Saturday, February 20, 2010

Celebrities at the Movies

Today Dante and I went to see some Godard rarities--a potpourri of trailers, interviews and shorts directed by or featuring the great French director--at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. We spotted, unsurprisingly, The New Yorker's Richard Brody, whose excellent book on Godard's life and work I reviewed for Forbes in the audience. His companion: Jason Schwartzman! Before and after the screening, Schwartzman was gabbing enthusiastically, gesticulating madly. I wonder what these two were talking about.

It's funny how we've seen more celebrities at the movies than anywhere else in New York City, which is weird because you think of celebrities going to premiers and fancy events and not just randomly hitting up the cinema for a weekend activity--it seems far too egalitarian an activity for them. It also, in terms of seeing actors and directors, feels a bit like breaking down the fourth wall. These are people you are accustomed to seeing on the screen, in another dimension, I guess, yet here they are on the other side of the screen sitting with you, partaking in the same experience. Trippy, man.

Our first summer in New York, we ran into Ethan Hawke getting popcorn at IFC (he was chatting with the employees and seemed to be a regular). We saw Gabriel Byrne at a screening of Claire's Knee at BAM. We spotted Sofia Coppola near the front of a packed theater for The September Issue at the Sunshine. And we sat in the same row as fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi for Michael Powell's The Red Shoes at Film Forum. Each sighting seemed perfect for each celebrity too: Of course Ethan Hawke would hang out at indie favorite IFC; an intellectual French film seems the perfect fit for Byrne, so thoughtful and brooding and intense and handsome in all his movies; Coppola, possibly the best-dressed women in the movie biz and a long-time muse of designer Marc Jacobs, would naturally have an interest in a documentary about Vogue (she looked so chic too, in a striped boatneck tee and slacks); and the theatrical, stylish, sumptuously colored The Red Shoes could provide Mizrahi with some great inspiration for his equally glamorous, vivid fashion collections.