You know you’ve been married for a while when you take a moment out from arguing to decide to go to a Maroon 5* concert on Thursday, and then resume arguing again.
Just back from the premiere of the movie BEOWULF (and I still can’t believe that I didn’t remember that Neil Gaiman had anything to do with the thing until his name popped up in the end credits). The premiere was held in Westwood**, which I liked because it’s just a few minutes’ drive from my house (as opposed to the premieres held in West Hollywood or Hollywood, which is way the hell out there, especially when you’re forced to drive out during the pre-dinner hour), and the street corners flanking the movie theatre were mobbed with photographers and people screaming the names of various actors. While I was a block down the street picking up our tickets at will call (Steve Bing, one of the producers — who picked up some major notoriety when he became Elizabeth Hurley’s babydaddy — invited us, or rather my husband, although when I said hello and shook his hand sans the husband, who as usual was running late, he clearly had no idea who I was. The one time I met him, I believe he had been drinking a lot of wine, or so I shall continue to tell myself. Plus my hair was different. I shall continue to tell myself that as well. But I digress) every now and then a fresh surge of screaming would ripple through the crowds and you’d see photographs and pens waving in the air as whoever was walking past the other side got blasted with some more adoration. The one name that caught my attention was “Christian! Christian!” Christian Bale? I would make an effort to see Christian Bale in the flesh. I mean I didn’t at the time, if that was really him, but I would.
BEOWULF was very good.
BEOWULF will do very well.
It’s always fun to go into a movie with no expectations and then realize, as the credits roll and the final moments sink in and the exhilaration of powerful storytelling lights up the crowd — the applause, the dropped comments and overheard conversation as we work our way up the aisles — that you were one of the first to experience what will be a major hit, and you came to it fresh, without buzz or hyped-up expectations or knowledge of the story’s main revelations, which will soon be impossible for audiences everywhere except for those who might be emerging from under logs and rocks. And that it will be a hit not because it was a manufactured hyped-up corporate Event (and the sequel of a sequel of a sequel), but because it’s just good, right down to its well-structured story bones, and people will just like it and tell other people how much they liked it. Like I’m telling you now. How positively quaint and old-fashioned.
I don’t know the official release date, but chances are, if your tastes run along the same lines as mine, you’re in for a treat. This is what adult ‘genre’ storytelling should be. Which means, of course, that this movie wasn’t financed by any major studio — I can just imagine some Hollywood exec’s reaction to being asked to finance the adaptation of some heroic poem dating from the dark ages — hear them scoffing, as some of them certainly must have, “Who the hell would want to see that?***” — but funded instead by brave souls who recognized a script strong enough to attract impressive talent and thrill a mainstream audience****. Good for them.
*I appreciate how Adam Levine did the male equivalent of using Halloween to celebrate your inner slut in a socially legitimized fashion. He was Brad Pitt’s character from FIGHT CLUB, which of course enabled him to walk around half-naked.
** Where UCLA campus is. Which makes it a unique mix of extremely expensive homes on extremely desirable westside real estate, and cheap student eateries, salons and stores. Including the Mystery Bookstore, a very good little indie that thankfully hasn’t been crushed from existence.
*** Even though BEOWULF is largely regarded as pretty much the first science-fiction/fantasy/horror tale ever written. So who will want to see it? Uh, fans of fantasy and horror. And what have been some of the most successful films of recent years? Be they of the genres fantasy and horror…?
**** Even if one of them didn’t remember me. I liked his outfit, though — jeans and a cool t-shirt, dressed-down in a dressed-up crowd — so I’ll forgive him. Plus, the last name. The kid behind me, who clearly knows him, saw him and yelled to him, “Bing! Bing! Bing!” I, too, hope for the chance to have a reason to yell out “Bing” repeatedly across a crowd at some point in the future. Perhaps there are many Bing relatives, and I might befriend one of them.
By the way, in case any of you regular readers might be wondering, Bing is not the ‘Octavius’ from an earlier blog entry. (I did run into Octavius and Augusta in the lobby of the theatre and spoke with them briefly; they really liked the film as well.) I don’t expect to have much interaction with Mr. Bing in the future, which is why I didn’t bother with a pseudonym. Plus I just like to write the name Bing. No doubt he suffers this kind of reaction to his surname all the time, but he seems to wear it well.