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Gothams: "Bill Murray, you're a fucking scumbag!"

by Anthony Kaufman
December 1, 2005 3:02 AM
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At the Gothams last night in New York, Bill Murray won the unofficial "Dan Talbot Award" for simultaneously scene-stealing the entire evening and rambling on far longer than seemed acceptable. In introducing Gotham tribute honoree and friend Jim Jarmusch, Murray launched into a freewheeling improv about the events of the day, which culminated in the story of being chased into a Manhattan subway by a mob of fans with one of them yelling, "Bill Murray, you're a fucking scumbag!" -- which Murray yelled with relish. During the nearly 2-hour ceremony, there was a plentiful supply of cursing stars ("Can I say fuck, too?" - Kyra Sedgwick), perhaps in an attempt to liven up the underproduced proceedings.

The only other highlight of the ceremony was Caveh Zahedi's victory speech for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You for his hilarious masturbatory docu-fiction hybrid "I Am a Sex Addict." He cited the award as evidence of "something wrong with the distribution of films," and proceeded to make a plea to his fellow directors: "I want to say to all filmmakers we don't need to wait around for permission." He added that the film is getting booked early next year in several theaters around the country. Zahedi also got a shout-out from Steve Buscemi, who congratulated the underground filmmaker for the award and confessed to the audience that Zahedi had wanted to cast Buscemi in the role of the "Sex Addict" ten years ago.

Little did the audience know about the rich history of the project. At the afterparty later that night at the Tribeca Screening Room, a producer once attached to the project -- who said it had the potential to be the "Citizen Kane" of his generation -- called Zahedi an "asshole" for abandoning him to develop the film with another producer. The two argued heatedly for about 20 minutes with little resolution. Who knew the indie film world could be so profane?

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