Rich Little @ White House Dinner
President Bush, deferring to the tragedy at Virginia Tech, passed up any attempt to be funny at the White House Correspondents Association dinner Saturday, leaving those efforts to impersonator Rich Little.
Returning to the podium at the annual dinner after 23 years, Little made good on his promise to be gentle.
Little's material was safe if occasionally a little raunchy. He dusted off his impersonations of six presidents, from Nixon to the current occupant of the White House, and avoided any reference to current political issues.
After one joke bombed, he said, "And you thought (Stephen) Colbert was bad."
Best known for his impersonations of Richard Nixon and Johnny Carson, Rich was the featured act for the glitzy dinner with Bush, Cabinet secretaries, foreign dignitaries, Hollywood celebrities and members of the press. (Fox News)
Rich Little @ White House Dinner
...someone has been splashing paint over major streetart works all over the city. The "Splasher", as he's come to be known, has a taste for targeting major pieces by Swoon, Obey, Momo, and others. His trail of paint-dripped terror extends from Williamsburg, to Soho, and back again-- and he's already obliterated dozens of pieces.
Often, in the wake of his attacks, the Splasher also leaves wheat-pasted screeds, attacking the streetartists as tools of capital, calling their work a "fetishized action of banality" and "a representation of the most vulgar kind: an alienated commodity." (Gothamist)
"Margot at the Wedding"
Plot Summary: Margot [Nicole Kidman] and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is getting married to less-than-impressive Malcolm [Jack Black]. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets. (IMBb)
Ethan Alter of the Film Journal International wrote in his review, "Baumbach [directory] has pulled off the rather dubious accomplishment of making an incisive, involving film about a thoroughly detestable group of people."
Trailer for "Margot at the Wedding"
New York Airports
It’s not your imagination: Flying into or out of New York is the worst it’s ever been. In fact, our airports are the worst in the country. According to the FAA, Kennedy, La Guardia, and Newark hold the three bottom spots in the national on-time arrival competition. Newark has the most delayed landings, with only 57 percent of flights coming in on time. La Guardia is second to last, with 58 percent, and JFK is third worst, with 59 percent. Leaving is no picnic, either. JFK boasts the most sluggish takeoffs of the nation’s 32 major airports: Barely three out of five departing flights leave the so-called Gateway to the World on time. (Newark and La Guardia don’t fare much better on that front, ranking No. 30 and No. 25, respectively.) All in all, over one third of the nation’s delays happen in the New York metro area. The Port Authority estimates that our airports’ inefficiency will cost us $200 million this year in passengers’ lost time alone. (NY Mag\Michael Idov)
Plot Summary: A beautiful, wealthy young party girl drops out of Radcliffe in 1965 and heads to New York to become Holly Golightly. When she meets a hungry young artist named Andy Warhol, he promises to make her the star she always wanted to be. And like a super nova she explodes on the New York scene only to find herself slowly lose grip on reality...
(IMDb\ Written by Richard Galub)
Trailer for "Factory Girl"
The historic Greenwich Village bar Chumley's will remain closed indefinitely. The Buildings Department says engineers are working to stabilize the building after an interior wall collapsed Thursday. The onetime speakeasy dating back to 1922 was a favorite among writers such as John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald. (WNYC)
When the collapse occurred, construction workers were inside Chumley's and doing repairs of an unknown type without a permit. Violations for working with out a permit have been issued. Now, a shoring company has been hired to repair the damage, after which time inspectors will assess the integrity of the building. While the work is done Chumley's will be closed. (Eater)
(Photo courtesy of Eater)
Philip Roth's newest novel, Exit Ghost, is his ninth and final Nathan Zuckerman book. The series began in 1979 with The Ghost Writer; a compendium, Zuckerman Bound, is now available. Roth won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for American Pastoral; his 28 novels have won him numerous other awards, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Fiction.
