With its star-spangled marquee and movie-house lineage, the Granada has been a Lawrence staple for more than three-quarters of a century. Today, two decades into its life as a music venue, it's a destination for such indie darlings as Best Coast and such punk-rock heavyweights as Rancid. For a place that has seen a lot of history, the Granada has adjusted to the times remarkably well.
That hasn't been without the savvy vision of Mike Logan, who became the owner of the retro-cool space in 2003. Since then, he has worked to continue the transformation of the Granada into one of the area's leading live-music stages. September 17-30, the Granada celebrates both 80 years in business and 20 years as a home of concerts.
In writer-director Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, a troupe of spoiled California teens tries to wriggle into Paris Hilton's world by breaking into her house (along with a bunch of other celebrity homes) and stealing armloads of swag. It sounds like a broad comedy (and it's an effective laugh generator), but Coppola is telling a true story - one based on Nancy Jo Sales' 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspect Wore Louboutins."
An alumna of Yale and Columbia who has profiled Russell Simmons and Angelina Jolie in magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and New York, Sales has just published The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World. In the book, she updates readers on the fate of those hapless adolescents and examines their crimes in the chilly context of our media-saturated world.
Sales answered our questions in an e-mail exchange.
The Pitch: You point out in the book that founding father Alexander Hamilton was 19 when his first anti-colonial essays were published - making him a founding juvenile delinquent. How do we go from someone like Hamilton to the participants in The Bling Ring?
Sales: Some of the founding fathers were barely more than teenagers themselves, as were members of the Boston Tea Party and the Sons of Liberty, a revolutionary group at the time of the American Revolution. The rebelliousness of teenagers played a big part in the many protest movements that occurred over the centuries in America. Now, in a strange twist of history, we have teenagers who are not so rebellious - at least not politically, generally speaking. We have teenagers who are interested in making money and maintaining the status quo, teenagers who are interested in becoming a part of the "lifestyle" lived by rich people and celebrities.
You can't really blame the teenagers for this, the values of wealth and fame have been pushed by their culture and pop culture for the better part of 30 years, since the so-called Reagan revolution, which actually the opposite of a revolution. Teenagers today grew up watching shows like Gossip Girl and Entourage and 90210 and The Hills, all which promote a luxe lifestyle. A lot of teenagers these days want money and things, not change - certainly the teenagers in The Bling Ring did. They wanted to live like celebrities and have the things that celebrities have, even if they had to steal it.
Rachel Lee, the alleged Ringleader ("Rebecca" in the movie), has never granted an interview. How tough was it for you to get all the stories straight?
Also like his act, the book forswears profanity - not least because Dad Is Fat isn't just kid-friendly but kid-centered. But now an unexpected oath hangs in the air: the W-word. He wonders why people keep saying his contribution to goofy-father lit feels so ...
"Sentimental?" he asks. "Does wistful mean, I don't know, a sentimentality, a sincerity?" I make some fumbling defensive noises while scrolling through a mental thesaurus for a more flattering alternative, something less Proustian. But Gaffigan isn't really complaining. This comic, whose lens is perhaps second only to Jerry Seinfeld's in terms of clarity and polish, is just doing what he does: observing.
The film, Prewitt's graduation project for his master's degree in mass communications from the University of Central Missouri, started as a simple question: What would happen if zombies attacked Spin Pizza while Prewitt (who has been an employee there for four years) was working. The dialogue and characters for the 30-minute movie were inspired by Prewitt's co-workers. He wrote the screenplay last year and began production on the project in 2012.
If you're interested in being an extra in the film, Prewitt needs bodies for the restaurant scenes being filmed at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. You can find more information here.
There have been a lot of movies over the years with waitresses as leading characters, including a quartet of Oscar-winning performances: Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore in 1974, Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets in 1997, and Halle Berry in Monsters Ball in 2001. And the quintessential film noir waitress of all time: Kansas City's own Joan Crawford as long-suffering Mildred Pierce in 1945.
A new five-part adaptation of the James M. Cain novel, Mildred Pierce, begins airing on HBO this Sunday night.
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I'm freaking excited!
"It's a cold day for pontooning."