10 Oct - The (BFI LFF) 'Arrival' premiere / gala

October 10th, 2016

By some measure, today represents the sixth of fourteen consecutive days of premieres (12 of them BFI LFF days, two more to follow directly after), and today's was actually one I'd been particularly looking forward to. And then I was informed I'd be away from town for a meeting for most of the day. Argh.

And then I returned to find out that although I'd arrived somewhat later than I usually would at an event like this.. turns out my number in the queue was about 100 spaces better than I'd feared.

It really didn't make sense. But here's how it went down:

It's technically a 'bank of canada gala' and not a premiere, but I'm wary of letting banks sponsor anything to do with first contact with an alien race. They just flew eight billion light years to get here in their own fleet of spacecraft. They don't need a low introductory rate on balance transfers.

It's technically a 'bank of canada gala' and not a premiere, but I'm wary of letting banks sponsor anything to do with first contact with an alien race. They just flew eight billion light years to get here in their own fleet of spacecraft. They don't need a low introductory rate on balance transfers.

Lady at far left : "I just got here - or 'arrived' if you will - and boy am I tired. What do you mean I'm not the first to make that joke?"

Lady at far left : "I just got here - or 'arrived' if you will - and boy am I tired. What do you mean I'm not the first to make that joke?"

A quick look at the list shows that the two stars on the posters (below) will attend, but nobody else from the film is expected. That's a bit of a pity : I liked director Denis Villeneuve's last movie "Sicario" (he attended the premiere), and the one before that ("Prisoners") even more.

A quick look at the list shows that the two stars on the posters (below) will attend, but nobody else from the film is expected. That's a bit of a pity : I liked director Denis Villeneuve's last movie "Sicario" (he attended the premiere), and the one before that ("Prisoners") even more.

"Zack Snyder's ego is big, but not THAT big"

"Zack Snyder's ego is big, but not THAT big"

"Tony Stark's ego is big, but it's not that......actually it IS that big"

"Tony Stark's ego is big, but it's not that......actually it IS that big"

"I know the press wants to photograph me, but I'm really here for YOU" Awww.. thanks Jeremy Renner. And though he attended both the "Avengers" and "Avengers Age of Ultron" premieres, he remains only my fifth or sixth favourite Avenger

"I know the press wants to photograph me, but I'm really here for YOU" Awww.. thanks Jeremy Renner. And though he attended both the "Avengers" and "Avengers Age of Ultron" premieres, he remains only my fifth or sixth favourite Avenger

It's Amy Adams! And although she's about to be kissed by Jeremy Renner, it's clear she likes me a whole lot better (I should probably specify that I really like Amy Adams and the fact that across numerous premieres and several Baftas, I've NEVER photographed her as well as I think she looks. Which is about as close to a compliment as I've ever paid any woman)

It's Amy Adams! And although she's about to be kissed by Jeremy Renner, it's clear she likes me a whole lot better (I should probably specify that I really like Amy Adams and the fact that across numerous premieres and several Baftas, I've NEVER photographed her as well as I think she looks. Which is about as close to a compliment as I've ever paid any woman)

"I like that guy over there in the crowd with the Nikon-Pentax combination a whole lot better, Jeremy!" Why yes, it is awesome being able to write my own fanfiction/commentary on the website I pay hosting fees for.

"I like that guy over there in the crowd with the Nikon-Pentax combination a whole lot better, Jeremy!" Why yes, it is awesome being able to write my own fanfiction/commentary on the website I pay hosting fees for.

"Hold it! Hold it!" "Haven't you got the photo yet?" "Oh, I took it ages ago. I just want to keep looking at you guys while you're standing here"

"Hold it! Hold it!"
"Haven't you got the photo yet?"
"Oh, I took it ages ago. I just want to keep looking at you guys while you're standing here"

"She's better looking than I am. I'm not going to deny it"

"She's better looking than I am. I'm not going to deny it"

"Well, I'll just be heading over here, where I'm not getting photographed, then"

"Well, I'll just be heading over here, where I'm not getting photographed, then"

"This wouldn't happen at an Avengers premiere. I'm so much prettier than all those guys. Well, besides Sebastian Stan, obviously."

"This wouldn't happen at an Avengers premiere. I'm so much prettier than all those guys. Well, besides Sebastian Stan, obviously."

"Is that a flash or a small explosion? Do you need a doctor?"

"Is that a flash or a small explosion? Do you need a doctor?"

Devastatingly, this is about as unblocked a shot of Amy Adams as I'm going to manage all night from here on. For some reason, there were almost always two or three people blocking all views of her - security, retinue, soothsaying dietary advisors, I'm not sure..

Devastatingly, this is about as unblocked a shot of Amy Adams as I'm going to manage all night from here on. For some reason, there were almost always two or three people blocking all views of her - security, retinue, soothsaying dietary advisors, I'm not sure..

"Just exactly how many people do you guys think I NEED to protect me. And from what??"

"Just exactly how many people do you guys think I NEED to protect me. And from what??"

Amy Adams. Blocked by an elbow, which is not that bad. But could the lady on the left tuck in her shirt? This is London Film Festival, woman! Even I am wearing my *formal* black beanie and jeans.

