Tuesday, March 13, 2007

PREMONITION & the Premier

The Hollywood Premier of Premonition

Last night I went to the Hollywood premier of Premonition, the new thriller starring Sandra Bullock.  You've probably seen the ads.  Time is out of joint.  Bullock is told her husband is dead, but the next morning she wakes up and he’s alive.  She tries to deal with her feelings of abandonment, betrayal, and grief, while she fights to make sense out of what's happening to her.  Emotionally, the movie is thoroughly satisfying and beautifully directed.  Logically, some strings are left untied.  Like the best modern art you’ll be left with things unsaid, things to puzzle over, a chance to bring your own perceptions into the experience.  Most films are so logical, so wrapped up, you have nothing to discuss afterwards with friends over dinner.  The brilliance of Premonition is you'll have lots to discuss.  The film and questions about the film will haunt you for days.

We were invited to the premier by the director, Mennan Yapo.  His is a real rags- to-riches story.  A successful movie executive in Europe, Mennan put everything he had into writing and directing his and first feature, the German film, Soundless.  It was accepted at the Los Angeles Film Festival, but by that time Mennan had no money to stay here for meetings with production companies, so he stayed with us.  It was an exciting time, that magical moment when a star is born.  Every day messengers dropped off dozens of scripts, most of them he turned down.  A true artist and totally focused, he went back to Germany without finding a project he could put his heart into.  Then the script for Premonition arrived and the rest is history.

What's a real Hollywood premiere like?  The sidewalk on fabled Sunset Boulevard is cordoned off.  Fans press against the ropes.  The paparazzi are there en masse.  The director and his entourage step out of a limo.  Cameras flash.  Guards are stationed everywhere to make sure that only the favored few get into the theater.  So what goes on inside the lobby of the theater?  Not much.  Friends greet one another.  A few, very few, scantily-clad, aspiring actresses parade around hoping to be seen, but for the most part it looks like the crowd at your Saturday night Cineplex.  The after party was down the block in a beautiful old Hollywood building with period chandeliers and winding staircases.  Four bars served free drinks on three floors.  Loud music was piped through all the rooms.  But like big parties from Shreveport to Sacramento it can be intimidating or fun.  It's all about who you know.    

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