The Screening Room Blog
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Brad Pitt and George Clooney: dangerous to be around
VENICE, Italy -- My big toe is throbbing. In fact, both my big toes are throbbing. One is my own fault: I dropped my camera on it as I jostled in a scrum of people to see if it really was Brad Pitt in the blacked-out car with "Mostra" printed on the side.

But the other one I take no responsibility for. I'm blaming a thoughtless cameraman for that one. He backed onto my toe trying to get footage of the car that might have had George Clooney in it. I yelped. He ran off after the the car without a backward glance.

That's not all, either. I was also elbowed in the head by an overzealous amateur photographer. She was trying to get the best shot of him through the crowd; something tells me her photos aren't going to give the ranks of the world's press too much to worry about: "Oh my God! I saw the top of his head! I saw the top of Brad Pitt's head!"

What the photographers see:


What the crowd sees:

All this happened as I wandered among the crowds outside the premiere of the Coen Brothers' new movie, "Burn after Reading," the opening film of the 65th Venice Film Festival.

In fact, just moments earlier I had been thinking to myself how cool and laid back the Italian crowds are. Sure, there were police and the ubiquitous shades-and-black-suit-wearing security men, but the premiere guests (some of whom are quite famous in Italy, for example, "81/2" actress, Claudia Cardinale) walked casually through the crowds to get to the red carpet and everyone was behaving impeccably.

But then the real stars of the show turned up. I suppose the incredible hysteria is a testament to their celebrity. The screaming got louder and louder and gaggles of young girls were running and pushing to keep up with Brad and George as they worked the crowds, signing autographs and indulging in badinage with the crowd. "BRA-AD, BRA-AD" started the chanting. (Poor George.)



Co-stars Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand were there, as was renowned German director and head of the jury, Wim Wenders -- but the crowd were not there to see them.

A couple of mature ladies jumping up and down, shouting "Bello! Bello!" (which I'm guessing means handsome) at Brad and George who were definitely young enough to be their sons. Another woman was saying: "My hands are slippery, I'm so nervous, " as the boys in black worked their way steadily towards her.



I haven't yet seen the film (that's later today) but even if the critics don't like it, I can vouch for the fact that there are at least a couple of thousand women who are definitely going to watch it -- if only for another chance to gaze at Brad and George.

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