Rupert Murdoch‘s top employee (now former) Rebekah Brooks was arrested on Sunday. The top police officer in the UK resigned because of Murdoch’s hacking scandal. But none of this deterred Murdoch’s gracious and beautiful third wife, Wendi Deng, from showing her film to the A list on Saturday in the Hamptons. In the middle of the scandal that may topple Murdoch’s empire it’s important to point out that Wendi is one of the nicest people you could meet, she’s sweet and genuine.
Deng warmly greeted guests like Barbara Walters, Rudy and Judi Nathan Giuiliani, former Sotheby’s chief Alfred Taubman, Sony’s Rob Wiesenthal, and Warner Music’s Lyor Cohen and designer Tory Burch at the Southampton UA theater. The movie, Wayne Wang‘s “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” is a beautifully made if painstakingly slow adaptation of a novel that cuts between present day China and the 1800s. The film features Rupert Murdoch’s fellow Aussie, Hugh Jackman, singing, dancing, and swooning.
Reviews for “Snow Flower” have been so so, but you can’t fault the production qualities. After the screening, Deng and Wang were interviewed by Martha Stewart about shooting a film in China and the ancient tradition of foot binding (painfully shown in the movie). It did seem a little disingenuous when Deng told the audience that the movie’s budget was tight and that there were times they didn’t have money for coffee. “Snow Flower” is released by Fox Searchlight, part of the News Corp/20th Century Fox/ Murdoch empire. It was released to 24 theaters this past weekend and made $136,000. The budget is said to be between $6-$8 million.
After the screening, some guests (not this one) were invited to what was described as the “enormous” home of Jay and Kelly Sugarman for dinner in Southampton. Hosts and guests included Andrea Glimcher (who hosted for the Pace Gallery’s Beijing branch), husband Marc, and his parents, famed Pace Gallery owners Arne and Millie Glimcher, designer Vera Wang, and ABC’s “20/20″ anchor Chris Cuomo. One guest said it was the biggest home they’d ever seen, set on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The 4.5 acre property once included a pool house where tennis great Vitas Geruliatis died accidentally of carbon monoxide poisoning (under different owners).