Most of the interior shots for the indie film Pieces of April (which stars Katie Holmes, who is just so pretty, and also quite a good actress) were filmed in David’s old building on Suffolk Street several years after the period during which Holding Breath takes place. (The filmmakers managed to find an even seedier-looking building for the exterior shots, although I don’t know why they bothered.) Watching the film the first time, I was just about falling out of my chair, looking to see if I would get a glimpse of the door to David’s apartment one more time. I didn’t, but the hallway hadn’t changed at all, and I was glad of that (the current tenants may feel differently).
In the book, I also mention that the building was up the street from what was at the time a lesbian bar called Meow Mix. Kevin Smith’s film Chasing Amy (one of Ben Affleck’s first) was shot there; my husband, Lorenzo, worked as the still photographer and I was an extra. In one scene you can see me and my best friend from childhood, Claudia Koeze, as part of an audience of women rapturously watching Joey Lauren Adams singing onstage (we must have been excellent actresses, as Ms. Adams was one of the rudest and most arrogant women I’ve ever come across in “real life”, and rapture–sapphic or not–was definitely not what I would have been feeling while watching her perform). At the end of the film, in the scene at the comic-book convention, Lorenzo strides through in a momentary close-up. It was strange to be involved in the surreal process of making a low-budget film, just doors down from the place where, a few short years earlier, I’d spent possibly the most surreal (yet very real) and intense eight months of my life.
The Lower East Side is a small world, cinematically speaking.
An afterthought: I don’t like to trash people, particularly people about whom I know next-to-nothing, so as far as Joey Lauren Adams is concerned I should say that at the time she was very young, and probably–as most people would be–a little carried away with herself and the idea that she was the star of a film, and maybe stressed out by the whole ridiculous process of making a movie. She may otherwise be a very nice person, and may also have matured over the years (I was no doubt quite different at the time too).