Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Et Cetera

Le Poison Pen


Ur-bikini babe, friend to all animals, very close personal friend of a few selected humans of male gender, despiser of all goat-killing Moslems and bosom (so to speak) chum of fascistic French blowhards like Jean-Marie Le Pen, Brigitte Bardot added yet another epithet to her string of titles this week: eward-winning author.


The outspoken ex-sex kitten turned animal rights champion won the $16,000 Paul Leautaud prize for her best-selling memoir, "Initiales B.B.," a tell-all tome about the hommes in her life, mixed with insightful political wisdom. The bestselling book drew the attention of the Leautaud jury for its close, curvy fit with the award's criteria, which hankers for "literature that is physical."


Physical it is, as Bardot, 61, mulls the hydraulics of her days of yore. But "fond reminisces" these are not. The author takes a slash-and-burn approach to those who have been near and are no longer so dear -- including the flesh of her flesh. Not long after the award was announced, Bardot's only son, Nicholas, 36, joined with his father, Bardot's ex-husband Jacques Charrier, in seeking a court order to remove 80 pages of the book they say insults them and invades their "privacy" (a quaint concept that still lingers on, feebly, in that exotic land).


Ex-hubby, for example, was pictured as "a vulgar, dictatorial and uncontrolled macho, a gigolo, alcoholic and despicable." And with motherlove worthy of Medea, Bardot, in describing her pregnancy, calls the then-embryonic Nicholas "a tumor feeding off me." The tumor himself begs to differ, and a judge will rule on the case soon.





Smoke in Your Eyes


Hollywood was under attack again this week. No, it wasn't Battlin' Bob Dole, calling for more family-type movies about down-home folks doing true-blue things in really nice ways your kids can look up to. This time it was an anti-smoking coalition, taking producers to righteous task for pushing cigarettes on an unsuspecting public.


Dr. Stanton Glantz, a University of California professor of medicine who has chronicled the art of the cinematic puff, notes that while cigarette smoking is declining among the audience, it is increasing on screen. The reason for this divorce between real life and movie fantasy? Tobacco companies are paying, and paying well, for their moments in the sun. (e.g., splashing out $42,000 just to have Lois Lane suck a couple of Marlboros in "Superman II.")


Glantz singled out recent films in which Whoopi Goldberg, John Travolta and Clint Eastwood light 'em up with compulsive regularity. Eastwood, for example, playing legendary swain Robert "Woodsmoke" Kincaid in "The Bridges of Madison County," is depicted plying a melting Meryl Streep with fag after fag. The producers of "Bridge" defend the nicotining as necessary to establish the proper mood.


Glantz and the coalition could claim one triumph, however. James Bond -- who once struck film-icon poses with regulation white jacket, black tie and stylish cig stowed rakishly in the corner of ironically skewed mouth -- has given up the noxious weed. One of the producers of "GoldenEye," the latest bit of Bondage, noted that the super-spy had been updated: "He still drinks, he still womanizes, but he doesn't smoke anymore.''


But of course we all know that "GoldenEye" fellow wasn't the real James Bond, now, was he?





Alas, Poor Frederick


Something is rotten in the state of Denmark: a little family trouble between the Queen and her melancholy son -- a plot that turns on agonizing choices and "the pangs of dispris'd love."


Strangely familiar themes for the Prince of Denmark perhaps, but things have loosened up a bit in old Elsinore since the days when young Hamlet braved madness and death to avenge the murder of his father and pluck his mother from the "incestuous sheets" of his evil uncle. These days, the contretemps in the castle are just a bit more tacky, a bit more, well, Windsorish.


Danish Queen Margrethe had been engaging in an ongoing row with her son, Crown Prince Frederick, over his two-year relationship with a lingerie model, Katja Storkholm. The royal mother put intense pressure on Frederick to end the unseemly liaison, but the prince, 28, held firm, and in a recent interview said he would ignore his mother's wishes and follow his heart in taking a lady to wife. Katja did her part; she stopped stepping out in her bra and panties and got a job as a switchboard operator to mollify the queenly distemper.


But unlike the fair, flower-like Ophelia, Katja was made of sterner stuff. She apparently tired of the whole stagey business, and announced -- in a tabloid, of course -- that she was leaving the unsuspecting prince. And leaving the country as well -- not "getting to a nunnery," however, but taking a nice vacation in Hong Kong, China and Japan. "I'll be away a long time. It needs to calm down at home before I'll return," she said.


From Frederick, so far, "the rest is silence."





This Just In


Late-breaking news from the music world: Beatles topping charts; breaking own sales records; stats show big portion of fans are teens, though older folks like them too; expecting yet another No. 1 album next week.


A telegraph from the past? No, a press release by Beatles publicist Geoff Baker this week. With new anthologies and back-catalog sales, the 26-years-dead group will rake in more than $20 million this year -- outdoing any year of the 1960s. A new anthology out Monday is expected to hit No. 1. Baker also noted that 41 percent of Beatle-buyers are teenagers. With video sales and television rights thrown in, the Fab Four will generate $735 million in overall revenue for the year.


"The Beatles are now bigger than the Beatles," he said. And a hell of a lot bigger than Oasis, he might have added.





-- Compiled by