Tribeca Report: Satire, suspense, and snubs
MISSY SCHWARTZ So, Gilbert, here we are on Monday, the first Tribeca ’06 weekend already behind us. Mine was pretty nonstop, jam-packed from Friday morning to Sunday evening. Sleep? Who needs it? Well, actually, I do, but… Sorry. Aaaaanyway, I dug Edward Burns’ latest study in male bonding, The Groomsmen — especially Jay Mohr, who’s just a riot. I caught a press screening and the room was rocking with laughter — and as we know, journalists don’t laugh. The weekend’s big ticket was The TV Set, a wonderful satire of pilot season starring David Duchovny as a writer/show creator whose artistic integrity is pummeled at every turn by Sigourney Weaver’s let’s-dumb-it-down! exec. I like to imagine Sigourney’s character as the daughter of Faye Dunaway’s Network alter ego. I’d be suprised if TV Set doesn’t get picked up for distribution by the end of today. It’s got huge commercial potential. So, that was my Friday. How was yours?
GILBERT CRUZ It was hellaciously busy, Missy. I started Friday by interviewing Peter Krause — Nate from Six Feet Under. He starred in and produced Civic Duty, a brooding, rainy, paranoid thriller about an accountant who becomes convinced that his Arab neighbor is a terrorist. It was a decent flick, and Peter Krause is very good, and very smart. Perhaps a little too smart, in an English-major sort of way. When he started talking to me about the ”death of the feminine,” I started thinking about the ”sacred feminine” in The Da Vinci Code, which got to me thinking about Audrey Tautou. Then I was hungry for a crepe.
Friday night, I went to the party for Rosie Perez’s directing debut, Yo Soy Boricua, about Puerto Rico. I saw Mos Def standing alone on the wall and went up to talk to him. He told me no. He was “just trying to chill.” Then he softly patted his heart, which made me feel better about getting completely denied. Have you had any better celebrity run-ins, Missy?
MISSY A few. The TV Set party at the SoHo Grand penthouse was pretty hoppin’. Most of the cast was there — Duchovny, Weaver, Justine Bateman — plus Greg Kinnear, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Moore…and Cher! I too saw Mos Def at the Journey to the End of the Night party way over in the Meatpacking district, which wasn’t great. I mean, I’m always happy to see Mos Def (who isn’t?), but that was pretty much the only high moment. I kept wishing I’d gone to see I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With instead, with Jeff Garlin (who, come to think of it, was also at the SoHo Grand shindig). That way I could add another entry to my very own minifestival of cuckoo titles: Someone to Eat Cheese With, Night of the White Pants. I’m holding out hope for When Fried Eggs Fly.
GILBERT My favorite title of the fest is 37 Uses for Dead Sheep. Sounds funny, right? Well, it’s a documentary about Central Asia, so it’s probably not. But I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With was genuinely hilarious. In a bittersweet way. Starring, written, and directed by Garlin (Larry David’s manager on Curb Your Enthusiasm), it’s about an overweight struggling actor in Chicago and his misadventures in love. He goes out with Sarah Silverman, who plays this wonderfully crazy sorta nyphomaniac. The great Amy Sedaris is in it for about three minutes. I’d pay $10 to watch her sleep.
The audience Q&A was surprisingly intelligent, except for the jackass who asked Garlin if he gained weight for the movie! Then, outside, I ran into Michael Moore, who might or might not have gained weight himself. He thought I was a volunteer and asked where theater 11 was. I told him. Then I asked if he would like to talk and he grumbled no, which did not make me feel better about getting completely denied. Just pat your damn heart, Michael!
MISSY I’m not surprised Garlin’s movie is that funny. The guy is pretty gut-bustingly witty. When I talked to Duchovny, he said he wanted Garlin to come to every TV Set screening because he laughed so loud and so often. I suggested he could just sample Garlin’s chuckle, like hi-tech canned laughter. He liked that idea. Last night, right before the premiere for Lonely Hearts, a crime drama we both enjoyed starring John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Salma Hayek, and Jared Leto, I interviewed Gandolfini, and all I could think of was: Thank God you came out of that coma, Tony! After the screening, I then went home and watched The Sopranos. Nice synergy, huh? Hey, did you ever get that crepe?