NY Mirror

And now for the fag talk: Has Vidal been the victim of homophobia through the years? I wondered with a carefully rehearsed pensive look. "I assume so," he said, "considering the continuing hatred of The New York Times for me. They set out in the '50s to clear the fags out of the theater. They got William Inge, who turned to novel writing and finally killed himself. And they contributed a great deal of fag baiting to Tennessee Williams's mental breakdown, which officially was too many Nembutals and vodka. But they missed Thornton Wilder. He lived in New Haven with his sister and was never a Broadway type." Note to self: Move to New Haven with sis.

Of course now it's the opposite situation, whereby anything gay seems to get an automatic Times rave. "That's even worse!" said Vidal, who really is the best man when it comes to acid commentary of any sort. He has no goo in his eyes at all.

A straight movie just got a rave from the Times—the lush In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar-wai, who was reasonably buoyant when I ran into him at his Thalia restaurant party. "It's the first time I got a good review from them," he said in a state of near shock. Alas, I wasn't listening, as the free buffet had just been unveiled. The sparser food at the party for the very sweet Two Family House made it easier for me to concentrate on what that film's creators had to say. But writer-director Raymond De Felitta wasn't gloating much about his good reviews. "I feel nervous," he admitted. "I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's a hard movie to get people to go see. At Sundance, we thought, 'They're gonna laugh us out of town with their edgy, bloody indie movies.' " But they didn't, which is why one of the film's leads, Katherine Narducci, came up to me shrieking, "God has blessed us with this movie! I've faced the toughest critics and they can't deny cracking that smile!" Even I had to grin a little with that—until scowling again in search of a decent hors d'oeuvre. And they think boot camp training was tough.

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