Black Swan Is "a Lezzie Wet Dream"!

Friars do Quentin Tarantino to a turn; Miami's pretty hot, too

The Friars Club roast of Quentin Tarantino at the Hilton started with some hilarious jokes, like a four-dollar coat-check fee and salad with no dressing. But things picked up with an onslaught of swipes at Tarantino’s looks and oeuvre—though it seemed like absent Pulp Fiction star John Travolta was an even bigger target, so to speak.

No fewer than four roasters lobbed cracks about Travolta’s sexuality, Rob Schneider noting, “He was going to fly here, but he was having trouble with his cockpit—and by that, I mean his asshole.” Kathy Griffin frantically made visual quote marks when declaring that Travolta was busily engaged with his “normal” family. But the hilarious Whitney Cummings went completely off topic and took aim at Griffin’s obsession with Ryan Seacrest, saying, “The only thing that’s spent more time on Ryan is semen.”

It was Tarantino himself, of course, who restored some dignity to the proceedings by toasting another Pulp Fiction star, the event’s roastmaster, Samuel L. Jackson. Quipped the auteur, “You’re the only big black man in Hollywood that Tyler Perry doesn’t want to fuck.”

Throngs are in: Paper event at Art Basel in Miami
Clint Spaulding/PMC
Throngs are in: Paper event at Art Basel in Miami

Things were more uptown-tasteful at Black Swan’s premiere party at the St. Regis, though I ran around quoting from the film: “Did you have a lezzie wet dream about me? How was I?” In between conversational gambits like that, a friend of mine was startled to find “Now make me desire you” written in red lipstick on the ladies’ room mirror. I prefer what it said in the movie: “WHORE!”

The film’s fabulous Barbara Hershey was in there at one point, too, and I hear she was a good sport when someone rudely cornered her to say, “I thought you were Lena Olin.” “I’ve gotten that before,” said Hershey, smiling through red lipstick.

The smiles were on at IFP’s Gotham Independent Film Awards, which celebrated the smaller, realer films that generally make actors’ hearts—if not their agents—jete with joy. As honoree Robert Duvall explained, “It’s easier to raise $100 million in Hollywood for a movie they know is gonna flop than to raise $10 million or less.” But when the Get Low star gets low budget, he knows it’ll be a soul-enriching experience that’ll pit him with lovable loonies like Bill Murray (“I call him a smartass, but he’s talented”).

Unconcerned with cash, Davis Guggenheim won a Gotham award for Waiting for Superman, which has already made over six million bucks, though he’s more excited about the dialogue the doc has opened up about the school system’s woes. “It’s changing the tone of the conversation,” he told me at the event, adding, “but the forces of the status quo are very strong.” I know—they gave me a C-minus in phys ed.

The forces of the status quo lay off some big names in The Company Men, but Tony winner Cady Huffman is on hand as an outsourcing counselor who tells the unemployed to chant, “I will win! I have courage, faith, and enthusiasm!” Cady is certainly used to playing take-charge ladies. As she reminded me at the premiere, “I painted that whole office white in The Producers!”

Darker tones fill the absorbing semi-fictionalized real story All Good Things, with Kirsten Dunst victimized by her disturbed husband (Ryan Gosling), “the perfect love story until it became the perfect crime.” And it’s got perfect casting, too. At a lunch at Michael’s, director Andrew Jarecki told me, “Everyone said, ‘Don’t cast the girl first. You have to cast the boy. The boy is the bankable star—and if he doesn’t like the girl, he won’t do it.’ ” Jarecki said, “Phooey,” sent the script to Dunst, who signed on, and then Gosling followed suit. And not because he couldn’t wait to kill her.

Fresh Basel
At Miami’s Art Basel festival, candy-colored psychedelia stood side by side with tortured, death-obsessed canvases, but it was all strangely uplifting. After years of people annoyingly insisting, “You have to go there,” I finally went and didn’t hate it (though I still won’t get HBO). Basel takes an already aesthetically sublime city and pumps it with even more to look at. And the parties! In between gazing at etchings, everyone’s buzzing about whether they went to the last party or are going to the next party or are managing to enjoy this party.

All in two days, I went to a frolicsome Paper event at Rainbow City, a FriendsWithYou-created installation with gigantic balloons shaped like clowns and mushrooms; a chi-chi dinner for Tilda Swinton’s sweater collaboration with Pringle of Scotland; a rollicking Plum TV/magazine bash for Haitian art; and artistic meals at Meat Market (the best steak and people-watching on Lincoln Road) and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, the Goldman Properties venue that “incorporates urban art and innovative cuisine”—i.e., chicken curry in a clay pot, complete with imposing murals looking down at you as you eat.

Everything becomes so art-crazed that even piled-up trash on the street starts to look like some kind of environmental sculpture. And I bullshitted my way into the actual art show at the Convention Center, and though there were miles of interesting work there, I naturally found myself entrenched with a dealer hawking a comic book about felching. “It’s the oral retrieval of semen from the rectum,” he told me, dryly, like it was news. Please. Even Ryan Seacrest knows that!

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