Friday, February 08, 2008

All About Adrienne

It was the Goldblum connection that took me back to Hal Hartley after some years. Fay Grim is circulating, stars Jeff, and I hope it will be distributed in the UK.

Hal made a phenomenal number of films in a very short amount of time, always quirky, and always interestingly cast. He makes me think of sitting in the Rio in Dalston with carrot cake and coffee for a double bill of Trust & The Unbelievable truth. Simple Men was the treat that followed a couple of years later & then I saw nothing more of his appearing. Maybe I wasn't looking properly.

I was thinking about Martin Donovan and Adrienne Shelley when I remembered something I am surprised I forgot &, instead of this being all about Hal, it is all about Adrienne.

At about 5:45 p.m on November 1, 2006, Shelly's husband found her hanging by a bedsheet from a shower rod in the bathtub of an Abingdon Square apartment in the West Village section of Manhattan's Greenwich Village, in what at first appeared to be a suicide. Shelly, who lived in Tribeca, used the apartment as an office. Ostroy had dropped her off at 9:30 a.m. that day, and as the building's doorman told journalists, "He hadn't heard from her and he said it was odd not to hear from her, so he was nervous. And he asked me to go up to the apartment with him, so we went to the front door, and it was unlocked".

An autopsy was performed the following day. The New York City Police Department was suspicious of sneaker prints in the bathtub that did not match Shelly's shoes (she was found wearing only socks). Shelly's husband also indicated that there was money missing from Shelly's wallet. He vigorously denied allegations that she could have committed suicide.

Press reports on November 6, 2006 stated that police had arrested construction worker Diego Pillco, a 19-year-old illegal immigrant who confessed to killing Shelly after she complained about the noise he was making in the apartment below hers. Pillco said that he "was having a bad day." Police said Pillco had made videos implicating himself in the murder, and as of November 7, 2006 was being held without bail for her murder.

Following his wife's death, Ostroy established the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization that will award film school scholarships and grants to women filmmakers.

Shelly died before her film, Waitress, was accepted into the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The film, starring Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith and Shelly herself, was bought during the festival by Fox Searchlight Pictures for somewhere between $4 million and $5 million (accounts vary).


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