Archive for December 8th, 2008

December 8, 2008

>The Red Carpet Tales


Judi Dench, who received a lifetime achievement award

This saturday happened the European Film Awards in Copenhagen, the first time ever the city hosted the not so old and traditional event, but nevertheless considered an important prize for the european film industry. Being a movie fan, and having the opportunity to see a red carpet live for the first time in my life, I didn’t hesitate to go, despite the horrid danish weather (I held a camera in my bare hands for over two hours and survived to tell this litte story). I arrived about one hour before the red carpet started, thinking I couldn’t even get a good spot among the “crowd”. Crowd? There weren’t more than 10 people in the place, including a trio of animated teenager girls, a woman with a child and a small group holding apparently great DSLR cameras and large notebooks. The red carpet was short, one could stand in two different sides, either the left or the right and in the middle there was a stupid division that didn’t allow the actors, like Judi Dench, to walk freely from one side to the other. Later I realized that nominated people or people associated with the award in general entered through the left side, and I was standing in the right…

Thomas Vinterberg (Festen‘s director and one of the dogma founders) and family. The girl in the right thinks: Where the heck are the stars?

Around 6pm the first guests started to come, an annonymous crowd usually dressed in the most terrible fashion (think boots in a gala event), but the funniest was to notice those types who seem to find themselves so important for doing a 12 seconds walk in a red carpet. By my side, two young women in their bikes took a good look and said “What a boring red carpet!”, and then left. Later a guy with a huge dog stopped by and more women with their babies (!). The place was still nearly empty, and I asked myself if one would have had a similar picture in another city, but CPH. I guess not. By the end, it looked like 50 people or less watched the red carpet, it was definitely the saddest red carpet ever made. Lack of interest? Not enough publicity, perhaps? Both? Lack of real movie stars? Neither James McAvoy nor Kristin Scott Thomas, both nominated, appeared. The only real celebrity was Dame Judi Dench, as I can’t count danish actors and directors like Paprika Steen (who plays the sister in Festen) and Mads Mikkelsen (the villain in Cassino Royale and the lead actor in After the Wedding) as big celebrities, among others.

Mads Mikkelsen and a short glimpse of Wim Wenders’ back

Besides knowing a bunch of directors by their names, films they made, I just don’t know what they look like (do you?). Wim Wenders, filmmaker and president of the film academy, walked by three times, and I only realized who he actually was when he was standing with a bouquet of flowers, waiting for the very late crown princess Mary. A group of spanish people walked by, possibly the ones behind El Orfanato? What about a short italian guy, would he possibly be Gomorra‘s director? I had no idea, and frankly, I didn’t give a damn. The only director I really wanted to see was Lars von Trier, but as expected, he didn’t bother walking through the red carpet. Around 8pm, the pre-event was over, no glamorous gowns and red lipstick, no screaming fans, no warmth, no life, as an ordinary dark and depressing winter evening, with the exception of a couple of searchlights that illuminated the sky, playful.