Tag Archives: Celebrities

Tourism & Covid: 300-Year Old ‘Caffè Florian’ In Venice Faces Closure

As the oldest café in Italy—and the world, in fact—Caffè Florian recently celebrated its 300th anniversary on December 29 with no fanfare. It was a far cry from the 290th celebration in 2010, with cakes, an enormous party, and a live concert. The café famed for its celebrity clientele—from Charles Dickens to Andy Warhol—now faces closure since the pandemic has taken a toll on tourism.

The café was opened in San Marco Square in 1720 by Italian entrepreneur Floriano Francesconi (locals knew it as Floriano’s). It has been a gathering place for locals, a place to woo tourists, and a hot spot for A-listers for hundreds of years.

In 1895, the idea of the Venice Biennale was born here, to pay homage to King Umberto and Queen Margherita, and scenes from Hollywood films have been shot here, such as The Talented Mr. Ripley (starring Matt Damon) nd Summertime (starring Katharine Hepburn). Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens were frequent visitors, as well as Friedrich Nietzsche, Casanova, and Charlie Chaplin. Ernest Hemingway would sit out on the patio drinking coffee in the sun, while Claude Monet charmed the pigeons into standing on his head in the same spot.

Read more at Architectural Digest

Travel & Culture Books: “St. Tropez Soleil” By Simon Liberati (Assouline)

The legend of St. Tropez starts with a dog, a rooster, and a martyr; and it leads to movie stars, world-renowned artists and distinguished writers. Located on the sparkling French Riviera, St. Tropez has enjoyed the spotlight for more than half a century, for better or worse, with celebrities flocking to this idyllic locale for its beaches and a dose of Mediterranean sun.

A picturesque oasis, St. Tropez has served as inspiration for a who’s who of notable writers from Françoise Sagan to Colette; as well as renowned artists Paul Signac and Henri Matisse; and even filmmakers. However, St. Tropez would not be the same without then belle du jour Brigitte Bardot, her films and lovers and many other famous couples including Annabel and Bernard Buffet and Bianca and Mick Jagger.

St. Tropez Soleil Assouline book

St. Tropez Soleil guides the reader through its storied past and ever-evolving present. Featuring annual mainstays such as Les Bravades and the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez as well as exclusive events like a Chanel fashion show at the quintessentially Tropezian Sénéquier café and the White Party at Nikki Beach begun by Naomi Campbell. But despite all that changes, the spirit of St. Tropez remains the same and this volume is an ode to the unique joie de vivre that keeps everyone coming back.

Simon Liberati is an award-winning French writer and journalist. He has worked for publications such as PurpleNuméro, and 20 Ans and he frequently collaborates with Vogue. He has written ten books including Jayne Mansfield 1967 (2011), which won the prix Femina, and the best-selling Eva (2015).

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Interviews: 80-Year Old Lily Tomlin Opens Up On Her Long Career (NY Times)

From a New York Times interview (12/30/19):

Dustin Hoffman with Tomlin in “I Heart Huckabees” in 2004. Fox SearchlightEverett CollectionHas comedy evolved since you started? I think a lot more is allowed. When I was first starting out and was on “Laugh-In,” around ’71, I was trying to keep a low profile when I’d be working on something new.

 

Did you have that sense early in your career that your approach to comedy was different from most comedians? No. I just wanted to do the person, and more than likely the character would be self-confident and secure in her world. for instance. She mostly was looking out for herself and skewering pomposity, if I was going to be true to a child, the humor would take on a different quality.

Read more NY Times article

New Celebrity Books: “The Mighty Elvis – A Graphic Biography” By Seymour Chwast & Steven Brower

The Mighty Elvis is a commemoration of his life and times in the form of an art book, told through the unique vision of legendary designer and illustrator Seymour Chwast. Beautifully illustrated throughout, it presents an enhanced portrait of one of America’s greatest celebrities.

With text by author Steven Brower (Satchmo: The Life and Art of Louis Armstrong), The Mighty Elvis reminds us of the continuing stardom of one of the most popular American singers of all time. Through Chwast’s illustrations, cartoons and comics we get to relive his early life, his meteoric rise to fame and how he was affected by, and in turn, affected the world of music in the many genres he mastered. The book covers his first appearances on television, Graceland, his meeting with President Nixon, his wedding to Priscilla, and much more. Millions of fans loved him, purchased his records, attended his sold-out shows, and went to his 33 films. Death, 40 years ago, has not diminished his fame. “Elvis Lives!”

