NY Mirror

Footloose turns out to be like Stupid Kids without the irony, but not as bad as that sounds.

I commiserated with Benigni about those critics who've put him on the spot, and he said, "I don't have to defend this movie because it's so vulnerable. It's like a naked kid--uno bambino nudo. It defends itself. The movie, he's defending me!" Real-life children--clothed ones--certainly get it, and in Italy they've responded to Benigni by embracing him as a sort of life-sized Mickey Mouse. "I'm well known in Italy as a cartoon," he told me, "and since kids are purity, they write me letters, with drawings on them." Which American movies does heembrace? "I like the classics by Scorsese, Tarantino, Woody Allen--he'snot Italian--and William Wyler. Ben-Hurwas my first movie, but I didn't have enough money, so I saw it backwards. I saw Ruh-Neb." Oh, that's the version where Charlton Hestonwas the walrus.

Finally, in the get-her department, you may have heard that Martha Stewartwas in one of the vehicles held up by last week's protest march against antigay violence, and she didn't look too happy, especially when a few people started chanting, "What do we need now? New sheets!" I guess Martha shouldn't have left Connecticut--and by the way, she also shouldn't go to see Bride of Chucky, because bridey's big moment has her screaming, "Fuck Martha Stewart! Martha Stewart can kiss my shiny, plastic butt!" That's acting!

Michael Musto can be e-mailed at musto@villagevoice.com.

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