While Married Life is Ira Sachs's first full-length feature film that doesn't take place in his hometown of Memphis, he says that he and fellow Southerner Patricia Clarkson bonded on the set. "She tells me I have very good manners," Sachs told us at a Cinema Society screening of the film yesterday. "And you know Chris Cooper is from Kansas City, so we're all from the river towns." "He's such a nice southern boy," Clarkson said about Sachs, turning to the director. "Ah! You have shoes!" she cried, pointing at his feet. To us, she explained, "Do you know Ira called me to tell me, he's such a gentleman, 'Patty, I might have tennis shoes on with my suit'? I was like, 'Ira, it's okay — you're the director!'" Sachs chimed in: "Then I realized I live on 8th Street, so I just went across the street and bought some shoes."
As for Chris Cooper, he says he's left his Missouri cattle-ranching days behind for good. "You know, when I was younger, it was a very physical job, and you were called on at any time of the day or night to tend to the cattle and help deliver and castrate and tattoo and wean and all that business," Cooper told us. "It was a great way of life, but now that I'm a little bit older, realizing how physical it is, I'm glad I stuck with the acting biz." —Bennett Marcus
Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was tapped as a finalist for the Grammy for Record of the Year, which certainly seemed appropriate, since, as 2006 ran out, the whole world appeared headed for a rubber room. Presidential front-runner John McCain, sometimes accused of having a few screws loose, told the Yeshiva University Hanukkah Convention that Iran's leaders were "possibly deranged." Tehran rebutted the charge by hosting a convention of Holocaust deniers, including an Israeli-flag-burning Rockland County rabbi and kooky ex-Klansman David Duke. Leisure nut President Bush decided he'd be out of his mind to try to tackle the Iraq problem before the New Year. Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's national-security adviser, suggested that his country's lunatic army take over the asylum of Baghdad. Mayor Bloomberg painted a Hieronymus Bosch scenario of the city's future including insane all-day rush hours circa 2030 then unveiled some out-there solutions that seemed just crazy enough to work. A British tabloid floated the wacky idea that the U.S. intelligence services were holding secret info on paranoid Princess Di that could cause "exceptionally grave damage to the national security."