Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola Hon­ored at NYPL Li­ons Awards

WWD Digital Daily - - Wwd -

New York so­ci­ety gath­ered in­side the his­tor­i­cal build­ing to also award Ron Ch­er­now, Jessye Nor­man, Clau­dia Rank­ine and El­iz­a­beth Strout. BY MAX­INE WALLY

On Mon­day night in Mid­town Man­hat­tan, Gay Talese was in­side the New York Pub­lic Li­brary on Fifth Av­enue, the NYPL's

Li­brary Li­ons event — an an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of pa­trons of the arts.

“I'm an old Lion,” he said. “Ev­ery year I come, there are new peo­ple. And ev­ery year I come, there are old peo­ple who died. And I'm still around. I'm 86. Wow, what an old per­son I am.”

Talese was one of a hand­ful of for­mer Li­ons wear­ing their medals, at­tached to the thick, sig­na­ture red rib­bon, proudly around their necks at the party. They'd put on their black-tie finest and gath­ered within the con­fines of the his­tor­i­cal build­ing to honor this year's set: Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola, his­to­rian and bi­og­ra­pher Ron Ch­er­now, opera singer Jessye Nor­man, poet Clau­dia Rank­ine and nov­el­ist El­iz­a­beth Strout.

Sofia Cop­pola, who will re­ceive her own award from Ball­room Marfa at their Spaghetti West­ern Gala Tues­day night in Man­hat­tan, at­tended to sup­port her fa­ther. Lau­ren and An­drés Santo Domingo, David Rem­nick, The Break­fast Club's An­gela Yee (who's a li­brary am­bas­sador), Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rory Culkin were also in at­ten­dance at the party — which was truly a sight to see, in­te­rior de­sign­wise. Cas­cades of vines fell from the en­try­way, where all of the hon­orees' books were on dis­play. On the third floor, the Rose Main Read­ing Room was trans­formed into a din­ing hall for the guests, where a live band played jazz tunes and the ta­bles were fes­tooned with al­ter­nat­ing flo­ral ar­range­ments of or­chids and white lilies. The whole night smacked of some by­gone era of New York, when peo­ple wore fe­do­ras and Mack­in­toshes and el­bow-length gloves.

Tory Burch, af­ter pos­ing for pho­to­graphs up­stairs, said she was busy be­yond words, what with her foun­da­tion, her col­lec­tions for Tory Sport and the main line, and, oh yeah — her up­com­ing wed­ding.

“I'm get­ting mar­ried in a cou­ple of weeks,” she said. “I've got three chil­dren, three stepchil­dren and three stepchil­dren to come.”

An­other thing that's been keep­ing her nose to the grind­stone: Tues­day's elec­tion.

“We de­signed a T-shirt, and part­nered with Eigh­teenx18, Yara Shahidi's group. I've chal­lenged ceo's to give peo­ple time off to vote. We set up dif­fer­ent reg­is­ter­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in some of our store lo­ca­tions. So we're com­mit­ted.”

But back to Talese, who seemed jolly as the wine and cock­tails con­tin­ued flow­ing. Dur­ing din­ner, all the past and new Li­ons were asked to please rise. Talese, sit­ting at the same ta­ble as Ford Cop­pola, got up, looked at the di­rec­tor and raised his fist in ac­knowl­edg­ment.

Talese touched briefly on the Net­flix doc­u­men­tary “Voyeur,” which was re­leased in 2017 and cen­tered around con­tro­ver­sies of the jour­nal­ist's book “The Voyeur's Mo­tel.” Ap­par­ently, ac­cord­ing to Talese, prior to the doc­u­men­tary, he'd signed a “mil­lion-dol­lar deal” for an­other movie to be made by di­rec­tors Sam Men­des and Steven Spiel­berg based on the book. Talese didn't tell any­one that three years prior, the doc­u­men­tary group had fol­lowed him for “Voyeur.”

“I didn't think it was im­por­tant,” he said. “I thought it was a lit­tle doc­u­men­tary, for jour­nal­ism. Men­des found out about it and Spiel­berg got an­gry. They were blind­sided, I blind­sided them. Then they killed the mil­lion-dol­lar deal.

"But you know some­thing? When you're 86 years old, it doesn't mat­ter. I'm here. I'm still alive. And I'm still drink­ing gin mar­ti­nis.”

Ron Ch­er­now, Clau­dia Rank­ine, El­iz­a­beth Strout and Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola.

Jessye Nor­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.