Amy Adams. Blocked by an elbow, which is not that bad. But could the lady on the left tuck in her shirt? This is London Film Festival, woman! Even I am wearing my *formal* black beanie and jeans.

"No, don't go over there. There are... like... wolves or clowns or dirigibles or something over there. Why not stay close to me? For safety, you understand"

"No, don't go over there. There are... like... wolves or clowns or dirigibles or something over there. Why not stay close to me? For safety, you understand"

Even I don't have a framerate and autofocus robust enough to shoot through that crowd in the microseconds Amy Adams happens not to be surrounded by security.

Even I don't have a framerate and autofocus robust enough to shoot through that crowd in the microseconds Amy Adams happens not to be surrounded by security.

Oh, that's right. Jeremy Renner is also at this premiere. Here's a shot of him while Amy Adams is surrounded by jesters, tricksters, magicians and fortune tellers and gypsies.

Oh, that's right. Jeremy Renner is also at this premiere. Here's a shot of him while Amy Adams is surrounded by jesters, tricksters, magicians and fortune tellers and gypsies.

Not sure who these are or if they're famous, but while Amy Adams is surrounded by an amount of security that even hated dictators would call 'surprising' for a five-time Oscar nominated actress, I have frames to spare.

Not sure who these are or if they're famous, but while Amy Adams is surrounded by an amount of security that even hated dictators would call 'surprising' for a five-time Oscar nominated actress, I have frames to spare.

"I hear the president's nuclear football is only slightly better protected than you right now"

"I hear the president's nuclear football is only slightly better protected than you right now"

"I don't need to be no Hawkeye to see where the Honeyz be at" "Those are mostly autograph dealers, Slick"

"I don't need to be no Hawkeye to see where the Honeyz be at"
"Those are mostly autograph dealers, Slick"

Sigh. It's never (say) Charlize Theron or Scarlett Johansson getting into frame when I'm taking photos of Amy Adams...

Sigh. It's never (say) Charlize Theron or Scarlett Johansson getting into frame when I'm taking photos of Amy Adams...

Meanwhile... Jeremy Renner : Hey, you want my autograph? Security behind him : I know Renner is a member of the cast of the biggest entertainment franchise on the planet, but I wonder if Amy Adams needs a bit more protection...?

Meanwhile...
Jeremy Renner : Hey, you want my autograph?
Security behind him : I know Renner is a member of the cast of the biggest entertainment franchise on the planet, but I wonder if Amy Adams needs a bit more protection...?

Hey, Hawkeye. 'Ssup.

Hey, Hawkeye. 'Ssup.

Security : I've walked you most of the way to the door... do you think you can make it the rest of the way? I need to go back and guard Amy Adams from all enemies domestic and foreign.. BFI Festival Director Clare Stewart : Sure.

Security : I've walked you most of the way to the door... do you think you can make it the rest of the way? I need to go back and guard Amy Adams from all enemies domestic and foreign..
BFI Festival Director Clare Stewart : Sure.

And, finally, the inevitable. Amy Adams herself is now blocking shots of Amy Adams.

And, finally, the inevitable. Amy Adams herself is now blocking shots of Amy Adams.

some days you don't need a running commentary.

some days you don't need a running commentary.

Meanwhile, in the crowd, the dude on the right is going to be crushed both that Forest Whittaker (who is in this film) isn't showing up, and also that his shirt is spelled incorrectly

Meanwhile, in the crowd, the dude on the right is going to be crushed both that Forest Whittaker (who is in this film) isn't showing up, and also that his shirt is spelled incorrectly

"This would be the perfect time for you to turn around, you know" "Is that you speaking, or are you channeling the thoughts of somebody in the crowd?" "Uh...."

"This would be the perfect time for you to turn around, you know"
"Is that you speaking, or are you channeling the thoughts of somebody in the crowd?"
"Uh...."

"It's been triple x-rayed and chemically swabbed and had its cavities searched to ensure it really is just a camera. It's several generations out of date, now, of course, but if you wouldn't mind posing in front of it?"

"It's been triple x-rayed and chemically swabbed and had its cavities searched to ensure it really is just a camera. It's several generations out of date, now, of course, but if you wouldn't mind posing in front of it?"

... and then she walked in the opposite direction, signed some autographs, and went inside about fifteen minutes early. I guess she was as dazed by the connection we made as I was.

... and then she walked in the opposite direction, signed some autographs, and went inside about fifteen minutes early. I guess she was as dazed by the connection we made as I was.

And that was more or less it. What I didn't mention in the commentary was how Jeremy Renner went into the cinema about 25 mins early without signing in our area or doing all his interview, and how Amy Adams didn't sign in our area and went into the cinema about 15mins early, ostensibly because of the unpleasantness of the autograph dealers in our public pen. Which sucks both because there are autograph dealers in EVERY PEN (and why aren't they banned?) but also we weren't allowed to leave the pen once they'd gone inside so I/we just stood around in the cold for a quarter of an hour doing nothing.

So... it's sexy and exciting is what it is. But on the other hand, we're only at the halfway point of BFI London Film Festival, and it's also another entry into the "Archive of Movie Premieres"

Until next time!

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