Understandably a magazine like Vanity Fair feels it necessary to change up editorial content occasionally. Even if the ossification is due to bicoastal restaurateur Graydon Carter playing at publishing too long. (As the New York Observer illustrated at left.) That may explain why the October issue’s annual “New Establishment” list is incredibly anemic this year: only 50 in number (it’s usually 100) with no Big Media barons but instead a bunch of Hollywood never-weres. Moguls may find their names on this year’s inaugural VF list of 25 called the “Powers That Be” which to me reads more like the patrons of Graydon’s many eateries. But Carter claims: ”These are the people who have shaped the world we live in today — and continue to wield enormous influence. Many are longtime New Establishment members, and their destinies are intertwined with the members of this year’s New Establishment.” The magazine also sweeps some mainstays over to a new and unordered “Hall Of Fame” because “some power is permanent”. Or, more likely, Graydon needs new investors for his next café. I bet a lot of bigshots are not going to be amused by this. That said, my snarky tone has nothing to do with the fact I made last year’s list but am not on it this time around. (Maybe because I called Bridesmaids wrong?) As a bigtime corporate publicist confided to me just now: “I told my clients that got bumped that next year they needed to start eating at his restaurants to get on the list. Seriously.” Hollywood …
Sure, every Oscar weekend there are the Friday night agency parties — Ari Emanuel’s WME fete, and Jim Berkus” UTA party for the Coen Brothers, and Bryan Lourd’s CAA bash (where the valet parkers screwed up the parking situation so badly that the Triple-A crowd had up to a 2-hour wait for their cars). But the place to really see the Big Media moguls, past and present, and their assorted pilot fish on parade is Barry Diller’s Saturday afternoon lawn luncheon ostensibly in honor of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. This year drew a particularly good 300+ crowd to the tent on Diller’s Beverly Hills estate for Hollywood’s major meet’n'greet. Guests included in no particular order: Sir Howard Stringer (eating the repast of veggie chili and fried chicken and poached salmon with Rupert Murdoch), David Geffen, Ron Meyer (who took his new NBCUniversal boss Steve Burke), Sandy Gallin, Bryan Lourd, Jeff Berg, Oprah Winfrey (who dined with Michael Eisner and Larry Gordon and her BFF Gayle King), Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Arianna Huffington, Eva Longoria, Valentino, Wendy Stark, Joan Collins, Terry Semel, George Hamilton, Toby Emmerich, Penny Marshall, Lorraine Bracco, Balthazar Getty, Alan Grubman, David and Victoria Beckham, Les Moonves, Anderson Cooper, California Governor Jerry Brown, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Tom Freston, Bob Daly, Jonathan Dolgen, Brett Ratner, Dani Janssen, Shirley MacLaine, Alana Hamilton Stewart, Donna Karan, Oswald Botang, Kevin McCormick, A. Scott Berg, Cheryl Tiegs.
Specialized distributor Rialto Pictures has acquired the U.S. theatrical rights to Martin Scorsese’s PUBLIC SPEAKING, the director’s portrait of author, social critic, and acerbic wit Fran Lebowitz. The company will open the acclaimed new documentary on February 23 at New York’s Film Forum, with special engagements in select U.S. cities to follow throughout 2011.
Directed by Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese and produced by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, an Emmy- and Peabody-winning documentarian, and Margaret Bodde, the feature-length documentary spotlights Lebowitz’s experiences and sardonic world view. Made in the energetic style of Scorsese’s early documentaries Italian American and American Boy, PUBLIC SPEAKING captures Lebowitz in conversation at New York’s Waverly Inn, in an onstage discussion with longtime friend Toni Morrison, and on the streets of New York.
The film was recently nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award in the Best Documentary category.
Lebowitz offers insights on social issues like gender, race, and gay rights, as well pet peeves including celebrity culture, smoking bans, tourists and strollers. Gender, she says, is “a very big piece of luck… Any white gentile straight male who is not President of the United States failed.” Of aging, she says, “At a certain point, the worst picture taken of you when you were 25 is better than the best picture taken of you when you’re 45.”
Fran hit the New York literary scene in the early 1970s when Andy Warhol hired the unknown scribe to write for Interview magazine, with stints as a writer for Mademoiselle and a contributing
HBO, which is gearing up for the premiere of the Martin Scorsese-produced and directed drama series Boardwalk Empire, has also acquired U.S. TV rights to Scorsese’s documentary Public Speaking. Produced by Graydon Carter and Margaret Bodde, the feature-length film in the style of Scorsese’s early documentaries Italian American and American Boy showcases New York writer Fran Lebowitz, her worldview and experiences. Public Speaking, also produced by Scorsese and Lebowitz, will premiere on HBO in November. Boardwalk Empire debuts Sept. 19.