Welcome to the first installment of my new column, PopHampton, where I’ll give you an East End perspective on everything pop culture, from film to art to everything in between. Having started my career as a copy editor for various entertainment magazines, I’m excited to be able to write about all the latest happenings with a Hamptons twist.
ABC’s Hamptons-set primetime drama Revenge is back for a third season, and appears to have bounced back from the sterile sophomore slump it was in last year. Creator Mike Kelley may have had a strong vision for the guilty pleasure series, but it became clear after the millionth mention of “The Initiative” that he was aiming for something more action-oriented and less…Hamptonite. New head honcho Sunil Nayar appears to be channeling the over-the-top soap tropes viewers enjoyed in the first season: big parties, beautiful people, stunning fashion, sexy people, melodramatic confrontations, romance and a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek. Revenge airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on ABC. Who do you think shot Emily Thorne? For more, check out my Weekly Hamptons Revenge Recap every Monday and my Revenge Top 5 on Thursdays—and like them on Facebook!
October was a big month for film buffs, with the 21st Annual Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) lighting up big screens all over the East End October 10–14. There were many excellent films shown at HIFF this year, some of which you’ll likely find in expanded release in the coming months. Kill Your Darlings, directed by John Krokidas and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan and Michael C. Hall, was the opening film and featured a talkback with DeHaan. The film is the true story a little-known incident in which a young Allen Ginsberg was unwittingly involved in the murder of professor David Kammerer by Lucien Carr in 1944.
HIFF also hosted the East Coast Premiere August: Osage County, directed by John Wells and starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts based on the play by Tracy Letts. The family melodrama tells the story of the Westons, who are thrust into turmoil when their patriarch disappears. As always, Streep has received well-deserved Oscar buzz for her portrayal of drug addicted, cancer-suffering Violet. And some big stars were on hand for HIFF’s “A Conversation With” series. Helena Bonham-Carter discussed her role as Elizabeth Taylor in BBC America’s Burton and Taylor, directed by Richard Laxton; and Bruce Dern appeared to talk about Nebraska, directed by Alexander Payne, a comedy/drama about an old down-and-out man and his son on a road trip to claim a fortune the father may not have actually won.
Up Late With Alec Baldwin, the Hamptons fave’s new MSNBC late-night talk show, premiered on October 11. Baldwin chatted Manhattan mayoral candidate Bill Deblasio on his various views and ideas for change if he’s elected mayor. Baldwin, who recently welcomed baby Carmen into the world with wife Hilaria, also hosts the WNYC podcast Here’s The Thing. Some viewers were apparently taken aback by Up Late’s serious tone; people expecting something akin to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon instead got more of a Larry King-type experience. Up Late With Alec Baldwin airs Friday nights at 10 p.m. on MSNBC.
October’s winding down, and that means one thing: Halloween. I’ve always been a big fan of horror films, and there’s one in theaters now that has a Hamptons connection—a remake of the iconic Brian DePalma film Carrie with Montauk resident Julianne Moore starring as the title character’s crazy momma, Margaret White. For the uninitiated, Carrie is the story of a shy, lonely teenage girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers—which she makes good use of after being humiliated at her senior prom. Directed by Kimberly Peirce and based on the novel by Stephen King, this intense, disturbing feature is the perfect Halloween outing for adults.
Check back next month for another installment of PopHampton. You’ll see it in our print edition first. Happy Halloween!