Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Where is the little grey-and-white kitten? I've heard that kitten's little mewling over the last few days; obviously, it's looking for its mother. That kitten is a runt: it's very small and it's already six months old.

Anyway, yesterday had a bunch of things to do, including finally getting my IFP stuff (no problem) and my NY Film Festival press stuff (no problem). Didn't get to see anything yesterday, because of all the running around, but will try to catch some of the things screening at the IFP today. Today's NYFF screening is "Marie Antoinette" but will try to catch it later. Couldn't sleep last night: all the pollen and stuff in the air from all the flowering things (jasmine, dill, etc.) in the backyard really got to me, hives all over. But looked through the IFP materials. Interesting to see how people are representing themselves.

Ran into Godfrey Chesire and Nora Jacobson. Godfrey has a work-in-progress doc; Nora has a script. They both said that the market was going well: they were set up with meetings, and the people they met really had an interest in their projects. That was important: when we were looking through the shorts, it was with an eye to the fact that the people would be set up with meetings. It took a real effort on the part of the IFP to ensure that there really were producers interested in the projects.

On the one hand, it's good to know that the IFP has finally been able to revamp itself so that the Market is really a viable commercial tool for the filmmakers. On the other hand, the insane circus atmosphere of the past, the hectic craziness and the masses of people coming and going... that's all been streamlined, but in streamlining the Market, a lot of the crazies have been weeded out.

In short: the Market is now running as a professional service organization, but i miss the madness, because there are some of us who went into this movie business for the madness.

The latest issue of Vanity Fair came last week, after i had completed one of those polls about reading Vanity Fair. I stated that my favorite columnist was James Wolcott. Which is true. Though Dominic Dunne is also amusing, especially when he goes into one of those "cases", as in the recent Brooke Astor contretemps. But my point: the whole Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes article (with photos) is one of the most egregious p.r. spins around. But there is an editorial comment: the final article in the whole issue is a big "expose" by William J. Mann about Katharine Hepburn, and how she totally manipulated the information about herself in the 1960s on, so that the truth (the fact that she was bisexual, the fact that most of her "domestic" relationships were with women, the fact that the relationship with Spencer Tracy was close, but after its initial "crush" phase, evolved into a basically nonsexual relationship, but how she then used Grason Kanin's "Tracy and Hepburn" book as a template, how insistent she became with the story because she wanted to create an image of herself, etc.) would not be known, not in her lifetime anyway. The famous "friendship" with Laura Harding, who lived with her in the early 1930s during her first sojourn in Hollywood, the relationship with Susan Steell, and so on. In addition, Mann goes into many of the political statements that Hepburn made, which show her to be more firmly radical than she allowed herself to be in the 1950s and after. Though Hepburn never went so far as to join something like the Communist Party, she did show a great deal of sympathy for leftwing causes. But Hepburn wanted to make herself an icon, and so she carefully crafted an image which would remain intact.

But if that's not an editorial comment on Hollywood image control, i don't know what is! By placing that article in the magazine after the major puff piece on Tom Cruise....

Hilarious! Sometimes magazines are so much fun.


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