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DAILY NEWS FROM LA: “Crouching” Celebration; Taking Notice; Quotable Spirits; Capping the Night

DAILY NEWS FROM LA: "Crouching" Celebration; Taking Notice; Quotable Spirits; Capping the Night

DAILY NEWS FROM LA: "Crouching" Celebration; Taking Notice; Quotable Spirits; Capping the Night

by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

(indieWIRE/03.27.01) — Today, indieWIRE offers a wrap-up from a weekend of honors and hors d’oeuvres in Los Angeles, including photos from inside the parties and backstage at the Spirit Awards.


(03.25.01) ++ “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” Oscar Party:

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(03.24.01) ++ 2001 Spirit Awards Backstage:

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GOLDEN ACHIEVEMENT…Some guests at Monday night’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” party here in Los Angeles were openly disappointed that the film could not best the Hollywood summer blockbuster, “Gladiator,” on Oscar night. Despite tremendous momentum and a full force marketing push by Sony Pictures Classics, the movie faced an uphill battle. Realizing this, other guests at the crowded post-Oscar bash at Crustacean Restaurant toasted Sony Classics toppers Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, along with director Ang Lee and writer/producer James Schamus. Still others noted that the night was a true landmark occasion, one on which a record number of Asians were singled out for their spectacular achievements.

In fact, first-time Oscar winners dominated Sunday night’s shorter-than-usual telecast. Peter Pau was honored for his cinematography, Tim Yip for art direction, Tan Dun for best original score and not to mention an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, a first for Taiwan.

Lee was among the revelers who smiled broadly, proudly clutching his Oscar and posing for pictures with attendees at the “Crouching Tiger” soiree. While anxious security tried to stop guests from snapping shots, Sony execs ultimately stepped in to allow picture taking (a smart move that made the event all the more festive). Marcia Gay Harden, winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the Sony Classics release, “Pollock,” also made the rounds at the party, posing for numerous shots with attendees and beaming proudly with her golden date. The evening was a triumph for Sony Classics and their friends and colleagues from the indie community joined the celebration. indieWIRE was invited to join the festivities and numerous guests went out of their way to convey their joy at the company’s Oscar night success. Among those on hand to toast the company were Strand Co-President Marcus Hu, Sundance Channel‘s Liz Manne, director Randa Haines, and Sundance Institute‘s Michelle Satter. [Eugene Hernandez]

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WORTH WATCHING…Not to be overlooked are the Oscar winners that often get forgotten, those for documentaries and short films. Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer won the top doc prize for “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport,” while Tracy Seretean‘s “Big Mama” took the short doc prize. “Quiero Ser (I Want to Be)” by Florian Gallenberger was the winner for best live action short and Michael Dudok de Wit won the best animated short prize for “Father and Daughter.” [Eugene Hernandez]

A LIST OF OSCAR WINNERS is available @

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SPIRITED SATURDAY…While “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was passed over by Academy voters, members of the IFP rewarded the movie, giving it the Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature and honoring Ang Lee as the Best Director.

Host John Waters was a hit with a Spirit Awards audience left somewhat bewildered by the box-lunch meal that followed the early afternoon cocktail mingling. The director implored presenters to “announce their addictions when they come on stage” and, clearly knowing that many attendees spent at least some of the show backstage smoking cigarettes or networking, prodded guests, asking, “Do people get laid at awards shows — get busy, you’ve got the time!”

Indeed, many took Waters advice, and the backstage areas outside the tent became a large VIP section. In the nearby press room, best actor winner Javier Bardem was asked whether he would be moving to LA. The star, who attended the show with his Mom, quipped, “No thank you, I don’t drive.”

Meanwhile other media asked Ang Lee about his next project. “I am thinking of doing an American movie for a change,” the director said, “And then I’ll always go back to making Chinese films.”

Back on stage, inside the tent, it was Ellen Burstyn who struck a chord with the audience. Accepting the award for Best Actress, Burstyn’s voice quivered, “I can’t tell you how much I wanted this.” Continuing she added, “Thank you Darren Aronofsky, for giving me the part of my career.” [Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks]


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LOS ANGELES…Don’t expect to see many pictures from Maxim Magazine’s late-night Oscar night party held at a secret location in Bel Air. A top film executive tipped indieWIRE off to the bash and passed on an invitation that lead us to a Beverly Hills intersection where buses with cloaked windows shuttled guests to a mansion for the celebration. Security confiscated our camera for the duration of the event (and safely returned it when we left a few hours later).

The guest list included a collection of Gen-Y actors and other notables. Recently acquitted rapper Sean “Puffy” Combs made the rounds after a stop at the Vanity Fair party, as did actor Ben Affleck. While Ashton Kuycher (of “Dude Where’s My Car” fame), Jason Biggs (“American Pie“), Danny Masterson (“That 70’s Show“), Topher Grace (“Traffic“) and Tara Reid (“American Pie”) were among the guests who are big with the TRL crowd. Also spotted were director Michael Bay (the upcoming “Pearl Harbor“) and actor Bill Paxton (“Titanic“), among others.

Industry execs made their way to the mansion after leaving other Oscar night parties and mingled in the many rooms of the expansive house. Even as late 4:30 a.m., guests were still milling about and noshing on a fresh breakfast of french toast, bacon and potatoes.

As indieWIRE made its way back to the Beverly Hills drop spot, the hints of a lightening sky could be seen as Vince Vaughn and Darren Aronofsky hopped in a limo aimed at heading up the hill to the party. [Eugene Hernandez]

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