To read more and/or purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Elvis-Graphic-Biography/dp/1684055601/ref=sr_1_79?Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.x=39&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.y=15&field-datemod=12&field-dateop=During&field-dateyear=2019&qid=1576432769&refinements=p_n_feature_browse-bin%3A2656020011&rnid=618072011&s=books&sr=1-79&unfiltered=1

Top Interview Podcasts: Actress Jamie Lee Curtis Talks About Her Films And Career (New Yorker)

Jamie Lee Curtis comes from Hollywood royalty as the daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She credits her mother’s role in “Psycho” for helping her land her first feature role, as the lead in “Halloween,” in 1978. “I’m never going to pretend I got that all on my own,” she tells The New Yorker’s Rachel Syme. But Curtis says she never intended to act, and never saw herself as a star: “I was not pretty,” she explains; “I was ‘cute.’ ”

Eventually, the pressure she felt to conform in order to keep working led to a surgical procedure, which led to an opiate addiction. Curtis talks with Syme about recovery, second chances, and more than forty years of films between “Halloween” and Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out.” Plus, the chef at one of Los Angeles’s best restaurants on how to build a woman-friendly kitchen.

To read more: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/tnyradiohour/articles/jamie-lee-curtis-original-scream-queen-podcast

Celebrity Interviews: Fashion Designer Calvin Klein (Oxford Video)

An iconic American designer, Klein has defined the last half century of fashion with his visionary minimalist design philosophy, characterised by a dedication to simplicity, comfort, and elegance. In this time, he has transformed his clothing line into a multi-million dollar global lifestyle empire, spanning ready-to-wear, fragrances, furniture, and more. He is now retired, and recently published a survey of his legendary career.

Website: http://www.oxford-union.org/

Celebrity Book Reviews: “Touched By The Sun” By Singer Carly Simon (WSJ)

From a Wall Street Journal online review:

Touched By The Sun Carly Simon BookThe complementary pair—Onassis the sophisticate, and Simon the nervous hippie—were close until Onassis died in 1994. Over a sprawling conversation, Simon discussed seeing the “goofy” side of Onassis, what she misses about performing and what she envied about Onassis.

Carly Simon has a voice that fits the Shakespearean ideal: “ever soft, gentle, and low.” The 74-year-old singer and writer has a mind that wanders before suddenly homing in on a detail with the perfectly chosen phrase or word. As in her new book, Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie, about her unlikely camaraderie with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, she is chronically honest about her feelings and her experiences.

Touched by the Sun, Simon says, started off as a broader project about some of the important women who have influenced her. But she kept coming back to her friend Onassis, whom she met on Martha’s Vineyard. Simon spoke to WSJ. by phone from the island, sitting on her bed in the house where she’s lived since 1971—and where she also keeps four dogs, two donkeys, two miniature horses, sheep, a few goats, an organic vegetable garden and a flower and herb garden. Not to overlook the miniature horse rink.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/carly-simon-jacqueline-kennedy-onassis-book-marthas-vineyard-11574687335

Interviews: Anthony Hopkins On The “Nature Of Existence”, Having Fun In “The Two Popes” (WSJ)

From a Wall Street Journal Magazine online interview:

Anthony Hopkins The Two Popes“The script is about questioning the nature of existence. I think about that every day of life. What is the purpose of life? As I get older, I look back on my own life as if it’s a novel written by someone else. To me it’s all a mystery. I started out over 60 years ago. My first job was, my God, 62 years ago and here I am. I don’t understand any of it. They gave me work, and I continued to work. It’s only just recently looking back, I thought, ‘My goodness, who designed this life? I certainly didn’t.’ I don’t know what’s life or destiny or kismet or God. I don’t want to get too philosophical about it. I’m fascinated about the mystery of life, about how we get through it, how we survive. I have no answers and I can’t take credit for any of it.”

Anthony Hopkins, who plays Pope Benedict XVI in this month’s Netflix movie The Two Popes, has a personal philosophy of not taking anything too seriously. “When I was younger, I was much more intense,” he says. “I got to a certain age, maybe 10 years ago, and thought, ‘Come on, just relax. Have some fun with it. Let’s have a ball!’” Hopkins’s surprising approach to playing the pope was to be as laid back as the actor, 81, appears on his lively Instagram account: He captures himself singingdancing in his Thor costume and playing the piano with his cat perched on his lap.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-anthony-hopkins-doesnt-research-his-roles-11574343089?mod=read_more

Celebrity Documentaries: “Very Ralph” On HBO Profiles 50 Years Of Ralph Lauren Fashion (HBO)

From a The Cut online review:

Lauren lived his life as a character in his own movie, and his clothes allowed his customers to do the same. Some days he was Rick from Casablanca, dressed in a double-breasted white dinner jacket, and other days he was a cowboy, wearing jeans and cowboy boots with a blazer.

Ralph Lauren is “zee American designer,” says Karl Lagerfeld in Very Ralph, a new HBO documentary on the Bronx-born fashion icon. Coming from zee most prolific French designer of the 20th and 21st centuries, that’s saying a lot. But the film, which premiers today, supports that statement, illustrating with interviews and archival footage how he’s successfully sold an American fantasy to a global audience for over 50 years.

To read more: https://www.thecut.com/2019/11/ralph-lauren-documentary-very-ralph-hbo.html