Daily Archives: 20 March 2015

54: The Director’s Cut

Ryan Phillippe at Peak Twinkiness

It coulda been a contender.

54, Mark Christopher’s celebration of the Golden Age of Studio 54, was released 17 years ago, to terrible reviews and massively disappointed audiences.  The blame for its failure can be laid at the feet of its executive producer, Harvey Weinstein, and Miramax, the studio that released the film.  They butchered and sanitized Christopher’s original movie beyond recognition, cutting 40 minutes from the 106-minute running time, demanding 30 minutes of new scenes, and substantially de-gaying what could have been a landmark film.

But we may be able to see what-might-have-been sometime soon.  A director’s cut of the film, was shown at the Berlin Film Festival last month—The Guardian gave it four out of five stars— and a digital version may be released later in this year.

54 starred Mike Myers as Steve Rubell and Ryan Phillippe, the then undisputed King of the Twinks, as Shane O’Shea, a naive New Jersey kid who gets into Rubell’s Studio 54 based on his looks, and winds up getting hired and becoming part of the late-70s Studio 54 scene.

Sample dialog:

Viv:  He’s gorgeous.  Look for yourself.
Shane O’Shea:  [voiceover]  I was warned that Steven didn’t hire any dummies and I should be on my toes because he could ask some really tricky questions.
Steve Rubell:  What’s two plus two?
Shane O’Shea:  Huh?
Steve Rubell:  You’ll be fine.

I’ve been waiting for this one since 1998.


Let the Right One In on Stage

Why Didn’t I Know about This?

Let the Right One In is my favourite movie of the 21st Century.   I think the famous swimming pool segment is one of the most stunning, brilliantly composed scenes in all of film, right up there w/the shower scene in Psycho.

And yet I somehow missed knowing that A) the National Theatre of Scotland had created a critically acclaimed stage version of Let the Right One In, and that B) after its successful London run, it played at St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York for another seven weeks.

“Had i but known…” as they say in Gothic romance novels.

It’s a bit strange seeing adults play Oskar and Eli, although, of course, adults have been playing Romeo and Juliet for centuries.  And many of the 30ish actors who play high school kids on American TV shows would be arrested on suspicion if they ever started hanging out near school playgrounds.   (There were rumours that Gabrielle Carteriss, who played a 16-year-old on the original 90210, once brought her granddaughter to the set, but I never believed them.)

I’m twelve.  But I’ve been twelve for a long time.”

Grands Jeux Romains 2015

Another happening from Culturespaces, the European company that manages and creates special programs for museums and historic sites.  This time, it’s a simulated gladiatorial game, w/an assassination or two thrown in for good measure.

The Games take place in an authentic Roman amphitheatre in Nîmes, France.  The original amphitheatre was built around 70 AD, and remodelled in 1863 to serve as a bullring.   It’s still in use for two annual bullfights and other public events.

Grands Jeux Romains 2015 will take place on 2 – 3 May 2015.

I’m still waiting for a job offer; I’d love to work for these people.

When Irish Fries Are Smiling

When Irish Fries Are Smiling

I’m not a fast food fan.  I’m one of the v few Americans—I think there are 16 of us—who has never been in a McDonald’s.

But I had to run over to Shake Shack on Saint Patrick’s Day to try their “When Irish Fries Are Smiling” special—crinkle cut fries topped with horseradish cream, scallions, and Applewood smoked bacon.

Damn!   They were good!

More Jerome Jarre

An ABC report on the infinitely charming Jerome Jarre.  I’m one of his 8.2 million Vine followers—I wrote about his “Speedo on a Plane Gone Wrong!” incident last year.

In addition to Vine, you can follow Jerome’s adventures on the Jarre Daily web site.  It mentions his recent visit to Paris Fashion Week, where he posted Vines with Anna Wintour and Ben Stiller, his recent charity and ecological work in the Philippines, and his bizarre and hilarious collaboration with Christopher Walken on a marriage proposal.

And don’t you love the way he pronounces “Squirrel?”


Boy, I’ve been really negligent updating things lately, haven’t I?

Sorry, but there’s a lot going on in my life right now.  I”m about to start on a big adventure, and planning has taken up quite a bit of my time.  Oh, and I’m lazy.

I won’t be posting at all from the middle of next week until after Easter, so I’ll try to get a few abbreviated items on line between now and then.