Hollywood’s glitterati descended upon the City of Angels for the much-anticipated first Los Angeles screening of A24‘s compelling holocaust drama, “The Zone of Interest.” In a town where red carpets have been rolled up due to the ongoing industry strikes, this event stood out as a beacon of hope for the entertainment world.
At the London Hotel in West Hollywood, an intimate gathering of industry giants and rising stars unfolded, defying the disruptions caused by the Hollywood strikes. Notable attendees included Malia Obama, Oscar-winning directors The Daniels, and the charismatic Pedro Pascal from “The Mandalorian.”
The guest list resembled a Hollywood who’s who, with luminaries such as Jamie Bell and Kate Mara, Simon Rex, DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter, and a host of esteemed filmmakers, including David Lowery, Catherine Hardwicke, Hiro Murai, Raven Jackson, and Sebastian Silva.
The London Hotel’s lobby and screening room foyer buzzed with energy as attendees mingled over stiff drinks, preparing themselves for an extraordinary cinematic experience.
The film stars Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller as Rudolph and Hedwig Höss, who lead a Nazi commander family residing next to the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Friedel’s portrayal of Rudolph, marked by a disconcerting detachment while committing horrifying acts, has left audiences spellbound. Interestingly, Friedel is also a member of the band Woods of Birnam.
Jonathan Glazer, the director behind acclaimed films like “Sexy Beast,” “Birth,” and “Under the Skin,” greeted the audience in a casual T-shirt and jeans. In a humorous nod to the VIP audience, often referred to as “scary tastemakers,” he acknowledged their presence.
Following the screening, Jonathan Glazer and Christian Friedel engaged in a captivating Q&A session, providing insights into the making of “The Zone of Interest.”
As the event concluded, conversations turned to the industry strikes currently rocking Hollywood. A24, the distributor of “Zone of Interest,” operates independently of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the entity engaged in negotiations with the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA over new contracts. While the screening remained a secure space for guild members, attendees couldn’t help but ponder how future events would unfold for companies affected by the strikes in the weeks ahead.
This includes major contenders in the Oscar race such as Netflix (“Maestro,” “May December”), Apple (“Killers of the Flower Moon“), Warner Bros. Discovery (“Barbie“), and NBCUniversal (“Oppenheimer“). SAG-AFTRA‘s call for union members not to promote work with these studios until an agreement is reached has raised questions about how talent and studios will navigate these challenging times.
In the midst of Hollywood’s evolving landscape, the “Zone of Interest” screening showcased the enduring allure of cinema and star power, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the future of the industry’s awards season. The resilience of the entertainment world continues to shine even in the face of uncertainty.