Tag Archives: Harvey Weinstein

Glamping: The Sequel

You know that big wedding last weekend on Beachside Avenue?

The one that featured white tents on Harvey Weinstein’s property, for glampers — “glamour campers” — to shelter on Friday and Saturday night, roughing it with only wooden floors and queen beds?

The one where fireworks lit up the sky after the ceremony, and a ton of security (uniformed cops, plainclothes and more) patrolled the area?

Turns out it was pretty, um, glamorous.

Zach Lasry — son of billionaire hedge fund owner/Milwaukee Bucks co-owner/Beachside Avenue resident Marc Lasry — married Arianna Lyons. They work together in film production.

Among the guests: former President Bill Clinton, and former Senator/Secretary of State/presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

President Bill Clinton at the Beachside Avenue wedding…

… and Hillary Clinton. (Photos courtesy of Instagram)

No word on whether they glamped, or decamped after the festivities to Chappaqua.

(Hat tip: WestportNow)

The Fall Of The House(s) Of Harvey Weinstein

Yesterday, Harvey Weinstein went down to Manhattan Criminal Court, and was arrested on sexual assault charges.

Soon, several of his former Westport homes will go down too.

Applications to demolish the properties at 26 and 28 Beachside Avenue — adjacent to Burying Hill Beach — have been filed with the town.

The 8,896-square foot home, and 2 other houses, were sold in February to Andrew Bentley, for $16 million. He already owns several other properties on Beachside.

In 2012, Weinstein’s main house was the site of a fundraiser for the re-election of President Obama. Among the guests joining the president at the $38,500-per-person event: Anne Hathaway, Aaron Sorkin, Anna Wintour, Joanne Woodward, Jerry Springer and Governor Malloy.

Bentley told “06880”: “We have engaged the Westport-based, world-class architectural firm of Roger Ferris + Partners to design a house for the property. With their local roots and global vision, we are confident they will produce something that is right for the location.”

The presidential motorcade at Harvey Weinstein’s Beachside Avenue house, in 2012. (Photo/White House pool, courtesy of WestportNow)

JD And Harvey

The New York Times reports that in September Harvey Weinstein will release one of his film company’s “unlikeliest projects ever.”

“Salinger” — 9 years in the making — is a documentary about a very famous American writer.

JD Salinger

JD Salinger

But, the Times says, J.D. Salinger’s reclusiveness makes marketing the film difficult. Not only was the author — who died in 2010 — not involved in the film; neither was his son, nor the few members of a small circle of friends.

“Mr. Weinstein indicated that the secrets will be part of the fun as he and his company forge a strategy for selling ‘Salinger’ to the masses,” the Times reports.

So the “06880” question of the day is this: Does the film that Westporter Harvey Weinstein is releasing contain any information about Salinger’s 2 or 3 years in Westport?

He came here in 1949 or ’50 — details are sketchy. But according to the Times — and reported on “06880” the day he died — Salinger “holed up in a house on South Compo Road” in 1950 to write Catcher in the Rye.

Does Westport make it into “Salinger”? Because Salinger certainly made it to Westport.

Hail To The Chief: Obama Fundraiser Here August 6

The Westport News reports that President Obama will be in Westport August 6, for a fundraiser.

Harvey Weinstein will host the affair, at his Beachside Avenue estate.

Then the president is off to Stamford.

Tickets there are $500 each.

Here in Westport:  $35,800 a pop.

My birthday is not until March. Early gifts are always welcome.

Welcome to Westport

Harvey’s Oscar

Weston’s Christopher Plummer got some well-deserved honors at last night’s Oscars.

So did “The Artist.” It snagged 5 “bests”: picture, directing, costume design, original music score and actor.

Harvey Weinstein

None of it, though, might have happened without the backstage direction of one man: Westport’s Harvey Weinstein.

The longtime movie industry mover and shaker — and co-founder of Miramax Films — created a marketing plan for the silent, black-and-white French film that may have been, in CNN’s words, “a triumph of marketing over art.”

In a long piece today, CNN.com‘s Nick Thompson writes:

For many, the film’s triumph at the Oscars was a foregone conclusion, the result of a marketing process set in motion months ago by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who snapped up the U.S. distribution rights before anyone at the Cannes film festival had a chance to swoon over the French film last year.

