Friday, March 25, 2005

House of Fury Gala Premiere

This is the second Asian film premiere in Singapore I am attending, the first being Princess D a few years back, and it is no surprise that I drew comparisons and could see similarities between the two, in the way the premiere was handled.

Collected my tickets courtesy of a movieXclusive contest, met the site administrator for the first time, and after dinner, made my way to the Prince 1 foyer - and the sight was one funny one...

Wonder why Singaporeans queue, for everything! I was greeted by this extremely long queue... there's this table set up by the radio station Yes933, and I thought the queue originated there for those to claim their tickets from the station. But NO! I was so wrong! The queue was actually starting from the theatre doors. Like, Hello?? Why can't everyone just hang around the lobby and mingle, instead of forming this inane queue? No idea.

Anyhow, the foyer wasn't decorated much. You only suspect there's a premiere with the film's posters being the only posters put up all around, and that's it. Guess not much budget left after giving away all the tickets to probably the largest cinema hall in Singapore.

I was wrong to think that everyone would be in the foyer to await the arrival of the VIPs that night - director/actor Stephen Fung and one half of HK pop duo Twins Gillian Chung (only 2 guests, Princess D had 4 - director Sylvia Chang, and the leads Daniel Wu, Edison Chen and Angelica Lee). Security concerns probably prevented that, as you never know what groupies can be capable of doing. Instead, the cinema hall was open and we were all ushered inside. Too bad the collectible ticket had to be surrendered - which was the same situation as in the Princess D premiere, and the Kill Bill special invite marathon which I attended - thought I could keep the stub to get it autographed or something.

There are 4 kinds of people, as observed with my limited experience with Asian premieres. The first are those who scramble to sit near the rows of reserved seats (where the stars will take their place during the show). The second are those who at the first row (where the stars will be when they enter). There's a stage set up which looked like a ping pong table - saw it in place couple of weeks back when I watched Hostage. The third are those who stakeout the side entrance - where the stars will enter from. And lastly, those who don't give a damn. The first two types probably accounted for the kiasu queue before the doors are opened.

The long wait begins, as the stars arrived 15 minutes past the stipulated time. Can't blame them cos they were at another meet-the-fans session at Junction 8. Those bored started to play around with their digital cameras, and flashlights go off every now and then.

A Yes933 deejay (sorry, don't know who) opened the premiere, with an unsuccessful attempt to rouse the crowd into action. Even when the 2 guests appeared, they were greeted by than less then enthusiastic applause and cheers - my take was quite a number of people were tired from the waiting in a darkened environment, could see many people dozing at their seats.

Similarities with the Princess D premiere were abound:

The groupies congregating near the side entrance were brushed aside - the stars did not stop for any autograph signing (I may be wrong) as it seemed that they were rushed by their minders and bouncers to the stage area.

On stage, they played Q&A to giveaway prizes, no doubt groupies at the front are having a field day with this, being asked questions ranging from who stars as who, or who's the action director, etc, and being up close and personal to the stars.

And to wrap up, both of them were asked to make some closing comments. I can't remember what Gillian Chung said (hey she's eye candy), but as I remembered I better start paying serious attention in order to review the movie, I caught Stephen sidestepping his question of commenting on the message that the movie is bringing across - his answer was to ask the audience to watch and decide for themselves. Not a very good sign.

No longer than 10 minutes, they were whisked off the stage to their seats (groupies trying to follow), the light goes off and the movie plays. But somewhere in between, they snuck out and when the lights come on again, the entire entourage was nowhere to be seen.

Ah well, at least I got to watch the movie :)

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