ARTICLE SUSAN MICHELS
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY GETTY IMAGES
It’s earthquake weather right now in Los Angeles. The Santa Anas are blowing and it’s 80 degrees at night. There are all the makings for a dark and elaborate Kubrick film.
At LACMA’s Art + Film Gala, presented by Gucci, there were certainly plenty of characters: a variegated intellectual artsy crowd that in some pockets of the room would make Mensa jealous. There were the art folk—John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, and honoree Ed Ruscha (still looking über handsome at 74)—the art doyennes—Eva Chow, Beth Rudin DeWoody and fiancée photographer Firooz Zahedi—and of course, the Hollywood crowd—Jennifer Aniston with an 8-karat ring and her other accessory, Justin Theroux, Rosanna Arquette (resplendent in green satin), Armie Hammer, Evan Rachel Wood, Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek, Amy Adams, Robert Pattinson, Jack Nicholson, and the eternal art lover, Diane Keaton, once again bedecked in her best nouveau Annie Hall and owning it from head to toe.
Green was definitely the choice hue of the evening. The aforementioned Ms. Arquette went head to head in the color category with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, while Amy Adams and Cam Diaz went for what could only be construed as chartreuse. Kerry Washington was in peach, Florence Welch was in a plunging purple number (with metallic olive nails that could only rival Barbra Streisand’s in length), and Jane Fonda was very much holding court as she moved confidently through the cocktail party in defiant black Gucci.
Ruscha, when not taking pics with well-wishers, hung out with fellow artist John Baldessari, last year’s art honoree at the gala. “I love the early Kubrick films so much, that great photographic style of his. And I loved the fact that he controlled everything himself, every aspect of his films,” said the artist. When Baldessari was asked what Kubrick film he loved most, he said with a wry smile, “Blue.” (Blue Movie was an idea about a high budget porn film that Kubrick toyed with prior to making 2001, spurred on by writer Terry Southern (the man behind Dr. Strangelove) which was never realized. Ironically, Southern went on to write the book Blue Movie about a director who attempts to make the same type of film, and dedicated the book to Kubrick).
An ebullient Michael Chow and wife Eva love Paths of Glory. “Oh! Wait! In fact, now you’re really getting me going. Killer’s Kiss. I love it! The Bomb (Dr. Strangelove) is incredible too, right?”
Filmmaker Whitney Sudler-Smith, the man behind the recent doc, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston, couldn’t limit his Kubrickian love to just one film. “I love both Paths of Glory and A Clockwork Orange. With most Hollywood films, you have this typical story arc that always concludes happily and conveniently; there's this unfortunate fallacy that the viewer always needs reassurance. With 2001: A Space Odyssey, you have no idea what the hell that ending was. I loved that about Kubrick. ”
Actresses Kerry Washington and Jennifer Morrison couldn’t decide either. “I love all of them, it’s hard to choose one,” said Washington. “Maybe we need to see the exhibition first. Check back with us later!”
Rosanna Arquette was at first sure of her favorite film as she and pal Dana Delany mulled through the Kubrick archives. When asked if she’d speak to V, Arquette’s first thought went to the gutter (V, not V…), which brought her back to the question at hand. “Wait, wait, wait! Lolita! Okay, Lolita and then The Shining,”
“I love 2001,” said Delany.
“You look like a pair of brick shit houses,” I said to the ladies. “You have boobs—”
“And vaginas!” Arquette cut me off. (Again, not the V I was referring to!)