“There wasn’t any doubt when it came to the top awards who the winners were going to be,” Total Film deputy editor Jamie Graham told CNN. “Harvey is the best in the business at getting that awards attention, and it became clear with ‘The Artist’ two months ago that this was the film that had caught the tailwind.”

The mercurial movie promoter and co-founder of Miramax Films, credited for discovering “Pulp Fiction” director Quentin Tarantino and a string of commercial and critical successes including “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love” and last year’s “The King’s Speech,” is famous for harnessing the momentum of his films at the right time and riding waves of publicity to wins at the podium and at the box office.

No sooner had Jean Dujardin taken the top actor award for his portrayal of silent film star George Valentin at Cannes than Weinstein had the film’s stars and directors hitting the award campaign circuit to capitalize on its surprise success….

Empire magazine’s Ian Nathan says that by the time the Golden Globe Award nominations came around, the race for Oscar glory had narrowed to a two-horse race between George Clooney’s “The Descendants” and “The Artist” — a race Weinstein’s relentless campaign strategy began to win by the end of last year.

“Something about what Harvey managed to do — getting these three very charming leads and the director out there, getting the dog out there, screening it to everyone who mattered, milking the nostalgia and old Hollywoodness of it — lifted it from the competitor to the favorite long before the show came around,” he told CNN.

“Once one film has a foothold — once it’s become the thing like ‘The King’s Speech’ did last year — then even Clooney can’t compete,” he said.

Weinstein’s strength, says Nathan, lies in his ability to catch a “middle-brow” film right before it becomes popular and turn it into the frontrunner.

Nathan told CNN: “He’s very good at picking the middle-brow films… and the Oscars are a mainstream event which celebrates the best of the middle. Harvey’s been a very wily player in that, and you have to give him that credit, he knows how to map that out over a year.”…

While the money may not follow, Nathan says one thing seems certain — after a relatively dry decade, the back-to-back successes of “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist” means Harvey Weinstein is back in business.

“Harvey’s come out of his fallow years as the guy to beat at the Oscars,” he said. “It’s a bit of a second coming — clearly he’s still got a little bit of that magic.”


Harvey Weinstein is big (in more ways than one).

And Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Bette Davis, Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe are just a few of the boldface names who at one point called Westport home.

But you can spot mega-mogul movie producers and Oscar-winning actors many places besides Westport.

One thing you can’t find anywhere but here is the Westport Youth Film Festival.

Organizers call it “the only youth film festival in the world run for high school students, by high school students.”

And while Hollywood is known for hyperbole, this is Westport.  We’ll take their word for it.

The 7th annual WYFF returns this weekend.  The schedule is remarkable — and what’s even more remarkable is how few Westporters know about it.

This Friday and Saturday (May 7-8), 65 high school student films — chosen from over 200 submissions, around the world — will be shown at Town Hall and Toquet Hall. Prizes will be awarded to 9 of them.

Friday night’s highlights include 8 movies from “Peace It Together,” a Canadian program involving Canadian, Palestinian and Israeli youth — plus Q-and-As.

On Saturday — in addition to the 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. film screenings — there will be musical performances on Main Street, free popcorn and soda at Oscar’s, and t-shirt sales.  At 9 a.m. there’s a bagel breakfast with WYFF organizers and filmmakers.

The films range widely:  politics and current events; music; romance; comedy; self-discovery (hey, they’re teenagers).  At 5 p.m. Saturday Toquet hosts “The Roy Orbison Project,” spotlighting WYFF alumni including Jon Karmen and Jake Andrews of Rubydog fame.

I have no idea what the Roy Orbison Project is, but if it’s half as good as his voice, I’ll be impressed.

Tom Seligson, a Westport-based Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, keynotes Saturday’s 6 p.m. awards ceremony (Toquet).

WYFF is one of those Westport events you shouldn’t miss — though it also may be one you never heard of.

And even if the tagline — “the only youth film festival in the world run for high school students, by high school students” — is not true, this one may be:  “The only youth film festival in the world in a town without an actual movie theater.”

(For the WYFF YouTube trailer, click here.  For a detailed schedule of events, click here.)