Shirley MacLaine

Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America By Peter Biskind (Simon & Schuster, 627 pp., $30)   Warren Beatty has not done a lot for us lately. Town and Country, his last movie, was nine years ago. The absence is such that some of his old associates have concluded that he may be happy at last. But I doubt that such a hope lingered more than a few seconds: Beatty’s entire act has been the epitome of dissatisfaction.

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Close Encounters

Perennial marginal presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich once saw a UFO, according to, uh, Shirley MacLaine. (I guess they're friends?) In an upcoming book, MacLaine reveals that the Ohio congressman's extraterrestrial sighting happened when he was visiting her: Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for 10 minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend.

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One Nation Under a Groove

  I.   My dream was to become Frank Sinatra. I loved his phrasing, especially when he was very young and pure….

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Jacques Prévert, France's most popular poet of the 20th century, died this past spring, and there should be some memorial or festival of his work to mark not his death but his aliveness. What a remarkable person he was. Known in America principally as a pop lyricist ("Autumn Leaves" and "Ne Me Quitte Pas" in particular) and as screenwriter for the film classic Les Enfants du Paradis, he was truly a people's poet.

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