The Diary: The Apprentice; Werner Herzog; Norman Mailer; Karla Black; Cambridge Union
Friday 06 May 2011
No fame seekers
The Apprentice is back for a seventh series on Tuesday and this time Lord Sugar is looking for a business partner. Fame-hungry wannabes need not apply. "In the seven years I've been doing this I've had people who've sworn on a stack of bibles they're here for the job and they hate the cameras," grumbles the self-styled People's Peer. "And they're talking a load of bollocks because when the thing is over, they're the first ones on channel 795." It's to be hoped, then, that this year Sugar is a better judge of character; his finalists so far have been a celebrity-courting rabble. Kate Walsh, who just missed out on the top job in 2009, now presents Channel 5's OK! TV, while Katie Hopkins turned down a place in the 2007 final only to sign up for I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! and Celebrity Four Weddings. And in 2006, winner Michelle Dewberry left her prize job after just 11 months, going on to star in Celebrity Scissorhands and Celebrity World Cup Soccer Six, while runner-up, Ruth Badger, fronted Badger or Bust and popped up on Bargain Hunt Famous Finds. In case they haven't embarrassed themselves enough, Lord Sugar has a plan. "When my contract is up with the BBC, I'm going to find the rushes of them swearing they're not interested in TV and put them on YouTube."
An auteur's honesty
Werner Herzog, one of the great auteurs, has made more than 50 films, tackling everything from conquistadors to grizzy bears and, most recently, prehistoric cave paintings in 3D. Still, the 68-year old director is down-to-earth about his wide-ranging oeuvre. "It's strange, I'm now doing a film with death-row inmates, and as a general umbrella title, I thought about 'Gazing into the Abyss'," he told the A.V. Club website. "And then I thought that would have been a fine title for the cave film. It fits for almost every film I've made. Bad Lieutenant, Aguirre, you just name it. Grizzly Man? Yes." Would any of his fellow auteurs be so self-deprecating? Probably not, so I've come up with a couple of catch-all titles on their behalf. Woody Allen? "Sex (and self-loathing) in the City". Sofia Coppola? "Poor Little Rich Girls". Martin Scorsese? "Badfellas". Any better suggestions – and, frankly, it won't take much – send them in!
To the manor Norm
It's been on the market for a couple of weeks, but no takers yet for Norman Mailer's Brooklyn Heights home, on sale for $2.5m. The author, who died in 2007, designed the four-floor townhouse to look like the inside of a ship, complete with teak galleys, ladders and crow's nest-style roof. "The balcony, an enticement to sit and watch the boats and enjoy gorgeous sunsets, is accessed through the super spacious open living room", runs the real estate bumf. "Above soar the loft areas... great for a painter and an easel, or just use them for comfy reading and lounging". Or you could copy Mailer, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning Executioner's Song there. The contents, meanwhile, are being divided among the writer's nine children; what remains will be auctioned off. Mailer's library, jukebox and masks from his 1974 trip to Zaire and the "Rumble in the Jungle" may all be up for grabs. "I'd take a lot of this stuff, but I just don't have the space," Matthew Mailer, 39, told The Brooklyn Paper. "I wish I could store it all in a time capsule."
Congratulations to Karla Black on her Turner Prize nomination. The Glasgow artist has been on the cusp of great things since being named Best Artist at Zoo Art Fair in 2007 for her fragile sculptures, which combine cosmetics and cleaning products with more traditional materials. In June she will represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale, following in the footsteps of fellow 2011 nominee Martin Boyce. Black will fill the Palazzo Pisani with abstract sculptures and "almost objects", made from Vaseline, marble dust, eye shadow, soil, powder paint, polythene and soap. "I want to make it so basic and childish and experimental to counteract that big Venice thing," she said. "I want to be part of it, to be a professional, but it's so easy for it to overwhelm you."
A modern debate
On Thursday, the Cambridge Union will debate the motion, "This house believes that classical music is no longer relevant to today's young". Stephen Fry will stand up for the pertinence of Purcell, while the Radio 1 DJ Kissy Sell Out will be dissing Dvorak. The debate will be the first in the 196-year history of the Union to be live streamed online at www.cus.org. How very modern.
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