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Issue 1: Summer 2008


Finch’s visio is, suus a spurcus

uarterly Review foetidus universitas, tamen illic es nonnullus smashing res in is

Welcome to Our World Nick Broomfield Emma Thompson Tim Jefferies Dylan Jones John Malkovich Matthew Modine Kevin Spacey on lying on eggs on living on fashion on books on his bike on theatre

A view of Positano from a Riva Aquarama (for bookings, ring Lucibello on +39 089 875032) Lunch at Lo Scoglio and a fitting with the tailor, The rumble of the engine as I rev up the Riva, The warm, leathery smell of a Bentley Azure, The fragrant blue smoke of my favourite cigar…


hese, rather than copper kettles, woollen mittens, raindrops and whiskers, are a few of my favourite summer things, and the image above reminds me that I should really spend more of my time experiencing them. In our lives that are so full of important jobs to be done, meetings to be taken, targets to be met, earn-outs to be, well, earned out, we often lose track of the things that make our lives what they are. The truth is that often we are so busy chasing the deal that will bring us all we want that we forget to enjoy what we already have (yes, there is a touch of Hallmark greeting-card morality about that, and it is a cliché, but then clichés have a disconcerting habit of being accurate). The Mediterranean sun on your back; the teak deck of

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a yacht (preferably someone else’s) beneath your feet; a dive into invigorating waters; the comforting bulk of a Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk II Pro 3000 Metres on your wrist… Not that you really need a watch to tell you if it is time for a long lunch at the Hôtel du Cap, and a large cigar afterwards. Of course I take it for granted that you are the sort of enlightened individual who knows that true love is the greatest of all these blessings. But while we are waiting for love, summer offers so many compensations—the chance to be fitted for voile shirts and linen suits; the opportunity to wear a pair of Tod’s in an almost ecclesiastical shade of purple; or the excuse, if one were needed, to get the bewitching Shiel Davidson-Lungley at Meyrowitz to make you yet another pair of sunglasses. The truth is that I would love to have been born with, or even have been able to earn the money to indulge my aesthete tendencies, but I wasn’t and I

haven’t. However, from time to time I snatch consoling moments from such a life, whether it is a long, sun-drenched lunch; or a great cigar and cup of tea on a pavement table in Jermyn Street in the company of the world’s finest cigar merchant, Edward Sahakian; or an afternoon savouring the rattle of dice as I face art dealer Fabien Fryns over a Max Parker backgammon board at the upper (not the lower) pool of the Marbella Club. I was at a seated dinner the other day (a ridiculous term—after all, I tend not to eat dinner in places without chairs) when a man told me his plans to make a fortune by buying a venerable apparel name and turning it into a brand making mass-produced tat in China. Just what the world needs. A little bit of me died, just as it did when I heard that Association footballer and paragon of male elegance Mr Wayne Rooney wed his fiancée in Portofino. I have nothing against the Rooneys—far from it. Their cheerful vulgarity is


oddly endearing; it is just that my own personal fantasy view of life from the terrace restaurant of the Splendido as a part of the jet-set pageant circa Julie Christie in Darling (a belief I cling to along with the existence of Santa Claus) took another dent. But at least the Rooneys are enjoying themselves. There is a life of lotus-eating ease and (a dirty word, this) luxury to be enjoyed, so why spend the summer thumbing away at the BlackBerry working out how to leverage your non-share capital while spreadsheeting your MBA into yearon-year core competency? I felt like telling my branded-tat-focused dinner companion to relax a little. After all, the graveyards are full of indispensable people and I have always thought the graveyards of the Mediterranean, with their cypresses, are better than most. In the meantime, look at the picture at the top of this page and remember that living well is the best revenge. —Nick Foulkes


Read all of Finch’s Quarterly Review online at

The Prologue Why go on? What’s the point of it all? Have faith, says FQR’s editorial director, Nick Foulkes—there is method in our madness

Contents I have never really understood that very wonderful American expression “the world is going to hell in a handbasket”. But I have a suspicion that what is happening right now is a pretty good definition of heading to Hades in a shopping trolley. The world is heating up so fast that polar bears are going to need bikinis. It must be true because chunky ex-vice president Al Gore spends most of his life crisscrossing the globe (doubtless in special non-polluting aeroplanes) with his entourage, picking up fat fees to tell us so. And yet the snow this year for skiing has been great. Oil prices are high but the charter fees for yachts are even higher, and these days it is not the director’s parking space that is the crucible of corporate envy, rather the landing strip of the nearest private airfield. The continent of Africa appears to be continuing to slide towards chaos and endemic destitution, yet this summer, just a few hundred miles north in the Mediterranean, you, me and the rest of the people reading this will be fighting poverty in our own way, on beaches and in the fleshpots of Marbella, Porto Cervo and St Tropez. As we anticipate the final Götterdämmerung, doing our best impressions of Nero (any man who makes his horse a senator would have a chuckle at the state of political life today), along comes Finch’s Quarterly Review, riding in like some welldressed, well-informed and well-fed Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. Finch’s Quarterly Review was born out of a discussion between me and the eponymous proprietor last autumn. Charles said he fancied doing a magazine and, as I like Charles, I decided to humour him. Given that Charles has 107 ideas a day, at least three or four of which are quite good, I thought it would be forgotten. It wasn’t. That may have been a bad thing—we will see— but here it is. I see Finch’s Quarterly Review as charming and none too serious; Charles sees it as a bold new direction in media, a unique mix of wit, style and sleb-ridee. (Moreover, he has got frightfully excited about Finch on the internet, which for all I know may be where you are reading this.) I suspect the truth is somewhere in between. Finch’s Quarterly Review offers a unique look at the world through the distorting lens of Charles’s folding Persol sunglasses—and, because of that, I reckon a good number of people will detest it on

Welcome to Our World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Front page Editor’s letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 What’s happening this summer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Charles Finch on this year’s Cannes Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5 Adam Dawtrey on film . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Jason McCue on why celebrity advocacy matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Matthew Modine on the joys of cycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 David de Rothschild on saving the planet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Anda Rowland and Marino Rubinacci on tailoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Nick Foulkes on this summer’s accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Robert Fox on winning prizes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Dylan Jones on curious developments in formal dress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Nick Broomfield on lies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Tim Jefferies on treating ladies (and yourself) right . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Charles Finch on mavericks, in prose and verse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Elizabeth Saltzman as Uhura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Lisa Armstrong and Steve King on modern travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Kate Lenahan on what makes a hotel great . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Henry Sands talks to Margo Stilley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Emma Thompson on crisps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Maya Even on oysters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 FQR’s Quarterly Report: the parties, the pics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24-25 Kevin Spacey on the Old Vic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 John Malkovich on his favourite books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Jonathan Kelly on the Waverly Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Charles Finch on Marc Quinn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Chief Executive: Charles Finch Editorial Director: Nick Foulkes Creative Director: Tristram Fetherstonhaugh Managing Editor: Henry Sands Contributing Editor: Steve King Distribution Manager: Tallulah Rufus-Issacs Photo Editor: Toby Spigel Next edition: October 2008. All advertising enquiries should be sent for the attention of Henry Sands at; +44 20 7851 7140. The views expressed in Finch's Quarterly Review are not necessarily those of the editorial team. The editorial team is not responsible or liable for text, pictures or illustrations, which remain the responsibility of the authors. Finch's Quarterly Review is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be printed, translated or reproduced wholly or in part without written permission. Designed and produced by Fetherstonhaugh Associates ( Printed in England by CTD.

Finch’s Quarterly Review is printed on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper; we pledge to plant 20 trees.

principle. However, I like Charles, which is a surprise, as on paper I shouldn’t really like him either. He is too like me. About the only difference between us is that I have much better clothes than he does, while he has many more famous friends, quite a few of whom have consented to write, draw, photograph or be photographed for Finch’s Quarterly Review. As to the rest, there is not a lot to tell us apart, from our Smythson diaries via our Montblanc pens and vintage 1960s Plexiglas Rolexes to our Charvet shirts. That is another thing about Finch’s Quarterly Review: as well as a fair bit of Charles Finch and chums there will be a lot of brands, some of them in here because they are represented by Finch & Partners, some of them because we like them. But even though we may look it, we are not totally vacuous frivolous sybarites, at least not all the time. Believe it or not, we care; so as well as the froth, the fun and the Finch, we also know that there are many less fortunate than you, gentle reader. By allowing people such as Jason McCue to tell us why he and his friend George Clooney are making a difference in Darfur in these pages (along with details of where you can send your donation), we hope that, as well as amusing you, Finch’s Quarterly Review will help ease your guilty conscience just a little bit. During the 1960s there was a wonderfully cynical film called Nothing But the Best. Made in 1964, it does not star Charles’s father, Peter Finch, but Alan Bates. (Interestingly enough, Bates was supposed to have taken the role of the gay doctor in Sunday Bloody Sunday that got Charles’s dad into a Brokeback Mountain situation.) In Nothing But the Best Bates plays an ambitious young man on the make; at the beginning of the film he gives voice to one of life’s eternal truths: “Face it, it’s a filthy stinking world, but there are some smashing things in it.” If anything, this epigrammatic observation is more accurate today than it was 44 years ago. In fact, we like it so much that we have made it our motto. But given that we are wildly pretentious, we have translated it into Latin. It is a while since I last looked at my Cambridge Latin course textbooks, but my man with the Latin phrase book translates it as “Visio is, suus a spurcus foetidus universitas, tamen illic es nonnullus smashing res in is”—as I am pretty sure they didn’t say on the way to the Forum.

WW.TC Financial Global Stock Market Trading Times World time chronograph. Girard-Perregaux automatic mechanical movement. Pink gold case. Sapphire back.


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Finch’s Quarterly Review launch party, The Ritz, W1, 2 July Well, really, need we say more?



Elba Cup, Isola d’Elba, 7 July Sailors of a Napoleonic disposition exile themselves to the Tuscan Archipelago and get some practice for the America’s Cup.



The Albion Summer Party, Chelsea Embankment, SW3, 10 July A gaggle of gabby gallerists gathers on the banks of the Thames. Mwuh, mwuh!



Goodwood Festival of Speed, 11–13 July Cars and stars collide (figuratively speaking) at the world’s grandest celebration of motoring.



Verbier Festival, 18 July– 3 August Switzerland’s premier classical-music festival tunes up on the immaculate shores of Lake Geneva. Hotel: Le Chalet d’Adrien



Cartier International Polo, Windsor, 27 July The Queen regularly makes the short journey from Windsor to the Royal Box to watch a few chukkas. See you there, ma’am.




Feast of the Throne, Morocco, July 30 Raise a glass of mint tea to His Majesty King Mohammed VI on the anniversary of his accession to the throne.


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Fawaz Gruosi’s birthday dinner, Cervo Hotel, 8 August A feast fit for a jewellery legend–which also happens to coincide with a new de Grisogono exhibition. Gloria Estefan at the Hotel Puente Romano, Marbella, 24 August Put on your dancing shoes, because the rhythm is gonna get you when the Queen of Latin Pop hits the Costa del Soul.

Cesanese Wine Feast, Olevano Romano, 24– 30 August A weeklong celebration of the Continent’s finest wines. One word of advice: Alka-Seltzer. Venice Film Festival, 27 August–6 September The world’s longest-running film festival, now in its 65th year, rolls on.

World Art Masters, St Moritz, 29 August– 7 September The hills are alive with fine art, classical music, galas, dinners and parties. Stay at Badrutt’s Palace

The Homes of Alfred Dunhill, Bourdon House, W1, 6 September Doors open at the latest addition to Dunhill’s members’-clubmeets-boutique chain.

De Grisogono & Londino Transnational Automobile Tour, London to Portofino, 10–14 September Part treasure hunt, part brain-teaser, part rally‌ 100 percent fun.

