Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stargazing in Manhattan

~ So there I was, walking through Manhattan when I noticed flashing lights down a side street. I soon realized they weren’t so much flashing lights as they were the flash from lots of cameras going off simultaneously.

Of course, I had to investigate.

The cameras were being wielded by 15-20 photographers at the entrance of MoMA - the Museum of Modern Art, where a special screening of George Clooney's film, Leatherheads was about to take place. There was no red carpet, but I joined a group of locals, tourists, and autograph hunters, and waited to see who was going to turn up.

I didn’t have long to wait. Through the crowd walked Bruce Willis and his latest flame. Unfortunately, by the time I had my video camera ready to film he had disappeared into the building. Damn. I decided to keep my camera on in readiness for the next star. A succession of guests entered the building, most of whom I didn’t know – until Jonathan Pryce walked out of the building.

Now Jonathan Pryce may not be an actor whose name is on everyone’s lips, but he just happens to have been the lead actor in one of my all time favourite films, Brazil, directed by one of my favourite directors, Terry Gilliam. Maybe Jonathan knew something about Leatherheads the rest of the guests didn’t, because he never did return to MoMA for the screening.

A long, black, stretch limo pulled up in the street. Out stepped Howard Stern and his partner. I have heard of Howard Stern, but I wouldn’t have known it was him if someone hadn’t told me.

A couple of very tall, thin anorexic looking women arrived over the next ten minutes or so. At one point, I had the nerve to shout out to one of them, "When was the last time you ate?" But if she heard me, she didn’t let on. My poor attempt at humor did get a laugh from some of the locals however.

Suddenly a tall familiar looking African-American stepped through the crowd. It was Danny Glover (of Lethal Weapon fame), who apologized for not posing for photographs, because he was running late. As it turns out, Danny need not have worried. Renee Zelwegger, who also stars in the film, and who was due to appear at the screening was apparently unwell, and decided to give it a miss. When George Clooney was informed of this, he also decided not to turn up – to his own film screening – and that was that.

As soon as the photographers heard that Renee and George were not going to show, they packed up and left. It didn’t matter who else might turn up. As the saying goes, ‘There’s no show without Punch’, and since Punch wasn’t turning up, the photographers disappeared into the night.

And with that dear friends, my night of stargazing came to an end.

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