I checked out the private screening, Hong Kong premiere of "Shanghai," a new film from The Weinstein Company. Many thanks to
Bey Logan for the invite.
The screening was at the Pacific Place theater in Admiralty, one of my usual movie watching hangouts on account of the in-cinema full service bar/concession stand. If you ask me, nothing says "classy" more than a glass of white wine with your bag of popcorn while watching a flic.
Outside the theater I got to hobnob a bit with the usual cast of AnD VIPs and well connected friends, buddies, and acquaintances, as well as a bunch of people I didn't know yet, but who I'm sure are accomplished in one way or the other in their own right.
As we loitered outside the theater, you could tell there was an hint of expectation in the air. Several paparazzi were hanging out waiting for something.... somebody. It gave me a clue that at least there was a good chance that the random people around me weren't top TVB stars or something. But then, all of a sudden, it happened.
The calm of the storm has subsided into a flurry of activity, cameras flashed, people crowded, women swooned.... that can only mean one thing.... Chow Yun Fat has entered the building.
Chow Yun Fat... the man, not a myth. The man, who is not only the greatest thing to come out of Hong Kong cinema, but who IS Hong Kong cinema as far as I'm concerned, was walking up towards my general direction.... and darn it, I couldn't get a clear photo on my iphone! Argh!
Too many cameramen and too many flashes for me to compete with my little pocket phone cam. But at least I got to see the man in person for the first time ever. A prophecy foretold, now at long last realized. Accompanying him were Bey Logan and Harvey Weinstein. If you look very closely at my unfocused pictures, you can kind of tell it's them. Chow Yun Fat is in the baseball cap.
The movie itself was cool yo! It's been a while since I've seen a really cool murder mystery, spy caper, 1940's gangster film, or World War II epic. And here we have a movie that is all of it in one! Plus, an awesome cast... Chow Yun Fat, Ken Watanabe, John Cusack (often accused of being my doppleganger), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (better known as The Comedian from "Watchmen") who seems to be making a great career out of being the guy who dies 5 minutes into a movie and spends the rest of the movie coming back in flashbacks. Most of all... this movie had Gong Li.
Arguably the best actress to come out of China, arguably the best actress to come out of Asia, arguably one of the best actresses ever, ever! One thing I can say about Gong Li is that I tend to develop a huge crush on her every time I see one of her films. It started with "Farewell my Concubine" and was rekindled after "Curse of the Golden Flower" and "Memoirs of a Geisha." Now I don't think I'll be able to think of another actress for weeks. Shu Qi, who? Zhang Ziyi, what? Tang Wei, huh? Sorry ladies, my head is too filled up with Gong Li now to think about you girls.
In fact, after the screening, I had a very lovely and extended conversation, with a friend at the Hollywood Reporter, in particular about Gong Li's "rack."
I didn't want to be the first one to say it, but once out in the open, I really had to give props. The lady has still got it and in bountiful portions. After seeing her in this one dress in particular on screen, I thought to myself.... "I have almost seen the top of the mountain.... and it is good."
Moving on back to business, the after party was at Finds in LKF. A lovely place filled wall to wall with VIPs from the screening and assorted other guests. I had decided to pace myself, unlike my typical industry party M.O. I figured, somewhere in the crowd, Harvey Weinstein was wandering and I wanted to make a decent and somewhat sober impression. I took lead from my buddy Karen Chu, dancer extraordinaire, and opted for a ginger ale between glasses of free flowing champagne.
They had a little stage with a giant movie poster from the film where the celebs posed for the paparazzi cameras. I managed to take a picture of four Titans of the film industry on the stage.... Bey Logan, Daniel Wu, Harvey Weinstein, and a 4th guy who I don't particularly recognize but will assume is a Titan, because otherwise he probably wouldn't be on stage with these guys.
Unfortunately Chow Yun Fat didn't seem to make it to the afterparty, from what I saw. Even more unfortunate was that Gong Li didn't make it to the after party, or the screening for that matter. ; (
After the crowd cleared I managed to take a picture of the poster, sans Titans.
Seeing a giant Gong Li there, one that probably wouldn't slap me if I tried, I couldn't help but take the opportunity to steal a kiss.
As I was taking this picture, I could see a couple of VIPs and celebs looking on with a look of "Oh no, here Joe goes again." But save of this incident, I think I still managed to behave relatively well through out the festivity.
Emma Moosa, model and animator extreme, got in on the VIP stage picture action as well.
Then I got in on the taking a picture with Emma on the VIP stage action. This pic care of Emma's friend Carmen.
OK, by this time I've had a few drinks... still behaving, just a little out of control. Although you can really tell when I took a pic with Carmen on her camera.
Carmen looks sweet and spicy. Joe looks like a mad scientist. ; ) haha
The rest of the afterparty went well. I got to shake hands with the living legend himself, Harvey Weinstein, in the end. Then right before heading to the after-after party at RACKS, I took one last opportunity to immortalize myself in movie premiere after party history....
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