The Maidstone in East Hampton was party central for the Hamptons International Film Festival, both scheduled and spontaneous. Caterer Janet O'Brien, supplying the Guild Hall green room with goodies of cheeses and figs, spoke about partying late into the night at the Maidstone, sipping the Bedell wines. On Sunday morning, the dining room was locus of a HIFF institution: brunch celebrating "The Variety 10 to Watch," a program for young actors, mentored by Emily Blunt, herself a "rising star" from a previous version of the same program. Now of course, Blunt has risen: (see The Devil Wears Prada, and the recent action thriller Sicario). Bel Powley (noted for The Diary of a Teenage Girl and her latest A Royal Night Out) and Christopher Abbott (HBO's Girls and James White) are among this year's most looked at actors. In previous years, Dane DeHaan, Alicia Vikander, and Adam Driver occupied that spot, and look how they turned out.
Milling about the Maidstone prior to brunch was Liev Schreiber, part of the ensemble cast of Spotlight, a movie dealing with a special "spotlight" news team in Boston uncovering the Catholic church's sexual abuse scandal; Schreiber pointed out how the film shines a light on the media's role in covering up the victims' stories. Michael Moore was waiting for a ride to Sag Harbor for his "Conversation with . . ." He would be talking about the making of his new documentary, Where to Invade Next, a hilarious take on what Americans can learn from countries throughout the world, like gourmet quality school lunches in France, so that eating well is a subject taught to young people. The process of his mind is amazing, traveling far and wide, to Tunisia and Iceland, flashing back to the takedown of the Berlin Wall.
Josh Charles, John Alexander, and Bobby Flay munched on the Maidstone's omelettes and brioche French toast. Flay served on the festival's documentary jury, and ate in a hurry to get to Michael Moore's talk. Stuart Match Suna, the festival's longstanding chairman sat down beside Flay. Naturally they got into the subject of barbecues, after Flay attended the chairman's annual party the day before. He praised the grilled shrimps, steak and chicken, done to perfection at Stuart Match Suna's East Hampton backyard bash. "Usually when I'm invited to a barbecue," Flay quipped, "I'm asked to bring my knives."
Blundstone, a manufacturer of fine and sturdy boots, has announced their sponsorship of the HIFF.
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