You’ve Been Charles Finch’s FQR Cannes Focus

Cate Bla nchett a nd Cha rles Fin ch

Bruce Weber

Devon Ao ki

Pigozzi Nat Rothschild and Jean

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L’Wren Sc ott

This town ain’t what it used to be. Or maybe it is, only more so, and that’s the problem. Charles Finch finds time between dinners, deals, parties and premieres to reflect on twentysomething years of festival-going The Cannes Film Festival turned 61 this year, but as a veteran attendee I knew better than to expect any maturity or grace for this femme d’un certain age. Cannes was never a festival of dignity, not in the 60s and certainly not today. This fortnight of film and film-makers has always struggled against the darker commercial forces of marketing, promotion and sales. Only now you have to factor in the international party set, the billionaire boater and the demands of the corporate sponsor. Film-makers and stars compete for space on the Croisette with wannabes, hustling B-list producers and actors dressed à la tackorama. It’s Vegas on the Riviera, though even this display of vulgarity fails to completely destroy the hopes of the young filmmakers who have come to show their work—and this I know, as I was once one of the desperate kids trying to show my own picture. Even if the parties are less classy and the crowd more frivolous these days, the festival still chooses challenging films like Blindness, which this year opened the fortnight. These dark indie films are in stark contrast to the swarming hordes of

desperate girls and partygoers. Thus, like a fat accordion player, the festival blares out a variety of notes (mostly flat), and, for me, even Blindness shed no artistic light. DAY 1 Share a ride into Cannes by private jet with the great actress Cate Blanchett, my client and friend, and head to the Hôtel du Cap in neighbouring Antibes. For the next week the Cap becomes the headquarters for the most powerful folk in the entertainment business. Almost impossible to get a room, let alone a suite, during this period. Brad and Angelina, Harvey Weinstein and Graydon Carter are already here; soon everyone else will be too. I once ran up a bar bill of $50,000 during the festival—and that was at a time when they only took cash… They know me better now, and I know myself better too. At 5.45 we head to the madness of Cannes, which is a 30-minute drive at the best of times. The roads are already very busy. Mobile phones

buzz constantly as we are running late. The red carpet has to be hit at 6.30 sharp for us to get there before the cast and director. On opening night the jury arrives last and is presented on the steps to the cameras. Cate will be the biggest star tonight and there are plenty of nerves around us, as we could upset the running order and offend the jury and the film-makers. I fix a smile and try and keep everyone cool. Drivers and bodyguards can get over-excited with paparazzi—with disastrous consequences. I never let the car go over 40, and the bodyguards, etc, report to me or my staff at all times, regardless of the event or the time constraints. We manage to hit the red carpet at the right moment and meet Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, our host from Chopard. It’s a perfect sunny evening and the red carpet is quite fun. We attend the opening ceremony after negotiating a few small bumps. Cate is breastfeeding, and needs a private room. Faye Dunaway is in front of us, looking beautiful. She starred in Network with my father and they both won Academy Awards. The ceremony, with Sean Penn, Natalie Portman, Alfonso Cuarón and the other jury members, is very French and quite formal. Sean hates this kind of public exposure and it shows. Blindness, directed by Fernando Meirelles, is the first-night film. We sit front of the director and


entire cast, including Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Alice Braga. The film is gruelling. I want to slit my wrists five minutes in, but of course I can’t leave. Cate and I attend the Chopard/Alberta Ferretti party at the Carlton Beach, where Juliette Lewis DJs and Bar Refaeli astounds with her beauty. I polish off three martinis in quick succession before Mike, our bodyguard, and I have to rush past the paparazzi to get Cate back to the serenity of the Hôtel du Cap. DAY 2 I wake to an overcast morning, thinking it’s almost as if the festival and I are on a parallel course of disintegration. Like fine wallpaper carefully hung in an old palace dining room that starts to peel away with age and exposure to the elements, we are, in my opinion, both a little the worse for wear. The festival when I first knew it, some 23 years ago, was still arguably true to itself. A film-maker’s paradise, with just the right mix of sun and idealism, it was first and foremost a celebration of movies. Earnest cinéastes attached to the nouvelle vague, or to films of political comment, or to downright artistic experiment, strutted their stuff, puffing away miserably on Gauloises. I was a young film-maker, all of 21, tripping up in my first attempt at directing with a film starring Chris Lambert, fresh off the hit Greystoke, and Diane

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n Canned! s Festival Diary FQR Cannes Focus

Alberta F errett nch and St outin, Sydney Fi Christian Loub

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Lane. My disastrous debut set the two of them up as man and wife, and left my career in tatters when critics destroyed the movie and my dreams of directing. Good film-making friends like Jeremy Thomas convinced me to stick to writing and eventually producing and managing some of the world’s most important actors (and now brands). The film market was already fast taking over the festival, but the buyers and sellers knew where they stood in the pecking order. The sleaze back then was limited to the Rue d’Antibes, behind the Croisette, and screenings at the old Palais were made up of true film people, together with the odd millionaire—who were, in those days, it must be noted, mere millionaires. Today, Cannes has been overrun by corporate commercialism and sleaze. The international film market has taken over. It is like a Detroit car-sales convention on the Med. Film-makers fight for space on the pavement with car promotions and absurd event pranks. Swarms of celebrity-obsessed tourists arrive by the busload, chewing sandwiches and thrusting camcorders in the faces of siliconeenhanced models. The millionaires are now billionaires, and with a few notable exceptions like former studio owner Barry Diller, photographer and art collector Johnny Pigozzi and DreamWorks investor Paul Allen, most have nothing whatsoever to do with movies or even the arts, and irritatingly profess no

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interest in investing in the business. The hedgefund guys have the grace to stay away from the parties and premieres. Actually, since they are bringing considerable funding to producers for the first time in years, they should be warmly invited. Even my beloved Hôtel du Cap, sitting quietly near Antibes, cannot escape the hordes. One encounter in the lobby involves a couple of guys who had for $40 million bought the rights to Terminator 4—just what the world needs. Giddy with Cannes, and surrounded by desperate producers, they positively hover over the white marble. Near them I am introduced to at least two Russian oligarchs who have happily bankrolled their wives in multi-million-dollar epics. Nothing new in that. In fact, something traditional and rather romantic about it. What is new is that they are all here to party. The festival, it seems, is just another fixture on the social calendar where maybe, just maybe, you might spot Angelina or Brad. A sort of exotic safari with less chance of catching malaria but with its own herds of buffalo charging up the red carpet or across the lobby of the Carlton. I used to say that if you shook the world, all the lost souls would end up on Santa Monica beach. Well, the same could be said for the narrow stretch of beach in front of the Carlton, which, for ten days in May, becomes the capital of desperation

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in the world of make-believe. Nevertheless, I am hosting a barbecue for Cate at the Hôtel du Cap and, as it is the first time they have allowed this to be done, we are all a little nervous. But in the end it is a great success. After lunch I make phone calls and hide in my cabana. Dinner is at Johnny Pigozzi’s, with Bar Refaeli and Nat Rothschild. DAY 3 Lunch with Graydon Carter and his wife Anna at the Hôtel du Cap. Hollywood arrives: Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount; Jim Wiatt, CEO of William Morris. Barry Diller, Diane von Furstenberg and Ronald Perelman. Sydney, my wife, arrives too. Dinner with Cate and Sydney. We chat to Natalie Portman and run into Zac Posen and Elizabeth Saltzman. DAY 4 The Vanity Fair dinner, attended by the good and the great, including Cate, Barry, Diane and Ron. The after-party takes over the pool and is a pretty wild affair. I only last an hour. DAY 5 Johnny Pigozzi’s barbecue. One of the best events of the fortnight because it’s private and his estate is beautiful. Attended by billionaires and stars: Ronald Cohen, Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev,


Rupert and Wendy Murdoch, Mick Jagger. In the evening it’s the premiere of the latest Indiana Jones instalment, so another red-carpet night. The movie is fun, but I duck out of the party and dine with Mick Jagger, L’Wren Scott and my wife at Bacon. After dinner Sydney and I end up perched on a sofa at the Cap with Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart, Brad Grey and Jimmy and Janey Buffett. Our wires get crossed and I think my other half is signalling time for bed, so abruptly and reluctantly I break up the one party I wanted to stay at—and, it turns out, that she did too. DAY 6 A business day of meetings and hustles. Running out of steam fast. Dinner with Graydon and Anna, then on to the Trophée Chopard party, where Andy Garcia and his band are playing, followed by after-party drinks with Mick, Johnny & Co at the Majestic. Finally festivalled out. Charles Finch is the proprietor of Finch’s Quarterly Review

For more pictures from the Cannes Film Festival visit


FQR Cannes Focus

The Empire Strikes Out Adam Dawtrey toasts the new breed of foreign film-makers who are beating Hollywood at its own game

Local movies may not be eating the studios’ lunch, but they are certainly taking a bite out of their cake. In response, with their feral instinct for self-preservation, the Hollywood majors are rushing into the production of foreign films. Which means a director like Meirelles can stay home, stay as independent as he likes and wait for the US studios to come knocking. “The world doesn’t depend economically on the US like it did ten years ago, and I think the same thing is happening in cinema,” says Meirelles. “We can finance our own movies, and that means it can be an exchange of culture with America, not just a one-way relationship, which is good for us and I think it is good for them.” The finance for Blindness was raised by selling it before it was made to independent distributors in every country except America. Meirelles only offered the film to the US after it was finished. Cuarón, del Toro and Iñárritu have raised their own money for a company named Cha Cha Cha to make Mexican movies, which Universal will distribute worldwide. Del Toro himself, having just made Hellboy 2 for Universal, is heading off to New Zealand to work with Jackson on two Hobbit movies for MGM and 20th Century Fox. Jackson blazed the trail with The Lord of the Rings. New Line took a remarkable decision to give $270 million to a little-known Kiwi to recreate Tolkien’s Middle Earth from his own landscape, on his own terms. Meirelles has done something similar in Blindness, though for a tenth of the cost. Based on a novel by Portuguese Nobel Prize-winner José Saramago, it’s a dark thriller about the collapse of civilisation when people mysteriously start losing their sight. Saramago never identifies the city or country where the epidemic strikes, and nor does Meirelles. It is everywhere and nowhere. Even the characters don’t have names. It’s easy to imagine a Hollywood version of this story, set somewhere generic like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Meirelles shot in his home city of São Paulo, a vast, sprawling, modern metropolis unlike any cliché of Latin America, and unrecognisable to anyone who has never been there. “São Paulo is the third- or fourth-biggest city in the world, but nobody knows it,” explains Meirelles. “It’s a huge city, but you have no clue where you are. If you don’t establish where the story is set, it becomes very universal.” The fine ensemble cast—Julianne Moore, Danny Glover, Mark Ruffalo, Gael García Bernal, Alice Braga, Yusuke Iseya—was deliberately chosen for its mix of nationalities, ethnicities and accents, to make the scene of the action impossible to locate. These actors bring cachet, but the director is the real star who will get the crowd excited at Cannes and beyond. In the coming post-Hollywood world, names such as Meirelles, Jackson, Cuarón and the rest are luxury brands for the discerning mass-market consumer, the cinematic equivalent of a Prada or an Armani, offering a decidedly un-American sensibility at a time when the American empire may be finally losing its grip on global tastes.

The opening gala of the Cannes Film Festival is seldom a glorious night for cinema. The elite of the French film industry squeeze into their ill-fitting evening suits or frou-frou frocks and climb the red carpet with the fatalistic gaiety of aristos mounting the guillotine steps. There’s no avoiding what lies ahead; their only hope is that it will be swift. But it rarely is. Anyone remember My Blueberry Nights, Fanfan la tulipe, Hollywood Ending or Vatel? Thought not. The people who sat through these turgid films—and aside from the first-night crowd at Cannes, that’s virtually no one—wish they could forget. This year, however, was different. The Cannes selectors showed mercy by raising the curtain with perhaps the most eagerly anticipated movie of the entire competition. Not the senile doodling of a has-been, or a Euro soufflé that stubbornly failed to rise, but a film by a populist auteur working at the height of his powers. A film-maker, moreover, who is the avatar of a new kind of cinema. Blindness is the latest work by Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles. He and his breed are waging a guerilla war of independence from the Hollywood empire that is starting to win hearts and minds at multiplexes from Tokyo to Timbuktu. Meirelles first sprang to attention at Cannes in 2002 with City of God, his kinetic account of gang warfare in the favelas of Rio. But it was his 2005 version of John le Carré’s conspiracy thriller The Constant Gardener (which won an Oscar for Rachel Weisz) that revealed him as a film-maker not content to be confined to the festival circuit, the usual ghetto for foreign auteurs. Meirelles is one of a group of directors who are challenging the myth, long subliminally peddled by Hollywood, that only American stories can be truly universal and that all other movies are merely picturesque. They include Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu from Mexico, Pedro Almodóvar from Spain, Peter Jackson from New Zealand, Timur Bekmambetov from Russia, and Ang Lee from Taiwan, along with early forerunners such as Roman Polanski from Poland and Paul Verhoeven from Holland, who went to Hollywood and then fled. Traditionally, if such men wanted to tell stories to a global audience, their only option was to move to Hollywood and submit to the tyranny of American tastes. But the tectonic plates of the movie business are shifting. The major American film studios have become more dependent on overseas revenues, even as America’s authority abroad has ebbed dramatically under George W. Bush. Star power, long Hollywood’s weapon of mass destruction, is losing its force. Will Smith could open a video of your granny’s 90th birthday party to a $100 million weekend, but nobody else has that kind of megatonnage.

Movies that Changed the World (Sort of)

If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal, goes the anarchist slogan. The same could be said of movies. Forget any tosh about “unacknowledged legislators”. Arnold Schwarzenegger was as powerful as any actor can get, but he still reckoned he could do better as governor of California. For all the political pretensions of Michael Moore and his ilk, cinema doesn’t change the world—at least not in the way anyone intends. Its influence is more oblique than that. A film flaps its butterfly wings and a small storm brews somewhere in China. So here are a few movies that changed things in ways that no one could have expected.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

The movie that gave us Elizabeth Hurley. OK, she wasn’t exactly in it. But nor was she exactly in the dress that she wore to the premiere as Hugh Grant’s girlfriend, still the finest role she has ever played in an acting career most kindly described as fitful. And so a global phenomenon was born, an entire culture of celebrity for its own sake, although Hurley’s successors never matched her class or her longevity. The lovely Elizabeth is not an actress. She’s not really a model in the Naomi Campbell sense of the word either, though she certainly makes an excellent living from having her picture taken. Her career has been a staggeringly impressive exercise in making her 15 minutes of fame last 14 years (and counting).

