Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Short Cuts: Leonard Bernstein & Charlotte Rampling Edition

"'I Feel Pretty' is really Riff and Bernardo's song."

"To write a great Broadway musical, you have to be either Jewish or gay. And I'm both." That's according to Leonard Bernstein, from Rodney Greenberg's new Jewish Quarterly profile of the composer. For the record, I'm also both, and if I tried to write a Broadway musical the results would be more disastrous than Taboo. I feel so cheated.

Of Bernstein's sexuality, Greenberg writes:
Bernstein's complex personality created havoc at times, particularly when his homosexuality led him to leave Felicia and live for a while with a music researcher, Tom Cothran. Jamie Bernstein, his daughter, said her father needed to know he could also come back home — to his 'quiet place'. Not long afterwards, Felicia died of cancer. He was consumed by remorse, and never properly recovered. In a scene reminiscent of a Verdi opera plot, she had cursed him: 'You are going to die a bitter and lonely old man.'
That's rather depressing, isn't it?

"I can kill a man in two seconds with a withering glance. My agent timed me."

Charlotte Rampling, one of the most gorgeous and consistently fascinating actresses in the history of movies (and, along with Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, my favorite Fran├žois Ozon muse), turns 62 today. If you missed this remarkably personal Guardian interview she gave while promoting Swimming Pool in 2003 and have a few minutes to spare, now is the perfect time to check it out.

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