Monday, July 20, 2015

Sunshine, rain and relentless heat

Navigating through Central Park. 3:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, July 20, 2015. A weekend of some sunshine, some rain and relentless heat and humidity where the temp at 84 degrees had a “Real Feel” of 102. Not conducive to anything other than maybe a good book sitting in a highly air-conditioned room.

Going back to cooler summer weather, last Wednesday night over at MoMA, The Cinema Society and FIJI Water and Metropolitan Capital hosted a Special Screening of “Irrational Man,” Woody Allen’s latest film starring Parker Posey and Joaquin Phoenix.

I was unable to attend because of other commitments but Liz Smith was there and her last Friday’s column was her review. It wasn’t a rave but that was okay with her and it would be okay with me. I love Woody Allen’s films. Not necessarily, each specific film, but mainly I love his approach which is rather like a prolific novelist’s approach to his work. Keep doing it.
Tom Bernard, Woody Allen, Soon-Yi Previn, and Michael Barker.
I don’t know of  another filmmaker alive or dead who can match the volume of his output. And for everyone that didn’t work, there is another that leaves you with memories that come to mind simply on hearing the title. Furthermore, your memory can provide the ones that made you laugh and still make you laugh out loud when you think of it.

It’s about a tormented philosophy professor who finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.  Philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) is at rock bottom emotionally, unable to find any meaning or joy in life. Abe feels that everything he’s tried to do, from political activism to teaching, hasn’t made any difference. He is headed in a direction where differences will be made, however. 
Lee Radziwill. Joy and Regis Philbin.
The Cinema Society’s screenings are a very popular social activity with New Yorkers with busy calendars as well as the die-hard movie fans among them. Aside from the quality of the films, they also draw a big crowd of bold-facers. And for those who want to go on after the movie, Andrew Saffir, the Cinema Society’s founder, always throws an after-party. The party for “Irrational Man” was at The New York Palace. Guests drank Qui tequila cocktails (named The Eavesdropper and The Lonely Professor, in keeping with the film).
Woody Allen. Sophie Von Haselberg. Bob Balaban.
Among those attending:  From the film:  Woody Allen, Parker Posey, Jamie Blackley, Ben Rosenfield, Sophie Von Haselberg, Betsy Aidem, Ethan Phillips, Susan Pourfar; Producers Letty Aronson, Ron Chez, Adam Stern, Stephen Tenenbaum, Ed Walson, Helen Robin; as well as Sony Pictures Classics Co-Presidents Tom Bernard and Michael Barker.

In the audience: Anna Wintour, Annette de la Renta, Arianna Huffington, Martha Stewart, Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, Elaine May, Lee Radziwill, Regis and Joy Philbin, Grace Coddington, Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Helen McCrory (Penny Dreadful), Julie Delpy, Malin Akerman, Clive Davis, David Blaine, Dana Delany, Swoosie Kurtz, Tony Danza, Judd Hirsch, Mischa Barton, Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), AnnaSophia Robb, Albert Hammond Jr (The Strokes), Tommy Tune, Al Roker and Deborah Roberts, Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Robert Klein, Robert Wuhl, Bob Balaban, Margarita Levieva, Ari Graynor, Isiah Whitlock Jr (Veep), Greg Kelly (Good Day New York), Richard Kind, Emily Bergl, June Ambrose, Caroline Rhea, Michelle Collins (The View), Geoffrey Zakarian, Francesco and Alba Clemente, Fern Mallis, Gilles Mendel, Chris Benz, Cynthia Rowley, Yigal Azrouel, Reed and Delphine Krakoff, Misha Nonoo, Sante D’Orazio, Alina Cho, Will Cotton, Richard Phillips, Shanina Shaik, Pat Cleveland, Christian Campbell and America Olivo, Loan Chabanol, Alexander Gilkes, Drew Nieporent, Caroline Hirsch, Marla Maples, Debbie Bancroft, Frederique Van Der Wal, Jessica Joffe, Lily Lane, Heidi Mount, Alexandra Agoston, Daniel Benedict, Genevieve Jones, Tali Lennox, Sophie Sumner, Kara Young, Zani Gugelmann.
Michael Barker and Dana Delany.
Clive Davis. Martha Stewart.
Michelle Collins, Chris Benz, Tom Bernard, Laverne Cox, and Michael Barker.
Samantha Barry and Sorcha Glackin. Will and Debbie Bancroft.
Tommy Tune. Alina Cho. Fern Mallis.
Scott Adsit and Richard Kind.
Genevieve Jones and Meredith Ostrom. Josh Truesdell and Malin Akerman.
Pat Cleveland.
Laverne Cox and Caroline Rhea. Parker Posey and Laverne Cox.
Kathryn Danielle, Judd Hirsch, and Emily Bergl.
Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis. Jamie Blackley.
Mischa Barton. Andrew Nodell and Vicky Trinh. Karl Sprague.
David Blaine. Tony Danza.