And more from our Liz: Will Kindle save books?…and Marie Antoinette rediscovered, again
“SO, I assume this means you won’t be seeing that little tramp anymore!”
This was Ava Gardner battling it out with Charlton Heston in 1974’s “Earthquake.” Not one of Ava’s better efforts, but the film was a smash, and it is considered the granddaddy of disaster movies, a genre still thriving today.
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AVA and “Earthquake” came to mind on Tuesday, with the significant 5.8 tumbler that shook up most of the East Coast. I bet the movie will start running soon on Cinemax or Encore or TCM.
But what shook me up more than the earth moving, was the fact that this was clearly not a devastating quake, at all. And yet at the very moment all the cable news stations were covering the Libyan rebels seizing Gaddafi’s compound, the quake hit and it was “earthquake” 24/7 for hours after. Within ten minutes it was clear the quake was essentially a non-story, but we had to be treated to all the MSNBC, Fox News and CNN journalists reliving their harrowing experiences as…desks shook and some stuff fell down. Over and over and over again.
Memo to cable news—multi-tasking. Cover several stories at the same time. Try it.
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DIRECTOR-Producer Linda Yellen bought herself a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (the ones with the distinctive red soles) for the glitzy screening of her new movie for Hallmark, “William & Catherine: A Royal Romance.” Linda kicked up her heels—literally—and said, “I thought, it’s now or never for these shoes. And after all, they are related to royalty, although it’s French royalty.” (Louis XIV, to be precise. It was Louis who began the red-sole craze, while building Versailles.)
Linda, tall and blonde and girlish, was thrilled that so many of the audience—including New York Times fashion editor Ruth LaFerla, “Dreamgirls” composer Henry Krieger and the best damn gossip reporter in New York, Roger Friedman—stayed and mingled at the Crosby Hotel, way downtown, until midnight. The general consensus was that Yellen’s movie marks a new high-quality point for Hallmark productions. “William & Catherine” is lush, romantic, quite humorous and realistic in portraying Will and Kate. Dan Amboyer and Alice St. Claire, who play the lovers, are fresh and charismatic, onscreen and in the flesh, at the party.
Jean Smart who has a juicy role as Camilla Parker Bowles said, “I’ve seen feature films that cost $60 million dollars that didn’t look as good as this!” (Jane Alexander, who plays Queen Elizabeth, also has some rich moments in the movie.) The good looks of the film are a miracle, as it was shot in Romania, on a not-huge budget.
Paul Morrissey put the cherry on the sundae when he marched up to Yellen and said, “Look, I just have to tell you, I liked this better than ‘The King’s Speech!”
“William & Catherine” airs on Saturday. I know you think you’re worn out on Will and Kate, but this one is worth taking a look at.
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SPEAKING OF royalty, one of my favorite doomed heroines of history, Marie Antoinette, is having yet another literary resurgence.
A new book has arrived, Juliet Grey’s Becoming Marie Antoinette, a novel based on the facts of Antoinette’s early years as the dauphine of France, married to a lump of a man who could not consummate their marriage for six years. Publicity about the book touts busting the myths about Marie—her promiscuity, selfishness, and of course the infamous “Let them eat cake.” She never said it.
Well, being something of an amateur expert on this subject, I knew poor Marie had been slandered, but it’s never too late to reclaim a tarnished reputation. After all, she lost her head over those lies.
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WRITER Graham Swift, has weighed in on the rise of e-readers which he says “threaten the future of English literature.”
Mr. Swift won the Man Booker Prize in 1996 for his novel, Last Orders and he says electronic reading may just cause aspiring authors to “give up and leave potentially great stories unwritten.” Mr. Swift says writers are threatened because the way they are repaid for their work producing e-books “is very much up in the air.”
The author describes e-books as having the atmosphere that “everything belongs to everybody. There is a tendency to see an e-book as just in the air to be taken and to lose the sense that somebody once made it.”
But Amazon said that sales for its Kindle e-reader overtook paperbacks this year. E-readers also claim that they feel encouraged to read more often. And a few authors feel the e-book allows them to sell their work without an agent or a publishing deal.
For instance, John Locke, became the first person to sell a million e-books without a publishing deal, putting his sales on a par with best-selling writers like Stieg Larsson and James Patterson. He sold his book for 99 cents a copy and broke a million sales in just five months.
Thanks to science writer Nick Collins for this story.