Catching up with Joel Schumacher
“My life’s an open book,” Joel said, starting proceedings at an open table with journalists outside Naha, where he had been invited to head the competition jury after being tipped by Warner Brothers Japan. He’s laid back guy who knows so much, and he loves sharing a good anecdote about the business. Back at the Grand Hyatt, though, I ask him to start from the beginning: “Well, I worked when I was nine, smoked when I was 10 and lost my virginity to an older boy when I was 11.”
Schumacher, who I first got to know when he was here with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1997 to promote Batman and Robin, was born and pretty much grew up in New York City, lost his father when he was four and says his mother worked six days a week to support the family. He spent most of his free time at a big theater in his neighborhood, and it was there he developed an insatiable love for films – especially adult films, he says.
My last night was great. Joined Bill and Charo Ireton, Joel Schumacher, his assistant Greg and a few Yoshimoto Kogyo people for dinner at a marvelous old house on the side of a hill. The Okinawan food was really good. When you go to the island and want to check up current happenings, pick up a copy of This Week in Okinawa and Okinawa Nightlife!
Indian Ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa was only posted to Japan a short time before she hosted a marvelous reception at the Okura Hotel. The occasion was the celebration of their company’s 64th Republic Day! No problem as she served as ambassador to Qatar and her husband is Indian ambassador to Thailand. The Indian food was excellent and, like the traditional dance show, colorful and exciting. Happy I had the opportunity to introduce the ambassador to Hiroyasu Kobayashi, the President of Min-on concert Association at an earlier party. In a relatively short time, Min-on, who are leaders in international cultural exchanges, brought a wonderful Indian show that featured top dancers and musicians in a concert, titled Creative Integration of Indian Dance. It was a beautiful show, perfect for both the celebration of Min-on’s 50th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Japan.
Kuwaiti Celebration at the Imperial Hotel
Once again Jamilah Al-Otaibi, wife of the ambassador of Kuwait, Abdul Rahman Al-Ottaibi, proved what a creative lady she is. To celebrate the national day of Kuwait she really worked with her staff and the banquet staff at the Imperial to transform the venue into an Arabic wonderland.
The popular hosting couple wore traditional Kuwaiti fashion; he wore black, white and gold and she a beautiful silver, gold and black dress. Their children were all dressed for the occasion as well. Their older son, Humood, who goes to school in Australia, wore a tux and had a new trendy hairstyle. His brother, Khaled, wore a well-tailored suit and tie. Their daughter, Hala, who always is the epitome of chic fashion, wore an Arabic style flower print dress and the latest in fashionable makeup.
British Airways and Visit Britain promo at Midtown
Great Britain, as we all well remember, did a great job on their many major events in last year or so. On a smaller scale, but still dynamic and well done, there was the two day Big British Invite at my favorite Tokyo Mall, Midtown, recently. The many visitors really enjoyed the campaign, showcasing the very best of British shopping, food, music, culture, heritage and countryside. In addition to enjoying the exhibits, I got to know most of the nice British Airways cabin crew and staff working with the promo, held in Mumbai and Shanghai as well as Tokyo.
Guests moved upstairs to The Ritz Carlton Ballroom for refreshments, socializing and the opportunity to win a pair of round trip tickets on British Airways to London. At the Reception I also learned from the airline’s man in Japan and Korea, Vishal Sinha, that visitors to the event had a chance of winning travel packages to London, accommodation and even a fashion makeover at iconic fashion house, Temperley.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender
*Images Copyright: Tsukasa Shiga