Friday, April 19, 2024

NYC Wrap Up: Jane Fonda’s Boswell, French Cinema Pix


Jane Fonda‘s biographer, Patricia Bosworth, was saluted last night by Broadway producer Judy Gordon on the Upper East Side. Patti’s book, “Jane Fonda: The Public Life of a Private Woman,” is a New York Times bestseller, the latest of Bosworth’s many terrific tomes (do read her much acclaimed bios of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, and of her own father, the lawyer for the Hollywood Ten). Gordon’s A list guests included famed actor Michael Murphy, Kathryn Altman (widow of famed director Robert Altman), author Stephen Schlesinger and his legendary mom Alexandra, former French Vogue editor Joan Juliet Buck, Olympic champ and sports analyst Dick Button, writer David Black, famed director (and yes, the father) Robert Downey Sr., legendary Broadway and “Saturday Night Live” choreographer Pat Birch, producer Dennis Grimaldi, and writer-producer Maria Cooper Janis (who also happens to be the lovely daughter of Gary Cooper). After the party, a few of the guests repaired to Elio’s on the Upper East Side where we reminisced about the much missed Elaine Kaufman. Elio, owner of the restaurant, once worked for Elaine. His restaurant, long established down the street, is one of its successors…(Note to Elaine, who considered Elio a traitor: we have to eat somewhere!)…

…Meanwhile: until October 4th, you can see the startlingly wonderful photographs taken by France’s most treasured film export (and expert) Catherine Verret at the Furman Gallery in Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. Catherine is well known to the New York film crowd as the doyenne of French cinema in this city. Her photography turns out to have been a hidden second career. The exhibit, “New York Mon Amour: A View of French Cinema,” includes Jeanne Moreau. Charlotte Gainsbourg. Isabelle Huppert, Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Jean Reno and many others. It’s very interesting since Catherine has been responsible for almost 40 years for exposing America to French film through UniFrance and the French Film Office. She was celebrated last week with a magnificent reception at the French embassy on Fifth Avenue in the landmark former Payne Whitney mansion designed by Stanford White. (Yes, those Whitneys.)  PS In real life, so to speak, Catherine is long married to Pierre Vimont, the former French ambassador to the United States…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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