Mailer challenges 'Naked' press
“ALL I can say about this movie is, pay attention! All will be revealed.” Those were Guy Ritchie’s opening remarks before Sunday’s screening of his long-languishing twisty noir thriller, “Revolver,” at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room. Ritchie has been passionately committed to “Revolver” which came and went quickly in Britain and opens in the U.S. Friday via Samuel Goldwyn. I saw it a year ago and confessed that Guy’s thought-laden, violent and often grimly funny gangster tale left me enjoyably confused. He told me he’d changed it some. “Don’t worry you’ll still be … challenged,” he said. There are compelling performances from Ray Liotta as the operatically self-involved villain, as well as Jason Statham as the tormented protagonist, and Andre Benjamin and Vincent Pastore as two of his tormentors. … Ritchie is not through with its central issue — the ego. He is finishing up a documentary on the subject. Surprisingly, however, he is really a sucker for “old-fashioned entertainment.” When I suggested he do a “big” movie, he lit up. “Oh, that’s what I want to do. I want to do a big comedy about World War II.”… After the screening, Guy and his wife Madonna headed to the roof club of the Gramercy Park Hotel. Party-goers included: Brown, Josh Groban, Chris Meloni, Liza Minnelli, Barbara Walters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alan Cumming, Michael Stipe, Guy Oseary, Fred Schnieder, Alex Rodriguez and Steve Buscemi. … Madonna said she’d like to work with her husband again. “They don’t want us to … They, them, out there, the media. It isn’t worth the deaths they inflict.” She said she’d seen “Revolver” in its various permutations 20 times, and echoed Guy’s remark — “I think I finally understood it tonight.” She added, with a big laugh and uncharacteristic self-deprecation, “As much as I understand anything!”SPOKE WITH an upset John Mailer who has been, since his famous father’s death, dealing not only with personal grief, but with criticism that he has tried to “cash in” on Norman’s leaving us. John is the 29-year-old son of Norman and Norris Church. He says, “It has been surreal having my own loss of my father and also having the world’s mourning to react to. But on the very day of his funeral in Provincetown, by some accident of fate, there appeared a press release saying I’d make a movie of his book ‘The Naked and the Dead.’ I am not blaming anyone for this, but it was premature and inaccurate to say the least. It is true I did an adaptation of this novel sometime ago. He liked it very much and signed over rights to me. Someday perhaps it will be a film. But for now I am appalled at the timing of it all. I just want to disavow that and say I would never have connected such a project with my family’s loss.” … Maria Cooper Janis, the daughter of one famous man and the wife of another (Gary Cooper and Byron Janis), is now working with filmmaker Peter Rosen on a documentary about Byron. The pianist is recovering from hand surgery and his best Christmas gift came from surgeon Dr. Charles Melone who is making it possible for Byron to continue his career.