Secretariat A handsome Rare Prince posed for photographers on the lawn of Goose Creek last Monday, for what might have been an advertisement for the coming Hampton Classic. The occasion was instead a special screening of Disney's thrilling biopic about the legendary Secretariat. Among his many distinctions, this stud sired some six hundred foals, and Rare Prince, the evening's guest of honor, is his great grandson. In the grand tradition of epic, state of the arts entertainments so perfected at Disney, Secretariat features superb performances by Diane Lane as the racehorse's owner, Penny Chenery, and John Malkovich as the eccentric trainer Lucien Laurin sporting an array of hats worthy of Fashion Week. Dick Cavett and the lovely Martha Rogers, painter Henry Koehler who was at the racetrack when Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, Toni Ross, Candice Bergen and daughter Chloe Malle were among those munching on popcorn, crackers and cheese, which at a fun family movie like this--if you will pardon me--ain't hay. Argentinian Nacho Figueras was a natural for pictures with Rare Prince. The star polo player told me that Secretariat's story was popular lore in his home country as he was growing up, and he dreamed that he might one day ride such an exceptional racehorse.
Superman Another highlight of the busy Hamptons weekend: Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman screened in Southampton. This riveting documentary examines education in America, specifically a lottery for admission to charter schools that was also the subject of another fine non-fiction film, The Lottery, earlier this year. Waiting for Superman traces the lives of several families in a nail-biting bid for the special, excellent education offered at key charter schools. Of course the question arises as to how to provide quality education for everyone, not just those kids lucky to have their numbers picked out of a bingo bowl. One comes away knowing: stepping up education is an imperative for our survival. The title's source comes at the end with a clip from the television series featuring George Reeves as the Man of Steel to the rescue with a runaway school bus. Of course that dates from the 1950's when our public education was the finest in the world. Waiting for Superman limns this bleak story of education's devolution, and spotlights the heroic tale of teachers who rise above it.
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