20 Oct - The BFI LFF 'A Private War' Premiere

October 20th, 2018.

Even I have to admit to being sick of complaining (either subtly or overtly) about how I’m not enjoying this London Film Festival. The good news? Only one more day left after today. And I only did one premiere today (mainly because of how f**king awful yesterday’s alleged European premiere for ‘Assassination Nation’ was) - this decision ONCE AGAIN proved to be a mistake. All I’ve done this BFI LFF is make mistakes, and I’m both tired, AND tired of it.

Who cares. Here’s how this one went down.

It’s been a long, exhausting, draining slog of a film festival. And this is pretty much how I feel right now too. Except without a sweet eye-patch.

It’s been a long, exhausting, draining slog of a film festival. And this is pretty much how I feel right now too. Except without a sweet eye-patch.

“If I can’t get a selfie with Jamie Dornan with this thing, I’m giving it to the guys behind me. They seem pretty good at selling things for half price”  - the star of Fifty Shades of Grey IS expected for this one. His co-star in that series, Dakota Johnson, attended the    (godawful) premiere of ‘Suspiria’    a few days ago.

“If I can’t get a selfie with Jamie Dornan with this thing, I’m giving it to the guys behind me. They seem pretty good at selling things for half price” - the star of Fifty Shades of Grey IS expected for this one. His co-star in that series, Dakota Johnson, attended the (godawful) premiere of ‘Suspiria’ a few days ago.

I’m on a step-stool in the park taking photos long-range. You’ll notice that while the public pen on the carpet has its crowds just 1-deep, the crowd in the park is between four-and-six deep. If there’s a better metaphor for both (1) the snobby elitism of BFI (2) the assholishness of event security, I’m not likely to find one.

I’m on a step-stool in the park taking photos long-range. You’ll notice that while the public pen on the carpet has its crowds just 1-deep, the crowd in the park is between four-and-six deep. If there’s a better metaphor for both (1) the snobby elitism of BFI (2) the assholishness of event security, I’m not likely to find one.

“It’s kind of them to put a centrefold into their Attendee List for this one. Jamie Dornan sure is fiiiiiine….”.  By the time the sixth or seventh person stopped me to ask me who was attending this thing, I’d decided to just say it was Rosamunde Pike and Stanley Tucci who were coming.

“It’s kind of them to put a centrefold into their Attendee List for this one. Jamie Dornan sure is fiiiiiine….”. By the time the sixth or seventh person stopped me to ask me who was attending this thing, I’d decided to just say it was Rosamunde Pike and Stanley Tucci who were coming.

“But if Jamie Dornan doesn’t show up at least half-naked, however will I recognise him? Also, anyone know how you can enlarge this thing? By which I mean ‘this image’?”

“But if Jamie Dornan doesn’t show up at least half-naked, however will I recognise him? Also, anyone know how you can enlarge this thing? By which I mean ‘this image’?”

And if this event hadn’t already gotten weird and/or momentous enough : a surprise ‘guest’ in the public pen in front of me : the former YELLOW CAP (now yellow cap-less) GUY!!

And if this event hadn’t already gotten weird and/or momentous enough : a surprise ‘guest’ in the public pen in front of me : the former YELLOW CAP (now yellow cap-less) GUY!!

I don’t know who this is… but he certainly ended up hugging a fair few members of the cast, and hung around on the carpet a fair bit. Team mascot, perhaps?

I don’t know who this is… but he certainly ended up hugging a fair few members of the cast, and hung around on the carpet a fair bit. Team mascot, perhaps?

I don’t know who this is either. But the people around me weren’t too fussed.

I don’t know who this is either. But the people around me weren’t too fussed.

If this is the team behind the mighty    premierescene   , then….  I KNEW IT!  Alternatively, Security at this event have covered themselves in the kind of glory that pigs in excrement tend enjoy.

If this is the team behind the mighty premierescene, then…. I KNEW IT!
Alternatively, Security at this event have covered themselves in the kind of glory that pigs in excrement tend enjoy.

OMG it’s Jamie Dornan!!!! Oh, wait. Everyone around me is on a lower elevation whereby the plant(s) in the foreground provide cover in the direction of the posing board. So I think I’ll keep my excitement further contained.

OMG it’s Jamie Dornan!!!! Oh, wait. Everyone around me is on a lower elevation whereby the plant(s) in the foreground provide cover in the direction of the posing board. So I think I’ll keep my excitement further contained.

Also now here (at left) the movie’s female lead, Rosamunde Pike. And that’s not fake bokeh like your cameraphone does : that’s the Nikon doing a pretty stellar job at nailing focus at considerable distance (its accuracy wasn’t perfect at this premiere, but it went okay)

Also now here (at left) the movie’s female lead, Rosamunde Pike. And that’s not fake bokeh like your cameraphone does : that’s the Nikon doing a pretty stellar job at nailing focus at considerable distance (its accuracy wasn’t perfect at this premiere, but it went okay)

Meanwhile, up on the Empire’s Icon Balcony:  “Why are the Commoners down there screaming this time… Brexit? Unionism? Railway deregulation?” ”For Jamie Dornan, I think…” ”Oh. Well I suppose I can support that.”

Meanwhile, up on the Empire’s Icon Balcony:
“Why are the Commoners down there screaming this time… Brexit? Unionism? Railway deregulation?”
”For Jamie Dornan, I think…”
”Oh. Well I suppose I can support that.”

