8th Oct 2019 - The BFI LFF 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' Premiere

October 8th, 2019.

Owing to a sequence of events I’m now retconning as “fortuitous”, my wristband for the premiere of “Knives Out” (still to come later) was so bad that I despondently elected to just shoot that event from The Park, and use the time between leaving work and That premiere to head down to Embankment to see what was happening there.

Doing so not only meant I avoided getting rained on in a crowded public pen in Leicester Square, and not only did I get to photograph two premieres today, but I returned for Knives Out to get a rather lucky Pen Upgrade from “nothing” to “something”. But more on that later. For now, here’s how the First of Two premieres went down:

<with apologies if you’re reading this when it’s still in draft, fully- or partly- uncommented, form; or have no idea who I am or why I’m doing this journal>

Aren’t they lovely? Aren’t they wonderful? Spared no expense…  And with Extinction Rebellion protests hitting London for the second day in a row, it’s probably just as well they’re not using humvees or tractors to shuttle actors to and from events….

Aren’t they lovely? Aren’t they wonderful? Spared no expense…
And with Extinction Rebellion protests hitting London for the second day in a row, it’s probably just as well they’re not using humvees or tractors to shuttle actors to and from events….

“Man, this is bull5h1t. All these names are written in French!!….. …….. …………….. …….. ….oh, I see”  Yes, this movie is French.

“Man, this is bull5h1t. All these names are written in French!!…..
……..
…………….. ……..
….oh, I see”

Yes, this movie is French.

All our arrivals arrive at the same time, led by director Celine Sciamma. Although I’m no cinephile, I’ve actually watched something she’s directed : “Water Lilies (2007)” which she also wrote. The movie was a bit left field of my typical viewing habits (which equates to “random”, so… in fact kind of typical).

All our arrivals arrive at the same time, led by director Celine Sciamma. Although I’m no cinephile, I’ve actually watched something she’s directed : “Water Lilies (2007)” which she also wrote. The movie was a bit left field of my typical viewing habits (which equates to “random”, so… in fact kind of typical).

Noemie Merlant, knowing I’m still fresh from London Fashion week, seemingly awaits judgement on her attire to this event. Today I feel a bit underqualified : I’m wearing a semi-disposable blue Primark shirt under a rain/snow jacket : I haven’t even put on my brass-letter “L.A” cap to REALLY impress.

Noemie Merlant, knowing I’m still fresh from London Fashion week, seemingly awaits judgement on her attire to this event. Today I feel a bit underqualified : I’m wearing a semi-disposable blue Primark shirt under a rain/snow jacket : I haven’t even put on my brass-letter “L.A” cap to REALLY impress.

“I signed for him but he’s hesitating in signing for me… what’s going on here?”  Adele Haenel is in this movie - and though I’m still not really a cinephile - I’ve ALSO seena movie she was in : “Love at First Fight (2014)” - which was weird, but okay.

“I signed for him but he’s hesitating in signing for me… what’s going on here?”
Adele Haenel is in this movie - and though I’m still not really a cinephile - I’ve ALSO seena movie she was in : “Love at First Fight (2014)” - which was weird, but okay.

“He thought ‘Water Lilies’ was a botanical documentary and brought a gardening book for me to sign…”  Actually, it’s about young swimmers, but it’s a mistake anyone could make.

“He thought ‘Water Lilies’ was a botanical documentary and brought a gardening book for me to sign…”
Actually, it’s about young swimmers, but it’s a mistake anyone could make.

“We now have to audioscan your bags for… security reasons It’ll be easier if you comply rather than decline. You accept whatever new terms iTunes and Microsoft shove at you every couple of days, so why make a fuss about this?”

“We now have to audioscan your bags for… security reasons It’ll be easier if you comply rather than decline. You accept whatever new terms iTunes and Microsoft shove at you every couple of days, so why make a fuss about this?”

“You’re quite good looking - you wanna join us in posing?”  - apparently this premiere had three other guest attendees, also all women, but I didn’t photograph them.

“You’re quite good looking - you wanna join us in posing?” - apparently this premiere had three other guest attendees, also all women, but I didn’t photograph them.

“Just think - just a few days ago, Adam Driver was standing right here, staring out at his adoring fans” ”Or,more likely, the same paparazzi we’re posing in front of….” ”Don’t harsh my buzz, okay?”  Adam Driver was here for  ‘The Report’,  and the more intense Shia Labeouf was here for ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’

“Just think - just a few days ago, Adam Driver was standing right here, staring out at his adoring fans”
”Or,more likely, the same paparazzi we’re posing in front of….”
”Don’t harsh my buzz, okay?”

Adam Driver was here for ‘The Report’, and the more intense Shia Labeouf was here for ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’

“Shirt and no tie. A young kid at the   ‘Jojo Rabbit  ’ premiere taught me that…”

“Shirt and no tie. A young kid at the ‘Jojo Rabbit’ premiere taught me that…”

I like the eyecontact from Noemie Merlant I’m not even going to quibble about the shoulders and elbows of the Paparazzi standing between us.

I like the eyecontact from Noemie Merlant I’m not even going to quibble about the shoulders and elbows of the Paparazzi standing between us.

“Don’t you have a Rian Johnson premiere to head off and be cynical about??”  Celine Sciamma has my measure. But my spot at that event is so bad (and I still have to head back to the office) that I can risk staying here just a little bit longer.

“Don’t you have a Rian Johnson premiere to head off and be cynical about??”
Celine Sciamma has my measure. But my spot at that event is so bad (and I still have to head back to the office) that I can risk staying here just a little bit longer.

I’d like to interrupt this premiere journal by pointing out that the wristwatch on the lady’s arm on the right is a Casio F91W, one of the most fundamentally iconic wristwatches available. it’s been in constant manufacture since the 1990s and remains so to this day, it costs about $US5 (I have two) and is both the least sexy and most brutally “I just care about the time, man” watch out there…. which ironically makes it kind of sexy after all. Go get one… they’re pretty rad, ace, groovy, or whatever the kids are calling things these days.

I’d like to interrupt this premiere journal by pointing out that the wristwatch on the lady’s arm on the right is a Casio F91W, one of the most fundamentally iconic wristwatches available. it’s been in constant manufacture since the 1990s and remains so to this day, it costs about $US5 (I have two) and is both the least sexy and most brutally “I just care about the time, man” watch out there…. which ironically makes it kind of sexy after all. Go get one… they’re pretty rad, ace, groovy, or whatever the kids are calling things these days.

“What’s really going to blow your mind is later, when you look at this photo, you’ll conclude that this is not even my hand that’s stroking my face…”

“What’s really going to blow your mind is later, when you look at this photo, you’ll conclude that this is not even my hand that’s stroking my face…”

“If you stood where that guy is standing, you too would be able to admire that swirly bokeh behind you, rather than having to answer questions…”

“If you stood where that guy is standing, you too would be able to admire that swirly bokeh behind you, rather than having to answer questions…”

And so… that was that. A premiere out of nothing, with (in all likelihood, as at that point) a NOTHING of a premiere to look forward to in Leicester Square in <checks watch> (a Seiko Kinetic)… about an hour and a bit. Which would make it +2 for the archive in one day (*here’s hoping)

Until next time!

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