Arthur Penn, ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ director and pioneer of cinematic violence, dies at 88 in New York
Arthur Penn is shown during the filming of “Target.” Penn, a myth-maker and myth-breaker who in such classics as “Bonnie and Clyde,” died at 88.
Writer James Frey suffered one of the most humiliating smack downs of all time when it turned out parts of his hit memoir, A Million Little Pieces, were fabricated.Oprah had chosen the book as one of her book club selections and the writer had to have his wrists slapped by the daytime doyenne on her TV show in from of millions of people.
Few would be able to make a comeback after that kind of punishment (not to mention the fact that he had lost the trust of thousands of readers).
But Frey has slowly been returning to the literary limelight. In 2008 he published the novel Bright Shiny Morning which landed on the New York Times bestseller list.
Now he’s making inroads in Hollywood. Frey co-wrote the young adult novel I Am Number Four which has been turned into a movie by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks. A new trailer for the film is currently making the rounds on the Internet. (Click here to see the trailer.)
Arthur Penn is shown during the filming of “Target.” Penn, a myth-maker and myth-breaker who in such classics as “Bonnie and Clyde,” died at 88.
A Renegade History of the United States by Thaddeus Russell (Free Press, $27, 9781416571063/141657106X, September 28, 2010)
This is a new story.
When American history was first written, it featured and often celebrated politicians, military leaders, inventors, explorers, and other “great men.” Textbooks in high school and college credited those goliaths with creating all the distinctive cultural and institutional characteristics if the United States. In this history from the top down, women, Indians, African Americans, immigrants and ordinary workers–in other words most Americans–seldom appeared. In the 1960s and 1970s, a new generation of scholars began to place labor leaders, feminists, civil rights activists, and others who spoke on behalf of the people at the center of the story. This became known as history “from the bottom up.” Yet more often than not, it seemed to me, the new stars of American history shared many of the cultural values and assumptions of the great men. They not only behaved like “good” Americans but also worked to “correct” the people they claimed to represent. They were not ordinary.
A Renegade History goes deeper. It goes beneath what the new “social history” portrayed as the bottom. It tells the story of “bad” Americans–drunkards, prostitutes, “shiftless” slaves and white slackers, criminals, juvenile delinquents, brazen homosexuals and others who operated beneath American society–and shows how they shaped our world, created new pleasures, and expanded our freedoms. This is history from the gutter up.–selected by Marilyn Dahl
Earlier this year, we reported on the news that Paramount has optioned the upcoming Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child novel Gideon’s Sword for Michael Bay to produce through his Bay Films label. Now, screenwriter Chap Taylor (Changing Lanes) has been hired to adapt the story for the screen. Gideon’s Sword will be the first of a twelve-book series, with the first book due to hit stores in February. The series centers on “a hero imbued with the ability to convince people of almost anything. The story involves the man trying to clear the name of his father, falsely imprisoned by the NSA, and possibly save the world at the same time.”
According to Heat Vision, the aim of adapting the book series is supposedly to “kick-start a Jason Bourne-style franchise that would give Bay an opportunity to show character work while delivering high-octane set pieces.” The project marks Bay’s second foray into adapting books for the big screen, following his producing credit on James Frey’s I Am Number Four.
from J to the E to the S
Rolling Stone named Black Tide “Metal’s New Teen Titans” and one of the “Best Rookies of 2008.” Black Tide is currently on tour with Drive A, Escape the Fate and Bullet for My Valentine. The last stop on their tour is Oct. 27 at the Palladium in Hollywood.
“They don’t hold back or try to fit into a genre that could land them on the radio,” Brown said. “Instead, they play with passion and are sincere.”
By ERIC PFANNER
ARIS — A Frenchman convicted of copyright theft for illegally downloading thousands of songs on the Internet has found an unlikely patron: a famous film director.
Jean-Luc Godard, the 79-year-old director of movies like “Breathless” and “Alphaville,” has come to the support of James Climent, a photographer who faces a fine of 20,000 euros ($26,520) for violating musical copyrights.
Mr. Climent, who lives in Barjac, a picturesque old town of artists and organic farmers in the Gard region of southern France, wants to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The highest French court rejected his last appeal in June, siding with music royalty collection agencies that brought the complaints against Mr. Climent five years ago.
Mr. Climent said Mr. Godard this month donated 1,000 euros to his fund, helping him get him more than halfway toward the 5,000 euros he needs for legal fees and other costs of taking his case to the European Court.