Conan the Barbarian

Ordinary People

Yes, the movie that set Arnie on his way in his 20-year campaign to become governor of California. The body-building documentary Pumping Iron had already made him a minor celebrity, and he actually won a Golden Globe for his acting in Stay Hungry, but, however ridiculous it seems now, it was Conan that made him a star and made everything else possible. Unless America changes its laws to allow a foreign native to become president, the Austrian-born governator has climbed as high as he can go—though with Arnie anything seems possible.

Everyone knows that Taxi Driver inspired John Hinckley’s attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. But Robert Redford’s Ordinary People had the opposite effect on Mark David Chapman—almost. In October 1980 this unhinged Holden Caulfield wannabe came to New York with the vague intention of punishing John Lennon for being a “phony”. He whiled away the time by visiting a cinema where Redford’s film was playing. Something about its account of a family battling with bereavement flipped a switch in Chapman’s brain, and he went home to Hawaii. Unfortunately, the benign effects wore off and he returned to New York two months later. Which perhaps only proves that films don’t change history as much as we might wish them to.

British Film Noir

Until recently, British cinema came in any colour, so long as it wasn’t black. This summer, three very different films by three very different film-makers from west London—two black men and one Indian woman—will change that. Noel Clarke’s Adulthood, Steve McQueen’s Hunger and Gurinder Chadha’s Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging have one thing in common: none of them says much about “the black British experience”. Adulthood, a sequel to the 2006 pic Kidulthood, is about the harsh growing pains of inner-city kids who had too much (sex, drugs, violence), too young. Chadha’s comedy is based on Louise Rennison’s bestseller about the trials and tribulations of being a 14-year-old girl. And McQueen, whose video art beat Tracey Emin’s unmade bed to the Turner Prize back in 1999, has made a movie about the last six weeks of IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands. Perhaps black British cinema has finally come of age just as the label has become irrelevant. Adam Dawtrey is Variety’s European editor

ADAM DAWTREY’S PREDICTED TOP-TEN-GROSSING FILMS OF THE SUMMER 1. Hancock 2. WALL-E 3. The Dark Knight 4. Mamma Mia! 5. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor 6. Tropic Thunder 7. Wanted 8. Star Wars: Clone Wars 9. The Love Guru 10. Hellboy 2

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Jason McCue on how George, Matt, Mick, Elle and other of his A-list chums are doing seriously good work in raising awareness of urgent humanitarian concerns around the world My initial interest in Darfur was rather academic. Would the poverty and injustice caused by the tragedy lead to this region of western Sudan becoming a crucible for terrorism? After following developments closely, my passion for Sudan, going back to my childhood fascination with the mystique of Wilfrid Thesiger and combined with a growing realisation of the scale of the human suffering there, overtook my academic interest. What could be done to stop this suffering? My desire to campaign for the cause was given a helping hand by my friend George Clooney. He was hell-bent on not only bringing the plight of

always been isolated both geographically and over the world set about this task. For our small politically. It has fallen prey to neighbouring part, with the help of NGOs such as Crisis Action countries seeking to extend their influence. It’s not and Oxfam, we gathered a small team, with that long ago that Libyan forces occupied Darfur, encouragement from the prime minister, to see if seeking to extend Arab influence in Africa. The we could do something. George Clooney, Bob current Chadian government, with its tribal Geldof, Mark Knopfler, Mick Jagger, Tom connections to the Darfur rebels, uses them as Stoppard and Elle Macpherson were but a few of proxies against Omar al-Bashir’s Sudanese the public figures who played key roles. government forces and Janjaweed militia. The We tried particularly to direct attention to the rebels have connections to al-Bashir. Within plight of Darfuri women. We worked with Femmes Darfur itself there are age-old tribal differences too. Africa Solidarité and recently launched parallel If all that wasn’t enough, there are also tensions peace talks for Sudanese women leaders. We even between nomadic and landholding pastoralists, made a pop record with Mattafix, though that was which have been exacerbated by the effects of slightly different: it was happy and hopeful, a global warming. thank-you from the people in the camps to the By the time I visited the region, UN Security public that supported them. The video with Matt Council Resolution 1706 had been passed (a Damon and Desmond Tutu, filmed in the camps in UN/African Union hybrid force was to go to a war zone, has had over 1.5 million hits on Darfur) and the YouTube. At present a Comprehensive Peace “Darfur Gold Cup” is Agreement of 2005 being planned in THE VIDEO WITH ATT (effectively a peace Dubai—the entrance agreement to end the fee for each horse AMON AND civil war between will sponsor a village north and south) in Darfur—and, ESMOND UTU should have been well through the Sudanese down the road to Elhaj family, housing FILMED IN THE CAMPS implementation. is being planned for However, Sudan’s some 5,000 locals IN A WAR ZONE HAS government was prewho would otherwise varicating on assisting be displaced or HAD OVER MILLION the implementation refugees. Without the of either. Such matters support of public HITS ON OU UBE as an agreed census, the figures and internorth-south boundary national corporacommission report for 2008 and fair elections for tions, none of this would have happened. 2009 have simply been pushed off the timetable as Humanitarian aid and advocacy cannot be a result. The northern government was seeking to successful in a vacuum. The peace process must avoid, at any cost—even that of the blood of deliver if the ongoing efforts are to bear fruit. But, innocent Darfuris—sharing power with southern in the interim, it would be a sin not to try to plant and opposition politicians, or a potential bid for a tree in the hope that the fruit will duly come, or independence in the south. As a local sultan in to become disheartened when success is nipped in Chad explained to me, the ensuing political anarchy the bud. These efforts create hope and opportunity, suits the government of Sudan. and pave the way to a future beyond conflict. It was thus key to tackle the problems on a “contemporary battlefield”, using the media to get Jason McCue is a human-rights lawyer and the message over and aid flowing. Campaigners all founding partner of H2O Law

Darfur to the world’s attention but also on doing something to help alleviate the unfolding misery. By the time I was fortunate enough to visit the camps in the region, I didn’t need to see the sadness in the children’s eyes or hear the story of a mother, cradling a baby and explaining that just weeks before the child’s twin had been decapitated before her eyes by a Janjaweed machete—to decide that I needed to devote some energy to this cause. The Darfur conflict is too complicated to explain in a few lines. It is too simple to blame the region’s plight on tensions between the more Islamic north and more secular south. Historically, Darfur has







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Above, from left: George Clooney, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon and Andy Garcia at a Darfur benefit lunch hosted by Chopard at the Hôtel du Cap–Eden Roc during last year’s Cannes Film Festival. George is a UN Messenger of Peace and co-founder of Not On Our Watch (NOOW), which, in conjunction with Oxfam, is working to stop the atrocities in Darfur. George set up NOOW with Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle and Matt Damon to develop broad advocacy campaigns that bring global attention to humanitarian crises and to amplify the voices of victims. For more information about George’s work in Darfur or to make a donation, visit


summer 2008


The Wheel Deal

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Matthew Modine on his Bicycle for a Day project —a pedal-powered green revolution that is coming soon to a street near you


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Quite often, when people hear terms like global warming, climate change or greenhouse gases, they shut down. They just think, “What can I do about it?” Or they feel the problem is too big, or that the government should be solving it. The idea behind my project Bicycle for a Day is to help people understand that there is something they can do— in fact, just one simple thing they can do every day to become part of the solution. If everybody does this one thing, the cumulative effect could be tremendous. Basically, BFAD’s goal is to empower individuals. I want to persuade people all over the world that we have a moral duty to leave the world a better place than we found it. There is a lot of cleaning up to be done. There is a lot of responsibility to be taken. This is a wonderful challenge for all of us. An opportunity to work together. To set aside race, religion and political beliefs and solve the environmental problems we have created. My friend Charles Finch planted the seed. Charles was approached by Young Global Leaders, a group of 500 businessmen and women from around the world. They were reaching out to authors, artists and film-makers, asking “If there was something you could do to reduce carbon emissions, what would it be?” They wanted to present their discovery at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Charles asked me if I would make a film encouraging people to ride a bike for a day. The film was presented at Davos in 2006, where it went down very well. The question then was what to do next, how to make it happen. For the past two years I have been trying to make my BFAD dream become a reality. At last I’m getting close! Cities themselves have an important role to play.


The safer the streets become for pedestrians and cyclists, and the more people are encouraged to use public transportation, the better. (I once cycled straight into a pothole the size of a Smart Car, which almost cost me my two front teeth.) The good news is that the mayors of many of our cities, above all New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Portland, are leading the way. In New York—my favourite place on earth to cycle—Mayor Bloomberg and an organisation called Transportation Alternatives have been working together to make the city safer and more bikefriendly. We’re learning from other cities in other countries—from London, Paris and Bogotá, for example—that recognise the value of cars sharing streets with vehicles that are not gas-powered. Everybody can apply their own version. Why is getting people back on their bikes such hard work? Because we fell in love with the automobile. We all did. It was a symbol of freedom. A thing you could climb into to get away. Go on a date. Drive fast and express yourself by making it loud or putting on big tires. Cars were sexy. Car companies spend billions of dollars keeping these fantasies alive. Watch the commercials and ask yourself if they are selling a realistic image or experience of driving today. There is never any traffic in car advertisements. There are no red lights. When was the last time you drove on the beach or climbed a mountain in your car? These are delusions that the automobile industry spends millions of dollars convincing you are real. But have you ever seen a bicycle ad on television? I’ve been riding bikes all my life, but I only became a really avid cyclist when I moved to New York to study acting. I couldn’t afford a subway token, let alone a car. I was selling homemade lemonade (no kidding) on 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue to make ends meet. One day a guy dumped a Raleigh Beach Cruiser on the corner and ran away. After a while I leaned it against a building. Later, when I’d finished selling my lemonade, the bike was still there, so I took it back to my apartment. My guess is that the guy who dumped it had stolen it. I rode that bike for 20 years. The frame finally gave up and it broke my heart to let her go. These days, though, I have a new Beach Cruiser, with an aluminium frame and fat tires with white walls. Very classic. BFAD launches officially in September. I think it has a bright future. Check out the website (, get involved, make a difference, improve the environment. Just imagine New York City, 25 years from now, with many of the crosstown streets given over to pedestrians and bikes. No cars. Quiet pathways for the good people to walk and cycle along, untroubled by traffic and pollution. Now that I would like to see. Matthew Modine is the founder of Bicycle for a Day. His latest film is I Think I Thought

Cool Cycling

CLOTHING For urban cyclists, Rapha ( and Assos ( Rapha is to Aston Martin as Assos is to Lamborghini. EQUIPMENT Swiss BMC ( Pro Machine or Time Machine: the finest in technology and design. Pashley (www. for a more leisurely look. SHOPS Condor in London (www.condorcycles. com). They’ll fit you with the perfect bike, and have all the clothing and accessories you want. Speak to Carl about clothing. Mercian Cycles ( is a Derby-based manufacturer—and Paul Smith’s favourite.

summer 2008

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Henry Sands meets David de Rothschild—environmentalist, author and founder of the web-based group Adventure Ecology How best can celebrities bring awareness to environmental issues, and is enough being done to do this? The power of celebrity is now phenomenal. It is a new medium that is just as powerful as TV, radio and the web. Some people might describe the enormous following that celebrities have as fickle, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is huge belief in their actions. People really take note of what celebrities do and follow their example. Unfortunately, there is a lot of criticism and adverse publicity of charity endorsements. People often say how easy it is for celebrities to do lots of charity work and some believe this can be belittling to the public. Yes, I come from the de Rothschild family, but I am still trying to make a positive change. It shouldn’t matter what my surname is: I’m just Dave. I’ve seen the “What do they know about anything?” attitude assumed much of the time, especially if a celebrity supports more than one charity. The fear that celebrities have of the media jumping on them and criticising them prevents many of them from doing more charity work. The fact is, celebrity endorsement does work. I mean, just look at Darfur. It’s suffering from one of the worse atrocities this world has ever seen, but had it not been for the work of George Clooney and Brad Pitt there is no way it would have got the media coverage and support that it has. Many celebrities who endorse charities are actors who, by trade, are the best storytellers. Environmental issues are some of the most important stories that need to be told; therefore having the best storytellers on board is essential. You have just started working on a new TV series called EcoTruth. Could you tell us a bit about it? Eco-Truth is about investigating the life-cycle of everyday products, to allow people to have a better understanding of exactly where those items have come from. The idea is that we take a normal item such as a T-shirt or a milk bottle and then show the viewers just how it was made, step by step. At present there are so many reports and information available about how these products affect the environment that it has almost become generic. I want to show the truth in a neutral manner in order to allow people to make up their own minds on what is environmentally friendly and what is not. What is your opinion of the Kyoto treaty? It’s a starting point. However, I see it as more “off-putting” than “off-setting”; it is also very localised. The planet needs attention all over, not just in specific areas. Developing countries, particularly China and India, seem to ignore the planet’s environmental crisis. What can we do in the West to change their point of view? I find the West’s criticism of Asian pollution rates rather like the smoking mother’s analogy. If a mother wants her children not to smoke, there is no point in her lecturing them while she has a cigarette in her hand. It is hypocrisy at its clearest. In order for Asia to cut back its pollution, the West must stop patronising them and make a change itself. We must lead by example. The only way they will listen to us and take note is if we can transfer clear information in a non-condescending manner. We must change our own habits before focusing our attention on theirs. That’s the biggest issue.

