Director Douglas Keeve, who peeked under the skirts of the fashion industry in Seamless (which played at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005) and Unzipped, turns his camera on another facet of New York: the Gramercy Park Hotel. In its earliest iteration, the hotel lured in those who had arrived in high society-and those who wanted to. The Kennedys rented out a floor. An up-andcoming Humphrey Bogart tied the knot there. In the '70s and '80s, it became popular with creative-types of a different sort: the musicians, artists, and junkies who appreciated the management's "anything goes" attitude. In Hotel Gramercy Park, Keeve goes behind the scenes of the iconic hotel as it is readied for a grand re-opening under the management of luxury hotelier Ian Schrager. Beneath the high gloss of Schrager's renovation lies all the people who experienced Gramercy, from the fresh-off-the-bus actor-turned-bellhop who hopes to be discovered there to the sulky neighbors who resent the transformation of their shabby-chic landmark. Amid all this, Keeve weaves in the stories of the people who know the hotel best: the longtime residents who refuse to leave during construction and surviving members of the Weissberg family, who owned the hotel for 50 years. Operators as well as residents of the hotel, the Weissbergs-like the Kennedys-were both successful and tragedy-ridden, losing family members to cancer, drugs, and suicide in quick succession. Comprehensive in its scope, with appearances by Schrager, Deborah Harry, and an eager-to-move-in Karl Lagerfeld among others, Hotel Gramercy Park's picture of hotel living is as effortless as room service.
Douglas Keeve is a renowned photographer and director. His work has appeared in GQ, Italian Vogue, Esquire, Glamour, American Vogue, and Interview magazines. His commercial clients include Armani, DeBeers, Seagrams, Tommy Hilfiger, The New York Times, Macy's, and L'Oréal. His film clients include Victoria's Secret, Armani, American Vogue, Express, Louis Vuitton, Macy's, and L'Oréal.