While Mr. Godard’s views on intellectual property are widely shared on the libertarian fringes of the Internet, they might seem surprising coming from a director who, under French law, retains editorial control over his work and derives financial benefit from it.
Yet Mr. Godard, a pioneer of the New Wave of French cinema in the 1960s, whose films skewered the conventions of bourgeois society, clearly still delights in provoking the establishment, even if it could cost him money.
Mr. Godard’s support for Mr. Climent comes as the debate over file-sharing is growing ever more politically charged in France.
Art of Farming at Sotheby’s
It’s a little known fact that we here at Edible Manhattan have an Art section that celebrates food-centric Gotham works like Andy Warhol’s soup cans, a rendering of McSorley’s bar, and Hopper’s Nighthawks, the iconic image of a lonesome Manhattan soda shop in 1942. So we are particularly delighted that on Thursday (Sept. 23rd) some 30 some-odd farmers from the greater New York foodshed will bring their art — meaning heirloom veggies from cranberry beans to Newtown Pippin apples — to Sotheby’s to be offered up on the auction block to chefs, grocers and other bidders.
The auction is a passion project for some Sotheby’s staff and farmer friends, who declare there’s as much valuable works being created on nearby farms as in SoHo studios. The cases of auctioned produce will get eaten throughout the city in the days that follow, becoming part of the ingredients and dishes celebrated during Eat Drink Local. (Decide where you are going to dine now.)
Tickets are still available to the cocktail party ($250), which will be crammed with chefs, farmer and other food community movers and shakers (not to mention some arty types). That includes admission to the experiential auction of Edible-friendly items, like a private tasting with the owners of Tuthilltown Spirits, a tour and tasting at Red Hook Winery, four potted Newtown Pippin seedlings (delivered to anywhere in the five boros), a B&B getaway to Long Island wine country, and a signed copy of a cryptic, comestible tale, “Celebration!!!,” commissioned from James Frey for the auction. The gala dinner (sold out at $1000 per seat) follows with courses prepared by Jeff Gimmel of Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, New York, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef of ABC Kitchen, Roberto Alicea, Executive Chef of Andaz 5th Avenue and Myriam Eberhardt, Pastry Chef of DBGB Kitchen and Bar.
I thought this was interesting because it had two things we’ve covered in class: spelling and James Frey, author of A Little Million Pieces.
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Diane von Furstenberg Studio
440 W 14th Street, NYC
7:00pm Canapes ‘n Cocktails
Buzzless Bidding Silent Auction
Ben Greenman returns to defend the coveted aluminum foil crown against a swarm of usurping spellers.
Brave Spelling Bees so far:
Jonathan Burnham (Publisher, HarperCollins) Sloane Crosley (HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER) Nancy Franklin (The New Yorker) James Frey (BRIGHT SHINY MORNING) Ben Greenman (WHAT HE’S POISED TO DO) Tyehimba Jess (LEADBELLY) Tayari Jones(THE UNTELLING) Dave King (THE HA-HA) Philip Lopate (NOTES ON SONTAG) Patrick McGrath (TRAUMA) Bernice McFadden (GLORIOUS) Jay McInerney (HOW IT ENDED) Rick Moody (THE FOUR FINGERS OF DEATH) Michael Musto (LA DOLCE MUSTO, The Village Voice) Francine Prose (ANNE FRANK: THE BOOK, THE LIFE, THE AFTERLIFE) Tiphanie Yanique (HOW TO ESCAPE FROM A LEPER COLONY) And More!
Emcee: Bob Morris (ASSISTED LOVING)
Judge: Jesse Sheidlower (Editor-at-Large, OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY)
For many non-academic readers, Frank Kermode, who died aged 90 last month, is perhaps best known for his spirited defence of Hubert Selby Jr’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, at the obscenity trial surrounding it in 1966. According to the Daily Mail, observers described his appearance as “more [like] a Reith lecture than an investigation into alleged obscenity”. In the foreword to the book’s post-trial edition, written by the original publishers, John Calder and Marion Boyars, we are told that Kermode analysed the novel chapter by chapter, placing it firmly in “the tradition of American naturalistic literature, which … had developed from writers like Zola and Dickens”. Selby died in 2004, having suffered from ill health for most of his life. Although he wrote six novels and a collection of short stories, he is widely known only for Last Exit to Brooklyn and Requiem for a Dream (made into a film by Darren Aronofsky in 2000). Since his death, and in spite of plaudits from Kermode, Anthony Burgess and Lou Reed, among many others, there has so far been little popular or critical reappraisal of his work. This is a shame. Selby should be regarded alongside Philip Roth and Norman Mailer as one of the great American novelists, and one who has helped us to understand the nature of addiction and the human condition better, perhaps, than any other.