says. That is the same message I’m trying to get across about our planet. We have to look after it and love it so our future generations can too. When you break a watch down, it is made out of tiny little parts which by themselves may not seem very important; however, they are all essential for the mechanics of the watch to work. It is the same with the earth. What might seem like a little thing by itself actually plays a very important role in the bigger picture. IWC watches represent the values that I stand for. They are not so mainstream that everybody knows them, but everyone with a passion for watches knows their quality. Their clients are generally influential people who are in positions to instigate change. IWC’s support for Adventure Ecology allows me to take a sniper approach to gain their clients’ interest in my projects. In that respect luxury brands are very helpful in tacking environmental issues, as they can facilitate communication between the necessary parties. Do you have an environmental hero? There are many people who are doing great work to help the planet, and there are lots of people I greatly respect. To say one person was my environmental hero would be wrong. I am a huge admirer of the work of Van Jones. His work addresses the problem that, as good as it is to encourage the distribution of solar panels and environmentally friendly equipment, there have to be the engineers to install them. His work is dedicated to building an inclusive green economy without poverty. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Living peacefully on my farm in New Zealand, eating organic food. David de Rothschild’s Adventure Ecology website ( is a portal to news, information and educational tools on environmental themes. His next challenge is to sail 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney in a boat made of plastic bottles and recycled waste products. The vessel, named the Plastiki after Thor Heyerdahl’s famous 1947 expedition in the KonTiki, is designed to draw attention to the usefulness of recycled waste.

summer 2008

Photograph: Paul Maffi (

You work closely with IWC watches. What can luxury brands do to help charitable causes? Well, it’s strange because the idea of luxury and environmental awareness sounds rather an oxymoron. In actual fact, the message I’m trying to get across is very similar. A good watch is passed down through generations, looked after and loved by its keeper. You don’t own a watch but merely look after it for the next generation, as the slogan

Yes, I come from the de Rothschild family, but I am still trying to make a positive change. It shouldn’t matter what my surname is: I’m just Dave


For information telephone (020) 8080 0330 -

18ct. pink gold 42 mm case. Self-winding mechanical movement, Cartier calibre 049 (21 jewels, 28'800 vibrations per hour), date aperture. Blue sapphire cabochon set on a fluted crown. Silvered lacquered opaline guillochĂŠ dial. Rounded scratchproof sapphire crystal.

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Light, Fantastic

Plus ça change, plus c’est the men’s clothes… Anda Rowland on why Anderson & Sheppard is still a cut above

The serious science of the Neapolitan summer suit, by Mariano Rubinacci

Anderson & Sheppard opened for business on Savile Row a little more than a hundred years ago. The founding Anderson had trained under Frederick Scholte, the legendary Dutch creator of the London Drape: a style of suit that was elegant but easy, and that felt practically weightless. Led by the Scholte look, the heyday of English elegance began. Today, our cutters and tailors carry on the same tradition. The Anderson & Sheppard shoulder is sloped and natural; the jacket remains close to the neck while at the same time allowing as much arm movement as a sweater. A lot of classic English tailoring has an almost military rigour about it. The Anderson & Sheppard style is achieved through softness of line rather than severity. Our ideal is shape with comfort. The firm’s leather-bound ledgers contain dozens of famous names. There’s Laurence Olivier, introduced to the firm by Noel Coward; there’s Marlene Dietrich, introduced by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. There’s Rudolph Valentino and Gary Cooper. While dancing around the fitting room, Fred Astaire would suddenly stop in mid-step and turn towards the mirror to see where his collar had finished up, just to make sure it was not standing away from his neck, however he moved. Although Astaire embraced the firm’s soft tailoring, he disliked wearing new clothes. To break them in, he would

Neapolitan tailoring is about charm. It is completely different from other styles: it is made with the heart—and sometimes to measure! A Neapolitan jacket is much less structured than an English one; it has even less padding than the tailoring from the northern part of Italy. Because our weather is warm, we know how to work with soft, light fabrics—or at least we should by now. In Naples, tailoring is about style in the broader sense. We do not follow fashion—here things have a habit of evolving, like the way my father got into the tailoring business. He was not a tailor by training, but an officer in the most elegant cavalry regiment, an important collector of Capodimonte porcelain and one the largest bespoke customers in Naples at the time. He was a member of the court of Anna di Francia Duchessa d’Aosta. In the afternoons he went to spend time with the duchess at the Capodimonte Palace. As a young man, his clothes were much admired. He was a true leader of Neapolitan style and other courtiers used to ask him to take them to his tailor. He knew how to wear clothes beautifully—today you might call him a stylist. Back in those days, he was just a gentleman. When he eventually opened his own shop, it was more of a club, where friends could meet, talk and order suits. He called it London House, out of respect for the elegance of London, even though he had never visited England. He just had a notion of what he would have liked London to be. His idea of a suit was that it should be comfortable first, because it is impossible to be truly elegant if you are uncomfortable; it should follow your movements; it should be your suit, not anyone else’s. And that is how we make suits today. The armhole is high and the sleeves are wide, to allow for natural movement. For our sports coats, we put a double stitch along the shoulder seam for extra strength and we use the absolute minimum of padding. Other tailors claim to do without padding, but it is very, very difficult to achieve a shoulder line that is truly natural and also elegant. In the same way, the Neapolitan construction calls for the barest amount of canvas: either camel hair for winter or linen for summer. While supremely comfortable and easy to wear in the

throw them onto the floor and walk barefoot over them until they were even more relaxed. But if those old leather-bound ledgers read like a Who’s Who of style icons, it’s a Who’s Who that is constantly being updated. Men who make style their business, such as Calvin Klein, Manolo Blahnik and Ralph Lauren, continue to profess their admiration for our house cut. Tom Ford, no less, told Le Figaro: “In my opinion, Anderson & Sheppard is the best tailor in the world.” And we were of course tremendously proud that Prince Charles chose to wear his Anderson & Sheppard morning suit when he married Camilla Parker Bowles. Three years ago Anderson & Sheppard moved from its historic premises on Savile Row to a new shop and workrooms just around the corner in Old Burlington Street. But the address is all that has changed. The principle of using traditional techniques to create tailor-made perfection remains the same. Anda Rowland is co-chairman of Anderson & Sheppard

Anderson & Sheppard, 32 Old Burlington Street, London, W1 (020 7734 1420)

summer 2008

heat, the difficulty of a garment like this is that it has to be cut perfectly. If you use a heavy cloth and lots of padding and canvas, you can cover all sorts of mistakes. But with true summer clothing like ours no mistakes are allowed. People often ask me what sort of dinner jacket they should have for the summer and it is my dream to make a dinner jacket in this fabric. The Duke of Windsor had one and it would be superb in lightweight corduroy with corded silk lapels. And of course I think a black linen shawl-collared dinner jacket is the height of chic. For daywear, among my favourite summer cloths are light hopsacks—they are cool and they look smart. We also make suits and blazers from a very light wool that is used in priests’ vestments. And then, most exacting of all, are the jackets we make from shirt weights of corduroy, which are amazing and comfortable—you barely know you are wearing them. The trick of great summer clothes is to have them so light and so comfortable that you can put them on and then forget about them. That is true elegance. Mariano Rubinacci has boutiques in Naples, Milan, Rome, London, New York and Tokyo

Rubinacci, 96 Mount Street, London, W1 (020 7499 2299)


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Nick Foulkes has the low-down on this summer’s knockout knick-knacks The smoke H Upmann Magnum 50, Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial. There may be regime change in Havana, but these Cubans still rule the humidor. Buy them at Davidoff of London and smoke them on the beach. The shades At close to a grand a pair, Retrospecs frames are probably worth more than their weight in gold, but we love this faithful reproduction of Ray-Ban’s original aviators. The time The Rolex Paul Newman Daytona is far too obvious (and expensive) for the staff of Finch’s Quarterly Review, but we love the up-and-coming late-1950s/early-1960s vintage GMT (either ref 6542 or the transitional 1675). Key points: Plexiglas, not crystal; no crown guards; small arrow on the 24-hour hand. You’re all set. The table Lake Como is arguably the ritziest body of fresh water in the world, and after a few days of whiteglove luxury at the Villa d’Este and dropping in to see George Clooney at his villa, head up towards the Swiss border and stop at La Felice, the utterly, outrageously brilliant lakeside restaurant from Andrea Riva, whose London restaurant was a favourite of the late Mark Birley—and Mark was easily satisfied with the very best things in life.

Photograph: Fetherstonhaugh

The timber Not enough wooden jewellery these days. We had to go to Cannes to Yann de Saint-Sulpice’s shop in the Carlton for these vintage Chaumet links. French shop, French jeweller, French cuffs— just the thing when taking some French leave. By the way, the jacket is vintage Beretta: perfect whether you’re killing an elephant or just murdering a martini at the Hôtel du Cap.

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Wrong Gong Phooey

Winning an Oscar is a pretty darn good feeling. Not winning one is utterly miserable. But what can you do, asks Robert Fox Being involved in a film that is nominated for an award is both exciting and frustrating. Exciting for the obvious reasons, frustrating because even though you know rationally that there is no such thing as a “best” film, the mere fact of being nominated forces you to be competitive about something you cannot control. I first attended the Oscars a few years ago when I was nominated, along with my friend and co-producer Scott Rudin, for The Hours. Scott wisely went on holiday instead. It was the first post-9/11 ceremony. No red carpet, very

low-key, metal detectors everywhere and the certain knowledge that Chicago would win Best Film. But despite that certain knowledge, human nature took over and I woke up in the middle of the night rehearsing my acceptance speech, desperate not to leave anyone out. Everything went according to plan. Chicago won; The Hours received one Oscar for Nicole Kidman as Best Actress; the other eight nominations went out of the window. Later I went to the Vanity Fair party and met Robbie Robertson from The Band—now that was a result. Atonement, which was nominated for 14 Baftas

and seven Oscars, including Best Film, was another film that I was fortunate to be involved with from the beginning. It is British through and through, apart from the financiers—a subject for another time—so it had every chance of suffering from a Brit Bashing by the Brits at the Baftas. As far as the Oscars go, Atonement was always going to be an outsider; but it’s not violent and maybe the Academy voters would be relieved by that, as well as thrilled by the achievements of the cast and crew. Well, Atonement won Best Film at the Baftas, having been ignored in every other category. At


the Oscars, it won Best Score. Two out of 21— almost a 10 percent strike rate. Not bad, but not exactly No Country for Old Men. I was delighted that the Coen bothers’ film won, even if it meant we could not, because (a) it is a terrific film and (b) Scott Rudin produced it, and he so deserved to be there with an Oscar. This time I watched the ceremony on TV at home, cheering when we won and just shrugging when we didn’t. After all, there is no such thing as “best”, is there? Robert Fox is a film producer

summer 2008

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Photograph: Fetherstonhaugh. Shirt, jacket and tie by Giorgio Armani, 37-42 Sloane Street, London, SW1 (020 7235 6232)


summer 2008

So you get an invitation asking you to turn up in something called Hollywood Black Tie… Just relax, says Dylan Jones, there’s really nothing to it It’s breakfast. You’re smoking a cheroot, flicking through the papers, sipping your freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and checking your BlackBerry Pearl to see if anyone still considers you important enough to contact at 7.30 in the morning, when your manservant brings you the mail. And in among the utility bills and the death threats and the bribes there is a thick, white, gold-embossed Hard Card with beautiful die-cut calligraphy that looks suspiciously like an invitation—gadzooks, it is!—encouraging you to come and flaunt yourself at the launch of something suitably enticing. However, on closer inspection you can see that instead of the usual default prescriptive dress code, you are being told to wear Hollywood Black Tie— the dress code du jour. Being in the fancy-pants industry yourself, you are somewhat surprised that you don’t know what it is, but as there’s no one else around, you can admit it: you don’t know what it is.


