“I know it’s Monday night but I beg you please, get drunk,” Daniel Craig, otherwise known as James Bond, told a packed house at the Ziegfeld Theatre last night.
Craig, appearing in a video on the grand theater’s big screen, sent his regrets for not being able to attend the Tribeca Film Institute’s annual benefit.
Guests including Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Averell Mortimer, chief executive and founder of Arden Asset Management LLC, and Peter Shapiro, impresario of music venues Brooklyn Bowl and the Capitol Theatre, watched an advanced screening of the new Bond film “Skyfall.”
“New York is my home,” said Craig, in a leather jacket. “I miss it now more than ever.”
Officials of the Tribeca Film Institute had debated before going forward with its party in the wake of Sandy’s devastation.
“I feel a little weird, a little awkward,” said Jane Rosenthal, the co-chairman of the institute. “All of us went back and forth.”
In the end, board members were guided by the organization’s “roots in the community,” she said. It supports filmmakers (including 60 in their teens) and teaches filmmaking to 19,770 New York City public-school children.
The institute is also an offshoot of the Tribeca Film Festival founded after Sept. 11, 2001, so it knows how film can be a solace in trying times.
With free popcorn and soda, “Skyfall” gave everyone a couple of hours of cinematic escape, and the party afterward at the Museum of Modern Art provided the company that is a constant comfort of New York.
Sting and Trudie Styler walked through the crowd before settling into a table with their daughter Mickey Sumner.
Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, who is in post-production on a documentary about evangelicals in Uganda, expressed his appreciation for his Tribeca All Access grant from the institute.
“It’s through Tribeca that I put together the team that carried me to the end,” Williams said.
There was also some talk of the film just seen.
“I loathe the idea of the Bond girl, so I rejected it immediately,” said John Logan, a co-writer of the film. “If women are just sex objects, it’s not interesting and they’re not dramatically viable characters.”
As for Bond, he set out to make him “honest about where he is emotionally, about his age, about how tired he is, about his psychic state.”
And the Aston Martin DB Mark III? “The cool old touches of Bond were things I love and I just wanted to do,” Logan said.
It isn’t a spoiler to mention Cohn’s wry observation of the movie: “If you’re going to escape in the dark, don’t carry a flashlight,” he said before heading to the bar, where pink gin fizzes were being poured.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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