Tucked away where Tottenham Court Road turns into New Oxford Street is an abandoned warehouse called the Old Post Office. Those around this area last Thursday might have caught a whiff of a city within our city as the premiere of Frank Miller’s The Spirit brought its understated party to town.
Whether you thought it was all style and no substance or all style and orgasmically sexy, no one can deny that The Spirit’s prequel, Sin City was slick, and it’s to a similar place that we return for another helping of rough men and beautiful women trying to do good, bad or ugly in a cold, hard world.
Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson are the hip cats to take the lead roles this time around and I arrived just in time to see them disappear in a car that was then swallowed up by paparazzi.
But who needs to celebrity stalk when the portaloos come with full length mirrors and operational sinks? I began snapping them to prove what can be achieved in the temporary toilet trade and got a weird look from a bystander. I managed to skirt round this and ask a question which I always wonder of the non-stars at premieres:
‘What brings you here?’
‘The free drink’, he replied with a twinkle in his eye.
It is a myth that you have to be a cool poseur or Peaches Geldof to enjoy a red carpet event. It is preferable to behave like a kid whose been introduced to a big free playground and told you can bring your friends.
There was an undercurrent of friendliness in support of my thesis evidenced by a barman who got so excited at a slicked-up version of Don’t You Want Me Baby that the military line of mojitos he was making went a bit wrong. And when I intercepted a waiter heading for the VIP area wielding canapés I expected to be told to ‘get fucked’ in icy professional speak, but instead I earned my very own pomegranate-y mystery served on a leaf.
The coup de grace was definitely watching a minor celebrity arrive and within five minutes depart with a leggie blonde in tow. What a privilege to watch such a whirlwind romance, and how tasteful that he walked behind her so as to grope her ass on the way out.
‘Pervert!’ yelled my friends and I gleefully, unhearable beneath the pumping urban soundtrack.
To my great sadness there was no screening of the film, which is set to premiere in New York this week. The movie did play across one wall but there was no chance of settling down with a tub of popcorn as the abuse- blocking music was also dialogue-blocking.
It is a shame to go to a premiere and be none the wiser on anything but the graphics of the film in question, but it is a joy to go with your friends to a party in a warehouse and drink free booze whilst pretending to be starlets.
The Spirit is on general release in the UK from 1st January 2009
Image by Strandell courtesy of Flickr