Weinstein toasts Woody's 'Barcelona'
WHEN HIS newest book “Legacy of Secrecy” comes out in November from Counterpoint Press, we’ll be on the receiving end of new info about the Mafia’s glamorous Hollywood villain, Johnny Rosselli, and also about how the JFK and RFK assassinations tie into James Earl Ray’s murder of Dr. Martin Luther King.The complexities of these many related killings and the fact that so many new revelations are being monitored by Lamar Waldron and others from sources the CIA and FBI kept covered up for years is all a bit too much for us to cover here in a mere column. You should read Waldron’s last book “Ultimate Sacrifice” and his coming “Legacy of Secrecy” if you really want the facts. Rosselli’s story is on its way to the big screen thanks to actor (and former Chicago cop) Dennis Farina, writer Stephen Kronish and others. Taking extensive material from Waldron’s last book “Ultimate Sacrifice,” they are turning Rosselli’s life and death into screen drama.
* * *I WAS at the NYC premiere of Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (last week). The crowd was young, hip and semi-dressed, and I intercepted a cacophony of intimate conversations: “Have you seen Monica? Oh, God, bad. Drugs, darling”…” Yeah, I might get married, but I’m such an all-or-nothing guy, and right now it’s all about me. Do you have a card?”…”I’m soooo mad. I stood out there for five minutes and nobody took my picture!” It was the usual endless clogged-aisles/cocktail-party crush until the guy behind me started to complain, loudly. Finally, Harvey Weinstein appeared, thanked everybody connected with the movie, and told a very funny (fictitious) story about two of its stars, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz — how they’d first worked in a Spanish version of “Heidi.” Lot’s of back and forth between Harvey and Javier on how to pronounce “Heidi” in Spanish. It was a riot. The Diamond Information Center was one of the night’s sponsors, along with Sherry Council of America. The Weinstein Company has been looking for an unqualified hit. Movies are a crapshoot, and Woody Allen movies moreso, but in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Harvey may have found a delicious crowd-pleasing success. Director Allen seems newly invigorated now that he’s moved his films out of the various environs of Manhattan and gone European — London for “Match Point” and “Scoop,” Spain for this one. Make no mistake, these are Woody Allen movies, and his sensibilities and philosophies are still evident. But there’s a freshness to Woody’s latest efforts that one might not expect from an auteur in his 70’s. The film belongs to Penelope Cruz, who plays Bardem’s charismatically bonkers ex-wife. She is sexy, funny, vicious, raging, dangerous, and tender. All in her first three minutes on screen! It is a spectacular fireworks display. After the movie, everybody traipsed over to the Plaza Athenee where Peggy Siegal laid out one of her (reasonably) cozy sit downs. Cruz, Bardem and Patricia Clarkson were there as well as Nora Ephron and Nick Pileggi, Nicole Miller, Russell Simmons, Paula Zahn.