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The world premiere of TWILIGHT, and an anti-Twilight

While the full moon hung over LA, long black limos descended on Downtown, delivering sacrificial celebrities to a blood-red carpet for the world premiere of arguably the most anticipated box office film in history. But those 'vampires' held no hold over me. I was busy interviewing the real stars of Twilight- the "Twi-hard" fans who'd flown from all around the country, and as far as Canada, to camp four days in advance for just a chance to beg Robert Pattinson for an autograph.

I had just one question in mind: How can a real man ever live up to your expectations after you've been idolising a vampire?

It was hard to get an interview, between the interjections of "OhMiGod!!!" Robert Pattinson!! Marry Me!!", and all the hyperventilating. But at just one mention of a video interview, one hope that I could record a quick clip of their adoration to show their dear 'Edward'- they poured out their hearts while holding back their tears:

Q: How long have you been waiting for Robert Pattinson:
"oh forever. I love him."

"That's my husband! I came here to propose to him... I love him! He's just so special."

Q: What makes him so special?
"He's a hopeless romantic".

Q: "If you can't marry Edward, how is any other guy going to live up to your expectations after you've been idolising a vampire?"
"no-one can."
"no-one else. Edward and Brad Pitt. That's it".
"oh he needs golden contacts. And the tussled bronze hair. They need to be like Robert Pattinson, with the lashes, and growth - a moustache. And get scruffy. Have chest hair. Definitely.

Q: "So what can a guy do, to be more like Edward, to make you happy?"
"The accent. And that body. And that look. And those eyes. Everything."
"oh they are going to have to work really hard.  The guys need to work harder."
"They need to watch the movie and learn something from him.

Q: What tips would they get? What advice would they get from watching Robert Pattinson?
"Be very faithful. Caring. And very devoted. Loyal. And make sure they have great hair, just like him."
Q: Great hair. Lots of hair gel. Cool. And do they need to be able to fly?
"Of course. Why not?"

There you go, gentlemen.  The magic of Robert Pattinson (or Edward) has been dispelled.  You just need to be a loyal hopeless romantic, with great hair, a great bod, and the ability to fly.

The magic of how to make a blockbuster film- now that's another matter...

__ __ ___

I thought the night was over. But I fled to the darkness of the cinema, as the full moon hung in the air and the howling screams of the "Twi-hard" fans rescinded into the dark streets of Los Angeles.  Wondering what else to do with ourselves, I slunk into the cinema with a friend, to see a late film neither of us had heard anything about. ´Separado'.

A welsh musician wanders the folkloric plains searching for his rock'n'roll ancestry (or something like that, I must admit I lost my attention, it might have been the full moon, or might have been the plot, because this film flies off into another plane of consciousness every time the musician picks up his guitar, dons his cape and a full head covering helmet that is half alien half stormtrooper, and half the FX buttons on the avid editor are pressed... 

We didn't realise, walking into the cinema, just what we had stumbled into - It was the ANTI-TWILIGHT.

Only one word really captures this film - TRIPPY.

WOW. I issue a warning: there is no excessive nudity, violence or swearing. But to really appreciate it you it you need to be high. Very high. Or to take yourself, as I did, into that liberal state of mind. Because this film is a road movie into another documentary dimension. That's its strength, and if you don't like that, then just go away.  My friend's response at the end of the doc?  "I think my brain just lost it's virginity".

He had a contorted look on his face during the whole film, as if he was in pain. We were trying to figure it out. There was obviously some semblance of narrative line, but I was so lost by the lucidity of the cinematic musical interludes within the first 15 minutes that I was in a dreamland of musical delirium like a maze with no way out. By the time I tried to slap myself and figure out what was going on my left brain had already checked out. At the end of the film, my friend looked at my face and laughed "I know what you're going to say in the Q&A: Hi I´m Wendy Dent and I have only 1 question... what the F#%K!"

I'd been wondering if I could last the full ride in this strange road movie, but thankfully I stayed for my friend who was waiting for an epiphany in the ending. It didn't come. But the world premiere ended up worth seeing, just for the Q&A.  To let the directors speak for themselves:

"The biggest influence on this film was Borat. We tried to interview as least as many people. It references cult movies of south america and music docs... including a Neil Young film that was only shown once in 1978".

I had one question that I threw into the Q&A: "what did your mother think of this film?"
director 1: "she really enjoyed it".
director 2: "... yeah I gave her the dvd."

As the director continued fielding questions in the Q&A, he mumbled, looking down at his shoes. He looked up at the mention of just one word - the soundtrack.  "We made an album called 'The Terror of Cosmic Loneliness'.  And its coming out next month and we recorded it in 5 hours. It's going to be out in July - digitally ... all over the world."

At this point I turned to my friend and said "I think the director is hung over".
"No, he's high" my friend replied.

More masterpieces from the director, on the making of the film:
"It was very painful intially, especially for Dylan because I didnt want to appear in the film, not being on camera, so it was very difficult initially to make the film. Then I discovered I´m not a very good guitar player. And then we discovered the secret of a long life so that was exteremely rewarding."  The revealed secret was a hilarious highlight of the film  - "dont smoke in bed".

But it was upstaged by the final question in a quixotic Q&A: "So was that the sound of a real penguin in the film?"
A. "the penguins are the killers. When we were in patagonia, there was a major incident where they attacked and destroyed our main camera. So never trust a penguin. And it was the 3rd day of filming. So yeah..."

Q& A moderator: "I think on 'never trust a penguin' we should call it quits."

As the audience started to shuffle in their seats, to pull themselves from their stupor and make a move, the director poked his head out from behind a banner for the Los Angeles Film Festival, with a footnote:  "We are going to go drinking. To the Figueroa hotel. It's just outside, the first left¨"

"What did you think of the film?" I had to ask the people next to me in the audience. The guy replied by singing a warped musical note. "No comment?" I asked.  No reply.

My friend began to extricate himself from his seat. "We are not quite ready to move on yet. I need some time", I said to him. He replied back "Yeah I just feel like I did a drug that doesn't exist". And when the volunteers handed me a voting card I was just as perplexed. "Well what exactly is the criterion?!"

So if you too need a strange musical wind-down after all the vampire madness, head along to the next session late Saturday night.

And WOW, thank you to the team of Separado. That was quite a ride. While I doubt you'll ever see the box office Twilight will enjoy, I'd love to see your film become a cult hit on the festival circuit.  And I hope other audiences will enjoy this road-movie into musical purgatory,just as much as my friend and I, on a strange full-moon evening post-Twilight.

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