10 Jan - the 'Shame' Gala Screening

January 10th, 2012.

In a bit of a sobering reality check in the wake of uber-premieres like "War Horse" and "Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol" , the 'premiere' for the movie "Margin Call" one day after War Horse proved to involve two of the cast walking through a London cinema's side entrace after being dropped off in ill-lit backstreets of Chinatown. (It felt more like I was being an evil stalker than at a premiere, regardless of what the websites said, so I'm holding off posting that journal while my conflicted soul sorts itself out).....

Anyway, one day after THAT, here's how the 'Gala Screening' of the movie 'Shame' went down (I missed the premiere itself last year, as I was out of town)

It's not a premiere, it's a "Gala Screening". What does that mean? It means that if you want photos of Michael Fassbender, you're going to have to check out my photos from "A Dangerous Method" , and if you want photos of Carey Mulligan, you'll need photos from the premiere of "An Education" (you're welcome!)

It's not a premiere, it's a "Gala Screening". What does that mean? It means that if you want photos of Michael Fassbender, you're going to have to check out my photos from "A Dangerous Method" , and if you want photos of Carey Mulligan, you'll need photos from the premiere of "An Education" (you're welcome!)

It's not about the size of your red carpet, it's about the fact that you've GOT one! Well played, Curzon Mayfair!

It's not about the size of your red carpet, it's about the fact that you've GOT one! Well played, Curzon Mayfair!

There's a List _and_ a three-star MEDIA ALERT!! (I don't know what that means...)

There's a List _and_ a three-star MEDIA ALERT!! (I don't know what that means...)

The initial crowd of half a dozen ultimately swelled to almost two dozen (!), but the Press Photographers ended up grabbing pole positions on both sides of the entryway, so I elected to relocate to the other side of the road. (Which is about one step short of relocating to a cafe and cutting my losses, kind of)

The initial crowd of half a dozen ultimately swelled to almost two dozen (!), but the Press Photographers ended up grabbing pole positions on both sides of the entryway, so I elected to relocate to the other side of the road. (Which is about one step short of relocating to a cafe and cutting my losses, kind of)

In the end I'm glad I stuck it out to capture the human drama of a security guard looking awesomely like he wants to find a phonebooth to change into a supervillain costume; and two paparazzi steadfastly not talking to each other for reasons unknown.

In the end I'm glad I stuck it out to capture the human drama of a security guard looking awesomely like he wants to find a phonebooth to change into a supervillain costume; and two paparazzi steadfastly not talking to each other for reasons unknown.

People have arrived!! Whether they're important people or merely passersby is yet to be established, but I'm burning calories just by being out here freezing, so I think I'm still winning.

People have arrived!! Whether they're important people or merely passersby is yet to be established, but I'm burning calories just by being out here freezing, so I think I'm still winning.

They be stoppin' and they be posin'. And traffic passes through the road they've kept open (it's so very Hollywood!). I don't know who any of these people are, but I'm going with Justin Bartha from National Treasure at left, 1990s rapper coolio, and mid-1980s Kylie Minogue at Centre. (Kylie and Coolio grabbed a time machine and picked up modern-day Justin Bartha en route to London) (It all makes sense)

They be stoppin' and they be posin'. And traffic passes through the road they've kept open (it's so very Hollywood!). I don't know who any of these people are, but I'm going with Justin Bartha from National Treasure at left, 1990s rapper coolio, and mid-1980s Kylie Minogue at Centre. (Kylie and Coolio grabbed a time machine and picked up modern-day Justin Bartha en route to London) (It all makes sense)

Legitimately interesting people show up - Director Steve McQueen (no, not THE Steve McQueen, but A Steve McQueen who might, if his career continues, end up being ANOTHER The Steve McQueen!), and his screenwriting partner Abi Morgan. (I've overexposed his screenwriting partner, but in my favour is the fact that the cute strawberry-hair-coloured girl is only getting the backs of their heads in HER photographs).

