In candy apple red slip-ons, silk pajamas, a chest-baring shirt and a scowl, Julian Schnabel blustered toward The Observer to defend his new film, Miral, which was about to have its premiere at the U.N.
Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Palestinian journalist and Schnabel squeeze Rula Jebreal, the film focuses on the title character’s coming of age, her rebellion against her father and her infatuation with dreamy but violent revolutionaries.
For Monday’s screening, the first in the U.S., the Weinstein Company booked the General Assembly Hall, where, in 1947, the state of Israel was signed into existence.
The American Jewish Federation was not pleased with the location, and had fired off a letter urging U.N. officials to block the event.
“Obviously, they’re showing the movie, and the AJF can’t do a damn thing about it!” Mr. Schnabel told The Observer. “I’d love it if they would see it.” He and his producer, Harvey Weinstein, had extended an invitation. “No response,” Mr. Schnabel said.
“I’m used to it,” Mr. Weinstein said of the protests. “Trust me. That’s not the first letter. It’s the first letter to go super-public. And it won’t be the last letter.”
Attendee Josh Brolin was asked what he thought of the controversy. “I don’t know much about it!” he said.