I missed last year's soiree, so I'm unable to make any comparisons, but I definitely had more fun in 2004. You see, every year I go to the Axman's Alternate Opening Night Party, or I have for the past three years or so. (The Axman is local film crit extraordinaire Sean Axmaker.) This annual event takes place at a nearby watering hole during the opening night film, which Sean and the rest of the gang have usually already seen or don't have tickets for or don't wanna see. In this case, most of us had caught Me and You and Everyone We Know at the press launch or, like the IMDb's Keith Simanton, at Sundance. (I didn't have any interest in last year's selection The Notebook--and still don't).
So there was only a small group of us at the Six Arms--six at the most--but a fine time was had by all. Last year, we met at the Elephant and Castle and the year before we met at the late, great Cloud Room. But back to 2005. Around 9:30pm, we headed over to the old library with the rest of the after-movie throng. I must say I started to miss the well-lit coziness of the Six Arms the minute we got there. It was too dark, there weren't enough places to sit, and there was something kinda "cold" about the vibe. Granted, I ran into a wide variety of fine film folks--Tom Tangney, Mark Rahner, Moira Macdonald, Robert Horton, Shannon Gee, Andy Spletzer, Jen Roth, etc.--but didn't really get the chance to chat with anyone for very long and, for me, that's what parties are all about, so my friend Steven and I took a pass around midnight or so.
On the plus side, Sean and I got to ask Paul Provenza a few questions about The Aristocrats when we ran into him in the elevator. That was a nice surprise. I asked him if Eddie Izzard was really as clueless about "The Aristocrats" joke as he appeared to be, and Provenza said he wasn't and that he was just taking the piss (that was a relief as I tend to think of Izzard as a pretty bright chap, but he seemed a little off in this film). I also asked Provenza how come he never tells or talks about the joke on screen while his co-producer, Penn Jilette, does. "Penn and Teller," he corrected. The point being, I guess, that Jilette appears as part of an act/character and not as regular old Penn Jilette.
As for the rest of my Tablet co-conspirators, I ran into Karla and Gillian, but never saw Kris. And although I only had one drink at the party (and one at the Six Arms), I definitely had a hangover the next day. Gillian wasn't joking about the strength of those Bombay G&Ts! Alas, the food had pretty much disappeared before I had the chance to partake of any it (though I wasn't that hungry anyway). So that was about it for my night. The Six Arms gets an A-, the Opening Night Party gets a C+.