Does Martin Scorsese hate Joe Queenan?

tjndc5-5bpky2qd0hz1dgmt8obr_layout.jpgThe director—who just snagged a DGA award this weekend (making him nearly a lock for his first Oscar later this month)—named one of his “Departed� characters Ben Queenan, and, as Tarrytown humorist (and occasional film critic) Joe Queenan points out, Queenan isn’t exactly a common surname. So what gives? Was Scorcese writing an homage to Queenan? Well, considering the celluloid Queenan gets thrown off a rooftop to his gory death…probably not.

tjndc5-5b3k001qg7r1a0ruzh5a_layout.jpgWhich is why Queenan says his friends began asking if he had ever written anything nasty about the acclaimed filmmaker. And apparently, he had. 16 years ago. Commenting on “Taxi Driver,” Queenan noted it was a bit unnerving to watch the director (in a memorable cameo) talk about blowing off his wife’s head.

“It’s amazing that Scorsese has had four dates, let alone four marriages,” Queenan says he wrote.

He admits now:

<blockquote><div>This was not at all nice. Worse, in a subsequent article, I questioned why Scorsese would cast his then-current girlfriend Illeana Douglas as a naive legal secretary who has her face ravaged during a savage beating by De Niro in Cape Fear. Frankly, it didn’t seem very chivalrous. It might make a girl start wondering if the relationship was still on an even keel.</div></blockquote>

And if indeed Scorsese, one of cinema’s greatest directors (who, for the record, I have no problem with whatsoever) is also one of cinema’s most vindictive personalities (and also has one of its greatest memories) and did indeed toss one of his detractors from a metaphorical building, what does Queenan think about that?

<blockquote><div>I am not only honoured…I am also chastened. There are rules of engagement in journalism, a code to live by, and no matter what one may think of a director’s work, no one has the right to talk about his mother, his wives, or his former girlfriends. Even if one of them gets her face chewed up on screen.</div></blockquote>
(Photo of Joe Queenan by Mark Vergari/ The Journal News 6/12/01; photo of Martin Scorcese by Michael Sawyer/AP)

All they are saying, Donald and Rosie, is give peace a chance

Seeds of Peace, the group that brings young Israelis and Palestinians together, is apparently trying to get Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump to patch things up and appear together at its March 22 gala in New York, according to The New York Post.

Of course, the paper’s source is “we hear,� so who knows how accurate the story is. But, still, it’s good for posing this question: What’s more likely to happen in 2007, Peace breaking out in Middle East or Donald and Rosie kissing and making up?

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Everybody knows their names: Ted Danson and Glenn Close

Last year, it was announced Glenn Close (the part-time Bedford Hills resident) would star in her own show on F/X, after the considerable acclaim she received for her yearlong guest spot on The Shield.

tjndc5-5bvsq2pg89iyzo92fuk_layout.jpgThis week, her co-star was revealed. Ted Danson will play a character named Arthur Frobisher in the still untitled legal thriller. According to Variety, Frobisher is “a corporate exec involved in a class-action lawsuit brought by the high-stakes litigator Patty Hewes,� played by Close.

The two actors worked together once before, on a television movie called Something About Amelia and were both nominated for Emmy’s for their roles.
(AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

So some rappers are homophobic? What?

In an interview with AllHipHop.com, the rapper, Deadlee, who is gay, singled out Eminem, 50 Cent, and sometime-Mount Kisco resident DMX as over-the-top homophobes in the rap industry.

tjndc5-5basrmij174mhzbe6bw_layout.jpgWhy is DMX an alleged homophobe? Deadlee says it’s his constant use of the word fa***t and his references to “homo thugs,â€? according to the website. “I find it crazy when his videos are very homoerotic,” the rapper says. “All the guys kicking it with their shirts off!”

Okay, so maybe DMX has issues with sexuality. But 50 Cent? Why would anyone accuse him of being homophobic?

Well, it could have something to do with comments like the ones he made to Playboy magazine a few years back: “I ain’t into fa***ts…I don’t like gay people around me, because I’m not comfortable with what their thoughts are.â€?

To be fair, though, the rapper and newly minted movie star added: “Women who like women, that’s cool.”

(AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

Rob Thomas and a Kennedy dine in Mount Kisco–though not together

tjndc5-5c66aaz8us4i1a7sg78_layout.jpgAccording to intrepid Stamford Advocate gossiper Susie Costaregni, former Matchbox 20-frontman (and Bedford resident) Rob Thomas grabbed some soup to go last week at Ladle of Love in Mount Kisco (our favorite soup shop!!).

Also stopping in Mount Kisco last week: Kerry Kennedy, another Bedford resident, and the filmmaking-daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. She was seen in the Starbucks, which has become a mega celeb-spotting local in the County. Also getting their caffeine fix there: Martha Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger, DMX, Billy Baldwin, Chaz Palminteri, and Robert Newman.

(AP Photo/Stephen Chernin) 

Today in Westchester Billionaires Abroad News:

tjndc5-5dc0au589d58jclp8ma_layout.jpgWith his mother, Charlotte, 98, by his side, yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg (who owns an estate in Armonk) dedicated a new emergency medical service station in Jerusalem to his father. Bloomberg declined to say how much money he donated to the facility—but they are renaming it after his late father, so it probably wasn’t pennies. In his speech, Bloomberg joked, “This is a special time in the relationship between Israel and the United States – and I’m not talking about the fact Leonardo DiCaprio is dating Israeli model Bar Refaeli,” the mayor said, according to The NY Post. Actually, the two split awhile back, still, point taken, Mr. Mayor. Today, Bloomberg is heading next door to Jordan, to meet with King Abdullah II. Let’s hope, there’s less fanfare then there was last year when President Bush—and I—visited Jordan (though not together).

Meanwhile, in Davos, Switzerland, Hungarian-born, Westchester-dwelling billionaire— and outspoken Bush-critic—George Soros, told the crowd, “America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany. We have to go through a certain de-Nazification tjndc5-5cpc9e3joma173lpkncu_layout.jpgprocess.” The mogul, who is a Holocaust survivor, was talking about the country’s mistakes in Iraq and how some nations have a tendency not to examine their errors (such as Turkey and Japan). Whereas Germany rejected its Nazi-era past. The comments stirred outrage from conservative critics. The New York Post ran an article calling Soros, “A fan Obama doesn’t Needâ€? (how did Barack Obama get dragged into this?) Soros spokesman Michael Vachon told Page Six: “There is nothing unpatriotic about demanding accountability from the president. Those responsible for taking America into this needless war should do us all a favor and retire from public office.”

And in a cosmic, Westchester-billionaire-twist, Soros is traveling today to Liberia with Queen Noor of Jordan. That’s right, one of our billionaires is chilling with King in Amman; the other is spending time with his stepmother.

Update: Michael Vachon, the Soros spokesman quoted in The Post, emailed a fuller explanation of his boss’s statement in Davos.

<blockquote><div>Mr. Soros certainly does not equate the United States Government with the Nazi regime. But I think most Americans would agree that we need to hold the Bush Administration accountable for its failed policies in Iraq–policies that have resulted in the tragic death of thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. There is nothing unpatriotic about demanding accountability from the President. Those responsible for taking America into this needless war should do us all a favor and retire from public office.

</div></blockquote>

(AP Photos/Sebastian Scheiner & Manish Swarup)

If there’s an afterlife, Bill Murray’s got his sister goin’ for him, which is nice

In this entertaining article that appeared Monday in The Cincinatti Enquirer, we learn that the Sneden’s Landing resident’s sister is an Adrian Dominican nun, who tours the world playing the role of St. Catherine of Siena.

This faith might explain why Bill, as Dr. Peter Venkman in “Ghostbusters,” is so passionate when he says “Nobody steps on a church in my town!” as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man crushes buildings with his huge, pillowy feet. (There will now be a self-imposed one-week moratorium on “Ghostbusters” references from me.)

Check him out on CBS tonight at 11:30 p.m., when North Salem resident David Letterman celebrates his 25th year hosting late-night TV.

(Associated Press file photo by Alastair Grant)

Aidan Quinn’s “Book of Daniel” Afterlife

woundedknee04_th-1.jpgDick Wolf has long been the patron saint of unemployed actors and veterans looking for a steady “Law and Order” paycheck. And HBO has emerged in recent years as one of the few safe havens for creative talent, a network that will actually give risky, edgy shows more than three episodes to prove themselves. Put the two of them together and you’ve got a work environment sure to make actors weak in the knees. Or, to borrow part of the title of the new Wolf HBO project, “Wounded Knee.”

