By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall April 25, 2005 at 8:01AM
Friday night was a big night in the New York film community. There were several parties slated and lots of screenings at this year's TriBeCa Film festival, including the much-anticipated world premiere of Danny Leiner's new film The Great New Wonderful. The film reminded me of Altman's Short Cuts, an ensemble piece about people in various stages of their lives dealing with an unspoken malaise. In the case of The Great New Wonderful, it is 9/11 and not a greater social decay that is the impetus for the character's soul searching. Tonally, the film oscillates between comic moments and the small dramas of everyday life; the competition for a professional contract, the empty dynamics of a long term marriage, a struggle for intimacy in the face of a parenting nightmare. In the end, Leiner does a nice job of modulating in these minor keys. The 9/11 issue is played completely as subtext and is never directly addressed in the plot, implying, in my opinion anyway, that audiences will bring their own memories to the characters stories, adding a personal gravitas or black humor to the proceedings that is not always there in the film. I am hoping we can bring this film to our festival, so to say more might be cheating, but needless to say, I expect the film to secure distribution with no real problem.
After the film, I was graciously invited by my friends and colleagues at Showtime to attend this year's Nobu party celebrating Showtime's films at the TriBeCa Film Festival. It was a fun night, full of champagne, Nobu's signature miso glazed black cod (of which there is no picture because I ate it too quickly,) and good times with lots of friends from the film community. In fact, it is a party like this that really does show the community aspect of the independent film business, particularly in New York. Everyone seemed to know pretty much everyone else, there was very little pretense, and we all had a great time together.
More photos after the jump.
After a round of cocktails and some relaxing music, the lights get dim and the sushi chefs get busy. One of the most intriguing things about this party is the (personally) unconscionable idea of being able to rent out Nobu on a Friday night. Not to be tacky, but when you're watching the plates of food walk by you can't help but do a little math. I have been to Nobu before, where a dinner for two easily cost over $400. This is one SERIOUS party. Thanks Showtime! When I arrived, I saw immediately saw SXSW's Matt Dentler and had a chance to say hi and get caught up. He's already written his own party overview, but failed to mention his outrage as this curly haired partygoer (is that a mullet?) cuts him in the sushi line. As this picture proves, indieWIRE mastermind Eugene Hernadez remains skeptical about my photog skills Wellspring exec Ryan Werner, the man I consider to be my cinematic doppelg