The recent revelation that native Vo Dilun filmmaker Michael Corrente is
working on a screenplay based on the Other Paper's Mike Stanton's
yet-to-be-published Bud-I book was intriguing to say the least. First off,
Corrente and the Bud-I are not pals. This goes back to when Michael's
breakthrough film, Federal Hill, was being filmed on the fly here in Our
The Bud-I badmouthed the production, taking umbrage that the story was about
mobsters of the Italian-American persuasion. After the film went on to receive
a number of critical accolades and better-than-usual distribution for a
homemade independent production, Corrente got the nod to helm a celluloid
production of David Mamet's American Buffalo (acing out the
also-interested Al Pacino in the process). Michael snubbed Providence in favor
of Pawtucket, taking over an entire downtown block of "The Bucket" for weeks on
end as a circus-like atmosphere developed, with locals craning to see stars
Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz at work -- a fact that had to go up Hollywood
Bud-I's butt big-time.
So, let's just say that the view from Casa Diablo is that the Bud-I isn't
exactly thrilled by the prospect of Corrente developing a screenplay from
Stanton's book since, basically, they're two guys with whom he's had a history
The item on the prospective Bud-I film that ran last Thursday, March 28, in
both the BeloJo's "Lifebleat" People column and in an Alex Beam piece in the
Boston Globe, noted that Robert De Niro is currently the choice to play
the Bud-I. This, of course, sent your superior correspondents howling to
Sollitto's ("Chicken Liquors") on Narragansett Boulevard to replenish the
Pernod and grapefruit supply.
Speculation that De Niro might play the Bud-I on film reminded P&J of the
story about the Hollywood mogul who, when told that Ronald Reagan was planning
on running for governor of California, remarked, "No, no, no, Jimmy Stewart for
governor; Ronald Reagan for best friend."
We say, "No, no, no, De Niro for chief of staff (Frank Corrente); Joe Pesci
for the Bud-I." Needless to say, timing is everything, and in the same way that
Curt Jurgens's untimely death took him out of consideration to portray Claus
von Bulow in the movies, so too the late Lou Costello, thanks to the Grim
Reaper, has missed out on his big dramatic breakthrough by being denied the
opportunity to play the Bud-I.
And with visions of Hollywood dancing in the Bud-I's head, perhaps it was the
memory of the 1966 Norman Jewison comedy The Russians are Coming, The
Russians are Coming that drew hizzoner out to the Port of Providence on
Sunday, March 31 to witness the arrival of a decades-old Soviet submarine that
will spend the summer in the harbor as a "tourist attraction." The sub has a
showbiz pedigree, having been used in the forthcoming Paramount film, K19:
The Widowmaker (starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson), scheduled for
release in July, so no one can blame the Bud-I for showing up to see if Alan
Arkin, Jonathan Winters, and Carl Reiner might just be on board.
Ed Safford, the coolest
It's with great sadness that we note the passing of Edwin Safford, longtime
music critic at the Other Paper (1966-89), and one of the most delightful
people it has ever been our privilege to know. Always upbeat, always with a
twinkle in his eye, Ed was a repository of great knowledge from a variety of
fields (besides music, he was conversant in all manners of artistic
When, many years ago, Jorge would visit the Safford home with son Jocko or
daughter Emmy, it was always with hopes that Ed and his wife, Mary, would be
around because, well, they were the coolest. Our thoughts and prayers are with
Mary, Emmy, Jocko, and the rest of Ed's family and his many, many friends.
A large one
Everything including the pennants atop the poolside Cinzano umbrellas went to
half-mast at Casa Diablo this past week after the deaths of the Queen Mum,
Dudley Moore, Milton Berle, and Billy Wilder.
Wee Dudley was one of Phillipe and Jorge's favorites, and it pained us to see
his obituary headlines celebrate only his cinematic appearances in
Arthur and 10, rather than his brilliant early work with Beyond
the Fringe, his legendary comedic partnership with the late Peter Cook (which
inspired Monty Python, among many others), and his skill as a pianist.
P&J first encountered Moore with Cook on the silver screen in the original
(and far superior) Bedazzled, and were immediately won over. He was
gifted at subtle and satiric comedy. But if you haven't heard any of the team's
"Derek and Clive" bits, you don't know how hilarious (and obscene) it can be
when you merge an Oxford brain with a Cockney view of life. Say hi to Jayne
Mansfield up there, Dudley.