It should come as no surprise that Sneden’s Landing’s Aidan Quinn wanted in on the Wolf project, especially after getting burned by NBC’s quickly canceled Jesus-meets-pill-popping-priest dramedy “The Book of Daniel” (Hmm, perhaps that one should’ve been shopped to HBO, too). The story is an adaptation of a 1970s book, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” about the mistreatment of Native Americans during the latter half of the 19th century. The project took five years to come to fruition and also stars Adam Beach, August Schellenberg, and former Republican senator Fred Thompson. It’s scheduled to appear on HBO this May.

“Dick Wolf Makes Time for ‘Wounded Knee'” [Washington Post]

(“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” photo: Annabel Reye/HBO)


Celebrity Auction Face-off in South Beach

It’s February now, and that means I’m daydreaming in my cube about one thing: sunny Miami. Or more specifically, the South Beach Wine & Food Expo, which begins later this month.

photo-36de641054a4a5a03030879210049387200300.jpgAnd while most of us won’t actually make it to Florida to see the Food Network celebrity chefs in action, you can still get in on the fun right now, at the Festival’s online auction. Best of all: Two of our very own Lower Hudson celebs have packages up for grabs. Katonah resident Martha Stewart (Wait, do I need a trademark symbol to say that now?) is offering an all-access pass to a taping of her show. And “Sopranos” star Lorraine Bracco, formerly of Sneden’s Landing, will treat you to “Dinner with the Godfather” (shouldn’t that be Godmother?) at a Miami beach restaurant and give you a whole bunch of bottles of her very own Bracco Wines.

Don’t know about you, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that the Bracco package is beating Martha’s right now (albeit with only one bid for $2,100). Still, if there are any Martha fans out there, hurry, only 15 days left to make an offer. And remember, it’s all for a good cause — Florida International University’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Management Teaching Restaurant.

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South Beach Wine & Food Expo

And speaking of Martha Stewart…she’s supporting her Westchester neighbor, Hillary Clinton, for prez

In a conversation with Joanne Lipman, editor-in-chief of Conde Nast’s in-development business magazine Portfolio, at the Princeton Club last week, the domestic diva was asked if she would be supporting Hillary in ’08.

Her response? She’s already written a check for the maximum amount.

She also took a subtle dig at her old nemesis, Donald Trump, telling the editor she loves Rosie O’Donnell. Now those are fighting words!

Today from Page Six: Bill Clinton doesn’t want to part with Lange’s in Chappaqua; George Soros flies commercial!!

tjndc5-5bavkwd8gw01jkciu6bw_layout.jpgThe Post is reporting the former prez and possible future first husband has declined overtures to replace the exiting president of Harvard University. His spokesman tells the paper he “isn’t interested.� Apparently, Hillary’s camp thought it would be a “safe haven� for Clinton, who some fear might upstage his wife during the campaign. And just in case you forget this is a story in the New York Post, they throw in this jibe at the prestigious University: the former president “isn’t liberal enough for the Ivy League institution.�

Page Six also reports Westchester billionaire George Soros was spotted “shunning a private jet and taking a commercial flight from JFK to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.� Which leads me to the question: how exactly do you spot someone shunning a private jet?

(Clinton Photo: Rory Glaeseman/The Journal News)

When Martha met Judy

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The two Lohud ladies were in Naples, Florida last week for the Winter Wine Festival and met up at a private dinner/auction.

According to The Naples News, Stewart and the Judge (who were both named by Forbes Magazines as two of the richest women in entertainment) had never met before, but hit it off immediately.

<blockquote><div>

“Where were you when I needed you?” quipped Martha to the straight-shooting judge, as the two hugged. “I had a woman judge, but she wasn’t anything like you. You call a spade a spade.” </div></blockquote>

Stewart, who was wearing a “cream-colored Donna Karan bejeweled top, lace skirt and long brown sweater,� and “strands of pearly jewels draping her neck� looked “nearly angelic,� according to the Florida paper.
The dinner benefited a local children’s charity and was prepared by famed New York chef, Daniel Boulud (of the restaurant Daniel on the Upper East Side).

(Martha: AP Photo/MSLO/Scott Duncan; Judy: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)