The Scene: The world premiere Tuesday of the Samuel Goldwyn Company's "The Playboys" at the Mann Criterion. A party followed at the nearby Santa Monica Pier carousel--very The-Biz-meets-the-child-within.
Who Was There: The film's director, Gillies MacKinnon, screenwriter Shane Connaughton and stars Aidan Quinn and Robin Wright (who came with husband Sean Penn), plus 500 guests, including Sharon Stone, Anjelica Huston, Timothy Dalton, Julian Sands, Brian DePalma, Beth Swofford, John and Andrea Van de Kamp, Justine Bateman, Paul Mazursky and Sydney Pollack.
Observed: Perhaps because the evening was a fund-raiser for the Sundance Institute, which supports independent filmmaking, there seemed to be an unusually high percentage of young agents trolling the crowd for talent. And the many young Hollywood and film school types who attended the screening were no doubt inspired to believe that they, too, will someday make charming, intelligent films.
The Buzz: Ireland seems to be the new hot subject for movies--"the way Seattle is in the music world," said one guest. "Playboys" was shot in Redhills, Ireland, the hometown of Connaughton, who noted that life in L.A. is "easier than working for a small farmer."
Dress Mode: The Sundance/independent filmmaker crowd wore shirts (no jackets or ties) with the top collar buttoned, male ponytails with lots of hair and long cotton dresses of the hippie/Armani variety.
Fashion Comment: One woman said as another walked by: "When the blazer goes down further than the skirt, that is definitely a fashion faux pas ."
Reunion Most Capable of Going Ballistic: Penn meets the paparazzi. It went, uh, OK. But a little tense. Penn paused for one photo op.
Chow: The Irish staples of corned beef and potatoes. There was also an ample supply of Bushmills whiskey and Harp beer for those anxious to explore the roots of Gaelic mysticism.
Observation: Writer/director Nicole Holofcener: "You know you're in L.A. when you say 'Oh, my God, look at the dessert table' and the woman next to you says, 'Great! I really want some fruit.' "
Quoted: Quinn, on sexual conservatism in Ireland, one of the film's themes: "The Irish are, in the same breath, very wild and very Puritan. It makes for problems."