Well, you’d better get used to it, because it’s everywhere. And it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. Asking a man to dress in HBT is like telling him that you’re in the know while making him feel slightly nervous at the same time. It started off meaning some sort of evening suit not worn with a bow tie but maybe with an ordinary black tie instead—which meant that your hosts expected you to turn up in evening dress wearing the type of tie you’d normally wear during the day. But now it has become a generic term for all sorts of evening dress, and in reality means “anything you damn well like”. So if you’re going to an event in the evening and the invitation says HBT and you fancy wearing an open-necked shirt, do so. If you want to wear a white dinner jacket, a silver lamé ruffled shirt and a pair of diamante jeans, then go ahead (although personally I would advise you not to leave the house). Or, if you’re feeling especially bold (or particularly French), you could wear a cravat. Or, if you’re feeling even bolder (or Italian), a twilly, which is the GQ word for a very small cravat. If you want the skinny, HBT was invented so that famous people wouldn’t look so ridiculous turning up at black-tie events wearing their training shoes or their boyfriend’s pyjamas. One of the most important by-products of black tie was making sure all the men looked identical so their wives and girlfriends could shine in their ball gowns and cocktail dresses. But seeing that most Hollywood entertainers are too ostentatious to allow other people their share of the spotlight (even their spouses), they make a point of going off-piste. So that’s the Scooby-Doo. If, over the coming season, you are lucky enough to receive an invitation to a Hollywood Black Tie event, and want to walk into the room full of vim and vigour (rather than just gin and tonic), then don’t panic. Of course you can wear your new fluorescentorange jumpsuit, or those pink satin shorts, should you choose to. Just remember to wear a dinner jacket, will you? Dylan Jones is the editor of GQ

Lie, Lady, Lie

Finch & Co

Nick Broomfield on liars that he’s known and loved, and lovers that he’s known and lied to I got hoodwinked into writing this article by my dear friend Charles Finch, who always brings such laughter it is impossible to refuse. Charles asked me to write about lying, saying the three most famous lies are: “The cheque’s in the post”, “You’ve got creative control” and “I won’t come in your mouth”. I hasten to add that I have not been involved in telling any of these three lies (“Is this a lie?” you’re thinking!). But in my years as a documentarian I have encountered many fibs, lies and half-truths. Charles asked me whether I can tell when one of my subjects is lying. I have noticed that when people are really frightened, they can give off an odour of fear. Lying is not quite like that. Occasionally, a flush can come to the cheeks or, I’ve noticed, an uncomfortable itch can develop around the neck, a twitching of the feet, a shifting in the seat, an averting of the eyes, an unnecessary laugh or cough. Or, in the case of Margaret Thatcher, when I asked her in the Holocaust Museum whether her son Mark was in fact involved in illicit arms deals, she simply walked out of the room, swinging her handbag more vigorously than ever. But, as she has been quoted as saying, “You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.” Heidi Fleiss, the well-known madam to the stars who must’ve told more lies than most over the years, had the wonderful girlish attribute of turning bright red whenever she told a real whopper. I asked her if she was still bonking her old pimp, film director Ivan Nagy, in the afternoon and she denied this, but when I produced the gatehouse log-book to prove it, she turned bright red and said “You’ve got it all wrong, Nick!”—before running out of the room. I have to say I have a fondness for bad liars like Heidi, whose vulnerability shines through and who are actually incapable of telling a real whopper. It’s the good liars that worry me: the Tony Blairs and Alastair Campbells, the used-car salesmen of the political world, who could sell us weapons of mass destruction without even cracking a smile. When I challenged Campbell for lying to the public about a war that no one wanted, he slithered his way out of it without so much as batting an eyelid and then attacked me about my latest film. These are the premier division of world-class liars, and now they’re even trying to get us to buy their biographies, seeking to redefine their place in history. Probably the most tragic lying I have encountered was that of Aileen Wuornos, who murdered seven men and who I got to know quite well over the years. Aileen believed that she had killed in self-defence, which was part of her psychosis. But after sitting on death row for 13 years she was so desperate to die that she changed her defence to speed up the process. I assured her that with Jeb Bush trying to pick up more votes for governor of Florida, she would be executed anyway. But she went to her death maintaining she had killed in cold blood when those closest to her knew she believed otherwise. So, on a lighter note, my dear friend Charles in his list of questions also asked what’s the biggest whopper I’ve ever told a girl. I’d like to say I’ve never told a girl a big whopper, but that would be the biggest whopper of all. Unfortunately, there have been so many… That I’d gone to Ukraine to do some undercover work when I was in fact spending the weekend in Kentish Town with someone else. Or, to a very sexy animal-lover, that I had broken my ankle while saving an old lady’s kitten from a tree when in fact I’d fallen off my skateboard on Hampstead Heath. Other more common lies are: “Honestly, I’m telling the truth”, “You’ll never believe what happened” and “I promise I’ll try harder”. Lying is complicated. As Helen Rowland, the famous American humourist said, “Telling lies is a fault in a boy, an art in a lover, an accomplishment in a bachelor and second nature to a married man.” But I think perhaps the worst whopper of all is to tell someone you love them when you don’t, and maybe for a variety of reasons most of us have been guilty of this. Sometimes, however, lies are absolutely required, and you wish Tony was your best buddy, to help you out. Like when you heartily congratulate a friend on being pregnant and she stares at you blankly, or the shock of seeing a dear and close friend after a disastrous facelift—you need to lie, and you need to lie well. As Graham Greene so brilliantly said, “In human relationships, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.” Charles’s last request to me was: “Give me one question to make a person squirm and one to make them spill their guts.” Well, Charles, I have racked my brains and could not come up with anything that isn’t unprintably vulgar. Maybe you or the readers would have some suggestions you could send in? That would make for extremely amusing reading for your next issue. In the meantime I will leave you with this thought from Winston Churchill: “There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.” Nick Broomfield’s most recent film is Battle for Haditha

Tim Jefferies, who knows a thing or two about charm, on ten winning ways to make an impression on the women in your life—or at least to keep yourself amused while you’re trying

Here’s Johnny

FQR salutes Jean Pigozzi—photographer, collector, capital fellow and worthy maverick Jean Pigozzi, or JP to those who know him, is one of the rare birds to share a perch on Finch’s Mavericks page. A truly original thinker. Blessed with the Simca fortune inherited from his late father, he added to it through shrewd business dealings and a passion for the internet. At the same time, he came to be recognised in his own right for his extraordinary collection of contemporary African art—one of the world’s largest—which was recently exhibited at the Guggenheim Bilbao (see our website for information on the Finch tour). However, it is for his photography, his wild dress sense and his great charm that JP is close to the heart’s of the likes of Mick Jagger, Barry Diller and Paul Allen. Currently building a house in Paraguay and funding an environmental project there, he can also laugh at himself and even travel economy if required. —Charles Finch

Take It from Tim

1. Take your mum out for dinner for no reason. 2. Invest in at least one bespoke suit. No designer can compete with the way tailor-made clothing makes you feel. 3. The must-have watch (if you can get one): the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deep Sea. Like James Bond’s old Submariner on steroids. 4. Clinique’s SPF 15 Sun-Care Body Gel. Not oily or creamy. Goes on with an icy tingle. 5. Fly with a cashmere blanket, then use the

duvet as an extra mattress. It really makes a difference. 6. Never take a girl somewhere new on a first date. Go somewhere familiar. First dates are stressful enough without having to worry about being looked after properly. 7. Glenn Spiro, international gemstone dealer to the trade, is to open a by-appointment-only salon at 7A Grafton Street, London, W1 (020 7135 3535), in September. If you like to buy


jewellery for your wife, girlfriend or mistress, he has really beautiful things. 8. Habit Rouge eau de toilette by Guerlain— unmistakable, and women love it. 9. The Sunset Villa at Cocoa Island Resort, in the Maldives. For the rich Robinson Crusoe. 10. Remember, you’re a long time dead... Tim Jefferies owns Hamiltons Gallery 13 Carlos Place, London, W1 (; 020 7499 9494)

summer 2008

Finch & Co


It’s the high life, Jim, but not as everybody knows it. FQR’s very own Uhura, Elizabeth Saltzman, brings news from the farthest reaches of Planet Glam

Greetings from my end of the galaxy to yours!

As this is my debut column, I should briefly—and boldly—state my intentions. Much like my namesake, I have been asked to cast a watchful eye over the characters and events that go to make up my seemingly glamorous, often ridiculous world. From my personal swivel seat I will do my best as your Communications Officer to make sense of the ever-changing group of movers and shakers that many consider are fashioning our society. As the seasons change, I hope to be able to shed a little light on a scene often regarded as remote, aloof and way too full of itself. And while in some cases that is undoubtedly true, to paint such a simple portrait would do it a disservice, much like asking Lucian Freud to doodle in crayon.

Over the years I have often been asked how I manage to keep my cool when faced with so many demanding situations. Beyond a liberal frosting of Elnett superhold and a pair of Wolford deluxe stay-ups, I’ve discovered that old-fashioned common sense and manners are pretty much all I need to maintain the appearance of calm, even when surrounded by Masters of the Universe. Such common sense seems to be making a comeback. It has been in the air for some time, but this year at Cannes—more precisely, in the exclusive harbour at the nearby Hôtel du Cap—a mistral, if you will, came sweeping up from the Croisette, blowing away the clutter of old, leaving behind a spirit of optimism and hope... but more than anything else, a spirit of realism.

These are tough times we’re living in, and even for the multitude of dollar-billionaires jostling for space on that small scrap of rock there was an awareness that the gluttony of the previous two decades had come to an end. And yet this was no wake. No one was crying into their Chanel bags. The Moët was poured, the Chopard glittered and there was still more flirting than hurting going on. People were gathered for several reasons. First, to prove they were still in the game. Second, to show off the new wife, girlfriend or boat (or all three). However, once the usual formalities were dealt with, the real reason why people had travelled

from all over the globe quickly became apparent.They had come to learn. The world we’re living in is changing, and changing fast. The men and women brushing canapé crumbs from their Tom Ford jackets made their fortunes not just predicting such change but being sure they were best placed to profit from it. In previous decades that was enough. Amassing power and wealth was all you needed to prove your time on this planet had been well spent.

Not any more. In Cannes this year there was a pervading sense among the various powerbrokers that such self-indulgence was not only unsatisfactory but also irresponsible. Whether it’s because the planet’s resources have become scarcer, or images of natural disasters now flash across the world in milliseconds, or simply because wars—however well-intentioned— are now seen as fundamentally unwinnable, a new realisation seems to have taken hold. It’s as if everyone understands there are no quick fixes anymore. No parachutes. No easy get-outs. We’re all in this together. And what was extraordinary was that amid all the parties, all the joshing, bragging and high-school pranks, one phrase seemed to stand out more than any other—in fact, I heard it everywhere I went.“You’ve got to meet with this guy, he’s got a brilliant idea.”

A brilliant idea.That’s what these people were there for. Sure, a couple of screenings, a premiere or two, but fundamentally they were there to exchange information, to knock things about. And what were these ideas people were so keen to pass on? Were they scripts, were they websites, were they new forms of advertising? They were all these and more. They were methods of bringing everything together. To make money, of course, but more than that. To try and make the world more liveable. To try and make it a better place.

As the sun set on another beautiful day, I asked myself what profound revelation had caused these men to have such a radical conversion. Gazing across the jetty from the prow of my host’s 200-foot yacht, I soon found my answer. No matter how successful you are or how gorgeous your wife, no matter how much you’ve got stashed in the offshore account, there’s always a guy with a bigger boat than yours. Uhura out. Elizabeth Saltzman is Vanity Fair’s international social editor

Da Finchey Ode Maybe it is just that I am getting old and When on a hill in far-off lands Crossed deserts and oceans or Dunkirk sands Remember a school on fields where history was made? Or a boudoir where a hussy laid?

Aboard sinking ships or on sun decks When all goes well or when timber wrecks, Should life’s adventures not go quite to plan A code exists to grow a boy to man. Finch’s Quarterly is there to guide A gentleman to halt his stride And push not the maiden from his path As the lifeboat lowers to the icy glass. He should stand when the lady leaves her chair Ignore the cleavage she may bare Serve first you wife And with grace and humility rise above domestic life Your mistress, care well too for her As a good stallion does his mare

summer 2008

Tip kindly all the staff And incompetence shrug off and laugh (except at sea or in battle).

Drink less often than your father Eat more often than your mother Close your mouth when you chew Except in climbing in high-altitude Peru!

