Moulin Rouge, reaching for the sky
Five years ago to the day (well yesterday)... the UK premiere of Moulin Rouge at the Odeon Leicester Square..... and as one of the film's biggest fans, I was lucky enough to be invited. A Royal Charity Premiere, in aid of the Prince's Trust, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.
It started off with a Fanfare, from the Thames Fanfare Brass, the the National Anthem and then the Film, after which the National Anthem would not be played. Onto the stage came the director, Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce and the main actors, Nicole Kidman, ewan McGregor, Jojn Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent and Richard Roxburgh.
And then the film..... what a film..... there could hardly ever be a more perfect film for me..... loud and colourful, a film about Beauty, Freedom, Truth and, above all, LOVE, a musical, a comedy, a tragedy.
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return"
I had already seen it three times before the premiere when I was in California for my work. It had been a very hard year end close with working almost around the clock for many days, so once the pressure was off, it was time to fianlly see the film. I was blown away by the film in the first few seconds and was totally taken into the world of the Moulin Rouge. And I went back the next day for more and the following for yet more.
I would eventually see the film about 14 times at the cinema, with friends and almost all members of the family and I would never cease to be emotionally involved with the characters. Of course, the DVD followed and the books and the posters and films stills and the music score, biographies of Ewan McGregor and so on and so forth... but nothing can beat seeing the film in a large cinema with an excellent sound system in the company of a good friend.
After the premiere there was a party in the East End of London, which was rumoured to have cost over a half a million pounds. They had set up a large pink elephant and a red windmill, they had brought over can-can dancers from Paris, created green absinthe-looking cocktails, invited snake charmers and sex-dwarves and just created the most excellent space for a party.
By the end of the evening, emboldened by drink and with a VIP card in my hand, I managed to get to speak to both Baz Luhrmann and Kylie Minogue, telling Baz just how excellent and, indeed, important the film was to me, and telling Kylie that I thoght her next single (Can't Get You Out Of My Head) was much better than that the the Spice Girls and that it would surely get to number one (this was the major issue with which the British tabloids were busy in these days).
It was an excellent evening and the next day, I was there with my camera taking photos of the posters being taken down in Leicester Square.