FROM Douglas McGrath
Douglas McGrath: Becoming Mike Nichols When sevn-year-old Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky arrived in America in 1939, fleeing Nazi Germany, he knew only one English phrase: "I don't speak English, please don't kiss me." Eventually that child not only learned English, but became a master of the language -- an award-winning comedian, director and producer. The new HBO documentary Becoming Mike Nichols , covers two interviews with the director -- the last he would ever record. In it, Nichols recalls his early collaboration with fellow comedian Elaine May and his transition to directing, including Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple on Broadway, before moving on to Nichol's first film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The 1966 movie was nominated for 13 Oscars, including for leads Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Nichols won an Oscar for directing his second film, The Graduate, starring the then-unknown Dustin Hoffman. Douglas McGrath, the director of the Nichols documentary, is himself a multi-faceted talent: a writer, actor and director. He co-wrote the script for Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway and directed Emma, based on the novel by Jane Austen. McGrath's involvement in Becoming Mike Nichols started with a phone call from columnist Frank Rich, who is an executive producer on the film. When Rich asked if he wanted to direct the doc, he couldn't say yes fast enough. McGrath tells us why they decided to keep the focus of the film on Nichols' early work, and the lessons he learned from the famous director, who died only four months after taping the interviews featured in the film. Becoming Mike Nichols premieres on HBO on February 22.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.