Doo be doo be do.

May 14, 2009

 

FRANK SINATRA

FRANK SINATRA

It’s a sure sign that the semester is over that I’m spending my time reading Hollywood bloggers. And that’s why I came across Nikki Finke’s report that Universal Studios prefers Johnny Depp to play Frank Sinatra in a Martin Scorsese biopic about the kid from Hoboken. Finke says Scorsese has his eye on Leonardo DiCaprio for the role. Pay attention – this is important stuff! 

I don’t know that I’ll be patronizing this movie, because while I like a lot of his films and records, I’ve never been able to summon much interest in Sinatra as a person. If I do see this movie, it will be because I’m curious about the challenge it’s taking on. Sinatra is such a strong and pervasive personality that I wonder if it will be possible to accept DiCaprio or Depp or any other actor. As it is, Finke says the actor – whoever he is – won’t have to sing, because the songs will come from Sinatra’s recordings. No one would buy another voice as Sinatra’s. The question is, will anyone buy another mug as Sinatra’s?

 

GOV. SARAH PALIN

GOV. SARAH PALIN

I’m the guy who told a couple of generations of reporters and journalism students that a good writer can stop any person on the street and write an interesting story about him. So far be it from me to suggest that there isn’t a good story to be told about Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska. As it turns out, Gov. Palin herself – a former journalism student – is going to take on the job herself after signing a book deal with HarperCollins and Zondervan. She anticipates that the  project will take about a year which, if she can stick to that schedule, would get it into Borders in time for the 2010 gubernatorial election. I’ve seen some cynical references to that in what the governor refers to as “the anonymous blogosphere,” but why begrudge her that advantage – or the kind of money she can command while people are still interested in her? If Richard Nixon could appear on “Laugh-In,” why shouldn’t Gov. Palin write a memoir? It could be time consuming, especially because the governor says that, despite the collaborator assigned to the  book, she wants to write most of it herself. 

 

ULYSSES S. GRANT

ULYSSES S. GRANT

News of this enterprise naturally evokes questions about the content. The governor is a relatively young woman who has had a relatively short – and dare we say largely inocuous – public career. Ulysses S. Grant put off his memoirs until he had been the general-in-chief of the victorious Union Army and twice president of these United States. And Dwight Eisenhower saved his written reflections until he had been supreme allied commander in Europe, general of the Army, and twice president. What will the governor write to hold a reader’s attention for two or three hundred pages? She did discuss that in a general way with a newspaper reporter as follows: “I just really look forward to being able to relate to people through this book, those who are anxious to hear stories about people who are facing similar challenges perhaps. That’s balancing work and parenting — in my case work does mean running a state, and family involves a large and fun and colorful ordinary family that really has been thrust into maybe some extraordinary circumstances.”  See?

I expect Harper has editors to deal with misplaced “perhapses” and “maybes,” but I hope the book clubs are heavy with folks “anxious to hear stories about people who are facing similar challenges.” Perhaps.