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RSVP / INTO THE NIGHT

They Knew What to Wear to This Scene

May 20, 1996|MARK EHRMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Hollywood Boulevard practically screamed scene Thursday night as hundreds of the with-it set descended on the Cinerama Dome for the premiere of "I Shot Andy Warhol." The movie tells the story of Valerie Solanas, a lesbian feminist radical who shot the pop artist in 1968. It stars Lili Taylor as Solanas, Stephen Dorff, Tahnee Welch and Jared Harris as Warhol, and marks the directorial debut of Mary Harron. The film's evocation of that era's fashionable decadence was echoed by the crowd, who came decked out in a sartorial mix of Day-Glo, drag, leather and grunge. Following the screening--which included a Harron-directed video of the soundtrack song, "Season of the Witch," performed by local band Luna--there was a party at the appropriately demimonde-ish Opium Den.

Who Was There: The crowd was more trendy than industry judging not only by the clothing but by the fact that none of the usually obligatory applause greeted each opening credit. Celebrity-wise, there was director Harron and cast members Taylor, Dorff, Welch and Harris. Joining them were Michael Rapaport, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Hutton, Lukas Haas, Tim Burton and Lisa Marie, and Warhol's erstwhile Factory fixture Holly Woodlawn.

The Decor: What else? Campbell's Soup cans, glam rockers and other Warholesque images projected on the walls.

A Trend Reversed: While most premieres suffer a population attrition between screening and fete, the dynamic here was quite the opposite and guests kept arriving throughout the night. Such was the crush of bodies at the Opium Den that one security guard was heard to mutter, "Thank God the fire marshal's not here."

The Big Plug: While there was a considerable positive buzz on Taylor's performance, few gushed as publicly or at such length as did Goldwyn Pictures head honcho Sam Goldwyn. "We did a film some years ago called 'Mystic Pizza' and I remember standing on the set and watching a scene of a young actress doing a soliloquy," he said in a speech before the screening. "I turned to the man who had written the scene--Alfred Uhry, who also wrote 'Driving Miss Daisy'--and I said, 'Alfred, that's a beautiful scene.' And he said, 'No, it's not. That's a great actress.' "

If You Only Had 15 Minutes of Fame: Asked what he would do with it, Harris, who hasn't yet tasted the success enjoyed by the other cast members, queried, "Does it have to be all at once or can I break it up?" He then added, "I'd guess I'd spend it trying to get another job."

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