WEINSTEIN FACES THE MUSIC— I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for what seems like decades. He was a rock promoter from Buffalo, along with his brother Bob, and he was always one of the guys who had a hair trigger. The fact that he rose to such prominence within the movie industry was always somewhat astounding to me, but I have to say his taste was always impeccable. I well remember seeing him and his posse coming out of the Disney building years ago and literally stopping on the street where he began to berate every single one of them. I was amazed at such a public display. That said, he always accorded me a degree of respect and if I needed or wanted something, he’d take care of it. He wouldn’t personally, but an underling would. And, I have to add, these s0-called underlings, couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. That’s the thing about Harvey … say what you will, but he produced some of the most amazing movies ever; be it Pulp Fiction or Shakespeare In Love. He was an enigma at every stage. I took a client to a screening once and, as was his custom, he delivered a little speech before the screening. After he said what he had to say, he singled out my client,, sitting in the audience, with one of the nicest shout-outs I have ever heard. The client and I were speechless. What a moment!
Sure, I heard the stories, but I couldn’t quite believe them. Was it just braggadocio or were they true? Last year when an actress he was with was wired by the NYPD … industry gossip was that this was it for Harvey … and, then it all went away. Hearing the newly released tape really says it all – he wouldn’t take no for an answer and he was indeed in need of help. The tape was pathetic and spoke volumes about the need for instant help for Harvey.
Even though brother Bob will be at the helm, the repercussions from this will be felt throughout the industry and I don’t really see how the company can even continue without him. He was the company!
When Harvey sent emails to other corporate leaders in the biz Sunday night … that was it. No one responded and one, clearly, even leaked it to the media. A sad, sad story from almost every vantage point. Harvey’s off to some undisclosed locale for therapy and probably some jail time lurks in his near future; his wife has left him with their children; and the Weinstein Company’s future is in doubt.
HIFF AT @25 — Hard to believe that this past weekend’s Hamptons International Film Festival was their 25th anniversary. I was living out there when the first one was staged and even worked on the first roll-out committee. We saw three great movies, and though it was a little more reserved than in past years, it was a blast. We saw three movies and I personally enjoyed them all.
First up, from French-director Nicolas Bedos, was Monsieur & Madame Adelman, starring Bedos and Doria Tillier as a French couple intertwined, consumed with, and defined by each other in life and work. He, an accomplished writer and she, as his sometime-muse and editor. The script was richly developed and quite inventive. It had and style and grace and we loved it. Bedos especially was totally on-point and his rather eccentric style, in everything, and, was a delight. It had subtitles, not usually not a favorite of mine, but it didn’t take away from it at all. A beautiful and loving film. A+ for sure.
Next up was Wanderland from Director Josh Klausner. It tells the whimsical story of Alex (Tate Elington) who impulsively accepts an invitation from an online acquaintance to house-sit for her out in Long Island. Despite his best attempts, he suddenly finds himself lost in a surreal all-night musical odyssey of misadventures in the East End. It was filmed in the Hamptons area, so many of the locations were well known-outposts. Interestingly, one of my friends, who still lives there year round, found many of the stereotypes mis-represented and downright mean. Me, I found the whole romp quote lighthearted and fun. If you don’t know you’re way around out there; it’s quite easy to get bad and ineffectual intel. I suppose in retrospect, she was a tad right, but that’s true in anyplace you don’t know.
Also in the movie were Dree Hemingway, Harris Yulin and a big favorite of mine, Ronald Guttman. This movie isn’t for everyone; some found it too tepid, but I enjoyed it immensely.
Last up was the one I’d had been waiting for, and which premiered at the NY Film Festival the same night, celebrated-director Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck starring Oakes Fegley, Michelle Williams, Julianne More, Cory Michael and Millicent Simmonds. Based on the book by Brian Selznick, (two stories in fact, set some fifty years apart) it tells the story of a pair of deaf children in their search for their parents and relatives. Tightly wound, but impeccably crafted, it was a rather awesome piece of work. Haynes (Velvet Goldmine and Carol) is a stunning director. His views of old-New York were positively stirring and the two kids (Ben and Rose) just sensational. Visually stunning for sure. Loved this one.
HIFF has come of age for sure, yet still retains a special magic.
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz’s two shows in L. A. (at The Canyon Club and the Saban) next week should be fantastic. He’ll be doing Chris Carter’s Breakfast with The Beatles on Sunday, October 15; as well as Jonesy’s Jukebox on KLOS and Pete Tilden on KABC. btw: Jonesy’s Jukebox is the show hosted by former Sex Pistol-Steve Jones. His song “Mercy” is still a personal favorite. Check out this article on Dolenz in the current issue of fanzine ZacharyMule; it’s excellent: http://zacharymule.com/wp/?s=Micky+Dolenz …Wasn’t Ben Platt fabulous on last week’s Will &Grace on NBC, as Will’s potential new love interest? The ending, where Will and Jack dance to Madonna’s “Borderline” was perfect. For me, it’s been a seamless transition from their last season (11 years ago) of the shows years back till now. Eric McCormack is just sensational … Supreme-Mary Wilson is in town for the Mark Bego-Eat Like A Rock Star-event at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room on 10/19- does SiriusXM’s Fab Forum tomorrow night with Dennis Elsas … Not bad for a first week on the job: Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show raked in $2.33 million last week from just five performances, an astonishingly strong financial performance fueled by high ticket prices. Springsteen on Broadway, an evening of singing and storytelling, grossed more than 26 other shows, many of which were performed eight times last week, including the long-running hits The Lion King and Wicked,according to figures released Tuesday by the Broadway League. The only shows to bring in more money than Springsteen last week were Hamilton ($2.93 million over eight performances) and Hello, Dolly! ($2.35 million over eight performances)… And, a pretty classy opener for last weekend’s Saturday Night Live, as Jason Aldean performed Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Spot-on!