16 Oct - BFI LFF 'The Road' Gala Screening

October 16th, 2009.

It's the BFI Film Festival, and that means near as I figure it, there's basically one event per day happening in and around Leicester Square. What, however, is the difference between a "Premiere" and a "Gala Screening" I hear you ask? I was set to find out this, and much more...

But first, for a completely different movie:

I came for "The Road" because that's got Charlize Theron in it, and a boy can dream (right?)... but I actually got to the cinema for the end of the prior gala, for a movie called "A Single Man". And this is the star of that film, Colin Firth. He is (I'm told) every woman's dream man. (George Clooney will be crushed)

I came for "The Road" because that's got Charlize Theron in it, and a boy can dream (right?)... but I actually got to the cinema for the end of the prior gala, for a movie called "A Single Man". And this is the star of that film, Colin Firth. He is (I'm told) every woman's dream man. (George Clooney will be crushed)

Obviously, I didn't swoon. But an unprecendented three (3) girls asked whether I'd email them the photos I'd taken of Colin "Mr Darcy" Firth. Oh, very well.. I'll help you lust over the guy you can't have, to distract you from all the men (man) you *could* have...

Obviously, I didn't swoon. But an unprecendented three (3) girls asked whether I'd email them the photos I'd taken of Colin "Mr Darcy" Firth. Oh, very well.. I'll help you lust over the guy you can't have, to distract you from all the men (man) you *could* have...

Academy Award (tm) winner Ben Kingsley. And true to form, a total number of  zero (0) girls asked whether I'd email them photos I'd taken of him. This cuts me deep, as my hairline is more from the 'Kingsley' school of aesthetics, rather than the badly tousled and much less aerodynamic 'Firth' school.

Academy Award (tm) winner Ben Kingsley. And true to form, a total number of  zero (0) girls asked whether I'd email them photos I'd taken of him. This cuts me deep, as my hairline is more from the 'Kingsley' school of aesthetics, rather than the badly tousled and much less aerodynamic 'Firth' school.

So after that I stood and waited for about an hour for the next Gala Screening. Why? Two reasons:

First, the next gala was for "The Road" - starring Viggo Mortensen (The King in "Lord of the Rings The Return of the King"), Guy Pearce (Aussie, and in LA Confidental and Memento) and Charlize Theron (who is Charlize Theron)

Second? Well, because I was standing right next to a cute Philosophy graduate who had coolly and cleverly snuck into the Paparazzi Pen with nothing more than a Canon 350D and agreed to trust me with her credit card to pick up her movie tickets so she didn't have to risk being discovered (because I'm trustworthy like that). Which is... pretty brazenly awesome. And she and I had a good talk... and she was nice. And it was.... nice. (Me, 2014. I never saw here again, but I'm... uh... happy for me?)

So while I try not to get distracted by the pretty girl to my left, the event for 'The Road' has started. And this is John Hillcoat, the Australian director of the film. The lady with him is not identified by wireimage, but with all due respect (because I really like the character), I'd say she's gunning for the spitting image of "Edna Mode from The Incredibles"

So while I try not to get distracted by the pretty girl to my left, the event for 'The Road' has started. And this is John Hillcoat, the Australian director of the film. The lady with him is not identified by wireimage, but with all due respect (because I really like the character), I'd say she's gunning for the spitting image of "Edna Mode from The Incredibles"

At this point, things were looking good.... until Paparazzi Pen started filling up, and the cute Philosophy graduate's attention was suddenly and irrevocably diverted by a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Polish-accented pro photographer wielding a Canon EOS 1D, who started chatting to her... And ... like... damnit!! Honestly, what's he got that I don't? (Oh. Right. Every single one of the things I just mentioned. Damn)

I refocus (literally and figuratively) and notice that somebody has arrived, and their hair is an exponential extrapolation of the 'Firth' school and heading way into uncharted, unnamed territory.

I refocus (literally and figuratively) and notice that somebody has arrived, and their hair is an exponential extrapolation of the 'Firth' school and heading way into uncharted, unnamed territory.

"I'm sorry, but I can't comment on whether Cheap Theatre Tickets are worth it" Actor Jason Isaacs is much more evil playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, where he dislikes Elves, Half-bloods and Polish people. (Or maybe that last one is just me.)

"I'm sorry, but I can't comment on whether Cheap Theatre Tickets are worth it" Actor Jason Isaacs is much more evil playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, where he dislikes Elves, Half-bloods and Polish people. (Or maybe that last one is just me.)

(Foreground, right) Actor Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence) diligently signs autographs for fans at the gala screening. Another difference between a premiere and a gala screening is that the Red Carpet is narrower, can wind around the outside of a building while cars park behind the cinema, and stars go in one side of the cinema entrance while 'normos' can go in via another one.

(Foreground, right) Actor Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence) diligently signs autographs for fans at the gala screening. Another difference between a premiere and a gala screening is that the Red Carpet is narrower, can wind around the outside of a building while cars park behind the cinema, and stars go in one side of the cinema entrance while 'normos' can go in via another one.

Aragorn! I noted that he was signing everyone's autographs very cheerfully, so I opportunistically grabbed his autograph too! (What?... it's not like I was trying to (or able to) impress some girl anymore by this stage!)

Aragorn! I noted that he was signing everyone's autographs very cheerfully, so I opportunistically grabbed his autograph too! (What?... it's not like I was trying to (or able to) impress some girl anymore by this stage!)

Oh, and note to self - do not ever stand directly alongside a wall of paparazzi. Side-on? Yes. Behind? Maybe. But alongside them gives you weird angles and confuses camera sensors.

Oh, and note to self - do not ever stand directly alongside a wall of paparazzi. Side-on? Yes. Behind? Maybe. But alongside them gives you weird angles and confuses camera sensors.

But if you're lucky with the incidental lighting, you can get lucky and extract an interesting shot Like here, where Viggo looks demonic, the lady next to him has seen something even scarier than Viggo, while the third lady? Eh... just calmly calling somebody. A priest perhaps.

But if you're lucky with the incidental lighting, you can get lucky and extract an interesting shot Like here, where Viggo looks demonic, the lady next to him has seen something even scarier than Viggo, while the third lady? Eh... just calmly calling somebody. A priest perhaps.

So there you go. Charlize Theron didn't show up. Still... Viggo Mortensen has street cred.

So there you go. Charlize Theron didn't show up. Still... Viggo Mortensen has street cred.

So.. that was that.

The good news (?) as I'm loading this is : I already have photos from the next premiere ready to load. It's for a small film from Kiwi director Jane Campion where, typically, the cute girl (Abbie Cornish, the actress in the film) didn't show. (No, and the other one with a Canon 350D didn't show either). #sigh#. I'll try to recover for the next journal. Until then, then!

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