As the Cannes Film Festival 2016 hots up, here is a picture I took of Harvey Weinstein at last year’s festival.
I’d just asked him what he thought of the comment in Rupert Everett’s recently released memoir, Vanished Years, that Weinstein, the producer behind Pulp Fiction and Billy Elliot, looked like, “An old couch someone left out on the street.” Weinstein burst out laughing and said, “Tell Rupert that was before I met Georgina!” referring to his fashion designer wife. Georgina Chapman designed the “wearable technology dress” than Karolina Kurkova wore for this year’s Met ball. Sort of a mood ring that lights up different colours. Depending on your mood? She might want to try designing couches.
Weinstein is certainly an impressive operator though. The picture was taken at the Amfar dinner for Aids fundraising at the imposing Hotel Du Cap. Donatella, Sean Penn, and Sharon stone were all mingling in the garden and Weinstein was cracking jokes about murdering people to the folks who dared to go up and greet him. He shouted, “I love you!” at some of them as if he was saying, “I hate every fibre of your being!”
Ironically, Weinstein ended that night in the VIP corner of the VIP party room, sitting on a posh white dimpled couch, flanked by a magnum of rose Moët on one side, a stash of diet Coca Cola bottles on the other and a gaggle of 20-something women in expensive plunging dresses all around. Harvey had his eyes down, oblivious, tapping methodically into his Blackberry in the pursuit of his next deal.
The truth is that in the film industry, a man is allowed to look like a couch someone left out on the street. If the fashion industry is like a crèche for straight women run by gay men, the film industry is the real big money place and ergo is only allowed to be run by dumpy old men flanked by young girls prepared to play the game. There are signs that things might be slowly changing though. I loved that furore last year when some of those fascist red carpet guards had to back down when Emily Blunt went ballistic when they turfed off a group of women for the crime of not wearing heels on their big night out.