George Ingle-Finch on Everest

George climbed with Mallory Peter in Hollywood’s gallery Both at times in tweed Dressed well and never showing need. A man bedecked in jewels Is asking to be taken as a fool For show little of your success As others less fortunate need respect not your excess… Be kind at all times to the weak And rise to fight For good and for what is right. —Unknown Sherpa



CHARLES FINCH CELEBRATES THE RISKY, RACY, OLD-SCHOOL CHARMER In the mayhem of my early Hollywood years— in fact, throughout my life—I have been lucky enough to stumble across men of great style, wit, flair and, most importantly, real substance. These men of original thought and independence of spirit not edited by their peers or by anyone else have been friends and often provided the inspiration or encouragement for me to continue trying to make an impossible film, build an improbable business or seduce an inappropriate woman. When I had nothing, it mattered little to Jimmy Goldsmith or Gordon White or even Francis Coppola—who I first met at John Heaton’s beautiful home in Antigua Guatemala, over a stormy Thanksgiving. These mavericks have sometimes had business success, occasionally been lotharios or sportsmen (rarely neither). They have always had charm and humanity. They are gentlemen. They treat those less fortunate than themselves with kindness, waiters with fairness and charm, women with respect. They are the first to stand and give up their seat, the last to leave on the lifeboat—and do so well-dressed. John Heaton comes from a long line of such men. His father was a fighter pilot and adventurer who sired John when he was already in his fifties. John grew up with Anglo-American wealth and looks. He left Europe in search of adventure and lived with and loved some of the great beauties of his generation, including, it is said, all of the Goldsmith girls with the exception of Jemima. His travels through Central America are legendary, as are his sexual exploits. A latter-day Rubirosa, with profound knowledge of Mayan and Incan culture. I have travelled in the mountains of Guatemala and crossed the Gulf of Honduras in a fishing boat with him—in the middle of a war. We arrived on a small island off Ranguana Cay with a bottle of Scotch and fishing rods, hungry, horny and in need of help, only to find 15 Spanish air hostesses on a day-trip from Belize... John’s homes and style have been written about in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and other magazines. He is loved by the Indians—and I trusted him enough to try peyote! OTHER GREAT MAVERICKS Whitney Straight (my guardian, who brought me up), Peter Finch, George Ingle-Finch, James Goldsmith, John Aspinall, Gordon White, Edmund Hillary, George Mallory, Robert Falcon Scott, Winston Churchill, Maurice Saatchi, Terence Conran, Mario Testino, Taki, Graydon Carter, Arpad Busson, Giorgio Armani, Sergio Loro Piana, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Gianni Agnelli, Jean Pigozzi, Peter Langham, Mark Birley, Lucian Freud, Marc Quinn, Francis Ford Coppola, Luis Buñuel, Graham Greene, Robert Graves, Hugh Casson.

Terminal Condition FQR Travel

Travel broadens the mind? The hell it does. And the misery of today’s airports is enough to stop you before you begin, says Lisa Armstrong Before you get the wrong idea, I have not been planted in front of my laptop by Richard Branson to slam British Airways. Au contraire, as a child of the 60s, who was taught to dress in her Sunday best when flying aboard the nation’s carrier on the annual family holiday to Nice, I’m taking BA’s current plight personally. But as I sit here in Terminal 2, awaiting my flight to Milan, I am increasingly distracted by one thought, and one thought only: why does anyone bother to travel anymore? This is not a new question. I have been pondering it since last October when I spent two-and-a-half hours queuing: for check-in, for baggage drop, for security, while people in front of me took off their coats and shoes and then put them on again; for water, for the gate, for more security. Two-and-a-half hours. Roughly a third of the time it eventually took to fly to New York. Ye gods! Man’s ingenuity got us into the sky, even to the moon, but it can’t seem to devise a civilised way to check that people aren’t carrying more than their allotted 100ml of Eight Hour cream. So two-and-a-half hours it is. Time I could have spent reading, watching a movie or, to put this in terms that the reliably avaricious British Airports Authority might appreciate, spending money. I couldn’t listen to my iPod for fear of missing out on some vital Tannoy announcement informing me that my personal luggage allowance had just been slashed to one-and-a-half kilos. I couldn’t put my contact lenses in (I hate being stuck in my glasses all day, especially on the off chance I might bump into George Clooney in the WorldTraveller Plus section, but I hadn’t been able to put them in at home, having had to leave at about 5 am). I couldn’t even rely on the distraction of Naomi Campbell having the mother of all trip-fits, there being only so many places the woman can throw a fit at one time. Factor in the truly life-sapping queue through immigration at the other end and I could have got to lovely Cornwall in a pony and trap faster—and the whole procedure would have been considerably better for my complexion. Before you get another wrong idea, I am not anti-flying per se. Obviously there’s a teensy bit of an issue with its carbon-footprint aspect, which is almost enough—but not quite—to make the Leo DiCaprios and Brad Pitts of this world give it up, or at least forsake their private jets, for good. Equally distressingly, the general dress code of passengers is really not what it was when Cate Blanchett trotted through Europe in The Talented Mr Ripley wearing Dior’s New Look, with what looked like 47 pieces of kid-glove-leather luggage and three flunkies in tow. Standards have clearly declined on all fronts. But let’s be realistic. Given today’s work schedules, being able to reach one’s family in New Zealand in under six weeks and for less than a year’s salary is clearly a boon. Ergo, the idea of democratic travel is as cool as ever. I

ALLER Hotel Confidential CHARLES FINCH’S PERSONAL TRAVEL GURU KATE LENAHAN OPENS HER LITTLE BLACK BOOK When I refer clients to the hotels I most favour in the world, I do so entirely on the basis of their service, location, design, security and, most importantly, general manager. If the general manager doesn’t bother to greet a guest who has been flagged as a VIP, then that is not a hotel to recommend again. A good general manager should run the hotel as he would his home, and those who visit it should not be regarded as bed-fillers but as valuable guests who, when treated properly, will not only return but also recommend. One of the best general managers I have ever met is still resident at The Eden in Rome: the Omar Sharif-like Marcel Levy. Mr Levy is never far from the lobby, with his eyes and ears permanently open to the goings on at every level of the hotel. It helps of course that he always generously invites one to enjoy a martini on the fabulous terrace at the top of the hotel with simply one of the best views in Rome. HOTEL Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles

FINCH RECOMMENDS Book A poolside cottage, for sunbathing and service Know Charles, the concierge, who can fix or book anything Claridge’s, London Book The Brook Penthouse Eat The organic breakfast in the Reading Room, in the comfort of an armchair Hotel Eden, Rome Book The Royal Suite, for its view of Rome Drink A Negroni, on the terrace at sunset Le Bristol, Paris Book Suite 950, overlooking the garden Reserve Dinner in the three-Michelin-starred dining room The Lowell, New York Book The Manhattan Suite in winter, for its working fireplace Shop At Chopard and Barneys Hôtel du Cap, Antibes Book A suite at The Eden Roc, to be right on the sea Relax In Cabana 28, for complete privacy while sunbathing Hotel Arts, Barcelona Book The Presidential Suite Eat Catalan tapas, poolside, overlooking the marina Palazzo Terranova, Perugia Book La Traviata Eat At Il Postale in Città di Castello La Gazelle d’Or, Morocco Book The Jasmine Suite, the prettiest suite at the hotel Reserve A hammam massage every day at 4pm Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole Book Room B2 Eat At Da Maria in Capalbio The Carlyle, New York Book A suite in the Tower, for fantastic views of Manhattan Listen To Eartha Kitt in Café Carlyle between June 4 and July 5 Kate Lenahan owns Finch & Partners Travel

summer 2008

spent my teens and twenties zipping to and fro across the globe thanks to cheap student fares, and—bit of an irony, this—I first went into fashion journalism because of all the travel. I’ve proved I love it. Or loved it. But now I don’t. And this isn’t simply because I’ve been there, done that. There are masses of fascinating World Heritage sites I’ve yet to see. It’s just that these days when I contemplate sallying forth into the world, I hear an insistent voice in my head asking whether the Great Wall or even Barneys shoe department, dazzling though each undoubtedly is, will really be worth the mighty effort of grappling with the long-stay car park at Heathrow. I don’t think I’m alone is this very modern quandary. Look at the faces of your fellow passengers the next time you wait for the non-appearance of your luggage and ask yourself, “Is that a look etched with happiness?” I think you have already guessed the answer. At a time when travel has never been more accessible, it has never been less enticing. I know, I know. I’m missing the point. Travel broadens the mind. We all know that. It’s such a truism no one even knows who first coined it (don’t bother, I’ve already Googled). And so, on the pretext of breadth, we backpack to hellholes on our gap years with the same grim determination to enjoy ourselves that we later deploy when we do battle with the school-holiday crowds so that our children won’t feel deprived once term begins again and talk in the playground turns to Sardinia/Cape Cod/St Barts. But does travel truly broaden anything but one’s waistline? “He who never leaves his country is full of prejudices,” pronounced the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni. In fairness to Goldoni, he made it as far as France, which was going it some in the 18th century. On the other hand, Shakespeare, who could boast one of the broadest minds in history, along with a detailed knowledge of Venice and Rome, never ventured much further south than Deptford, which wasn’t going it some, even in the 16th century. I don’t think it’s completely out of order, given the context, to enquire which of the two writers, Goldoni or Shakespeare, went on to become the more famous. Then again, the Brits travel more than any other nation, as befits our fearless islander spirit; and yet half of us don’t know where Holland is. The point is, this broadening process all depends on the person doing the travelling. If you’re the type who travels with your own portable laptop/portable entertainment centre/cashmere blanket/eye-mask/set meal from Itsu/vast quantities of sleep aids and every single book on the SundayTimes bestseller list (and what sensible person doesn’t? I’ve spent a goodly part of my career recommending the carrying onboard of numerous luxury items to ward off the evils of democratic travel), and if you then also hang out with like-minded friends once you get there, can you really claim to be extending anything but your tan? He who leaves the country can return with some pretty strong views as well. “I suppose,” said my father when, aged 16, I arrived back from an academically critical cultural exchange in Germany, “it was the bread and the loos that did for you.” I’m afraid he was right. I abandoned my German A-level shortly thereafter. Subsequently, I’ve tried leaving all the grown-up cuddle blankets at home in a bid to travel more authentically, to bond with my fellow voyagers, but frankly it’s hard to feel much empathy with the bloke who just spilled tomato juice on your Prada jacket and the cabin crew who are informing you that your bags are now on their way to Perth. Which is why eventually I succumbed to the anti-social option. No woman is an island, wrote John Donne. (I paraphrase; he wrote that no man is.) She is when she’s travelling with noise-cancelling Bose earphones. Lisa Armstrong is the fashion editor of The Times

Hard Day’s Flight

Sure, big airports are a big nuisance—but travel wasn’t meant to be easy. Chin up and light out for the territories, says Steve King Travel—if you accept that travel involves getting somewhere beyond the red letterbox on the corner—has always been a pain in the neck. A walk in the park? Never. That’s what you do once you’ve done the travelling part. Until the advent of the steam engine, travelling anywhere that wasn’t within strolling distance was expensive, slow, uncomfortable and quite possibly dangerous. Of course, it still feels like all of those things when your flight out of Heathrow is delayed for the third time, or summarily cancelled, or the fat guy in the seat next to yours begins to wriggle and whistle tunelessly 20 minutes into a fully-booked 12-hour flight to Hong Kong. Alas, there’s nothing new about delays, cancellations or unsympathetic travelling companions. You could have been the grandest of 18th-century grandees setting off on the grandest of Grand Tours and nevertheless found yourself stuck next to a wriggling, whistling fatso in a cramped coach-and-four for 12 hours. What’s more, you’d have only made it to Hastings at the end of your ordeal. So, really, when we moan about the misery of travel today, we’re moaning about the loss of something we never had. It was never particularly pleasant. A certain amount of ghastliness is part of the deal. You travel, you suffer. But since blaming other people for the things that spoil our sense of entitlement is one of the privileges of our species, who are we to blame for this? Film-makers, I suspect.Travel always looks better in the movies. Oddly, it doesn’t seem to matter what happens on the way, either. We forget that Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s chopper-straddling hippies get blown away by rednecks at the end of Easy Rider. We still want to ditch our square jobs, rev up a Harley and hit the road. We forget that Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence of Arabia has been burnt, buggered and beaten with sticks before he arrives— splendidly, ecstatically, to the strains of a symphony orchestra—at the beach at Aqaba. We still want to book a camel safari. Murder on the Orient Express? No worries! Death in Venice? Whatever! Sadly, the notion of frictionless freedom, of travel without inconvenience, is a fantasy. Understandably, there’s a temptation just to cancel that trip, forgo the Terminal 5 nightmare, stay at home, fire up a reefer and watch Easy Rider again. Surely better, though, to show a bit of backbone and head out into the great unknown—even if that means risking a dreary couple of hours at an airport, or a stout rogering by Turkish soldiers, or any of the other character-building experiences that await the undaunted traveller. Steve King works for Vanity Fair in London


For more travel tips, Ask Finch at or email Kate Lenahan at



Bit of a Margoer

Photograph: Kate Bellm

She was white-hot in Nine Songs and is set to steal scenes in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Henry Sands gets on the couch with Margo Stilley to talk sex, sex scenes and sexy weekends

summer 2008

What do you find most sexy in men? I like strong, smart, capable men with quiet confidence who aren’t afraid to dance. I’m a fan of the alpha male, so having an intimate knowledge of Dostoevsky yet still being capable of dealing me a slap across my face (only if I

deserve it, of course) and then picking me up, making love to me and taking me shopping doesn’t hurt.

What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done? I took a lover in New York, but unfortunately the first night we were together he made an antiSemitic comment. In the morning I left before he woke up. I took his watch and wallet and dropped them off at the synagogue around the corner. I never spoke to him again.

they that they’re your boyfriend until they’ve been dating you for at least eight months, and get scared you’re going to sleep with someone else. British boys are easier to lasso. Did you have a childhood sweetheart? Yes! His name is Anthony Fredenburg. He’s the smartest, most badly behaved boy I’ve ever met. I’m still so desperately in love with him that I sometimes can’t speak when I see him.

