Exclusive to Mr-Reeves. Turkishdelight attended the world premiere of Side by Side at the Berlinale. Many thanks, TD, for sharing her experience with us!
After meeting K-man in London last June, I was on my own Keanu high and like any addict, I was craving for more Keanu. Who would have thought that my prayers for another Keanu encounter would be answered in less than a year!!! So when I heard that K-man will be in Berlinale for the premiere of his long-anticipated documentary” Side by Side”, I did the crazy thing and booked my flights even before I got the tickets for the talk and the gala. And as fate has it, when the tickets for the talk was released, I didn’t get one, thanks to the unresponsive Berlinale website. But I guess my guardian angel was doing some extra hours that day,bec at the last minute a German fan (Lelou) whom I met at the London book signing answered my call and got me a ticket, it was amazing!!! I guess at times like this you really feel like you’re part of some sort of community, community for Keanu drooling and swooning that is,LOL!
As some of you may know my Berlinale experience had a rather bad start as I was stranded at the airport for 5 hours due to a snow storm, I missed my connecting flights and finally when I had arrived in Germany, I had to track down my lost luggage. On top of that my flu got worse after the mayhem in the airport and I sort of lost my voice, so as you can imagine I was quite upset in the beginning. But things slowly started to get a little brighter by the time I collected ‘Side by Side’ tickets (for those who haven’t been at the Berlinale before like me, they have very glamorous pink tickets with little golden bears on the side, very cute..)
I was at the Haus der Festspiele where the gala of “Side by Side” will be held almost 2 hours before to meet Lelou, there were some people waiting outside at the red carpet area for the arrival of stars but we have taken the wise option and settled inside the café with some warm drinks, of course the main topic of our waiting chat was Mr. Gorgeous, we went back to memories of London book-signing with dear Lelou…
As the time was getting closer to 3pm, our excitement started to grow and we slowly made our way to the queue with the rest of the fans, half an hour later we were inside the theatre and we managed to get a very good place in the 2nd row, just in front of Keanu!!! Then we patiently waited for the arrival of the man of the hour and finally there he was, greeting the audience with a huge smile on his face! Keanu and the Side by Side team has taken their place in the back of the theatre and they announced there will be an Q&A after the gala which was a nice surprise for all of us, and that’s how I ended up asking him questions in both talks.
But let’s go back to the gala, there is something very exciting about watching a movie with Keanu, knowing that he is in the audience, hearing all of us, I bet he was beaming with pride when everybody in the theatre laughed or clapped at certain parts of his documentary. I have to say, Side by Side didn’t disappoint me, as I also commented in the Q&A, they managed to make a subject which may seem technical, kind of relatable and interesting and created a crowd-pleaser as the documentary not only talks about evolution of film-making from photochemical to digital but also takes you to a journey on all those classic and contemporary movies you loved, makes you more curious about movies in general and asks some much broader questions on the effect of technology on movie-going experience, how it changes the collective experience to a more individual one, in the sense of watching movies on your ipod, smart phone, etc. instead of going to a movie theatre and “laughing & crying together” in K-man’s words…I think while Keanu adapts to new technology, he still feels nostalgic about the loss of film and I bet he is among those who prefers to watch movies in a cinema instead of an ipod, imo he is a big softie at heart. Probably that’s why he said he will shoot MOTC in digital but wished it was photochemical in reply to a question.
Btw, Keanu really did a decent job in “Side by Side”, he slips into the role of interviewer so easily, as if he has been doing this for ages and you can tell he really enjoys asking all those questions, having that kind of exchange with the very best of the movie-world, I think somebody also asked him smt about his interviewing technique and how it helped being an insider to interview all those great directors, and he laughed and said “everybody we spoke was willing to talk, so it was not like interviewing me!’.
I have to say Keanu’s technique is very laid-back, he manages to get interesting replies from his subjects, some of them are very funny and watching his reactions to them was very amusing I would say he has the gift of making people comfortable and open up to him, if he ever decides to retire from movie business, he would make a good interviewer, or maybe one day he ends up in a film school giving lectures to fellow actors as he is very passionate about his craft and knows how to hold the attention of his listeners very well …As you can see, once again I’m mesmerized by the man, I guess that’s what happens to you if you get to see Keanu up close back to back 2 days,lol!
After the movie, they invited the Side by Side team on stage for some photo shoots, Keanu did one of his old tricks and tried to run away from the stage, then the Q&A started and I got to ask him the first question! I recorded the whole Q&A and this time you don’t need to suffer from my terrible camera skills, because dear Lelou helped me with camera when I was asking questions. Btw, Keanu was gorgeous in his three piece suit, only his hair was a little bit too-styled for me, he looked nothing like the Keanu we saw in London, the only thing two Keanus had in common was the well-worn boots he was wearing since June, lol… I was very excited but since I’ve been thinking about what I would ask him since they announced that there would be a Q&A, I guess I managed to ask him some decent questions.
First I had to apologize for my terrible voice, because seriously I was sounding more like a creature from a horror movie,lol… Then, I thanked them for this very interesting documentary and Keanu said ‘thanks”, when I told him I have 3 questions, he laughed and made the number 3 with his hands and jokingly asked “Three?” as if trying to say to me ‘are you sure, isn’t that a little too much?” but I was unperturbed. I just laughed back and said I’ll try to keep them short and proceeded to ask him the questions, my first question was about Henry’s Crime, I asked him whether shooting HC on film was a conscious decision, then I had to bring up “Passengers” project, as I really like to see it made so I asked whether a story like Passengers could be shot with rotoscoping technique which was used in “A Scanner Darkly”, of course in the meantime, I also did mention ASD being one of my favourite movies and lastly, I asked Keanu how he felt about reversing the roles and interviewing his fellow actors, directors, cinematographers. As usual, Keanu was very animated with his responses, he said he really enjoyed doing the interviews and then started mimicking various directors and his reactions to them, he was too funny for words, and he kept calling George Lucas as Zeus!
As for Passengers, he said although rotoscoping is an interesting idea, you have to balance the idea you have and how much it will cost, or smt like this, my take is even with rotoscoping it is still a too expensive project for Company Films and it seems that Passengers will have to wait in the dock for a long time As for HC, Keanu said he was not involved in the decision-making process and that was purely director’s choice. Needless to say, I was above the clouds having a little one-on-one with Mr Gorgeous again and finally being able to ask some of the questions in my mind about his projects, the rest of the Q&A was interesting as well, I didn’t understand how time flied, as Q&A finished some people rushed to the stage to get some autographs, but I was not quick enough and in any case Keanu didn’t stay there long, they quickly went back-stage, outside the theatre, there was a VIP area which we were not allowed to enter, it was some sort of celebration place for professionals I guess, as we have seen many people from the documentary in that area, including Wachowskis, but unfortunately K-man was nowhere to be found, I think I saw somebody looks like Keanu leaving from the backdoor with a grey scarf, so before we know it he was gone, but of course it was a case of no-worries, as we would surely see him the very next morning.