Beatty revisits ‘Reds’

TALKING TO the ineffable Warren Beatty as he revisited his great epic of the Russian Revolution, “Reds.” The movie — celebrating its 25th anniversary — enjoyed a special screening this week at the New York Film Festival. The DVD comes out today for the first time with never-before-seen special features, including interviews with Warren and Jack Nicholson, etc.

LIZ: How do you feel about “Reds” now?

WARREN: Well, it’s nice. We had a screening at the Directors Guild in L.A. and I realized I had never really seen it with an audience since December 1981. You know I never gave a single interview at the time “Reds” was first released. I didn’t want to get in the way of the film itself.

LIZ: Do you have a revisionist view of the movie?

WARREN: I wish I had held it back for 25 years because it has a lot that applies to these times. Patriotism and profits are even more relevant today, seen between the Vietnam and the Iraq wars. People question other people’s patriotism and profits seem to be foremost. … Historically, the collapse of the Soviet Union cuts two ways — both good and bad. It shows us people in a secular society will resort to religion in times of trouble. The movie is about an idealistic American man who doesn’t really know what’s going on. Usually, when I see my movies, I want to change this or that. I think. ‘Oh, this is a terrible idea. I should change the music cue or something.’ But this time I didn’t want to change anything about the movie.

THE ELUSIVE and eternally beautiful Liv Ullman came to New York to support but not perform in the direct-from-Norway production of Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” in Central Park. “I have seen this famous production many times in Norway, and it is a great event,” she said. … There’s a new role on the horizon for Liv, who made movie history with her work for Ingmar Bergman “Yes, I have written a film that we will shoot in Europe next year.” Any other info? The blue-eyed stunner shot a familiar look as if to say — “That, dear heart, is my secret.”

MIKE WALLACE is being honored tonight in the Waldorf’s Empire Room for the Mental Illness Prevention Center. Call 212-263-5744 … I’ll be down at the National Arts Club giving a “lifetime achievement” award to the designer Arnold Scaasi. They say you can buy his fab apartment on Beekman Place, if you have $14 million and change. His Quogue house is also for sale. Arnold wants to now live in the Carlyle Hotel. (Who doesn’t?) … Annette Bening will be in New York with “Running With Scissors” and people will line up to touch her Saturday at a gala Michael’s lunch … The Landmarks Conservancy will fete its pre-Halloween “Living Landmarks” gala by lots of pouring, sipping, toasting and goodwill at Elaine’s great saloon on Oct. 18 … The Doc Severinsen tribute to the late Skitch Henderson happens at Carnegie Hall with the Pops Orchestra on Oct. 20 …Writer Dominick Dunne’s birthday will be celebrated at “21” on Oct. 23. People are fighting to be invited … Howard Stringer, chief of Sony, will be showing off the new Sony Reader at 550 Madison Ave. on Oct. 24.

FOR THE FIRST time in New York theater history there’ll be three award-winning Christines on city stages. Tony winner Christine Ebersole is the celebrated piece de resistance of the musical “Grey Gardens,” opening Nov. 2. Two-time Tony winner Christine Baranski appears in Paul Rudnick’s new comedy — “Regrets Only” — at the Manhattan Theater Club opening on Nov. 19. And, in December, the Drama Desk and Obie queen, Christine Estabrook, most recently on your TV screen in “Desperate Housewives,” takes on the lead in the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater musical “Spring Awakening.” … Off-Broadway’s witty and naughty musical parody “Altar Boyz” — about a Christian boy band, recently played its 666th show … Had a reunion with my old friend Geraldo Rivera at the Fox News celebration of its 10th anniversary in a posh tent on 48th Street at 6th Avenue. And it was a joy to get a hug from Anthea Disney, once a toiler in the gossip web, but now a high exec in the Rupert Murdoch empire. She looks better than ever.

(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)

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