As announced on page 44, entries are now being accepted for the Ninth Annual Esquire/B.C.A. Business in the Arts Awards competition. These awards, which honor corporations for their support of the fine and performing arts, will again take the form of individual pieces of sculpture, cast, finished and signed by Demetrios Mavroudis.
Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage is not the great film maker’s best film, and may not even be the best film of the year. But it is almost certainly one of the most important films ever made, if by importance we understand the possibility of art’s influencing people in a positive way—a slight, elusive possibility, perhaps even an impossible one.
Henry James’s letters tell us as much about himself as so evasive a character was prepared to disclose. Taken together, they are as near as he got to writing an autobiography—highly literary in manner, flowery and longwinded like his prose, and oddly unconvincing, yet still revealing something of the weird, self-centered, worldly yet romantic temperament of their writer.
Do all things begin anew with each January and its con comitant Dubious Achieve ment Awards issue of Esquire? You bet they do. Anybody who doesn’t believe it is condemned to repeat 1974, though to tell the truth we have this feeling that one of the principal burdens of the Dubious Achievement Awards—to remind the world that it didn’t work out so hot last year—is gaining currency in media other than our own.
You want to produce a movie; it’s a thing you just have to do. But without major studio backing, without owning a best-selling novel or hit play, and without a partnership with one of the few bankable superstars, how do you get a picture made? Perhaps if we follow the single case of New York-based Harry Engle you may find some answers.
J Walter Kennedy, the czar of basketball, walked into the imperial office, doffed the blue regal jacket and said, “All right. Let’s plunge into the day.” As if in answer, the telephone began wailing subdued, sporadic sounds of alarm. Someone was calling from California.
Simon Boccanegra—which last fall was the subject of a new RCA recording, an opening night at the Chicago Lyric Opera, and a symposium at the Fourth International Verdi Congress held in conjunction with Chicago’s opening—is senza clubbio the most perplexing and uneven of its composer’s major works.
HONG KONG: Just back from Macao where I covered the opening of a new bridge; on the hydrofoil running between here and Macao I noticed something strange. Some of the Chinese passengers on the return trip from Macao seemed fatter than those who had made the trip with me to Macao.
As a great admirer of Cynthia Ozick’s fiction—especially that flawed but moving novel Trust—I was shocked by the crudity and narrowmindedness of her article, All the World Wants the Jews Dead (November). Without disputing her central thesis, I find her assertion that “Jewish and Israeli ... are one and the same thing, and no one, in or out of Israel, ought to pretend differently anymore,” absurd.
Can’t you do anything right, world? Anything? What’s with you, anyhow? You’ve always been incompetent, world, but last year was plain ridiculous. What a tale of flops and failures! Think about it: in 1974 alone you gave us Comet Kohoutek, The Great Gatsby, Frank Sinatra’s Australian tour, Sally Quinn’s television career, Liz and Dick’s divorce, and Evel Knievel’s space shot.
“Before he sinks back down to that footnote status where he has so long dwelt, it is worth taking another look at what he did and why”
<p>Peter Rodino slapped the gavel down for the last time, and the show was over. Along with thirty-seven other members of the House Judiciary Committee, Charles Wiggins began making his way from the hot and crowded hearing room into the hot and even more crowded hall.</p>
<p>Please forgive the familiar address when I don’t even know you, but the more formal would still feel strange. I hope you’ll understand. Along with this note, there should arrive a small parcel containing Karl’s pills. I don’t know if you have a doctor on the island, so I took the liberty of having Karl’s old prescription refilled.</p>
Some facts, hard and helpful, for the confused American
<p>There was,” Edward Lear wrote, “an Old Man with a gong, who bumped at it all the day long; but they called out, ‘Oh, Lor! You’re a horrid old bore,’ so they smashed that Old Man with a gong.” Comes a headline, news story, TV report from Ireland, and even before they have found out what it is about, millions of readers and viewers grow nervous as they detect the bumping of the Irish gong.</p>
Chubby Ravenal once took the south face of Cheops in the moonlight with a Lanchester saloon full of old Eton chums, but pyramid climbing was always best at sunset— picnics in the long shadows with those munchy little sandwiches Shepheard’s made up, those irksome tourists all gone back to their little hotels.
