Wednesday, February 03, 2010

So much has happened in the last few days (film-wise, anyway): the Sundance Film Festival gave out its awards, so did the Slamdance Film Festival; Kathryn Bigelow won the DGA Award as Best Director for "The Hurt Locker"; the Academy Award nominations were announced.

The producer David Brown died. My one real encounter with David Brown was at a panel that the late Steve Harvey organized at The Museum of Modern Art. The panel consisted of four very prominent producers (or producer-directors, as the case may be). I remember one was Tony Bill, another was Alan J. Pakula, another was David Brown... there was a fourth, and i am trying to remember who the fourth Hollywood biggie was. It was some guy noted, not just for being a tough operator, but also for being kind of a sleazeball. Was it Robert Evans? Was it Jon Peters? But there's a story to this.

Anyway, Tony Bill showed up with a small entourage, which actually consisted of his producing partners (one of whom was Julia - i'm having another senior moment, can't remember her last name offhand, but she's the one who wrote "You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again"); Alan Pakula was with his wife Hannah, who was very elegant. I remember that Helen Gurley Brown showed up, and she had small bandages on her face. There was a reception (was it before or after the panel, i can't remember) and someone actually asked her if she'd had an accident, and she was very forthright (and funny) and said, no, dear, i've just had a facelift, but i'm not ashamed of that fact, and i wanted to be here to support my wonderful husband! But there were several memorable moments during that panel.

But one thing i remember: at the reception, Steve Soba and i were assigned to take care of one of the girlfriends of Mr. Hollywood Sleazebag. He'd invited both of his girlfriends, but then he wanted to make sure that their paths didn't cross. So we had to take them in from different entrances, make sure that they were in different parts of the room, etc. Steve and i had to make sure that they were kept separate. Somehow, i was reminded of Fanny Brice in "The Great Ziegfeld"; for the audition, she starts singing "My Man" and she's dressed in a very elegant gown and then Ziegfeld (William Powell) rushes up and starts ripping the gown and says, No, no, no, i want her to be an urchin! And Fanny Brice sniffs, "For Ziegfeld, i gotta be an urchin; even in burlesque i was middle-class!" Here we were, working at The Museum of Modern Art's Department of Film, but for Mr. Hollywood Sleazebag, we had to be pimps.

Ah, movies: that's why i love 'em!


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