Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sir Guy Ritchie and the Daily Mail writer; Or the RocknRolla press meet

I have to give the Mail's showbiz writer Richard Simpson 10 out of 10 for nerve at least. There he sat waiting for the RocknRolla press conference to start in his business suit, patiently enduring the hideous heavy metal caterwauling, not talking to the ghastly oiky foreign hacks around him, and all the while nursing a question that would elicit about 10 dismissive words from Mr R, which nonetheless would not deflect him from writing a near-page report on the event in today's paper.

The question was along the lines: How do you account for the success of your marriage? In the course of the question, Richard seemed to call the director "Sir Guy". Then in some backtracking repartee added that he was only trying to ingratiate himself with the faux-knight. Later asked how he knew so much about the London underworld, Sir Guy replied: "From reading the Daily Mail."

Guy Ritchie is a winning character. His cologne was not. When he passed me by in his dark suit - no tie - his Dunhill aftershave, or whatever sweet heliotrope he'd dabbed on, nearly knocked me out. I suspect he's a benign mind-fucker. He liked to tease his cast by lobbing questions fired at him over to them - naturally they hadn't been listening. I imagine his marriage to Madge is one long benign mind-fuck. Best to be on your toes chez Ciccone-Ritchie. You've got to have your wits about you with these two restless workaholics.

The press meet for RocknRolla was at the Oxo Tower Wharf near Waterloo, a dump whose interiors resemble those in the Alien space ship. RocknRolla movie posters were plastered all over the bare brick walls, the ceiling plaster was bubbling and flaking, the naked girders were all rust: I loved it. The wharf is no good example of the architectural hyper-modernism in RocknRolla. But you could imagine a nice old mobster feeding a rival to crayfish there.

The journos were well looked after. Bacon rolls served, coffee poured. I didn't stay for lunch, but I think I spotted some shrimp. Today's Mail trashes RocknRolla - Christopher Tookey is a sharp writer but has grown cantakerous from exposure to the all-male clique of elderly national film reviewers - and I'm astonished. The movie is far superior to Ritchie's other films, even if it covers old ground superficially. London's turned, that's its message. The fucking Russians and American crayfish are running the place.

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