The News

Pete Hamill

Poet Of New York But Mostly Brooklyn, Pete Hamill, Was 85

“You know the old joke about Shakespeare, the one that goes, “’Hamlet’ is just a bunch of clichés strung together?” That’s the sense you get when trying to assess the life of Pete Hamill, who died yesterday at 85 after a few years of fragile health. He so embodied midcentury New York — the city of egg creams and Fiorello La Guardia and Benny Leonard — that he was easy to miscategorize as a nostalgist, one who thought New York’s best days were behind it. He was, after all, a guy who smoked and drank with Sinatra. I once called him up and asked whether he’d known Weegee, and he offered the quintessential Hamill answer: “I met him once. It was at Lindy’s.” He laughed as he said it, too, because it was so on the nose. But that deep, deep bank of absorbed knowledge could overshadow his real strength, which was that he was a great observer, a true newsman, and his literacy underpinned a deep curiosity and engagement with the here and now. He knew the history cold, but he wasn’t lost in it.

Dan Barry: “The truly great Pete Hamill died this morning. Newspaperman, novelist, mentor to so many, citizen of the world. I once wrote that if the pavement of New York City could talk, it would sound like Pete Hamill. Now that city weeps.”

“The day the planes hit our buildings in 2001, he was in downtown Manhattan for a meeting about the Tweed Museum, and after he survived the sheer terror of being separated from his wife, the writer Fukiko Aoki, after they managed to find each other in the chaos of those downtown streets that day, he did what he had always done: He went to work. He wrote. It was Pete Hamill who said that the true greatness of his city showed itself to the world on Sept. 12 that year, and Sept. 13, and the days that followed. “It was,” he said, “like watching us all get to one knee, and finally straighten all the way up.”

No Responses to “Pete Hamill”

Comments are closed.

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

THB #93: The Batman (no spoilers)

David Poland | March 6, 2022

THB #76: 9 Weeks To Oscar

David Poland | January 26, 2022

THB #73: Netflix Is Chilled

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

-30-

May 1, 2022

The New York Times

"Netflix, the great disrupter whose algorithms and direct-to-consumer platform have forced powerful media incumbents to rethink their economic models, now seems to need a big strategy change itself. It got me thinking about the simple idea that my film and TV production company Blumhouse is built on: If you give artists a lot of creative freedom and a little money upfront but a big stake in the movie’s or TV show’s commercial success, more often than not the result will be both commercial (the filmmakers are incentivized to make films that will resonate with audiences) and artistically interesting (creative freedom!). This approach has yielded movies as varied as Get Out (made for $4.5 million, with worldwide box office receipts of more than $250 million), Whiplash (made for $3.3 million, winner of three Academy Awards), The Invisible Man (made for $7 million, earned more than $140 million) and Paranormal Activity (made for $15,000, grossed more than $190 million).From the beginning, the most important strategy I used to persuade artists to work with me was to make radically transparent deals: We usually paid the artists (“participants” in Hollywood lingo) the absolute minimum allowable by union contracts upfront, with the promise of healthy bonuses based on actual box office results—instead of the opaque 'percentage points' that artists are usually offered. Anyone can see box office results immediately, so creators don’t quarrel with the payouts. In fact, when it comes time for an artist to collect a bonus based on box office receipts, I email a video clip of myself dropping the check off at FedEx to the recipient."
Jason Blum Sees Room For "Scrappier" Netflix

The New York Times | April 30, 2022

"As a critic Gavin was entertaining, wry, questioning, sensitive, perceptive"
Critic-Filmmaker Gavin Millar Was 84; Films Include Cream In My Coffee, Dreamchild

April 29, 2022

The New York Times

Disney Executive Geoff Morrell Out After Less Than Four Months

The New York Times | April 29, 2022

The Video Section See All

Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The Podcast Section See All