A successor to Jean Genet, Jack Kerouac, John Fante and Charles Bukowski, Selby’s influence can be detected in the work of modern writers including Richard Price, Irvine Welsh, James Frey and more recently Tony O’Neill and Richard Millward. In tracing Selby’s lineage, Kermode highlighted the deep compassion of this remarkable writer. Able to humanise addiction and to demonstrate how it is exacerbated by the consumerist motors of television and advertising, Selby is a novelist whose insight and humanity we should treasure for a long time to come.
On a quiet Saturday morning back in April, Sue Jamison, part-time faculty member and wife of David L. Jamison, J.D., RMU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, heard a knock at the door.
The man behind the knock was Kent Jackson, assistant location manager for the movie “I am Number 4,” a new DreamWorks film, which will debut in February 2011. Jackson told Sue that he and his crew really liked the all-American look of her house, and that they may want to use it for a new movie project.
“I was a little suspicious at first,” said Sue, who assumed Jackson was talking about some small, local film. “We’re all about supporting local filmmakers,” she said, “but I was still somewhat hesitant. Then he mentioned that one of the executive producers was Steven Spielberg, so I invited him in for coffee.”
ON Monday morning, the street artist known as Blek le Rat, considered the godfather of stencil graffiti art, set out to create his latest work on a wall opposite the Standard Hotel on West 13th Street.
Mr. le Rat (né Xavier Prou) has been spray-painting his tag on monuments and street corners since 1981, and because what he does is usually illegal, he uses stencils to be speedy. He was working more leisurely on Monday, since the new work was commissioned by Details magazine as part of a strategy to align itself with creative types in different fields, including perhaps what is the last corner of the art world that had not yet been appropriated by fashion for its marketing purposes. Three other graffiti artists will create murals for Details in the coming weeks.
“Public art is probably one of the most transformative parts of urban living,” said Bill Wackerman, the publisher of Details. Mr. Wackerman is interested in how modern men, particularly those living in big cities, have outlived their metrosexual phase and are now going through something he called a “metromorphosis.” That is to say, they’re interested in things besides moisturizer. Like art.
So Mr. le Rat was asked to create a mural that spoke to the modern masculinity. He was nearly finished with the work, called “My Mother’s Eyes,” around 3 p.m. Against a black brick wall, he had stenciled a mother and child, after a Baroque painting by Guido Reni, and a man holding his hand up to silence a crowd of onlookers on the other side.
“It means take care of your family and don’t bother me too much,” Mr. le Rat said.
Sorcerer’s Apprentice star Teresa Palmer leaves behind some awkward years as she heads up the Hollywood starlet ranks, writes Jacqueline Smith.
It’s hard to believe Teresa Palmer was less than a babe at school, but she insists she did her time as the nerdy kid.
“I was so dorky up until I was about 14 or 15 and started to get a little bit cooler, but I was a socks and sandals girl. I would wear big frilly socks with sandals and all the kids would tease me.”
Having dealt with her own awkward stage, Palmer says she was able to identify with the nerdy hero of her latest film the The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
She recently fulfilled another fantasy by playing the kick-butt Angelina Jolie-style character in I Am Number Four – dressed top to toe in leather, beating people up and riding a motorcycle. But what is most exciting about that film is she is not only the tough-chick, but the Australian tough-chick.
“It was so refreshing because I haven’t been allowed to be an Aussie so far in my career. But they decided that my character, who is an alien, was placed in Australia as a young girl and grew up as an Australian, so I got to keep my accent – even my Adelaide one, my very thick South Australian accent,” she says proudly.
Which is worse: lying to Congress or lying to Oprah?
When the news broke that former MLB star Roger Clemens was being indicted for perjury about his alleged steroid use, the figure who sprang to mind, despite coming from an entirely different world, was James Frey, the notorious memoirist publicly indicted for lying in his 2003 bestselling memoir (and Oprah Book Club selection), A Million Little Pieces. To a writer writing on scandal, Frey obviously holds a certain fascination: If I ever find myself in the midst of a horrible scandal, it’s probably going to be over something I publish, too. But more to the point, what unites these seemingly disparate figures is the charge of illicitly boosting their games by employing prohibited substances (anabolic steroids and fictional experiences, respectively). In other words, these are scandals of ambition. They’re about people doing what it takes—or what they believe it takes—to enhance their position in the marketplace. Though … doesn’t everyone, pretty much?
