During the movie:
“Oh, hey, I recognize that man. I saw him as we entered the theater. And there’s the guy we talked to on the train here.”
At the party after the movie:
“I recognize all these people! They were all in the film!”
I could get used to going to movie premieres/sneak previews/cast showings. Hypothetically, that is. I don’t expect to get many more opportunities of this kind. Yesterday, I attended my first one, and I had a great time.
The film is called Eat Sleep Die (original Swedish title Äta Sova Dö). A couple of friends of mine had landed bit parts in it, and one of them invited me along to this cast showing, which was something like the second ever screening of the film to anyone.
I wasn’t the only one who was new to this kind of thing. Eat Sleep Die is the feature film debut of director Gabriela Pichler, who won a Guldbagge – Sweden’s equivalent to the Oscars – for her short film Scratches (Skrapsår) two years ago. Furthermore, none of the actors had any real acting experience. This was something new, in one way or another, to everyone.
While the film was playing, you could still tell that there was a certain something in the air. You’d hear a chuckle sometime even when nothing funny was happening, presumably from someone who just saw him/herself on the big screen for the first time ever. A whispered word here and there, somehow very different from the usual chatter you might hear in cinema. I know I certainly smiled broadly when one of my friends appeared in a scene, or when a familiar local landmark became the focus of a shot.
When the credits had finished rolling, Pichler invited every cast member down to the stage. This turned out to be a bit over half of the people present by my estimation, but there were still plenty enough of us left seated to applaud them all heartily.
After the film, we were all treated to finger food and champagne. I’m not the best in the world at the whole mingling thing, but it was a lot of fun to hear people talk about their experience with working on and seeing the movie. Some felt that they had stumbled terribly over their lines, an opinion that was always met with “Really? I didn’t notice that at all from you” from the other guests. A lot mentioned that many of their scenes had gotten left on the cutting room floor – a reaction Pichler had warned before the film that many would have, as they had shot a lot and had to get the movie down to a reasonable running length. What most everyone seemed to agree on was that this was a great one-of-a-kind experience.
In addition to exchanging a few words with some of the actors – who all seemed like great people – I also got to chat briefly with Pichler herself. She turned out to be a very kind person who was very thrilled about the whole thing – the film, the process, the positive reception from everyone, and also everything that still lies ahead for her and the movie. She was worried that the sound hadn’t been quite right on this showing, something I and others had noticed as well, with the dialogue at times drowning in other parts of the audio. It might have been due to this one particular theater we had been in, but it was something they were going to look into regardless. This lead to a discussion of how different various cinemas can be, and how Avatar‘s 3D had worked much better in that place than in that other one, and then on to Prometheus and so forth. Talking to her was a lot of fun.
All in all, I had a great time. As I said earlier, I have never attended anything of this kind before. No film festivals, no launch parties, no nothing. Getting to be one of the very first to see a film, and to then hang out with the people involved in making it, was very cool. I hope I get more opportunities like this in the future. If not, that’s fine too. Either way, I’ll always have this one to look back on fondly.
Big thanks go out to the people involved for a superb event! I’m very grateful to have been allowed to attend.
Oh, and as for Eat Sleep Die? You know, the actual movie? It was good. Very good, in fact. I might write a review of it at some point, so keep your eyes open.
Eat Sleep Die (Äta Sova Dö) is about life in Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost province. It follows 20-year-old Rasa (Nermina Lukac) as she deals with being suddenly unemployed. The film will open in theaters in Sweden sometime in late summer or fall of 2012. Before that, it might also play at Venice International Film Festival.