Hairy here and yow do I have a story to tell!!!! I haven't been this excited since I won the left ear prosthetic worn by one of the simian extras in Planet of the Apes on eGad!
My day started... badly. After hanging out with fellow IACITBers Blofeld and Geekbot at the Drafthouse a little late last night following our annual Rondo Hatton marathon, my head felt swelled and bulgy this morning (from the booze, that is, not because I caught anything from Hatton).
All I wanted to do today was lay in bed, drink a gallon of coffee, and maybe read some of my old Kamandi comics... but fate had other plans for your jolly filmgoing host.
The fat-phone rang early (and boy did it seem loud). It was a call from... someone who I cannot name... from Hollywood inviting me to a special preview screening... that very night!
The movie... Robert Altman's latest opus... IF THESE STREETS COULD TALK!! There were more suprises to come too... but more on that... later!
Now, longtime IACIB readers will know I consider Altman to be a Gee-nee-ous, and lept (not literally) at the chance to see this film.
Ya know... you can't get much more outside Hollywood than old Hairy Knavel. I'm just a guy in his dad's basement trying to bring my love of film to my fellow interneters. I mean... sure, I've visited the sets of a few movies (Rodan 1999, Thrill Zone, Fetzer: the Movie, The Muppets' Lord of the Flies, and Newsboy Legion to name a few)... sure, I've atended a couple big movie premieres (too numerous to list)... and, yes, I did have that small part in UH OH, MY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS ARE REALLY ALIENS AND THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL ME... but I think I've always kept my outsider edge... retained a certain... healthy non-bias.
So imagine how surprised I was to hear that the studio was going to foot the bill for me and a friend to fly out to Hollywood to see the film... before anyone else in the world!!! I mean... this just doesn't happen every day!!! Sometimes it doesn't even happen to me for almost a month!
So I packed up a few belongings in my James Bond tote bag (a nice gift from the studio)... called up Blofeld... and we headed to the airport.
Good thing the studio opted for first class. I hate having to squeeze into those tiny coach seats. We had a pretty smooth flight... I was able to convince the stewardess to get me some extra peanuts (how small are those bags!) and the in-flight movie was THREE LONGIME BACHELORS ATTEMPT TO TAKE CARE OF A TODDLER BUT MAKE A MESS OF THINGS... a laugh-fest from beginning to end. Steve Danson always gets me when he has to change a diaper and winds up getting powder all over himself. I laughed so hard I got a peanut lodged in my esophogas and it took three stewardesses and Blofeld to Heimlich it out of me!
The chauffeured ride wasn't too bad, but I was surprised... no limo this time! That's OK, though, I'm no Hollywood bigwig... I can rough it.
After we had checked in to our suites and looked to see what pay-per-view movies we could watch later, we were driven to the studio for our private screening.
Waiting to meet us was... none other than... Mr. Robert Altman himself!!! I was about to see a great new film (I was sure it would be) with the genius director right in the room with me!
But... sometimes Hairy can be a widdle selfish... Ya know... Mr. Altman has always reminded me of Santa Claus, and I just couldn't resist asking him if it would be OK if I sat on his lap during the screening. He looked a little unsure at first, but a good twenty minutes of pleading brought him around.
You can't even begin to imagine this film fan's joy as the lights began to dim. Then I remembered... what about snacks!?! We got them to stop the projector while we rounded up some munchies to enjoy. I'm on a serious diet right now, so I had to cut back from my usual candy/popcorn mixture... just popcorn, Buncha Crunch, and Milk Duds (plus the gallon sized Diet Coke)... no Sour Patch Kids or Cookie Dough Bites this time.
Once we were loaded up, it was back into the screening room. Once I had climbed back onto Robert's lap and the film began to roll, a wave of pure bliss rolled over me. It's the kind of day every Hollywood outsider like me dreams of.
The film was four and a half hours of cinematic magic. Don't cut a frame! There were about 20 different characters who spent a most of thier time in cars alone talking to eachother on cell phones... it's very today. Great dialog, and Robert wisely resisted the urge to throw in any humor, action, sex appeal, or plot (well, not much... I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I'll only mention that Joan Cusak's character dies in the end).
Anyway, everyone should go see this movie. It's brilliant. I haven't had such a great time seeing a film since Salma Hayek fed me bon bons during the premiere of HERE COMES THE DEVIL (an underated movie).
Anyway... go see this movie... I have it on good authority it may have already won some Oscars