Mario and Melvin

So have you heard the one about the cable network that threw a lavish party at a hip New York sushi restaurant and everyone came? No? Well, you're about to! During the recently completed Tribeca Film Festival, Showtime Networks threw what was, in the opinions of many attendees, the greatest indie film eating experience ever. I say "indie" even though Viacom-owned Showtime is hardly indie, their original programming often is at heart and the attendees where largely drawn from New York's independent film community…well, the non-celeb guests, anyway. The films being feted that night were Lisa Cholodenko's Cavedweller, Tim Daly's directing debut Bereft, Smoke Signal's director Chris Eyre's Edge of America and Mario Van Peebles Baadasssss! (Sony Pictures Classics) about the making of Melvin Van Peebles' landmark 1971 film Sweet Sweetbacks Baad Asssss Song.

Laura Herring and Blank Independent film has come a long way in the last 20 years in many respects, but one of them is in the "Glitz and Glamour" category. How glitzy? Well, doesn't Laura Elena Haring (Mulholland Drive) look just fetching with Showtime Chairman & CEO Matt Blank? Also making the scene were actor/director Daly, Glenn Close, actor Jason Behr (TV's "Roswell") and actor James McDaniel (Edge of America, Lt. Fancy on TV's "NYPD Blue") who was cutting a serious rug when the dancing got going later in the evening. Serious like he gets the best celeb-dancer-I-have-ever-seen award. Also attending was NY 1 entertainment reporter George Whipple and his eyebrows. He was also dancing and while the man was seriously outfitted in a sharp suit, he dances like a redwood trunk.

Kyra Sedg. Also attending the fete was actress/producer Kyra Sedgwick (Showtime's Cavedweller), seen here sharing a laugh with Bob Greenblatt, Showtime's President of Entertainment. Also making the rounds were Kyra's Cavedweller co-stars (they play her daughters in the pic) Regan Arnold and April Mullen. Also in attendance was acting legend (in my mind, at least) Edward Herrmann (Bereft, Lost Boys, TV's "Gilmore Girls"). The guy's fantastic, but I never got a chance to speak to him @ the party. Or take his picture. Phooey.

Kyra's girls Enough celebrities, food! Earlier in the week I was chatting with Magnolia Pictures chief Eamonn Bowles and I mentioned the upcoming Nobu party. He mentioned that the previous year's Nobu party was the greatest eating experience of his life. I have to say that's not far off for me, as well. I have never in my life been in the presence of such exquisite sushi as I was that night. Perfect doesn't sum it up. Kobe beef doesn't do the job, nor do toro sashimi cocktails. Veuve Cliquot pouring like water…again, not enough. I mean, this joint was so on top of it, it even had…well, a rather particular men's room. I mean ocean sounds, complete with a fog horn, were playing through the speakers, seemingly to…well…help you go. As I was leaving the room, I made eye contact with one of the other patrons. He looked back at me and muttered, "That was the weirdest fucking bathroom I've ever been to in my life."

Fish Head An acquaintance of mine who shall remain nameless predicted in the beginning of the evening that he would be consuming $1,000 worth of sushi (based on Nobu's menu prices, not the wholesale, of course!) during the party. I do believe he succeeded, although word has it that he had a "not so fresh" feeling on Saturday morning. Me? I was only a minor glutton. I figure I got in about $5-600 worth of fish, beef and champers before it was time to move on to the next party.

Gary Springer The next party was at the Tribeca Cinemas, the regular late night hang out for TFF and it is where it generally all hangs out, as witnessed by this picture of two lovely friends of mine having a ball that one of them doesn't quite remember! After that some of us went on to Niagara again, but that's a haze. I vaguely remember Jim Jarmusch and a friend of his hanging out near the exit to the outside smoking "room," asking random strangers (and me) who walked by if they had any money. Quite the joker, that Jim! Oy, another 5am night. No rest for the alcoholic, I guess!

Photos, top to bottom, left to right: Melvin and Mario Van Peebles; Laura Herring and Matt Blanc; Kyra Sedgwick and Bob Greenblatt; Regan Arnold and April Mullen; Fish head, fish head, rolly polly fish head!; Delanna Studi (Edge of America) and publicist Gary Springer.

categories Cinematical