Experimental Jet Set & a Few Stars
While Freddy vs. Jason was scaring the masses at the ARCLIGHT over the weekend, another kind of clash took place in the courtyard and restaurant areas, where director ALLISON ANDERS launched her three-day DON’T KNOCK THE ROCK festival — which included live shows by MY BARBARIAN and WAYNE KRAMER, whose former MC5 bandmate MIKE DAVIS joined him, at the Knitting Factory, and SONIC YOUTH (pictured), hosted by ROSANNA ARQUETTE with ZACK DE LA ROCHA and MELISSA AUF DER MAUR attending, at El Rey as well as screenings and parties. Families and tourists searching for Uptown Girls seemed baffled by the concertlike craziness as they walked past Technicolor-haired punks, obsessive record collectors, scenesters sweating to the (hardcore) oldies while two aerobics instructors held up signs that read “Never Mind the Buttocks” and “Minor Thighs,” and the likes of musicians ERIC ERLANDSON, DON BOLLES, photographer PIPER FERGUSON, impresario KIM FOWLEY, Teenacide Records’ JIM FREEK, and directors ANTHONY SCARPA and DARREN STEIN. Film highlights included MC5: A TRUE TESTIMONIAL; DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION I & II; and old faves such as LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS — prior to which the enthusiastic, ubiquitous duo of Anders and MC MICHAEL DES BARRES led a chant of the film’s famous line, “We don’t put out!” Ah, but did they ever.
AVADA — a new project initiated by YIDDISHKAYT LOS ANGELES (an arts org promoting Yiddish culture) geared to under 35s — kicked off with an outdoor screening of the 1938 Polish film THE DYBBUK. No better place to screen this creepy classic, which is centered around a graveyard-visiting bride possessed by her dead fiancé, than the HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY (which has become the Saturday night screening spot: Recent programs have attracted the in-the-know-go crowd such as performance artist RON ATHEY, costume designer SUSAN MATHESON, actor UDO KIER and event producer BRYAN RABIN). DJ BRANDEN HALL spun a pre-flick blend of Hebrew hip-hop and traditional wedding music for the noshing set — which seemed to have as many over 35s as under (not that we’re telling who’s who) — including DJ SEÑOR AMOR with performance artist NURIT SIEGEL, artist CURTIS LEMIEUX, choreographer CAROL McDOWELL, video artist ANNE BRAY and director LAUREN HARTMAN. And for those suddenly feeling their mortality, there was a Hollywood Forever merch table that included info on buying cemetery plots as well as the usual posters and T-shirts. You could say that death becomes them.
BOUND FOR GLORY
Real life imitated art during the after-party for He Pounces, with merrymakers tipsily lurching about the seaside tavern set for Tennessee Williams’ Small Craft Warnings which is performed in the EVIDENCE ROOM’s lobby. KEN ROHT’s newly revamped, visionary dance-theater extravaganza about conquest now features lots more nudity. Glory holes figure prominently in one number, and the Broadway-style ditties cover everything from sissy behavior to conditional love to rape. Many in the audience reported having seen the show’s earlier incarnation, including actor JUAN FERNANDEZ. Also spotted at the after-party were KCRW bookworm MICHAEL SILVERBLATT (who dramaturged and contributed a voice-over to He Pounces), playwright SISSY BOYD, composer NATHAN BIRNBAUM, directors BEN RIMALOWER and BART DeLORENZO, writers LUIS ALFARO and PETER NIEVES, and actors SHISHIR KURUP, SCARLETT ROUGE and DORIE BARTON, whose beau JASON ENSLER directed the recent biopic Martha, Inc., with Barton as the “young Martha Stewart.” And while fashion designer (and former Pikme-up proprietor) TAWNY FEATHERSTON helmed the bar with brisk efficiency, actors WILL WATKINS and MARVIN SOLOMON seemed slightly overwhelmed by their catering duties, what with all those hard-to-open products from Trader Joe’s. Guests ended up serving themselves edibles straight out of the plastic containers. Talk about your small craft warnings.
YOU GIGLI, GIGLI LIKE ME
Stunned tourists almost lost their fanny packs at UNIVERSAL CITYWALK when they found themselves in the middle of Miramax’s premiere for THE BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS recently. HBO fans know all about the film, thanks to the train wreck of a reality show Project Greenlight, which plucked two directors and a writer out of obscurity for a crack at making a real studio movie. Quirky co-helmers EFRAM POTELLE and KYLE RANKIN, along with put-upon screenwriter ERICA BEENEY, looked appropriately Hollywood with their black-on-black attire, but all eyes were on the film and TV show’s exec producer, BEN AFFLECK, who came J. Lo–free (friend and partner Matt Damon was also a no-show). Greenlight producer CHRIS MOORE showed up with a date of sorts — a production crew eager for footage for the show’s last episode. “Every single person who saw Gigli in the United States is here tonight,” Affleck joked before the projectors rolled. Roseanne’s SARA GILBERT, neo–Rat Pack member DON CHEADLE, director KEVIN SMITH, and Fastlane creator JOHN McNAMARA and his ABC exec wife JULIE were among those assembled at the HARD ROCK CAFÉ for the after-party as were cast members AMY SMART, RAY WISE and ANSON MOUNT. But the actor of the hour was the on-his-way-to-the-top SHIA LaBEOUF. Affleck hung out at a table upstairs most of the night, with an unsmiling security guard fending off anyone looking for a chat. A gaggle of short skirts were undaunted, however, and pushed Curb Your Enthusiasm’s CHERYL HINES and her pals out of the way so they could be sitting distance from Affleck, who just wanted to quietly enjoy the party. But as he said at the screening: “Don’t feel bad for me, I’m overpaid.” Thanks for the insight, Ben.
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