By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
After a special Tribeca Cinemas screening of The Devil Wears Prada (which I'll dissect with pinking shears next week), there was a panel discussion titled "Mentor or Monster: The Boss That Changed My Life"or perhaps just "Summer Wishes, Wintour Nightmares." The Star's editor in chief, JOE DOLCE, said that for him the life-changing boss was Wintour herself; he worked for the fashion queen at Vogue for 90 days that were as uncomfortable a fit as a 10-year-old tux. "From the first day, when I walked into the office with no windows," he said, "I knew I was in trouble. I was pitching her story after story and she was rejecting every one of them. Then she looked at me and said, 'Must you chew gum?' I was quitting smoking! The assistant found out about this conversation and immediately everyone in the building knew that JOE DOLCE was chewed out for chewing gum." Still, Dolce admires Wintour's talent and feels that unlike the Prada movie, "the book was obviously written by someone who didn't know anything because she only saw the facadeshe didn't know what it took [to do that job]." And besides that, "Nobody has a legendary reputation for being nice." Fuck you, gum-wad! Fuck all of you cretins! I certainly do!
HBO had a nicey-nice screening and Le Cirque dinner for Boffo!: Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters, which explores the thin line between, say, The Silence of the Lambs and the loudness of the duck (you know, Howard). While chewing gum and smoking, I watched the documentary's chattering heads and way preferred JODIE FOSTER admitting that she's eaten alive by her failures than NIA VARDALOS bragging about how she fabulously broke all the rules. And you can tell everyone in the building about it.
At the event, I asked the film's director, BILL COUTURIÉ, if the difference between a hit and a complete dog is often something less tangible than, say, my sex appeal. "Yes," he responded. "SYDNEY POLLACK told me, 'I've made big hits and I've made big bombs and I can't tell the difference.' Sydney said he loves [his gigunda flop] Havana, and if he had the same script and the same actors, he'd make it all over again." "God, I hope not!" I blurted. "Me too!" said Couturié, laughing.
The new Le Cirque sequel? It's an airy dome that surrounds you with brown panels, yellow crepe curtains, pictures of monkeys, and women with tight necks. The staff is so eager to please that they raced off to get me the menu on command, unaware that I had actually said, "Is this the main room?" They're so fired!
But let's go off to a metaphorical side room and spill some scattered thoughts about various junk: You want to know a potentially career-destroying tidbit about gay-porn guy MICHAEL LUCAS? He once had sex with a woman! Namely SAVANNA SAMSON! But it was in a bathroom, so it's OK . . . WINONA RYDER is extremely brave. In the wildly stimulating roto-scope flick A Scanner Darkly, her character's very first line has to do with her having been accused of stealing . . . In the arena of flamboyantly bitter gay men in women's bodies, I can't decide which withering snapdragon with a cable show I preferKATHY "D-List" GRIFFINor JANICE "the Mouth" DICKINSON. Let them battle it out in piles of mud . . . Did OPRAH WINFREY really tell NY1 that her favorite writer is "Michael Nichols"? Didn't she really mean MIKE NICHOLS, who mainly directs? At least she didn't say JAMES FREY . . . By any name, it's not true that LIZA MINNELLI is going to do a re-creation of RUFUS WAINWRIGHT's re-creation of Judy Garland's Carnegie Hall concert . . . By the way, Liza's friend JASON DREW called to thank me for his mention and to laughingly say, "I haven't been a twink in 20 years!"
Call me a skank, but it seems I was right in predicting that PARIS HILTON's music would not destroy the modern world after all. You'll remember I covered the upcoming CD for Out magazine and noted that, while it doesn't delve into topics any more profound than dancing on tables, backstabbing, and trashing around, it's exactly what you'd want from a slumming socialite's CD, and it's more fun than blowing Bazooka bubbles at Anna Wintour.
The tracks, if you care, are as follows: The hit single "Stars Are Blind" is a surprisingly haunting, reggae-flavored tune; "Turn U On" comes off like a PUSSYCAT DOLLStype sexathon; "Not Leaving Without You" is a peppy dancehall anthem ("Don't ask me for my number, 'cause my number's undercover"); "Are You With It?" has Paris whispering, "Do I turn you on? I think I do. So come and get it"; "Screwed" (get the double entendre?) sounds angstily AVRIL LAVIGNEish; "Jealousy" has her getting back at NICOLE RICHIE for being a total snatch; and the sole cover song, naturally, is the faithfully remade disco dish "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" The brunt of the songs involve how incredibly hot Paris is and how she either is or isn't giving it away. While the details of the record sound moronic, the net effect can be devilishly entertaining. Grammy award? No. Dancefloor reward? Probably.