“I do like meeting and signing autographs for fans, but on the negative side a lot of these fans are dudes with stacks of photos…….”  The park surrounding me had a higher incidence of fans, but can you call yourself a true fan if you don’t camp out for premiere wistbands? Or show up an hour before to learn that (as you can see) the public pens are totally full and they’re all out of wristbands?

“I do like meeting and signing autographs for fans, but on the negative side a lot of these fans are dudes with stacks of photos…….” The park surrounding me had a higher incidence of fans, but can you call yourself a true fan if you don’t camp out for premiere wistbands? Or show up an hour before to learn that (as you can see) the public pens are totally full and they’re all out of wristbands?

“Hmmm…. no, I’m still deciding whether to or not. While I do that… let’s keep walking. Isn’t there an M&Ms store or Lego store around here somewhere?”

“Hmmm…. no, I’m still deciding whether to or not. While I do that… let’s keep walking. Isn’t there an M&Ms store or Lego store around here somewhere?”

And people look at ME like I’m weird.

And people look at ME like I’m weird.

Meanwhile, back on the balcony … is that actress GUGU MBATHA-RAW?? (checks wireimage… YES!) - she’s a great actress : she was excellent the (equally excellent) movie    ‘Belle”   .

Meanwhile, back on the balcony … is that actress GUGU MBATHA-RAW?? (checks wireimage… YES!) - she’s a great actress : she was excellent the (equally excellent) movie ‘Belle”.

Stanley Tucci, bottom right :  “I don’t care, as long as I’m framed by Leicester Square’s iconic 50% SALE signs!!”  - and it’s an angle none of the Paparazzi are covering, so it’s lucky I’m here.

Stanley Tucci, bottom right : “I don’t care, as long as I’m framed by Leicester Square’s iconic 50% SALE signs!!” - and it’s an angle none of the Paparazzi are covering, so it’s lucky I’m here.

Mysterious and happily smiling unidentified man continues to be mysterious. And happy.

Mysterious and happily smiling unidentified man continues to be mysterious. And happy.

Rosamunde Pike’s tight-bun-hairstyle seems unusually severe. Does it hurt to not smile when your hair is done up like this? My hair maintains an average length under half a centimetre, so my interest is primarily academic.

Rosamunde Pike’s tight-bun-hairstyle seems unusually severe. Does it hurt to not smile when your hair is done up like this? My hair maintains an average length under half a centimetre, so my interest is primarily academic.

“We can loosen it a bit if you think it might be affecting blood flow…?”

“We can loosen it a bit if you think it might be affecting blood flow…?”

“What’s it feel like being on this side of the carpet, with you on the other side? Pretty fantastic, if I’m honest!”  - I like Rosamunde Pike. She hasn’t been in a Marvel/DC movie yet, but she was in a Bond film (Die Another Day), a Jane Austen film (Pride & Prejudice) AND a movie I liked that pretty much nobody has ever heard of (The Big Year)

“What’s it feel like being on this side of the carpet, with you on the other side? Pretty fantastic, if I’m honest!” - I like Rosamunde Pike. She hasn’t been in a Marvel/DC movie yet, but she was in a Bond film (Die Another Day), a Jane Austen film (Pride & Prejudice) AND a movie I liked that pretty much nobody has ever heard of (The Big Year)

“You want to give this to me? But I don’t know what it is…..”

“You want to give this to me? But I don’t know what it is…..”

Mysterious smiling man update : he’s brooding lightly, yet enigmatically now.

Mysterious smiling man update : he’s brooding lightly, yet enigmatically now.

“Sure, I could sign autographs and do selfies… but there’s a 50% off sale happening right behind me. You can see how I’m feeling kind of torn right now….”

“Sure, I could sign autographs and do selfies… but there’s a 50% off sale happening right behind me. You can see how I’m feeling kind of torn right now….”

Mysterious smiling and/or engmatically brooding man update : now being faced by Rosamund Pike and diagonal to what might be a minor deity at this point.

Mysterious smiling and/or engmatically brooding man update : now being faced by Rosamund Pike and diagonal to what might be a minor deity at this point.

I don’t want to write a comment for this photo. Not when an epic Viking Saga poem would be more worthy  (btw : edited to add : mysterious enigmatic smiling/brooding man is Paul Conray, whose part Jamie Dornan plays in the film - with thanks to Tracy!)

I don’t want to write a comment for this photo. Not when an epic Viking Saga poem would be more worthy
(btw : edited to add : mysterious enigmatic smiling/brooding man is Paul Conray, whose part Jamie Dornan plays in the film - with thanks to Tracy!)

So that was that. I can’t say I enjoyed it, even if the photos were challenging to take, and challenging is usually a good thing. But seeing almost empty pens one-deep, with a new pen being opened that was filled by taking people OUT of an already low-density pen; with so many people in the park not getting in; and with random people just allowed to stand directly behind the media. I mean…. what the f&&k is going on?

Once again, I left just feeling like it had all been 5h1t. I decided not to go to the ‘The Hate U Give’ special presentation (per the BFI LFF program)… then got home to find it had been a well-attended European Premiere and I should have stayed.

I f%%king hate this.

If you’re curious whether thigs gets worse, and whether I’ll write about them, feel free to follow me on facebook, or twitter, or whatever NSA / MI6 / Mossad / NorthKorean / Russian monitoring tools you subscribe to. The archive is here, and the bottles of alcohol I’ll be hitting before too long are the fridge. The ice cube trays are in the freezer. All three of them.

Tomorrow it’s over, and regardless of whether I attend or not, that’s a damn GOOD thing.