If you were being cast in a love scene, who would your ideal onscreen partner be? Julius Caesar, for sure.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend? I’ve had a few and none of them are the same, but they always involve travelling, a man and copious amounts of alcohol.

How do British men compare to Americans? Men are men, though American men won’t say

Henry Sands is managing editor of Finch’s Quarterly Review


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summer 2008

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FQR Food

Food. What a pathetic little word to desc ribe the vast cornucopia of delectable pois on that is available, to some of us at least. I don’t know where to start. My friend Mr Finch, whose quar terly this is (I’ve always fancied a quarterly; all I have is a monthly—but let’s not go there), asked me to write a food review. Just as I was about to respond with a negative involving feeli ngs of unease about eating with a view to judging (so unfair on the chef!), he said, “Oh no, you can write whatever you wish. It just has to be about food .” Oddly enough, it had occurred to me recently to write a brief monograph on the subject of the common crisp (or therefore, start there. The idea came as “chip”, as our American friends so misl I was sitting on a barnacled rock in a eadingly call it). Let me, Scot tish bay watching the sun glitter on the wate when on a rock, than that of egg and r and peeling a boiled egg. There is no crisp. Textural reasons present themselve greater partnership, s immediately—even, perhaps, to thos beautifully with the edges of the crisp e who have never sampled the above. —of course it does. That much is obvi The softn ess of the egg marries ous. But one can extrapolate the pleasures First of all, there is a moral joy to be had. still further. Nobody who has had half an ear open for the past 20 years can have failed to salt and fat. They are to the potato wha pick up on the notion that crisps are bad t the deep-fried Mars bar is to the pan for you. They are pure na cott a. They are steeped in sin and, if eaten But together with an egg—that most for long enough and in quantity, will glorious of articles, boiled fresh and not alm ost certainly kill you. for too long , to avoid that green layer that comes result of overcooking—now one can justi with age and the bounce against the teeth fy the crisp. Surely the crisp contains that is the tragic about the same amount of salt as one rock? The resultant slightly crunchy, sligh would sprinkle over the egg were cond tly creamy mouthful is, I think, second ime nts to be found upon our to none on my list of top items to eat I have expanded on the state of the egg. upon a rock. I must qualify the criticism of the crisp . In my view —an triple-pan-fried-in-the-barrel things that d it is a truly humble one—it cannot, should not, ought not to be one of thos are so popular nowadays and which hurt e gigantic to eat. (They do.) They are, I am sure, something has to come between their the ultimate in dipping materials—they razor-sharp edges and the roof of your wou ld have to be, mou because th if you are not to bleed to death on constitutes, to my mind, the best part your kind, dip-offering hostess’s carpet. of a full meal. Who can fit anything in A handful of these things after a few of those, and what is suitable will not do. apart from something very soft that will not aggravate the cuts? They In my day—that is to say during my main crisp-eating years—my dream of bliss was a packet of Golden Wonder what it says it is: it’s crisp. But a pack Cheese & Onion. Now that’s a crisp. et of those doesn’t make you bleed or It’s a crisp because it’s exactly need to lie down. Granted, you are less likel expect all pleasures at once? y to be in for a snog afterwards, but for goodness’ sake, are we to A memory, then—just one—a memory of the perfection of an egg and a crisp of the light and tasty variety I have just in fact, a wall, quite a high wall, and described. I am sitting on a rock. (No my legs are swinging. By my side is my barnacles this time.) It is, frien d Matt, who is 11, and my sister Sop indeterminate enough not to alter whe hia, who is seven. I am nine. I am in n I wipe my fingers clean on them. I have soft trousers of a colour an egg and a packet of cheese and onio vinegar (too tart for me) and Soph, smo n crisps. I think—but I cannot swear ky bacon (too sweet, perhaps). We are to it— that Matt has salt and watching the massed bagpipe bands on the drums are beating in time with our their march down Argyll Street in Dun hearts and we have the perfect view. oon. The pipes are wailing, As I lift the last, carefully apportioned bit of egg to my mouth and pop in the last crumbs of my crisp packet, carefully reach and then gathering the last motes licking as far down the thing as my prewith a moistened finger, I realise the snac pubescent tongue will k is coming to an end. There is a brief Crisps were a treat. You treasured them moment of genuine sorrow. , or at least I did. The biggest ones you ate in little mouthfuls, like a piece of toas where the next packet was coming from t. You didn’t know . But then I knew that perfect happines s is not supposed to last. It is packaged that one. They come and they go. The up in moments like art of living is to know one when you feel it. Emma Thompson will shortly be seen in a

big-screen adaptation of Brideshead Revi sited

SUMMER Maya Even remembers the hot, salty beginning of her enduring and wildly passionate affair— with oysters I will not forget my first oyster. A hot, cloudless September afternoon, a dozen of us, brown bodies still crusted with the salt of the bone-chilling Atlantic, twisting and skidding on bicycles, teeth gritted, eyes slit against the dust that rose in small tornadoes as we raced along the dirt road to Rosie’s. The smell would smack your face at least a mile before you got there—hot grease mingling with the unmistakable briny edge of oyster—and drive you almost crazy with anticipation. We’d leave our bikes where they fell beside the grey shingled sides of the shack, and Rosie would thrust scorching paper bags through a windowless maw, behind which were visible the bubbling vats of oil and the heaps of shucked and unshucked bivalves. A dollar for a bag of frabjous bliss. I always had the clams. We all did. We were 12 years old, for heaven’s sake. Oysters (ugh!) were for grown ups. Until that day. They had me as soon as the first burst of juice broke through the golden crust of fat and crumb in my mouth. This is no clam, I thought. This is… heaven.

summer 2008



Bye-bye, clams. My long and luscious affair with the oyster had begun. Of course, the years of raw consumption soon replaced the humble fried oyster of my adolescence. No one could ever accuse me of oyster bigotry or puritanism. A lack of discrimination, maybe. Delicate fines de claires; metallic Olympias from Puget Sound; fat, succulent Colchesters from Orford. I was like the maw at Rosie’s. Sex, inevitably, followed soon after. The association between oysters and sex is of course a cliché of almost embarrassing proportions, but this does not make the association any less potent. But why? I try Googling “sex and oysters”. An avalanche of old wives’ tales interspersed with unlikely gastro-pornographic exhortations (crumble your Viagra over the Belons) follows. Oh, and a paper presented to the American Chemical Society, identifying two amino acids in oysters which, when injected in large quantities, increases sexual hormone production… in rats. Enough. Oysters are sexy. We do not need scientists to tell us this. It is self-evident—in the succulence of their silky flesh, in their texture, in the way they slip down the throat. I knew it even at the age of 12. I can still taste that first oyster. Maya Even is a lecturer, broadcaster and journalist

uarterly Snapshots from three recent highlights of the Finch & Partners social calendar: a power lunch for the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation, Charles’s legendary pre-Baftas party and the company’s clay-pigeon shoot (which was, of course, a blast)

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FQR Living Well

Waterloo Sunrise

Vic. I first came here when we transferred The thousands within our local community who had Iceman Cometh from the Almeida a decade ago, never been to the Old Vic before can now afford and fell in love with the place, as any actor does. to come on certain days for £5, or for free. We’ve When I began as artistic director in 2003, it was had thousands of kids in our workshops, and over just our then-producer David Liddiment and 35,000 under-25s have taken advantage of our myself in a dressing room with a phone. Our Aditya Mittal £12 student seats. biggest challenge was to decide how to get people But we have a long way to go, and need to back into the Old Vic. Over the past 30 years it raise an enormous amount of money to had essentially become a booking house. There had continue to pay for the running costs and been two attempts at maintenance of the starting a permanent theatre, as well as for IF WE DIDN T REACH company in residence, our plans to renovate but after several the building itself. So OUT TO A MORE DIVERSE seasons of inspired when I step down, work, first under the I want to have AUDIENCE WE D BE direction of Jonathan achieved three goals. Miller and later Peter First, to have estabDEAD IN THE WATER Hall, neither company lished a theatre was given the funding company that will needed to continue. survive in the commercial world. Second, to have We could have chosen to do a range of classics raised enough money for the running costs to be in our first season. But I felt we were in a different taken care of. Third, if not to have fully renovated ballgame from the Almeida, the Donmar, the the building, then at least to know that it is definitely Royal Court and the National. They are all going to happen. It still has Victorian plumbing, the subsidised and can risk failure. We couldn’t do roof hasn’t been properly repaired since the wartime The Old Vic has got its mojo that. You can’t survive in a 1,000-seat theatre if bombings and it has major infrastructure problems. back, big time. Artistic director you’re not at least 70 percent full. If we didn’t But I believe we will raise the money, because people reach out to a broader, younger, more diverse love this iconic building. Kevin Spacey looks forward audience, we’d be dead in the water. So we decided As well as the people I have worked with, what to do work that would be above all entertaining I’ve enjoyed most, personally, in the job is being to an even brighter future for and provide a good night out, whether or not the up on stage—the routine and joy of getting up the history-soaked theatre audience was fully aware of the Old Vic’s there every night and having another whack at a illustrious history. part and sharing a story with an audience. I feel The idea of running a theatre was something I’d That calculated risk worked. Almost a million very blessed, being able not only to run the theatre had in my mind since I was quite young. I never people have come through our doors since we and work with an incredibly dedicated staff, but to imagined the theatre would end up being the Old started three-and-a-half seasons ago. Many have a performing life too. It’s also been a privilege to be involved in the workshops and to see young talent emerging. London right now is the cultural capital of Europe. So much has happened, especially on the South Bank, in the five years I have been here. It is exciting to watch a city as diverse as London finding so many ways to express itself. To be able MORE MOBIL 5-STAR AWARDS to go out to concerts, to Ronnie Scott’s, to galleries, to the theatre, both West End and THAN ANY OTHER CALIFORNIA HOTEL. fringe—there’s always something to do in London. Of course there are cultural differences between A N D F O U R C L U E S W H Y. British and American theatre. Some things are unique to America and wouldn’t necessarily translate, and the same goes for Britain. But I don’t feel there’s essentially a difference in the way a Londoner or a New Yorker responds to a play. With A Moon for the Misbegotten, the laughs were the laughs, the silences were the silences. I don’t believe language is a barrier to human emotion. When we took Richard II to Germany, the audiences were as attentive and engaged as those in Britain. I don’t speak Hebrew, but when


Foyer Forecast NOCTURNE Written by Adam Rapp; directed by Matt Wilde. Almeida Theatre, London (16–26 July) Rapp’s keen eye for human relationships and his deft ear for language make for a shocking exploration of the accidental killing of a little girl by her teenage brother. In the decade-anda-half that follows, the teenager becomes a man and tries to cope with his guilt and estrangement from his family, while making a desperate search for redemption. This one-man show should be a highlight of the 2008 Almeida Summer Festival. PIAF Written and directed by Pam Gems. Donmar Warehouse, London (8 August–20 September) This new production of Pam Gems’s 1978 play vividly captures the glamour and squalor of this most complex, fragile and enigmatic performer, Edith Piaf. It traces her rise from the streets of Paris to worldwide fame, and the consequences of her drink and drug addictions. THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO Written by Christopher Durang; directed by Walter Bobbie. Laura Pels Theatre, New York (12 June–7 September) A dark comedy that looks at the complex relationship between Bette and Boo. Three decades of marriage, divorce, alcoholism, nervous breakdowns and death are played out in 33 quick scenes—with a unique mix of irony, humour and farce. THE THIRD STEP Written and directed by Anthony Michael Laura. American Theatre of Actors, New York (24–27 July) A story of family, hope and coming to terms with life. The drama revolves around a young girl, Natalie, awaiting test results for a grave disease, and being driven crazy by her controlling mother Wendy. As her father tries to hold the house together, Wendy invites the entire family home to cheer Natalie up. I saw a play in Jerusalem, I understood it. As long as there are people who want to tell stories and people who want to hear them, I believe theatre will be alive and well. Kevin Spacey is creative director of the Old Vic. His latest film is 21 For bookings at the Old Vic, visit www.oldvic or ring 0870 060 6628

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FQR Living Well


John Malkovich on killer whores and the lessons of the great William Faulkner With the amount of travelling involved in my life, it is extremely important that I maintain my reading. I don’t have a favourite place to read, as when I get into the book I am in the book, not elsewhere. Travelling gives me more opportunity to read than any other time, so most of my reading is done on a plane. When I am reading I am in the book and when I am in book it doesn’t matter where I am. Recently I have been reading a lot by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The Savage Detectives is probably the best known of his novels (it won the

