By • Sep 1st, 2000 •

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Back in town. Been out in LA, peddling features, series and franchise ideas on the suddenly hot Hollywood market. With the impending Directors Guild and Screenwriters Guild strikes bearing down on future business, the industry wheeler dealers are anxiously making more deals than they have in a decade, hoping to get scripts into development and films into production before the glitter dome shutdown hits. And so, partner Rocco and I have been taking advantage of this heat, and studio reps who’ve listened patronizingly to us in the past are now desperate to read whatever we’ve got. I’m not convinced it’ll lead to anything green, but it does feel good.

FIR editor Roy Frumkes enjoying 'pastry' with Kitten Natividad…

While out there, I visited with the irrepressible Kitten Natividad, who has bounced back resiliently from her double-mastectomy and looks pretty damn adorable. I called and chatted with her, and she said she was still cancer-free after a year, looking forward to four reconstructive surgeries, and working out three times a week. I invited her to lunch at Sweet Lady Jane’s, the finest pastry shop in LA (and arguably the finest anywhere – and I’ve been just about everywhere looking), and she happily agreed. Rocco and I got there first. It’s a sweet little place (pun accepted), small, with tables pressing in on one another, and a middle-aged-to-oldish crowd populated the environs that day. Kitten came in and sat with us, and what followed was an hour of delightful, if unexpurgated, profanity that had patrons spitting their food into their plates and Lady Jane herself staring at us, bewildered, from the kitchen doorway. Kitten has a diva-like way of throwing her arms around in the air and belting out a line so that all can hear. Eg: when asked if she were feeling good physically, “I still have orgasms. I can feel my nipples getting hard…even though I don’t have them anymore!” Just multiply that by enough to fill up an hour and you get the picture. She told us that Russ Meyer made her a gift of the $ll,000. for her operation, which we found genuinely touching, and sad as well, since in the past year or two her mentor has been in failing mental and physical health himself. Her favorite film in recent years: My Dinner With Andre. Her film you should own: Beyond the Valley of the UltraVixens, available on Laserdisc, but not on DVD as of yet. If you get the disc you’ll see what I like so much about her – of all Meyer’s big-breasted bimbos, she was the one who exhibited warmth and good-naturededness. I was glad to find her in such good spirits, and possessed of more intelligence than her film appearances would suggest.

…while across town, speculation mounts that Roy is in fact the mysterious 'other' who caused the Degeneres/Heche breakup.

The latest news, if one can call it news, more like inevitability – is of Anne Heche and Ellen De Generes biting the dirt. Was anything more in the cards? Each time they publicly reiterated their undying love, it sent chills down most of our collective spines. I wish them well. Ellen is talented and perhaps the sexier of the two, Anne’s a bit off center but deserved a career (the recent short hairdo and mannequin makeup may have deep-sixed it more than the sexual politics), and the night I got to chat with her at the NBR Award Ceremony she was quite friendly, acted embarassed about Wild Side, which I think is a film she should be proud of, and used her acceptance speech to announce (yet again) to the world that she and Ellen were in love. It seemed inappropriate at the time, but on reconsideration, maybe not. After all the NBR is founded on Freedom of Expression, and she probably thought that’s why she was chosen. And I’m not sure she wasn’t right, but that’s another story, for another time.

Read on. Scan the columns for the best in theatrical releases, DVDs, Las Vegas extravaganzas, and soundtrack recordings. Have a nice Fall if you’re on the East Coast, and make sure to visit the first annual Woodstock Film Festival, to be held in and around that hallowed ground, an hour and forty minutes outside the Big Apple, on September 22nd, 23rd and 24th. Lots of screenings, celebs in attendance (they live there in droves), and atmosphere. Make sure to have dinner at the Bear Cafe, one of the best restaurants in all of New York, but make reservations in advance.

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