The screening of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" took place last evening at Manhattan's grand Ziegfeld, and if you have any doubt that numerous opinionmakers were present and that they had their opinions shaped (of President Bush and the role this movie might play in this election year), dispel them right now.
OK, maybe not "shaped," but certainly "stoked."
Since the event ended on the late side, the only coverage (we think . . .) you can read of it anywhere this news cycle is right here in The Note.
The evening was so chock full of bold-faced names, that we will simply list a few random attendees for flavor:
Moby, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Stepford queen bee Glenn Close, Deborah Needleman and her husband, Tony Bennett, Jeff Zucker, Gretchen Mol, Elaine "Heavens" May, sly fox Richard Dreyfuss, the whole Holbrooke family, Al Franken, Tim Robbins (one of the many celebrities who brought teen or tween offspring), the elegant duo of petite Yoko Ono and reedy potential daughter-in-law Elizabeth Jagger, and a good portion of the New York City comedy contingent.
The dress ranged from the casually dressed up (pastel Chanel tweeds, some scattered sequins for Tina Brown) to the comfortably dressed down (Philip Seymour Hoffman is cute-as-all-get-out, but were those long shorts or short trousers?); from basic post-work business attire to swank screening-wear (brisk, stylish Chloe Sevigny and Tara Subkoff).
Harvey Weinstein -- fresh back from a primo East Room seat at the Clinton portrait unveiling -- began with a brief, gracious acknowledgement of the passing of Ronald Reagan, credited planner Peggy Siegal (The last-minute switch to a larger venue went swimmingly . . . ), mentioned Ari Emanuel, reiterated his mock plea for a job for the brothers Weinstein, and offered a special thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, the announced presence of whom sent a faint flutter through the crowd.
During the film, the vast majority of the audience snickered, laughed, hissed, booed, grumbled, sniffled, gasped, and applauded at places bound to please Michael Moore; any gnashing of teeth was in the minority in this group. (The Note fervently hopes the many journalists in attendance maintained a cool lack of bias.)
Then, to a partial standing ovation and enthusiastic cheers, the director took the mike to thank those who helped make the film, discuss his patriotism, and express his hopes for the outcome of the election in November.
Then past a good-natured Tom Brokaw shaking Harvey Weinstein's hand, down the steps, out the door, past the quivering paparazzi, past the milling gogglers, past Salman Rushdie and lovely bride mid-interview, past the lines of limos and town cars, and away into the night.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that the same group which pushed Leslie Moonves and Co. to ship "The Reagans" to Showtime, now with the help of Howard Kaloogian, is pressuring theatres to drop "domestic enemy" Moore's film. LINK
Who has the best opposition research done on this film, we wonder?
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:
The AP's Nedra Pickler sums up the week ahead: "Kerry will try to blunt his rival's good news by focusing over the next two weeks on economic problems affecting families, beginning with stops in New Jersey, Ohio and Michigan." Meanwhile the Bush's re-election campaign will spin Kerry's negativity as a "misery tour." LINK