The Tribeca Film Festival went as it had come: with another glitzy premiere.
Merely two weeks after the festival encroached on our city with the much-hyped premiere of Baby Mama, the Wachowski brothers’ Speed Racer closed the festivities to an equally if not more star-treaded red carpet and winding line of rubbernecking ticket holders.
The film’s principal cast of Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman turned out on Saturday to introduce the remake of the 1960’s Japanese anime cartoon.
“Most of it was done on green screen, it was just like doing a play when I was a kid,” Mr. Goodman told the Observer. “We did plays in church basements and since we didn’t have any money for anything, we’d imagine everything. I’d imagine myself naked!”
“You just kind of have to keep it interesting for yourself all the time,” said Speed himself, Mr. Hirsch. “You have to keep your imagination going and pretend things are there when they’re not.”
The 23-year-old Mr. Hirsch is perhaps too young to remember the 1960’s cartoon, but the other actors were fully aware of its legacy. “I loved Speed Racer when I was a kid and I like the Wachowski brothers, so I thought the two would be dynamite together,” said Mr. Goodman. And Vincent D’Onofrio, who came out to see the film with his son, said, “I watched the cartoon all the time and I have no idea what to expect.”
Peter Fernandez, the original voice of Speed Racer, arrived wearing a Speed Racer fleece vest. “The Wachowski brothers told me that they would go home every day after school and watch the show,” he said. “I’ve been hearing that it’s getting made for like 15 years, so I’m glad it finally got made.”
A certain Ausstralian actor with the amazing name of Kick Gurry, who plays the mechanic in the film, said his role was a stretch.
“I break a lot of cars, but I’ve never been able to fix them,” he said. “It’s weird, I’ll get into a car and four months later, it just doesn’t work anymore.”
It turned out that the premiere was his first time visiting New York.
“I think New York and London could almost be the capitals of the world,” he said. “It just doesn’t even feel American, it feels bigger than that. It seems like it would be hard to get lonely in this town.” Kick, you have no idea!
Then just as the stars were being hurried into the screening by their publicists, festival king Robert DeNiro walked with his wife on his arm along the narrow defile of screaming photographers and fans, flashing the crowd that crooked side-smirk.
And just like that, Tribeca came to an end.