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Tony Bennett Mourns Amy Winehouse at Tribeca Film Festival Premiere

By Lisa Marsh | April 24, 2012 9:22am

TRIBECA — The late Amy Winehouse left Tony Bennett more impressed than any musician he'd ever met.

The troubled singer's last recording session was captured by filmmaker Unjoo Moon in “The Zen of Bennett,” a documentary filmed as she joined Bennett to make his most recent album “Duets II,” and screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"Jazz is the greatest music to come out of America," Bennett said after the film premiered at the BMCC Theater in Tribeca.

"You can’t go to a university and learn it. And Amy had that gift — she was one of the greatest people I’ve ever met."

He added: "I wish they’d legalize drugs to get it controlled and take care of the problem," referring to Winehouse's well-publicized struggles with substance abuse that led to her death last year.
Fans Robert De Niro, Harry Belafonte and Charlie Matthau turned up to see Bennett on screen with such performers as Winehouse, Natalie Cole, Norah Jones, Michael Buble and Lady Gaga.

As for future duets, one audience member asked Bennett if he would ever work with Britney Spears, and he mischievously replied, "I don’t know what she does."

Singer Amy Winehouse's last recording session made the big screen in
Singer Amy Winehouse's last recording session made the big screen in "The Zen of Bennett" at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 23, 2012. Here she attends Westminster Magistrates Court with her father (l) to face charges of common assault on March 17, 2009 in London, England.
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At 85, he’s still got it.


Actor Jonathan Pryce first hesitated about taking a role in "Hysteria"  because of the content of this comedy that surrounds the invention of the first electromechanical vibrator in Victorian England.

"I couldn’t imagine ever doing this film," he recalls saying after reading the script for the first time several years ago.

"My daughter was young and I didn’t want her to see her dad in this film."

However, as films sometimes take years to produce, "my daughter was over it. And she also worked on the film."

Look for Phoebe Price’s legs acting as Maggie Gyllenhaal’s legs on the bike.

Gyllenhaal plays Pryce’s character’s daughter in the film, but missed the premiere because she is expecting the birth of her second daughter, who is due any day.   

"Maggie came to the play a couple of weeks ago," said co-star and on-screen love interest Hugh Dancy, who is currently starring in Broadway's "Venus in Fur."

"It’s very clear that she’s going to have a baby."

As for the chances of Dancy and his wife Claire Danes having a baby sometime soon, Dancy said: "We can only hope."