FireflySerenity Brings Chaos - Premiere Photos
Tuesday 23 August 2005, by Webmaster
Serenity Brings Chaos
21 & 22 August 2005
On Monday night, Cineworld, Edinburgh’s biggest cinema multiplex, went mental. A queue, which began forming five hours before screening time, snaked from the doors of the cinema all the way through the mall to the tacky threshold of the all-you-can-eat Mexican restaurant. Outside at the red carpet, probably the biggest number of autograph hunters so far seen this year used all means short of outright physical violence to win a position. The reason? Serenity was in town.
Typically, Edinburgh is a launch-pad for home-grown gems that go on to become international hits (The Full Monty, Billy Elliot), exciting cult foreign language numbers (Amores Peros, Infernal Affairs), or art house critics’ favourites (Young Adam, Seul Contre Tous). This year, however, it’s the turn of the big budget Hollywood Blockbuster, and by the reaction to its World Premiere last night, you can bet your bottom dollar that Serenity will take some beating for this year’s audience award.
The thing that’s most surprising, though, is that there’s more than just hype and hyperbole to the furore whipping up around this. Written and directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, and adapted from his short-lived TV show, Firefly, this is pulp sci-fi adventure at its fastest and funniest. Following the crew of a warship that’s escaped its army’s defeat in a galactic war, it’s a motor-mouthed mix of caustic dialogue and shiny CGI thrills. The cast are practically unknowns (the same people from the original show, Firefly), and this is Wheldon’s first directorial effort, which frankly shines through in the films energy and effervescence; this lot are all here to have fun. It’s classic, classy B-movie sci-fi, only with a budget of $45m dollars.
It was the most un-Edinburgh screening you ever saw. When the curtain falls, the packed house goes ballistic. They’ve been whooping, applauding and tittering all the way through, but as the cast and director take the stage for the Q&A, this is something else. Fans are desperate to get their questions asked, so much so that tickets had been changing hands on ebay for upwards of £150. These are hardcore Whedonites.
The questions and requests from the audience become increasingly geeky (to the delight of all assembled), and the whole thing resembles a cabaret show more than a expose of director and cast methods. One fan requests a sing-a-long of the old Firefly theme tune, which leads to the whole auditorium chanting the much-loved refrain, led by Adam Baldwin (hard-nut Jayne Cobb in the movie). Joss Whedon is asked to perform the ’dance of joy’ that his character did once in a cameo in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Pleading an injured knee, Nathan Fillion (ship captain Mal Reynolds) steps into the breach, knocking out an impressive rendition of the jig. It was Geek-topia, Fan-halla.
The night before, Sunday, Empire’s lord of all things sci-fi James ’Darth’ Dyer had been teleported from Londoninium to hang out with the Serenity crew and suck them dry of opinions, quotes and anecdotes. Doing his damnedest to keep up with these Hollywood party animals, he accompanied the group (comprising director Whedon and cast members Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau and Alan Tudyk) to first the Kinky Boots party (to find fellow Serenity cast member Chiwetel Ejiofor who’s in both films), and then to the aptly named boozer The Last Drop, where a hardcore of Nathan Fillion, Jewel Staite and producer Chris Buchanan sank beers and sang songs until the early hours. Hell, even the landlord was a Firefly fan. Not enough of one to put the beers on the house, mind.
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