Fest goes on ‘Drive’

ABC hated it ... they did me a huge favor, sez Lynch

Even by David Lynch’s standards, the path “Mulholland Drive” took to become the centerpiece feature at this year’s New York Film Festival was out of the ordinary.

At Saturday’s preem, Lynch did not shy from mentioning pic’s rather inauspicious beginnings as a pilot for ABC before he turned it into a feature.

“Every project takes some strange turns along the way,” said the director, who was joined by cast members Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya, Rebekah Del Rio and Angelo Badalamenti, who also scored the film. “This one took a U-turn. ABC saw it and hated it, then killed it. Looking back, they did me a huge favor.”

Lynch’s experiment screened for the first time to U.S. audiences at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Universal Focus opened the pic in New York two days later.

The after-party took place at Upper West Side restaurant Marika, where the cast and crew were joined by Wes Anderson, Billy Crudup with Mary-Louise Parker, Faye Dunaway, Peter Gallagher, Deborah Harry, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anthony LaPaglia, Cynthia Rowley, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor among others.

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