HOLLYWOOD ON THE POTOMAC
Who's sorry now? When legendary White
House Correspondent Sarah McClendon screamed
"Mr. President, Mr. President" at the daily press
briefings, it got their attention. It was no surprise
then that it worked on former Vice-President Al Gore at the crowded
SILVERDOCS reception for his Inconvenient Truth documentary on global
warming. So, would the almost-but-not-quite President prefer at this time
to be doing what he's doing now or what he might have been doing?
"That's a low bar to clear," said Gore.
You have to give him credit: Everyone's talking about the environment.
While going to the movies to watch graphs and charts is not everyone's
idea of fun, there's plenty of food for thought. The politician turned
professor / turned film maker / turned actor is a great educator and can
most certainly keep this day job.
Give that man a hanky
Everyone loves Richard Dreyfuss, what's not
to love? He's been a writer, producer, narrator, actor and director. He's
been in American Graffiti, The Goodbye Girl, Postcards from The Edge and Mr.
Holland's Opus. He's the consummate actor with an Oscar. So why is this
man sporting a dirty, bloody face in Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters?
Aye, there's the rub.
In honor of Variety's 100th Anniversary, Editor-in-Chief Peter Bart's just
released book was adapted by Bill Couturie to take viewers behind the scenes of
Hollywood's' biggest blockbusters with the hindsight of six degrees of separation.
Who's who of Hollywood heavyweights, from Jodie Foster to Morgan
Freeman, provide their amusing takes on what makes a box office hit. More
often than not, they agree: it's the fickle finger of fate which belies all wisdom.
The celebrity takes woven into the documentary, although fascinating, could have
been clipped a bit and most of all, whether to remind us of the highly successful
Jaws or the Poseidon bomb, we could have done without Dreyfuss' make-up. We
got the point. Even Miss Daisy didn't need a hanky as much as he did.
Play it again, Sams.
It's been said that doing crossword puzzles can slow down
the onset of Alzheimer's. Whether that's what Will Shortz had in mind when he
took it up, we'll never know 'cause we didn't ask. One thing's for sure though,
the NewYork Times' crossword guru has made this nerdy pastime a winner. Not
that anyone would go this far, but Ziegfeld star Eddie Cantor said: "Words
fascinate me. They always have. For me, browsing in a dictionary is like being
turned loose in a bank."
The June 19th private showing at the E Street Theatre featured director Patrick
Creadon. Although 50 percent of the guests never made it in the hurricane-like
downpour, those that could didn't mind a bad hair day. Guests included NPR's
Neal Conan, Greg Hamilton (who, by marriage, is related to Creadon) and
Keith White, The Hill's Stephanie Merry and Jackie Kucinich, and Media
Bistro columnist Patrick Gavin. The 'take out' puzzle would be a fun way to
follow up on whether reporters can do without spell check; we'd best check them
before we forget.
Women of a certain age.
Diane Ladd, who played the hash-slinging, trashtalking
waitress 'Flo' in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, mesmerized guests at
a Washington Harbour party thrown in her honor by the law firm of Foley
and Lardmen. The thrice Oscar-nominated actress, with more credits than
needed for a PhD, was in town to promote both a new movie and book: The
World's Fastest Indian, co-starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Spiraling Through
the School of Life, respectively. She loves D.C.: "Flying into Washington gives
me a feeling of freedom, especially when I see the monuments."
The book, while autobiographical, is also metaphysical, spiritual and meant to
"help another person find the miracles that surround them." "I did my first play
in New York when I was 16 with Tennessee Williams. I have spent my life as an
actress, but the point in the book is that for the last 30 years I have also spent my
time working with doctors and am on the Board of Advisors for The National
Foundation for Alternative Medicine." With more energy than a case of vitamins,
her earthy personality is what makes her a favorite among her peers as pointed
out by Hollywood heavyweight Jack Valenti, filmmaker Catherine Wyler (The
Highland Falls artistic director) and former House Speaker Tom Foley.