In 2002, indie film gurus John and Janet Pierson along with son Wyatt (13) and daughter Georgia (16) spent a year on the island of Taveuni, Fiji while John ran what might be the most remote movie theater on Earth, the 180 Meridian. Thusly named due to the island’s location, straddling said line of longitude, aka the International Date Line. Monday, August 8th saw the premiere of Steve James‘ Reel Paradise, a new Wellspring release that documents a month in the lives of the Piersons and it was old home week at New York’s Tribeca Cinemas.
The crowd attending the screening was probably chock full of the first 20 or 30 people I met in the NY indie film biz, including Bingham Ray, the co-founder of legendary indie distributor October Films, former president of UA, my poker buddy and veteran piss taker. When he noticed that I was the one being directed to a seat next to him he remarked, “Of all the fucking people in the world, you have to sit him next to me?” Who loves ya, baby!? Pictured with Bingham is indieWIRE Ed in Chief Eugene Hernandez. No, his head is not that big, he’s just leaning forward!
Other attendees included, of course, the family Pierson. Daughter Geogia complimented my hat and kicks, but liked Kevin Smith‘s two-tone Vans even better. When Kevin and I mentioned the two-tone design’s connection to ska music, Georgia responded “I hate ska but I like the shoes.” Who hates ska?) Smith and his View Askew partner Scott Mosier were the exec producer and producer, respectively of Reel Paradise.
Click here for indieWIRE’s wonderful iPop pics of other attendees, including Wellspring’s Marie Therese Guirgis, Ryan Werner, David Mueller (right, with indieWIRE’s Brian Brooks)and Rob Williams, Sloss Law/Cinetic Media honcho John Sloss (an indie guru in his own right), publicist (and crush object of many a NYC indie boy) Susan Norget, The Hub from Kodak, Picturehouse‘s Mary Ann Hult, Tribeca Cinema’s Keith Weckstein, Magnolia Pictures chief Eamonn Bowles, indie maven Bob Hawk and Arnie Sawyer of Arnie Sawyer Studios.
Making the scene was also award-winning filmmaker Stephen Kijak (Cinemania, co-directed by Angela Christlieb) who is working on a project that’s near and dear to my heart, a doc about musician Scott Walker (30 Century Man: The Music of Scott Walker). For those of you not in the know, Walker is a singer/songwriter with a both a solo career and as part of The Walker Brothers. Walker was a huge influence on David Bowie, among many others. And as some of you know, that’s more than enough for me!
Also at the bash was Jess Search, one of the founders of ShootingPeople.org and the creator of, get this, http://albertmayslesglasses.com! Included in this hysterical and brilliant site are Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks, Morgan Spurlock, Stephen Kijak, yours truly and of course, Al!