Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Little Light Reading

When you're reading this, I'm on a plane to Utah and the Sundance Film Festival. I'll be tweeting obviously so follow me on Twitter... but I also hope to pop in here with short bits from the fest. However, in case things are too crazy for blogging (this is my first time attending since 1998... and back then I was but a humble moviegoer with a random ticket or five), I've invited some extra guest bloggers to chime in. Most of them you'll recognize from their own fab blogs or from past guest stints here. Enjoy!

Whenever I'm on a plane I end up buying some cinema book I've had a hankerin' to read. This month that's Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America. Unfortunately, I already cheated and read the introduction "Warrenology".
...I had met a lot of stars, but never met anyone quite like him. Indecently gifted, he acted, he wrote, he directed, he produced. A brilliant mind. Tough. Analytical. Inquisitive. Hoovered up everything and gave back nothing. Funny. Self-deprecating. And good, or reasonably good, politics. And he was classy, had style to burn. Nothing and no one ruffled his feathers. He was Captain Cool, Mr. Natural. It cost considerable effort to present a lacquered exterior like his, but he pulled it off with seeming ease. Grace. That was the magic of it: you never saw the gears grinding. Norman Mailer, when he wrote about Beatty for Vanity Fair, called it "charm," tried to define it, and gave up.

I had never been a big believer in vaporous concepts like "charisma," which I filed away with "karma," "vibes," and "auras," but I'm embarrassd to report that when I was in his presence I felt an almost palpable sense of well-being, as if I were a better person because Warren Beatty liked me, or pretended he did.
I already ♥ it.


Andrew K. said...

I'm always interested in the theory that the original story for Sondheim's COMPANY was based on Beatty.

rosengje said...

I am about halfway through this and really enjoying it. The salacious details are kind of fun in a voyeuristic way but mostly I love how Biskind uses Beatty to illuminate that era of filmmaking. Plus: Julie Christie!

Dominique said...

Just started reading this last night! Really hard to put down :)

Michael B. said...

My favorite was this tidbit in Entertainment Weekly when they had the"SEX-O-METER."

Beatty was second to last with 12,775 (Wilt Chamberlain won with 20,000) but the best was Kevin Jonas: 1.

Then the asterisk on the bottom said "all numbers previously reported"

whitney said...

Welcome back to Utah! Maybe I'll see you at a screening or two!