... Exit Ghost, is all about the gap between the writer's life experience and his art. It involves the characters who figured in Roth's 1979 novel, Ghost Writer. When Roth began writing about Nathan Zuckerman, the protagonist was 23 years old. The character is now 71. Roth, who is 74, tells Robert Siegel Exit Ghost is the last of the Zuckerman novels. (NPR)
Hamas Mickey Mouse
Pipe Explosion (Wow!)
iPhone Price Drop
Apple slashed the price on the 8GB iPhone to $399, which is $200 less than its introductory price, and is giving a $100 credit to early adopters. Early adopter Paul Forrester said on MacWorld in reference to the rebate, “Giving me $100 credit in the Apple store is kind of a yawn for me. I still have to go spend money in the store—it’s not a true rebate. They aren’t really giving me my money back.”
Philip Michaels also reported on MacWorld that Apple hopes that the price cut will spur sales of the mobile device it introduced in June. “We want to put iPhones in a lot of stockings this holiday season.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said. (BTAM)
“Young Frankenstein” is one of the biggest deals headed to Broadway so far in 2007-08. Top ticket prices will be $120, with some "premier" and "premium" seats priced at $450 and $375 per ticket. The New York Times reported that the $450 orchestra ticket price will apply to the 100 or so best seats in the house. At the time of the August 7 first preview in Seattle, the Broadway advance was already around $15 million. (BTAM)
The Damien Hirst Installation @ Lever House has 30 dead sheep, one dead shark, two sides of beef, 300 sausages, and a pair of doves. The installation will be on view through February 16, 2008 and was commissioned by the real estate developer Aby Rosen, who owns Lever House, the Seagram Building and the Gramercy Park Hotel, and by Alberto Mugrabi, a Manhattan dealer. (BTAM)
Damien Hirst's latest artwork is this life-size platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 fine diamonds. The sculpture, titled "For The Love of God," will likely sell for as much as $100 million, making it the priciest contemporary artwork ever made. White Cube gallery is selling several limited edition silkscreen prints of the work, priced from £900 to £10,000, for one sprinkled with diamond dust. The title of the piece comes from Hirst's mother who asked her son, “For the love of God, what are you going to do next?”
The New York Times reported that Luciano Pavarotti, the Italian singer whose ringing, pristine sound set a standard for operatic tenors of the postwar era, died on Sept. 6, 2007. He was 71. The cause was pancreatic cancer. (BTAM)
And the Huffington Post reported that, "Luciano Pavarotti's assets were far slimmer than anyone predicted. His family had looked set to go to war over a stash estimated at more than £200million following his death last month, aged 71. In fact, the opera legend died owing more than £12million [$25 million], according to Italian reports." (Huffington Post)
The Times reports that Rupert Murdoch finally bought Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal for $5 billion. The purchase makes Mr. Murdoch the owner of a $70 billion media empire that includes, “100 newspapers worldwide, satellite broadcast operations, the Fox television network, the online social networking site MySpace and many other parts.” The Times goes on to say that the purchase makes Mr. Murdoch,” the most formidable figure in business news coverage in this country, perhaps worldwide.”(BTAM)
(Photo courtesy of Time)
Michael Slezak posted on From the Front Row, "Maybe its harrowing portrait of a dystopian future was more than Academy voters could bear. Maybe its late release date and the truncated Oscar calendar combined to work against it. Either way, the omission of Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men from the list of this year's Best Picture nominees is one that film historians and fans alike will almost certainly look back on with befuddlement. Children of Men is the rarest of films — it's a nail-biting adventure that follows an expectant mother (Claire Hope Ashitey) and her skeptical guardian (Clive Owen) in a race against time; a subtle commentary on global politics; and a gut-wrenching vision of a world without children, without hope. In much the same way the film haunts viewers days, even weeks, after seeing it, we suspect the specter of its snub will haunt the Oscars telecast come Feb. 2" (From the Front Row)