Meanwhile, the horse-loving Queen Mum (nee Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon), who wouldn't
say no to a sharpener at any hour, was a nonpareil, as close to a World War II
hero as you can get while wearing pearls at bomb site. She won over the masses
with her own dignified, but tacit two-fingered salute to the Germans during the
bombing of London, even while Buckingham Palace came within the crosshairs.
The extent to which the people loved her was indicated in one of the most
amazing and extraordinary horse racing episodes of all time, which included
Dick Francis, then a steeplechase jockey and now a famous mystery novelist. In
the 1956 Grand National, England's biggest horse race, Francis was on board the
Queen Mum's horse when it made the final turn toward the grandstand with a
Suddenly, the horse's hind legs collapsed, nearly throwing Francis over its
head. After the other mounts had raced past, the horse got up and finished,
well out of the money, sparking a huge inquiry to probe a possible fix by
Francis. His explanation was quite simple: when the horse made the final turn
and the crowd of 250,000 saw the Queen Mum's colors in front, the resulting
"crescendo of noise," as Francis describes it, of everyone yelling in delight
that her horse was winning, was louder than anything the animal had ever heard,
and simply spooked it into temporary paralysis.
But P&J's favorite Queen Mum story was repeated in her New York
"[O]nce, after touring a garden in London, she stayed on for tea. `I hear you
like gin?' her hostess blurted out, instantly afraid of appearing tactless. But
the queen mother thought it delightful.
" `I hadn't realized I enjoyed that reputation,' she replied. `But as I do,
perhaps you could make it a large one.' "
(Speaking of large ones, thanks for the memories, Uncle Miltie, who was well
known among his comedian friends for not being shy about showing off his
prodigious, well, shall we say, "talent," in public.)
Playing drop the wafer -- or the other shoe
Given the enormity of the problem faced by the Catholic Church, one would think
that the likes of Mr. Pope and his Vatican posse, US church officials, Boston
Cardinal Bernie Law, and our own bishop, Bob Mulvee, might get the idea
that circling the wagons around the confessional, remaining in denial,
stonewalling legitimate criminal inquiries, and trying to attack the victims
might not be the most recommended PR strategy.
While we might expect (and did get) this from the cloistered conservative old
boys in frocks at Vatican City, it's appalling here at home. On the Meet the
Press of March 31, Phillipe and Jorge actually heard the head of the
Catholic Information Service (his name escapes us since we were busy retrieving
our jaws from the floor), declare his belief that the number of homosexual
priests in the Catholic Church is incredibly fewer (two to four percent) than
the estimated number of homosexuals in the general population (10 percent-plus,
minimum). Talk about primates. Let's please stop spiking the wine with Ecstasy
wherever that fella's serving communion.
Locally, if anyone has been sheltered from the truth it's Bishop Mulvee, not,
as he claims, his predecessor, Louie Jellomold. For years during Jellomold's
tenure there were constant rumors of his own favorable views of young men, to
the point where some wags suggested naming one of the rest areas frequented by
gay men on Route 195 after him, a la the Vince Lombardi (et al.) rest area on
the New Jersey Turnpike.
And what longtime Vo Dilunduh can forget the incredible WJAR-TV half-hour
interview with Jellomold in which a handful of panelists, heel-and-toeing it
around the very subject that the show was meant to address, did a 30-minute
dance that would have made Gregory Hines whinny. It also essentially let the
bishop off the hook because no one wanted to be strung up in front of St.
Peter's and Paul's Church in La Prov immediately afterward for asking the
question on everyone's minds.
Think our local media types wouldn't want that type of chance one more time?
POed at QP
Don'tcha just love how the gang at the state Economic Development Corporation
constantly goes out of its way to piss off the folks on its own
Quonset-Davisville Advisory Board and the local politicos?
The latest insertion of a wet finger in the ear came when the EDC staff, led
by executive director "Steamy Tom" Schumpert, ramrodded through a cooperation
agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to allow barges to
bring cargo up to QP for inland trucking. The high dudgeon of the board, pols,
and public came about since they recognized the agreement for what it really is
-- the nose of the detested QP container port camel in the tent.
EDC officials said the agreement was necessary for them to acquire information
about a possible feeder-port operation. The affronted, naturally, gave this the
raspberry, claiming that the information should be readily available to anyone
without any signed contract. But in all fairness, this might not be the case.
Just to make sure, we'd suggest that Steamy Tom sign another contract to obtain
even more vital information, such as how to distinguish his ass from his elbow.
Send barking crabs and Pulitzer-grade tips to email@example.com.
Issue Date: April 5 - 11, 2002