Gravity premiere - Alfonso Cuaron! Sandra Bullock!

It’s the second of two premieres in two days as London Film Festival starts to get into gear. And for the second day in two, I’m here specifically to photograph a DIRECTOR I’ve never photographed. Yesterday at Captain Phillips it was Paul Greengrass and not Tom Hanks I was really interested in, and today it’s Alfonso Cuaron not Sandra Bullock. Also, in case you’re interested, I’m fairly sleep deprived and tender after yet another bizarre day in the office, and the evening temperature seems to have dropped eight or nine degrees per day in the last two days. (But enough of what’s weird in my life… how are you?)

Here’s how the premiere of Gravity went down…

Movie poster, being carried. Reviews for this film have been excellent. I saw shots from the film and lead actress Sandra Bullock wasn’t wearing any lipstick so you just know they’re aiming for Oscars.

“Guys, I swear this isn’t a play on the film’s title – I’m really having a back spasm so could you stop putting photos on instagram and help me??”

Meanwhile, we’re about half an hour from this thing starting, and some guy decides to break the boredom by asking a random girl to marry him. (Or maybe it’s more pre-planned and romantic than that. I’m really not the guy to ask).

He : “She said yes!! It was under duress, but it still counts!!”

Profoundly enigmatic, therefore art? (probably needs more blur and some vignetting). It’s three hours before this thing starts, and even pressing the shutter on the camera is keeping me warmer than merely standing still.

Oh, good, rain! And here I thought this was going to be an easy premiere now that people in the crowd weren’t wielding homemade World War II metal replica helmets like they were yesterday.

Sandra Bullock has arrived and her retinue of security person(s), pediatrist(s), soothsayer(s) and executive assistant(s) take positions around her.

The tall lady in the elegant dress was the ‘and guest’ of another guy whose name I missed, but the guy in the elevated position and the high-viz vest in the far background is the real winner.

Clare Stewart is (according to a wikipedia article) the director of the Sydney Film Festival. But this is not Sydney. This is London. (Guys, I’m just saying we need to contribute to wikipedia right now: I need to find out who she is, and the internet isn’t just for p0rn, people. Get on it).

(internal monologue) “My neck is really stiff but if I ask anyone else to massage it my security guy will tear their limbs off, but if I ask him to massage it he’ll probably break me apart. There’s got to be another way…” It’s tough being on the red carpet.

“Anyway, other than me, my retinue is just three security guys, health advisor, scribe, and …. can that guy photographing me lip-read?” I’m not sure. I assume I can lip read unless I’m told otherwise.

“My main security guy tends to just stare people down until they blink, at which point they usually back off. But sometimes he forgets what my Mum looks like and it’s very intimidating for her. Do you want to ask me any questions about the movie I’m in? Because it’s really good”

Sandra Bullock’s security dude has a choice of beating up five girls and a guy who are photographing her, or leading her away from danger. I think he tightened his grip on the baseball bat he was holding, but elected to move Ms Bullock back to the media pen. (Actually, he seemed nice. And he’s not standing over me with a baseball bat as I’m typing this)

“What do you mean they made FOUR MORE Harry Potter movies after ’Azkaban – they never asked ME. How old are those kids now- Twelve/Thirteen?” Alfonso Cuaron directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men, and Y Tu Mama Tambien, a movie that sounds so much cooler to say than it could possibly be to watch (actually it’s got a 7.6 on imdb, which is pretty high…).

“Yo, George. What was Harry’s owl’s name again?”
“Hedwig, Sir”
“He’s a huge fan. I try to embarrass him whenever I can”

Alfonso Cuaron had to go inside to introduce the film, but promised to come back out and sign. And amazingly, not only did he come back out, but he was staying to watch the film, meaning that he COULD have made people wait almost two hours if he’d wanted to. Instead he missed the start of the movie to sign autographs. Class move. Plus I assume he’s seen it.

“So Alfonso, say there’s a cameraman who’s not paying attention and a second dude is handholding a light in the middle of a take in one of your movies… death sentence or harsh talking to?”

The former (yet eternal) Yellow Cap Guy (far right, grinning at David Hayman) has returned from his retirement to grace Leicester Square for the second time in two days. He seems to have softened a bit – I guess retirement will do that.

“I’m sorry, but your name sounds really, really foreign. How about I just sign it in MY name, since I’m pretty comfortable signing that?”

Sandra Bullock and her retinue are about to find out whether the promotions company remembered to reserve seats for all six (eight?) of them, or just Ms Bullock.

Meanwhile, here’s Moustache, Owner, Top Hat, Faux Fur Neck Thing and Friend (ranked in order of importance to the Moustache)

“George, it rained again and just like yesterday neither Tom Hanks nor Paul Greengrass answered any of my questions. This time they didn’t even show up to the movie they had no involvement in. I’m still very disappointed.” Gosh darn it.

“Could you make it quick? The queue to the refreshment stand is way long, and we definitely want a choc-top each” In a rare departure from most premieres, both the director and lead actress STAYED to watch the film (usually they introduce the film and head to their chauffeured vehicles for the afterparty).

“Alfonso’s gonna be pissed if we don’t find his contact lens…”.

So… that’s another one for the Archive of Movie Premieres and unlike some (many) premieres I go to (cough) Lone Ranger (cough) this movie actually really does look and sound excellent and I’d even consider paying to see it.

But is this really a date movie, though, do you think? (I hear guys are proposing to their girlfriends prior to watching it. Must be pretty romantic).

Until next time!

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