Modern market-societies require ambition because they’re premised on social mobility. The founding principal of democratic society is that your position in the world doesn’t derive from your origins, it’s determined by your talents and achievements. But there’s a stumbling block for the ambitious: It’s the market that determines which talents count toward achievement at any given moment. Which is where the Clemens and Frey scandals converge. It’s not that either of them were talentless schlubs who got where they did on sheer fakery. What they did was augment the talents they had in order to conform to the current demands of the marketplace. (Clemens still denies it, though no one believes him.) They may have broken the prevailing rules of their respective games—baseball and memoir-writing—but as to whether steroids should be legal or will be eventually (maybe), or if memoirists are generally so truthful (probably not), things are not exactly simple. “All memoirists lie,” says memoirist André Aciman; on the prevalence of performance-enhancing substances in sports, please consult the work of another noted memoirist, Jose Canseco.
Ambition is excessive, by its very nature. It’s predicated on desire, which is inherently limitless: When is enough ever enough when it comes to these bottomless wells of yearning? In the case of the vastly talented Clemens, the desire might have been to eke a few more playing years out of his talents—a few more wins, maybe a World Series, though he probably would have made it to the Hall of Fame even without a chemical boost. But apparently he didn’t care to be put out to pasture quite yet, or limp toward the end of his career. As for Frey, the back-story is a little more complicated, as the intersections of art and commerce tend to be. Here was an aspiring novelist who tried to publish a novel. His agent submitted it to 17 publishers; no one would buy it. When she added that it was based on a true story, he got offers—an unknown recovery memoirist looked like a more commercial prospect than an unknown first-time novelist, even though it was basically the same story. So he rewrote it to suit the dictates of the market.
Scandal specializes in revealing open secrets, and here’s one to consider. All writers write for the marketplace. If they don’t, they don’t get published, increasingly so these days, given the corporatization of publishing, the insistence on increased profits. Yes, Frey produced a book that would sell instead of the novel he wanted to write, and based on his sales figures, he wrote exactly the book the marketplace wanted, a huge commercial success. In business lingo, you would call him a product innovator: He merged the realist novel with the true-life recovery narrative, reinvigorating the form and reaping the rewards. His critics seemed to think he should have played by the rules instead of doing what it took to succeed, ignoring commercial pressures in a grand romantic gesture, as if it was up to Frey to singlehandedly contest the momentum of global capitalism. But here’s a question: Do any of us?
An Australian lawyer, Alex Stewart, has smoked pages torn from the Koran and the Bible, posting the video on YouTube just days after an American Pastor’s threat to burn the Muslim holy book caused worldwide outrage.
Photo: SPLASH NEWS
In a 12-minute clip entitled “Bible or Koran – which burns best?” Mr Stewart, who works for the Queensland University of Technology, holds up the two religious texts before ripping them apart and lighting the rolled up pages.
At one stage he inhales deeply from one of the roll-ups before blowing out the smoke and commenting: “Holy”.
It’s not clear what’s more unlikely — that for 43 years most of the nation’s best-known poets have come to the modest Katonah Library for a poetry series begun by a former Mad Men-era adman, or that in this high-dollar address the series is now struggling to scrape together $6,000 to keep going.
Still, there’s a small tale of the arts in the real world in the long life and shaky future of the Katonah Poetry Series, which began in 1967 and now has no director or money for anything beyond what could be its last reading on Oct. 3.
“I said at one point that if you sat on the steps of the Katonah Library for 25 years without moving, you would have seen pretty much every major American poet walk through the doors,” said Billy Collins, the former United States poet laureate who was director of the series from 1991 to 2008. “It’s surprising and dismaying to me that this series could be breathing its last breath surrounded by such affluence.”
Most people don’t remember anymore, but rock legend Jimi Hendrix was a science fiction book junkie. We caught up with one the guitarist’s biographers to find out more about his science fiction bookshelf.
In the new book, Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius, authors Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber take a deeper look at the guitarist.
