Newport Beach Film Fest Opens With Flick, Vodka, Hot Porn Action!
|Photos by Bleu Cotton|
|The scene at Fashion Island.|
|Marc Shaiman on the red carpet|
SHAIMAN: What are you doing here?
ME: Oh. I don't know. Thursday night. Not much else to do.
ME: Um, yeah. So, do you have a film screening at the festival?
OCW: Oh. So why are you here, again?
SHAIMAN: They are honoring me tomorrow. Some lifetime achievement award or something like that.
He was then pulled away for a photo, and I stepped aside like I'd be waiting to pick up our thrilling conversation before backing away slowly, dissolving into the crowd and making a beeline for the theater entrance. Looking at the festival program, I discovered what brought my exclusive interview subject to Newport Beach is "An Evening of Film and Fun Set to Music: A Gala Reception & Concert with Oscar Nominated Film Composer Marc Shaiman." It begins at 7 tonight in the Palm Garden at Island Hotel in Newport Center. Tickets are $30.
Newport Beach Mayor Edward D. Selich read prepared remarks which included this "joke" [told exactly like this]:
"It's . . . not . . . Cannes . . . or . . . Sundance . . . yet . . . but . . . those . . . festivals . . . better . . . look . . . in . . . their . . . rear . . . view . . . mirror."
Pause a beat for laughter. No laughter. Cue the crickets.
Selich ended by suggesting visiting filmmakers take part in the array of activities Newport Beach offers, including Back Bay hikes, Duffy boat rides, whale watching trips, Botox injections, binge drinking and boiler-room cold calling.
He credited the festival's success not on the huge cash infusion he made in the beginning but Schwenk setting aside his own investment banker career to take on the monumental task of guiding what has become one of the county's premiere cultural events.
|McG McFaces the McMedia.|
Schwenk informed that McG is participating in a variety of NBFF activities through the run that ends Thursday, including Saturday's free filmmaking seminars at Edwards Island Cinema.
Before the CEO ended his remarks with a funny story about a student in his Cal State Fullerton film marketing class thinking NBFF stood for "New Best Friends Forever," he introduced Lymelife producer Leonard Loventhal, whose his producing partner Martin Scorsese and director Derick Martini were obviously too busy to attend. Loventhal saying that the little picture was shot for just over $1.5 million in 22 days made him the NBFF of many indie filmmakers in the audience showering him with applause.
Incidentally, as Martini predicted when he showed Lymelife inside the smaller Yost Theater in Santa Ana last month, it looked (and played) much better on Big Newport's ginormous screen. But at the lavish post-party in the Bloomingdale's courtyard at Fashion Island, Mark Young, the director of the 1965 Watts riots drama The Least Among You, told me over free beers he thought Lymelife moved too slowly. When I informed Young that Martini told me Scorsese had said the same thing, it made Young's night--heck, maybe his life.
|I can do that.|
Otherwise, I can report from the opening night soiree that the venue was too packed, the free chow was too good, the lines for free Absolut Vodka were too long, the women in beachwear on the catwalk were too skinny and I would have loved to have been the one to remove the dental-floss getup worn by the shapely pixie gymnast following her the special Cirque du Soleil Zumanity performance.
In case anyone's wondering, my new dearest old friend Marc Shaiman and I look exactly like the buff, crotch-stuffed, buns-of-steel dude that was holding, tossing and bending that chick every which way.