Thursday, November 10, 2005
Last night I went to a private screening of the dark comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang followed by a Q&A with Robert Downey, Jr who stars in the film. The little theater was in the basement of the Tribeca Grand Hotel, which had about 30 corduroy cushioned seats. My friends who had seen the film all said it was really great (Sasquatch has seen it twice) so I was doubly excited to watch it.
We were seated in the second row, in a reserved seat, thanks to my mother and her connections with Bombay Blue Sapphire Gin, which sponsored the event with The New Yorker magazine. Unfortunately there was a woman with a huge fro like Sideshow Bob seated in front of me, causing me to crane my neck to see the screen. The impartial view didn't prevent me from enjoying the film though, which was directed and written by Shane Black the screenwriter of Lethal Weapon, The Last Boyscout and The Long Kiss Goodnight. Although this is his directorial debut.
The plot in a nutshell features Harry Lockhart (Downey) whose a petty theft in NYC who gets discovered by a Hollywood producer and flys out to LA to play a private detective. In order to prepare for the role he follows a real private dick, Gay Perry (Val Kilmer)and gets involved in a real murder mystery. Gay Perry by the way is gay in the film, thus the name. Both stars have great chemistry and are fun to watch interact. I found myself cringing, laughing out loud and generally enjoying this quirky film, I definitely recommend it.
It's very Pulp Fiction, and I mean that in two ways--It's an outlandish and interlaced crime story like the Pulp Fiction movie and also like the cheap dime books, which the story highlights. The film also pokes fun of the fact that it is a film and includes narration that addresses and engages the audience. The story is also very LA noir, but without being too tongue in cheek or over non-industry heads.
After wards Robert Downey, Jr. came out and did a Q&A with a reporter from The New Yorker and then answered questions from the audience. I didn't know what to ask, my concentration in pop-culture and the several intense film study classes that I took during my undergraduate degree were loss to me at that moment. I just listened and the reporter in me, regretted that I didn't have my notebook. Generally he talked about the future of film and the genre, but he did mention how it was fun to work with his son who appeared in the film as his younger self and how he related to his character's optimism. He was really energetic and personable and no, he wasn't high or anything. Although he did reek of cigarette smoke and resembled Bernie in Weekend at Bernie's with his long hair and beard.
I headed to the cocktail reception feeling like a wimp for not coming up with a pretentious question like the others or for not letting him know how much I enjoyed the film, his acting and especially his older movie Chances Are, but to my delight he and his new wife and producer Susan Levin mingled for a bit and talked with our group.
While posing for a photo with him I mentioned that I loved him in Chances Are and he said it was just on TV the other day and his wife hadn't seen it so they watched his 23-year-old self (he's now 40). He then began dancing with me and serenading me to the song Chances Are. It was really sweet--not skeevy--and I was definitely giddy.
Here are some photos, a.k.a my proof. The photo of us dancing was way too bright since the flash went off at the same time as the professional photographer's.