Women’s Wear Daily
04.24.2014
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Venetian Vibes

VENICE — La Serenissima was a lot less serene than usual during the 59th annual Venice Film Festival. All week the taxi boats worked double-time as stars and industry heavyweights ferried between premieres on the Lido, parties in Venice and...

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Milla Jovovich in Prada

Milla Jovovich in Prada.

Photo By JOHN DEWIS

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VENICE — La Serenissima was a lot less serene than usual during the 59th annual Venice Film Festival. All week the taxi boats worked double-time as stars and industry heavyweights ferried between premieres on the Lido, parties in Venice and suites at the Cipriani Hotel. The official kickoff dinner following the screening of "Frida" started off well enough but fell flat when the Miramax guests of honor decided to ditch.

"This hotel food sucks," Harvey Weinstein reportedly said, "let’s go to Harry’s Bar." The Miramax chieftain left his table and proceeded through the dining room to gather up his posse for dinner at the famous boite. He left Giorgio Armani, Sophia Loren and a couple hundred other guests behind. Julie Taymor, "Frida"’s director, however, was apparently uncomfortable with having to leave the official party to join Harvey’s cool kids clique.

"It was like not having dinner with the girl you invited to the prom," said a member of her entourage the next night when Weinstein hosted another dinner — this one also catered by Cipriani, albeit at the Monaco Hotel next door — for "Frida" and Steven Soderbergh’s "Full Frontal," also screening at the festival. Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow joined the Miramax family for more risotto and seafood salad, as well as the requisite toasts.

"It takes two stones to make a fire and it hurts to give birth," began Taymor, whose endless stormy clashes with Weinstein during filming were well known, "but where would we be if we didn’t?"

"Now I’ll tell you the truth," responded Weinstein, when it was his turn to toast. "Salma busted my balls everyday…"

"Impossible!" shouted Hayek from another table.

"…and Julie drove me crazy every day," he continued.

But all hard feelings were put to rest, because after dinner, cast and crew stayed until 4:00 a.m. after Taymor and Hayek kicked off the wild partying with a fiercely hot tango.

On Wednesday, Milla Jovovich took center-stage, glittering in a bushel of Bulgari diamonds, when she hosted the annual AmFAR gala at the stunning Teatro delle Tese Cinquecentesche, a renovated factory framed by rows of brick and marble porticos that rise from water.
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