When we heard there was going to be a screening for Cadaver — a short animated film voiced by Kathy Bates, Christopher Lloyd, and Tavi Gevinson — complete with a live performance of “Heart of Gold” by Tavi, we knew we wanted to be there. A midnight viewing party on a Sunday night in the middle of Fashion Week that also happens to coincide with the Grammys is generally something we deem skippable, but we had a feeling this would be special.
We arrived at the East Village’s Standard outpost (formerly the Cooper Square Hotel), and were immediately greeted by waiters in lab coats passing around drinks in beakers. This was not your average NYFW party, and for that we were grateful. The small crowd was comprised of friends of Tavi and filmmaker Jonah Ansell, friends being the operative word. The vibe was relaxed and intimate, a welcome respite from the madness of the previous (and upcoming) few days.
Cotton candy and popcorn machines were stationed on one end of the room, which was also filled with a skeleton or two. We grabbed some freshly spun cotton candy, and found Tavi who was also holding a serving of the sticky pink treat. Sporting a long-sleeved black dress and saddle shoes, she filled us in on her Fashion Week plans.
“I went to Band of Outsiders, Rachel Antonoff, and I’m going to Rodarte — just those three,” she said. “But I did visit my friends Chris and Shane from Creatures of the Wind because I had to miss their show. It’s like the perfect collection, it’s everything I could want.”
Tavi told us that her and Jonah “are old school family friends from the synagogue”, so she said yes when he asked her to get involved with the film. Of course, this is just one of the things on her very full plate. “We have a John Waters interview,” said the Rookie editor of her website’s latest projects. “Today I interviewed Sky Ferreira for it, and she was amazing! So smart, so cool. Next month’s theme is exploration — we want to do something with apes.”
Like any good teenager, she’s ready for the year to be over already so she can enjoy the summer. We told her we were jealous because we no longer get summer vacation, and she made us even more jealous by telling us she’s planning a Rookie roadtrip to California during break. It sounds pretty perfect — after all, she does turn 16 this spring.
A bit later Jonah the commanded the room’s attention, and we all sat on the floor. (Did we mention this wasn’t a typical Fashion Week party?) “She’s just a wonderful, talented human being,” said the filmmaker as he introduced Tavi, who then sang a haunting rendition of Neil Young‘s classic “Heart of Gold”. Young had granted her special permission to use the song, which appears in Cadaver‘s closing credits. The audience was rapt. We had the chills.
A screening of the film followed, and we were charmed by the tale of a cadaver brought back to life only to have his heart broken by his surviving wife. (The voiceover is a rhyming poem narrated by Tavi.) The rest of the guests were charmed too, as evidenced by the enthusiastic applause after the 8-minute clip. Jonah and Tavi beamed.