Monday, March 26, 2007

The Night of A Thousand Stars

Hey there, all. Yesterday was a pretty decent day and a fair representation of the way I'd like a great deal of my days to be.

Firstly, as you might guess, it was a day off from work -- which is always appreciated. The college pals Mark and Tom came down from Keene and we all headed off to Harvard Square in Cambridge to the historic Brattle Theater to attend the area premiere of Hot Fuzz, the new action-comedy from the team behind the UK's television and film wonders Spaced and Shawn of the Dead. Stars Simon Pegg & Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright were all to be in attendance, so missing the event was simply not an option. In order to gain attendance to said event, one had to catch a screening of a previous film in a series of presentations of classic action/cop movies such as The French Connection, Lethal Weapon, Hard Boiled and such. I'd made the trip out a while ago -- during a blizzard that shut down most of the city -- to catch Dirty Harry, in order to get my Fuzz ticket. It was freezing out there waiting for the amazingly undependable MBTA bus line ride home and I nearly jumpstarted my cold/flu again in doing so... but in hindsight, it was definitely worth it.

After grabbing a bite at Charlie's -- truly the "double cheeseburger king," just as the sign says -- we recaptured our spots in line thanks to another chance run-in with friend and fellow cinemaniac Wendee (see the "Lebowski" post on this blog). We all filed in and basked in the warming, comic glow of Hot Fuzz's warm, comic glow. No spoilers on the film, here. But anyone who loved Shawn of the Dead or can appreciate a great mix of character comedy and "shite blowing up" won't be disappointed. After the screening, a 30 minute Q&A commenced with Pegg, Frost & Wright. Many fine questions and many silly and informative answers were lobbed about. Pegg jokingly confirmed for me his hopes that a series of action figures featuring the Fuzz cast might be released -- especially ones in the classic Star Wars figure style where one could take his "Nicholas Angel" figure and place it in a series of playsets and vehicles. Autographs were signed, hands were shaken and a great time was had by all. But wait: there was more...

Immediately after the Fuzztival, another screening was to be held as part of the Boston Underground Film Festival. This screening was of a new horror/comedy/romance called Roman and to be presented in attendance by cinematographer Kevin Ford, star Lucky Mckee and director Angela Bettis. McKee (also well known director) and Bettis (also an acclaimed actress) previously collaborated on the great horror comedy May, and switched filmmaking positions on Roman, a DV-film regarding another lonely, dangerous soul trying to connect with his particular world with sweet and deadly results.

The film hits all the right marks and is exceedingly well shot by director of photography Ford. The post-screening Q&A was an intimate, down-to-earth session with McKee, Bettis and Ford lending advice and sharing filmmaking stories with warmth and humor. After a quick meet-and-greet, I asked Ford about the DVD release of the film and let him know that in the realm of DV features, I thought that Roman looked great and better, in fact, than David Lynch's Inland Empire. Very cool work was displayed by three very talented filmmakers, indeed.

After the thank you's were exchanged and the crowd split up, Mark, Tom and I headed out into the streets, parted company and I caught a nearby bus back to the pad to enjoy some of the David Lynch Signature Cup Organic House Roast Coffee (!) that I grabbed at the theater's concession stand. Quite good, actually. Mellow, not bitter. If you're ever out by the Brattle, the Lynch coffee's definitely worth the stop. Just be sure to keep the fish out of your percolator...

And if you get that reference, you're my kind of reader. ;)

3 comments:

--mcc said...

This post is dedicated to Timmy H and Milo B, who couldn't make it to the screenings and were sorely missed. :)

DanielLee said...

Roman sounds very intersting indeed. Great post!

GreatTeacherJoE said...

dude, I got to sit in on a Q&A session with the trio way back when Shaun first came out. They are so laid back and awesome.