Franz Pick is here to tell you the Government is corrupt, Wall Street is rotten, the dollar is doomed—but, friends, gold is forever
<p>Like a voracious column of red army ants, the goldbugs are chewing the dollar and other currencies to bits and strewing the pieces on the garbage dumps of the world’s monetary markets. They march to a staccato theme : overprinting debases paper money.</p>
As shopping days dwindle down to a precious few, so do gift choices. The last-minute shopper must think in traditional terms, yet, somehow, avoid the obvious clichés. We've made it easy by offering a group of preferred classics still available over the counter.
<p>Here are the corn fields and the wheat fields winking gold and goldbrown and yellowbrown in midday sun. Up the grassy slope we go, to the barn redder than red against sky bluer than blue, across the smooth stretch of the barnyard with its pecking chickens, and then right on up to the screen door at the back of the house.</p>
Twelve years ago, J.F.K. selected the site that would become his lasting memorial. Today, nobody much digs it
<p>On May 11, 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy went to Boston to select a site for the Presidential library to which he planned to retire in 1969. People cheered the President wherever he went that day and crowded in as close as they could. A look, a handshake, that’s all they wanted.</p>
What's Better than The Pill, Vasectomy, Celibacy and Rhythm?
An exclusive report on the perfect (perhaps) male contraceptive
David M. Rorvik
<p>The jockstrap, its place in sports history already snuggly secure (Esquire, October, 1974), may yet attain a grander eminence in the world at large than even the advertising manager of Bike Athletic Products, in his wildest fantasies, could ever have dreamed possible.</p>
From Upstairs, Downstairs directly to you: a gala Edwardian Christmas feast
Roy Andries de Groot
<p>If a poll could be taken of the entire world to determine who was the best-known cook of all time, the result just might be a toss-up between Escoffier and Mrs. Bridges. Such is the degree to which television fantasy can now seriously challenge historical reality.</p>
By the pricking of my thumbs, something goofy this way comes
<p>This is about black magic. It is also about how, without intending to, folks like me get caught up in a thing that becomes more and more entangling till one day they find they are into it up to their eyeballs and it is no longer easy to become unentangled.</p>
<p>If you want to, of course. There are a few minor disadvantages, which will become apparent, but as pure ambition there is something quite laudable about wanting to marry a Rockefeller. It shows that you want to better yourself, that you aspire to the ranks of the winners.</p>
I think of the sea changing and changing. There is a long swell barging in from the Azores Awash on the grey sand. The sky unfolds into the water. At Holden, Long Beach, Wilmington, Ocean Isle, Halteras, Nags Head The Outer Banks are ringing with explosions of light.
An elegant little restaurant called Alicante was opened early in October by Orlando Rodriguez, who has all the right credentials for what he calls a Spanish-Continental place, including eight years with The Four Seasons, a few with The Spanish Pavilion, and a few more as owner of another intimate restaurant, Marbella, on Long Island.
nightingales: we must have heard one one spring morning, in the borghese, hidden in the clusters of red trees & stone, life laid out calm & lush, the children home. vishinsky, at the UN, once told a hostile to come to russia & hear them singing in the south, in spring, by river & birch.
Cover : Evel Knievel, Camera 5 ; Nixon and Quinn, U.P.I.; Farrow and Redford, Paramount Pictures; Phalanx courtesy of Naval Photographic Center; chest photographed by Neil Selkirk. Page 55: U.P.I. Page 56: Edy Williams, Reagan and Ford, nude woman at bar, U.P.I.; all others, Wide World.