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.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
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