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‘Reality Bites’ Reunion: Lisa Loeb Surprised a 25th Anniversary Panel with a Performance of ‘Stay’

The artist's breakout hit helped turn the soundtrack into an integral part of the '90s classic.

Lisa Loeb attends the screening for "Reality Bites - 25th Anniversary Reunion" during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, in New York2019 Tribeca Film Festival -"Reality Bites - 25th Anniversary Reunion" Screening, New York, USA - 04 May 2019

Lisa Loeb

Brent N Clarke/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Reality Bites” enjoyed a 25th anniversary reunion panel at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, and so did its soundtrack. Prior to a post-screening conversation about the 1994 Ben Stiller movie that helped advance the careers of a number of the cast members, Lisa Loeb surprised the audience with an unannounced performance of “Stay (I Missed You),” a song that made her a household name as well.

In addition to Loeb and the crowd had gathered at a special screening to mark 25 years since its Sundance festival premiere and theatrical release a month later, cast members Stiller, Winona Rider, Janeane Garofalo and Ethan Hawke all joined in the celebration.

Not present was cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki, who shot the film early in his career, before his eventual Oscar-filled run that made him one of the most revered figures in his field. Stiller explained that Lubezki pushed him to film most of the film’s exterior scenes late in the day. When moderator Stacey Wilson Hunt asked what lessons he had taken from Lubezki, Stiller joked, “To set every scene at dusk.”

“Some of those scenes look like they’re in ‘The Martian,'” Stiller added with a chuckle, describing one particular scene filmed in Houston. “At magic hour, I made these guys do that very quickly over the course of 20 minutes. And then I made them have to loop that scene because there were waterfalls.”

Hawke also shared a story about how his reciting a Gregory Corso poem during a take ended up in an unexpected encounter many years later.

“A couple of years after the movie came out, I’m in New York City and Gregory Corso’s doing a poetry reading,” Hawke said. “He leaps up and he hugs me and introduces me in front of a group of people and says, ‘This is an angel.’ Because he’d been getting residual checks. He was dying and they’d paid for all his bills. This movie saved a Beat poet’s last few years.”

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