On Monday, Feb. 18, 13 scruffy New York University film students gathered with their professor, Darrell Wilson, at the Soho House for a screening of their experimental short films. One showed a series of chemical reactions in close-up; another, a young girl being attacked on a sidewalk while her coevals, upon hearing her screams from nearby apartments, carried on smoking pot and blow-drying their hair.
The evening was masterminded by Kipton Cronkite, "a distant relation." as he put it, of newsman Walter and rising young patron of the arts, whose organization, KiptonART, focuses on gaining exposure for emerging artists. One such creature, Ally Hilfiger, the daughter of Tommy, had been appointed “artist of the month” at Soho House. A series of her canvases hung on the wall, all inexplicably featuring the number eight. “Do you think they’re referring to 2008?” wondered Max Nova, one of the budding auteurs.
Mr. Cronkite, wearing a blue blazer over a T-shirt, was mingling with a crowd of scrubbed young professionals and socialites. “Kipton is a good friend of mine, and I think all the events he does are amazing,” said one attendee, style entrepreneur Kristian Laliberte. One knows “he’s going to show us something that might be a little bit out of our realm of experience.” Mr. Laliberte was particularly partial to a film called Hunk, which featured “Valkyries eating—actually, the filmmaker himself!” he said with a laugh. “He actually used chocolate syrup and veggie burgers because the girls were vegetarians. Just the whole idea of getting devoured ….”
Mr. Cronkite must have enjoyed himself heartily; he missed a 10 a.m. phone appointment with the Transom the following morning.
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