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A private screening room on the upper level of the Soho House proved the perfect spot for an exclusive screening of Sebastian Gutierrez‘s Hotel Noir. Bathed in red from floor to ceiling with plush chairs, carpet and small vintage tabletop lamps accenting the scene, the small screening room had a fitting throwback style to match that of the film.
Among the intimate event of about 50 at the West Hollywood location were stars from the film including Carla Gugino, Kevin Connolly, Robert Forster along with writer-director Gutierrez. Alexis Bledel, Jamie Chung and Jenna Malone, recently cast in the upcoming Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, also attended.
The black-and-white film noir takes place in Los Angeles circa 1958 and follows the intertwined story lines of occupants at a downtown hotel. On a shoestring budget of under $300,000, Gutierrez (whose other credits include penning Snakes on a Plane and writing and directing 2009’s independent film, Women in Trouble) shot the picture in just 15 days.
“It had to be such a precise operation because we had no money and very little time,” Gutierrez told The Hollywood Reporter at the screening’s after-party. “It was very honed, and to get it done in that amount of time and still have fun with it, it was like a family and extremely personal but also a lot of work.”
Gugino, the film’s lead, is also the girlfriend of Gutierrez and has collaborated with him on projects in the past. The rest of the film’s cast, which includes Danny DeVito, Malin Akerman and Mandy Moore, have worked with Gutierrez, as well, so the roles were written specifically for each actor in mind.
“Because we have made many movies together, there’s a level of trust,” Gugino says. “You can jump in and try different things.”
Gugino, playing the part of a sultry night club singer, took inspiration from her favorite black-and-white film actresses growing up, like Betty Davis and Rosalind Russell. “If you put it this movie in a time capsule, you might not know if it’s from now or then,” she added.
After striking a deal with a video on demand company, Gutierrez created a Kickstarter campaign for the film to get it shown at screenings throughout New York and L.A. Most recently the film was shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Tuesday with 500 attendees.
“Audiences love movies, and it’s great to be able to watch this movie in a theater, even a small one, with an audience,” Gutierrez said.
Hotel Noir is available through on demand services starting October 9.
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