And now on to what managed to be the first of two of the best party/vibe nights of the last ten years of my indie
existence. A Wednesday night triple-header, courtesy of Wellspring, United Artists
and East Village bar Niagara and a Friday night foodie extravaganza courtesy of
Showtime and Nobu (tune in tomorrow for that feast!)
Wednesday began at the Thom's Bar at the swank downtown hotel 60 Thompson with a Wellspring bash highlighting their current release Strayed by André Techiné (My Favorite Season). Many of Tribeca's French guests were in attendance, including first-time director (and award-winning actress) 22 year-old Isild Le Besco (1/2 Price, which she also edited and wrote) and actress Carole Bouquet (Red Lights, Too Beautiful For You). Also on hand were Wellspring's Marie Therese Gurgis and Ryan Werner, indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks and Wendy Mitchell, filmmaker Jennifer Reeves (Tribeca award-winner The Time We Killed), NYC publicist extraordinaire Susan Norget, Film Forum PR maven Harris Dew and Magnolia topper Eamonn Bowles.
Later it was on to NYC restaurant City Hall for United Artists' premiere party for Jim Jarmusch's latest film, Coffee and Cigarettes. An omnibus of short films Jarmusch has shot over the past 18 years, the film's stars include Bill Murray, RZA and GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, Meg and Jack White, Iggy Pop, Roberto Benigni, Tom Waits, Cate Blanchette and Steve Buscemi. Here is where the vibe of the evening started working it's mojo. It seemed as if everyone was in a good mood and even though the party was pretty crowded, it didn't take on the feel of a sardine can. Jarmusch was in fine form, chatting with party guests frequently, as was Murray. At one point, a friend and I found ourselves over by the service bar chatting with TFF juror Eddie Izzard about politics, soccer and sundry other topics for about 20 minutes. He's impossible to make laugh!
Other notables making the scene included Karen Black (no, really!); painter/director Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls); indie legends John and Janet Pierson, fresh from Fiji; NYC graphic designer Arnie Sawyer of Arnie Sawyer Studios (you've seen their work, trust me!); Producer Kim Jose (Jean Doumanian Productions); NY indie stalwart, writer/director Amos Poe (Alphabet City, Rocket Gibralter); Cowboy Pictures co-founder John Vanco; filmmaker Jem Cohen (Benjamin Smoke); New Line Cinemas' Clare Anne Conlon and artist hubby Pat; Producer and eminence gris Ben Barenholtz (Miller's Crossing, Requiem For a Dream); comic book writer John Figueroa; RZA and GZA; Deutsch Open City's Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente and of course, the lovely Mary Ann Hult and Jack Turner from UA!
At about 2:30am word filtered around that the "after party" was moving to Niagara on 7th St. and Avenue A in Manhattan's Alphabet City. Off the hook indeed! The DJ's were spinning the great 80's Punk and New Wave classics of my younger days (Clash, Cure, Depeche Mode, Ramones) along with some newer stuff like Blur. The crowd from the City Hall party made the downstairs one big indie film mosh pit and massive fun was had by all until about 5am. Hey! Was that Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis over there? Yup.
Pictures, top to bottom, L to R: Producer Leon Falk and Amos Poe; Jim Jarmusch, John Vanco and Jem Cohen (seriously, they were all in good moods. Really. They all like me, too.); writer Andrea Meyer and Ben Barenholtz