Legitimately interesting people show up - Director Steve McQueen (no, not THE Steve McQueen, but A Steve McQueen who might, if his career continues, end up being ANOTHER The Steve McQueen!), and his screenwriting partner Abi Morgan. (I've overexposed his screenwriting partner, but in my favour is the fact that the cute strawberry-hair-coloured girl is only getting the backs of their heads in HER photographs).

This particular Steve McQueen wrote and directed "Hunger" (2008) and co-wrote the screenplay for "Shame" (2011). However, he was already awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to the Arts in 2002 - which seems remarkably prescient by Her Majesty!

This particular Steve McQueen wrote and directed "Hunger" (2008) and co-wrote the screenplay for "Shame" (2011). However, he was already awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to the Arts in 2002 - which seems remarkably prescient by Her Majesty!

Oh, to be young, beautiful, and have a 70-200mm f2.8 hanging off your waist. (I'd left mine back at the office, figuring this wasn't the premiere for it. Now I kind of wish I'd brought it - I've always wanted to try to chat up a girl by saying I admired her piece. And then making such a lame line up to her by inviting her out to dinner. (See? I have a plan) (Wait... where was I? Oh. Right. Tragically single for reasons that are increasingly clear.))

Oh, to be young, beautiful, and have a 70-200mm f2.8 hanging off your waist. (I'd left mine back at the office, figuring this wasn't the premiere for it. Now I kind of wish I'd brought it - I've always wanted to try to chat up a girl by saying I admired her piece. And then making such a lame line up to her by inviting her out to dinner. (See? I have a plan) (Wait... where was I? Oh. Right. Tragically single for reasons that are increasingly clear.))

Now I'm (slightly) even gladder that I came to this thing.

Now I'm (slightly) even gladder that I came to this thing.

On the plus side, albeit randomly, actor Mark Strong showed up : he played villains in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" and "Kick-Ass". And I think he was in Danny Boyle's "Sunshine". He doesn't have anything to do with this film, but his taste in scarves is _faultless_. And he's a very nice guy, so stop typecasting him as a bad guy, Hollywood!

On the plus side, albeit randomly, actor Mark Strong showed up : he played villains in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" and "Kick-Ass". And I think he was in Danny Boyle's "Sunshine". He doesn't have anything to do with this film, but his taste in scarves is _faultless_. And he's a very nice guy, so stop typecasting him as a bad guy, Hollywood!

All the strawberry-blonde girls agree... if only they could get in on the ground floor with somebody who looked just like Mark Strong (if I looked more like Mark Strong), wore a scarf like Mark Strong (note to self : get a scarf like Mark Strong) and had a budding movie career like Mark Strong (and I could easily meet two of three of those criteria!!)

All the strawberry-blonde girls agree... if only they could get in on the ground floor with somebody who looked just like Mark Strong (if I looked more like Mark Strong), wore a scarf like Mark Strong (note to self : get a scarf like Mark Strong) and had a budding movie career like Mark Strong (and I could easily meet two of three of those criteria!!)

"Both Nikons broken. Have resorted to taking photos with my mobile phone. Hope the tabloids won't mind. Love you Mum". If I'd known that's what she was texting, I'd definitely have offered her the use of my Pentax... and she would have refused on the grounds of 'is that even a real brand' ... whereupon she would have noticed that I'm almost 2/3 of a Mark Strong and we would have gone out for dinner....

"Both Nikons broken. Have resorted to taking photos with my mobile phone. Hope the tabloids won't mind. Love you Mum". If I'd known that's what she was texting, I'd definitely have offered her the use of my Pentax... and she would have refused on the grounds of 'is that even a real brand' ... whereupon she would have noticed that I'm almost 2/3 of a Mark Strong and we would have gone out for dinner....

So... that was that (... and I don't think I saw her ever again). Fortunately, tomorrow's premiere was the premiere for "Madonna's W.E." which went much better. Meaning : no unrequited attraction to inexplicably cute photographers combined with an ACTUAL premiere.

Until next time, I'm guardedly putting it into "My Archive Of Movie Premieres"

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