Black Book: Boldface Names and Bar Mitzvahs

Black Book - Rach Edit.jpg The new Black Book is out and once again it’s chock full of bolfaced names from the literati/glitterati/flitterati. Right away we appreciate the cover, featuring Canadian actor’s actor Ryan Gosling (all-grown-up now, eh Sandra Bullock?) with actor’s actor’s actor Don Cheadle (moderated by 25th Hour scribe David Benioff). The piece is called “Missionary Men” but Cheadle’s experience in Boogie Nights doesn’t come up once; actually they discuss their activism in Africa and specifically in Darfur (interesting factoid: Bush saw three movies last year — two of which were Hotel Rwanda, which he saw twice). David Remnick chats with Philip Seymour Hoffman about the high voice/ambitions of Truman Capote; we meet two Euros I’d never heard of, Britpopster Damon Albarn and Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, both of whom are quite fetching; and EIC Aaron Hicklin chats with Sinead O’Connor and Willie Nelson about antiwar activism in song (NB she’s probably not one of the girls he’s loved before)(also, she’d like to record the antiwar song “Throw Down Your Arms,” which would be a great antiwar song because it’s a lot harder to fight without your arms!). Other features include Ralph Fiennes and James Ivory discussing their upcoming collaboration (Ivory works without late partner Ismail Merchant but with longtime collaborator Kazuo Ishiguro, and in a bit of blog synchronicity, we reference one of their shared projects below). Homestretch: punk icon Richard Hell returns to BB, leurving Sarah Silverman‘s concert flick “Jesus is Magic” (what does being “in the lap of God” entail, we wonder?). He also uses our favorite joke and quite possibly tries the veal. Other repeat offender: Dana Vachon, back to interview Stephen Colbert, Charlie Rose, and give the most perverse contributor bio we’ve ever seen. Contributions by Mike Albo, Morgan Spurlock & Barbara Ehrenreich, Amy Sacco & Jessica Coen, Paul Rudd & Michael Showalter round it out. We actually couldn’t find the reference to the size of the Lord’s, er, appartatus of physical love promised in Hicklin’s editor’s letter, but we’ve overshared already (much like Vachon’s contributor bio).

P.S. Yes, there is a bit on Bar Mitzvahs. Apparently Jonathan Safran Foer knows how to throw it down on the dance floor.