DAILY NEWS: Star-Studded Soiree Celebrates The San Sebastian Film Festival
By Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> Star-Studded Soiree Celebrates The San Sebastian Film Festival
(indieWIRE/4.17.00) -- Other than an Oscar night gathering, there are very
few film parties where cocktail chatter immediately includes a conversation
about who's attending that particular party. Such was the case Thursday
night at Julian Schnabel's West 11th St. home. Not surprising since the
guests included such notables as Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, David Byrne,
Jim Jarmusch, Jon Favreau and Willem Dafoe. The occasion, an annual bash
held at Schnabel's spacious digs, was in honor of the San Sebastian
Best known as an artist, and recently the director of the Jean Michel
Basquiat bio-pic "Basquiat," Schnabel let his guests wander around every
room in the house, from his bedroom where a Picasso painting hangs above a
desk with a "Tromeo and Juliet" DVD resting on a pile of papers, to the
large upstairs studio where the artist works.
In the nearby living room, indieWIRE ran into "Spring Forward"
writer/director Tom Gilroy who was still joyous after a highly-favorable
Variety review earlier in the week. Following a debut in Toronto and a U.S.
premiere at Sundance, Gilroy, producers The Independent Film Channel,
C-Hundred, and CineBLAST! are in the final stages of determining how to
release the acclaimed first feature. While not at liberty to reveal the
details of the release plan in print just yet, Gilroy and company have an
offer from an indie distributor and are also considering an offer from an
emerging film distributor. Either way, expect the movie to hit the screens
this fall. Ned Beatty's stellar performance will certainly be a major part
of the push and it will undoubtedly garner serious awards season
Another filmmaker who recently unveiled a first-feature with CineBLAST!
producer Gill Holland is John-Luke Montias who attended the party with
writer Amy Sohn. While Sohn was a hit with attending literati, including "A
Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" author David Eggers, Montias
mingled with the film crowd. Writer, director and star of "Bobby G. Can't Swim"
Montias was in competition at the 1999 San Sebastian Film Festival. The
film is set for a French release at the end of May and will hit other
territories in Europe in June. Domestic prospects for the festival favorite
are still pending.
DeNiro and Pacino were walking arm-in-arm through Schnabel's spacious but
crowded bedroom chatting with Vince Vaughn as indieWIRE made its way to the
bar situated in a small sitting room near the kitchen. Joining the
conversation were Cowboy Booking's Noah Cowan and acclaimed cinematographer
Christopher Doyle. Best known as the D.P. on Wong Kar-Wai's "Happy
Together," "Fallen Angels," and "Chungking Express," Hong Kong-based Doyle
also recently directed and co-wrote "Away with Words." A highly-strung and
highly-entertaining party presence, Doyle was popular with attendees, as he
unexpectedly popped in on group conversations to make brief, sometimes
startling comments before a quickly heading to another clique. Cowan, head
of New York-based indie distributor Cowboy Booking while also maintaining a
leadership role at the Toronto International Film Festival and a job as a
senior contributing editor at FILMMAKER Magazine, recently executive
produced Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen's new documentary, "Benjamin Smoke."
Produced with Jim McKay and Michael Stipe's C-Hundred Film Corp, the
stunning doc screened in Berlin and will soon find its way to screens in
the United States, via Cowboy.
Upstairs in Schnabel's immense studio, large canvases adorn every
wall. Near the door as indieWIRE made its way in were Jim Jarmusch and Tom
DiCillo engaging in separate conversations. Meanwhile New York Underground
Film Festival chief, and contributor to the New York Press, Ed Halter
directed indieWIRE's attention to two paintings displayed in the center of
the room, indicating that they were inspired by Jarmusch's latest
film, "Ghost Dog." The recently begun 2000 baseball season getting his
juices flowing, Jarmusch chatted with indieWIRE about the incredible amount
of runs that Jarmusch's favorite team, the Cleveland Indians, are scoring
and also expressed concerns about the Tribe's pitching. indieWIRE
brought up the subject of Jarmusch's appearance on the surreal
John Lurie-hosted TV show, "Fishing With John" (seen on IFC). While
admittedly a bit embarrassed to be reminded of the roughly 6 year-old show,
Jarmusch conceded that catching and releasing a 12-foot Blue Shark was
indeed an awe-inspiring experience.
Among the other notable attendees were French actor Olivier Martinez
("Horseman on the Roof," "My Man"), frequent Spike Lee producer John Kilik
("Basquiat"), actor Elias Koteas ("Some Kind of Wonderful," "Exotica,"
"Apt Pupil"), and regular Coen Brothers composer Carter Burwell. The party
began to wane after midnight as some guests began dancing in the living room
and Schnabel began flicking the lights in his foyer, signaling to
attendees that it was time to go. [Mark Rabinowitz contributed to this