Out & About

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The New York Sun


Jerry Della Femina’s sheltered pool, garden, and beachfront were welcome changes of scenery for dinner after a Saturday screening of the dramatic thriller “The Night Listener” at the East Hampton Cinema. Based on a novel by Armistead Maupin, the film depics a lonely radio announcer played by Robin Williams who makes a connection with a young boy played by Rory Culkin.

Organized by the Cinema Society to help launch the film, which was directed by Patrick Stettner and also stars Toni Collette, the dinner — presented by Mr. Della Fina and his wife, Judy Licht — brought out a who’s who of pretty and talented socialites and the people who adore them. No one was lonely, especially those who ate dinner on long tables next to the pool, or lounged on the beach while making s’- mores around a bonfire, or toured the house, where bookshelves were adorned with a collection of owls. The caterer, Serena Bass, personally walked the actress Heather Graham through her entrée choices. Later, Ms. Graham had another discussion about food with Harvey Weinstein, who shared secrets of his weight loss.

Mr. Stettner, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said he wanted the film to be dark, but the message that he hopes to convey is that everyone wants to feel connected. “I identify with all the characters,” he said. “You can’t see them as monsters, you have to see them as people.” His next project is a screen adaptation of Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man.”

The producer of the film, Jeffrey Sharp, said his favorite scene was when Ms. Collette reappears in New York as a refashioned, retooled character. He began working on the project because of his friendship with Mr. Maupin. “I’m hoping this film will be a breakout or crossover for Armistead,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sharp is in pre-production on a screen adaptation of Susan Minot’s “Evening,” which will star Claire Danes, Ms. Collette, and Vanessa Redgrave, with a possible addition of Meryl Streep. The screenplay is by Michael Cunningham and filming begins in Newport, R.I., in September.


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