For Your Shelves

prestigious Rómulo Gallegos prize in 1999) but By Night in Chile and the incredible 2666 are both very good. He also wrote a fantastic collection of short stories called Killer Whores. I have read a lot of books, but my favourite of all time would have to be William Faulkner’s Southern Gothic novel The Sound and the Fury. I have read it about 40 times. It is not only an incredible, beautiful and powerful book, but also extremely moving. The novel concerns the downfall of the Compson family, which has been prominent in Jefferson, Mississippi, since before the Civil War. I was born in a small town called Christopher in Illinois, so Jefferson wasn’t too far away. The way Faulkner uses four narrators to recount the tale gives the reader a varied and evocative account of events. In contrast to Benjy’s or Quentin’s narration, Jason gives a hilarious version of his family life. The Sound and the Fury is a wonderful novel, albeit dense. Whilst I would recommend it fervently to all, as everyone can learn something from it, there is absolutely no point in reading it just once. You would be completely wasting your time. It is a book you must be prepared to continually wade through, each time taking something else from it. It is a book you can pick up and turn back to. The lessons learnt from Faulkner are lessons that are as relevant today as they were when it was written, if not more so. For Faulkner and the Compson family, the past is never lost. It is, unfortunately, always there, like an obsession. If I could take just one thing from this novel, it would be the lines: “Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”

SIDNEY POITIER, LIFE BEYOND MEASURE: LETTERS TO MY GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER (HARPERCOLLINS). Sidney Poitier is one of the most revered actors in the history of Hollywood. He has overcome enormous obstacles in extraordinary times and is a role model for many Americans because of his convictions, bravery and grace. Poitier reflects on his amazing career in Life Beyond Measure, offering inspirational advice and personal stories in the form of extended letters to his great-granddaughter. Writing for all who admire his example and who search for wisdom that only a man of great experience can offer, this American icon shares his thoughts on love, faith, courage and the future. ROBIN YASSIN-KASSAB, THE ROAD FROM DAMASCUS (HAMISH HAMILTON). It is summer 2001 and Sami Traifi has escaped his fraying marriage and minimal job prospects to visit Damascus. In search of his roots and himself, he instead finds a forgotten uncle and an ugly secret about his beloved father. On his return, his young wife Muntaha reveals that she is taking up the hijab. Sami struggles to understand her newly deepened faith and embarks on a ragged journey in the opposite direction, away from religion. The more he rebels, the closer he comes to betraying those he loves, edging ever nearer to the brink of losing everything. Set against a powerfully evoked backdrop of multi-ethnic, multi-faith London, The Road from Damascus explores themes as grand as love, faith and hope, and our need to believe in something bigger than ourselves. HEIDI HOLLAND, DINNER WITH MUGABE (ALLEN LANE). This penetrating, timely portrait of Robert Mugabe is the psychobiography of a once brilliant man whose misrule has ruined Zimbabwe and shamed Africa. Heidi Holland’s tireless investigation begins with her having dinner with Mugabe the freedom fighter and ends in a searching interview with Mugabe the tyrantpresident more than 30 years later. The author charts Mugabe’s gradual self-destruction and uncovers the complicity of international players in Zimbabwe’s tragedy. Probing the mystery of Africa’s loyalty to one of its worst dictators, Holland explores the contradictions that cloud the life of a man who had seemed to embody the continent’s promise. BEST BOOK SHOPS London Hatchards, 187 Piccadilly New York Cranford Doyle, 1082 Madison Avenue Paris Shakespeare & Co, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Los Angeles Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood Sydney Leslie McKay’s Bookshop, Queens Court, 118-122 Queen Street, Woollahra

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Vanity Fayre FQR Living Well

Is Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn really as impenetrable as Fort Knox? Yes and no, says Jonathan Kelly. But mostly yes

To the slight consternation of executive chef John Delucie, the Waverly Inn is known less for its sumptuous food than for the intrigue taking place behind its closed doors. (Though, according to Whoopi Goldberg, Delucie’s hamburger and truffled french fries are the best in town.) Soon after the restaurant opened for previews a few winters ago, the newspapers reported that a beleaguered actress emptied a glass of water on her ex-husband as he was queuing for the restroom. In another instance a few months earlier, the same gentleman was dumbfounded to arrive one evening and find his usual table Not all of the rumours one hears about the Waverly Inn & Garden are occupied by Robert De Niro, who told him he would have to fight him for the table. The challenge was entirely true. The Waverly does have a telephone number, but the phone all in good humour, of course, and no feelings were hurt. does not work. The restaurant does have an email reservation line, but the It is in the nature of the Waverly—with its disciplined waiters, punctilious busboys, and matineegentleman in charge does not carry a BlackBerry. So how does one gain idol maître d’ Emil Varda—to please. So when Julia Roberts asked for artichokes months after they have admission? It’s quite simple, actually. But that’s for another time. been taken off the menu, somehow the thistle magically appeared. When Karl Lagerfeld sent an emissary The fun begins each night at 5pm, when the secret reservation line closes to collect a lunch consisting solely of sautéed carrots, the restaurant happily obliged (without mentioning THE and the guest list for the evening is surveyed. First, the local newsmakers, that it doesn’t serve lunch). When a well-lubricated financier of high repute decided to juggle his knives politicians and the police chief; next, the media kingpins, statesmen one evening and split the inseam of his pants in media res, a friendly waiter was pleased to hand him a and behind-the-scenes boulevardiers; actors, linen napkin to cover his backside and a new set of cutlery with which to AND GARDEN novelists, directors; sportsmen, noted comedians resume his amusement. AND IF YOU CAN'T GET A TABLE AT THE and editorialists; then real-estate moguls. Though A few months earlier, a neighbour was enjoying a late dinner with his WAVERLY, HERE ARE SOME ALTERNATIVES the evening’s list, drafted every afternoon by proprietor and Vanity Fair editor beloved when leopard-lean, Jazz Age-cool manager Larry Poston politely WE RECOMMEND IN NEW YORK Graydon Carter, is capped just after teatime, exceptions are made for certain asked if he could move the couple to another table in order to make room for Oscar-winning actresses, tycoons and fashion designers who, like brilliant Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who had just arrived for an impromptu dinner. The 1. La Grenouille 3 East 52nd Street footballers, are on a first-name basis with the world. couple happily obliged. “Anything for the Waverly,” the gentleman said. Two (212 752 1495) Beneath the shallow ceilings of the main dining room, whose amber glow minutes later, with the table cleared and reset, the musical duo was enjoying 2. Prune 54 East 1st Street conveys a subtle air of both mischief and promise, is the Waverly’s inner an intimate dinner over a bottle of Pétrus. Demure in their inconspicuous (212 677 6221) sanctum, an abode much like Stalin’s Kremlin quarters, where it is always 4am booth, they were unperturbed when the sommelier accidentally broke the 3. Raoul’s 180 Prince Street and people are always drinking. The two main horseshoe-shaped banquettes cork. The Waverly was only too pleased to offer the displaced couple a (212 966 3518) that anchor the room are reserved for the restaurant’s two best customers, romantic dinner on the house. 4. Bouley 120 West Broadway Carter himself and Ronald Perelman. If one of these gentlemen is unable to However, there is a limit to even the most patient maître d’s good (212 964 2525) attend the restaurant on a given night, his booth is bequeathed to another disposition. A recent reminder occurred during a late-winter evening when 5. Sant Ambroeus 1000 Madison Avenue guest, often the mayor, or a world-renowned artist, musician or writer. a well-known singer showed up with her guest, an equally famous athlete. (212 570 2211) To one side of the banquettes are five well-appointed round tables, which After rounds of vodka cocktails and dinners of chicken pot pie, the couple 6. Elaine’s 1703 Second Avenue allow diners to observe each person who crosses the diminutive threshold disembarked from their banquette to greet a throng of awaiting paparazzi, (212 534 8103) from the bar to the dining room. In the tradition of the venerable East Side already screaming their names. Days later it was discovered that the singer’s 7. Four Seasons Restaurant saloon Elaine’s, the middle table in this row is reserved for writers and editors. publicist had tipped off the shutterbugs, who were negligently waking the 99 East 52nd Street On a given night you may find it occupied by Jay McInerney, a regular who neighbours on the already somnolent Bank Street. (212 754 9494) often insists on bringing wine (an exception the Waverly is pleased to grant Yet the lengths to which certain people go for a reservation are often him). The table has also served Richard Ford, Orhan Pamuk, Joan Didion endearing. One Iberian captain of industry was so concerned about securing and Salman Rushdie. a table that his solicitous “lifestyle counseller” sent a beseeching note of Another duo of U-shaped booths hides behind a small partition on the opposite side of the centred request. The reservation was taken. But when a similar note arrived from an unctuous estate manager banquettes. These are the preferred domain not only of studio moguls but also of private-equity kings, claiming to represent a perennial member of the Forbes 500 list, the Waverly was put off by the bravado. commodities barons and pop and hip-hop stars—an excellent place to make a deal or enjoy a Dover The reservation was not granted. Several months ago, one man pleaded for a reservation in order to sole on a night off from the tour. They are also the chosen province of certain older lotharios desiring propose to his girlfriend that evening. When the night arrived, and the gentleman never descended to a view of those entering and exiting the ladies’ room. one knee, the management of the restaurant grimaced. Was it a case of cold feet? Or simply an excuse to secure a table? And then there are the rare moments when diners find out at the very last moment they can no longer make their reservation. Certain regulars like Sean “Diddy” Combs have no qualms about dialling the maître d’s private number. But for those who have not been granted one of the top-secret numbers, a lastminute cancellation often incites the fear of excommunication. One publicist of a renowned news broadcaster nearly burst into tears the morning after her client’s Broadway show ran past the appointed time. Recently, the former US ambassador to an Eastern European country sent a remorseful email explaining that he was forced to spend the evening uptown with his family. He had even enlisted the telephone company to try and turn on the Waverly’s phone service. Of course, for his troubles, he was dutifully forgiven. Certain rumours one hears about the Waverly may or may not be true. Does Fran Lebowitz, who is H immortalised on the mural commanding the western wall of the restaurant, only sit beneath her caricature? Did a film executive arrive one night for a secret rendezvous only to be informed by the head waiter that his wife was sitting only a few tables away? Was that really Larry David performing a stand-up routine on the restaurant’s front steps to the delight of guffawing paparazzi? As Emil Varda often says in his inimitable Mittleuropean parlance: “What happens at the Waverly stays at the Waverly, baby.”

Waverly INN

Jonathan Kelly is Graydon Carter’s executive assistant


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Marc Quinn FQR Art

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summer 2008

Marc Quinn owes his place in the debut issue of Finch’s Quarterly Review to three particular qualities, beyond his great talent and provocative work (of which the above, Gulf Stream Conveyor, kindly donated to the magazine, is a splendidly fruity example). These three qualities are as follows: First, he is a man of considerable charm and charisma. Second, he dresses well and chews with his mouth closed, thus possessing and displaying manners rare in the arts. Third, he has sculpted Kate Moss in a naked

pose, and for this alone he is forever in our good books. Marc is a powerful voice in contemporary British sculpture, and naturally a great deal of ink has been spilt over the meaning of his work. “A preoccupation with the mutability of the body and the dualisms that define human life: spiritual and physical, surface and depth, cerebral and sexual…” I’ll leave it for the art historians to haggle about that. Certainly there is no doubt that he has a talent for creating memorable, often shocking, often beautiful images and forms—and for raising

On the Wall

RADICAL LIGHT: ITALY ’S DIVISIONIST PAINTERS 1891-1910. NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON (18 JUNE–7 SEPTEMBER) Radical Light explores the complex relationship between Italian Divisionism and the emerging Futurist movement in the early years of the 20th century. This is the first time an exhibition of this kind has been organised outside Italy and, after something of a lull of late, the National Gallery will be hoping the Divisionists bring in the crowds. ART OF THE ROYAL COURT: TREASURES IN PIETRE DURE FROM THE PALACES OF EUROPE. METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK (1 JULY–21 SEPTEMBER) This will be the most comprehensive exhibition to date on the tradition of hard-stone carving—pietre dure—that developed in Italy in the 16th century and subsequently spread through Europe. Renaissance masters working in Rome cut coloured marbles and laid them in geometrically


hackles. His signature piece is a bust made from eight pints of his own frozen blood. But even that was overshadowed by his extraordinary sculpture of a pregnant woman without arms or fully grown legs, which for a while occupied the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. Nobody who saw it could fail to have an opinion about it, or about the man who made it. Which, come to think of it, is a fourth quality that I admire in Marc, and yet another good reason to include him in our first number. —Charles Finch

patterned tabletops, while Milanese artisans preferred to cut designs in rock crystal, lapis lazuli and other semiprecious materials. Some 150 tables, cabinets, caskets, vases and pieces of jewellery and sculpture represent the range of this extraordinary art form cultivated by the courts of Europe over four centuries. THE RENAISSANCE PORTRAIT. MUSEO NACIONAL DEL PRADO, MADRID (3 JUNE–7 SEPTEMBER); NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON (15 OCTOBER– 18 JANUARY 2009) The Prado brings together 126 portraits by great masters of the Renaissance, including Jan van Eyck, Pisanello, Rubens, Piero della Francesca, Dürer, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, Holbein and Antonio Moro. Tracing the genesis and flowering of European portrait painting in the 15th and 16th centuries, the exhibition comprises around 70 canvases, as well as medals, sculptures, drawings and engravings.

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Finch's Quarterly Review Issue 1  
Finch's Quarterly Review Issue 1  

Finch's Quarterly Review Issue 1