally Field, Steven Spielberg, Geoffrey Rush, Glenn Close, Christie Brinkley, John Leguizamo, and more were more than happy to support the actor." (Fashionweekdaily)

"Last night, the classic American designer Michael Kors celebrated the opening of his new shop on London's tony New Bond Street. While it was rainy and windy outside, inside the store was clean and colorful with clothes that could carry you from the airport to the yacht to an evening dockside dinner. Or, if you are like me, could be worn to the movies on a Friday night. The affair itself featured the usual onslaught of editors, celebs, and social types. I spotted Erin O'Connor, Carmen Kass and Eva Herzigova, and the majority of the guests looked to be hardcore Michael Kors fans, decked out head-to-toe in the designer's Spring designs. I found myself doing a lot of double-takes as I saw the same items on guests as I saw on the shelves." (papermag)

(image via fashionweekdaily)

"Matthew Broderick might just be the busiest working actor in New York this week. He took his opening night bows on Broadway for his role in The Philanthropist on Sunday. On his day off, he and wife Sarah Jessica Parker hopped into a car and took a ten minute ride from their West Village home to Broderick's Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Wonderful World. 'The last few days have been about cheerleading for Matthew,' smiled Parker .. Guests like Jane Rothenthal and Kim Kardashian also caught the film, about possibly the most negative man in Gotham. 'I'm not that moody in real life,' assured Broderick. 'I'm only mid-range negative!'" (Fashionweekdaily)

"The dinner that Chanel hosted for the Tribeca Film Festival drew recent Oscar noms Viola Davis and Melissa Leo, along with Adrien Brody and Matthew Modine—not to mention buzzed-about artists who had donated works as festival prizes. Still, all the girls wanted to talk about was their Karl Lagerfeld creations. Kerry Washington said she chose her cap-sleeve shift because it reminded her of a certain contemporary style icon. 'I liked it because it was period and chic, yet conservative—very Michelle Obama, very hopeful,' she said ..Not that the whole night was diamonds and tweed; some people did have work on their minds. 'I spent all day watching the shorts,' explained festival juror Mary-Kate Olsen from her perch next to Bradley Cooper, who is judging features. 'And when I leave here I've got more work to do.'" (Style)