Hollywood on the Potomac

If It's Sunday

November 21, 2017

“Comcast is honored to serve as the latest corporate steward of NBC News and Meet the Press,” said David Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation, to an enthusiastic crowd at The Newseum in Washington, DC where guests were celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Meet the Press. “We’ve always said that NBC News is one of the crown jewels of our company. The work of journalists in keeping our citizens informed is vital in our democracy. That’s never been more true than it is today; and we couldn’t be prouder of all of our NBC News journalists for the work that they do each and every day. The show continues to be a leader in journalistic innovation, and how news content is made and delivered.”

Andy Lack, Chairman of NBC News, acknowledged four very special people: Tom Brokaw, who played a sentient role in the history of the program – 116 appearances including his first during Watergate. His best moments with Richard Nixon include this funny story which Lack recounted:  “He asked a question which was a pretty cool question in 1988 of then former president Richard Nixon which is a personal favorite of mine. He goes back and forth with the President on Watergate, a pretty serious exchange, and then he asks the President, in the autumn of his years as Tom put it, to reflect if he would do just in a personal way, as a human being, ‘When, sir, are you self-critical of your personal style or how you treat people? Do you see anything that you might have done differently?’ And Nixon said,  ‘Well, I suppose I could have treated the press a little better.’  Yeah, I suppose those are words to live by. Treat the press a little bit better, at least in this room, please.”     


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'Start to Finish'

November 19, 2017

“I’ve known Woody Allen for 46 years,” Eric Lax told an attentive audience at the Georgetown home of Sheila and Ed Weidenfeld where he was being celebrated for his latest tome Start to Finish. “This is not a relationship that I ever expected to last so long. Things just sort of kept happening. And so now, after 46 years and 44 movies that I’ve seen him put together, we’re still talking.”

 

About the book: A cinephile’s dream: the chance to follow legendary director Woody Allen throughout the creation of a film–from inception to premiere–and to enjoy his reflections on some of the finest artists in the history of cinema.

Eric Lax has been with Woody Allen almost every step of the way. He chronicled Allen’s transformation from stand-up comedian to filmmaker in On Being Funny (1975). His international best seller, Woody Allen: A Biography (1991), was a portrait of a director hitting his stride. Conversations with Woody Allen comprised interviews that illustrated Allen’s evolution from 1971 to 2008. Now, Lax invites us onto the set–and even further behind the scenes–of Allen’s Irrational Man, which was released in 2015, and starred Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone. Revealing the intimate details of Allen’s film-making process, Lax shows us the screenplay being shaped, the scenes being prepared, the actors, cinematographers, other crew members, the editors, all engaged in their work. We hear Allen’s colleagues speak candidly about working with him, and Allen speaking with equal openness about his lifetime’s work. An unprecedented revelation of one of the foremost filmmakers of our time, Start to Finish is sure to delight not only movie buffs and Allen fans, but everyone who has marveled at the seeming magic of the artistic process.


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Oh What a Night!

November 14, 2017

“I don’t mean to brag, but where would America be without Italians?” Emmy-Award-winning actor, NIAF Celebrity Ambassador and Sicilian American Michael Badalucco who opened the 42nd NIAF Gala at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC in honor of Sicily.

“I’m going to speak from my heart,” said outgoing COO of NIAF John Viola, mentioning his Sicilian roots, memories of his grandfather, his family and his bride of three weeks, his partners and friends. “If you were there last night and were there this morning, you could tell that this is an organization that has vigor, that has future, is prepared to move our community forward and I think that is an amazing accomplishment.” But the buzz of the evening was Viola’s colorfully designed Sicilian jacket, fresh out of Century 21.  Quipping that he wished he’d worn his own Sicilian jacket “instead of this very black jacket,” Italy’s Ambassador to the United States Armando Varricchio addressed close ties between his country and ours. “Italy is a strong partner and ally of the United States.” he said. “I see many friends here who show how close our relations are.”


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