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New Releases Make Waves In Tell-All Books And On Film

Originally Posted: April 01, 2009

Jennifer Tuesday

Cindy Sherman is one of the subjects in the new documentary of the life of her ex - Michael Auder. Photo courtesy of Patrick McMullan.com

Southampton - Did somebody declare it Cindy Sherman's Ex-Lover Month at the movies and not tell me? Just a few weeks ago, Anthology Film Archives played the documentary (over 40 years in the making) of Michael Auder's life. Entitled "The Feature," it is an experimental memoir that focuses on his Warhol Studio Factory days, his marriages to the ethereal Factory superstar Viva and then to the notoriously reclusive Cindy Sherman who has built a name as one of the most respected photographers of the late 20th century. Although the majority of her photographs are pictures of her, they are most definitely not self-portraits and are in the collections of major museums and collectors such as East Hampton's Michael Lynne.

Sherman, a MacArthur genius grant winner ($500,000 - no strings attached) and one of the youngest winners of the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, split with Auder years ago and moved on. Unfortunately, she moved at some point into the orbit of Paul Hasegawa-Overacker (a/k/a Paul H-O) host of a cable access show, "Gallery Beat." Again the cameras started rolling and Cindy once again found herself in front of a lens which she did not control.

The film "Guest of Cindy Sherman" just opened last week in Manhattan and gives the viewer an inside look at Cindy's personal life, her studio and workplace. "Guest of..." is also a touching and intimate portrait of their relationship, from first flirtation to full throttle romance. If, like me, you're a fan of Sherman's work, you'll enjoy the rare peek into her studio and one-on-one moments with the artist. It's not mean-spirited but a rather loving tribute - just don't say that to Sherman. For the very private, rarely interviewed Cindy this is definitely TMI. No surprise that their relationship is now history.

Edie Falco at "Nurse Jackie" premiere. Photo courtesy of Patrick McMullan.com

Now that "The Sopranos"' Edie Falco has signed a new series for Showtime, "Nurse Jackie," you can expect to see some of our great local actors in guest spots including the still going strong Eli Wallach and Amagansett's superstar mom Blythe Danner (daughter Gwyneth Paltrow lives down the street). There's plenty of trauma and ER action. Nurse Jackie herself suffers from a variety of ailments both physical and emotional. Get out the hankies.

Montauk artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel has scored a major coup. The director has "Slumdog Millionaire" star Freida Pinto for his next film. Schnabel, you might remember, directed "Basquiat" and the Oscar nominated "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," and he goes to Israel next month to start shooting.

"Miral" is based on a book by Palestinian-Italian writer Rula Jebreal, who collaborated on the screenplay about the real-life Palestinian woman Hind Husseini who started the Dar Al-Tifl orphanage in Jerusalem in the wake of the 1948 partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

The movie will span the years 1948-1994. The multi-talented Schnabel is working on an English language translation of Jebreal's book to coincide with the film's release. But this wasn't Pinto's first big offer since drawing critical raves in the Mumbai-based flick. Woody Allen recently cast her in his next picture shooting in London this summer. Freida, a former model, will appear next to Josh Brolin and Sir Anthony Hopkins in a typical Allen not-yet-titled film.

Beatrice Alda (right) and Jennifer Brooke (left) at the screening of
their film in Sag Harbor with Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas.
Photo by Sheila Cosgrove Baylis

Talking books - East Hampton's Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loewe's Hotels, and New York's biggest flag waver in terms of attracting tourism and big business to the city, has just signed another book deal. This one is for Crown Publishing and is entitled, "Citizen You: Doing Your Part to Change the World." The book was apparently inspired by his meeting, along with other travel industry leaders, with President Obama. The subject of the gathering was to discuss the role that travel can play in strengthening the economy. But don't expect any fast turnaround - the book will not be out until May 2010.

Amagansett favorite Sarah Jessica Parker is keeping herself busy while waiting to rejoin her "Sex and The City" mates for the sequel to their hit movie this summer. She's been seen on the streets of New York shooting scenes for the new flick, "Did You Hear About the Morgans" with Hugh Grant and directed by Marc Lawrence of "Miss Congeniality" fame. Grant and Parker will play the Morgans of the title, an estranged couple who witness a murder and are forced to relocate to a small Wyoming town, via the Witness Protection Program. The darling Elisabeth Moss, who won East Enders' hearts as a Rising Star at the Hamptons International Film Festival, has also been cast in this cheeky romantic comedy.

Actor Hugh Grant, seen here on the East End, is currently shooting a new film in New
York City with Sarah Jessica Parker. Photo courtesy of Patrick McMullan.com

LIGALY, The GLBT Center, and SAGE-LI will pay tribute to "homegrown heroes" - those who have made significant contributions to the GLBT movement whose roots are on Long Island - at their upcoming April 18 Equality Awards Gala, a celebratory awards dinner that brings together individuals dedicated to equality for the GLBT community. The Gala returns to the stunning East Wind in Wading River for another fabulous event! The evening will include a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, and awards ceremony.

Slated to be honored are Harvey Milk (posthumously), Richard Burns, Executive Director of the New York City LGBT Community Center (1986-2009), and Sag Harbor's Beatrice Alda and Jennifer Brooke, co-founders of Forever Films, Inc. and producers of the film "Out Late" which premiered at Bay Street Theatre. The Equality Awards Gala benefits the groundbreaking programs and services provided by the three organizations to GLBT youth, adults and seniors on Long Island.

If you want to learn a little bit about local history then you won't want to miss the chance to hear from a living legend and a personal idol for me Elizabeth Thunder Bird Haile, Shinnecock Elder and Educator and VP at the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum. "Chee Chee," as she is fondly called, knows more about the history - both fact and myth - of Southampton and the surrounding hamlets and villages than many scholars. She'll be a special guest of honor at a new series "History You Should Know," sponsored by the Southampton Democratic Club at a breakfast meeting at the popular Under the Bridge Restaurant in Hampton Bays this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Here's another item. Mark April 30 on your calendar for the return to Broadway - after a half century of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" with an absolute dream cast in place including East Hampton's two-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane, Tony Award winner Bill Irwin, Emmy winner John Goodman and Tony winner John Glover. The classic drama runs at Roundabout Theater and is sure to be at the top of every award's handicapper's list. Another Tony Award winner, Anthony Page, will direct.

Kudos to Southampton's favorite new cook, the wonderfully cheery Rachael Ray, who this week logged her 500th show of her highly rated TV cooking/chat show. With gabbing with the likes of Bill Clinton, Barbara Walters, Harry Connick, Jr. and every celeb under the sun, no wonder we haven't seen her and her hubby John Cusimano poring over veggies at Schmidt's. Here's hoping the summer will allow Rach and John some free time to scour our farm stands and loll on our beaches and maybe even invite us for dinner! You go, Rach!

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