This article was corrected on Nov. 9, 2000.
HEARD ON THIRD AVENUE: Speaking of Warner’s new indie unit, Geoff Gilmore, who runs the Sundance Film Festival with an iron ski-gloved hand, is a handshake away from taking over the Warner Classics slot, possibly with Schwartz.
Sources say the paperwork is done on the deal to bring him in to oversee the small marketing/distribution entity under production prexy Lorenzo Di Bonaventura.
Gilmore couldn’t be reached on the arrangement, but sources say it came down late last week.
The hire would pose an interesting dilemma. Gilmore, whose taste is unparallelled in structuring Sundance skeds each year, has never marketed or distributed a movie. Nor has he ever chosen a film with the intent of earning a profit.
But it’s laudable of Warner Bros. to go outside the box when filling that role. None of the indie or classics divisions are designed to be moneymakers. If Gilmore can bring higher-end indie product to the studio, win some awards, brand Warner as a company that can handle upscale indie fare and at least break even, then he’s the right choice.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN was echt Harvey Tuesday night as he met and greeted a few hundred well-wishers in between media interviews at his Hillary Clinton soiree at Elaine’s.
Harvey was clearly enjoying the festivities, complete with a panoply of stars as window dressing. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Sydney Pollack, Sigourney Weaver, Chevy Chase and others munched on Elaine’s pasta and fried chicken and mused on potential election outcomes.
“What happened? What happened,” Chevy Chase demanded as he walked in.
“Hillary’s been declared the winner,” he was told.
“That’s just great.” Then Chase and his wife were off to much more important matters — eating.
As though he was detailing grosses of his latest hit, Harvey was consumed with the politics of the moment, often on the phone with a mysterious caller providing him electoral details. “If we don’t get Florida, we’re dead,” he grimly disclosed. (Meanwhile, a day later, the nation was still waiting to see whether Florida did, in fact, go to Al Gore or to George “Dubya” Bush.)
Harvey explained that he has been a firm supporter of political campaigns since his college days. But he admitted that after this year, which has seen him throw massive parties and benefits for Clinton and Gore, he’s going to pull back from the political scene.
“Unlike what you wrote in your last column, I won’t be running for office,” he said.
Most disturbing for Harvey may have been the failure of Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill to show up at the Weinstein/Talk Magazine/Michael Bloomberg gala.
All night, the Clintons were expected at midnight. Come 1:30 a.m., Harvey went on the intercom system and announced the bad news: “They’re not coming. But we’ve been invited to their party at their hotel and we can bring 50 people.”
The party may have been the only political party in memory, if not ever, to give out gift bags to those departing. In keeping with the diverse hosts, they provided a copy of Talk magazine, the soundtrack from “Bounce” and a compact radio tuned only to Bloomberg news.