Though the invitation for the party celebrating the opening of her short film “Ghosts of Grey Gardens” read “Grey Gardens attire optional,” Liliana Greenfield-Sanders showed up at Le Zinc in a sexy black halter dress.
“I considered coming as Little Edie,” she said, referring to one of the eccentric characters in the film, “but everything I’ve done lately has been about her.” After seeing the original documentary “Grey Gardens” — about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ eccentric aunt Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edie, who were known as Big Edie and Little Edie, and who lived in the run-down estate Grey Gardens on Long Island, often wearing makeshift clothing out of towels — while studying at Brown, Greenfield-Sanders painted a portrait of Little Edie in an art class, wrote a play featuring the characters and then got a cat. Now, she’s directed and starred in her 20-minute film on the subject, which made its debut Monday night at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Feting the 23-year-old filmmaker were Time Inc. editorial director Norman Pearlstine and his new wife, Jane Boon, as well as former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee and his wife, Sally Quinn, who actually purchased the Grey Gardens estate in 1979 for $220,000.
“We ripped out the walls, the ceilings, the floors, everything,” Quinn recalled. “On a really damp day, you can still smell the cat pee.”
Liliana’s father, the photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, seemed mildly concerned about his daughter’s obsession with “Grey Gardens.”
“I’m very proud of her, but I did get a little worried,” he said. “I think it’s one of those films you just don’t ever forget.”