The moon went for a million and that was the least of it. At the end of the night the stars had raised an unbelievable 38 million for AIDS research, more than tripling last year’s record. Leonardo DiCaprio auctioned off the space trip with him in 2015.
Sharon Stone once again proved to be a master auctioneer, shaming the rich, the famous and the rich & famous into opening their pocket books. Remember, this is the woman who in previous years, made Calvin Klein show us his underwear for 5000.- and got the same amount for a peek underneath Rod Stewart’s kilt. He wasn’t wearing any underwear. She also forced George Clooney in 2007 to auction off a kiss for 350,000 euros.
Stone was in her element. A whole cellar of champagne (for 150.000 euros), a Pablo Picasso sketch (for 380.000), a Warhol print of Marilyn Monroe (for 350.000), a yacht trip, a pair of vintage Chanel gloves and a motorcycle were among the items up for auction. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli and Lanvin were among the designers that had created 42 red evening gowns that went for 3.5 million. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the former first lady of France, helped auction off a Bulgari necklace that went for 400.000.
But it was a gilded skeleton of a woolly mammoth in a steel and glass box by artist Damien Hirst that fetched the highest amount – 11 million euros (about 15 million dollars). The winning bidder was Ukrainian business man Leonard Blavatnik, who said he wasn’t sure where he would put the large beast. He was congratulated by Justin Bieber who looked very thin in his satin black suit.
Among the illustrious guests that included aristocrats, Eastern European business men, Hollywood stars, models and movie moguls: the Austrian winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, bearded lady Conchita Wurst in a stunning blue gown, who – in a few short weeks – has become an icon for equality and tolerance. From Sharon Stone to Jane Fonda, the stars were clamoring to meet her.
The evening was hosted by Bollywood couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. The gala, held every year at the luxurious Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, is the world’s biggest charity event at the world’s biggest festival. Lana Del Rey and Robin Ticket performed and even at the after party guests danced til the wee morning hours despite a strong wind blowing up hair and dresses on the Eden Roc terrace. The dress code was ‘peek-a-boo’. The models Irina Shayk, Heidi Klum and Alessandra Ambrosio, singer Lara Stone and actresses Michelle Rodriguez and Rosario Dawson all wore cutouts. Klums cleavage was low and Sharon Stone out did all of them in her red frock with strategically placed holes. In the middle of the evening she changed into a glittering gold dress. The proudest man of the night? Harvey Weinstein, who is one of the event’s organizers. He was besides himself and very happy about the 38 million raised.
- Elisabeth Sereda
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Marking the 70th anniversary of the Venice Film Festival a delegation of Hollywood Foreign Press Association members, traveled to Lido Island across the lagoon from Venice, to attend the historic festival’s opening ceremony, meet with filmmakers and look at films for Golden Globe consideration.
First up was a luncheon with George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, director Alfonso Cuaron and his co-writer son, Jonas, whose space thriller ‘Gravity’ was the opening night premiere. “It just it’s not about a father and son collaboration,” said Cuaron of working with his son. “He came to all these fresh ideas and ways of doing things. He said, look, ‘I like your movies. They’re okay but you can do the same thing being more fun and less rhetoric.’”
In keeping with a long held tradition, the HFPA once again hosted a cocktail reception for filmmakers and actors, this year held poolside in the new Maserati Lounge at the Excelsior Hotel overlooking the Adriatic Sea. HFPA vice-president Lorenzo Soria introduced the festival’s artistic director Alberto Barbera who took over leadership of the festival last year. Others attending included Harvey Weinstein, director Samantha Fuller (A Fuller Life), Mia Wasikowska (Tracks), James Deen and Nolan Gerard Funk (The Canyons) and Tye Sheridan and director David Gordon Green (Joe).
Pictures: Alex Tuma and Armando Gallo
Members also met with famous fashion photographer Bruce Weber in the gardens of the exclusive Cipriani Hotel. A kind and warm old bear of a man, Bruce Weber, 67, was in Venice presenting his beloved project Nice Girls Don’t Stay For Breakfast, a film that he had been working on and off for the past 15 years focusing on the talented skills and tough behaviors of Hollywood icon Robert Mitchum.
“Bob had what I needed, sort of like a tough guy with a big heart, and that’s a quality I really find attractive in anyone,” he said. “I had a kind of crazy childhood and my mom would pick me up early at school and we would go to these bars and I would sit there and see her boyfriend and I would do my homework. And so I saw a lot of men like Bob, who would help me with my homework and just hang out with me and befriend me, and I was like a frail, skinny kid then, I didn’t have a lot of friends and big fantasy life, and so it sort of happened that I got to really like that kind of male image in my head, very protecting, father like or big brother, and so I always wanted to make a film about an actor and when I was making Let’s Get Lost, we always talked about Bob Mitchum and we really shared a lot of stories about Bob and what movies we loved with him.
“When Tina Brown was at Vanity Fair she wanted to do a piece on tough guys so she sent me and my team to Santa Barbara to do a photo shoot with Bob Mitchum by the pool side. That was 1989 and we became friends, a very strong relationship. And I hope this translates in the film.”
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