According to Schreiber, Philip Jose Farmer‘s Night of Light had a big influence on Hendrix. “Night of Light was a science fiction book that in 1966 inspired Jimi to eventually write ‘Purple Haze.’ Farmer’s story had to do with sunspots having a disorienting effect on a distant planet’s population. Jimi wrote pages and pages of lyrics for ‘Purple Haze,’ originally an epic tale of the history of warfare for the control of the planet Neptune,” he explained.
He added: “Producer Kim Fowley told us that when he met Jimi early in 1967 in the UK, Jimi had a trunk of books, all science fiction.”
Brett Berk and Paola Kudacki spotlight Dianna Agron, Glee’s Quinn Fabray, who has more than pom-poms up her sleeve.
By Brett Berk•Photographs by Paola Kudacki•Styled by Jessica Diehl
Dianna Agron wants to show us another side, and we shouldn’t be surprised that she has one. The 24-year-old Glee star—she plays cheerleader Quinn Fabray, in case you’ve been in cryogenic suspension since 2009—grew up taking ballet lessons, but her nickname was Charlie, for her male alter ego and the star of the short stories she’d write in high school. She revered equally the poised Audrey Hepburn and the madcap Lucille Ball. And she’s become famous for playing a virginal, super-popular, conservative cheerleader who gets pregnant, joins the show choir, and starts agitating for all the misfits there. Her intrepid contrariety explains her latest film project as well: I Am Number Four, which comes out this winter and is based on the first in James Frey’s pseudonymous series of young-adult novels. “I’m likening it to Rebel Without a Cause,” Agron explained. “With supernatural elements. And aliens.” Having had the opportunity to perform chase scenes and jump off buildings, she’s ready to add other weapons to her pom-pom arsenal. “I want to be badass,” she cracked. We can’t wait to watch that.
By Steven Kurutz
It’s no surprise that William Gibson is a prolific user of Twitter. The author of science-fiction classics like “Neuromancer” and “Spook Country” has long been interested in emerging technology. In recent years, Gibson has abandoned the speculative world of sci-fi to write thrillers set in the present-day. As he told an interviewer in 2004, “Finding myself actually in the 21st century really makes want to write about the actual 21st century, which is stranger and more complicated than anything I would have been allowed to come up with.”
Gibson’s new novel, “Zero History,” similarly explores modern culture, particularly the cult of consumerism and marketing. Speakeasy will publish a longer Q&A with Gibson about his new book tomorrow. In the meantime, we wanted to get his take on a much-debated hot topic: the future of book publishing. As you might expect, Gibson had some interesting things to say on the subject.
August 30, 2010 by Mike Gencarelli
Aussie breakthrough Callan McAuliffe might wear his heart on his sleeve as the lead in Rob Reiner’s “Flipped,” but it’s unclear if he’ll even have a human heart in “I Am Number Four.”
McAuliffe has just wrapped the highly anticipated Stephen Spielberg/Michael Bay feature which is directed by D.J. Caruso, but he’s still not saying whether he’s an actual teen or an alien pretending to be a teen in the movie.
“I’m not going to tell you,” he says to PopcornBiz frequent inquiries. “The whole plan is the aliens are trying to blend in.”
So there is an attempt to keep the actual alien identities secret during the run up to the film’s autumn release. The action story centers around a group of aliens who escape from their mortal alien enemies only to find out they are being hunted down on Earth.
Callan says he is in a very different world from “Flipped,” where he happily planted a tree and talked about his feelings.
“There will be no planting of trees in this next film,” he laughs. “And I definitely get the chance to kick some ass.” Look out bad aliens.
The alien author of the next literary phenomenon talks to The Big Issue
If you didn’t know there was a secret war between alien species taking place on Earth as we speak, you soon will as the release of ‘I Am Number Four’ launches a franchise set to eclipse all memories of Harry Potter and moody vampires. With a movie adaptation from none other than Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay already in production, author Pittacus Lore is about to become one of the hottest names on the planet.
But not just this planet. Pittacus is in actual fact a 10,000 year old being with superhuman abilities from the planet Lorien, recently annihilated by the vicious Mogadorians who, unless the few surviving Loriens can stop them, will destroy us next. A refugee living secretly among us, Pittacus is guardian to the last nine Lorien youths, who hold the future of their race and ours in their hands.
‘I Am Number Four’ picks up after teens One through Three have already been assassinated and the others live under constant threat. As a result, Lore speaks to The Big Issue using an electronic voice distorter to protect his true identity (his number was a New York State code for any Mogadorians reading).
Sounding like a demonic Stephen Hawking, here is the exclusive transcript of my first ever extraterrestrial interview.