The guest list at Saturday night’s LACMA Art + Film Gala could easily be mistaken for collaborators on the year’s best mixtape, boasting some cool combinations of A-list stars of film, music, fashion and art mingling at the annual event.
Donald Glover and Beck crossed paths with Laura Dern and Greta Gerwig, before posing with Jared Leto and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. “Marriage Story” director Noah Baumbach chatted with “Parasite” filmmaker Bong Joon Ho. Alfonso Cuarón circled up with Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, as the night’s honoree held court at the back of the dining room with Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro.
The trio of Mexican directors, affectionately called “The Three Amigos,” have now all been feted at the annual benefit gala (Iñárritu was honored in 2015 and del Toro last year) and also buddied up to event’s co-chair Leonardo DiCaprio.
On stage, Cuarón thanked DiCaprio and co-chair LACMA trustee Eva Chow for bringing “film and art, that are two children of the same family, to dine at the same table.”
“I’d like to take you through a journey that started a few hundred thousand years ago. I promise not to do it real time and in black and white,” he cracked before launching into a speech about the centuries’ long comfort that storytelling has provided, including the digital revolution that has brought filmmaking into the palms of our hands. “This is maybe why humans still gather in dark spaces to share single stories, of good and bad, of the important things in life that never change — love, loss, friendship, loyalty.”
He concluded: “As our paths grow darker, more harried, more fragmented, there has never been a more important time to tell humanity’s story.”
Netflix chief Ted Sarandos and Glover presented to Cuarón, celebrating what makes the director “one of the true masters of cinema.” Glover told the crowd how watching “Y Tu Mamá También” in 11th grade influenced how he viewed ideas like masculinity.
“’Children of Men’ is a movie I watch every time I’m about to make something,” he added. “Because I feel like it represents exactly what art is supposed to do, which is be so honest that it’s prophetic.”
After Cuarón’s speech, Glover reflected on what it’s like to befriend someone he’s long admired. “A lot of people here are my heroes who I look up to,” he told Variety. “It’s kind of the same thing when like, someone younger comes up to me and is like, ‘Oh, I grew up on you.’” I think it’s always nice to remind those people, [that] you had like a huge effect on how I envision art and that kind of stuff. So I think it’s the healthiest way to show gratitude.”
On collaborating with Cuarón in the future, Glover added, “I would love to, and we’ve definitely talked about a bunch of stuff… but I’m like, anything he wants me to do, I’m there, you know, I just love what he makes.”
John Legend presented the night’s second honor to artist Betye Saar. “Betty is one of the most important artists of her generation,” he said. “She’s an icon of the feminist and black arts movement with her unique ability to remember to reclaim and to remix black history, good and bad, and turn it into beautiful, powerful work,” he said.
“I love Betye. As an L.A. native, it meant so much to be here,” Ava DuVernay told Variety. “I’m working with Cicely Tyson right now and someone like Ms. Tyson, someone like Ms. Saar, at 93-years-old to be still making work, still making art, it’s exciting for me.”
Also spotted among the crowd at the annual event — which raised a record-breaking $4.6 million for the museum — were Will Ferrell (who joked about his new look, quipping that his haircut is ‘Navy Seal Handsome’ and stumping for a role if Cuarón does a Navy Seal film), Oscar-winner Regina King (who took over the dance floor with her “Beale Street” co-star Kiki Layne), Cynthia Erivo (taking a quick break from her “Harriet” press tour) and Salma Hayek Pinault and François-Henri Pinault (who swayed along to the music as Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals performed).
LACMA director Michael Govan, Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri, Naomi Campbell, Willem Dafoe, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Jon Hamm, Brie Larson, Ricky Martin, Jwan Yosef, Melina Matsoukas, Sienna Miller, Camila Morrone, Keanu Reeves, L.A. Reid, Lana Del Rey, Liberty Ross, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, David E. Ryu, Zoe Saldana, Marco Perego, Yara Shahidi, Molly Shannon, Molly Sims, Amandla Stenberg, Tyler the Creator, Christoph Waltz, and Suki Waterhouse also attended.