Saturday, January 27, 2007

Santa Barbara Film Festival

Last night LK and I scored platinum passes to the SB Film Festival courtesy of our friendly Chilly Chia Pet to see Helen Mirren be given an award by William H. Macy for the year's Outstanding Performance Award. This is the sort of opportunity that does tend to come up in SB, which is one of the reasons it's not such a struggle to live here. It's definitely a bit of a change from my home town where the big annual occasion is the 'Great Yorkshire Show'. They don't make Chief Pig Steward's like that in California I can tell you that right now.

The passes meant we got to sail up the red carpet past at least ten, maybe twelve other people anxiously waiting in the general admission line. It was quite a moment, ruined entirely by us wearing jeans going 'what, this way? are you sure? should we ask that guy? do you have your pass out? shit I wish I hadn't worn jeans everyone's looking' etc etc. After buying and consuming our own body weight in popcorn and listening in on some truly wankerish conversations around us 'I could ask several of my very famous friends to help produce my script, but I'd rather just, you know,' err, languish in obscurity? Please do. 'Most people don't realize how much of a meritocracy LA actually is' - as compared to what? Clearly the problem with his script is that LA is a meritocracy not an up-your-own-arse-ocracy. There was some high class people watching to be done, which is always a lot of fun, and a large number of women with that brittle over-dyed and overblown hair that makes you long to throw a match in it.

The real gem of the evening though was the bloke asking the questions, Roger Durling. What a shocker he had. LK summed it up best by likening him to the Chris Farley interviewer in Saturday Night Live. In his defence it was apparently his first time as an interviewer, and it must have been stressful to be engaging such an intelligent actress in front of so many people, but he seemed absolutely incapable of deviating from his pre-prepared questions, despite whatever juicy tidbit she'd just offered him. At one point he asked her about how she managed to excel at such a tremendous range of characters and someone heckled 'err, she's an actor'. It made me nervous just watching him. Still, it was a real treat to be able to hear Dame Helen Mirren talk about her life's work. She is an incredibly classy woman, who clearly has a great sense of humour, and a great deal of humility to not embarrass Mr. Durling any more than he was managing himself. It was also brilliant to hear William H. Macy (who I will always think of as Filliam H. Muffman courtesy of the Colbert Report) laud her so eloquently.

Thanks Chilly, you're the real star. It was nice to be able to go out on the town and grab a bit of kulcha instead of the usual three hastily downed margaritas and a chimichanga.

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